Pet poison of the week – Bread Dough

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe
Common signs to watch for:
• Drooling
• Retching
• Vomiting
• Distended stomach
• Elevated heart rate
• Weakness
• Collapse
• Hypotension (low blood pressure)
• Coma
• Hypothermia
• Death
Unbaked bread dough can be poisonous to dogs and cats. When ingested, the unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and can result in a bloated stomach (called “bloat”); this can then progress to a gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV), which is a twisted stomach. Signs of bloat or GDV include vomiting, non-productive retching, a distended stomach, an elevated heart rate, weakness, collapse, and death. Secondly, when the yeast in the unbaked dough is fermented, it results in the production of carbon dioxide (causing the bloat) and alcohol. Alcohol from the fermenting yeast is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and results in alcohol poisoning quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated dogs and cats can experience seizures and respiratory failure.
Poison type: Foods
Alternate names: unbaked bread, yeast, alcohol poisoning, sourdough starter, pizza dough, raw bread dough



Worms in Pets

This isn’t a very nice subject to talk about, but a very big problem with our pets, and often talked about during Pet First Aid courses.

Most worms live inside your pet’s gut and will never be seen – so it’s important to prevent your pet becoming infected.

There are five different types of worms: tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms and whipworms. Your dog will display different symptoms depending on what type of worm the pet has, so it’s important to recognise the signs and apply the right dog worming treatment when necessary.

Worms 2017.2 Continue reading “Worms in Pets”


The Bloat awareness campaign was started by the owners of Safedog after their lovely dobermann boy survived gastric torsion in 2008. Less than three years later their gorgeous dobermann girl also bloated and was operated on for gastric torsion. Sadly she died a few months later from DCM (heart problems) at just six years old.

  • There are many myths about what contributes to bloat. But the simple message of this pet health awareness message, know the symptoms and go to the vet if your suspect your pet has bloat

If your pet experiences any of the following:

  • Your dog retches from the throat but nothing is produced, other than a small amount of frothy mucus.
  • Your dog tries to defaecate unsuccessfully
  • Your dog adopts the ‘Sphinx’ position
  • Your dog’s tummy goes hard and/or swells up like a balloon and is as taut as drumskin
  • Your dog is trying to bite, or worry, the abdomen
  • Your dog is very unsettled

CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is a true emergency – be prepared to drive to the surgery straightaway. The chance of survival decreases alarmingly if you delay getting the dog to the surgery more than 60-90 minutes after the first signs.

For more information

Bloat 2017.1


Medical Detection Dogs

Dogs saving lives

Medical Detection Dogs trains dogs to save lives

This wonderful charity, we met at Crufts this year, work with the powerful scenting ability of dogs to help detect and manage human disease.

The charity puppies and dogs are donated by breeders, rescue and welfare charities or simply because they need a new home. Dogs are chosen for their scenting ability, which allows us to work with a variety of breeds. The charity  are proud to have a no-kennel policy – this means all dogs live with individuals and families when they are not partnered or working.

Medical-Detection-Dogs-and-Rhileys-Smile Continue reading “Medical Detection Dogs”

Pet poison of the week – Caffeine

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe/life-threatening
Common signs to watch for:
• Hyperactivity
• Restlessness
• Vomiting
• Elevated heart rate
• Hypertension (elevated blood pressure)
• Abnormal heart rhythms
• Tremors
• Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)
• Seizures
• Collapse
• Death
Humans continue to drink and use more and more caffeine, making pets more frequently exposed to this dangerous chemical. There are several sources of caffeine in the house: in coffee, coffee grounds, tea, soda, energy drinks, weightlifter supplements, OTC pills (e.g., NoDoz), and diet pills. Theobromine, a cousin chemical to caffeine is also found chocolate. Dogs and cats appear to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than people. While 1-2 laps of coffee, tea or soda will not contain enough caffeine to cause poisoning in most pets, the ingestion of moderate amounts of coffee grounds, tea bags or 1-2 diet pills can easily cause death in small dogs or cats. When ingested, clinical signs of hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, an elevated heart rate, hypertension (elevated blood pressure), abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), seizures, collapse and death may be seen.
Poison type: Foods
Alternate names: chocolate-covered espresso beans, milk chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa mulch, caffeine, theobromine, methylxanthine, xanthine, Vivarin, tea, coffee, cacao mulch, cocoa powder, Halloween candy, weight loss supplements, theobromine, dietary supplements, coffee beans, energy drinks, green tea, guarana, NoDoz, No-Doz



Nose games with your dog part 2

Dog nose fact – Why do dogs have wet noses?

The moisture on dogs’ noses has two good uses: to help keep the dog cool, and to help the dog smell. Although dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet, they can also shed heat through evaporation from their mouth (panting) and from their nose. The thin, clear moisture produced by a dog’s nose is actually mucus, rather than sweat. The mucus also provides a good surface for dissolving chemicals from the air and absorbing them into the skin, where the cells that detect smell are located. Often, a dog that is actively sniffing and alert will have a wetter nose than one who is relaxed or asleep. Additionally, dogs will lick their nose to sample the chemicals that are stuck there and present them to another olfactory sense organ on the roof of their mouth. Together with the extensive, sensitive folds of tissue within the dog’s long nose (called with nasal turbinae) and an enlarged olfaction area in the brain, these adaptations give dogs the excellent sense of smell for which they are renowned.

Continue reading “Nose games with your dog part 2”

Nose games with your dog Part 1

Whether it’s big, round, and the palest pink or small, pointy and glossy black – you can’t miss it, it’s right there in the middle of your dog’s face: its nose. You’ve probably heard all sorts of stories about the nose, from the amazing feats of scent detection it can perform, to its use as an indicator of general dog health. Here are a few common questions and myths

Continue reading “Nose games with your dog Part 1”

Blind Dog Rescue UK

I’m always amazed, when I find out new charities that I haven’t ever heard of before, the good work these charities do, and this is one of them.

Blind Dog Rescue UK rescue, rehabilitate and rehome blind and partially sighted dogs through the UK and Europe. We believe blind dogs have the potential to live amazing lives and do all we can to ensure our dogs are given this chance.

We help dogs in the UK, Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Portugal, Russia and Croatia. Blind Dog Rescue UK believes in helping dogs in need regardless of their geographical location.

We offer support and advice to owners of blind and partially sighted dogs. Many owners are incredibly worried about the impending or sudden loss of their pet’s sight. We can teach owners how to care for their pets and help them live a happy life.

Support and Donate directly on the charity own website.

Blind Dog Rescue 2017.2



Pet poison of the week – Batteries

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe
Common signs to watch for:
• Drooling
• Oral pain
• Pawing at the mouth
• Vomiting
• Inappetance
• Difficulty swallowing
• Lack of defecation
• Abdominal pain
• Fever
Batteries can be very dangerous when ingested by dogs. When a battery is punctured or swallowed, there is risk for the alkaline or acidic material to leak out, resulting in severe corrosive injury. The most common types of batteries ingested or chewed on by dogs are alkaline dry cell battery (e.g., 9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA) or button/disc batteries. Disc-shaped batteries or lithium batteries are also very dangerous due to corrosive injury.
If a battery is ingested, the mouth should be carefully flushed for 15-20 minutes with tepid water. Dogs that ingest batteries should not have vomiting induced, as the corrosive liquid can rupture or severely damage the esophagus! Immediate veterinary attention is required after initially flushing of the mouth. X-rays should be performed; if the battery is seen in the body based on the x-rays, prompt removal is important (e.g., by endoscopy or surgery). Note that ulcers in the mouth may not be observed for hours after battery ingestion.
If you think your dog ate a battery, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for treatment recommendations.
Poison type: Household Items
Alternate names: AA, AAA, dry cell, lithium, battery, disc, alkaline, acidic, corrosive, button battery, batteries, heavy metal, corrosive



Is it safe to give dogs bones?

Feeding bones to dogs is controversial. Evidence suggests chewing bones is good for dogs in some ways, yet bad in other ways.

  • Bones are a natural source of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Chewing stimulates the jaw and prevents boredom.
  • Bones can break teeth and cause damage to the enamel.
  • Booked bones are brittle and splinter. Splinters can perforate the intestines.
  • Type of bones: Raw bones don’t splinter, but may contain bacteria that cause diarrhea and illness.
  • Never feed raw pork, with or without bones.
  • Work with a holistic veterinarian to determine what’s best for your pet.

Someone told me not to feed my dog chicken bones, why?

Cooked chicken bones may splinter and damage the stomach and intestines. Raw bones do not normally splinter. Many pets enjoy chewing raw chicken or turkey necks and raw chicken wings that are free of salmonella and other bacteria. Raw beef knuckle bones are also delicious treats. Ask your local veterinarian to do what is best for your individual pet.

Rawhide dog bones

Rawhide is probably one of the most popular dog chews on the market, but their are concerns regarding the safety of rawhide dog chews.

The Good:

  • It promotes healthy gums and teeth in dogs.
  • It prevents dogs from chewing valuable items at home.
  • It relieves teething pain that most puppies struggle with.
  • Your dog will likely love them

The Bad:

  • It can be a chock hazard. Once your dog swallows a tiny, broken piece of rawhide, that portion can get lodged in their throat; putting them in serious danger. To avoid this, immediately take the rawhide away as soon as it becomes small enough to be swallowed whole.
  • It can cause a digestive blockage. Allowing your dog to swallow a large piece of rawhide can also endanger their life. It could cause a fatal blockage, it can even wrap around their intestines.
  • It can cause gastrointestinal problems. If your pooch ingests too many rawhides, they may develop gastrointestinal complications.
  • Not all rawhides are safe to eat. Several reports have revealed that rawhides may be made from toxic chemicals. Try and only buy UK, be aware of cheap non British standards products.
  • Some rawhides contain deadly poisons. This process of making rawhides involves chemically separating the out layer of skin from the hid. This process leaves deadly poisons in the chew, including arsenic and formaldehyde.
  • Some rawhides contain skin from dogs.