What a Headache – Sticks Hangover Cure!

What a Headache – Sticks hangover cure doesn’t work so well! At this time of year, a few of us have a tendency to overdo the celebrations with Xmas and New Year. If your solution to the resulting hangover is to turn to Ibuprofen or Panadol, you might want to consider the four-legged friends in the house. Neither of these drugs are particularly pet-friendly, as our charming little friend Sticks found out!

Sticks, a Border Terrier girl, is owned by Jarod and Belinda Krieg and was brought in to us having eaten multiple Ibuprofen tablets (11, we think). For good measure, she’d also eaten a pack of chewing gum!

Although she was bright, happy and absolutely delightful, that amount of the drug was definitely not a good thing to have eaten. Sticks had vomited several times before coming in to see us and had probably removed some of the drug from her system. Nonetheless, this was clearly a pretty dangerous situation for her.

Dr Beck immediately ran some blood tests and started Sticks on intravenous fluids. The bloods came back as normal in all respects. The following day, however, repeat tests showed signs of deterioration and kidney damage. Over the course of the following week, we kept Sticks on fluids to help flush through the toxins from her system. Serial blood tests showed that her kidney function worsened for three days before finally starting to improve. Throughout this time, she was sublimely unaware that there was any kind of problem. She was a huge hit with the staff and kept us all entertained during her hospital stay.

After eight days in hospital, her bloods indicated that Sticks had fully recovered and that we were able to take her off fluids. Jarod and Belinda were delighted to have her home again. Sticks, on the other hand, had no idea what all the fuss was about!!

Although Ibuprofen is definitely hazardous, there are several things that can pose a major threat to our pets health and safety during the festive season. I’d like to warn you about some of those things!

  • Pain relief tablets
    • This is a year round problem, of course.
    • They may not taste great to us, but can be a bit of a treat for dogs, particularly
    • In large enough quantities, they can cause kidney failure.
    • Consider that two tablets would be considered a ‘normal’ dose for a 100kg human – not so great in an 8kg Border Terrier!
  • Chocolate
    • We all know how much chocolate turns up under the tree at this time of year
    • Very tempting for dogs and they can easily detect the smell of chocolate through a wrapper
    • Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. In sufficient quantities, any chocolate can make dogs extremely unwell and can cause liver damage
  • Tinsel
    • I can tell you, from personal experience, that some cats think that shiny, silvery tinsel is great fun to play with and even swallow. My own cat passed this through with no lasting damage (that’s how we found out he’d swallowed it!). Nonetheless,  a linear foreign body like this is a great way to cause an intestinal blockage
    • As a side-note, that same kitten of ours demonstrated (on repeat occasions) that climbing right up to the top of the Xmas tree was not such a great idea when the whole thing came tumbling down, kitten and all!
  • Ham, Sausage and Turkey left-overs
    • Seldom a year goes by without us seeing a case of severe pancreatitis as the result of dogs eating Xmas left-overs.
    • Although these things taste great to most of us, they’re often high in fat and this provides a huge challenge to a dogs digestive system. The end result can be a raging case of pancreatitis. This is very painful and usually requires several days of hospital treatment to resolve
  • Alcohol
    • Not such a common one but we do see dogs come in having eaten a box of liqueur chocolates
    • Double whammy here with both chocolate and alcohol combined!
    • Just like us, alcohol can make dogs feel very unwell and it’s really not funny to see a dog with a hangover – very unfair.
  • Macadamias, Sultanas, Salted peanuts (the salt is the problem)
    • All of these little treats (for us) can be toxic to pets so please keep them out of reach
  • Fireworks
    • Lots of dogs are absolutely terrified by fireworks
    • In similar fashion to thunder, they’re really scared by the noise
    • Over time, dogs also associate the flashing (lightning or fireworks) with the accompanying sounds. They can react very badly to even seeing fireworks in the distance
    • We do have medication that can make a big difference in reducing the impact of this phobia but ask us in plenty of time (at least 2 weeks in advance)
  • The Heat!
    • Nothing to do with the Xmas season, specifically, but a major problem for dogs at this time of year (Cats are much smarter about coping with heat).
    • Heatstress is a huge issue, particularly with brachycephalic (smush-faced)  breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs.
    • Leaving dogs in a hot car is very dangerous at this time of year.
    • We’ll talk a lot more about this issue in our January Newsletter

The festive season is great fun for us and I hate to be a party-pooper around this time. Please bear in mind, though, that any of these items listed can cause a major headache for your pets. As with most things, avoidance is much better than treatment. As such, please be aware of the hazards and take suitable precautions to prevent your pets getting into trouble in the first place!!

If you’d like further information regarding any of the above, please feel free to give us a call or drop in for a chat. If you think your pet has been into something dangerous, don’t delay – give us a call on 8522 3500 and ask us for an appointment sooner rather than later. Alternatively, go online to book an appointment directly.

If any of these stories that we publish are of interest to you and if you like our service, we’d we’d love to have you review us. You can do this  by adding a comment to the blog, by visiting our FaceBook page or by reviewing us on Google. We rely heavily on word of mouth for our new clients and your (positive, hopefully!) recommendations are hugely helpful!

 

Dr Dave MacPhail

Dr Dave MacPhail

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