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Wednesday, April 11 2018 The heartworm life cycle begins when a mosquito bites an infected animal and ingests tiny heartworm larvae along with the animal's blood. Coyotes, wolves, foxes, and ferrets can also develop heartworm disease in addition to dogs and cats. Next, the larvae develop into an infective stage inside the mosquito. When a heartworm disease-carrying mosquito bites your pet, it transmits the larvae that develop for approximately two months in your pet's tissue. Afterwards, developing and mature adult heartworms can be found in the bloodstream, heart, and lungs. They can also produce tiny heartworm larvae that is released into the blood and is picked up by mosquitoes who repeat the process again.
Sunday, March 19 2017 In honor of National Poison Prevention Week (March 19th-25th) we decided to poll our staff for their insight on common pet poisons. We asked them three questions and listed the most popular responses. Check out the results below.
- 1. Chocolate. The desire for this sweet treat is not limited to humans. Since chocolate is such a common household food item it is also a common ingestion, especially for dogs. Chocolate toxicity can be mild to severe depending on the dose. The darker or more concentrated the chocolate, the more toxic it is to pets. Symptoms can vary from vomiting and hyperactivity to abnormal heart rhythms and seizures.
- 2. Grapes/raisins, lilies, and sugar-free gum. These three items tied for second place in our staff poll and each are extremely toxic in their own way. Grape, raisin, and even currant toxicities are not necessarily dose-dependent and can result in severe kidney damage sometimes several days after ingestion. Very small amounts of Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show Lilies can cause severe kidney damage or even death to cats. Sugar-free gum is toxic because it contains the artificial sweetener xylitol which can be extremely dangerous to your pet. Xylitol can be found in a variety of mints, vitamins, supplements, and foods so it is important to be diligent and read labels carefully.
- 3. Human medications. A wide range of human medications have the potential to be toxic to pets. However, human aspirin and other NSAIDs can be particularly dangerous especially when owners purposefully give them to pets to attempt to alleviate pain. Pets' kidneys and livers can be damaged easily when dosed with improper medication.
- 1. Pesticides and rat bait. It is never safe to leave your pet unsupervised around any type of pesticide or bait. There are several types of active ingredients that can be severely toxic to pets with varying symptoms.
- 2. Sago Palm tree. All parts of the Sago Palm, but especially the seeds, are very toxic to pets and can cause severe liver damage. Aggressive life-saving treatment should begin immediately upon ingestion.
- 3. Antifreeze. As little as one tablespoon of antifreeze can cause severe acute kidney failure in dogs and as little as one teaspoon can be fatal to cats. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to pets because it typically contains 95% ethylene glycol.
- 1. Chocolate
- 2. Raisins
- 3. Garbage
- 4. Marijuana
- 5. Dog toys
Sunday, April 10 2016 We would like to take this time to thank and acknowledge all of the volunteers including our own Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), Suzanne, for selflessly dedicating their time to support causes they believe in. Suzanne volunteers some of her time to the Canine Confidence Crew at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS). The crew works with dogs who have high energy and/or confidence issues. They stimulate and build confidence in these dogs by getting them to focus and stand on certain objects. They are also using their muscles to balance on these objects which, in turn, tires them physically. "Some come in scared with no confidence," says Suzanne "and they leave a tired, confident dog." Suzanne is not the only one volunteering her time at the Ventura County shelters. Our no-kill Simi Valley and Camarillo shelters are supported by over 100 volunteers. We want to thank each and every volunteer from the bottom of our hearts for making our community a better place. If you're interested in volunteering for VCAS click here.