Today’s post is very near and dear to my heart and is based on an experience I had over the Memorial Day weekend. I have a 9-year-old beagle named Parker, and for any of you who have known a beagle, you know that they are chow-hounds of the worst kind. Parker is no different. He will eat anything, anytime and anywhere. On Saturday, I found my poor little beagle laying in the back yard almost lifeless. My boyfriend scooped up Parker in his arms and we were off to the Vet Hospital. The only problem was as I was getting in the car I remembered the hospital I had always used had closed their doors. I remembered the day I drove by it and thought to myself, “Shoot, I better locate another ER just in case”. Well, I never did… so there we were panicked and not knowing where to take my precious little Parker. It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life (or close to it)!
If you don’t know where the closest after-hours emergency hospital is… stop reading this right now, go to Google and find the nearest one!
Make sure they are open after-hours and on holidays. If you find more than one – do some research. One may be better staffed with different specialists. This is the time to make some phone calls and get information about specialists, doctors on staff, fees and types of payment that they accept. Keep in mind that some emergency centers are not staffed during normal business hours which means you may need to make additional arrangements for care the next day.
Once you find the right place for you and your pet, be sure to put their information somewhere you can easily access it in a crisis.
Did you know your compost and the grass around it could be toxic to your pet?
Luckily, we were able to get Parker to a hospital across town and they were fabulous! Parker recovered nicely. We found that he had been eating grass very close to our compost pile and became sick. Who would have thought that compost could poison a dog? After all, it’s just fruits, vegetables, grains, eggshells and paper, right? The problem comes from a fungus called mycotoxin that can be in decomposing objects, particularly those with moist food, including compost and garbage. Be safe– fence your compost in and your dog out.
This is a great time to remind everyone that chemical pesticides can be dangerous!
Pesticides are everywhere. They are killing everything from ants and bugs to the weeds that show up in the yard. In the time I was at the ER with Parker, five separate dogs came in that had similar symptoms, which included vomiting, shaking and eye and skin irritations. All of these dogs had been outside that day. After talking with one of the Vet Techs on duty, I found out that these symptoms were common for this time of year and were most likely due to pesticides. People using pesticides don’t always realize these products don’t stay put. They are often carried down-wind and could end up in a pond, water dish or a pet’s grassy area.
It always makes more sense to try to find a safe alternative to chemical pesticides. Until next time– be safe– think natural and organic!