Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists » Summer Pet Safety http://bevsvt.com Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:39:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.18 Pets in Vehicleshttp://bevsvt.com/2016/pets-in-vehicles-2/ http://bevsvt.com/2016/pets-in-vehicles-2/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2016 14:32:21 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=2016 On Wednesday, the temperature in Williston was 85 degrees so we decided to put the dog Life-Meter to the test!  We affixed the decal to the inside of a car window and waited one hour before returning to the parking lot see how high the internal temperature of the car was.  To our surprise the inside temp had climbed to 130 degrees!

Our vehicles can quickly reach a temperature that puts pets at serious risk of illness and even death. Even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to us–and cracking the windows makes no difference.

Please do not leave your precious pets in your vehicle.

Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature vs. Elapsed Time
Elapsed time Outside Air Temperature (F)
70 75 80 85 90 95
0 minutes707580859095
10 minutes899499104109114
20 minutes99104109114119124
30 minutes104109114119124129
40 minutes108113118123128133
50 minutes111116121126131136
60 minutes113118123128133138
> 1 hour115120125130135140

Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

Symptoms of overheating in dogs include:

Heavy pantingElevated body temperature
Excessive thirstWeakness, collapse
Glazed eyesIncreased pulse and heartbeat
Vomiting, bloody diarrheaSeizures
Bright or dark red tongue, gumsExcessive drooling
StaggeringUnconsciousness

By the time a dog is exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke, it’s often too late to save him.

 

Written by: Aimee Gilfillan

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Water Safety Tips for Petshttp://bevsvt.com/2016/water-safety-tips-for-pets/ http://bevsvt.com/2016/water-safety-tips-for-pets/#comments Tue, 10 May 2016 19:06:10 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1955 With the warmer weather on its way, our furry friends are eager to start playing in the water. Swimming is a great activity for our dogs in the summertime to keep them active, exercised, and happy, but there are some dangers to be aware of. There are many living things, big and small, that benefit from the water sources in our environment. For example, there are two very tiny types of bacteria that can have a big impact on our pets. Dogs with leptospirosis may show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, a decreased appetite, increased thirst and urination, trembling or abdominal pain.

The Bacteria

Leptospirosis, a spirochete, is a bacteria that is eliminated in urine by infected domestic and wild animals. It can survive and remain infectious in our environment for months, mainly in water and soil. Infection can occur when dogs drink water that has the bacteria in it. Slow moving or stagnant water in or near rivers, lakes, or streams are the riskiest water sources. Leptospirosis infection can lead to kidney and liver damage and can even be fatal if untreated. Dogs with leptospirosis may show signs of vomiting, diarrhea, a decreased appetite, increased thirst and urination, trembling or abdominal pain.

Blue-green algae, a cyanobacteria, is found in many lakes in this area. Not all algae is toxic, but there is no way to tell the level of toxicity to the naked eye. The algae blooms will look like pea soup or spilled paint with foam along the shoreline. Not only can the blooms be blue-green in color like the name, but also purple, brown, or white. The algae produces two types of toxins which can affect the liver and the nervous system. These toxins are extremely potent and can cause clinical signs (symptoms?) such as vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, difficulty walking or collapse, trouble breathing and even death within minutes to hours of exposure.

What Should You Do?

If you notice any of the clinical signs above or know your pet has been exposed to these bacteria you should consult with your veterinarian immediately. If your dog swam in algae, if possible, wash them off with clean water and soap. Algae can cause illness in humans as well. You must wear protective clothing such as rubber cleaning gloves, an apron, and glasses. If you do not have these materials readily available you should go straight to the closest veterinary clinic. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests. Hospitalization and intensive critical care may be necessary to help treat your pet.

What is Going to Happen to My Dog?

Treatment for leptospirosis generally requires hospitalization for a few days. Intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and supportive care will be provided. Prognosis is generally good for those cases that were diagnosed and treated early. There can be permanent kidney damage following infection which will require close monitoring and more frequent veterinary visits. Your veterinarian may elect to treat other dogs in your household even if they are not sick.

If your pet is showing clinical signs from blue-green algae toxicity the prognosis is poor. A physical exam and diagnostics will help your veterinarian create the proper treatment plan. Emergency stabilization and critical care will be necessary. Exposure to these toxins are almost always fatal even with the proper medical care.

Prevention is the best medicine!

Bacteria can be scary! But there are ways to protect our pups. Yearly vaccines are available that cover the main types of leptospirosis. Although it is still possible for vaccinated dogs to become infected, it is much less likely.  Leptospirosis is zoonotic, meaning it can also infect humans. The main carrier of the bacteria is your pet’s urine. After starting antibiotics a very low level of bacterial shedding occurs. If your dog has been infected with leptospirosis, please contact your primary care physician to talk about further action.

One good thing about an algae bloom is that it is visible. Be sure to assess the water before allowing your dog to go swimming. Look for signs posted along the shoreline about possible algae blooms. The Vermont Department of Health website provides weekly summaries of lake conditions, tips, and pictures of the algae blooms.

Although the water can be home to harmful species, being well informed can help keep your family members safe, happy, and enjoying everything that Vermont has to offer!

 

Written By: Dr. Anne Culp

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Injured and Orphaned Wildlifehttp://bevsvt.com/2015/injured-and-orphaned-wildlife/ http://bevsvt.com/2015/injured-and-orphaned-wildlife/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 21:14:53 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1763 If you care leave them there! If you find a young animal or bird that appears to be abandoned, do not pick it up.

If You Find a Sick or Injured Animal

For the wellbeing of all wildlife in Vermont and for your own safety, taking a wild animal into captivity is illegal. Only licensed rehabilitators may legally care for wildlife.

If you find a sick or injured animal, it is important to locate a licensed rehabilitator immediately. Licensed rehabilitators can provide care with the ultimate goal of returning the animal to the wild as quickly as possible, giving the animal the best chance of survival.

Vermont rehabilitators may legally possess and treat most common birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians with the exception of deer, moose, bear and wild turkey. Only two facilities in Vermont are authorized to accept threatened and endangered species.

Call the rehabilitator first to find out which wildlife species he or she generally accepts BEFOREyou try to capture or transport an animal for care.

Rehabilitators are usually unable to pick-up injured wildlife, but they can provide advice on the best procedures for safely collecting the animal and will offer directions to their facility.

find a wildlife rehabilitator

If You Find a Young Animal

Adult animals of many species, such as rabbits and owls, limit the number of daily visits to their young. This prevents predators from discovering the location of newborns or hatchlings.

To increase the young’s chance of survival, leave the area immediately.

Birds do not possess a strong sense of smell, and will not reject a youngster placed back in the nest. Many backyard birds frequently outgrow their nest and leave days before they can fly. The parent birds will continue to care for their young, even away from the nest, so do not attempt to pick up the fledglings.

To protect young birds, keep cats and dogs away and/or move the chick to the nearest shrub or natural cover. Then leave the area and allow the parent birds to naturally respond to the food-begging calls of their young.

Never pick up a deer.

White-tailed deer fawns use their spotted coats as camouflage and remain motionless to avoid detection from potential predators, including humans. If you see a fawn curled up at the edge of a path or field, leave the area immediately and do not return. Your presence will prevent the doe from returning to her fawn for periodic nursing.

While they may appear abandoned, they are not abandoned – the mother only returns a couple of times a day.  This is true even if the young animal appears hungry or seems to beg from you.

Wildlife rehabilitators are not authorized to accept deer fawns. Fawns removed from their natural habitat are not equipped for survival.  When deer are removed from the wild, they do not learn how to evade predators, find food, avoid humans, or find specific deer wintering grounds.

 

Rabies Threat

You should not touch skunks, raccoons, foxes or bats that appear in need.  Although all mammals can carry rabies, these animals are considered rabies vectors and have a higher likelihood of being positive for rabies even if they don’t appear sick.

Call the Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4-RABIES and do not attempt to touch the animal until after contacting the hotline. Do not allow children, other people or pets to come in contact with the animal.

People who handle rabies vector animals put themselves and their loved ones at risk for contracting an extremely dangerous and frequently fatal disease.

 

wildlife rehab 2

wildlife rehab 1

 

 

Original Post: Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/learn_more/living_with_wildlife/injured_and_orphaned_wildlife

 

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Pets in Vehicleshttp://bevsvt.com/2015/pets-in-vehicles/ http://bevsvt.com/2015/pets-in-vehicles/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 16:35:21 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1751

Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. We’ve heard the excuses: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,” or “But I cracked the windows…” These excuses don’t amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a vehicle.

The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.

Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96º F rose steadily as time increased. Another study​, performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light gray minivan parked on a hot, but partly cloudy day, exceeded 125oF within 20 minutes.

Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
Elapsed timeOutside Air Temperature (F)
707580859095
0 minutes707580859095
10 minutes899499104109114
20 minutes99104109114119124
30 minutes104109114119124129
40 minutes108113118123128133
50 minutes111116121126131136
60 minutes113118123128133138
> 1 hour115120125130135140
Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

Watch an animated video about in-vehicle temperatures.

This study also found that cracking the windows had very little effect on the temperature rise inside the vehicle. This is definitely a situation where “love ‘em and leave ‘em” is a good thing. Please leave your pets at home at home when you can…they’ll be safe and happily waiting for you to come home.

…but wait, there’s more!

The risks associated with pets in vehicles don’t end with heatstroke. Just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect you in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle. That means a secure harness or a carrier.

A loose, small pet could crawl down in the footwell, interfering with use of the brake or accelerator pedal. A small pet sitting in your lap could be injured or killed by the airbag or could be crushed between your body and the airbag in a collision, and a large pet leaning across your lap can interfere with your view of the road and can be injured by the air bag in a collision. Unrestrained pets could be thrown out or through windows or windshields in a collision. And not only could your pet be injured in the collision, but it might also increase your risk of collision by distracting you and taking your attention away from where it should be – on the road.

To learn more about the importance of restraining your pets, visit Paws to Click.

Most of us smile when we see a dog’s face happily hanging out a window, digging the ride and the smells wafting on the breeze, but this is a very risky venture for the dog for three reasons. One, it means your dog isn’t properly restrained – and we’ve already told you why that’s so important. Two, your dog is at high risk of eye, ear, face and mouth injury from airborne objects when it’s got its face hanging out the window. Three, letting your dog hang any part of its body out of the window increases the risk that (s)he could be thrown out of the vehicle during a collision, lose its balance and fall out of the open window during an abrupt turn or maneuver, or jump out of the vehicle to threaten another dog or a person.

And let’s not forget the severe dangers of driving with your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. Dogs can fall or jump from the truck bed and be injured or killed on impact, or be struck by other traffic. And just as letting your dog hang its head out of the window puts it at risk of injury from debris, a dog in a truck bed is even more exposed to airborne hazards. Using a appropriate-length tether may reduce the risk that your dog will exit the truck bed, but the tether could tangle, injure, or even choke your dog. If you must transport your dog in the bed of a pickup truck, use a secured and appropriately sized and ventilated dog kennel. (For more information, read our Dogs Traveling in Truck Beds literature review.)

Before you put your pet in the vehicle, ask yourself if you really need to take your pet with you – and if the answer is no, leave your pet safely at home. If you must take your pet with you, make sure (s)he is properly restrained so the trip is as safe as possible for both of you.

 

Original Post: AVMA https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pets-in-vehicles.aspx

 

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The Dangers of Blue-Green Algaehttp://bevsvt.com/2015/the-dangers-of-blue-green-algae/ http://bevsvt.com/2015/the-dangers-of-blue-green-algae/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 22:54:57 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1745 It began as an innocent walk in the park: A 9-month-old, 60 lb. German Shepherd mix went out for a stroll with her owner before spending 30 minutes alone in the backyard. When the dog reentered the house, her owner noticed that her eyes were rolling back and that her gait was uncoordinated. She also defecated in the house.

At the critical care facility, things only got worse: the pup was drooling, feverish and began seizing and vomiting. That was when veterinarians discovered the root of her illness: blue-green algae. The owner confirmed that the algae had been present in a backyard pond.

After 18 hours of critical care, including emergency intubation and ventilation for respiratory failure, the dog’s life was saved. She was discharged after three more days in the hospital, and fortunately, she is now back to her normal, happy self.  But blue-green algae can form almost anywhere and can be a danger to any unsuspecting pet parent. That’s why the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to keep you informed about this toxic bacterium.

Members of the phylum Cyanobacteria, blue-green algae usually form on or near bodies of water during warm weather months. It is typically found in ponds and lakes, but can also be present in oceans, fresh water, damp soil, backyard fountains and even on rocks. Dogs can develop poisoning when they drink from or swim in contaminated water sources. If consumed, blue-green algae can cause severe neurologic or liver signs. Signs of blue-green algae toxicity include:

  • Seizures
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Respiratory failure
  • Diarrhea
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Liver failure
  • Death

Prevention is key. Don’t allow your pets to drink from stagnant ponds, lakes or other bodies of water that have bluish-green scum on the surface or around the edges. Blue-green algae cells can also stick to a pet’s fur and be ingested when the animal cleans itself, so think twice before allowing your pet to jump into a body of water.

If you think that your pet is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 immediately!

 

Written by: ASPCA

Original Article here: http://www.aspca.org/blog/animal-poison-control-alert-dangers-blue-green-algae

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Tick Removalhttp://bevsvt.com/2015/tick-removal/ http://bevsvt.com/2015/tick-removal/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:08:46 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1691 If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

How to remove a tick

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.
outline of tickAvoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.
tweezers grasping a tick close to the skin's surfacetweezers pulling a tick away from the skin in an upward motion

Follow-up

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

 

 

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Preventing Ticks on Your Petshttp://bevsvt.com/2015/preventing-ticks-on-your-pets/ http://bevsvt.com/2015/preventing-ticks-on-your-pets/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 19:57:12 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1687 Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for all the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.

To reduce the chances that a tick will transmit disease to you or your pets:

  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.
  • Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area.
  • Reduce tick habitat in your yard.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about using tick preventives on your pet.

 

Note: Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any insect acaricides or repellents to your cats without first consulting your veterinarian!

Kill Ticks on Dogs

A pesticide product that kills ticks is known as an acaricide. Acaricides that can be used on dogs include dusts, impregnated collars, sprays, or topical treatments. Some acaricides kill the tick on contact. Others may be absorbed into the bloodstream of a dog and kill ticks that attach and feed.

Pros:

  • Helps to reduce the number of ticks in the environment
  • Prevents tickborne disease

Cons:

  • Tick bites can cause a painful wound and may become infected.
  • When bitten, a dog may become infected with a number of diseases. This depends on the type of tick, which diseases it is carrying (if any), and how quickly a product kills the feeding tick.

Examples of topically applied products (active ingredients):

  • Fipronil
  • Pyrethroids (permethrin, etc.)
  • Amitraz

Repel Ticks on Dogs

A repellent product may prevent the tick from coming into contact with an animal at all or have anti-feeding effects once the tick comes into contact with the chemical, thus preventing a bite.

Pros:

  • Prevents bite wounds and possible resulting infections
  • Prevents tickborne disease

Cons:

  • Will not reduce the number of ticks in the environment (doesn’t kill ticks)

Examples of topically applied products (active ingredients):

  • Pyrethroids (permethrin, etc.)

Reference to any commercial entity or product or service on this page should not be construed as an endorsement by the Government of the company, its products, or its services.

 

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)

Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)

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Pets and Garden Veggieshttp://bevsvt.com/2014/pets-garden-veggies/ http://bevsvt.com/2014/pets-garden-veggies/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:55:19 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1558 How does your garden grow? Silver bells? Cockle shells? Ours doesn’t have any of these either, but with all the great sun and shots of rain here and there, it is showing great promise for some yummy vegetables. Some vegies can be good for your pets too, but we wanted to list a few common garden plants that are toxic and to keep your pet away from–

Bulb Veggies: The basic rule of thumb is if a vegetable grows as an underground bulb, keep it out of Fido’s bowl. Onions, chives and leeks contain a chemical that can break down your dog’s red blood cells.
Garlic contains the same chemical, but in smaller amounts. Some dog foods and treats contain very low doses of garlic, which are generally considered safe by most veterinarians.
Potato and Tomato Plants: These two vegetables themselves are safe to eat, but the leaves and stems of the plants are very toxic to dogs.
Rhubarb: The leaves and stalk of the rhubarb are the toxic parts. Both the stalk and leaves contain oxalate crystals (although the leaves are more toxic), which deplete the calcium in the dog’s body.
Mushrooms: For dogs, all mushrooms are on the unsafe list.

You and your pet can both enjoy carrots, green beans, broccoli, and cucumbers! (In small amounts, cut up in bite- size portions)

Written By Aimee Gilfillan

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When To Be Bugged about Bugshttp://bevsvt.com/2014/bugged-bugs/ http://bevsvt.com/2014/bugged-bugs/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:36:41 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1465 Though Vermont’s cold winters keep a lot of bugs in check, there are still many common ones that you and your pet may encounter. How do you know when to race to our ER or when to wait for your veterinarian?  First, know your enemy, as horrifying as it is to see one of those creepy crawlies clinging to your pet don’t panic, most are simply and easily vanquished.

Ticks: Remove them by pulling from the base where it is attached. You can use tweezers or special store bought tick removers. It is always best to remove a tick as soon as possible to reduce the risk of transferring tick borne illnesses like Lyme.  After you remove the tick, make sure to keep in mind to get your pet tested. The testing available may detect antibodies in the blood from 3 weeks to several months post exposure. Make sure to monitor your dog for the most common signs of tick borne illness such as; stiffness, painful joints, lameness, lethargy, and fever. Check with your veterinarian about preventative medication, we see far more emergencies due to tick medication applications than for ticks themselves.

Fleas: These tiny pests can only be treated and prevented with medication, and all pets in the house must be treated. Other than blood loss and anemia from severe infestations, a minor flea problem is not too concerning, but should be addressed quickly. Tapeworms are passed from pet to pet by fleas, so preventing the fleas also make tapeworm infection less likely. Some pets can be allergic, and develop skin issues. Again check with your veterinarian about proper medication and application, this is another toxicity we commonly see at BEVS.

Worms: Most worms hosted by our pets are difficult to see without a fecal exam. The most common worms we can see with our naked eye in dogs and cats are roundworms (look like pieces of spaghetti) and tapeworms (their segments look like rice grains). If you are unfortunate enough to discover these in your pets stool or on their rear the most important thing to remember is collecting a stool sample for your veterinarian, and remembering basic hygiene. Roundworms are transferred via the fecal oral route. Pick up after your pets “business” and wash your hands thoroughly afterward will prevent reinfection. They do not prefer humans as a host but it does happen. The best route to treat worms is having a veterinarian perform a fecal test that identifies the parasite which helps determine which deworming medication is most effective. Most dewormers work quickly and effectively but your veterinarian may recommend rechecking the stool to make sure the infection is cleared.

Hit and Run Stingers and Biters: These are usually bees, hornets or wasps. Most of the time you will see their mark and not the insects themselves. Pets can be allergic to bites and stings just like humans. They have similar reactions to allergic humans ranging from minor swelling, hives and itching to severe swelling and respiratory distress. If you are questioning the severity of a reaction do not hesitate to call your veterinarian or BEVS. It is always best to play it safe in this scenario as a bad reaction can become life threatening quickly.

 

written by Christina Kim

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Pet and Boat Safetyhttp://bevsvt.com/2014/pet-boat-safety/ http://bevsvt.com/2014/pet-boat-safety/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:18:34 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1568 PET AND BOAT SAFETY ALERT

Please use extra caution when your dog exits your boat–This week, we have had two separate emergency cases where dogs have jumped from their owner’s boat attempting to land on a dock. In both cases, the dogs missed their landing, hit against the docks and ruptured their bladders. Both “Charlie” the Black Lab and “Wesley” the Mix required surgery to repair their bladders. “Charlie” was discharged on Tuesday and “Wesley” was discharged today!
Keep having water fun, just be careful!!

BSafetyBSafety1

Written by Aimee Gilfillan

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