Archive for December, 2009

Boris says, “Leave the Booze to the Humans”

While you and your family are busy merry making this Holiday Season, please make sure that your canine & feline best friends don’t accidentally get into the booze. Alcohol is toxic, dangerous and possibly fatal to our furry friends.

Boris says, “Make certain your don’t end up looking like this over the Holidays”….

7 Rum & Cokes

7 Rum & Cokes

One Large Purple Haze

One Large Purple Haze

One bottle of Tequila!

One bottle of Tequila!

© DogAboutTown.ca – 2009 – All rights reserved.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Anti-freeze?

Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions (keep them coming). The most asked Vet-related question for the month of October 2009 was:

“What should I do if I think my dog may have ingested anti-freeze?” and thanks to Vet Tech, Nicolle Lejeune at McKenzie Veterinary Services for providing us with the following  expert and helpful answer.

“If you think your dog has ingested anti-freeze the first and only thing an owner should do is get your dog to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. YOUR DOG WILL NOT RECOVER ON THEIR OWN IF A POISONING HAS OCCURRED. If you suspect any kind of toxin has been ingested please bring the container of the substance with you so the veterinarian knows what they are dealing with. Through a thorough exam, diagnostic blood work and sometime an analysis of your dogs’ urine it can be determined whether or not an ethylene glycol/anti-freeze poisoning has occurred. If it has, the appropriate course of treatment for your dog can begin.

There are now pet friendly anti-freezes on the market. Now instead of ethylene glycol you can pick up anti-freeze made of propylene glycol. This can be purchased at any automotive supply store. As of April 1st, 2009 British Columbia became the first province to mandate that a bitter agent be added to all anti-freeze sold at a consumer level to deter ingestion of this highly poisonous substance.”

*The information in this column is not meant to serve as a diagnosis but rather a starting point for understanding and investigating concerns related to your dog. A physical exam and assessment of your dog by a veterinarian is essential.*

© DogAboutTown.ca – 2009 – All rights reserved.

The Best Way to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions (keep them coming). The most asked Vet-related question for the month of September 2009 was:

“What’s the best way to keep my dog’s teeth clean?” and thanks to Vet Tech, Nicolle Lejeune at McKenzie Veterinary Services for providing us with the following  helpful answer.

“The best way to keep your dogs teeth clean is to brush them. This is easier said than done but it’s worthwhile to invest the time and effort necessary to do it, even if it is only once or twice a week. The goal of a dental care program at home is to maintain a healthy happy mouth throughout your dog’s lifetime. Preventing the development of gingivitis and periodontal disease is the primary goal. Brushing the teeth is the first and most important step in implementing your dog’s homecare program. As well as brushing, there are other practices and products to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

The best way to keep your dogs teeth clean is to brush them. This is easier said than done, but it is less expensive and easier. Depending on who you ask, once a day is best, but other experts and studies have shown that 3 times a week is sufficient.

Try start cleaning your dog’s teeth is right away. Start off slowly. Touch their gums and teeth. Make it fun; make it a game. This will get them comfortable with you touching their mouth and gums. The next step is to take a washcloth and water or tuna juice and massage the gum with your finger. This step is to get your dogs use to brushing his or her teeth.

Please note that if you are training a puppy it would be a good idea to do the steps above even while they have their deciduous (baby) teeth. When the permanent teeth start to erupt stop brushing for a little while, as their gums become inflamed and sore. After the permanent teeth are in all in place you may start the brushing regime.

When it comes to brushing their teeth use a soft toothbrush, many veterinarians sell toothbrushes made specifically for a pet’s mouth. On a 45º angle use a back and forth motion starting at the gums and ending at the tip of the tooth. When it comes to what toothpaste to use, use toothpaste designed for pets only. Using human toothpaste can cause your dog to have and upset stomach. Toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide MUST NOT be swallowed and it can be harsh of the tissues of the mouth. Also make sure that you don’t use any pastes or remedies that contain baking soda as the sodium content is too high and can be dangerous to older dogs.

Another way of promoting a happy, healthy mouth is to choose the appropriate toy for you dog. Stay away from toys with hard finishes or tennis balls. The material that is used to make tennis balls is abrasive and over time can cause the enamel to deteriorate eventually leading to worn down teeth and pulp exposure. Try using the orange hockey balls or handballs but be sure to choose the right size for your dog; make sure the toy cannot be swallowed or the end result could be an intestinal obstruction! When it comes to a Frisbee choose one that is made of soft plastic or cloth. Harder plastic can damage teeth when your dog is playing tug-of-war or catching it in the air. Other items to keep out of their mouths are bones and rocks; these cause the teeth to wear down or even worse, fracture them.

Diet can also have an impact on oral health. Most veterinary clinics carry dental diets. The diets are made in a kibble form. Dental diet kibble is larger than regular dog kibble, and is designed to be penetrated by the tooth surface before it breaks. This provides a mechanical abrasion that helps rub tartar off the tooth surface. Some dental diets also contain chemicals that prevent minerals from attaching to plaque there by slowing tartar formation.

Please be sure to talk to your veterinarian before changing diets to make sure that diet is right for you dog.

As part of a yearly exam the veterinarian will examine your dog’s mouth and teeth and will recommend when a dental cleaning is right for your dog. One more piece of information that owners should know it that keeping your pets teeth healthy and clean can also help prevent future problems such as heart, liver, and kidney disease.”

*The information in this column is not meant to serve as a diagnosis but rather a starting point for understanding and investigating concerns related to your dog. A physical exam and assessment of your dog by a veterinarian is essential.*

Copyright Boris 2009

Copyright Boris 2009

[Boris keeps his teeth shiny and his breath fresh by brushing every second day with his humans’ Sonicare electric toothbrush with a small, soft brush.]

© DogAboutTown.ca – 2009 – All rights reserved.