What to do if I eat chocolate?

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which in larger amounts is especially dangerous because pets can’t break it down and eliminate it the same way humans can. It can build up to toxic concentrations and cause multi-organ disease and failure if not treated properly.

What symptoms will you see if your doggie mate eats chocolate this Easter?

Symptoms will occur from four to 24 hours after your pet has eaten chocolate and will vary depending on the amount of chocolate (theobromine) your dog has eaten. Dr Lui says, ” theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system, and kidneys. Theobromine is a toxin that links to hyperactivity. Death can occur.”

Symptoms of eating chocolate are:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle tension, incoordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Blood in vomit
  • Tremors,
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea.

KoKo’s personal tale about chocolate

If I eat chocolate, then you need to take me to the vet. The doctor will force charcoal down my throat and make me throw up (just like they did when I ate a blowfish!). They may also give intravenous fluids (a drip), medication to control heart rate, blood pressure and seizure activity.
“I WILL NOT EAT CHOCOLATE” I keep repeating this phrase if I find my Mum Helen’s stash. I do not want to sit on newspaper and be made to throw up. Sadly I know from experience that if I find a special treat I will forget all the vet’s warnings. So I keep reminding myself “I WILL NOT EAT CHOCOLATE.”
Luckily, with prompt intervention and treatment, even in dogs that have eaten large amounts of chocolate, the prognosis for a poisoned dog is usually good. If you thick that your pet has eaten chocolate, contact your nearest Vet urgently for treatment.
Edited from Greencross Vets <foryour@pethealth.greencrossvets.com.au>

Fleas – dogs pest beasties

I hate fleas. They make me scratch and I can’t concentrate on playing.

Here is a message from Wembley Vet Hospital. Woofs from KoKo

“This summer we’ve seen an increase in enquiries from clients about fleas and flea control. Perth has a perfect climate for fleas and the recent warmth and rain is bound to make things worse and not better. So this month we thought we would feature a reminder about fleas and their clever biology.

The most important concept when it comes to controlling fleas is to understand that we are not just trying to tackle the adult Flea!

The flea life cycle includes the adult flea, egg, larva, and pupa. Adult fleas do bite but cannot survive long if they are not on the dog or cat. Once the adult flea lays its eggs on the host it will fall off, leaving the eggs to go through the rest of their life cycles.

That lifecycle involves the egg hatching and moving through 3 different larval stages. The larvae look like tiny little worms that are about 1-3 mm long. These guys can crawl down under bedding, or deep into carpets, or off into cracks in the flooring or garden. This stage lasts up to 10 days.

From there, they spin themselves a web-like cocoon and can sit dormant for up to 6 months.  This pupae stage is resistant to environmental damage. They can hang around, waiting for the vibrations from pet or human movement before hatching out. This is why, if you have ever gone on holiday, when you come home, you suddenly seem to get a lot of fleas.

To adequately control fleas in your environment, you often need to tackle all stages of the life-cycle. This generally involves treating ALL the pets in the household. Did you know that about 90% of fleas found on dogs, are actually the cat variety of flea!!!

You will need to use a product that kills them WITHIN HOURS so that the flea doesn’t get a chance to feed or lay eggs.  You will need to treat ALL members of the pet household.  You may need to look at treating the environment, or else, waiting for the pets to collect up all the fleas that hatch out of the pupae stage and kill them with whatever product you choose to use.

Why control fleas you say? Flea bite hypersensitivity and flea allergic dermatitis is the most common skin disease in pets. And although the allergies usually develop when dogs and cats are young, flea allergies can begin at any age. It is the saliva from the flea that is actually believed to be the cause of the allergy or sensitivity.”

If you need advice on a safe and effective flea control product for your household, then contact

Wembley Veterinary Hospital

Vet24HrDogs New Year’s Eve

My Mum Helen took photos of animals waiting for the Vet on New Year’s Eve. They should have been out partying but they were ill and needed attention.

It’s summer – please keep us doggies cool

Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool (courtesy of Wembley Vet Clinic)

  • Fresh water and shade are the most important things to provide relief from the heat.
  • Have 2 or more water bowls around the house in case one is knocked over.
  • Try filling small plastic paddling pools with fresh water.  Some dogs love to have a dip in the heat of the day and cool off.
  • Fill soft drink bottles with water and freeze them overnight then put it in the dog kennel.
  • Dogs will love to lay on them or lick them to keep cool
  • Hair cuts can also help to keep you long haired pets cool.  shaved to get rid of their thick coats
  • Dogs and cats cant sweat through the skin – only the pads on the feet and dogs pant to cool down
  • Fill up an ice cream container with water and add a little Vegemite to flavour it.  Pop in 1-2 dog treats.  Freeze overnight and then give it to your dog in the middle of the day – they love to lick the ice and will help keep them occupied.
Koko cool drink at the beach

Koko cool drink at the beach

An embarassing problem for dogs

Fleas

Oh No! My mate Digby has fleas! He gave the secret away when Mum and I saw him scratching. His back was itching, his tail was itching and his chubby tummy showed some scratch marks.

My Mum got straight on to it and dosed him with a “spot on” lotion, a bath, then some “kill the fleas” powder. She washed all his blanket and new green crocodile toy. Later she combed him with a tiny comb to check she had eliminated them all.

After a few days, he was OK again and he stopped itching.

Thank goodness I had been a good doggie and eaten my anti-flea tablets. I did not have any problems!

That is a real KoKo tale. Woofs from KoKo

Here is some info on fleas from Vet West

Solving a flea problem

Fleas are tiny dark brown parasitic insects that infest the coat and skin of pets. They have an amazing skill allowing them to jump up to 150 times their own length. Their remarkable jumping skills allow them to transit easily between hosts and the surrounding environment.

How do you tell if your pet has fleas?

One of the first signs of a flea infestation is that your pet will be scratching and seem quite irritated. On closer examination you could find adult fleas in the coat or at the base of the fur on the skin. You may even find flea dirt that looks like small black specks of grit, similar to finely ground pepper. This is actually digested dried blood.

How do pets get fleas?

Flea eggs can remain dormant for astonishingly long periods of time under a variety of conditions. They lay dormant in the garden, or in your carpet and furniture until they are able to hitch a ride. They jump great distances to find a host and travel on pets and even on people.

Why is it important to treat and prevent fleas?

Fleas are the number one cause of skin disease in pets and can cause problems ranging from simple itchiness to weeping sores, scaly skin and a strong smell. Some dogs are even allergic to flea bites (Flea Allergy Dermatitis), where one bite sets off a horrible reaction. Fleas also have the ability to transmit tapeworms in dogs and cats. Fleas also bite humans!

Why do you need to treat for fleas all year round?

Fleas are much easier to prevent than eliminate, so for the most effective method of flea control start before you see fleas. Fleas are not just a summer problem, heating used in winter provides a wonderful environment for flea development too.

Why do fleas spread so quickly?

Fleas breed at an enormous rate. The fleas you see on your dog represent only 5-10% of the fleas in the environment. The rest of the population is represented in the egg and larval stages found in your carpets, furniture, bedding and garden.

The lifecycle of a flea

5% of fleas live in the environment as an adult, 95 % of fleas live as eggs, larvae or pupae. For effective flea control, it is essential to break the life cycle in the environment.

  • Adult Fleas – jump onto your dog or cat, feed on its blood and then start laying eggs.
  • Eggs – one female lays up to 50 eggs per day, they drop off in carpets and bedding before hatching.
  • Larvae – the hatched eggs release larvae which move away from light, deeper into carpets and under furniture before developing into pupae. The larvae feed on organic debris and at this stage can consume tapeworm eggs, allowing them to become an intermediate host for the development of tapeworms.

This life cycle can take as little as 2-3 weeks but can last up to 6 months. To rid your household from fleas, you must break this cycle.

A well-designed program is necessary to maintain a flea-free environment, and prevention is definitely better than cure. There are many different flea products available today and the options can be confusing. Not all products are registered for use in young puppies and kittens and may be quite dangerous.

How do you protect your pet from fleas?

Smelly and potentially toxic chemicals are a thing of the past, now we can enjoy more recent innovations.

When undertaking flea control you have to consider the various stages of the lifecycle. In severe infestations, it is sometimes necessary to treat both the pet and the environment. However, due to the effectiveness of modern flea insecticides, treatment of your pet is often all that is needed. Here are some options:-

Products to rid fleas on your pet

  • Spot on treatments – very effective, once a month treatments. Some products include worming or heartworm treatment as well as flea treatment.
  • Flea shampoo – kills fleas on your pet at the time of the bath, but once rinsed off have no lasting effect on fleas.
  • Collars & Powders – are helpful, but not the most effective treatment

Control the environment

  • Vacuum the carpet 2-3 times a week to remove eggs and stimulate dormant fleaswash
  • Wash pet blankets weekly (in the washing machine) leave in the sun to dry, spray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer (professional treatment recommended), fog the house to prevent larvae developing.
  • Leave in the sun to dryspray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer (professional treatment recommended), fog the house to prevent larvae developing.
  • Spray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer

Stay flealess ! KoKo