|The ASPCA Animal
Poison Control Center
Phone: (888) 4ANIHELP
Things That Bite and Sting
|As the weather warms, we find ourselves and our beloved pets, outdoors more.
Unfortunately, summer brings out some dangerous creatures. I am going to discuss a
few and what to do if you and your pet comes in contact with snakes, spiders, and bees.
Poisonous snakes are out now. In the US we find Coral snakes in Arizona and New
Mexico and others along the Gulf Coast. Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Water
Moccasins are here in the south. The first thing is to be able to identify them. Coral
snakes have alternating band of black, yellow, occasionally white and red. If the head is
black and the red touches the yellow then it is a coral snake. I have read that they cause
only a little risk . Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Water Moccasins are all pit vipers.
These deadly vipers cause about 99% of all snake bites each year. They have facial pits,
retractable fangs, elliptical pupils, and a triangular head. Rattlesnakes can meter their
venom. They usually strike dogs in the head and face with a deadly dose of venom. THIS
IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!!! The single most effective therapy of a rattlesnake bite in
dogs is IV administration of purified Crotalid antivenin. I have also read that there is a
vaccination for this also, but the dog may still require Crotalid.
My next creepy crawly subject is spiders. Spiders prefer dark, quiet, and draft less
places. I will start with the Black Widow whom lives all over the USA. The females are
black in color with a spherical abdomen and the red hourglass marking on the bottom.
She is larger and more deadly than the males. Although, the immature females lack the
spherical abdomen and take on the color of their last meal, they are equally deadly.
Gram for Gram, it is 100% more potent than rattlesnake venom. It is a good thing their
size limits the amount of venom delivered. A bite frequently goes unnoticed. There is
little swelling or tissue change. The area around the bite may be red and the region may
be dully sore. Classic signs are abdominal muscle rigidity and tenderness. The dog
needs antivenin from the vet. I am not sure of the antivenin's name.
The Brown Recluse, also know as the Fiddleback or Violin spider, are usually found in
the southern half of the USA. We have a lot of them around here. They are no fun and my
brother is testament to that! The initial bite may go undetected, however, hours later the
bitten area will have a mild stinging sensation, generalized soreness, and will itch. As
time goes on the area will become red with a dark non-healing center which is dying.
Surgical removal is usually recommended.
Dogs may have allergic reactions to bee stings. If your dog is stung; remove the stinger
immediately! 100% of the venom is delivered in the first 60 seconds after being stung.
Then apply a cool compress. An antihistamine and a cool bath may help to control the
swelling and pain. Please call your vet to see what antihistamine to give and the
amount. If you notice any respiratory distress call the vet, your dog need help! Most
deaths occur within 1 hour of being stung.
These are just a few summer dangers to watch out for and learn what to do before you
ever have an encounter.
I wish everyone a safe summer.
Summer Pet Care Tips
Heart worm disease:
Heart worms (Dirofilaria immitis) are parasites transmitted by mosquitoes that
can potentially be fatal to your
dog or cat. Many people are familiar with Heart worm disease in dogs, but are
unaware that cats may also
contract the parasite (Heart worm disease was reported in cats in 38 states by
the American Heart worm
Society); in fact, cats infested with Heart worms often have more severe clinical
signs than dogs and a
poorer prognosis. Have your dog or cat tested for the presence of Heart worms
by your veterinarian, and
ask about Heart worm preventatives. Treatment for this disease can be expensive
and risky for your pet
prevention is easy and inexpensive. The fact that your dog only goes outside to
urinate and defecate, and
the fact that your cat does not go outside at all, does not eliminate the risk of
disease. Mosquitoes are
Normally only adult fleas live on pets, and often they remain there only long
enough to feed. Eggs may be
laid on the pet, but usually fall off the pet into the environment where conditions
are right for them to
develop (through a multistage life cycle) into adult fleas. As a result, it is possible
to have a substantial flea
problem although you have only identified a few or no fleas on your pet. Egg and
larval stages can survive
in your home all year and in your yard from spring through late fall (all year in
warmer climates). Biting and
scratching on the lower back, tail, and abdomen are the most common signs of
flea infestation and a
dermatitis will often flare up in these areas. Flea control involves treatment of
the pet and the environment
by means of shampoos, sprays, dips, "spot-ons," powders, oral medications, and
collars. Your veterinarian
can recommend the most appropriate flea prevention/treatment program for
your pet. Fleas carry
tapeworms, so be sure to have your veterinarian check your pet for these
intestinal parasites as well.
Yet another parasite that is a common problem during the warmer months.
Ticks are not only an irritant and
nuisance to your pet, but may transmit several debilitating diseases, such as
Lyme disease, babesiosis,
and ehrlichiosis. Many flea prevention/treatment products will also help with
control of ticks. Your
veterinarian can help you recognize ticks and show you the proper way to
remove them from your pet (if
you simply try to remove the tick by pulling, you may leave its mouth parts
embedded within your pet's skin).
Owners whose dogs have substantial exposure to ticks (eg, sporting dogs, dogs
that go camping, and
those spending time in forest preserves or woods) should also ask their
veterinarian's advice about the
appropriateness of a vaccination for Lyme disease.
Do you know how to tell if your dog has tapeworms? Tapeworms are one of
several kinds of worms that often infect a dog's intestinal tract. A tapeworm
infection in your dog is easy to diagnose with the naked eye. Low cost and
effective medication are also available. Read on to learn more.
A dog can come in contact with tapeworms through infected soil or fleas.
Infected stools left on the ground can contaminate the area, so you should
always immediately remove your dog's stools. Tapeworm larvae can reside in
fleas, so if your dog swallows fleas while grooming, your dog may become
infected with tapeworms. Thus, proper flea removal is another important
preventive measure. Finally, if your dog hunts or eats wild game, your dog may
come in contact with tapeworms or tapeworm-infected fleas from the wild
Tapeworms have a long, flat, and segmented appearance, and can grow quite
long. They are visible to the naked eye. You may observe moving or dead
segments of tapeworms in the dog's fecal matter or near the rear. Dried out
tapeworm segments can look like grains of rice. Other behavioral signs that your
dog has tapeworms include stomach problems or vomiting, hunger or weight
loss, and irritation or rubbing of the rear.
A generic dog deworming medication will not kill tapeworms. You need to find a
deworming formulation that includes drugs specifically targetting tapeworms.
Look for the ingredients praziquantel on the label. Epsiprantel is another drug
often used for tapeworms. You can find some all-purpose deworming tablets
which are find, as long as they include one of these ingredients.
As a side note, tapeworms can also infect humans. Although a direct transfer of
tapeworm infection from a dog to human is rare, special precautions should be
taken when there are infants or young children in contact with your dog.
Signs telling you that your dog has worms
Common symptons to watch out for
Since your dog can't speak English well, YOU need to be diligent in watching out
for your dog and noticing any unusual signs. Here are some common ways to
tell if your dog has worms.
Visible worms or eggs in fecal matter - This is the most common way to confirm
that your dog has worms. However, not all kinds of worms are visible in fecal
matter to the naked eye.
Visible worms in fur, or area around dog's rear - Tapeworms, in particular, may
appear as small moving segments, which later dry out to resemble grains of rice.
Scratching or rubbing of rear on the ground or against furniture - if your dog
shows signs of itchiness around the rear, it may be irritated by worms in the
area. However, this could also be due to problems with glands unrelated to
Vomiting with visible worms - if your dog has worms, you may also see them in
your dog's vomit.
Bloated stomach or belly - This is another common symptom of worms, often
seen in puppies who receive worms from their mother.
Weakness, increased appetite, constant hunger, weight loss - If your dog has
worms, the worms are stealing your dog's nutrition. Your dog may be weak or
constantly hungry, and in severe cases, may be losing weight.
Diarrhea, particularly with blood in it.
Why your dog might have worms
When your dog is at risk
Newly born puppies - roundworm eggs can form cysts in adult dogs that remain
dormant. These eggs CANNOT be removed by medication. When a female dog is
pregnant, these dormant eggs will activate and infect the puppies.The mother's
milk can also pass roundworms to puppies.
Contact with infected dirt - roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae can reside in
dirt. If you dog comes in contact with infected dirt, your dog may have worms.
Fleas - young tapeworms can reside in fleas. If your dog swallows fleas while
grooming, your dog will ingest tapeworms and be infected.
Hunting or eating wildlife - wild animals may carry worms, including
tapeworms residing in fleas on wild animals. If your dog hunts or eats wildlife,
your dog may swallow worms.
What kind of worms can your dog have?
How to tell the difference between worms.
Below are symptoms and risks for worm infections, grouped by the kind of
Roundworms - roundworms can grow up to half a foot in length and live in the
intestines. They should be visible as small noodle-like bits in fecal matter and
cause swollen bellies. Roundworms are a big problem with puppies.
Hookworms - hookworms are thin, small worms that "bite" or "hook" into the
intestinal wall. They are not always visible by eye, which means a microscope
examination is needed to observe eggs in fecal matter. Hookworms can cause
bleeding because of their biting, which results in bloody stools or anemia.
Tapeworms - tapeworms are flat, long worms that live in the intestines.
Segments of the tapeworm breaking off are visible to the naked eye as rice-like
grains after drying out.
Heartworms - heartworms are one of the most dangerous worms because they
cannot be easily detected. Heartworms can be spread by mosquitoes.
Heartworms damage the heart muscle and require a blood test to detect. Heart
damage can be fatal, and you will only see other symptoms such as weakness or
dull fur after heart damage has already occurred. It is absolutely necessary to
keep your dog on a heartworm preventive medicine.
Whipworms - whipworms are thin, thread like worms living in the large
intestine. Adults may be visible by the naked eye, but fecal matter does not
contain many worms, so they may be difficult to detect. A microscope
examination of several fecal samples may be necessary to detect them.
Whipworms are one of the most difficult worms to eliminate, but they are
What to do if your dog has worms How to treat your dog
If you think your dog has worms, safe and effective treatments are readily
For the most common types of worms, including heartworms, roundworms,
hookworms, and tapeworms, there are all-in-one medications for your dog in
flavored chewable tablets. For example, Iverhart Max
tablets are useful for treating all four of these conditions and includes three
active ingredients: ivermectin to prevent heartworm, pyrantel pamoate to treat
roundworms and hookworms, and praziquantel to treat tapeworms.
Since this kind of medication covers all the major worm types, it is a very
convenient multi-purpose medication for the average dog owner. You need to
determine the correct dosage based on your dog's weight, but most of these
medications require one tablet a month.
Check prices for Iverhart Max.
How to select a dewormer
Guide to petmeds for dog worms
If you know what kind of worm your dog has, you can find the correct
medication available from discount online stores. Just make sure to check the
ingredient and usage label to determine activity against a specific kind of worm.
Common ingredients are listed below. Many convenient formulations mixing
multiple ingredients are also available. In some cases, a prescription may be
Ivermectin - prevention of heartworm
Pyrantel pamoate - treatment of hookworms and roundworms
Selamectin - treatment or prevention of heartworms, prevention of hookworms
Milbemycin oxime - prevention of heartworms, treatment of hookworms,
roundworms, and some whipworms
Paziquantel - treatment of tapeworms
How to make sure your dog does not get worms
The best treatment is prevention
Because worms are effectively treated with medication, it is important to keep
you dog on a worm prevention treatment. Heartworm, in particular, can be fatal,
and is preventable with monthly tablets. The same tablets can also help prevent
other worms. For example, Iverhart makes a preventive tablet labeled Iverhart
Plus, which contains only ivermectin for prevention of heartworms,
roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
Preventive measures are the best way to deal with worms BEFORE your dog has
health problems. By taking this simple measure, you can help keep your dog
happy and healthy.
Pet First Aid kits
Have you ever thought about the safety of your pet in everyday life? If
something happened to your pet are you prepared to treat them? As in any
emergency you need to be prepared in case proper care is not available to you
immediately. It could be a minor scratch that needs a Band-Aid or something
more serious that needs medication. If you have a first aid kit for your house be
sure that you have a first aid kit for your pet or pets. The first few minutes can
mean the difference between life and death.
Pet first aid kits are relatively inexpensive and are available at most pet stores. If
you wish to produce your own kit you will need the following items: a carrying
case or satchel, a pet first aid guide, a few 2" x 2" gauze pads, a few 3" x 3" gauze
pads, at least one trauma pad, a 2" x 5 yd wrap bandage and a 2" x 4.5 yard
conforming gauze rolled bandage. For instruments you will need a dog leash, a
pair of scissors, tweezers, a pair of exam quality vinyl gloves, and oral syringe, a
1" x 5 yard first aid tape roll, a thermometer, a jar of lubricating jelly and some
3" cotton tipped applicators. For tropicals should have a burned relief pack, a few
insect sting relief pads, some eye wash and hydrogen peroxide. Also include
antiseptic cleaning wipes and antibiotic ointment packs.
If you love your pet or pets as much as I love mine you will want to make sure if
something happens to them you can treat them. We all want our pets safe and
healthy, so be sure to prepare yourself and be prepared to help your pet or pets
and have first aid available at all times.
POISONOUS PLANT LIST:
The following is a partial list of the dangerous types of plants. Please note this list is not
all-inclusive and that some plants are only indigenous to specific locations. This list was
compiled from the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center’s "Household Plant
List" and reflects clinical signs associated with ingestion of the plant by dogs and cats.
Aloe (Aloe species)
· Vomiting, depression, tremors.
Amaryllis (Amaryllis species)
· Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, stomach pain, inappetence, tremors.
Azalea (Rhododendron species)
· Similar acting plant species = Andromeda Japonica, and Rhododendrons
· Vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system collapse, cardiovascular collapse, coma,
hypotension, weakness, death.
Autumn Crocus (Colchicum species)
· Bloody vomiting and diarrhea, shock, kidney failure, liver failure, bone marrow
Bittersweet, American (Solanum species)
· Plants that could cause similar problems include European Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade
· Weakness, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in heart rate.
Buckeye (Aesculus species)
· Severe gastroenteritis, central nervous system depression or hyperexcitability, coma.
Castor Bean (Ricinus species )
· Usually a lag period of 48hours before signs appear
· Beans are highly toxic! Two to 4 beans can be lethal to adult humans!
· Severe gastroenteritis, oral pain and irritation, increase in thirst, kidney failure,
Chinaberry Tree (Melia species)
· Fruit is the most toxic, but leaves, flowers, and bark can also be.
· Decreased heart rate, depression, weakness, seizures, shock, severe gastrointestinal upset.
Christmas Rose (Helleborus species)
· Abdominal pain, convulsions, delerium, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Cineraria (Senicio species)
· Plants that could cause similar problem include German Ivy and Ragwort
· Liver damage, depression, weakness, gastrointestinal upset.
Corn Plant (Dracaena species)
· Similar plants include: Baby Doll Ti, China Doll, Gold Plant Dracaena, Madagascar
Dragon Tree, Ribbon Plant, Corn Stalk Plant, Florida Beauty, and Hawaiian Ti.
· Vomiting, occasionally with blood, depression, inappetence, incoordination, and
Cycads (Cycad species)
· Common name is Sago Palm
· Very toxic plant…a few seeds can cause problems.
· Liver failure, bloody gastroenteritis, blood clotting problems, death.
Daffodil (Narcissus species)
· Bulbs are the most toxic part.
· Severe gastrointestinal upset, convulsions, tremors, hypotension, weakness, cardiac
English Ivy (Hedera species)
· Gastrointestinal upset, hyperactivity, breathing difficulties, coma, muscular weakness,
Foxglove (Digitalis species)
· Life threatening cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac failure, weakness, gastrointestinal upset.
Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina species)
· Discolored mucous membranes, slow heartrate, respiratory difficulties, convulsions,
respiratory failure, and death.
Holly (Ilex species)
· Intense vomiting and diarrhea, depression.
Hyacinth (Hyacinth species)
· Intense vomiting, diarrhea occasionally with blood, depression, and tremors.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea species)
· Gastrointestinal disturbances, increased rate of breathing, depression, and increase in
Iris (Iris Species)
· Abdominal pain, drooling, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Japanese Yew (Taxis species)
· Very TOXIC!
· Cardiac failure, sudden death, tremors, breathing difficulty.
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum species)
· Gastrointestinal upset, possible stomach ulceration, seizures, central nervous system and
Lily of the Valley (Convalaria species)
· Incoordination, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias
Marijuana (Cannabis species)
· Prolonged depression, respiratory depression, incoordination, coma.
· ALWAYS assume that any ingested mushroom is highly toxic until that mushroom is
identified by a mycologist. Toxic and non toxic mushrooms grow can grow in same area.
Mistletoe (Monstera species)
· Gastrointestinal upset, cardiovascular collapse, breathing difficulties, hallucinogenic
Morning glory (Ipomoea species)
· Incoordination, hallucinogenic behavior, stomach upset.
Nightshade (Solanum species)
· Inappetence, severe gastrointestinal upset, drowsiness, depression, weakness, decrease in
Oleander (Nerium species)
· Highly toxic!
· Contains cardiac glycosides.
· Cardiovascular abnormalities, decreased body temperature, abnormal pulse rate, gastric
Precatory Bean (Abrus species)
· Beans are very toxic!
· Severe vomiting and diarrhea, increase in body temperature, incoordination, inappetence,
Rhubarb (Rheum species)
· Kidney damage
Tobacco (Nicotiana species)
· Can cause hyperexcitability, tremors, convulsions, increase in heart rate, death is due to
Tomato Plant (Lycopersicon)
· Leaves and stems contain toxic principles
· Severe gastric upset, depression, weakness, decrease in heart rate.
Tulip (Tulip species)
· Intense vomiting, depression, diarrhea, drooling, and inappetence.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Brunfelsia species)
· Gastric upset, depression, weakness, decrease in heart rate.
Yew (Taxus species)
· Sudden death from cardiac failure, tremors, breathing difficulty.
Yucca (Yucca species)
· Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation, seizures.
The ASPCA Animal
Poison Control Center
Phone: (888) 4ANIHELP
Household Items Which Are Poisonous
Many household products can be toxic to dogs. A dog may be exposed to a
product while it is being used, or because it was stored improperly and the dog
or puppy gained access to it. Always store cleaning products, and the other items
listed below, out of the reach of children and pets.
Button Battery Ingestion
Kerosene and Gasoline
Mercury Exposure: Health Concerns, Clean-up, and
Phenol and Phenolic Compounds
Insecticide, Pesticide, & Rodenticide Poisonings
Insecticides, rodenticides, and other pesticides are designed to kill certain types
of animals. Many of the ingredients in these products can also kill or make a dog
or puppy seriously ill. Always read and carefully follow directions before
applying any product to your dog. If using insecticides, pesticides, or
rodenticides (rat poisons) in the environment, restrict the dog's access to areas
where they have been applied or used. Store these products out of the reach of
children and pets.
Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D Rodenticides
Organophosphates and Carbamates
Housing and Travel:
Soaring temperatures are no more comfortable for dogs and cats than they are
for people. Heat prostration
is a common cause of summer illness that can, and does, kill many beloved pets
each year. If your pet
spends a substantial part of its day outside, be sure that you provide a cool,
shady spot for it to escape the
hot summer sun and plenty of cool, clean water. A sheltered area must also be
available so that the pet can
escape summer storms. Be sure that areas in which pets are housed are secure
and that pets cannot run
into busy streets, fall into deep window wells, or become trapped within or under
lawn equipment. Some of
the worst summer tragedies involve pets that are left in vehicles in the sun with
the windows partially or
completely rolled up. Temperatures inside a car rapidly climb to more than 100 F
and can cause death
sometimes in as little as 10 minutes! If you need to leave your pet in a car for any
period of time, please do
the pet and yourself a favor and leave the pet at home.
When traveling with your pet, call ahead to make sure the pet will be welcome at
any hotels or homes where you
intend to stay. Travel from state to state usually requires a health certificate for
each pet, which has been signed
by a veterinarian. Travel outside of the country often requires that the pet be
quarantined for a specified period
of time, so be sure to check restrictions in the country to which you will be
Remember that sometimes the best solution for everyone is to make
arrangements for someone to watch the pet
in your home, or to bring the pet to a boarding facility designed to provide it
with the special care it needs. When
choosing a boarding kennel always do your research first! As with finding a
groomer, ask the boarding facility
what, if any, vaccines are required. Ask for a tour and check out the kennels and
how the staff interacts with the
animals. Trust your instincts and don't settle for anything less than suitable for
your canine companion.
Pesticides and lawn care products:
Many of these products are potentially toxic to pets. Be sure to store these items
where pets have no
access to them. After treating lawns and outside areas, restrict pets from these
areas until exposure danger
has passed. Remember that many types of summer foliage (among them
hydrangea, wisteria, delphinium,
foxglove, privet hedge, and monkshood) can be toxic to pets as well, so do your
best to prevent your pets
from "dining out."
Coccidia and New Puppies
Coccidia are small protozoans that multiply in the intestinal tracts of dogs and cats,
usually pets under six months or in adults whose immune system is suppressed or in
animals who are stressed from things like - a change in owners. As a puppy ages it
tends to develop a natural immunity to the effects of coccidia. Adults tend to carry
coccidia in their intestines, and shed the cysts in the feces, but experience no ill effects.
A puppy is not born with coccidia. It can be caused is frequently exposed to its mother's
feces. The puppy ingests them and coccidia will develop within their intestines. Since
young puppies have no immunity to coccidia, the organisms reproduce in great
numbers and parasitize the young animal's intestines, having severe effects.
From the time of exposure to the onset of the illness is about 13 days. Most puppies
become ill around two weeks of age and older. Although most infections are the result
of spread from the mother, this is not always the case. The puppy is contagious to other
The primary sign of an animal suffering with coccidiosis is diarrhea. The diarrhea may be mild to
severe depending on the level of infection. Blood and mucous may be present,
especially in advanced cases. Severely affected animals may also vomit, lose their
appetite, become dehydrated, and in some instances, die from the disease.
It should be mentioned that stress plays a role in the development of coccidiosis. It is
not uncommon for a seemingly healthy puppy to arrive at its new home and develop
diarrhea several days later leading to a diagnosis of coccidia. Your vet can do a fecal
test and prescribe the appropriate antibiotic to treat your pup.
|We cannot list ALL things that are dangerous to dogs, but here are a few.
By taking the time to understand the various plants and their levels of
toxicity for dogs you can avoid costly vet bills and even more serious conditions.