We haven’t warned you this year, as Halloween approaches, about chocolate and other candies that can harm your dog, assuming that by now you already know all that.
But you may not know about toxic toads.
It only took about half an hour for Deborah Barrett’s dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Willie, to die after he bit a Bufo marinus toad in his back yard last week.
“It was as big as a salad plate. My dog killed it, and when he came inside, within five minutes he went into convulsions, Barrett told Patch.com in Temple Terrace, which is outside Tampa.
Barrett said Willie died in the car on the way to an animal hospital.
The City of Temple Terrace is cautioning pet owners to watch out for the Bufo marinus toads, an invasive species that has taken hold in Florida. The gray-brown toads secrete a powerful toxin from their glands that can be poisonous to dogs, cats and other animals that bite them, and even people who handle them.
Small dogs are the most at risk, veterinarians say.
“Once they start having seizures, if you don’t address it quickly, it can cause massive brain damage,” said Dr. Paul Langston, of the Temple Terrace Animal & Bird Hospital.”If you can get them (to the vet) quickly, they’ll usually be OK.”
If you suspect your pet has bitten a Bufo toad, veterinarians advise rinsing its mouth and paws with water and seeking veterinary help immediately.
As with the mushrooms we told you about last week, the toads are being seen in higher numbers because of heavy rains.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bufo marinus, caution, dangers, deadly, death, deborah barrett, dogs, florida, halloween, hazard, health, heavy rains, jack russell terrier, marijuana, mushrooms, pets, poison, rain, temple terrace, toad, toads, toxic, toxic toads, toxins, warning, willie
Alan Askwith didn’t mean to shoot his wife. He meant, his own lawyer says, to shoot his dog.
But apparently hitting the right target can be difficult when one is driving, allegedly under the influence, down an interstate highway with three kids in the backseat.
Yesterday, Askwith, 29, of Richfield, Utah, was being held at the Utah County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail on charges that included felony discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cruelty to animals, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune
Highway Patrol Corporal Todd Johnson said the shooting took place somewhere on southbound Interstate 15 in southern Utah County last Friday.
“For some unknown reason, the driver decided to shoot the dog and also hit the female passenger in the lower leg,” Johnson said.
Askwith’s defense attorney, Clayton Simms of Salt Lake City, said Wednesday that Askwith shot the animal when it began snarling. Askwith then pulled over and dumped the dog on I-15, and tossed his handgun out of his SUV.
The dog – a 115-pound pit bull, named “Arby” — was later picked up by relatives, taken for treatment and, according to Simms, is expected to recover.
Simms said Askwith told him he was concerned the pit bull posed a risk to his wife, and to three children sitting in the back of his vehicle.
Askwith drove his wife to Central Valley Hospital in Nephi — see, everybody has their redeeming qualities – where she was treated for what authorities described as a non-life threatening wound.
Another trooper, at the hospital for another matter, arrested Askwith after learning what happened and took him into custody after a brief foot chase.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arby, arrest, askwith, attorney, charges, dangerous, dog, dogs, dumped, hazard, highway, hospital, humans, injured, interstate, pets, pit bull, risk, safety, salt lake city, shooting, shot, snarling, survived, utah, wife
The quietude of our sleepy little neighborhood has been shattered.
We are under attack.
I mean hundreds every hour, and that’s just counting the ones that pelt my roof. It started about a week ago, and has been gaining intensity ever since, as if working up to some nutty grand finale.
Ace, who doesn’t like loud noises — and believe me, it’s very loud — is starting to get used it. Only during the worst, like when 50 or so bombard us over the course of, say, 10 seconds, does he look up, wondering what’s going on.
But it’s a daily and day-long event — thousands of acorns, both green and brown, falling from the sky, pelting the top of my car, rattling the roof of my house, pinging off my grill and air conditioner and slamming onto the sidewalk.
In almost every case, they lose their cute little hats in the process.
I’ve lived among oak trees before, but I don’t remember ever seeing an acorn fall, and definitely not anything like the barrage underway on my street.
Huge oak trees line the whole block, and their limbs hang over the housing units. But none of them seem to be raining acorns like the ones hanging over my place.
When I was planting my pansies Saturday, at least five acorns –and usually you can hear them coming, ripping through the leaves on the way down — smashed to the ground at my feet.
I’m hoping it won’t still be raining acorns on Halloween — because given the distance they are falling from, and their hardness, they could do some damage to young heads. Or old heads for that matter.
I haven’t been hit by one directly yet. I’ve had a few bounce off my grill and hit me, and many land at my feet. Ace has also escaped thus far, even though he spends a lot of time laying under the trees in the front yard.
The acorns pose a double threat. In addition to the possibility of getting beaned by one on the way down, there’s the hazard of sliding on those that have already fallen, especially when they’re hidden under leaves.
Most often they just crunch underfoot, but every once in a while there’s a group that are particularly hard and stubborn, and it’s like trying to walk on marbles.
There are those who believe that an abundance of acorns is a sign that the coming winter will be severe — that somehow nature is able to figure out how many acorns squirrels will need to get through the season and, accordingly, instructs the trees on how many they should grow and drop, so that there’s always enough for everyone.
That’s a little too neat and tidy, trickle-down and happily ever after for me to believe.
We can’t and shouldn’t try to dictate and control it. We shouldn’t ask it to change the song. And when we do cut in, we should do it gently and with respect. After all, we we’re lucky just to be invited.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abundance, ace, acorns, america, animals, autumn, bombarded, control, danger, dogs, fall, falling, hazard, nature, noisy, north carolina, nuts, oak, pets, road trip, squirrels, travel with ace, trees, winston-salem, winter
Remember the old Chevrolet commercial — baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?
Well, decades later, the car company has, for the sake of selling motor vehicles, gotten around to acknowledging another piece of Americana — the dog; specifically, the dog in the pickup truck; more specifically, the dog in a Chevrolet pickup.
And that, they will find out as the new ad airs, if they haven’t yet, is some tricky ground.
It’s one of those topics that raises the hackles of animal welfare activists, some of whom who say under no conditions should a dog be riding in the bed of a pickup , some of whom say it’s acceptable if the dog is crated or restrained, all of whom say riding in the cab would be preferable.
And they are right. For safety’s sake, it probably would be.
Last week, in “Travels with Ace,” the continuing saga of the trip Ace and I are taking across America, we showed you Jake, a golden retriever in Oregon still sporting injuries he received when he tumbled out the back of a moving pickup. We did so without casting judgments or getting preachy, because our road trip is not about how dogs should live in America, only about how they do live in America.
In much of rural America, dogs are still dogs. They roam their property, and perhaps that of other’s, at their will. They chase and sometimes kill wildlife. Some even live, gasp, outside. And they ride in the back of pickups, which virtually all animal welfare organizations will tell you is a bad idea.
The Chevy ad, to its credit, doesn’t show any dogs in the beds of moving pickups, but, even so, I’m predicting it will lead to some lively debate if it airs widely.
On YouTube, it has already started — through Internet comments, gracious and civil as always.
“Cute video, but I wish Chevy wouldn’t advocate the dogs in the back unless in a crate. Since I have seen a dog fly out of the back of a truck on a busy highway, I am traumatized for life. It should be illegal and is some places for your dog to ride loose in the bed of your truck unless you are on your own dirt road on your property with no other cars around and are willing to pay the vet bill if your dog falls out…”
“If I thought for a second my dog would ever jump out, he wouldn’t ride back there. And he doesn’t on the interstate. But on going into town, on rural country roads, and on my ranch, he will always ride in the back and he wouldn’ t have it any other way. MIND YOUR OWN F***ING BUSINESS FAG…”
“Greatest commercial! Too bad liberal know it all’s have created laws against dogs riding in truck beds! Apparently (like most libs) they know what’s best for us, and will make laws accordingly. My dog will ride in the back forever though, they can suck his hairy nuts…”
Besides reflecting how crass anonymous internet banter can get — how Internet commenting has replaced the punching bag as man’s default mode of venting hostilities — the discourse shows the cultural divide that exists in this country, one that’s not so much conservative versus liberal as it is rural America versus the rest.
It’s a generalization, but many denizens of rural America don’t want the rest of America making rules that govern their access to firearms, or how they raise their dogs — from whether they spay and neuter to letting them ride in the back of pickups.
There’s something to be said for letting a dog being a dog — as opposed to spending life on a leash or in a handbag – but is putting Rover in the back of a pickup letting a dog be a dog? In my view, it’s courting disaster.
Yet, while many experts also advise that dogs in cars be crated or restrained, Ace is traveling acoss the country unrestrained in the back of my Jeep.
Maybe that’s why I don’t come down harder on dogs in pickups; maybe it’s a degree of respect for rural ways; or maybe it’s because the surest way to make people become more entrenched in a bad habit is to tell them they can’t do it anymore.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accidents, advertisement, america, animals, back, bed, chevrolet, chevy, correct, culture, danger, divide, dog, dogs, hazard, injuries, jake, pawlitics, pets, pick-up, pickup, politics, riding, rural, transport, travel, traveling with dogs, truck, trucks
Giving your dog a bone — any bone — is a dangerous practice that can cause serious injury to your pet, the Food and Drug Administration says.
It’s not like they’re recalling bones, but the agency has issued a warning in an article appearing on the FDA’s online Consumer Updates page.
However popular the idea may be that it’s natural for dogs to chew on bones, the tradition – knick-knack paddy-whack aside — falls into the danger zone, in the FDA’s view.
“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. “Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”
The FDA lists 10 reasons why bones are a bad idea — and we’ll pass them on verbatim:
- Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
- Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
- Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
- Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
- Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
- Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
- Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
- Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
- Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
- Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.
“Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”
We agree with those last two points, at least, but can’t help but wonder if a total bone ban may be a bit over-protective, a bit contrary to the nature and roots of dogs, and one more step in turning dogs into humans.
Most bones are bad — chicken bones, as we all know, in particular. But there are those that, with supervision, I don’t hesitate to give my particular dog, like marrow bones. They can help clean teeth, massage gums and, in my dog’s experience, seem quite safe.
What school are you in when it comes to bones? Do you think some are OK? Do you ban them in your household? Do you have a bone to pick with the FDA? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bone, bones, caution, chew, dangerous, dog food, dogs, fda, food and drug administration, gag, hazard, health, injuries, news, obstruction, pets, safety, splinter, teeth, treats, warning
Real Ham Bone for Dogs — dog treats made in Missouri from the femurs of pigs — are under review by the Food and Drug Administration after complaints of them causing serious injury and death in dogs.
If warranted, an FDA spokesman said, the FDA will take appropriate action and notify the public, the Associated Press reported.
The product — a smoked pig femur sold as a dog treat or chew bone — is distributed nationally under the Dynamic Pet Products label of Frick’s Quality Meats in Washington, Mo.
The company said Thursday it was saddened to learn of the illnesses and deaths of customers’ pets, and that quality and safety remain priorities. The packaging contains a warning about the product not being for all dogs, and the possibility that it could splinter.”
“That is why every package contains a label that provides detailed instructions to owners on how they can help their pets best enjoy our products,” the company said in a statement. “We strongly encourage owners to supervise their pets with any treats or snacks.”
The Better Business Bureau of St. Louis said consumers have complained about the bones splintering, and pieces obstructing dogs’ intestines. Consumers reported their dogs had become lethargic or were vomiting. One man came home to find his dog dead, bleeding from the mouth.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alert, animals, better business bureau, bone, chew, choking, complaints, consumer, consumers, danger, death, dogs, fda, femur, food and drug administration, frick's quality meats, hazard, health, illness, investigation, missouri, news, pets, pig, real ham bone for dogs, recall, review, st. louis, treat
Does the hot dog need a makeover?
The nation’s largest pediatricians group thinks so. The American Academy of Pediatrics — un-American as it may sound — is calling for sweeping changes in the way the hot dog is designed to minimize children’s chances for choking.
In a policy statement issued earlier this week, the group identified the hot dog as the greatest food-related choking hazard to children, particularly those ages 3 and younger, and said the shape plays a large role in making it unsafe.
The academy proposes warning labels be placed on hot dogs, and that consideration be given to manufacturing them — gasp! — in the shape of a patty.
The academy cited statistics showing 17 percent of food-related choking deaths among children come from from hot dogs. Other common food choking hazards include grapes, apples, popcorn and nuts, the group said. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids 14 and under in 2006, 61 were food-related, according to an Associated Press story.
The doctors say high-risk foods — including hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes and apples – should be served to small children in pea-sized pieces to reduce chances of choking.
We’d agree with that much, but we think it’s up to parents, as opposed to the government, to see that their childrens’ food is cut into manageable pieces.
(Click here for all of the Wiener Awards.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american academy of pediatrics, children, choke, choking, death, dogs, food, frankfurter, hazard, health, hot dogs, news, pediatricians, redesign, reshape, safety, shape, weiner, wiener, wieners
Here’s a household pet hazard that — dastardly as it is — you don’t hear about too often.
But first the moral of the story: If you have a pet at home, or a child for that matter, don’t ever leave your paper shredder on automatic.
The owners of a mixed breed dog named Diamond found that out the hard way last week, when their 8-year-old dog licked their’s, only to have her tongue pulled into the sharp blades.
“She had licked a paper shredder in the house that was set on automatic,” Dr. Marc Wosar, of Miami Veterinary Specialists, told TV station WPLG.
Fortunately, Diamond’s owners were home and responded quickly. They disconnected the head of the shredder, carefully taking it and the dog whose tongue it held to the animal hospital.
“We anesthetized her first, then reversed the shredder off the tongue and assessed the damage,” said Wosar. “There were a lot of lacerations to the tongue as well as a lot of bite wounds. In her panic, she’d also bitten her tongue.”
It took more than a 100 stitches to repair Diamond’s tongue. A portion that was too severely damaged had to be removed, but doctors expect her to make a full recovery.
“She just won’t have a perfectly round tongue. She’ll have a little nick in it,” said Wosar.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: automatic, cuts, danger, diamond, dog, dogs, hazard, health, lacerations, marc wosar, miami veterinary specialists, paper shredder, pet, safety, shredder, stiches, tongue, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, warning
Here’s one way to reduce the number of birds at airports, and cut down on accidents like the forced Hudson River landing of US Airways jet last week.
Her name is Sky.
Sky (click the link above for the video) is a 1-year-old border collie about four months into her job shooing birds away from Southwest Florida International Airport.
“She’s not aggressive at all, but to the birds, she looks like a predator — a wolf or a coyote,” said James Hess, airport operations agent and Sky’s handler. Big birds or flocks of birds, in addition to getting sucked into jet engines, can disable wing tips, dent the fuselage and break windshields.
Southwest Florida International is among about 20 airports nationwide using dogs for some form of wildlife control, according to Rebecca Ryan, owner of Flyaway Farm and Kennels in North Carolina, which has supplied dogs to both military and commercial airfields.
Southwest Florida International was among the first U.S. commercial airports to employ a bird dog, beginning in 1999, according to airport director Bob Ball. Sky is the third generation of her breed to patrol the airport southeast of Fort Myers.
According to USA Today, Charleston (S.C.) International and Canada’s Vancouver International also use dogs for wildlife control.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, accidents, air, air safety, airports, birds, border collies, control, crash, damage, dogs, engines, flocks, fowl, geese, hazard, hudson river, prevention, safety, sky, us airways, wildlife
The bedding industry has been raising the height of its products, satisfying customer desires for thicker mattresses, the Wall Street Journal reports — and that may be creating a hazard for dogs, especially small ones.
Anecdotally, veterinarians across the country report a rise in such doggie disorders as elbow and shoulder arthritis, hip dysplasia and degenerative disk disease, often caused by dogs leaping into, our out of, the bed.
“For a little dog to take a flying leap off a bed that’s five to six times higher than he stands is an act of courage, and a recipe for injury,” says Stephen Crane, an academic animal doctor and diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
While scientists have yet to tackle the issue, the marketplace has, and several companies are now offering pet stairs designed to help dog from floor to bed.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, animals, bedding, beds, dog, dogs, dogs in bed, furnishings, furniture, hazard, health, high, injuries, mattress, mattresses, pet products, pets, safety, sleep, thicker, wall street journal