05-2013 May

may13aPet of the Month
Who isn’t won over by this little sweetheart’s grin? Congrats to Lacey- our June 2013 Pet of the Month. The doctors and staff love her gentle disposition and admire her toughness in overcoming both medical and surgical health problems. Check out more about Lacey on our website or Facebook page.

Ask Dr. Debbie
Q: My miniature poodle loves fruits and vegetables. He especially enjoys crunching on carrots, green beans and melon. Is this okay? I know that dogs shouldn’t eat grapes and raisins, but are there any other fruits or vegetables I should avoid?

A: Some dogs adore the crunch of veggies or sweet taste of fruit, while others turn up their nose at them. In general, fruits and veggies can serve as a fun, healthy treat and a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. But don’t overdo it- limit the selections to one or two types per day. Forgo these snack items if your pet has a sensitive digestive tract or is fed a prescription diet suggested by your veterinarian.

You are correct that grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs as well as other common human foods. Even potatoes can be toxic; raw potatoes cause stomach upset when larger amounts ingested, but the bigger danger lies with green potatoes or those with sprouts on them. The toxin in green potatoes is not destroyed by cooking, so green potatoes should never be fed to dogs. Tomato plant stalks and leaves are toxic along with green, unripe tomatoes. Ripe, red tomatoes are safe for dogs since the toxin is no longer present.

Skip the sautéed onions for your canine pal. Onions and garlic are toxic to pets and cause anemia by destroying the pet’s red blood cells. Serious toxicities may require blood transfusions. The flesh of fruits like cherry, apricot, plum and peach aren’t toxic, but these fruit pits contain toxins which are a danger if chewed open. Pits that are unbroken do not release the toxin, but still could pose a gastrointestinal blockage if large in size or consumed in larger quantities.

Hot Weather’s Right Around the Corner!
Those triple digit Las Vegas temperatures are right around the corner and continue even into September. Dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves and can suffer heat stroke much easier than people do. And as temperatures rise, rocks and pavement heat up and can result in blistered, burned foot pads.

  • Do not leave pets unattended in hot cars.
  • Supervise and limit time that dogs spend outside in temperatures when over 85 degrees.
  • Ensure dogs have outdoor access to ample shade, water and cooling sources at all times.
  • Recognize dogs with higher risk of heat stroke- puppies, elderly dogs, dogs with chronic illness, and short faced breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs.
  • Heat stroke can occur daytime and after dark.
  • Exercise dogs in early morning- the coolest time of day in the desert.
  • Limit intensity of exercise during peak heat of the day.
  • Consider doggie booties to prevent burned footpads.

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