Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Poisonous Mushrooms and Your Dog

The recent rains have produced a large crop of mushrooms in my yard. Naturally, I worry about  the dogs, cats and horses eating them, but I don't know which are bad. The best thing to do is to pluck them up before the critters find them.

I have kicked them and smashed them, but all that does is spread the spores, and they come back up over night.  On acreage, it's difficult to pick up all the mushrooms, and they come up fast, so it's also important to know the signs of poisoning.

Symptoms of poisoning include salivating, head shaking, tremors,vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, lethargy, and difficulty walking, to name a few.  These symptoms can exhibit within a few minutes or up to several hours after ingesting.

If you catch your dog eating mushrooms, remove the pieces and induce vomiting. If you can't do this, or have delicate sensibilities, get thee to the vet. Immediately. If you have a specimen of the mushroom, take that with you.

 Check your yard each morning, especially during the rainy, damp season. They grow quickly and can shoot up overnight, so scoop them up and throw them away.

And remember, it can be nearly impossible to tell the poisonous varieties from the edible.
This link shares some great mushroom information.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Tails---Bonnie's Second Chance

Bonnie was given a second chance at life, thanks to Sammie's Friends and the Doris Day Animal Foundation who helped pay for her surgery. 

Bonnie was brought to us by Sutter Animal Control where she was to be euthanized that day! That shelter is over-crowded and with dogs bunched into cages together, there really wasn't time to wonder where her owner was, so they kept her for only a few days. No one thought an owner was coming for this 9-year old dog.

We couldn't let this nice old gal be killed so we took her.  Next, we took Bonnie to the vet because she had hematomas in both ears. A hematoma is a collection of blood, usually clotted, outside of a blood vessel. Very uncomfortable--poor baby—she was miserable.  A little surgery on her ears and she immediately felt better.

Then the most amazing thing happened. Her owner saw her on our Facebook page and came for her!!! They live in another county, and didn’t even know where to look for their beloved girl. A truly happy ending!

Please chip your pet (and register the chip!). It makes it possible for us to help you have a Happy Tail.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Happens To Your Pet If You Die?


What would you do with your beloved pet if something were to happen to you? Many pets are brought to the shelter after their owner has died. Would your family take your pet to the shelter? If you think they would keep it, you might be right, but you might also be surprised.

After the September 2001 attack, 800 animals were left homeless. Now is the time to plan for the welfare of your pet. You need to do three things:

1. identify the caregiver,
2. prepare written instructions,
3. and set up a fund.

 Choose a caregiver wisely. Talk to your vet, or ask local pet sitters and animal rescue groups, if your family or friends aren't able to take your pet. 
You can set up a pet trust. California is one of the 32 states that has pet trusts. You’ll also want to fund it. With this step, figure out how much you are spending each year on your pet, including vet visits, and multiply that times how many years your pet might live. If you can’t afford to do this step, please take the steps to ensure your pet goes to a person who can and will care for it and who will WANT it. Click here to learn more about setting up a pet trust.

If you leave money for the care of your pet, your trust will create a fiduciary responsibility for the appointed person to care for your pet. We had a woman call us to bring a cat to the shelter. That cat was left to her with money for its care, which she offered to give us. I doubt that was the intent of the cat’s former owner. How very sad.
The resources on 2nd Chance for Pets offer many useful forms, including a wallet card. Add your address, pet’s name and type of pet, and have an emergency contact number to this card and carry it with you. Post emergency contact information at home by your phone too. It should include an alternate phone number, the pets in your home, where to find leashes/carriers/foods/meds, the name of your vet and, most importantly, the name of an emergency caregiver.


So here’s a recap of the basics:
      1.       Identify the caregiver
      2.       Prepare written instructions
      3.       Set up a fund.

     Now let's get those plans in order!

Mustang Sally

Michelle McKenzie works at Sammie's Friends and is ruled by the many dogs and cats in her life.