Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Great Outdoors

Hello, May! We love this time of year in Colorado. And, while it might sometimes feel like a weather roller coaster during the month of May, the temperatures are trending in the right direction, with the average high temperature reaching about 73 degrees. With that warm weather and coveted Colorado sunshine comes more time outside, whether we’re beautifying our backyards or venturing out on the hiking trails.

 

But before you begin planting flowers or planning your next hike, it’s important to consider your pet’s health. There are many potential toxins your dog could encounter in the great outdoors. Watch out for these seven:

 

  1. Rattlesnakes — Rattlesnake encounters in Colorado are on the rise, and the poisonous snakes can be found just about anywhere—from suburban neighborhood streets to sunny trails deep within the high country. Because dogs often follow their noses, rattlesnake bites on the face and front legs are common. Rattlesnake bites can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because they can easily be hidden within a dog’s coat and the symptoms can vary depending on the location of the bite. Watch for:
    • Puncture wounds
    • Swelling
    • Bleeding (possibly uncontrolled)
    • Purpling of the skin and areas around the mouth
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Paralysis

 

There is a rattlesnake vaccine available, but it will not provide immunity against a rattlesnake bite. Instead, the vaccine works to stimulate the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against the snake venom, lessening his reaction when bitten. It’s not a cure, but it can buy more time to get your dog to our office for treatment.

  1. Compost piles — Compost piles consist of decaying and decomposing organic matter, which can become moldy and contain tremorgenic myotoxins, which are dangerous to animals. Never place meat or dairy products in your compost pile, and always keep it fenced so your pet can’t access it. If your pet gets into your compost pile, he might show signs of:
    • Agitation
    • Panting
    • Drooling
    • Vomiting
    • Hyperthermia
    • Tremors
    • Seizures

 

  1. Cocoa mulch — Made of the discarded shells of cocoa beans, cocoa mulch is a byproduct of chocolate production and can contain theobromine and caffeine, the two ingredients in chocolate that are dangerous to dogs. If your dog consumes too much of the tempting, chocolate-smelling mulch, he might exhibit:
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Hyperactivity
    • Seizures
    • Increased heart rate or abnormal heart rhythm
  2. Slug and snail baits — The active ingredient in slug and snail baits—whether the pellet, granular, powder, or liquid form—is often metaldehyde, which is toxic to all species, especially dogs. Metaldehyde ingestion can lead to:
    • Hyperthermia
    • Vomiting
    • Salivation
    • Restlessness
    • Tremors
    • Seizures 
  3. Fertilizers with iron — A common ingredient in fertilizers, iron can make fertilizer seem like a tasty treat for a dog, but too much can lead to iron poisoning. Some signs of iron poisoning include:
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea (possibly containing blood)
    • Vomiting
    • Increased heart rate
    • Panting
    • Lethargy
    • Tremors
    • Shock 
  4. Meal-based fertilizers — Containing bone meal, blood meal, or feather meal, tempting meal-based fertilizers can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or a gastrointestinal obstruction. If your pet gets into a meal-based fertilizer, you might notice:
    • Dehydration
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal distension and/or discomfort
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weakness 
  5. Rose and plant fertilizers — Disulfoton is an organophosphorus insecticide that can be found in rose and plant fertilizers and is highly toxic to pets. Animals that ingest disulfoton can experience:
    • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
    • Increased salivation
    • Increased urination
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Increased tear production 

 

If you believe your pet has been exposed to a potential toxin, call our office immediately at 303-680-5050. The earlier treatment can begin, the better your pet’s chances at a full recovery.

By | 2018-05-25T16:39:23+00:00 May 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment

Call Now