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Rodenticides Warning

Rodenticides that use Bromethalin as the active ingredient are extremely dangerous and can be deadly for cats and dogs. Bromethalin is used in many rodent poisons and the challenge is, there is currently no known anecdote. Be sure to take a look at our warning flyer to learn the symptoms of Bromethalin poisoning, what to do if your pet exhibits these signs, and tips for prevention.

Click Here to view and download our flyer.

You Can Poison-Proof Your Home for Your Pets

March 19-25 is National Poison Prevention Week here in the United States, and while the week usually focuses on poison prevention for humans, there’s no reason not to use it as an opportunity to talk about poison prevention tips for the animals in our homes. While many will use National Poison Prevention Week to poison-proof their homes for their kids or elderly relatives, why not take a few extra minutes to poison-proof your house for your pets, too? In this article, we’ll go over various sources of poison to pets in your home, room by room.

Let’s start with your living room. Many household plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. While most people know that Christmas poinsettia is toxic to cats, fewer know that common lilies are deadly to cats. Cats that ingest lilies can have total renal failure, even from eating just a petal or two, so remove all lilies from bouquets if you have a cat. Also, keep home fragrance products, like pots of simmering liquid potpourri, away from areas pets can access. They can cause chemical burns if ingested. And in terms of aerosol potpourri, don’t spray them near your birdcage—birds can be very sensitive to aerosols. If you smoke in your home, keep ashtrays (or smoking cessation products like nicotine gum) away from pet-accessible areas. Nicotine poisoning is very common in pets, and easily preventable.

As for your kitchen, we’ve written quite a bit about the dangers of human food to cats and dogs. Grapes, chocolate, bread dough, onions, and garlic should all be kept away from cats and dogs. But as any pet owner knows, cats and dogs often want most what they ought not to have, so get a garbage can that pets can’t break into.

In your bathroom, keep all medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, away from your pets. Don’t leave them out—lock them up in your medicine cabinet or put them in your pantry. Don’t store them in plastic baggies, which animals love to chew on. And speaking of medications, never give human medication to your pets unless specifically told to by your vet. Tylenol and Advil are poisonous to animals, for example.

Cleaning products, whether used for your bathroom or kept in your utility room, can be very poisonous, so keep them away from your pets. Sprays, aerosols, wipes, and scrubs should all be kept in non-pet accessible cabinets, or behind closed doors of some sort. This is especially true in the basement and garage. While it’s easy to just toss chemical cleaners and other potentially poisonous items just about anywhere in those locations, cleaning agents and chemicals like fertilizers, antifreeze, pesticides, and rodent killer can poison your pet if they get into them.

If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, from a lily petal to a sip of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian in Philadelphia immediately. The sooner you treat it, the better your pet’s chances.

A specialty veterinary healthcare hospital in the greater Philadelphia area, VRC’s emergency medicine and critical care center is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Don’t wait—call if you have an after-hours emergency.

How Cold is Too Cold for Your Dog or Cat?

pets=in-cold-weatherThere is no blanket answer to this question. The best policy is to call your veterinarian in the greater Philadelphia area if you have questions about whether your dog or cat should go outside when the mercury drops. Your vet is acquainted with your dog or cat’s individual breed, age, and general state of health, and they’ll know how to advise you concerning exposing your dog or cat to the extreme cold. That said, in general, anything in the 30° range or colder is just too cold for pets for extended periods of time. Even if your dog is a Husky mix or your cat is a Maine Coon, you just shouldn’t allow them to stay outside for very long in the deep winter. They may be wearing a fur coat at all times, but when temperatures drop below freezing, your cat or dog can get frostbite, and severe hypothermia can become a genuine concern.

While your dog or cat may not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to shovel the driveway, cats and dogs still feel the cold, especially if they’re mostly outside dogs and cats. A doghouse will not be sufficient protection for your canine companion this time of year, and mostly outside cats need shelter, too. It’s crucial to bring them inside this time of year to protect them. Even if your dog or cat is not allowed in your main home or on the bed, you should make them up someplace warm to sleep at night, with lots of blankets, food, and water.

Yes, your outside cat may not like being cooped up in the winter, but it’s better than the alternative. Many cats die every year from exposure, or from sneaking into the undercarriages of automobiles and being injured when the engine’s cranked. And even if a dog loves a long walk in the spring or summer, excessive exposure to the snow and ice can lead to health complications.

In general, it’s fine to let your cat have a bit of backyard playtime in the snow, or to take your dog for a walk to do their business or run around a bit. But just as you’re mindful of their unique needs in the summer, when the temperature climbs and your dog or cat is at risk for heat stroke, it’s important to think about what they can handle in the wintertime, too. Bring them in sooner, and get them dried off and warmed up. And if you think your dog or cat may have stayed outside too long, contact your vet, or bring them into VRC. We’re a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital open 24/7, 365 days a year for emergencies.

The winter months make pets vulnerable to unique stressors such as cold temperatures, dry skin, and frostbite. VRC in the greater Philadelphia area can help. We’re a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital, and our emergency medicine and critical care center is always open.

Pet Fire Safety Tips for Pet Fire Safety Day

home_3It’s always a great time to talk about pet fire safety. Recent data from the National Fire Protection Association suggests that pets start around one thousand fires each year, while around half a million pets are affected every year by home fires. The good news is that there are some quick and easy ways to help keep your dog or cat safe in the event of a house fire, and to help prevent your pets from starting any fires in your home.

No one wants to even think about a fire starting in their home—but unfortunately, they can and do happen. Thankfully, a little foresight can help your pets survive the unthinkable. Start by implementing some “best practices” like keeping your cat’s carrier and your dog’s leash in the same place 100% of the time. In a crisis such as a fire, knowing where to find what you need to get them out of the house as quickly as possible can help you keep a cool head. If you can keep those items by the door, so much the better.

Of course, this assumes you’ll be home when a fire starts. In case you’re not, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your pets if a fire breaks out while you’re away, such as installing monitored smoke detectors. Pets can’t get out of your home if the smoke detector goes off, so using a smoke detector that’s connected to a monitoring center can help first responders get to your house as quickly as possible. And consider getting a Pet Alert cling to affix to a prominent window for when those first responders arrive, making sure to note how many pets are in your home so they can save all of them. Cats, for example, tend to hide when frightened, so it may not be immediately obvious to firefighters if you have one (or more than one).

As for helping to prevent your pets from starting fires, most of it is fairly common sense. A good starting place is extinguishing all open flames, whether they’re on your stove or sitting around your house in the form of candles. Pets tend to be curious about smells, and will poke their noses into cooking fires, candles, or even your fireplace. So if you have to leave a stew simmering on the stove or your fireplace burning while you answer the door, take your dog with you or secure your cat. You could also consider investing in some flameless candles. Not only do they run on environmentally friendly rechargeable batteries, but also they won’t start a fire when your cat or dog accidentally knocks one over with the flick of a tail.

Even the most cautious pet owner can still have bad luck, so if your pet has been burned make sure to take them to a veterinarian in the greater Philadelphia area. Do not wait. A bad burn can send a pet into shock, and even minor ones need care and attention.

VRC is a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital located in the greater Philadelphia area. Our emergency medicine and critical care center is open 24/7, 365 days a year. If your pet is injured at any hour of the day or night, come and see us immediately. We’re here to help.