Posted in Beach, Children, Dogs, Safety, Cottesloe Beach, Dog Health and Safety

Cottesloe Beach – KoKo

KoKo at CottesloeA Summer’s Tale

by

KoKo ShakesPaw

 

I felt the sharpness 

Of scorched grass blades

And scratchy weeds,

Where there was no shade.

 

I baked in an oven

Or an east wind blast,

Craving to find some

Cool water at last.


Bright burning glare,

Sweaty poor sleep,

Dry, dusty mouth,

Poor burnt feet!

 

Mum, Cottesloe Beach,

Can’t we go there please?

With our bathers and towels

To enjoy the cool breeze?

Posted in Beach, Dog, Dog Health and Safety, Dogs

Tips for overcoming water fear

Mum tried to get me to like water when I was just a puppy, but she wasn’t successful. If the weather is hot I’m a happy race down the sand slope and lower myself into the cool water but I will forever be an “armpit Swimmer” that’s as far as I’ll go! woofs from KoKo.

Tips for overcoming water fear

Greencross Vets’ Behaviour Services Manager Serena Dean gives us her top tips on helping pets overcome their fear of water.

1. Experiences

A bad experience may have prompted your pet’s fear of water. One bad experience, like not being able to find the steps to get out of the pool might make your pet fearful to try again.  Knowing what caused your pet’s fear of water can help with the training process.

2. Slow and steady

Introduce or reintroduce your pet to water in a slow and positive manner, whether this is a bath, pool or the beach. Start off at a distance from the water rewarding them for calm behaviour and slowly move forward towards the water.  Provide them with a small amount of water to stand in, just enough to cover their paws, like a kiddie pool or bath.  If you are near a body of water teach them how to get in and out.  Always start and end on a positive note, treats and games help with this.

3. Make it fun

Water games can be fun for the entire family.  Play games that involve water like fetch at the beach, running with them in the shallows or placing toys in a shallow kiddie’s pool.  Always supervise your pet around water.

4.  Don’t Force

Not all pets like going in the water.  Never force your pet to do something they are uncomfortable with and don’t throw them into a body of water.  If your pet decides they want to move away from the water, let them.

5. Teach them to swim

Contrary to popular belief not all dogs know how to swim, we need to teach them.  Start swim training in bodies of water with a gentle slope where your dog can touch the ground and slowly go out further.  Keep training sessions short by going out a little further at each session and always end with a reward.  Once they are comfortable submerging their body they may start to paddle.  Some dogs may need a little help. Floatation vests are available so your dog can feel supported.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s behaviour, speak with your Greencross Vets.
KoKo Beach
KoKo Beach
Posted in Dog, Dog Health and Safety, Doggies, KoKo, Parks, Subiaco

Snakes, bees, grass seed dangers

I can’t believe it is October already!  Where have the last few months gone? We had such a long chilly winter but now the sun gets up earlier and its warm rays warm my furry body when I lay on the front veranda.

Koko Snakecatch

This is a photo of my snake tale from a few years ago. I became a hero that day as I killed the snake and saved the kids. You may be surprised at my bravery but I will let you know that it was actually one of my shaggy dog stories – I made it up!

This month I, KoKo, with a lot of information from Wembley Vet News, will let you know about Spring-time dangers.  We doggies are at risk in the garden and the park.

The most dangerous problems for dogs are:

1.    Grass-seeds
2.    Snake-bites
3.    Bees and Wasps

Grass Seeds

Those long wild grasses that you often see in the bush, parks or the sides of the road are famous for the sharp, sticky, dart-like seeds. The seed or its outer coating, are a common danger to Pets.  Either part of the seed may stick to our hair, lodge up our nose, down our ear canals or even up more unpleasant places!

What are the signs a grass seed is in your dog?

Pets may react differently depending on the number, location, and shape of the seed.

Ear: A seed in the ear canal will irritate and cause me to shake my head, scratch at my ear or hold my head at an angle.
Eye: You may suddenly find that I am holding my eye closed because a seed between the eye and the eyelid may make it painful, red and inflamed. An ulcer of the cornea could result and possibly lead to vision loss.
Nose: A seed in the nose may cause me to sneeze, paw at my nose, and will often cause some nasal discharge or even bleeding from the nose (epistaxis).
Skin: I might chew at an area where the seed has become attached and the following may occur:

  1.  The seed becomes attached to the gums, tongue, or mouth.
  2.  We can swallow the seed and it will stick to the back of our throat near the tonsils
  3. We may cough, retch, or gag, and have difficulty eating and swallowing.
  4. The seeds burrow deeper into the skin forming a swelling or abscess.

Lungs and other organs: Seeds can be accidentally inhaled or migrate from the skin into the chest and enter the lung where they can cause very serious life-threatening abscesses.

Prevention is your best option, so if I have been around a grass-seed area, please check my coat, any folds of the skin, around my ears, under their tails and around my groin or armpits. Don’t hesitate to take me to the vet for a check.

Snake-Bites

If you would like to share my “Snake Tail story” for a laugh please see my old Post. Perth has 2 groups of Venomous Snakes, the Brown snakes and Tiger Snakes.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Perth has 2 Venomous Snakes, the Brown snake and Tiger Snake.  We also have many Non-Venomous ones like Pythons and Whip Snakes.

Brown snakes like the Dugite are common in bush settings around Perth. They are grey, green, or brown. Large black scales are  scattered over the body with a semi-glossy appearance. The most distinguishing characteristic is the head which is small and indistinct from the neck. A dugite can grow up to an average size of 1.5 metres. They are more likely to hide when they think they are seen or are often confused for a stick while they lie silently hoping you will ignore them.

Tiger snakes, on the other hand, tend to inhabit areas closer to waterways like lakes, swamps, the ocean and rivers. Their patterning consists of darker bands, in olive, yellow, orange-brown, or jet-black, and the underside of the snake is light yellow or orange. The tiger snake venom is highly toxic. They are tolerant of lower temperatures, so they are often seen out earlier than the Dugite. When threatened they will act aggressively, flattening their body and raising their heads in a classic pre- strike stance. Look out!

What to look out for during our walkies?

If I am bitten by a snake, the most common symptom is weak muscles. I may have difficulty standing or walking on all 4 legs, my pupils may become paralysed and be dilated, and eventually my respiratory muscles may become so weak that I can’t breathe.

What should you do?

If you suspect that your Pet gets a snake bite, keep your pet calm. Wash the wound and then apply a pressure dressing if you know where the bite occurred. Next, ring the Hospital or the nearest emergency centre to let them know you are coming.  Carry them to the car and get them to the Vet as soon as possible. Early in the season, bites are extremely toxic, so every minute counts.

Can they be treated?

Treatment is based on the severity of the clinical signs with a form of anti-venom to counteract the effects of the venom. Unfortunately,anti-venom is expensive and some dogs may need multiple doses, based on their weight.  Bitten dogs also require other supportive measures, like intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, or even drugs for shock.

Can bites be prevented?

You can reduce the risk of a snake bite by staying clear of common snake areas like around swamps, overgrown bush or long grass.  If you are out on a walk, keep your Dog on the lead so that you can keep a careful eye on where they are going. At home, you can remove long grass, wood-stacks or sheets of tin, etc on the ground where they might like to hide.

Bees and Wasps

Bee stings or wasp stings can be some of the most common things we treat during spring. As soon as the sun is shining, the bees get out and about doing their thing.  And, dogs and cats just seem mesmerised by their bumbling behaviour and buzzing noise!

For a lot of patients, they might not make it obvious they have even been bitten because they aren’t very sensitive. Perhaps they might have a little limp or rub or lick at the spot where the bite is.  For some, they might have a really obvious local reaction, with redness, swelling and even a limp on a bitten foot or a large swelling if bitten around the face. Finally, some can go into a form of Anaphylactic shock and this is serious, they might vomit, collapse or have a weak pulse.

What can you do at home?

If the sting is minor, then sometimes simply applying an ice block wrapped in a towel may denature the toxin, reduce any inflammation or swelling and the symptoms may go away in 10-20 minutes.

When should I go to the Vet?

Any time the symptoms escalate, with vomiting, signs of weakness or distress, then your Pet probably needs to see a Vet.  They may give them some anti-inflammatory or some anti-histamine to quickly reduce symptoms.

Can Stings be prevented?

Often dogs that get bitten a few times seem to hunt down bees or wasps and often seem to get bitten on purpose!  Wearing boots when out at the park filled with pollen and flowers might help. For dogs that get severe reactions, no true prevention exists, but if the signs are life-threatening, then desensitisation is available at the Specialist Centre.

Woofs, Thanks to Wembley Vet, take care, KoKo

 

Posted in Dog, Dog Health and Safety, KoKo, Subiaco, Vet

Oh No! Off to the vet again

It’s not really too bad going to see Greg the vet now that I am older.

Today I even tried to jump the queue and rushed into the consulting room when I spied him as he opened the consulting room door. He said “KoKo please sit down, it is not your turn yet.So I turned a little red and slunk back to the floor to wait.

No dog likes the private treatment Greg has to give me for my itchy bottom BBut I felt much more comfortable afterwards.

Thank you, Greg.

While we were waiting at the Vets we met this wise looking fellow called Ralph.

Woofs from KoKo

Ralph at the Subiaco Vet
Ralph at the Subiaco Vet

Posted in Dog, Dog Health and Safety, Food Tips, Vet

Poisonous plants for dogs to avoid

Thank you to Wembley Vet Clinic for this handy information.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
KoKo waiting his Puppicino at Floyds Cafe

.

  1. Azaleas and rhododendrons contain toxins that may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, coma, and potentially even death.
  2. Tulip and daffodil bulbs cause serious stomach problems, convulsions, and increased heart rate.
  3. Cycads are highly toxic. A single seed may result in vomiting, seizures and liver failure – usually irreversible.
  4. Cape lilac berries are toxic to dogs (and people).  GI upsets like nausea, drooling, appetite loss, vomiting, belly pain, and diarrhoea. Also lethargy and weakness and a “drunken” or wobbly gait. With severe intoxications, changes to their breathing, heartbeat, tremors, collapse and seizures.
  5. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, is a popular hedging plant in WA with purple flowers that fade too white.  If eaten it can cause muscle spasms, convulsions similar to strychnine poisoning and could potentially cause death within just a few hours.   when pruning every leaf and stem should be discarded.
  6. Wandering Jew is a common weed and ground cover in WA gardens. It can cause significant skin irritation and a nasty rash.

    So… don’t nibble your Mum or Dad’s plants or you may become very sick.

Dog food is much more tasty and healthy too. KoKo Potter

Posted in CPR for Dogs, Dog, Dog Health and Safety, KoKo

A helpful message from KoKo’s kennel

Do you know what to do if your dog stops breathing? Here are some helpful instructions from VetWest Animal Hospitals.

Follow the same DRSABC principles for humans.

  • D – Danger – ensure it is safe to approach your pet.
  • Use a blanket or towel or a makeshift
  • muzzle if required.
  • R – Response – look for signs of breathing
  • and movement.
  • S – Send for help – ask another person to call a
  • vet while you act.
  • A – Airway if your pet is unconscious
  • check the airway, pull the tongue out
  • and look for obstructions.
  • B – Breathing – watch the chest to see if it
  • is rising and falling. Give two breaths
  • if your pet is not breathing.
  • C – Compressions – if no signs of life
  • after two breaths, commence CPR.

How to perform CPR on your dog

1. Our hearts are on the left so lay your pet on
their right side with their head and neck gently arched.

2. Place your left hand fully under his heart
and chest

3. Place your right hand on top of your pet’s
chest where the heart is situated.

4. Press  firmly to squeeze the chest wall
and heart with the heel of your right hand,
to stimulate cardiac activity.
For small dogs and cats use your fingers and thumb.

5. Compress at a rate of 2 compressions per second.
For small dogs compress the chest wall only
enough to compress the chest wall 1/3 to 1/2 .
If breathing for your pet as well, administer 1 breath
every 6 seconds.
Recheck signs of life (consciousness,
response, movement, breathing) regularly.

6. Transport to vet immediately. If you have
a driver, continue CPR while in transit.
  • Puppies may have a pulse of 250 beats per minute.
  • A small dog’s heart beats 100-160 times per minute.
  • A medium/ large dog’s heart beats 60-100 should be taken to a vet.

  • Woofs from KoKo
Posted in Black Dog, Dog, Dog Health and Safety, Doggies, KoKo, Subiaco, Vet

Winter Warnings and Advice on Aging

Old age creaks
Old age creaks

Aging How does ageing affect older pets?  As a cat or dog ages, two common changes can occur. The first are age-related changes such as hearing loss, changes in vision or reduced activity.  These are normal and cannot be prevented.

The second kind is related to what we would class as disease. Commonly this would include heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis or dental disease. Often, these types of diseases can start to develop slowly, so we often make excuses or allowances for our pets getting old and miss the warning signs. The signs to look out for can include things like weight gain or loss, changes in water intake or urine output, smelly breath or difficulty chewing, increase or decrease in appetite and changes in activity

levels or sleeping more than normal.

from Wembley Veterinary Hospital

Comments from KoKo

“I’ve already told my Mum that i don’t want a CAT scan when I get older. I am scared of cats and don’t see why I should have a cat charge Mum a lot of money for just walking around me in a circle.”

“I’m not having any LAB tests either. I hear that Labrador are not all that clever so I doubt it would be worthwhile paying for their opinion. (sorry to offend any Labs!)” KoKo

Snail Pellet Poisoning

The first rains of spring often bring out that first flush of snails into the garden. Snail pellets are highly toxic and can kill Dogs and Cats by causing muscle excitement, salivation and seizures. Take care of you dog when he/she is out walking as well as in your own yard.