Whis­tles and bangs

The Tribune (NZ) - - PAWS, CLAWS, WINGS & THINGS -

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.

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