Can This Food Harm Your Pet?

Believe it or not, there are so many dangerous foods which can affect our pets’ health and well-being and the animal care team at the Veterinary Emergency Group wants to help you keep them safe. Especially during the holiday seasons, there are many popular human foods that our pets may encounter, some of which can be dangerous for them, and it’s important for all pet owners to know the difference.

Dangerous Foods for Pets in White Plains, NY

Some popular foods that can harm or kill your pet include:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Onions
  • Poultry bones
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol found in sugar free candy
  • …and more

How to Protect Your Pet During the Holidays

During the holiday season, it’s important to talk with your house guests to make sure that no one gives your pet treats without your consent. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t eat anything without your knowledge. It is also important to keep an eye on fallen table scraps which your pet could pick up and eat without warning. We recommend keeping your pet in a separate room during holiday mealtimes and parties to avoid this concern.

Remember that if your pet does consume food that is dangerous for them, the Veterinary Emergency Team can talk you through it and help you determine if emergency care is necessary. We are open and able to provide emergency care during all the hours your family veterinarian is unavailable, and that means weekends and holidays too!

Top 3 Pet Travel Items

Traveling With Pets in White Plains, NY

So you’re planning a week-long trip with your pet to sunny Florida this summer, or perhaps you’ll be driving a few hours away for a weekend camping trip. Wherever you’re going and however you’ll get there, Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY wants your dog or cat to be prepared for the trip.

In addition to food and water, there are many items that should accompany your pet when you travel, for their safety. Far too often, there are pet accidents and injuries that occur that could have been avoided with adequate preparation. We want to prevent these incidents from happening toyour beloved companion, so we have selected what we consider the top three items you need to travel with your pet.

  1. Emergency Supplies/First Aid Kit

Pets are curious by nature and can find themselves in potentially dangerous situations when they’re in a new environment. Hiking in the woods, playing in a dog park—you name it. As a rule of thumb, always bring a pet first aid kit when you travel with your pet. In addition to basic first aid supplies (gauze, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, etc.), your kit should include our phone number (914-949-8779) for local trips and the number of the nearest emergency pet hospital to your destination for long distance trips. Remember, Veterinary Emergency Group is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, should an emergency occur.

  1. Car Safety Harness/Carrier

A car safety pet harness is especially important for long road trips or trips on bumpy roads. Most pet safety harnesses are designed with a seat belt loop so they can be secured by a locked seat belt. A safety harness can keep your pet safe and seated while preventing any distractions caused by their roaming around the car. There are many sizes and styles available to accommodate most pet breeds. For air travel, all airlines that allow pets require pet carriers. Just be sure to check with your airline first for their pet policy, including the carrier dimension requirements.

  1. Pet Supplies

This may seem like an obvious item, but you’d be surprised at how many pet owners forget to bring their pet’s leash or collar during trips. Keep in mind that many places, such as parks and beaches, require that pets be on a leash at all times. Plus, many pets can be act unpredictably in a new environment and will likely want to explore, so keeping them on a leash will help keep them from chasing squirrels and rabbits, following the scent of another pet, etc. Make sure that your pet has identification as well, whether it’s in the form of an ID tag, a microchip, or both. Having a recent photo handy is also a great idea.

Emergency and Urgent Care for Your Pet

Emergencies can happen at any time of the day, when many veterinary hospitals are closed. Even if you think an emergency will never occur with your pet, it’s important to know where the nearest emergency vet is located. Located in White Plains, NY, The Veterinary Emergency Group serves pets from a number of communities, ranging from Manhattan to the Bronx. We have been providing emergency and urgent care services for over 25 years. Whether your pet needs treatment for a fracture, wound, or any other emergency, our experienced veterinarians are here to help.

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Our hospital is open nights, weekends, and all major holidays, for your convenience to treat your pet, and no appointment is required. However, we ask that you call before your arrival, if possible. Our hours are:

Monday        6pm-8am
Tuesday       6pm-8am
Wednesday  6pm-8am
Thursday      6pm-8am
*Friday          6pm-
*Saturday     24 hours
*Sunday       24 hours

We know how stressful it can be to have a pet experience an accident, so you can be confident that our team of compassionate, skilled doctors will provide exceptional care in a timely manner. We also take the time to discuss your pet’s treatment in detail to ensure you have a full understanding of their condition.

Common Emergencies We Treat

The Veterinary Emergency Group treats virtually any pet emergency. Our facility is equipped with an in-house laboratory, digital X-ray technology, a Snyder ICU unit, and more to treat your pet. Some of the most common emergencies we treat include:

  • Trauma and other injuries
  • Puncture and other wounds
  • Poisoning
  • Acute lameness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heatstroke
  • Seizures

You can learn more about the conditions we treat by visiting our Urgent Care and Emergencies pages. If you think your pet is in need of emergency or urgent care, give us a call at (914) 949-8779 to speak with a doctor.

Top Ten Emergencies in Cats

Cats
often become reclusive and hide when they are not feeling well which makes
knowing when they need to be seen by your veterinarian a challenge. They have
unique signs and symptoms of emergency conditions that often go unrecognized by
their owners. Some injuries are obvious, such as a cat with an open wound,
while others have more subtle signs that can be equally deadly if left
untreated. Knowing what signs to look for is crucial in determining when to
seek emergency care for your cat. Below is a list of some of the most common
cat emergencies and their signs.
Urethral Obstruction
This
is a condition in which a cat, usually male, is unable to urinate due to a
blockage in the urethra (the tube leading from the urinary bladder to the
outside environment).
Cats
will show a sudden onset of restless behavior which includes frequent trips in
and out of the litter box. They will often attempt to urinate in unusual places
such as in a bath tub or on a plastic bag. You may notice a very small stream
of urine that contains blood. More often than not, despite a cat’s straining,
there may be no urine or even just a drop produced. In later stages of the
obstruction, cats may cry loudly, vomit, and become lethargic.
You
should consider these signs a serious emergency and seek veterinary care
immediately. There are reports of cats developing kidney failure and dying
within 12 hours after the onset of signs. Expect your cat to be hospitalized at
least 36 hours for treatment of this condition which may include a urinary
catheter, intravenous fluids, and pain management. Female cats are less likely
to become obstructed due to their wider urinary tract.
Toxicities (Poisoning)
The
combination of their curious nature and unique metabolism (the way their body
breaks down chemicals) makes cats very vulnerable to toxins. Owners are often
not aware that their home contains multiple products that are poisonous to
their feline companions. The most common cat toxins include antifreeze,
Tylenol, and rat or mouse poison.
The
signs your cat displays depends on what type of poison they have encountered.
Antifreeze will often cause wobbliness or a drunken appearance first, then
progresses to vomiting/weakness as the kidneys fail. Tylenol may cause an
unusual swelling of the head and changes the cats blood color from red to
chocolate brown. Rat or mouse poison interferes with blood clotting so you may
see weakness from internal blood loss or visible blood in urine or stool.
Breathing Problems
Many
times cats hide the signs of breathing problems by simply decreasing their
activity. By the time an owner notices changes in the cat’s breathing, it may
be very late in the progression of the cat’s lung disease. There are several
causes of breathing changes but the most common are feline asthma, heart or
lung disease.
Foreign Object Ingestion
As
you know cats love to play with strings or string-like objects (such as dental
floss, holiday tinsel, or ribbon), however, you may not know the serious danger
that strings can pose to your cat. When a string is ingested, one end may
become lodged or “fixed” in place, often under the cat’s tongue, while the
remaining string passes farther into the intestine. With each intestinal
contraction, the string see-saws back and forth actually cutting into the
intestine and damaging the blood supply.
Signs
that your cat has eaten a foreign object may include vomiting, lack of
appetite, diarrhea, and weakness. Occasionally owners will actually see part of
a string coming from the mouth or anal area. You should never pull on any part
of the string that is visible from your pet.
Most
times emergency surgery is necessary to remove the foreign object and any
damaged sections of intestine.
Bite Wounds
Cats
are notorious for both inflicting and suffering bite wounds during encounters
with other cats. Because the tips of their canine, or “fang”, teeth are so
small and pointed, bites are often not noticed until infection sets in several
days after the injury.
Cats
may develop a fever and become lethargic 48 to 72 hours after experiencing a
penetrating bite wound. They may be tender or painful at the site. If the wound
becomes infected or abscessed, swelling and foul-smelling drainage may develop.
You
should seek emergency care for bite wounds so that your veterinarian may
thoroughly clean the area and prescribe appropriate antibiotics for your pet.
Occasionally the wounds will develop large pockets called abscesses under the
skin that require surgical placement of a drain to help with healing.
Hit by car
Cats
that spend time outdoors are at a much greater risk for ending up in the
emergency room. Being hit by a car is one of the most common reasons for your
pet to suffer traumatic injuries such as broken bones, lung injuries and head
trauma. You should always seek emergency care if your cat has been hit by a
vehicle even if he or she appears normal as many injuries can develop or worsen
over the next few hours.
Increased Thirst and
Urination
Sudden
changes in your cat’s thirst and urine volume are important clues to underlying
disease. The two most common causes of these signs are kidney disease and
diabetes mellitus.
Your
veterinarian will need to check blood and urine samples to determine the cause
of your cat’s signs. Having your pet seen on an emergency basis for these signs
is important as the sooner your pet receives treatment, the better their
chances for recovery. Many times exposure to certain toxins, such as antifreeze
or lilies, will show similar signs and delaying veterinary care can be fatal.
Sudden inability to use
the hind legs
Cats
with some forms of heart disease are at risk for developing blood clots. Many
times these clots can lodge in a large blood vessel called the aorta where they
can prevent normal blood flow to the hind legs. If your cat experiences such a
blood clotting episode (often called a saddle thrombus or thromboembolic
episode), you will likely see a sudden loss of the use of their hind legs,
painful crying, and breathing changes.
On
arrival at the emergency room, your pet will receive pain management and oxygen
support. Tests will be done to evaluate the cat’s heart and determine if there
is any heart failure (fluid accumulation in the lungs). Sadly, such an episode
is often the first clue for an owner that their cat has severe heart disease.
In most cases, with time and support, the blood clot can resolve, but the cat’s
heart disease will require life-long treatment.
Upper Respiratory
Infections
Cats
and kittens can experience a variety of upper respiratory diseases caused by a
combination of bacteria or viruses. Upper respiratory infections, or URIs,
often cause sneezing, runny noses, runny eyes, lack of appetite, and fever. In
severe cases, they can cause ulcers in the mouth, tongue, and eyes. More often
than not, severe cases are seen in cats that have recently been in multiple-cat
environments such as shelters. Small or poor-doing kittens are also easily
infected and may develop more severe complications such as low blood sugar.
Sudden Blindness
A
sudden loss of vision is most likely to occur in an older cat. The most common
causes are increased blood pressure (hypertension) that may be due to changes
in thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) or kidney disease. There are some cats
that appear to have hypertension with no other underlying disease.
Sudden
blindness should be treated as an emergency and your veterinarian will measure
your cat’s blood pressure, check blood tests, and start medications to try to
lower the pressure and restore vision.
Anytime
you notice a change in your cat’s eyes, whether they lose vision or not, you
should consider this an emergency have your pet seen by a veterinarian as soon
as possible.

E-Cigarettes and Pets Do Not Mix

E-cigarettes are
sparking heated debates as lawmakers, medical professionals and industry
grapple over the relative safety of the nicotine-delivering devices. But for
pet owners, there is no debate. Nicotine poses a serious threat of poisoning to
dogs and cats, and e-cigarettes back a powerful punch. The problem is that many
pet owners don’t realize it. 
Pet Poison Helpline has
encountered a sharp uptick in calls concerning cases of nicotine poisoning in
pets that ingested e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine refill solution. In fact,
over the past six months, cases have more than doubled, indicating that along
with their increased popularity, the nicotine-delivering devices are becoming a
more significant threat to pets. While dogs account for the majority of cases,
nicotine in e-cigarettes and liquid refill solution is toxic to cats as well.
“We’ve handled cases for pets poisoned by eating traditional cigarettes or
tobacco products containing nicotine for many years,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM,
MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison
Helpline. “But, as the use of e-cigarettes has become more widespread, our call
volume for cases involving them has increased considerably.” In an effort to
educate pet owners before an accident occurs, Pet Poison Helpline offers this
important safety information. 
What are
e-cigarettes? 
E-cigarettes are simply
another way of delivering nicotine. Designed to resemble traditional
cigarettes, the battery operated devices atomize liquid that contains nicotine,
turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled. The most recent craze is flavored
e-cigarettes, which are available in an array of flavors from peppermint to
banana cream pie, and everything in between. 
What makes e-cigarettes
toxic to pets? 
The aroma of liquid
nicotine in e-cigarettes can be alluring to dogs, and flavored e-cigarettes
could be even more enticing. The issue is the amount of nicotine in each
cartridge, which is between 6 mg and 24 mg. So, each cartridge contains the
nicotine equivalent of one to two traditional cigarettes, but purchase packs of
five to 100 cartridges multiply that amount many times over, posing a serious
threat to pets who chew them. For example, if a single cartridge is ingested by
a 50-pound dog, clinical signs of poisoning are likely to occur. But if a dog
that weighs 10 pounds ingests the same amount, death is possible. Dogs of any
weight that ingest multiple e-cigarette cartridges are at risk for severe
poisoning and even death. In addition to the toxicity of nicotine, the actual
e-cigarette casing can result in oral injury when chewed, and can cause
gastrointestinal upset with the risk of a foreign body obstruction. Some
e-cigarette users buy vials of liquid nicotine solution for refilling
e-cigarette cartridges. The solution is commonly referred to as “e-liquid” or
“e-juice.” The small bottles hold enough liquid to fill multiple cartridges,
meaning they contain a considerable amount of nicotine. Pet owners should be
very careful to store them out of the reach of pets. 
What happens when
e-cigarettes are ingested by pets?
Nicotine poisoning in
pets has a rapid onset of symptoms – generally within 15 to 60 minutes
following ingestion. Symptoms for dogs and cats include vomiting, diarrhea,
agitation, elevations in heart rate and respiration rate, depression, tremors,
ataxia, weakness, seizures, cyanosis, coma, and cardiac arrest. 
What to do if a pet is
exposed? 
Because nicotine
poisoning can happen so rapidly following ingestion, prompt veterinary care can
mean the difference between life and death for a pet. Home care is not
generally possible with nicotine exposure due to the severity of poisoning,
even in small doses. Take action immediately by contacting a veterinarian or
Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. As always, prevention is the best
medicine. E-cigarettes, cartridges and vials of refilling solution should
always be kept out of the reach of pets and children. 
SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2014/09/e-cigarettes-pets-mix/   Published on September 2, 2014

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather



Keep pets indoors and warm 
The best prescription
for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.
The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise
but kept inside the rest of the time. 
Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 
During walks,
short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what
the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to
severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold
snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer
permanent damage. 
Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside
A dog or cat is happiest
and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much
of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is
large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough
to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the
ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered
with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. 
Help neighborhood outdoor cats 
If there are outdoor
cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people,
and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they
need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give
them a hand. 
Give your pets plenty of food and water 
Pets who spend a lot of
time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes
energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is
fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is
low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal. 
Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 
Warm engines in parked
cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid
injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before
starting your engine. 
Protect paws from salt 
The salt and other
chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet.
Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates
his/her mouth. 
Avoid antifreeze poisoning 
Antifreeze is a deadly
poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up
spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants
and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and
family. 
Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold 
If you encounter a pet
left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and
type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic
documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact
your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your
evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when.
Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been
remedied. 
 SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html 

Labor Day Safety Tips for Pets

1. Do not apply any sunscreen or
insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use
on animals.
2. Always assign a dog guardian.
No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the
family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in
yard or other secure area.
3. Made in the shade. Pets can get
dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure
they have a shady place to escape the sun.
4. Always keep matches and lighter
fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which
could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even
kidney disease in severe cases.
5. Keep your pet on his normal
diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and
diarrhea.
6. Keep citronella candles, insect
coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce
stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your
pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.
7. Never leave your dog alone in
the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places
where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family
members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
8. Make a safe splash. Don’t leave
pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers.