While chocolate is a popular “people treat” that’s enjoyed all year, it comes in bumper supply during holidays like Valentine’s Day. With that in mind, we want to remind our clinic family to take extra care to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong paws, including cats’, even though it tends to be dogs who find and ingest it most often.
Chocolate contains caffeine and a natural stimulant called theobromine, both of which are toxic to dogs and cats, with dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate being the most dangerous. Depending on the amount of chocolate consumed, pets can suffer reactions ranging from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to death. Other signs of chocolate consumption can include an increased heart rate and restlessness. If you suspect your furry friend has ingested chocolate, we need to see him immediately. One of the most critical factors influencing the pet’s survival rate and recovery is how quickly his parents react. Possible treatments include induced vomiting, stomach pumping or the administration of medicine to prevent absorption into the bloodstream.
Candy and other treats are common sources in most homes, but don’t forget about baker’s chocolate or cocoa powder in the kitchen, and even cocoa shell mulch around landscaping outdoors. If pets have access to your lawn, opt for mulches made from materials like tree bark instead.
As a loving pet parent, it’s frustrating to think that your furry friend might be in pain and unable to tell you, but that’s often the case when pets have dental disease. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats, and by three years of age, nearly all canines and felines have it to some degree. But since they can’t tell you, how will you know? Regular dental exams are the only way to ensure that dental disease is discovered and properly treated, but between visits, here are some signs to watch for.
Bad breath and plaque and tartar buildup on teeth can occur in both dogs and cats with dental issues. In addition, dogs may favor soft food and toys over crunchy treats or chewy toys, have poorly chewed food, increased salivation and rub or paw at the face. Cats sometimes drool, have food fall out of their mouth when eating, nasal discharge, facial swelling, decreased activity and a diminished appetite.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet pal, schedule a visit with us right away. Even though we pet parents see the dentist regularly for checkups, we sometimes have problems that crop up between visits requiring treatment for both