Lisa Davis brings her twenty-five years of health experience and her love of dogs together in her PodCast “Dog-Eared” to interview authors of dog related books, memoirs like A Dog Named Boo and other advice and inspirational dog-related titles.
The most common source of xylitol poisoning that Pet Poison Helpline gets calls about comes from sugar-free gum, although cases of xylitol poisoning from other sources such as supplements and baked goods are on the rise. In 2020, Pet Poison Helpline had 5,846 calls involving dogs ingesting xylitol!
VCA Animal Hospitals, Dr,’s Renee Schmid and Ahna Brutlag
Xylitol is too dangerous, too quickly toxic, and too easy to miss.
Reading the label of everything that comes into your house can help you avert tragedy.
Then… research online ahead of time so you know who to call if you suspect your dog has ingested xylitol. Don’t wait until time is running out.
Here is the website and phone number (888) 426-4435) for the ASPCA Poison Control. There may be a charge.
My phone says it’s 87 degrees as I type this on June 20, 2021, 3pm. (Just wait until July and August…)
This afternoon I was walking south on Amsterdam Avenue when I saw a cute fluffy dog headed north. We were both waiting for the light to change at Ninety Seventh Street. The dog caught my eye because it was wearing a head halter and if those are too tight, a dog can’t pant correctly which is a problem in the heat. But that seemed fine and the dog was panting appropriately.
Then I saw the feet. The dog stood on the dark asphalt waiting for the light to change then began to lift one paw up off the pavement, then rotated to the next, and the next until the light changed. At that point the dog hopped like a person walking across hot sand. The owner was not paying attention and was unaware of her dog’s discomfort.
The Vets-Now website has an article outlining the dangers of hot pavement and just how hot is hot…
If the outside temperature is a pleasant 25C (77F), there’s little wind and humidity is low, asphalt and tarmac can reach a staggering 52C (125F).
This can rise to 62C (143F) when the mercury hits 31C (87F).
It’s worth bearing in mind that an egg can fry in five minutes at 55C (131F) while skin destruction can occur in just one minute at 52C (125F).
Iain Harrison Iain is Vets Now’s senior communications manager.
What to do?
Go out early.
Go out late.
If you have to go out in the heat of the day – be quick about it.
Look for the shade, and don’t have your dog standing on the dark asphalt.
Luckily for Pax’e, I don’t tolerate the heat well, so she is always hiding with me from the sun in the shade of buildings, trees, scaffolding, and awnings while we avoid the dark asphalt like it’s flowing lava. Another lucky break for Pax’e is that her feet have long hair covering the foot pads. This can act as a kind of insulation against the heat of the street and it requires me to wipe/wash her feet every time we come in. She may disagree that the washing is a benefit, but it helps with cooling and lets me inspect her feet.
There are hosts of suggestions to be found online that offer remedies for dog’s feet on hot pavement. These can include booties, stickies, paw wax, and passive techniques like stay out of the sun, don’t stand on the dark asphalt with your dog, cool their feet when you come in. And…
…Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and believe what your dog is telling you.
Dante told us…
When NYC summers were too hot for him…
…he’d climb in the cool porcelain tub and fall asleep.
Dr Frank Adams of SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio has a great show each month called “Pets and your Health.”
I was flattered to be invited to speak with them again yesterday, March 7th about puppies and all the questions that come with having a new puppy.
This a wonderful show (not just because they like me) but because Dr. Adams’s guests answer questions on a variety of pet-related topics and showcase the ever increasing data demonstrating how pets make our lives better.
If, like me, you are in your car a lot and have SiriusXM, you can listen for the re-broadcast of this episode Friday 4am to 6am, Sunday 6am to 8am on channel 110. If your not up and awake enough at these times to listen, you can always stream this episode and others on SiriusXM Doctor Radio.
Just as a shout out to SiriusXM Doctor Radio, besides Dr Adams’s shows “Pets and Your Health” and “Pulmonology,” there are plenty of other great shows to listen into, from “Health Care Connect” that answers all your insurance related questions at a time when we all have questions on this topic, to dermatology, men’s health, women’s health, nutrition, child and adult psychology and more.
The toxicity of chocolate is relative to the size of your dog and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.
Because it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be good to remind everyone that chocolate is not safe for dogs.
PetMD has a great calculator to help you determine when it is time to get your dog to the veterinarian if your dog has had some chocolate. The toxicity of chocolate is relative to the size of your dog and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.
For example my favorite candies are Reese’s Dark Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter cups. I did a little science experiment on them and one of these candies has about 1/4 oz of dark chocolate.
My dog Pinball is about 35 pounds. Like so many dogs he loves peanut butter and will not be bothered by the fact that there are wrappers and even some dark chocolate to get through in order to find the coveted peanut butter.
Based on the PetMD chocolate calculator, if Pinball got one of these candies, I would not have to worry. I would watch him closely because at his weight with the amount of dark chocolate in one small dark chocolate peanut butter cup, there would be no symptoms expected. But, because every body is a little different, I would keep an eye on him, AND make sure he got NO MORE.
By the way, it is the compound theobromine that is the culprit here. Theobromine can also be found in things other than chocolate. A few of them are: tea, coffee, cola products, acai berries, coco mulch for the yard, and probably others.
If Pinball were to get 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, I would call the poison control hotline if my veterinarian were not available, and probably take him in to see the veterinarian or emergency veterinarian right away.
There are a number of pet poison hotlines, some charge a fee, and others don’t. Look online to see what works best for you, and here are a couple:
For Pinball’s 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, mild to moderate symptoms would be:
2 oz of baker’s chocolate would cause moderate to severe symptoms:
Tremors in muscles
Abnormal heart rhythms
Elevated heart rate
3 oz of bakers chocolate would cause severe symptoms:
Tremors in muscles
Abnormal heart rhythms
Elevated heart rate
When we compare this to 3 oz of milk chocolate which would be expected to cause mild to no symptoms, it is dramatic the difference the type of chocolate can make in terms of toxicity – so – Remember if you have to call the veterinarian, he or she will need to know:
– Dog’s weight,
– Amount of chocolate,
– What type of chocolate
In short – no chocolate is good for your dog, but the darker the chocolate the less your dog will need to ingest to become very sick and potentially lose their lives to a simple piece of candy.
On Valentine’s Day, show your dog you love him or her with a great wild walk in the snow for those of you in the north, or a peanut butter kong, or both. But keep your chocolate up and away.
And for those of you with young kids, send the dog out of the room until the kids are done with their chocolate – save everyone the anguish and let your kids enjoy their treat without worry.