Whistles and bangs
Tully still is thankfully a cute and very funny 3-year-old pug (like a very miniature boxer I guess). She was almost unconscious by the time she arrived at the hospital in her owners arms. Her tongue was blue and she was panting uncontrollably with saliva pouring from her little mouth. Another pair of hands is always on call and we soon had Tully breathing much more easily on pure oxygen and fluids going in via an IV catheter in her arm, but it was a long and nervous first hour after she first came through the door. We took turns looking after her through the night and the next day she was home again with her owner and on some much needed anti-anxiety medication. What was the cause? FIREWORKS Everyone should know the very real dangers of fireworks by now and obviously we as animal carers aren’t too keen on those bangs and whistles. Some pets become very upset and scared by the unpredictable noises and the high-pitched whistles. Dogs like Tully get themselves in to a spiral of hyperventilating and eventually can’t breath. Others hide under the bed or in corners, or bark furiously at the noises outside. And remember it’s not only the sounds but there are also the dangers of burns or of our four-legged friends eating fireworks. Fireworks often contain “heavy metals” that give them the bright colours. These are toxic if eaten. So remember to put them all in a bucket of cold water (which you have with you when letting off the fireworks!) and then discard them in a secure container like an old ice-cream container. Even sparklers discarded on the lawn can burn their mouths if they go to investigate. But rather than be negative let’s talk about the most common question this week:
The simple answer is “yes you can”, but there are a few conditions and considerations with that. • Sedatives are classified as dangerous prescription only drugs and therefore your dog will almost always need to have a health check before these are prescribed. That is a legal thing and also for the safety of your four legged friend as sedatives have effects such as dropping blood pressure. • If you do use a prescribed sedative, give it well in advance of the evening so that it has time to work.(eg an hour or two) • Sometimes other classes of medicine such as more anti-anxiety type ones may be more helpful. These need to be given for several days prior to the expected problem time to have a good effect, but they can work really well. • Another important point is that sometimes when they are sedated they are more sensitive to noise or frights, just like if we are in a quiet room and someone drops the roasting dish.
And we all seem to forget about the cats. They get very frightened as well! So for the next few weeks here are some tips for both dogs and cats: • Walk your friend in the morning rather than at night • Keep the furry feline inside at night and maybe lock
the cat flap • Make sure your pet has some identification on their
collar in case they go missing when frightened • Turn the TV or stereo on to dampen or block out some of the whistles and bangs • Remember the small pets as well and maybe bring the rabbits and guinea pigs in to the house or garage at night. • Before lighting a bonfire CHECK for any cats or hedgehogs sleeping in the pile. • NEVER use petrol or meths to
light a fire of any kind • Stable your horse if you can or maybe stay with him/
her for the evening.
Sounds like a war zone but it is very traumatic for animals and they need us to help them as they can’t control what is happening and don’t understand. Last year we had several stray pets handed in over Guy Fawkes so please keep them safe inside.
Have a safe and fun weekend from everyone at ANDERSON’S Vet Hospitals.