Saturday, May. 10th 2014

Clinic Progress and Common Pet Toxins

May 2014 Newsletter—clinic progress and common pet toxins


Clinic Progress:

Yes, progress is being made! If you’ve been following things on Facebook, you’ll have seen the new signs, some of the “hidden messages” I’m writing where they won’t be seen after construction is complete, and such. Hopefully things will continue to progress as they have so everything will be done by our target date, which is….(drumroll, please) MAY 31 is our Grand Opening Open House, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I hope you’ll be able to stop by! I’m currently signing up various business representatives with great pet services. We’ll have clinic tours, door-prize drawings, gift bags for the first 50 children age 3-12, and more! So far, we will have a pet portrait photographer and a licensed canine massage therapist there to pass out information about their services. I hope to add some dog trainers, boarding kennels/doggie day care, and more. And best yet, we will be taking appointments that day for open spots the following week! It is possible we’ll be able to see a few patients in the days leading up to the Open House, feel free to contact me if you want to find out. Mark your calendar now for the Open House!

I hope you’ll bear with us during the first month or two as we settle in at the clinic, procure things we somehow forgot to order earlier, and figure out our software. We’ll do our best to provide great service even with our small staff (OK, just me and my Office Manager, Debbie) and all-new processes. One thing to bear in mind is that we will operate more or less strictly by appointment. Walk-ins will only be seen if no one scheduled for the day is currently waiting. I feel strongly that if you have an appointment we should see you as close to that time as possible. I am also considering making Tuesday afternoon a cat-only day if demand warrants this. Saturday hours will vary, and will be by appointment only for follow-up visits and other short procedures like heartworm tests or nail trims. Please don’t wait for a Saturday if your pet is sick earlier than that! Since we won’t have overnight or weekend staffing, all sick pets presenting on Saturday will probably end up being sent to an emergency clinic.

Common Pet Toxins:

And now for something completely different. I figure I should include some helpful pet-owner information in case you’re getting tired of hearing about the new clinic. You know how new parents are—we always think everyone is as interested in our new baby as we are. Since we all know that’s not really the case, here’s a list of the most common pet toxins from the Pet Poison Helpline:


1. Chocolate: Dark equals dangerous! Bakers and dark chocolate are the most toxic

2. Xylitol: This artificial sweetener has made the scene just in the last few years. It is found in many sugarless candies, gums, medications, nasal sprays and more and causes a rapid blood sugar drop and liver failure in dogs.

3. NSAIDS: This means Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and includes Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, and more. They cause ulcers and kidney failure—never give them to your pet!

4. Over-the-counter cough/cold/allergy medications: which may include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and decongestants (pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine)

5. Rodenticides (rat poison): May cause internal bleeding or brain swelling, even in small amounts. Your pet can also be poisoned by eating a rodent which has consumed these poisons—it is best to never allow them on your property!

6. Grapes and raisins: have been found to cause kidney damage in dogs

7. Insect bait stations: while rarely causing poisoning, they may cause bowel obstruction if consumed

8. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: if consumed, may cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems and death in pets

9. Glucosamine joint supplements: the yummy kind you might take can cause diarrhea if enough is consumed, and in rare cases liver failure can develop. Stick to those made for pets

10. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets: Iron-containing oxygen absorbers like those found in beef jerky packets or pet treats can cause iron toxicity. Silica gel packs are rarely a concern.


1. Lilies: in the Lilium species like Easter, tiger, and Aisiatic lilies can cause kidney failure

2. Household cleaners: especially concentrated ones like toilet bowl or drain cleaners

3. Flea and tick Spot-on products made for dogs: Those based on pyrethroids cause tremors and seizures and can be fatal

4. Antidepressants: Cymbalta and Effexor were tops on the list in 2013. For some reason cats are drawn to these and they cause neurologic and cardiac ill effects

5. NSAIDS: Cats are even more sensitive than dogs, even with veterinary products caution is warranted

6. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications: as in dogs

7. Over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy medications: Cats are even more sensitive to acetaminophen than dogs and can suffer anemia and liver failure

8. Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals: including peace lilies, philodendrons, and pothos. These can cause oral and upper GI irritation, foaming at the mouth, and other local inflammation

9. Household Insecticides: Most are not terribly toxic but keep cats away after application until the products have dried or settled

10. Glow sticks and glow jewelry: the chemical inside is called “dibutyl phthalate” and can cause pain and foaming of the mouth, but getting the cat to eat or drink will dilute the product and ease symptoms.

(from DVM360 magazine, March 2014)

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