Fall brings with it new back-to-school routines, cooler temperatures and pumpkin everything. It also brings certain seasonal hazards that can potentially put pets at risk. For a festive, fun and healthy fall, just follow these simple tips.
A BETTER MOUSE TRAP
Colder temperatures drive rodents to search for shelter within the warmth of homes. Rodenticides (poisons that kill mice, rats, etc.) help deter vermin infestations, but ingestion of such poisons can cause life-threatening toxicity to pets. Instead of personally dispersing commercial-available poisons, hire a professional service to address rodent-prevention needs. If it is suspected or known that a pet has ingested or absorbed a rodenticide, immediately contact a veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital. For more information, call the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at(800) 213-6680.
MUM’S THE WORD
Chrysanthemums are synonymous with fall. But the flowers, stems and leaves of this blooming perennial are toxic to our four-legged comrades. Ingestion can cause salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, stumbling and skin irritation. Meadow Saffron/Autumn Crocus and Clematis also harbor noxious potential.
A WALK ON THE DARK SIDE
Shorter days mean darker conditions; so use extra caution while walking the dog during the fall and winter months. Reduced visibility can pose a challenge for drivers who may not be able to easily see animals and humans on sidewalks and roads. Always maintain control using an appropriate leash, collar or harness, and make sure ID tags have up-to-date information. Take along a flashlight and consider purchasing reflective gear for added safety.
LEAF IT ALONE
Fall means cleaning up and preparing the home for the coming winter. When working in the yard, try to keep pets separate or safely confined indoors. Leaf piles accumulate moisture, promoting the growth of bacteria and mold. Ingestion or inhalation of these microorganisms can cause stomach upset or other ailments like breathing problems and even kidney and liver failure. Burning dried leaves and other plant material releases smoke and plant-based oils like poison ivy that can irritate eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin. In addition, loud or unexpected noises created by leaf blowers may cause a pet to flee.
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Copyright of this article (2014) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.