Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Fall Allergies Tips, Toxic Mushrooms, and more ...

Top 10 Holistic Tips For Managing Your Pet's Fall Allergies
Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD/petMD

Fall stirs up environmental allergens no matter where on the map you are. If you find your dog is suddenly sneezing, coughing, itching, loosing fur or having a discharge from their nose and eyes, this might be why. Is there anything you can do before reaching to medications? As it turns out, there is.

How well can your dog's body deal with environmental challenges depends on their overall health, their immune function, diet, degree of exposure and medications they might be on.

Read Dr. Patrick's top tips to holistically managing your dog's seasonal allergies.

Five Predictors of Canine Obesity
Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM/Spot Speaks

Yes, here we go again talking about canine obesity. And we'll keep talking about it until every dog is at their ideal weight. Why? Because obesity has a negative impact on their health, life span and quality of life. There is nothing good about obesity. Keeping your dog at optimal body condition is one of the best things you can ever do for them.

What are some predictors for canine obesity?
  • breed predisposition
  • blind adherence to feeding recommendations on dog food labels
  • one-size fits all treats
  • peer pressure from people who have long forgotten what a fit dog actually looks like
  • age of the owner
Knowledge is power. If you know what to watch for, you can be more successful keeping your dog fit. Read Dr. Kay's recommendations.

Can I give my dog Benadryl and if so, how much?
Jessica Vogelsang, DVM/petMD

What if your dog gets stung by a bee? Or breaks out in hives? Can you give Benadryl?

I used Benadryl when Cookie got stung by a bald-faced hornet and her muzzle got swollen a little bit. Whether it worked or not, the swelling started going down and I felt better thinking that I have helped. If the swelling kept getting worse, though, or Cookie started having difficulty breathing, we'd be on our way to the emergency vet.

We tried Benadryl when allergies were on the suspect list for Jasmine's episodes of pacing and panting. (It didn't do anything for that, btw).

I only use any medication when I'm sure it's safe and/or on recommendation of our vet.

Benadryl is generally safe antihistamine. It is, however contraindicated with some conditions such as glaucoma, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Did you know that?

The standard dosage is 1mg/pound of body weight, 2-3 times a day.

When in the slightest doubt, call or see your vet instead.

Dogs and Mushrooms: Are They Poisonous?
Dr. Justine Lee, DVM/Pet Health Network

Fall is also the season for mushrooms. Back in my old country, people would get our early in the morning, grab their baskets and hit the woods. Mushrooming was one of the favorite Fall activities, at least back then. Some folks would come back empty handed, season mushroomers would return with full baskets no matter what. They had secret places the location of which they'd guard with their lives.

Mushrooms were a great Fall culinary addition. One thing about mushrooms, they are all edible, BUT SOME OF THEM ONLY ONCE.

Amanita muscaria.Pretty, isn't it? POISONOUS! Image wikipedia

Seasoned mushroomers would know they mushrooms and could pick and safely eat all kinds of weird looking ones. Weekend mushroomers stuck with the ones they knew for sure. But still, mushroom poisonings, real or assumed, were a frequent topic of comedies and dramas.

"There are thousands of mushrooms out there, but only about 100 types are poisonous."

But which ones are which? You can be quite sure your dog doesn't know the difference. Unless you really know your mushrooms, which I'm quite sure you don't, when your dog eats a mushroom, assume it's a poisonous one and act accordingly. It's just safer that way.

Read Dr. Lee's article to found out which mushrooms are most dangerous and what to do if you notice your dog eat a mushroom.

Spoiler: the answer is the same for all of them.