Valentine’s Day bring lots of fun for kids and adults, but with the fun it brings one of the most hazardous times of the year for our dogs and cats. Over 98% of the calls to the Animal Poison Control Hotline in mid-February are about chocolate ingestion by dogs!
The kind of chocolate and the amount are what is important if your pet consumes candy or baked goods. If you have the packaging, keep that because it will give your veterinarian the most information possible when trying to calculate toxicity levels based on ingredients. Bitter chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst offenders for our pets. It is really important to keep your Valentine’s candy up and away from your dogs and cats. Thoroughly check your kids backpacks too, that’s a common location that dogs have easy access to! Baked goods, chocolate covered nuts, treats, and coffee beans are also sources of chocolate for our furry friends.
There are a wide range of signs that can be seen after a cat or dog ingests chocolate. These range from vomiting and diarrhea, agitation, thirst, lethargy, racing heart rate, heart arrhythmias, hyperactivity, seizures, tremors and sometimes even death.
If you believe that your pet has ingested chocolate, please call your veterinarian immediately. It will be important to know what exactly they consumed or how much. There are several types of treatments that can be administered based on the toxicity risk. If consumption has occurred recently, inducing vomiting can sometimes be done to reduce the amount of chocolate in the body. Giving activated charcoal helps bind up the substance in the stomach so less is digested. Anti-vomiting medication, hospitalization and IV fluids are sometimes needed in extreme cases. Your veterinarian will be able to help you determine the best route of treatment based on your pet’s situation.
Valentine’s Day is a lot of fun; don’t let this topic scare you! Candy and chocolate are tempting for us and for our pets, but as long as you are careful about where you keep the treats, everything should be ok. If you have questions or concerns about your pets consuming chocolate, please call us at 217-529-4499. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.
We are having a Biggest Loser Contest for our patients this spring! Since many humans are on a health and fitness journey early in the year, we thought it’d be good for our pets to join us! Cats and dogs are welcome to sign up; the deadline to enter is January 16. The contest will fun from February 1 through April 30. First prize is a year’s supply of free prescription pet food, and 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a gift basket. All participants will be eating Hill’s Prescription Metabolic food throughout the contest. If you’d like to enter your pet, hurry and call the clinic and get them signed up today!
Check out this article from JAVMA, about how diets actually make cats more affectionate! https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160401f.aspx
And here are some awesome before and after pictures of pet’s who went on a 6 month weight loss journey (as reported by CBS news). http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/pet-weight-loss-contest-before-and-after/
Please contact us in Springfield at 217-529-4499 to get your pet signed up for our Biggest Loser Challenge. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.
What exactly constitutes a “senior” pet? In the veterinarian world in Springfield, we consider a dog or cat a senior when they reach the age of 8. For large breed dogs, their senior years begin at a younger age, closer to 6 years.
Many people shy away from adopting a senior pet because they think their time with them is short. However, these pets are such loyal companions and have so much love to give because they are grateful to have a wonderful family and home. The life expectancy of many dogs and cats can be 12-15 years or longer, and giving them a loving environment for the remainder of their lives is very rewarding. Senior pets often are more laid-back and have less energy than a young dog, which is a desirable trait for many pet owners.
With age comes more health concerns of course, but many of the senior pet diseases can be managed with changes to diet, environment, and/or medication. It is a good idea to have a senior pet examined by your veterinarian prior to finalizing the adoption. The most common health issues that we see in senior animals are arthritis, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Don’t let this list scare you away from adopting a sweet senior and giving them the best loving home they’ve ever had. With well managed care, they can maintain a great quality of life for years as a member of your family.
Often, rescues and shelters will have Senior Pet Programs where discounts are offered for the adoption of a senior pet. If this is something you are interested in, be sure to ask the staff when you go to find your new forever friend!
If we can answer any questions for you regarding senior pet health or where to find a senior pet to adopt, please contact us in Springfield at 217-529-4499. Our mission is to provide high quality, compassionate veterinary care with a personal touch. We strive to maintain a friendly and comfortable environment for pets and owners and are committed to building strong, respectful, and honest relationships with our clients. Through teamwork, we are dedicated to ensuring the best care possible and treating pets as if they were our own.
Below are some links of local shelters who adopt out senior pets: