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  • Skunks spray volatile compounds from their anal sacs if they feel threatened by a potential predator such as a dog. Dogs can come across a skunk in rural or urban areas but most often at dawn or dusk and in areas where skunks make their den. Avoiding these areas at these times is the best way to avoid a skunk encounter. If sprayed in the face your dog may need veterinary care, as corneal damage can occur if sprayed in the eyes, and vomiting, diarrhea, or anemia can result if sprayed in the mouth. Washing the offending oils from the dog is complicated, but there are several commercial skunk shampoos that are good for this. If these are not available a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap can be used to help in the short term. It is important to avoid getting this solution in the eyes or mouth as the ingredients can be irritating and create more problems. Skunks may carry rabies so avoid contact between them and your dog.

  • There are over 30,000 species of spiders worldwide, and most of these spiders are venomous. Most spiders are unable to produce medically-significant envenomations, however, because of their small mouthparts that are unable to penetrate the skin. The two groups of spiders responsible for most medically-significant spider bites include the widow spiders (including the black widow spider) and the recluse spiders (including the brown recluse).

  • Although surgery may sometimes be unavoidable, the understanding of pet pain has improved dramatically over the past 5 to 10 years. Your veterinarian will begin managing your dog’s pain before the procedure even starts by administering preemptive pain medication. During surgery, strategies such as local freezing, continuous rate infusions, and anesthetic blocks may also be used. Immediately after surgery, pain relief will continue with medications and possibly physical medicine modalities.

  • This handout summarizes the differences between brand name and generic medications. Included is an explanation as to why both forms of medications exist, as well as things to watch out for when opting to use or request a generic medication. Cost savings for generic medications are also discussed.

  • Getting a purebred dog comes with some pros and cons. You know what you are getting but also run a higher risk for genetically tied health problems. Do a little research before selecting a new pup, purebred or otherwise, and remember this: whatever you name your dog, you will call him 'yours' no matter what he looks like!

  • Therapy pets can help people with many facets of their health including physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. These pets live with their owners and make visits to hospitals and other facilities to spend time with these human patients. Therapy pets are not the same as service animals.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a dog ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a dog accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Another source of vitamin D poisoning is the accidental ingestion of certain human medications.

  • Running a veterinary clinic has a lot of overhead and behind the scenes cost that many pet owners aren't aware of. Human healthcare is far more expensive and less efficient than you realize. Plan ahead and take preventive steps to help reduce treating costly problems.

  • Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that is widely used as a sugar substitute. Chemically, it is a sugar alcohol, and found naturally in berries, plums, corn, oats, mushrooms, lettuce, trees, and some other fruits. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.

  • Pets and people need some zinc in their diets. However, too much zinc can cause serious health problems. The amount of zinc required to cause poisoning depends upon the pet’s size, the form of zinc ingested, and how much was ingested. Some forms of zinc are more readily absorbed than others.