I couldn’t even get through this whole article without getting the willies. Dogs eating cicadas until they got sick. Eww. Given Brody’s proclivities for partially ingested rodent bits and rotting seaweed, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still manage to be impressed by the gross things our pets decide seem good enough to eat.
A fellow vet once commented, shortly after I posted about Brody’s strange love of earplugs, that he would be having his first foreign body removal before he was one. I am proud to say that here at two, he has yet to create a surgical situation. He still loves earplugs, but for the most part whenever he destroys something he chews it up and then spits it back out. Thank goodness.
Others are not so lucky. I had a client whose poodle loved rocks. Not gravel, mind you, golf-ball sized rocks. After his first surgery at 10 months, they vowed to do a better job monitoring him in the yard. After his second surgery at 18 months, they re-landscaped the yard.
Probably my own worst experience came when my daughter was about a year old. Emmett was still working though his jealousy issues. The nanny was home with the kids, and apparently left a dirty diaper on the changing table, which Emmett promptly ate, contents and all. An hour later, he threw it all back up, all over my couch. ALL OVER the couch.
Of course, I came home about 10 minutes into the debacle, the nanny standing there over the carnage, paralyzed with horror. “I have no idea what he ate,” she said, “and I have no idea what to do.” Translation: you don’t pay me enough to deal with this mess, lady.
Honestly, one whiff and it was pretty obvious what he ate, but given the extent of the situation, I think she was just in shock. I sent her home, looked in vain for a Hazmat suit, and ended up just throwing the entire set of cushions into the backyard to be hosed off until I could call in a professional cleaner. That was a fiasco. Think “Exorcist” level nasty, that one.
Gross, but not unique. I’ve heard of coin rolls, knives, and Power Rangers digested in toto by dogs lacking any discrimination. What’s the worst your pet has eaten?
I feel very fortunate to be in an area where heartworm is not a huge problem. I say huge because we still see it, though not to the extent of our friends in other parts of the country and the world where it is highly endemic.
If you have a dog and you don’t know about heartworms, you need to take the time to learn about them. In short, they are teensy little creatures that infect your dog via a mosquito bite. Those microscopic larvae develop into full-sized worms that live in the pulmonary artery and the heart itself. Untreated, they can lead to heart failure and death.
The treatment is also not without risk. Extreme care must be taken to keep activity low to prevent life threatening emboli or inflammation. The treatment takes place over at least a month with very limited activity on the part of the dog. I’ve gone through this with several clients now, and hoo boy, it is not fun. (more…)
I’ve been following Dog Time’s multi part series about No-Kill with interest. Fascinating stuff. Then I saw yesterday’s piece: “There are no responsible breeders.” I read it, waiting for the twist, waiting for some clarification on the idea, and then I got to the end and realized that the author meant it, as is, in all sincerity.
Even responsible breeders who genuinely love and want the best for their animals you ask? I know this statement will raise some hackles, but it needs to be said: There are no responsible breeders. At least not now, while our shelters are full and perfectly adoptable animals are dying (some of which came from breeders).
It doesn’t matter that you’ve grown up with Collies or that a German Shepherd once saved your life. I don’t care what breed you love above all others. Your passion for wanting to see that breed proliferate is irrelevant when it comes to the welfare of a single animal. Breeding is a hobby for humans. It’s morally intolerable to value the worth of a breed over the worth of an individual. No exceptions.
And, here comes the part where I step in it. (more…)
I loved this recent post over at PetMd by Dr. Khuly talking about the association between becoming a new parent and having your pet pack on the pounds. I think anyone who has had a new baby as well as a pet can relate. Sure, everyone tells themselves, “Oh no! I know other people put their pets on the back burner but not me! I’m going to carry my kid around in a papoose and just go out with a jogging stroller every day at 5 am and we’ll be just fine!”
And yes, some people actually do that, and kudos to them. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who can’t even be bothered to try and put in a little effort, dumping their loyal companion at the shelter with some excuse about “no time now that I have something really important, like a kid.”
Photo: Derek Leffew
Most of us, I would venture to guess, fall somewhere smack in the middle. In the bleary-eyed sleep-deprived miasma that is the fog of new parenthood, we neglect not only our pets but our other kids, our spouses and ourselves. It’s a huge adjustment no matter how well you think you’ve prepared, like jumping into the deep end only to be shocked by the icy smack of the water on your face. (more…)