Thursday, April 19, 2018
Pets

Household items can present risks to pets

LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of pets undergo surgery every year to remove small articles of clothing and other objects from their stomachs and intestines, said Dr. Karen Halligan, author, TV consultant and director of veterinary services for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles. "It's very common in private practice and in large institutions to be removing nonfood items out of dogs and cats," she said.

It also can be very dangerous.

Ingested clothing and fabric items, for instance, won't show up on X-rays. Within 48 hours, a pet that has consumed a piece of clothing will develop symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and depression.

If caught early, a vet can remove the item from inside the animal and everything will be fine. If not, the pet's intestines will start to die because blood can't get through, Halligan said. Removing the intestine is an option if the obstruction is eventually found.

If left untreated, the problem can be fatal because of dehydration or bacteria leaking into the stomach, causing peritonitis. "We had one Great Dane. Three times we had to cut him (open) for his mother's shoulder pads. He loved his mother's shoulder pads," Halligan said.

Surgeries to remove or dislodge things that pets swallow are not cheap. "We are talking $2,500 to $5,000 at the least," Halligan said.

Socks are probably the most popular pet-pilfered pieces of clothing across the country. They're especially irresistible to pets after they've been worn. "It's the scent that attracts them," Halligan said.

X-rays quite clearly show many other things pets swallow. In March, Tim Kelleher's 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier got sick and he rushed him to the vet. X-rays showed the dog had eaten a pile of pennies.

Dr. Amy Zalcman at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in New York used a camera attached to a net to fish 111 pennies out of Jack's stomach. Scooping up five at a time, it took a couple of hours.

Letting the coins pass could have killed Jack because pennies made after 1982 contain toxic zinc.

Other common items include human food (chocolate can be lethal to dogs and cats), bouquets of flowers (one lily can kill a cat), jewelry, condoms, a pencil with eraser, and, in one case, a Mickey House hat.

Comments
Find A Friend: Levi, the Dog

Find A Friend: Levi, the Dog

If big hearts score points, then you could say that Levi’s got game. But only in the sweetest, least competitive and non-confrontational way possible. Sports might teach life lessons to humans, but Levi plays ball to forget the horrors of a not too-d...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Construction begins on Saladino Dog Park in Brandon next week

Construction begins on Saladino Dog Park in Brandon next week

BRANDON — Hillsborough County will be starting construction next week on new amenities to Bertha and Tony Saladino Park, including a dog park.The county will start construction on a dog park, walking trail and expanded parking lot on Wednesday.The pa...
Published: 04/13/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for April 20

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 20

Courtesy of Hernando County Animal ServicesLouise is a 3-year-old black female terrier mix. She came into the shelter as a stray. Louise loves people and playing outside. She is a selective dog, so a "meet and greet" will be required, and she needs t...
Published: 04/12/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Find A Friend: Gracie, the cat

Find A Friend: Gracie, the cat

Never judge a book by its cover, because Gracie is no ordinary pussycat. She’s a kitty with charisma, an atypical tigress, a pal of a pet. She’s chatty and playful and likes to roll around with her belly up in the air just to gain attention. She’s re...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for April 13

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 13

Humane Society of the Nature CoastDakota is a gorgeous 5-year-old hound. She participates in the Tails 2 Trails walking group at 9 a.m. every Sunday on the Suncoast Trail. Inquiries about adopting Dakota or other dogs and cats can be made at the Huma...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/11/18
Find A Friend: Bunny, the Boxer mix

Find A Friend: Bunny, the Boxer mix

Wait...what? She missed the deadline for the hippity-hop holiday edition of the paper? Ah well, Bunny has learned to take disappointment in stride. After all, she almost had a real home until the landlord said he didn’t want "her kind." But spring br...
Published: 04/06/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Pet of the Week for April 6

Hernando County Animal ServicesLeroy is a handsome white and black, 2-year-old rat terrier mix. He is enrolled in the Heal to Heal program at the Hernando County Women’s Correctional Facility, where he works with the trustees and trainer John Gore fr...
Published: 03/29/18
Updated: 04/04/18
For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?

JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Adam Fuller credits a simple, one-word command — and a black Lab mix named J.D. — for helping to save his life. "Cover," he tells J.D., who is sitting to his left in a grassy field next to a park playground. The dog calmly walks ...
Updated one month ago
On National Puppy Day, Tampa Bay ranks high in dog park rankings

On National Puppy Day, Tampa Bay ranks high in dog park rankings

It’s National Puppy Day and one good way to celebrate is to make a few new friends at the Vinoy Dog Park near downtown St. Petersburg. It isn’t very difficult; as soon as you open the gate you’ll have four or five pups rushing to say hello all at onc...
Updated one month ago
Video: Florida man reunites with pet cat that ran away 14 years ago

Video: Florida man reunites with pet cat that ran away 14 years ago

FORT PIERCE — A Florida man has been reunited with a cat he lost 14 years ago. TCPalm.com reports Perry Martin of Fort Pierce said he had assumed his orange tabby named Thomas Jr., or T2 for short, had died in traffic. Martin moved in with a friend ...
Updated one month ago