Thursday, September 19, 2019

Sweet on Xylitol?


Xylitol

                Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is produced from the bark of hardwood and corn cob remnants from ethanol plants. It is mostly recognized in the human world for its use as a sugar substitute, but not many people know that it is present in many other products that we use every day. Xylitol is also used as an anti-cariogenic (anti cavity) in toothpastes, a humectant in lotions, skin gels and deodorant and it also can prevent fermentation and molding so it is often used as a preservative in food.

                Xylitol, as many people already know, is very toxic to dogs. There have been no accredited reports acknowledging its toxicity in cats, however precautions should still be taken if you suspect that your cat has been exposed to xylitol. In dogs, when xylitol has been ingested, the first sign is usually hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If your dog is hypoglycemic, they will start to exhibit signs of lethargy, shakiness, stumbling and potentially seizures. These symptoms will usually begin to occur within 30-60 mins after ingestion, but has the potential to be delayed for as long as 12 hours after. The lowest dose of xylitol that is necessary to start causing hypoglycemia is 0.1g/kg of body weight. After hypoglycemia, if your dog has ingested enough xylitol, it can cause hepatic necrosis. The dose needed to cause hepatic necrosis is approximately 0.5g/kg of weight. This is evident 1-3 days following exposure. In a regular piece of gum, the amount of xylitol present is 0.22-1.0g. This is enough to cause Hypoglycemia in a 10 pound (4.5kg) dog. 

When manufacturers create products that include xylitol as an ingredient, they are not required to list it or place the amount of each ingredient on the product label. If you are ever wondering if xylitol is present, look at the ingredient list and look for “xylitol” or any other ingredients ending in “tol” which would be the sugar alcohols. You can also look at the nutrition information under “Carbohydrates” and you will be able to determine the total amount of “sugar alcohol”. 

There is currently no clinical test that can accurately detect Xylitol, so doctors rely on information about history of exposure, clinical signs and other laboratory tests. If your dog has been exposed to xylitol, you can expect the following forms of treatment when you bring them into the hospital; your dog will be started on IV fluids with dextrose to help with the hypoglycemia until the dog is able to self-regulate its own blood glucose levels (this is usually for 12-48 hours). Your dog will have blood draws to closely monitor its liver enzymes. Your dog will have prompt gastric decontamination (induced vomiting) as long as the timing is right. The prognosis is good if the exposure is caught early, however if hepatic necrosis starts it can be very difficult to reverse the effects. It is always imperative that the exposed dog gets medical attention as soon as possible.

- written by Breanne RVT@Allandale Veterinary Vospital

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The final decision...







Deciding on Euthanasia?


We are the only medical profession that has the potential to be involved with our patients for the entire length of their lives. Death is a part of the cycle of experience we can expect with each patient we see. Euthanasia offers us a chance whose quality of life is compromised, offer relief from pain, unrelenting discomfort and suffering. 

The members of our team recognize that euthanasia is a very stressful and difficult job to decide. our team receives training on how to schedule these types of appointments, paperwork required, how to handle payments, and  aftercare body care options.  Clients are given options. There is a lot of deciding to do, especially when it's unexpected.  

We make every effort to schedule euthanasia towards the end of appointment time, or end of the day, so that our clients have as little exposure to other clients making it more private. Clients may leave and arrive through private entrances for even greater privacy. 

When discussing euthanasia our veterinarians will completely explain the procedure and what you as a client should expect. An IV catheter is placed in most patients in order to have venous access, especially in older patients where their veins may become weak and easily collapse. 
Sedation- all pets in our care will have a sedation injection administered. We do NOT want this last experience to be a bad one on any level, not for you the client, and definately not for the patient. A peaceful passing is what we strive for, and we can ease the anxiety and stress on our patients by using sedation.   

We will never rush our clients. You may spend as much or little time to say goodbye to your beloved companion. If clients wish to bring their pets body home for burial, we will wrap the body and place them in a blanket, carry them out to their car for them if they wish. We may offer our clients the choice of a paw print, ink print, or some clients even choose a nose print. 

This is a big decision and it takes time. Our clients have the choice to familiarize themselves by going online to  https://www.petsabove.com/ and browse their online catalogue of various aftercare items  such as urns, jewelry, keepsakes and more.   You have the privacy to choose and personalize your memorial with as much time as you need.





If It Should Be
If it should be that I grow weak
and pain should keep me from my sleep.
Then you must do what must be done,
for this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so.
The time has come, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend
and please stay with me until the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see,
the kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
from pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve it must be you
who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years.
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.
-author unknown




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Found cute wildlife....now what?



I found a baby “_____”, now what?

Spring has sprung, and with it comes the newest generation of wildlife.  Tiny, fuzzy and cute, we tend to come across one (or more) of these new babies in our daily travels and wonder if they need our help. 
Many babies are brought to wildlife rehabilitation centers with the genuine thought that they are orphaned – but are they really?  It is important to be educated and be aware of the signs of an orphaned or injured baby and whether they need our intervention.  If they are not truly orphaned or injured, there is no better caretaker than their mothers and they should be left alone.

So, you’ve found a baby animal, before you touch it, asses it from a safe distance  – is it injured?   Can you see blood?  Is it dragging a limb or wing?  Are there flies swarming around it possibly indicating a wound?  If yes, contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitation center to see if they can accommodate the animal.  If no, what makes you concerned about the sighting of the baby?  Is it a bird out of a nest? Is it in a peculiar area? Is it alone?  Keep in mind, some babies are left alone for long periods of time to keep predators away from the area.
The following are some common wildlife babies that may be misinterpreted as orphans:

Rabbits (cottontails and hares) – rabbits are often seen alone during the day and are commonly misinterpreted as orphans.  However, mom usually only frequents the nest twice a day (dusk and dawn) to feed them.  Some breeds of rabbits begin to leave the nest for short periods of time as early as 3 weeks of age.  If there is concern that a rabbit or nest of rabbits is orphaned, it is important to observe from a safe distance for approximately 24hours.  If the mother has not returned to the nest, then calling a wildlife rehabilitation center would be your next step.  Unnecessary handling of the rabbit should be avoided as they are high stress animals and stressful events can be fatal.

Fawns – baby fawns are born with no scent, therefore mom usually leaves them for long periods of time and comes back only to feed them.  Mom can leave the fawn from 6-12 hours between feedings and sometimes longer. Usually when they are found they are curled up and partially camouflaged.  Deer are also a high stress species, so avoid unnecessary handling.
Birds – baby birds are commonly found and brought to wildlife rehabilitation centers.  If you find a baby bird on the ground, and you know the nest is nearby, if possible safely return the bird to the nest. 

If you have determined that the baby is orphaned or injured and you can safely capture it, it should be kept in a warm, quiet box where it will not be disturbed until it can be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center.  It is important that you never try to hydrate or feed the wildlife as this can be fatal.  Get the animal to a wildlife rehabilitation center as soon as possible, so they can asses and begin treating the animal.

These are just some of the common wildlife babies that rehabilitation centers see, if you are ever unsure about wildlife of any species or life stage it is always important to contact a wildlife rehabilitator for more information.  


Unsure of wildlife rehabilitators near you? Check out https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-wildlife-rehabilitator for a list of licensed rehabilitators and species that they accept.

Wildlife rehabilitation centers are always looking for volunteers.  Without volunteers their facilities cannot run, and they cannot look after the animals that come to them.  Facilities need volunteers for animal care, fundraising, and infrastructure repair and upkeep.  If you can’t donate time, what about donating supplies?  They are always in need of items such as food, housing and enrichment supplies, and medical supplies.  We can all be a helping hand in one way or another.



Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tis the season of having that sweet tooth....


Tis the season of chocolate, here are some facts and figures in the event your pooch has a sweet tooth and decides to chow down on some chocolate, this is a good guide to help.

Some of the most common Easter goodies: 

Cadbury Crème eggs : 34g 
Chocolate Gold Lint Bunny: 50g each
Cadbury Mini eggs: 40g /12 pieces
Hershey Kisses 41g/9 pieces

 For example if your pet ingests the following: 


Consumed 1 Bag of Hershey kisses milk chocolate (200g bag 43 Pieces)
Weight in lbs
Risk level
Symptoms
5
Potentially Fatal
Hot to the touch, collapse, irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, racing heart, potential sudden death
10
Moderate to Severe
Tremors, seizures, heartbeat may be irregular or rapid, potential for collapse
20 - 40
Mild Reaction
May show signs of Vomiting, Diarrhea, Shaking, Elevated Heart Rate, Increased Urination
50 - 100
Minimal to No Reaction
Minimal symptoms if any, however there is potential for Upset Stomach, Diarrhea, or Agitation

Consumed 1 Bag of Hershey kisses Semi Sweetened chocolate (special dark)(200g bag 43 Pieces)
Weight in lbs
Risk level
Symptoms
5 - 10
Potentially Fatal
Hot to the touch, collapse, irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, racing heart, potential sudden death
20 - 40
Moderate to Severe
Tremors, seizures, heartbeat may be irregular or rapid, potential for collapse
50 - 100
Mild Reaction
May show signs of Vomiting, Diarrhea, Shaking, Elevated Heart Rate, Increased Urination



We ALWAYS recommend phoning your veterinarian,  when in doubt, we can assist, and help calculate the toxic levels for your pet. When in doubt we generally error on the side of caution, and your pet may need a trip in to visit us. 





Points to remember with any poisoning: 

Please have ready-
-name of the drug
-how much was ingested ( mg is best)
-the time your pet ate it or came in contact with it
-the mpost current weight of the pet


         Have a safe and Happy Easter. - Your Veterinary Team of Allandale Veterinary Hospital