Animal owners are being asked to watch their dogs and cats for signs of a potential life-threatening illness. Diamond Pet Food has removed all dog and cat food from store shelves after a dangerous toxin, aflatoxin, was found in its food. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring toxic chemical produced by the growth of fungus on certain food and feeds. High levels of aflatoxin produces acute liver problems which causes internal bleeding. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet shows any of the following symptoms of illness: sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea.
For more information, call the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-3965 or your veterinarian.
Beware of Antifreeze
Antifreeze can kill your pet, and it only takes a very small amount. Dogs and cats are attracted to its sweet taste. Keep pets out of the garage and don’t let them drink from roadway puddles while out walking. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning are excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions. Antifreeze poisoning requires immediate veterinary care.
Outside Pets and Cold Weather
If your pet lives outdoors, be sure to provide an enclosed sleeping area with straw or shavings for insulation on the floor. In extreme cold weather, it is best to bring all pets inside to prevent hypothermia and/or frostbite. Symptoms of these include bright red or white patches on the tips of ears, nose, or paws, shivering, low body temperature, lethargy, and shallow breathing. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately.
Not life-threatening, but certainly life-irritating is road salt on your pet’s paws. Not only can it irritate the pads, your animal is sure to try and lick the salt off to alleviate the discomfort. Not only does this taste bad, it can also be hazardous to your pet. To prevent this, be sure to clean your pet’s paws with a cloth and warm water after every walk on chemically treated roadways. An alternative to this would be to use pet booties on paws. These are found in most pet stores.