Friday, June 15, 2012

Hidden Summer Dangers to Your Pet

By Norah of YourDailyJewels

You may have noticed that JETs tend to be pet-freaks. Sometimes I think that we should add to the requirements for joining: “must love animals or be able to put up with crazy chatter about furry and feathered and fishy babies.”

Summer time is fun time, but hot weather often makes for some unique challenges for our pets. At the start of every season we are re-educated on the common dangers of the hot weather – heat stroke, sunburn, tick bites, fertilizers, pesticides and toxic plants, but the focus of this article is on some of the more unusual dangers our pets can face.

Fireworks: Both dogs and cats can  be frightened by them. A panicked pet will often bolt away from the perceived danger and run right into real danger, such as traffic or dark woods,  where wild animals live. In the house, they may try to hide in the bathtub where they can slide on the porcelain and hurt themselves. Today, veterinarians have homeopathic remedies that help with the anxiety surrounding these situations, and stronger medications too. But, it is best to be with them and to be their source of calming energy.

The Woods:
Snakebites - Venomous snakes are found in all areas.  The most common type found in my area (New York) are the timber rattlesnake and the copperhead; the endangered massasauga can also be seen. It is always safest to keep your dog on a leash when hiking, (but I rarely see them leashed);  although these snakes also can be found in backyards. 

Most bites occur on the face or extremities. The area swells, which is often dramatic, and blood circulation to the area can be lost in a matter of hours. The toxin from the bite can disrupt normal clotting mechanisms, which can lead to uncontrolled bleeding. ANY snakebite is considered an emergency – no matter the size of your pet! Symptoms of a snakebite include puncture wounds, swelling, redness, extreme pain, bleeding, difficulty breathing, crying, and seizures. The faster the bite is recognized, the more effective the treatment will be. It is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Do not try to remove the poison yourself like Clint Eastwood.

Bear: Do we need a better reason to keep our dogs on the leash when hiking? If your dog is attacked in your yard,  first call 911. Then make as much noise as you can. Bang garbage can lids together while yelling at the top of your lungs. Bang, scream, honk an airhorn, shoot a gun in the air; bears do not like noise and may retreat.

Porcupines - It is common to worry about wild animals such as raccoons, bear, groundhogs and foxes, but we must not forget about our prickly little friends – the porcupine!  Now, if a lion will not mess with them...

Your four-legged friend may find him or herself face-to-face, or more accurately face-to-tail, with a porcupine while camping or hiking. If you find your dog running back to you with a white mustache of quills, you can assume what happened. When threatened, the porcupine will turn its hind end to its attacker, tuck its head toward its stomach and leave its backside exposed to defend itself. When the quill comes into contact with flesh, it easily detaches and hooks onto its attacker. 

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to keep yourself and your dog calm. Take your dog to the nearest veterinarian, but if you find yourself too far away from help, you may have to remove the quills yourself with a needle nose pliers. Because sedation may be required to remove large numbers of quills – do not attempt to remove them by yourself unless you absolutely have to.

Cookouts –Cookouts are a happy place for your pets. However, they can be a surprising source of danger too. Always watch your kitty cats around the grill. Especially if they are countertop jumpers. To them, the grill is just another countertop with really great smells coming off of it, (especially if it is fish!)

Chicken and rib bones are not only dangerous because they can cause GI obstructions, but they can often cause pancreatitis due to their high fat content. Pancreatitis can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, which usually requires medical attention – often hospitalization. 

Corn on the cob is another troublemaker. Cut cobs are the perfect size to be scarfed down whole by a big chowhound. Once it is down, it can easily get lodged in the small intestine, causing an obstruction that usually requires surgical intervention. Signs to watch for are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and/or abdominal pain. If your dog displays any of these clinical signs, it is important to seek veterinary care.

A No-No
Speaking of corn on the cob, what do we need after corn on the cob? Dental Floss. Well this seemingly harmless product can be very dangerous for our furbabies, year around.  It is attractive to them because, either it smells minty, or it smells like what ever it just pulled from between your teeth. If they ingest enough of it, it can wrap around their intestine, tighten,  and slice it, requiring emergency surgery. Please be careful when disposing of it. Wrap it in a tissue or keep your garbage can raised if you have one of those “nosey” types.

The Dock: The dock is no place for your pooch to be off-leash. But I see dogs with the run of the docks all summer long. Your furry guy or gal may be a champion swimmer but chances are, they cannot climb a vertical ladder. If they fall off a dock, or jump in to cool off, they cannot get out on their own and can drown from exhaustion if no one is there to help them out. If your dog is a 'dock dog' all summer, he/she should be wearing a life vest. In addition, dogs should always wear one when on a boat, no matter how strong a swimmer.

If you have a pool, you should practice with your dog, (or cat,  if he likes water,) jumping in, swimming to the steps and climbing out. Do this over and over, rewarding them when they learn to do it on their own.

Another dock danger is falling in the small area between a boat and the dock. There, they may not have enough room to move their legs properly and will go down. There, they can also be crushed by the rocking boat.

I started this blog mentioning how members of the Jewelry on Etsy team are pet freaks. I was not kidding. Here are some of the ways their love for animals inspire their work:

Lately, many couples have been including their pets right in their wedding ceremony! These dog or cat  necklaces are perfect for the pet who will not be out-shined by the bride.

Want to keep your furry baby close to your heart? Check out this Spaniel necklace.

So unique: Tammy's mini, kitty artwork pendant.

A lovely Cat notecard I would never throw away by. This little face would be constantly covered with lipstick marks if he or she were mine! 
 I love this! Finally, a custom  'mommy necklace' for pet mommies.
The sweetest Paw Print Toe Ring
You can search "Jetteam Pet" or  "jetteam dog or cat" on Etsy and you will find even more goodies for loved  pets or for those who love them. 


Jennifer said...

Such good advice here. Thanks for all the info and tips!

ChayaGallery said...

Norah - a great article !!
My little pooch gets snake bitten once a year like clock-work.
You'd think she'd have figured out to keep her bossy snout to herself.
She's not so smart but we love her to bits !!

MadeByTammy said...

The JETs do love their pets and I'm not just talking about the four legged kind, lol! Awesome Pet safety reminders for summer. Norah, thanks for posting and including my kitty pendant.

emeraldpixie08 said...

Well said! I love all the critter pics! Too cute for words.

Rough Magic Creations said...

What a wonderful post, Norah! Our Kitty is not allowed outside, ever, because of the many predators around - bears, bobcats (yes, they'll take a domestic cat), coyotes, fishers ...

Thanks for the reminder! Summer should be fun, and safe, for all of us - furbabies, featherbabies, finbabies included!

Tracy said...

This is such a great post! Informative and fun! We sure do love our pets!

SendingLoveGallery said...

great info! love the furbaby photos and the pet jewels : )

Lori Taggart said...

Fabulous article! There are so many things to worry about with pets outside- I don't think I could handle a water loving pet! Thanks for including my toe ring in this post!

TheSilverBear said...

A brilliant article, Norah! Thanks!

Beadsme said...

Great article. Just love seeing the animals and our Jet furbabie jewelry.

nancy's crystal fantasies jewelry said...

Terrific article, Norah! Another outdoor danger is skunks. Not only is the smell on your pet's fur difficult to remove, they also are carriers of rabies. And they like to frequent even suburban neighborhoods in warm weather.

WanderingJewel said...

Great article Norah!
Another great reason to not remove porcupine quills yourself is the quill barbs can migrate into joints or vital organs if not removed properly.
Kodi (our dog) and I have had two bear encounters on walks, he was on leash. We were lucky and the bears did not attack us.

willowcreekjewelry said...

what an awesome post! Love the little blurb about Clint Eastwood = )
Add curly ribbon to the danger list (found this out after a $700 surgery bill). LOVE the Yorkie in the life vest! Well done...thank you!

DG Jewelry Designs said...

Great information. Love the diving doggies.

Donna's Artisan Designs said...

Hey Norah,
There is so much excellent advice here I hope this get's out to as broad a crowd as possible...I would have never thought of several of them, glad YOU did!!
p.s....the little Yorkie looks like my Sammie!!!

cserpentDesigns said...

Wonderful! My doggies are hanging with my in the bead room. Don't forget skunks! - forget tomato juice - use hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap for washing dishes (like dawn), make a slurry of all 3 and shampoo it into the stinky spots on the fur.

jemsbyjb said...

Awwwww. This is delightful. Those Jet pets are the best!!

jemsbyjb said...

Awwwww. This is delightful. Those Jet pets are the best!!

Loris Glassworks said...

Great Post! I love the pet inspired jewelry, especially the stamped tag. The little Yorkie made me smile, so cute! Thanks for sharing.
Lori D.

LoveStoneArts said...

So many good safety reminders and darling examples of pet inspired jewelry pieces! Thanks!!

JillreOzmay said...

Wow, this is a great article Norah! Well done and thank you :)