Category Archives: safety

Heatstroke Prevention and Summer Safety

Image result for heatstroke dog

Phew!  It’s hot outside!  While humans sweat to cool off, a pet’s fur prevents sweating, thereby trapping heat which causes a rapid rise in internal temperature.  Heatstroke can occur when a pet’s internal temperature rises just a few degrees, and can cause serious problems and/or death.  While we have heard not to leave pets in a car on a hot day, there are several other situations which can cause heatstroke in any kind of pet.  Do you know the signs and symptoms, as well as some emergency first aid to help if heatstroke occurs?

Your pet relies on YOU!
Keep them safe in the heat of summer!

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If you believe an animal is being cruelly treated…

REPORT CRUELTY

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The Houston SPCA has nine full-time, highly-trained animal cruelty investigators and responds to over 7,000 cases primarily in Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties. If you believe an animal is being cruelly treated, please contact us and complete the Online Animal Cruelty Report or call 713-869-7722.

Accurate information is critical to our response. You can help us by providing the following information:

  • Nearest major intersection.
  • Suspect address, city, zip code and county.
  • Apartment complex name or subdivision name.
  • Major concern (lack of food, water, shelter, no medical attention, etc.).
  • Animal species, breed, color, number of animals on the property and their location.
  • Your contact information if we have any questions about the report.

What is animal cruelty? Penal Code Sec. 42.09.- 42.105.

To report animal cruelty, complete the Online Animal Cruelty Report or call 713-869-7722.

If the county or state you’re contacting us about is outside our jurisdiction, please contact the animal control organization, animal shelter or local law enforcement agency for that area. We cannot respond outside our jurisdiction unless requested by law enforcement.

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More states say ‘yes’ to breaking into cars when a dog is at risk

Calendar Icon June 20, 2017
by Wayne Pacelle

Sixteen states now allow certain public officials to rescue animals in hot cars and 10 states allow members of the public to rescue animals in hot cars, provided certain steps are taken.  Photo by iStockphoto

Yesterday, I wrote about Chinese authorities stopping a truck jam-packed with 800-plus dogs bound for slaughter.  Today, I read a story about a truck with nearly 1,000 small animals crammed inside — including birds, chickens, bunnies, and guinea pigs – and left in the searing heat in Fresno County, California.  The temperature inside the truck surged to 107 degrees.  By the time the police arrived, notified by neighbors who reported an odor coming from the truck, the heat had claimed 18 animals.  Ten more died after authorities got into the vehicle and started pulling them out.

These animals were not bound for slaughter, but for sale at pet stores.  It’s a reminder of our home-grown problems here in the United States.

It’s also a reminder that with the first day of summer coming tomorrow, there are acute hazards for animals in transportation.  Cars and trucks heat up extraordinarily fast, even with the windows down, as temperatures soar outside.  Even on an 80-degree day – which residents of many parts of the country would beg for this time of year – the temperature inside a car can climb to nearly 100 degrees within 10 minutes.

Summer after summer, we shake our heads as we see a cascade of news stories about dogs dying after being left in hot cars. First responders on the scene to rescue animals left in hot cars make heartbreaking discoveries: claw marks left on the door, ripped seats, nail particles strewn in the vehicle.

In addition to building awareness that prompts better behavior, we are also attacking the problem from a policy angle.  In recent years, we’ve convinced more than half of the states to pass laws to allow private citizens to break into cars and free animals from life-threatening circumstances.  This year, lawmakers in Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana took final action on these so-called “Good Samaritan” measures, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown can sign the bill on her desk to do the same.  Sixteen states now allow certain public officials to rescue animals in hot cars (Nevada passed a bill this year to improve and expand their provisions) and 10 states allow members of the public to rescue animals in hot cars provided certain steps are taken.  Even more states grant immunity to first responders who must rescue animals in distress or prohibit leaving pets unattended altogether.

Intervention is carefully defined and kept as a last resort only to be used when all other options have been exhausted and the animal is in visible distress.  But all responsible pet parents would sacrifice a car window to save the life of their animal.  When it comes to property versus the life of an animal, that’s not a close call.

The safest thing you can do for your pet this summer is to leave him or her cool at home while you run errands.  Take the pledge to never leave your pet in a hot car.

The post More states say ‘yes’ to breaking into cars when a dog is at risk appeared first on A Humane Nation.

 

Source: A Humane Nation

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Deadly Trust

by Karen Peak

One of my early clients tragically lost her dog.  He was a sweet boy.  Very responsive, a dream to work with and the owner did her work.  We had discussed safety, using leashes on walks, etc. over our sessions.   She liked to have her dogs off leash when she hiked.  Well I used to hike with my dogs, off leash, specific areas where it was allowed at the time, and my dogs had a lot of training, proofing and testing.  Even at that, often my dogs were on leash.  That was also over twenty years ago and I have changed my views a lot since then about general safety.  You see, I knew my dogs’ limits but I cannot control other elements such as oh…  Other loose animals.  So now, I keep my dogs on leash unless it is a competition requiring off leash work.

Uhura Lure course 9 crop

One weekend this owner took her dog hiking and decided to let him off leash.  Rufus was a young guy – not even a year old.  He had just begun training.  He was far from ready for any off leash work.  As luck would have it, Rufus saw something.  He took off in the direction of a parking lot and access road.  No amount of calling got him to return.  At that moment, another vehicle pulled into the lot.  Rufus was killed.

I was called, and I have mentioned this case in other writings, to evaluate some larger dogs that killed a smaller dog.  Well the smaller dog was off leash and ran underneath the leashed larger dogs.  The smaller dog nipped and challenged the larger dogs.  The larger dogs responded.  Sadly the lawyer for the owner of the smaller dog kept interfering with my ability to get into see the dogs (I had to do the evaluation on a weekend due to the distance away and the lawyer refused to work on a weekend.)  Had the smaller dog been leashed, he never would have gone after the larger dogs.

I see many off leash dogs in my area.  Some are walking with owners while some are allowed to roam front lawns and the bordering properties.  I have watched a couple wander into the street while owners are watching.  All it takes is one incident that could have been prevented with a leash for your dog to be gone.  Another loose dog, a leashed dog your dog goes after, a child races up to pat the dog and is bitten, a squirrel…  Is it worth the risk to assume you can 100% trust your pet off the leash?

There are too many cases where a dog is fully entrusted with a child and tragedy happens. No matter what you are told, there is no real “Nanny dog” nor any breed developed to instinctively protect children.   In my research of hundreds of breeds, not one breed was developed for the sole purpose of caring for your child.  Even breeds developed for protecting hearth and home, livestock and residents needs their inherent behaviors honed.  This still does not mean the dog will be 100% tolerant of anything your child will do.  With memes and posts on social media, it is easy to see how people may be lead to think that XYZ will be the “perfect” caretaker for your child.  Then you see the stories: bites, mauling and fatalities by a family dog.  I see many dangerous things children are allowed to do that dogs are expected to tolerate.  It is frightening.  I have seen dogs expected to allow children to climb all over them, poke, hit, annoy the dogs while eating, etc.  Just because you think a dog should allow a child to do anything because of what you were told about the type, dogs in general, or your own assumptions, is not reality.

Eventually even the most tolerant dog can feel he has no other recourse than to stop the problem – his way. Now owners are shocked when a bite happens.  We should not be shocked.  These are dogs: not babysitters or toys.  They are living, thinking, responding animals.  Chances are the dog gave warning long before the bite. Is it worth the risk to assume 100% of the time your dog will never respond?

Here is where I trust my dogs 100%

I trust my dogs 100% to be dogs. I trust they will do dog things.  They will do things others find gross.  They may steal food if left unattended where they can get it.  They will chase squirrels.  They will growl when something is wrong or when playing.  If pushed too far, they may nip.  They are dogs.  My job is to have them build trust in me so they feel comfortable letting me know what is going on.  My job is not to trust but to work to increase safety for my dogs and the community. This means leashes, observation, recognizing situations that could set them up to fail and not demanding them to tolerate unfair treatment.  My duty to my dogs is to remember they are a different species with different communication and behaviors trying to exist in my life.  I can only trust that I will do all I can to make this a good relationship.

Trust is NOT a bad thing. It is how we apply our trust and our expectations that determine how situation may play out.

Karen Peak is the owner of West Wind Dog Training in Virginia and the developer of The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project – started in 2000.

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Source: https://westwinddogtraining.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/deadly-trust/

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Alert: US Dog Food Recalled After Discovered To Contain Fatal Dose Of Euthanasia Drug Pentobarbital

Alert: US dog food recalled after discovered to contain fatal dose of euthanasia drug

Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food has recently issues a recall on some of their products after traces of pentobarbital were found in their food.

Pentobarbital is a sedative normally used to euthanize horses, cats, and dogs.

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef Dog Food is currently the only product suspected of contamination.  The manufacturer is subsequently voluntarily recalling all Hunk of Beef items bearing lot numbers that start with 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, and have an expiration date of June 2020.  The FDA reports that the second half of the bar-code should read, “20109,” and it can be located on the back of the product label.

These five lots of food are the sole focus of the recall, as they were all produced with the same lot of beef from the same supplier that is specifically used for the Hunk of Beef product.

The FDA reports that while the majority of the potentially contaminated food has been pulled from store shelves, they advise that “if consumers still have cans with the aforementioned lot numbers, he or she should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.”

So far, five dogs have reportedly been affected by consuming this tainted product, and one sadly passed away.  The deceased pup had consumed food bearing the lot number 1816E06HB13.

Talula, the pug who passed away, had eaten the food on New Year’s Eve.  Three other dogs in the same household also experienced negative effects from consuming the pentobarbital-tainted food. Mrs. Mael, the pets’ parent, commented, “I fed them one can and within 15 minutes, they were acting drunk, walking around, they couldn’t … they were falling over.”

Fortunately, Talula’s three “siblings,” Tito, Tank, and Tinkerbell, survived after an emergency trip to the vet.  Talula’s post-mortem examination revealed that pentobarbital was the cause of death.

Evanger’s has reportedly paid for all of the dogs’ medical bills and donated to an animal shelter in Talula’s honor.  The dog food company has also paid for the medical bills of two other dogs.

In a statement, Evanger’s said, “We feel that we have been let down by our supplier, and in reference to the possible presence of pentobarbital, we have let down our customers.”

The company, which claims to only use USDA-approved beef for their food, also commented that they had thought “something like this seemed impossible.”  Evanger’s has also “terminated” a 40-year relationship with their beef supplier — which also supplies to other pet food companies.

The source of contamination is still not yet known, but the company says that they will continue to investigate.  It is the first recall Evanger’s has had to issue across their 82 years in the pet food industry.  (RELATED: Learn more about toxic food ingredients at Ingredients.news)

Oddly enough, the FDA has already examined the potential side effects pentobarbital may have on pets: the federal agency has even conducted a study on how much of the sedative needs to be present in a dog’s kibble to do harm.

The research, done some 15 years ago now, concluded that the most pentobarbital a dog would likely consume was 4 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight per day — an amount they concluded was “harmless.”  Of course, these findings only pertained to dry kibble; Hunk of Beef is a canned food.

Regardless, the FDA has suspected that pentobarbital was present in dog food for at least the last 15 years — they even noted in their study, “Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses.”

While the researchers found pentobarbital poisoning to be unlikely, it has become a reality: the amount of phenobarbital in dog food — at least canned dog food — does have the potential to be harmful.

And it certainly makes you wonder:  is pentobarbital in human food, too?

Sources:

BBC.com  Feb 7 2017

NPR.org  Feb 7 2017

FDA.gov  Feb 3 2017

FDA.gov  Feb 28 2002

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5 Common Human Medications That are Dangerous to Pets

You are a fantastic pet parent. Your fur babies are always clean, well groomed, well feed, and loved.  So when a pet family member becomes sick or injured, you want to make them feel better ASAP, just as you would want for your children.  It’s only a swollen paw — I can give my animal kids a pain killer from my home medicine cabinet, right?  As easy as it would be to reach for a people pill, it’s not such a good idea.  In fact, you can end up causing more problems for pets.

There are other ways pets can get their mitts on human meds, like if you leave a bottle of headache pills or a prescription medication out on the table where pets can reach, or you unknowingly drop a pill on the floor and your dog sniffs it out and eats it.  Both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs can potentially be dangerous to our animal friends, therefore, we must take care in securing all medications at home and refrain from giving without consulting a veterinarian.  In no particular order, here are five common human medications that are dangerous to pets:

1. NSAIDs

This common household medication called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are ibuprofen and naproxen meds like Motrin, Advil, Aleve, and Naprosyn.  These medications are safe for people, but a single pill or more can cause serious harm to pets. Smaller type animals including dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and hamsters may develop very serious stomach and intestinal ulcers, even kidney failure.  “The only pain pill we ever recommend is aspirin,” says  Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of veterinary services at the Pet Poison Hotline.

2. Acetaminophen

Tylenol, a popular type of pain medication containing acetaminophen, has been around for a long time, trusted by generations.  While acetaminophen is generally safe for children and adults, it is not for pets.  Even the smallest amount of this med ingested by a cat can cause damage to red blood cells, which leads to the inability to carry life needing oxygen. In large doses, dogs can also suffer from red blood cell damage as well as liver failure.

3. Benzodiazepines and Sleep Aids

Is your pet having trouble sleeping or seem panicky?  Do not give them human medications like Xanax, Ambien, and Lunesta, which are made to reduce anxiety and help people to sleep better.  Pets may experience completely reverse effects.  Dogs appear to be agitated and wired after ingesting sleep aids, and cats could go into liver failure when certain forms of benzodiazepines are ingested.  These drugs can also cause lethargy, disoriented walking, and labored breathing in pets.

4. Cholesterol Drugs

With label names such as Crestor and Lipitor, cholesterol medications are typically not prescribed to pets, but pets can find a way into your pill bottle.  Fortunately, if a pet swallows these meds, they will likely only experience mild vomiting or diarrhea.  But still, keep drugs out of reach as serious side effects from these drugs can come around in cases of frequent use or ingestion.

5. Antidepressants

Antidepressants must only be prescribed to pets by a professional.  A single pill has the power to cause poisoning related illness or death.  Pets overdosing on people antidepressants, like Cymbalta and Prozac, can lead to serious neurological problems including seizures and varying degrees of tremors and elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

These are just five common human medications dangerous to give to pets or for pets to ingest.  You must remember that any people medication purposely or accidentally ingested in little to excess can pose potential harm or even death to your pet.

If you know or believe your beloved pet has consumed any type of over-the-counter medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.  There are also national poison control hotlines you can call with people who are ready to help you in such an emergency.

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Celebrate Pet Safety this Memorial Day

Celebrate Pet Safety this Memorial Day

As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors.  But whether you’re partying, barbequing, or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind at all times.  To prevent any Memorial Day mishaps, we’ve put together some tips to help protect animals during the “Dog Days” of the season.

Party Smart
Barbequing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets.  Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks.  Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.

Be Cool Near the Pool
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers!  Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats.  Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.

Skip the Spray
Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets.  Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy.  DEET, a common, toxic insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.

Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun.  Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively.  These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

IDs, Please
Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of pets escaping.  Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or both.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Happy Memorial Day weekend – have fun and be safe!

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