Happy New Year!
Heat, Grass, Treats and more..
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The Sugarland Veterinary Hospital team hopes you, your family and pets are having a
Happy and Safe New Year!

How are your pets handling the heat? Heat and humidity can be very dangerous for your pet. Without shade and water, pets can overheat, become ill and die within a short time. Here's a refresher of some tips and advice you can use to help keep your pets cool this summer:
~Provide plenty of fresh water. Two or more bowls/containers if necessary. Pets need fresh water inside and outdoors. When you go out, take water with you for your pet
~Watch out for hot pavement and beaches. Sensitive paws burn easily. Watch out for sunburn. Short haired pets and those with pink skin or white hair are most likely to burn. 
~Provide a paddling pool, or similar for dogs to get wet in, for cats try brushing them with a wet towel. 
~Limit your pet's time in the sun and help it find shade.  Keep air circulating indoors for pets: use a fan or air conditioning.  Provide shade for pets when outdoors. A gentle sprinkle from a garden hose is also helpful to keep them cool.
~Watch how much pets eat and exercise. Eating too much during hot weather can lead to overheating so feed your pet less.  Also avoid exercise or vigorous activity with your pet during the hottest part of the day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
~Fill a freezer-safe cup with chicken or beef broth (preferably organic), For dogs, consider adding a piece of jerky, or their favourite treat and freeze.  You could also use the broth to make normal ice cubes for a small sized cooling treat. For Cats and Dogs, You could also use their favourite wet food, put in a bag, snip the corner and "pipe" it onto a board and freeze. Get creative and make it into shapes.
NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. If it is 30°C outside, the temperature in a parked car can reach 50°C in minutes—even with a slightly opened window or if the car is parked in the shade.
Watch for signs of heatstroke. Signs include:
  • Rapid panting 
  • Lots of drooling
  • Twitching muscles
  • A dazed look
  • Vomiting
  • Hot skin
If your pet has any of these signs, ACT QUICKLY!  Cool down your pet by wrapping it in a towel soaked with cool (not cold) water, or place it in a bathtub with cool water, or pour cool water over the pet. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet has heatstroke.

Why is Chocolate Toxic to my pet?
Theobromine is a compound in cocoa, a main ingredient in Chocolate. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and other pets in certain doses, depending on consumption/weight ratio. Although Chocolate poisoning is well known for dogs, did you know that your cat, mice, birds and other pets can also get sick from it?
Different chocolate has different levels of Theobromine. Cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate contain higher levels when compared to milk chocolate. The toxicity of Theobromine depends on consumption amount, type of chocolate, and the size of the animal.
 Symptoms of Theobromine poisoning include: 
Restlessness, Excitement, Hyperactivity, Nervousness, Trembling, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Increased Drinking, Increased Urinating, Increased Heart Rate, Muscle Tremors, Seizures, and Possible Death.
If your pet has eaten chocolate, even if it's only a small amount, you should contact your vet as soon as possible for advice.
Homemade Dog Treats By Kara.
This customizable frozen treat recipe will delight your furry friends all summer.
Nothing compares to an ice-cold treat on a hot day, be it a frosty beverage, an old-fashioned ice cream cone or maybe even dip in the pool. The same can be said for your furry friends. Admit it, you love your pup and you’re already thinking of creative ways to cool them off, especially once the temperatures hit the triple digits. So here is another idea for your arsenal.
There is a wide range of recipes for dog ice cream/popsicles/treats, so here is a relatively generic and totally customizable version that will have your BFFs going bananas (don’t just take our word for it).

2 ripe bananas
24 – 32 oz. plain yogurt
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water

1. Blend or mix all ingredients together until you have a consistent texture throughout.
2. Pour into ice cube trays, cupcake tins or any small container that will yield a treat appropriately sized for your dog.
3. Garnish (optional). Dog bones, grated cheese, fruits or veggies work great and look cute too.
4. Freeze over night and serve.

Since variety is the spice of life, here are some alternate suggestions: Add more or less water depending on the consistency you dog likes (soft vs. crunchy), substitute the water with chicken broth, substitute the yogurt with baby food (sweet potatoes and pumpkin are big hits) or use all organic ingredients if that’s your thing. Remember, the combination of ingredients doesn’t have to sound appealing for our four-legged children to love and appreciate the gesture. Enjoy.
Many theories have been proposed as to why dogs and cats eat plants. One of the more common theories is that dogs, in particular, use grass for medicinal purposes to help them vomit. Other claims include eradicating intestinal parasites, a result of a dietary deficiency or just because they enjoy the taste of it.
In 2008 a team of researchers from the University of California including Benjamin L Har, Drs Karen Sueda and Kelly Cliff conducted a series of surveys on pet owners including a web based survey targeting owners of plant-eating dogs. Over 1500 pet owners with dogs that actually ingested plant material answered the survey and they discovered the following:-
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said their dogs ingest plants on a daily or weekly basis.
Eight percent of the respondents reported that their dogs frequently show signs of illness before plant eating.
Twenty-two percent reported that their dogs regularly vomit afterward.
Of the plant-eating dog population, younger dogs ate plants more frequently than did older dogs and were less likely to appear ill beforehand or to vomit afterward.
If dogs showed signs of illness before eating plants, they were more likely to vomit afterward than dogs that did not show signs of illness beforehand.
Diet (ie raw food, table scraps, and commercial food) played no role in whether or not a dog was a plant eater.
In summary, the researchers found that grass eating is a common behaviour in normal dogs, is often unrelated to illness and dogs do not regularly vomit after consuming plant material.
In a separate study, preliminary findings suggest that plant eating is less common in cats than in dogs. 
With these findings in hand, we ask all pet owners to be extremely careful when using pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides on or near plant material which is accessible to your pets. Also if you are planting new plants in your garden please check carefully that they are non-toxic to pets.
If you find your pet is eating grass and is unwell please speak with our veterinary healthcare team as other underlying problems may exist.

If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake you should keep your pet calm & quiet and take it to a vet immediately. 
The chances of recovery are greater if your pet is treated early (80%).

Poisonous snakes in Australia include:

Tiger                         Brown                     Copperhead            Black

Tiger Snake: Usually found in association with waterways. Average length 1 metre. Broad headed. Striped. Light grey to dark green, brown or orange.
Brown: Usually found in dry farming areas. Average length 1.5 metres. Dark brown to putty color with cream-spotted. Slim and rapid moving.
Copperhead: Average length 1.5 metres. Sluggish and thick set. Yellow brown color. Head is a rich copper-orange.
Black: Length 2 metres. Glossy black with purple sheen. Pinkish to white belly.

Several factors determine the reaction your pet will have to a snake bite. 
The type of snake (some species aren't as venomous as others), amount of venom injected, site of the bite, size of your animal. At the start of summer, when snake become active, their glands are fuller so bites tend to be more severe, also the time since the snake previous bit something factors into your pet's reaction.  Common bite sites on pets are limbs and head. Normally, the closer the bite is to the heart the quicker the venom would travel through the body.
Dogs are curious and Cats are born hunters, which makes them their own enemy when it comes to snakes.

Symptoms of snake bites are varied depending on size and species. 
Common symptoms for snake bites are :
  • Sudden weakness, collapse.
  • Shaking/twitching of muscles.
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils. 
  • Blood in Urine
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control
  • Pain
  • Swelling of bite area
  • Paralysis in later stages.
If necessary, first aid can be applied, keep your pet clam & quiet and apply a pressure bandage to the area, a firm bandage over and around the bite site, to help slow the venom spreading to the heart. 
Do NOT wash the wound or apply a tourniquet.
Go straight to your vet clinic, ring them on the way if possible to let them know that an emergency is coming.
Best way to keep your pets safe from snake bites is to prepare their environment  keep grass cut low, clean up rubbish piles, tidy around garden edging, or clear hiding places snake prefer (wood piles, under roofing sheets) Snakes also like to hide out is garden sheds and stock feed rooms, so keep them neat and tidy as well.
If snakes are common in your area, you may consider building a snake proof fence. 
Its also recommended that if snakes are common in your area, to have the local snake catchers phone number easily accessible, to relocate them before they bite your pet.
Copyright © 2016 Sugarland Vet Clinic, All rights reserved.

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