Already spring, winter is finally at an end. It’s time for spring cleaning. Take advantage of this time to identify potentially dangerous products for your animals in and around your home. Are your potentially toxic products kept locked well away from your dogs and cats? Do you have an emergency kit on hand? If not make one up in the case of an emergency.

A good emergency kit made for human is a good start. Everyone should have one on hand anyway. Add some soft-wrap elastic bandages, and gauze compresses (or sanitary napkins) in the case of heavy bleeding to make a compression. A rectal thermometer is also an essential addition. A digital thermometer is much quicker, especially when dealing with an animal who will not sit still. A wet or a dry nose is not an indication of a fever. If your animal is not feeling well and you call to consult with your veterinarian or technician, being able to provide them with an accurate temperature will greatly help them to help your animal.

In our homes cleaning products should always be kept in a closed cupboard. Human medications from the pharmacy , are often NOT meant to be used as treatments for our animals. An example is Tylenol (acetaminophen), it could be life-threatening  for your cat.

Do you know if your plants are toxic for your pets? You can refer to the ASPCAs website for a complete list of plants at:  www.aspca.org. Animals love the taste of anti-freeze and windshield washing fluid, these products are extremely toxic. At Easter be very careful with chocolate, especially dark chocolate, that also is extremely toxic.

And let us not forget about the animals coming out of hibernation in spring:

  • Porcupines, which our dogs seem to love so much. A trick to help unwanted surprises, is to attach a small bell to the collar of your dog. This way the porcupine hears your dog and has time to escape up a tree. If unfortunately your dog does get too curious and ends up with a nose full of quills, call your vet clinic as soon as possible. Do NOT cut the end of the quills, once cut the quills migrate more easily into the skin. With the aid if a sedative and a mild anesthetic the quills can be easily and quickly removed without causing more pain.
  • Raccoons can also be a hazard to you and your pets. They are known carriers of rabies and leptospirosis. Make sure your animals are up to date with their vaccines.
  • In late spring mosquitoes love to bite our animals and can at the same time, possibly infect our pets with heartworm.  There are many products available, ask  your veterinarian on the best ways to protect your animals.

I wish you a beautiful and sunny spring.
Martine Faucher Animal Health Technician.