As we move into the fall season this year we welcome the cooler, crisper days ahead however there are some considerations relevant to the fall season that pet owners should be aware of to help keep their furry friends safe.

  • Bees and wasps seemingly are everywhere in September and October. While most are non-aggressive and harmless stings from either can still hurt. Fortunately, the affects of a sting are almost always confined to the specific area of contact and rarely ever result in a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. For local pain control – usually the feet/toes or nose areas – ice is best. Apply a bag of crushed ice, frozen peas, or Cody Parkey’s foot to the affected area for 5-10 minutes as needed until the pain subsides. Benadryl can be given but should be done so under the direction of a veterinarian. Benadryl use in dogs is technically considered a prescription medication even though it is available over-the-counter for people.
  • We have officially entered Chili season! While Chili itself is not toxic – insert bathroom joke here – the onions used as a topping or cooked into the Chili can be toxic to cats if ingested. It technically can be toxic to dogs but I’ve never seen a dog eat enough onion to lead to problems with the red blood cells. Cats are a bit more susceptible. While cats typically don’t practice dietary indiscretion to the extent dogs seemingly do, still be wary of this potential hazard. If your cat or dog does ingest onions, seek veterinary care so that the appropriate management can be pursued. For lower levels of ingestion, this may consist of monitoring the red blood cell count. For higher levels of ingestion, this may consist of decontamination procedures and close monitoring.
  • Proper football watching should include a sufficient amount of buffalo wings. I have seen a fair number of dogs eat the wing remnants and suffer the consequences. In theory the wing bones could injure the digestive tract and cause big problems, but in my experience the common consequence is on the way out. Dogs can develop rather significant constipation that usually requires medical intervention to help relieve the condition. The bones break down into small gritty bits that will form an unpleasant plug in the colon. It ends up being a big mess but treatment is relatively straight forward.
  • Winter is coming (GoT fans…) – while fall is the second greatest season of the year, those prepping cars, RVs, and boats should know that ethylene glycol, the most common ingredient in antifreeze can be very toxic in small amounts to dogs and especially cats. Antifreeze used for drinking water systems in RVs, campers, boats, etc. often uses a much safer ingredient known as propylene glycol. If your pet ingests any type of antifreeze, be sure to contact your veterinarian to determine how to proceed. Prompt intervention is crucial for a successful outcome. Prevention is even better though – take appropriate measures to ensure your pets do not have access to any spills or leaks of antifreeze.

Certainly not an exhaustive list of potential hazards – Halloween hazards are being addressed in a separate blog – but a good start. As always, if your pet runs into any of these hazards please let us know. We are here to help you and your pets whenever the need arises!