Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Warning!

Last Halloween, my first, was memorable not only because I wore my costume to the care center and gave out truffles and sugar free See's candy to my patients and therapists, but also because of what I did later that night!  You see, there were 6 truffles and 8 pieces of sugar free chocolate remaining in my mom's zipped purse which was left on the dining room chair.  Being the smart dog that I am, I knew excatly what was in there and I WANTED  that chocolate - all of it - even the sugar free, which we found out later is even more dangerous for dogs than regular chocolate.

So, I waited until my pet parents were asleep; I got out of bed and went to work!  I dragged the purse from the chair into the hallway by the front door.  I figured no one could hear me there if I made noise.  I worked very hard at unzipping the purse, unwrapping the chocolate and eating every last piece!  Then, I carefully and silently, returned to bed. I sleep with my pet parents! 

Little did I know that I would be very sick in a few hours, and you just can't be sick quietly!  So, I was caught.  I wasn't scolded, but I could tell there was disappointment in my mom's face and fear as she quickly called the emergency vet  in Scottsdale.  Then there was a call to the poison control, and I was rushed to the emergency clinic where they gave me an IV (ouch!) and different treatments monitoring my vitals, as they called it, every 30 minutes for next 24 hours all because I ate chocolate!  It was yummy going down but not so yummy coming up and out.  Plus, I was cold, my temperature dropped and I was scared!!!!

So, my advice for today - pet parents - do not leave any candy, especially chocolate, within a sniff of your pet.  We do not know it is harmful to us.  And guess what, even if we do eat it, get sick and have to go to the vet, we will do it again.  I know because I had two such trips ( Halloween and Valentine's Day)

PS - My mom said to tell all of you that it was very expensive, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Getting my teeth brushed!

A few days ago I told you that I would write about the importance of taking care of your pet's teeth.  Well, you brush and floss daily, right?  Okay, okay, maybe you don't always floss....but you do brush!!!  It is important that your pet's teeth get brushed as well because we get tartar and plaque just like humans. So, start just by putting your finger in your pet's mouth to get used to a sort of  "gums massage",  then gradually introduce a type of brushing device; they come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. I have graduated to a oral care finger brush (It looks like a rubber finger tip bankers use to count money.). Do I like it , well no, but I bet you don't like brushing or flossing either! I am going to ask my favorite dentist, Dr. Chris Visser  if I should now start using an actual brush!  What do you think, Dr. Chris?

Here is something else that helps in pet dental care; pet parents should purchase products to keep your pearly whites as pearly as they can be, like Greenies (one of my favorite treats).  They even come in various sizes and for different age groups, too - from puppy to senior. I have the Tiny Lite version, so I can keep my weight just perfect!!!

It is a good idea to check for the seal of approval of The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) to see if your food and treats benefit oral pet care, too. When they endorse a product, they award it their seal of approval. Go to their site and you will see a picture of what can happen if you don't take care of your teeth.  I was going to  put the picture here, but severe periodontal disease is too awful!

I learned all of this from Dr. Visser and his staff at Arizona Veterinary Specialists in Scottsdale.  You should check out his website, and if you go there, tell them that Zoe says, "Hi"....oh and you can see ME on their website, too.

Today's advice is already in my blog, but there will be more dental advice in the future. Here is the seal that you should be looking for: