Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water. There are many strains of Leptospira bacteria that can cause disease. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people. Infection in people can cause flu-like symptoms and can cause liver or kidney disease. In the United States, most cases of human leptospirosis result from recreational activities involving water. Infection resulting from contact with an infected pet is much less common, but it is possible.
Risk factors for leptospirosis
Dogs are most commonly affected. Leptospirosis in cats is rare and appears to be mild although very little is known about the disease in this species. Common risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs residing in the United States include exposure to or drinking from rivers, lakes or streams; roaming on rural properties (because of exposure to potentially infected wildlife, farm animals, or water sources); exposure to wild animal or farm animal species, even if in the backyard; and contact with rodents or other dogs.
Signs of leptospirosis
The signs of leptospirosis in dogs vary. Some infected dogs do not show any signs of illness, some have a mild and transient illness and recover spontaneously, while others develop severe illness and death.
Signs of leptospirosis may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes), or painful inflammation within the eyes. The disease can cause kidney failure with or without liver failure. Dogs may occasionally develop severe lung disease and have difficulty breathing. Leptospirosis can cause bleeding disorders, which can lead to blood-tinged vomit, urine, stool or saliva; nosebleeds; and pinpoint red spots (which may be visible on the gums and other mucous membranes or on light-colored skin). Affected dogs can also develop swollen legs (from fluid accumulation) or accumulate excess fluid in their chest or abdomen.
Treatment and prevention
Leptospirosis is generally treated with antibiotics and supportive care. When treated early and aggressively, the chances for recovery are good but there is still a risk of permanent residual kidney or liver damage.
Currently available vaccines effectively prevent leptospirosis and protect dogs for at least 12 months. Annual vaccination is recommended for at-risk dogs. Reducing your dog’s exposure to possible sources of the Leptospira bacteria can reduce its chances of infection.
Although an infected pet dog presents a low risk of infection for you and your family, there is still some risk. If your dog has been diagnosed with leptospirosis, take the following precautions to protect yourself:
Administer antibiotics as prescribed by your veterinarian;
Avoid contact with your dog’s urine;
If your dog urinates in your home, quickly clean the area with a household disinfectant and wear gloves to avoid skin contact with the urine;
Encourage your dog to urinate away from standing water or areas where people or other animals will have access;
Wash your hands after handling your pet.
If you are ill or if you have questions about leptospirosis in people, consult your physician. If you are pregnant or immunocompromised (due to medications, cancer treatment, HIV or other conditions), consult your physician for advice.
The pool is an excellent place to spend your summers. There’s the sun, the toys and the refreshing drinks with the tiny little umbrellas. Oh, and lest we forget — the water! However, pools can also be dangerous for our dogs. Not all dogs are good swimmers and some breeds like the bulldog may even drown if left unsupervised around a pool. Here are five great tips to help prevent such a tragedy from happening to your dog.
1. Teach Your Dog to Swim
When possible, train your dog to swim. Not comfortable with such a task? Enlist the help of a dog trainer. They are more than equipped to handle your pooch’s fear of water and teach him or her a few swimming basics.
2. Invest in a Dog Life Vest
Life vests and life jackets are perfect for the dog that will never be a great swimmer. They provide extra buoyancy and a dash of bright colors so that your dog can stay afloat and remain highly visible. Just don’t rely on the life vest so much that you leave your dog unattended.
3. Take Care with Older Dogs
Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis, vision loss, seizures and a host of other health issues that may require your special attention around the pool or prohibit them from swimming altogether. Confirm with your veterinarian if your dog is healthy enough to swim in the pool.
4. Learn Dog CPR
Being able to properly administer artificial respiration and CPR on a dog is vital should your dog accidentally drown in your pool. Some animal organizations and shelters even offer classes on the proper techniques.
5. Fence Your Pool
A pool fence or enclosure is a great option if you are unable to supervise a dog that spends most, if not all, his or her time in the backyard. Not a big fan of enclosing your pool with unseemly posts and metal bars? Consider using an “invisible” fence. Invisible, or underground, fencing enables you to keep your pool looking spectacular without sacrificing your dog’s safety.
Living in a desert-like state like Arizona can pose a number of threats to a pet outdoors, from weather hazards to wildlife dangers. Consider the following five outdoor pet safety tips to keep your four-legged friend safe this season, and give us a call if you have any questions. A Spanish Trail Pet Clinic team member will be happy to assist you.
Every year, hundreds of dogs and cats in the Tucson areas are bitten by rattlesnakes. Protect your pet from rattlesnakes by keeping them on a leash during your walks. Always watch where you put your hands and feet, too, especially if there are wood piles or deep grass in your path. If you see a snake or hear its rattle near your path, gently tighten your grip on your pet’s leash and slowly walk away from the snake. If the snake bites your pet, contact the nearest emergency veterinarian immediately for treatment.
The summer months in Arizona can reach 100 degrees of dry heat, which can cause pets—or anyone, for that matter—to dehydrate if there isn’t sufficient water intake. Always bring plenty of water with you when you go outside with your pet. If you plan to leave your pet outside alone during the day, make sure there’s a sheltered area and a large, secured bowl of fresh water available for them. Keep in mind that short-nosed breeds are more at risk for heat exhaustion, so it’s best to limit these dogs’ time outside to only a few minutes on a hot day.
Many Arizona tarantula species are venomous and contain barbed hairs on their body. If disturbed by your pet, they can release these barbed hairs, which can become embedded on your pet’s face. This can result in extreme irritation or even pain. Most tarantulas burrow underground, so while you’re taking your dog for a walk, steer clear of areas in the ground where holes are present.
Scorpions are common in the desert, especially in crevices and under rocks. When a poisonous scorpion stings, it can result in painful swelling or worse for your pet, so always be on the lookout near these areas. If your pet ever gets stung, there are first aid measures that you can take to alleviate the pain. These include applying a thick paste to the sting area, gently restricting your pet’s movements to prevent the spread of the venom, and preventing your pet from licking the sting area. Fortunately, most scorpion venom isn’t life-threatening.
Colorado River Toads
These poisonous amphibians are most common during the summer rains and desert monsoon season. If disturbed (licked, picked up by your dog, etc.), the Colorado River toad releases its toxin—referred to as bufotenine—as a defense mechanism. If not treated immediately, this toxin can result in seizures, hyperthermia, and even death. Always be cautious around areas with water, which is where these toads thrive, and check your yard regularly to be sure no toads are around. If your pet ever comes in contact with a Colorado River toad’s venom, call the nearest emergency veterinarian or Spanish Trail Pet Clinic at (520) 722-2771.
Cats often become reclusive and hide when they are not feeling well, which makes knowing when they need to be seen by your veterinarian a challenge. They have unique signs of emergency conditions that often go unrecognized by owners. Some injuries are obvious, such as a cat with an open wound, while others have more subtle signs that can be equally dangerous if left untreated. Knowing signs of illness is crucial in determining when to seek emergency care for your cat. Below is a list of some of the most common cat emergencies and their signs.
This is a condition in which a cat, usually male, is unable to urinate due to a blockage in the urethra (the tube leading from the urinary bladder to the outside environment).
Cats will show a sudden onset of restless behavior, which includes frequent trips in and out of the litter box. They will often attempt to urinate in unusual places such as in a bath tub or on a plastic bag. You may notice a very small stream of urine that contains blood. More often than not, despite a cat’s straining, there may be no urine or even just a drop produced. In later stages of the obstruction, cats may cry loudly, vomit, and become lethargic.
You should consider these signs a serious emergency and seek veterinary care immediately. There are reports of cats developing kidney failure and dying within 12 hours after the onset of signs. Expect your cat to be hospitalized at least 36 hours for treatment of this condition. Veterinary treatments may include a urinary catheter, intravenous fluids, and pain management. Female cats are less likely to become obstructed due to their wider urinary tract.
The combination of their curious nature and unique metabolism (the way their body breaks down chemicals) makes cats vulnerable to toxins. Owners are often unaware that their home contains multiple products that are poisonous to felines. The most common cat toxins include antifreeze, Tylenol, and rat or mouse poison.
The signs your cat displays depends on the type of poison he or she has encountered. Antifreeze will often cause wobbliness or a drunken appearance first, then progresses to vomiting/weakness as the kidneys fail. Tylenol may cause an unusual swelling of the head and changes the cat’s blood color from red to chocolate brown. Rat or mouse poison interferes with blood clotting so you may see weakness from internal blood loss or visible blood in the urine or stool.
Often, cats hide the signs of breathing problems by simply decreasing their activity. By the time an owner notices changes in the cat’s breathing, it may be late in the progression of the cat’s lung disease. There are several causes of breathing changes, but the most common are feline asthma, heart disease, or lung disease.
Foreign Object Ingestion
Many cats love to play with strings or string-like objects (such as dental floss, holiday tinsel, or ribbon), but those strings can be dangerous for your cat. When a string is ingested by a cat, one end may become lodged or “fixed” in place, often under the cat’s tongue, while the rest of the string passes further into the intestine. With each intestinal contraction, the string see-saws back and forth actually cutting into the intestine and damaging the blood supply.
Signs that your cat has eaten a foreign object may include vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and weakness. Occasionally owners will actually see part of a string coming from the mouth or anal area. You should never pull on any part of the string that is visible; instead, call your veterinary health care team immediately.
Surgery is usually necessary to remove the foreign object and any damaged sections of intestine.
Cats are notorious for both inflicting and suffering bite wounds during encounters with other cats. Because the tips of their canine, or “fang,” teeth are so small and pointed, bites are often not noticed until infection sets in, which is usually several days after the initial injury.
Cats may develop a fever and become lethargic 48 to 72 hours after experiencing a penetrating bite wound. They may be tender or painful at the site. If the wound becomes infected or abscessed, swelling and foul-smelling drainage may develop.
You should seek emergency care for bite wounds so your veterinarian can thoroughly clean the area and prescribe appropriate antibiotics. Occasionally, the wounds can develop large pockets called abscesses under the skin that require surgical placement of a drain to aid in healing.
Hit By Car
Cats that spend time outdoors are at a much greater risk for ending up in the emergency room. Being hit by a car is one of the most common causes of traumatic injuries, such as broken bones, lung injuries, and head trauma. You should always seek emergency care if your cat has been hit by a vehicle, even if he or she appears normal, because many injuries can develop or worsen over the following few hours.
Increased Thirst and Urination
Sudden changes in your cat’s thirst and urine volume are important clues to underlying disease. The two most common causes of these changes are kidney disease and diabetes mellitus.
Your veterinarian will need to check blood and urine samples to determine the cause of your cat’s change in thirst and urine. Having your pet seen on an emergency basis for these signs is important because prompt treatment increases chances for recovery. Exposure to certain toxins, such as antifreeze or lilies, will show similar signs, and delaying veterinary care can be fatal.
Sudden Inability to Use the Hind Legs
Cats with some forms of heart disease are at risk for developing blood clots. These clots can sometimes lodge in a large blood vessel—the aorta—where they can prevent normal blood flow to the hind legs. If your cat experiences such a blood clotting episode (often called a saddle thrombus or thromboembolic episode), you will likely see a sudden loss of the use of his or her hind legs, painful crying, and breathing changes.
On arrival at the emergency room, your cat will receive pain management and oxygen support. Tests will be done to evaluate the cat’s heart and determine if there is any heart failure (fluid accumulation in the lungs). Sadly, such an episode is often the first clue for an owner that his or her cat has severe heart disease. In most cases, with time and support, the blood clot can resolve, but the cat’s heart disease will require lifelong treatment.
Upper Respiratory Infections
Cats and kittens can experience a variety of upper respiratory diseases caused by a combination of bacteria or viruses. An upper respiratory infections, or URI, can cause sneezing, runny nose, runny eyes, lack of appetite, and fever. In severe cases, it can cause ulcers in the mouth, on the tongue, and on the eyes. More often than not, severe cases are seen in cats that have recently been in multiple-cat environments, such as shelters. Small kittens, or kittens struggling to thrive, are also easily infected and may develop more severe complications, such as low blood sugar.
A sudden loss of vision is most likely to occur in an older cat. The most common cause is increased blood pressure (hypertension), which may be due to changes in thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) or kidney disease. There are some cats that appear to have hypertension with no other underlying disease.
Sudden blindness should be treated as an emergency and your veterinarian will measure your cat’s blood pressure, check blood tests, and start medications to lower the pressure and restore vision.
If you notice a change in your cat’s eyes, whether he or she loses vision or not, you should consider this an emergency have your pet seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at cathealth.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.
“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”
In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.
“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”
Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.
There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.
Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time
Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.
Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.
Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.
Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
What is veterinary dentistry, and who should perform it?
Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. Subject to state or provincial regulation, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.
The process begins with an oral exam of your pet’s mouth by a veterinarian. Radiographs (x-rays) may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and the tooth roots below the gumline. Because most dental disease occurs below the gumline, where you can’t see it, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia. Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings.
Oral health in dogs and cats
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:
- bad breath
- broken or loose teeth
- extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- pain in or around the mouth
- bleeding from the mouth
- swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.
Causes of pet dental problems
Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:
- broken teeth and roots
- periodontal disease
- abscesses or infected teeth
- cysts or tumors in the mouth
- malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
- broken (fractured) jaw
- palate defects (such as cleft palate)
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.
It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).
The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.
Why does dentistry require anesthesia?
When you go to the dentist, you know that what’s being done is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist uses techniques to minimize pain and discomfort and can ask you how you are feeling, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.
Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. If radiographs (x-rays) are needed, your pet needs to be very still in order to get good images, and this is unlikely without heavy sedation or anesthesia.
Although anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.
What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?
Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant – patience and training are important.
There are many pet products marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, or ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.
Pets may THINK they’re invincible, but the truth is, they’re susceptible to health problems and diseases, just like people are. That’s why it’s so important to take your pet to a vet like Spanish Trail Pet Clinic in Tucson, AZ, at least once a year. Below is a list of five of the most common reasons that pet owners bring their pets to the vet.
Comprehensive Wellness Exam
Pets obviously can’t tell us they’re not feeling well or that they’re in pain, and since some health problems are asymptomatic, your pet could have an illness that you wouldn’t know about without a veterinary exam. Here at Spanish Trail Pet Clinic, we recommend that all pets have a comprehensive wellness exam at least once a year so we can either make sure your pet is healthy or provide treatment recommendations if they’re not. Even if your pet APPEARS healthy, it’s still important to take them to the vet every year to find out for sure.
Preventive Pet Care
The best way to treat your pet’s health problems is to prevent them in any way you can. That’s why so many vets, including Dr. DeShazer, place such a strong emphasis on preventive care. From parasites to viruses, there are dozens of possible threats to your pet’s health that justify keeping your pet on a year-round parasite preventive product and keeping them updated on their vaccinations. We can recommend the best products to fit your pet’s lifestyle at their next visit.
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems seen in pets. In fact, more than 50% of dogs and cats have some form of gum disease by just 3 years of age. Gum disease can lead to infection, tooth loss, and even a shortened lifespan if left untreated. This is why dental care is another reason you should see a vet on a regular basis. Spanish Trail Pet Clinic offers comprehensive dental services to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. With annual dental visits to our clinic, you can lower or even eliminate your pet’s chances of developing gum disease.
Sometimes the results of a comprehensive exam aren’t enough to fully diagnose a pet’s condition, and advanced diagnostic care, such as digital radiology, is needed. This technology allows a veterinarian to examine your pet internally to detect fractures/broken bones, foreign bodies, and a number of other conditions. If you’ve noticed your pet limping or suspect they ate a non-edible item, we recommend that X-rays be taken to find out for sure.
Arthritis Treatment: Laser Therapy
According to a recent story, more than 60% of dogs and cats over the age of 6 have arthritis in at least one joint. Without treatment, arthritis can be quite painful and debilitating for a pet. If your pet has arthritis pain or any other form of pain, laser therapy can help. Using a low intensity light, laser therapy encourages pain relief and results in faster healing and improved mobility. By simply scheduling a visit to the vet, you can put an end to your pet’s arthritis and other pain.
If it’s been a while since your pet has seen a vet, or if you’re looking for a new one, let us know by calling 520-722-2771. We’re always happy to meet new patients!
It’s that time of year again! The caring team of Spanish Trail Pet Clinic in Tucson, AZ, is hosting our annual fund-raiser this winter. All donations will go toward the Santa Cruz Humane Society to help pets in need, but you can benefit from your donation, too! For every $5 donation, you can enter your name in our raffle for a chance to win a cat gift basket, dog gift basket, or dental cleaning. Our professional pet dental cleanings are performed under anesthesia for your pet’s safety and include removing tartar buildup above and below the gum line.
The Santa Cruz Humane Society, located in Nogales, is a no kill shelter that provides compassionate care as well as fostering and adoption services for homeless cats and dogs of Southern Arizona. The goal of this organization is to not only love and treat pets in their care, but to find them all loving homes and prepare them for those homes. The Spanish Trail Pet Clinic team is honored to help support this mission.
If you’d like to learn more about our annual fund-raiser in Tucson and how you can help, please give us a call at 520-722-2771.
The veterinary team at Spanish Trail Pet Clinic has proudly provided exceptional veterinary care to Tucson since 1995 when we were first opened by Dr. Deshazer. We offer veterinary services ranging from internal medicine and surgery to dentistry and geriatric medicine, ensuring that our patients receive all the care they need no matter their life stage, from infancy to end of life. Your pet is our primary concern at Spanish Trail Pet Clinic. Our goals as a practice continue to be:
- Providing up-to-date veterinary service
- Utilizing state-of-the-art technology
- Compassionate service for patients and clients
- Family-oriented practice where your pet is treated like one of our own
Our team members care deeply about your pet and their needs. We are so grateful to our many clients and patients and we want you to know just how much you mean to us! We love your pets and we appreciate them—and you!
What are you most thankful for this beautiful holiday season?
Halloween is just weeks away, and while this is usually a fun time for people, for pets, that might not be the case. In fact, Halloween can actually be a dangerous time for your four-legged companion if you’re not mindful of the potential threats. At Spanish Trail Pet Clinic, we offer more than just compassionate care to pets in and around Tucson. Part of our mission involves keeping pets safe, too. That’s why we recommend the following six Halloween safety tips for your canine and feline friends.
- Keep Sweets out of Pet’s Reach
Some pets are just as tempted around sweets as people are, but did you know that certain candies can actually be toxic to pets? Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that’s toxic to dogs and cats, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. Many gums and candies also contain the sugar substitute xylitol, which can result in hypoglycemia in pets if ingested. So as a rule of thumb, keep the sweets out of your pet’s reach, and buy some pet-friendly treats instead.
- Use Caution When Decorating
There are a number of Halloween decorations that can be dangerous to pets, including candles and lit jack-o-lanterns. If you have a curious pet or cat that’s known to jump around on tables, avoid decorations that could potentially result in injury….because the last thing you want is to spend Halloween night at the emergency veterinarian’s office.
- Keep Your Pet Inside
For some people, Halloween is more about the tricks than it is about the treats, and sadly, sometimes pets are the targets. Pets have been known to be taken from their own yards on Halloween night or during the days prior, and many are returned home. To keep your pet safe, we recommend that you keep them indoors on Halloween week.
- Choose a Pet Costume Wisely
From cartoon characters to food items to iconic movie characters, there are hundreds of pet costume options to choose from. Just be sure that the one you choose for YOUR pet is both comfortable and safe. Make sure it’s well-made, isn’t too tight, and free of any small pieces that can be easily chewed off and pose a choking or obstruction hazard.
- Provide Sufficient Identification
If you’ve ever had a pet run away, you know how difficult such a loss can be, especially if the pet was never returned. Spanish Trail Pet Clinic recommends that you keep an ID tag/collar on your pet, especially during this time of year, in case of a separation. You may also want to consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip or tattoo, to increase the chances of a happy reunion.
- Keep Your Pet Away from Front Door
Many pets—especially dogs—make a quick dash to the front door when they hear the doorbell to see who’s at the door. If you get a lot of trick-or-treaters, your front door will probably be opening a lot this Halloween, which means your pet will have many opportunities to run outside if you’re not careful. If your pet is the rambunctious or curious type, it’s best to block their access to the front door for their safety.
If you have any questions about our Halloween safety tips or about Spanish Trail Pet Clinic, feel free to Contact Us at (520) 722-2771. We hope you, your family, and your beloved fur babies have a safe and happy Halloween this year!