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!

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.

Reasons To Act More Like Your Pet

Pets aren’t always easy to take care of, and they often require a
substantial time commitment (something you’re all too aware of at, say, 3 a.m.,
when Bing Clawsby is finally ready to go outside and do his business). But pets
provide an amazing return on that time investment, especially when it comes to
your health. Case in point: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and
triglyceride levels than non-pet owners. But that’s not all. Pets also model
many surprisingly healthy behaviors that humans would do well to emulate. Here
are just a few, according to veterinarians, dog trainers, and other pet
experts. 
1. They focus on what matters most. You may get grumpy after a bad
day at the office, but your pooch never does. “Companion animals mostly care
about food, love, and shelter (not always in that order). As long as they have
those things, they don’t need much else,” Mary Gardner, DVM, a veterinarian and
cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice tells Yahoo Health. “Pets also
don’t complain much at all. People believe they hide their pain; I simply think
they manage it differently.” If humans could model these behaviors, Gardner
adds, we’d be healthier, happier, “and more people would want to be around
us.” 
2. They practice portion control (even if not by choice). Snowball
might not want to limit her kibble intake any more than you want to limit your
tortilla-chip intake. Nonetheless, she typically eats reasonably sized helpings
of nutritionally balanced food — and never gets to eat straight out of the bag.
Follow her lead. “Both animals and people need structure and regulation when it
comes to portion size,” says Jme Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo
Animal Rescue based in Redmond, Washington. 
3. They know how to de-stress. Your pooch doesn’t pour a glass of
cabernet when the going gets rough (though, yes, it would make a very popular
YouTube video if she did). She may, however, start begging for a walk or to
play a game. Smart dog! “Actively seeking healthy activities — that function as
de-stressors when stress levels are high — helps to reset people as well as dogs,
and bring us back to a productive and functional status, from which many things
feel a lot more ‘do-able,’” Marisa Scully, a certified dog behavior specialist
in Philadelphia, tells Yahoo Health. 
4. They hit the hay. People don’t get enough sleep: According to a
2014 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans said that
a lack of sleep had impaired their activities at least once in the previous
week. Learn from your cat or dog, who knows just how important it is to get
enough shut-eye, says Jeff Werber, VVM, president and chief veterinarian of
Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles. “Whether it’s a lazy dog day
afternoon, or a quick cat nap, you won’t find them burning the candles at both
ends.” 
5. They stretch! There’s a reason one of the most common yoga moves is
named downward dog. Dogs (and cats) stretch constantly — and we should do the
same, notes certified dog behavior consultant Russell Hartstein. Why?
Stretching can improve flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. 
6. They’re open to new things. Animals are naturally curious.
“Open a box or empty a bag and before you know it, your cat will have climbed
in to investigate. Walk your dog past a gardener planting flowers and chances
are she will check it out before moving on,” Werber says. “And they’re always
up for some fun. A game of catch, a walk, a visit — bring it on.” Since
research has found that seeking out new experiences can keep people feeling
young and healthy, we’d do well to follow suit.
7. They’re comfortable getting zen. Numerous studies have found a
correlation between mindful meditation and reduced stress, decreased heart
disease, and a stronger immune response — and that’s something your cat already
knows how to do instinctively. “Each morning I sit on the sofa with my cat,
Turtle, while I drink my first cup of coffee,” says Kristen Levine, a pet
living expert. “We spend about 10 minutes together, her getting neck and head
rubs, me enjoying her purring and having a few meditative moments at the start
of the day.It sounds simple, and it can be, but depending on the activity, it
can have a powerfully relaxing or invigorating effect for both human and
critter.” 

Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips

Exposure
to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped
paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can
suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from
ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws.
Says Dr.
Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA
Animal Hospital,
“During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can
lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging
from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to
minimize their furry friends’ exposure to such agents.” To help prevent cold
weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please heed the
following advice from our experts: 
·
Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking
skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes
inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes. · Trim
long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and
de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. (Don’t neglect the hair between
the toes!) 
· Bring a
towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk,
wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for
cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. 
· Bathe
your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can
remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If
your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo
and/or rinse. 
 ·
Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and
prevent skin from getting dry. · Booties help minimize contact with painful
salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can
also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes,
causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible. · Massaging
petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt
and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal
chapped paws. 
·
Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates
blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition. 
· Pets
burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing
dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and
making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated,
and her skin less dry. 
·
Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your
pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the
winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops. 
 SOURCE:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/top-ten-winter-skin-paw-care-tips

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.

Fun Activities To Enjoy With Your Pet this Summer

Are you enjoying the nice weather with your pet? How about
taking your pet to catch a movie at your local park, schedule an outside photo
session with your pet and family, or enjoy a day at the dog park? Here are  some fun activities we recommend for you to enjoy with your pet this summer! 

1. Take a hike

If you dig spending time in the woods, bring your puppy with you on your next hike. Your pup will love exploring the trail and checking out the sights and the smells.

2. I’m on a boat

Swimming in the open water isn’t the best idea for a pup, since he may tire easily and the water might be contaminated. But, the two of you can still enjoy the open water on a boat ride. Check with local companies to find one that allows dogs on board, and pack a bag for the day. With a little preparation, a boating adventure can be as fun for your puppy as it is for you!

3. Let’s go ride a bike

Have you ever wondered why dogs love to stick their heads out the window? It’s not necessarily because they love the breeze. Dogs experience the world through smell, and zooming past so many different smells can be like ecstasy for your puppy. A bike ride is a little bit slower than a car trip, but your puppy can experience a world of smells on the bike all the same!

4. A camping trip

As with a hiking trip with a puppy, you’ll want to start out slowly with your doggy camping trips, and not involve too much walking. You’ll also want to get a checkup from your vet beforehand, since your pup needs to be fully vaccinated, particularly against Lyme disease. Make sure the campground allows dogs, since not all of them do. Pack plenty of food and water, and supervise your puppy closely at all times.

5. Hit the dog park

Not only is the dog park a fun place for your puppy to burn off energy, it can help to socialize him. Your puppy needs all of his vaccinations before he can safely visit the dog park, so wait for your vet’s OK before taking him there (usually at 4 months of age).
What fun activities do you enjoy with your pet? Don’t forget to share your summer fun photos with us!


Source: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-outdoor-adventures-for-puppies.htm

It’s National Pet Week

National Pet Week is May 5-11 this year. I bring it up early because the Auxiliary to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is already seeking entries for next year’s poster and writing contests.

The deadline is May 10, 2013 and the contests are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The winners receive $100, so tell any young, animal-crazy friends or family members that you may have about this opportunity. The theme for 2014 is “Celebrate a Healthy Pet.”

Take a look at the winning entries for 2013 for inspiration. This year’s theme is “Love Your Pet, See Your Vet.”

Trey Favaloro of Baton Rouge, La., was in third grade when he submitted his drawing that won the poster contest.

Jasmine Jimenez of New York City was in ninth grade when she submitted the winning poem:

A True Pet’s Friend

Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or rodent
Don’t you dare waste another second.
If you love your pet
Take him or her to the vet.
They don’t have to be sick or need any repair
Just take them for a trip to show them you care.

If you want your pet to love you making sure they’re healthy is a must
When they sense that you’re helping them they start to develop a sense of trust.
Knowing they have a friend makes their heart’s beat ever so gentle
So make sure to get them checked for illness, diet and dental.
Sure buying toys can really make a pet content
But that happiness only last for a moment.

The best gift you can give them is a healthy life that lasts long
When visiting his doctor, nothing can go wrong.
Go ahead and make an appointment
With your pet’s health you can’t lose a moment.
Because when it comes time they need some love to be around
They know where a sincere, dear friend can be found.

See the AVMA Auxiliary’s website for more information about the poster contestand creative writing contest. Good luck!