Vol. 14, No. 07 – Dec 30, 2020 – Jan 12, 2021 – The Pet Page

The Search Dog Foundation’s newest search teams.

∙Recruiting and rescuing dogs to train to become rescuers alongside first responders is no easy task, and this year has been no exception due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. It’s just one more reason why we are so proud to introduce the five newest search teams to join our national roster: The Search Dog Foundation

∙SPAN Thrift Store is now open to the public and looking for donations of adult clothing, household items and tools if you’ve got items you no longer use. SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two upcoming clinics are:

Tuesday, December 12th at Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, and a second one at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main) on Tuesday, December 19th. Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙Fayetteville, WV (WOAY) – Poinsettias are getting popular once again as the holidays roll around, but veterinarians urge caution if you own a cat. Poinsettias have potential to be toxic to cats if eaten. Katie Faulkner, a veterinarian with the Fayette Veterinary Hospital says that if a cat eats part of a poinsettia, it can cause some severe issues. They recommend keeping them out of reach or avoiding them entirely if you own a cat.

“They do have to eat a decent amount of it to cause very severe symptoms, but even a small amount can cause cats to drool, vomit and cause GI disruptions, so sometimes diarrhea,” Faulkner said. If your cat even eats a small amount of Poinsettia, it’s recommended you take them to a vet, just to ensure they’re safe.


It’s said that dogs resemble their owners, but the similarities may also extend to their risk of diabetes, research suggests. The same cannot be said of cat owners and their companions, however.

Previous studies had hinted that overweight owners tend to have porkier pets, possibly because of shared health behaviors such as overeating or not taking regular exercise. To investigate whether this extended to a shared risk of type 2 diabetes, Beatrice Kennedy, of Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues turned to insurance data from Sweden’s largest pet insurance company, using owners’ 10-digit national identification numbers to pull their anonymized health records.

Comparing data from 208,980 owner/dog and 123,566 owner/cat pairs, they discovered that owning a dog with diabetes was associated with a 38% increased risk of having type 2 diabetes compared with owning a healthy hound. Personal and socioeconomic circumstances of the dog owners could not explain this link. No shared risk of diabetes was found between cat owners and their pets, however.

∙Keep pets safe from holiday hazards

By Crystal Munguia

No one knows better than a veterinarian who staffs the emergency room that the holidays can be fraught with hazards for pets. Luckily, most of the dangers can easily be prevented with some foresight and good advice.

Dr. Yanshan Er, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching shares her top tips for keeping your pets safe during the holidays.

While you are enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, you may be tempted to slip your pet some table scraps. It is important to remember many of the things we enjoy are not appropriate for our furry friends.

Chocolate – Chocolate, especially the dark and baking varieties, contains toxins called methylxanthines, which may cause tremors, seizures, and fatal arrhythmias at high doses. Lower doses may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Solution: Keep chocolate away from your pets!

Bones – Leftover bones from that turkey or ham may seem like a treat for your pet, but Dr. Er says that’s not true. “Bones pose several dangers: cracked teeth, a blockage in the esophagus, constipation, severe gastrointestinal inflammation or even perforation of the gastrointestinal organs,” she says. “There are so many great ways to offer a treat, bones are definitely not worth the risk.”

Alcohol and bread dough – Make sure to keep your alcoholic drinks and baking supplies out of reach of your pets. If a pet eats raw yeast-containing dough, the dough will ferment in the stomach, producing ethanol, a form of alcohol. The expansion of dough in the stomach can cause a mechanical obstruction. The ethanol gets absorbed systemically and causes blood acidity and low blood sugar. “These complications can ultimately result in a coma and even death,” warns Dr. Er.

Grapes, raisins, and currants – The exact causative toxin is currently unknown, but the fact that consuming grapes, raisins, and currants may result in acute kidney injury in dogs is well documented. Toxicity from these fruits may also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Dr. Er advises pet owners to tell guests these items, especially baked goods like Christmas cake with raisins, are no-nos for pets.

Tinsel and candles – Shiny, reflective tinsel also attracts cats. If swallowed, tinsel, yarn or other stringy objects wreak havoc on a cat’s digestive tract. This problem, called a “linear foreign body,” must be treated with emergency surgery. Candles also fall into the “shiny danger” category. Pets aren’t aware of the danger fire poses, so never allow pets to remain unsupervised in a room with lit candles.

Poinsettias, mistletoe, and lilies – If you own a pet that eats anything and everything, it is important to know that poinsettias and mistletoe can result in an upset stomach for your pet. In very rare cases, mistletoe can also affect the heart. While not typically a winter holiday decoration, lilies are very toxic to cats, and result in acute kidney injury. “All parts of the lily plant are toxic, so remember to keep them out of reach of your kitties,” says Dr. Er.

∙Managing holiday stresses in pets

While they’re probably not dreading crowded shopping malls or discussing politics with that one uncle, many pets do find the holidays stressful. Strange people, smells and loud sounds may be overwhelming for your pet. Make sure it has a safe, quiet, and escape-proof room to provide a safe retreat when needed.

Don’t forget that Christmas poppers and fireworks can be terrifying for pets with noise aversion. Dr. Er suggests talking to your veterinarian about anxiety medication and sedatives if your pet might benefit from those during high-anxiety situations.

Understanding your dog’s mind cannot only sate your curiosity about your companion, but can also help you ensure your pup lives a good, happy life. The more you know about your furry friends the more you can do to meet their needs.

Ellen Furlong is an associate professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University. This report was originally published on theconversation.com.

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