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Tag: after

How a single penny can kill your dog

Sierra, a West Highland terrier in Colorado, had 26 cents in her stomach.

But it was the single penny that killed her.

Owner Maryann Goldstein said Sierra was always attracted to change. As a puppy, the Westie swallowed 32 cents and had to have it surgically removed. In March, Sierra got sick again, and X-rays at the vet’s office showed a quarter and penny in her stomach.

The smaller coin was the bigger concern.

Pennies minted after 1982 contain zinc, and that’s toxic to dogs and cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a staff veterinarian at Petplan pet insurance, told CBSNews.com that newer pennies are toxic because gastric acid from the pet’s stomach reaches the zinc center, causing it to be absorbed in the body rapidly.

She said zinc interferes with red blood cell production, and the longer the exposure, the greater likelihood red blood cells will be destroyed. Symptoms of zinc toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, red-colored urine or looking jaundiced.

“Be sure to bank your spare change before curious pets can get their paws on it,” warned Jackson. “and if they do, get them to the emergency vet immediately.”

Goldstein, who now wears Sierra’s ashes in a heart-shaped container on a necklace, shared her dog’s story with CBS in Denver as a warning to others.

Sharpei loses his wrinkles — to keep his sight

sharpeiRoland, an abandoned sharpei, has had a face lift.

While sharpeis are prized for their wrinkly skin — and dog show breed standards deem it desirable — it can also lead to a condition called entropion, in which the wrinkles cause a dog’s eyelashes to turn inward and rub against the eyeballs.

For Roland, found as a stray and taken in by the RSPCA, the condition likely would have led to blindness, and it lessened his chances of finding an adoptive home.

The solution, according to the Daily Telegraph, was a double eye lift and full face lift.

“What we have done is made him adoptable,” RSPCA chief vet Magdoline Awadshe said. “It is not uncommon in this breed, it is a congenital problem.”

Roland’s 90-minute surgery eye lift surgery and excess face wrinkle removal cost almost $1000.

It’s not uncommon for sharpeis to undergo the procedure, in which a swath of of skin from across the animal’s forehead and between his eyes is removed, and the remaining skin is pulled together and sewn with stitches. Chow chows, bulldogs, pugs and other breeds are also prone to the condition.

The RSPCA says Roland is one of growing number of sharpeis turning up at animal shelters. Members of the once rare breed are often abandoned after owners realize the costs of correcting their congenital health problems.

(Photo: Daily Telegraph)