Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Got balls?

Meet Barlee! Barlee is the son of Booster and Mysti, who decided 8 years ago, unbeknownst to us, to have a family! Barlee stole our hearts and has become an integral part of our family. He enjoys playing with balls. His favorite are racquet balls and blinkie balls, but he will take whatever you are willing to throw for him. He never tires of playing fetch. Believe me, we've tried. He will keep going and going and going......nothing in life is better than chasing a ball for Barlee! He will leap off a cliff (though he hasn't yet) to retrieve a ball! He is an extremely loving, cuddly dog who loves to lay his head on your shoulder. Thankfully, he doesn't snore loudly like his mother did, so he spends the night in our room, usually in his "den" under our bed. In the cold winter months he sleeps very close to his father, Booster. He adores all the humans and dogs in the house! Unfortunately, Barlee was attacked a few years ago by a dog he thought was friendly. Fortunately, he survived. However, he suffered from extreme fear aggression for many years. He has since made tremendous strides and though he will never be the "life of the party" he will tolerate almost any dog now! We are so proud of the progress he has made. He is an exceptional dog and one of the most loving creatures on earth! Here is a picture of him just a few days old!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

DANGER! Raisins and grapes can be LETHAL to your dog!!!

SAVE DOG LIVES!!! PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION with ALL dog lovers you know as well as your veterinarian, groomer, pet sitter, classes, clubs, etc.

Based on report provided by VMRCVM Vet Notes
Animal Poison Control Center has documented multiple cases of grape and raisin poisoning in dogs within the last couple of years. Presumably, this has occurred in the past but attributed to other causes.

What Kind of Grapes & Raisins?
The source of the problem has been varied. Grapes of all varieties and growing conditions (including homegrown) have been implicated. Raisins are usually made from white seedless grapes, but all raisins of any source should be considered kidney toxic (chocolate covered raisins as well).


The toxic principle is unknown. Grapes contain low amounts of tannins compared to acorns, a known kidney toxicant in large animals. Grapes lack significant amounts of Vitamin D, another known kidney toxicant. It is unlikely pesticide residue is involved due to the wide variety of grape types involved. So far the majority of toxicosis reports have been in dogs. However, feeding grapes or raisins to cats and ferrets should also be discouraged, as poisonings have been reported in these species as well.

How Many Would Poison Your Dog?
The minimum toxic dose is approximately 0.3 oz/kg body weight. This would correspond to about 2 grapes per kg body weight, or roughly 1 grape per pound of body weight.
15 lb dog = 12-14 grapes could be deadly

25 lb. dog = 23 grapes could be deadly

50 lb. dog = 50+ grapes could be deadly

75 lb. dog = 75 grapes could be deadly
Raisins, having lost their water content are considered more toxic at 6 raisins per kg of body weight, or 2-3 raisins per pound of body weight. Think how many raisins are in ONE small snack pack of raisins – maybe enough to kill your dog.
15 lb. dog = 30-45 raisins could be deadly

25 lb. dog = 50-75 raisins could be deadly

50 lb. dog = 100-150 raisins could be deadly

75 lb. dog = 150-225 raisins could be deadly

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms appear 6-24 hours after the dog eats raisins or grapes (average is 12 hours). Initially, symptoms are gastro-intestinal signs, followed by kidney problems.Vomiting is usually the primary sign, with diarrhea, depression/lethargy, anorexia, colic, dehydration and sharply decreased urine output. The course of the toxicosis is anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks. Dogs with kidney problems have a guarded to poor prognosis. Diagnosis is based on history of recent exposure and clinical signs. On bloodwork, the kidney values are increased. Typically BUN, creatinine, phosphorus and potassium are elevated (sometimes serum calcium as well). The urine sediment will have hyaline casts and the urine specific gravity will be either hyposthenuric or isosthenuric (diluted to the concentration of water of less concentrated than water) at SG 1.006 to 1.010.Treatment

What should I do if my dog has ingested raisins or grapes?
If the raisins or grapes have been ingested within 2-3 hours, vomiting should be induced followed by activated charcoal to limit further absorption. Treatment is based on preventing further absorption if appropriate and maintaining urine output & electrolyte balance. The vet may also give an osmotic cathartic (to speed up GI passage of toxin without absorption). The animal should receive an isotonic saline solution IV at twice maintenance rates for 48 hours. Anti-nausea medication, diuretics and peritoneal dialysis may be needed in some cases.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Say hello to Booster! The Happiest dog you'll ever meet!

On behalf of the Happiest Dog on the Block, I would like to introduce Booster, my beloved dog, work partner, Canine Good Citizen and furry best friend :). Booster is one of those dogs that trainers dream of having! He's what some describe as "bullet-proof". Booster comes to work with me on almost all of my cases. He's a happy-go-lucky guy who can tolerate any dog in any situation. He's helped rehabilitate dogs who were unsocialized. He's helped dogs who were fearful of other dogs. He's helped dogs who were aggressive towards other dogs. He has an amazing ability to sense fear or anxiety in other dogs and is able to calm them with his facial expressions and body postures. It's quite fascinating to watch. There is never a day that goes by that I am not thankful for Booster :). He's 8 years young and a beloved member of our family. He enjoys food, massage, food, playing with other dogs, food, cleaning the leaves and debris out of streams and rivers, food and playing in a bubble bath! His favorite food is lettuce. Yes, lettuce. If I'm making a salad and he doesn't get a few leaves in his dinner that night, he's not a happy dog. Booster loves lettuce so much we have a special song that we sing to him. It goes like this..."Booster loves lettuce, Booster loves lettuce..." Yeah, we're not too creative with the jingles but it sure makes him happy! Booster has lived in 3 different states and is the proud (and sneaky) father of 2 boys and 1 girl. Booster is nothing short of phenomenal! Here is a picture of his son Barlee, just a few days old