886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

How to Protect Your Pet from Getting Into Your Medication

8/7/2017
Prevent Your Pet
 
The Pet Poison Helpline reports that approximately half the calls it receives each month are from a frantic pet owner whose dog, cat, or other animal got into medication meant for people. This includes both prescription and non-prescription drugs. To help curb the number of emergencies, the organization came up with several useful tips for pet parents.
 
It’s hard to see your beloved pet in pain, which may tempt you to reach for your own medication to help him feel better. However, animals should never take any medication that our veterinarians haven’t cleared and should not take human medication at all. While you want your pet to feel better, giving him an unapproved drug could aggravate the situation even more. It’s better to call us for an immediate appointment if your pet seems to be in a lot of pain. 
 
Keep All Medications Out of Your Pet’s Reach
A common mistake pet owners make is to place their pills into a plastic bag for convenience and then leave them in a place their pet can find them. Dogs and cats are naturally curious and will stiff, tear, and claw at the bag until it opens. The pills seem like a treat to them, which means that just saying “no” might not be enough. Some pets simply have no resistance around something they perceive as a treat.
 
The Pet Poison Helpline also recommends storing medication for the human and animal members of your family in separate locations. With several pill bottles, it’s easy to mix up who should get what. Not only could your pet get a pill meant for humans, you could take something intended for animals. If you use a pill organizer, keep it on a high shelf and in an area that your pet can’t smell it and let her curiosity get the best of her.
 
Purses and backpacks should not be left lying around the house where your pet can get into them, whether there’s medication inside or not. Your pet could easily find and swallow the contents. Anything with a strong smell, such as breath mints, are especially attractive to your dog or cat. If you have pill bottles inside, it wouldn’t take much for your pet to chew holes in them.
 
Most Common Human Medications Consumed by Companion Animals
The Pet Poison Helpline reports that pets chew or swallow these human medications most often:
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Acetaminophen, including Tylenol
  • Anti-depressants
  • Medications to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
  • Anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood pressure pills
  • Beta-blockers
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Cholesterol lowering agents
No matter what type of medication your pet consumed, it’s essential to act promptly. You can reach Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-7474 during regular office hours. You can also contact the Pet Poison Helpline 24 hours a day at 1-855-764-7661. The organization charges a fee of $59 per incident. After hours, you can take your pet to  Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service at 11850 Aberdeen Street NE in Blaine, MN or contact them at 763-754-5000.

 

Photo Credit: Fantasista / Getty Images

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Make Sure Your Backyard Barbeque is Safe for Your Pet

7/19/2017
Backyard Barbeque'
 
Summer and backyard barbeques go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you haven’t grilled out yet this summer or received an invitation to someone else’s barbeque, there’s a good chance you will before the end of the warm weather season. For dogs and cats, the smell of forbidden food and the excitement of having different people around can make them behave in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. That means careful supervision on your part if your pet will be anywhere near the food or grill.
 
Hot Grills and Pets Are Not a Good Combination
A backyard grill, like an oven, can quickly reach a temperature of several hundred degrees. It only takes a second for your dog or cat to sniff at the food, lose her footing, and end up with a severe burn. Grilling tools like spatulas and meat thermometers can be a problem as well since they present a choking hazard. It’s best to keep your pet far away from the grill while it’s in use to avoid a serious injury. Also, make sure the grill master puts equipment away afterwards and that the grill is no longer hot before allowing your pet near it.

Make Sure No One Else Feeds Your Pet
You have worked hard to thwart your pet’s begging behavior, so the last thing you need is for someone else to give into the sad eyes performance. If you think it might be a problem, don’t be shy about asking people before the grilling gets started not to give your pet any food. Onions, garlic, and dairy products like cheese can be especially toxic for dogs and cats and are typical condiments for barbequed food.
 
Meat is generally safe, but only if it doesn’t contain bones that could cause your pet to choke. You should be the only one to give your pet meat. If you choose to do so, be sure to cut it into smaller pieces and give it to your dog or cat away from everyone else. This lets her know that begging just won’t work.
 
Beware of the Garbage Can
Your pet can still smell leftover food and bones in the garbage, so make sure that he can’t gain access to them. One way to do this is to place food scraps and bones in a sealed bag before putting them in a trash receptacle. You can also put a lock on the lid to ensure that he can’t knock the can down and eat what’s inside. Consuming food or bones from the garbage could cause stomach upset, an airway obstruction, tooth fracture, and several other problems.

Be Mindful of Sun Exposure
Cats and dogs can’t eliminate heat from their bodies the same way that people do. They lack the ability to sweat and only release heat through their paw pads and by panting. To avoid heatstroke, make sure your pet has constant access to clean, cool drinking water and doesn’t spend too long in direct sunlight. You should plan to keep your pet inside your air-conditioned home or at least let him in periodically if you’re the host. If you’re a guest at someone else’s home, ask him or her to point out the shady areas and have your pet stay there.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us in an emergency. Our answering service takes calls after hours and will direct you to immediate help.
 
Photo Credit: wip-studiolublin / Getty Images
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