Posts Tagged ‘pet safety’

Those of you in my classes have heard me caution about the sugar substitute xylitol and its toxicity to dogs. Here’s a link to a truly eye-opening article about its appearance in products not labeled sugarfree. Places I had not even thought to look. Take a moment to read this and talk to your vet about it.


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In the Northwoods of WI, wolves are becoming more common as their population increases. Just as in other parts of the country, wolves invoke lots of emotion. Conflicts with wolves are increasing.

Here are some tips from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website to help us live with wolves and reduce conflicts:

Wolves are shy and generally avoid humans. Most people will never see a wolf, let alone have a conflict with one. Wolves can, however, lose their fear of humans through habituation and may approach camping areas, homes or humans. When this happens, there is an increased possibility for conflict between wolves and humans.

While seeing a wolf is a memorable experience, like any other wild animal, you should use caution when they are close.

Below are guidelines that you can follow to decrease the chance of wolf habituation and conflict while living and visiting wolf country.


Living in wolf country Camping in wolf country


Watching wolves in wolf country
Do not feed wolves.  Cook, wash dishes and store food away from sleeping areas.  Keep the following in mind when viewing wolves close:
Feed all pets indoors; leave no food outdoors. Pack out or dispose of garbage and left over food properly. Do not feed wolves 
Dispose of all food and garbage in cans with secure lids. Suspend food, toiletries and garbage out of reach of any wildlife.   Do not entice wolves to come closer 
Do not feed wildlife: attracting any prey animal may attract wolves. Keep pets near you at all times.


Do not approach wolves 
Hang suet feeders at least 7 feet above the surface of the ground or snow.   Leave room for a wolf to escape. 
Don’t leave pets unattended outside: dogs and cats are easy targets for wolves    Do not allow a wolf to approach any closer than 300 feet 
If pets must be unattended in the yard, keep them in a kennel with a secure top


Aggressive or fearless wolves in wolf country:

If a wolf acts aggressively (growls or snarls) or fearlessly (approaches humans at a close distance without fear) take the following actions:

Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself look larger.  

Back away slowly; do not turn your back on the wolf.  

Make noise and throw objects at the wolf.  








Reality of Wolf Attacks in North America

It is important to keep wolf attacks in perspective. There has been only one case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a person in North America in the last 100 years. Most wolves are not dangerous to humans and there is a greater chance of being killed by lightning, bee sting or car collision with a deer than being injured by a wolf. The injuries that have occurred were caused by a few wolves that became fearless of humans due to habituation. Nonetheless, like bears and cougars, wolves are instinctive predators that should be kept wild and respected.

Information from International Wolf Center, Ely, MN    http://www.wolf.org/wolves/index.asp

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Want premier Pet First info at your fingertips? Here’s the app for you.  Use SL1222 for referral code to get this must have data on your phone now. Droid version to be released the end of Nov!

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Be on the lookout for hidden dangers for dogs in the Easter baskets in your house. Some very common items causing problems for dogs:

Easter Grass: eaten it can cause intestinal problems or worse yet injury requiring surgery

Chocolate: Four ounces of milk chocolate can kill a small dog. Dark chocolate is even more potent.

Sugar free gum or candy: Xylitol, a common ingredient in sugar free items, is poisonous to dogs

Raisins: can cause kidney failure in dogs

Small toys dogs would be able to swallow can be a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages requiring surgery.

Stuffed animals for kids: Some are now being treated with flame retardants and miticide. If a dog ingests the stuffing, it turns to gel and is fatal to the dog.

Keep an eye on your dogs and the kids Easter baskets. Even better, make up a special basket of treats just for your dog.

Be careful, use common sense and have a Happy Easter!

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Wednesday was a hectic day. I was trying to stay on my grooming schedule to be able to make my training schedule. The cushion between the two was pretty slim. Then on my way out of the vet clinic, I got a call about an injured baby bird. It was not too far out of my way, so I stopped to pick it up on the way to the training center.  I made arrangements for a volunteer driver to take it to the wildlife center.  When I got to the training center, there was a nice looking Pit Bull running down the road towards my truck and the highway beyond. I pulled into the driveway as I rolled down the window and called to it. It was wearing a collar. By the time I got out of the truck, it had bolted down toward the highway. I called to it. It watched me, but never came closer.

I finished parking the truck, unloaded dogs, changed my clothes to get ready for the arrival of my training client. A woman appeared in the parking lot. I was excited, thinking she was looking for her lost dog. It was the driver for my injured bird. I got the bird on its way and then headed out to look for the dog again.

As I was leaving the building, the dog was coming up the driveway. I called “Hey, Sweetie” and it came running to me like a long lost friend. I leashed her up, and walked her into a crate. She was lumpy, bumpy, swollen in lots of places most likely reactions to fly bites. She was hot and thirsty.  Her left ear was very swollen and I thought injured, but after a time the swelling went away giving credence to my fly bite reaction theory. The tips of her ears were bloody raw and when she shook her head, they’d bleed where ever they touched…the top of her head, her chin. It made her look pitiful on the surface, but other than that, she appeared to be in good shape and well taken care of. Her collar was intact, but had no tags or identification.

I had enough time to call the “neighbors” up and down the road the training center is on and the animal shelter before my client arrived. No reports of missing dogs matching her description.

I had to throw a blanket over her crate during the lesson to keep her quiet at first, but she settled right down.

After the lesson, I got a chance to interact with her. She’s a Sweetheart! She’s in good shape, a few months either side of a year, obviously crate trained and well-socialized with people. I had to take my dogs home and make arrangements for her for the night. A kennel at the vet clinic seemed the best choice for one night until I could get her to the shelter the next day.

I was the first to arrive at the clinic in the morning. She was quiet, hadn’t messed in her kennel or chewed her blankets. She was happy to see me, of course.

I scanned her for a micro-chip. No tattoos. No identification at all. No evidence of a spay scar but definitely an ear infection.

The morning was a flurry of phone calls. I called all the animal hospitals in the area, the shelter, businesses in the area of where she was found, etc.  I missed getting on the radio station’s lost pet report on Wed evening so they also got a call Thursday morning also.

Not a single report of a missing dog matching her description anywhere, however, several people mentioned they’d gotten quite a few reports of found dogs with a commentary of how the economy is affecting pet owners.

The more I talked to people, and the more I interacted with her, the more it was clear she wasn’t going to shelter. She was coming home with me until we could find her family or a new family worthy of her.

She is apparently well-socialized. She loves people. She LOVES playing with all 5 of our dogs. She’s as good with the cat as most of the fosters coming in here. She knows to sit for treats.

WHY IS NO ONE LOOKING FOR HER? How can it be over 72 hours with no one putting up signs or contacting every animal based business in the county?

This is what bothers me the most about this situation. Not that she was loose in the first place. Stuff can happen to anyone. She is a great dog.

Did someone go on vacation and she got away from the dog caretaker? I understand this happens fairly often. Then the dog caretaker doesn’t even look for the dog. Hmph. Some caretaker.

Did someone lose a job and is no longer able to take care of her? Then take her to the shelter, don’t just “turn her loose”.

Did she jump out of some tourist’s vehicle?

Somewhere, some place, I hope, someone is looking for her. She deserves that. Humanity in general deserves that.

Opening the weekend paper, however, one sees a story about a dog attack. The dog attacked a neighbor’s dog. A person was injured trying to split the dogs up (which is another blog entry for later). The story isn’t about the attack. It’s about who is responsible financially. The offending dog’s owners are renters with no insurance. The victim’s are rightfully trying to get their costs reimbursed. They then contacted the landlord’s insurance company. They were told because our city has no ordinance stating the landlord would be liable for tenants dogs, they aren’t paying.

Now the city is researching what to do. The dog was quarantined and eventually surrendered to the city’s animal shelter. The city is trying to determine the dog’s future. The city is also trying to decide if a change to ordinances is in order.

And, yes, the dog in the story is a pit bull.

Hopefully, reason and cool heads will prevail. Looking around the nation, however, we know that is not always, or even most often, the case.

I also hope this event didn’t precipitate the “dumping” of this dog, just in case this situation could’ve happened to her owners.


Stray pittie shakes off the worries of being a stray

Stray pittie shakes off the worries of being a stray

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For a couple of years now, I’ve heard of the dangers of dogs and paper shredders. Owners forget to turn them off or they’re not paying attention as the dog wanders in to see what they’re up to. Viola! Dog’s tongue ends up in the paper shredder!

I’m sure there are many owners who don’t even think of this hidden danger. For safety’s sake, turn your paper shredder off when not in use. Better yet, unplug it so there’s no doubt. While you’re actively shredding things, place your dog on a DOWN away from activity and out of the way. It’s a good opportunity for training practice! Or keep him out of the room altogether.

These photos were submitted to Veterinary Technician, a vet tech journal. If you need help remembering to turn off or unplug your shredder, tape a photo to it and it should be a graphic reminder. This dog was a 7 year old lab, virtually unfazed by the whole incident. I don’t think you can say the same thing about the owners.

shredded tongue

shredded tongue









sutured tongue

sutured tongue

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