Saturday, August 19, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Dogs and The Eclipse, Adverse Reactions, and more ...

How Will Our Animals Respond to the Eclipse?

Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

There are a lot of articles, tweets, and posts about how the eclipse may or may not affect our dogs. The best one I've seen is Dr. V's post simply stating that there is no safety issue for pets because "animals don't stare at the sun."

I have to agree with that. The only way Cookie would be interested in the sun at all is if there were frogs on it.

Some articles brought up the issue of day turning into the night in the middle of the day. I agree that might be confusing to some dogs, particularly to those who wear digital watches so they can see that something is very wrong about that. (Dogs wearing regular watches won't be able to see the time so they won't worry.)

All kidding aside, I believe dogs do have a decent idea of time and some might find darkness in the middle of the day strange or even scary. Where we are, we'll only get a partial eclipse so I don't imagine it will get any more darker than it does with a heavy rain or a thunderstorm, sans the rumbling.

I will, however, keep Cookie inside for all this, just as I would when it gets dark on a normal schedule.

So is there a risk of harm to our dogs? Will they get scared or confused? Those who already have anxiety tendencies might. In her article, Dr. Kay includes a link to iNaturalist app which you can use to record and submit what your dog does during the eclipse. The data will become a part of the California Academy of Sciences called Life Responds.

How to Report a Pet’s Adverse Reaction to a Food, Drug, Product, or Device

Dr. Marty Becker

Adverse reactions can happen. Whether the problem is with the product or your dog's response to it, it is important to report and discuss that at least with your veterinarian.

Such as when Cookie experienced a fairly severe reaction to her sedation protocol. Or when Jasmine almost died after a shot of Buprenorphine. At the very least, such information should make it on your dog's medical file so it can be prevented next time by changing the meds or protocol.

"For medications or vaccines, your veterinarian can file an adverse event report. For foods, call 888-332-8387 or look online at For EPA-approved flea and tick products or other pesticides, call 800-858-7378." ~Dr. Marty Becker

Reporting is important for your own dog's well-being as well as for the well-being of other dogs.

Drop It Like It’s Hot Spots – Pyotraumatic Dermatitis in Dogs

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

"A hot spot by any other name would look as bad." ~Me, butchering Shakespeare

The other names for hot spots are pyotraumatic dermatitis, acute moist dermatitis, or superficial canine pyoderma. I admit this is the first time I've seen it called pyotraumatic dermatitis. Nobody seems to use this term which is a shame because I think it the most descriptive of what a hot spot is.

In general, a hot spot results from a combination moisture and trauma. Which is exactly what caused them in Jasmine both times. Both happen during the summer.

I think every dog owner has some idea what hot spots are but if you want a great, comprehensive overview, check out Dr. Byers' article.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac: Dangers for Pets


Poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Photo Offgrid 

If you ever got a reaction to poison ivy, oak or sumac, I'm sure you remember it. Dogs have fur so they are not as likely to have a problem. However, they don't have an even fur coverage everywhere. Cookie did have a mild reaction to poison oak when it brushed enough over her belly.

It bothered Cookie only a little bit. I was more upset than she was when I discovered the red bumps over her belly.

According to Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinary toxicologist, even ingestion wouldn't get your dog into much trouble other than some mild irritation to the GI tract resulting in mild vomiting or diarrhea.

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