The days of summer are (finally) upon us; the government has issued a heat advisory for the end of the week so now is the time to seriously consider the perils of warm weather.
Dogs have a limited ability to sweat so even a short time in a hot environment can be deadly.
I have seen many cases of fatal heat stroke, and those cases, although varied, have all been devastating – for the treating team but obviously to a much larger degree for the grieving families. Heat stress happens very quickly and depending on a variety of factors can lead to heat stroke and what you might imagine Ebola to look like – bleeding, severe hemorrhagic diarrhea, organ failure and death.
Although it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet here in the Lower Mainland, we are still playing outside. Today’s blog is a reminder of the potential harm the seemingly innocuous BBQ can pose to the dogs in your family.
Corn cobs are very tasty yet poorly digestible and if eaten, will cause intestinal obstruction. Over the years, we have removed more than our fair share of lodged corn cobs from the bowels of enterprising dogs.
Another hazard of family cookouts is skewer ingestion. Even what looks like an empty skewer to us is a tempting treat to an animal with such a developed sense of smell. Just like with sword swallowing, skewers can actually go down quite easily. However, skewers can puncture the esophagus, intestines and other organs.
Cycads (aka sago palms or Cycas revoluta) are highly poisonous plants that look like palm trees. Because they reached the height of their diversity during the Jurassic Period, they are often described as living fossils. In fact, when Jurassic Park movies came out, potted cycads were often sold with the slogan “dinosaur food”. Their natural habitat is a tropical environment, but they are found as houseplants and landscaping features as far north as West Vancouver, B.C.
While it may have been appropriate food for the dinosaurs (although things didn’t work out so well for them), cycads are definitely highly toxic to modern mammals. Our cats and dogs seem to find sago palms particularly tasty, with fatal consequences.
While any part of the plant is poisonous, the large seeds are especially toxic. Within twelve hours of ingestion, the plant’s … Continue reading