A: No, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However there are plenty of advantages to having you pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreases the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.
A: While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet’s care.When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet’s home care needs.In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your pet’s health or surgery.
A: For dogs, a chemical in chocolate called theobromine is the source of the problem. Theobromine is similar to caffeine. Theobromine is toxic to a dog when it ingests between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine: It would take 20 ounces of milk chocolate to kill a 20-pound dog, but only 2 ounces of baker’s chocolate or 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate. It is not that hard for a dog to get into something like an Easter basket full of chocolate eggs and bunnies and gobble up a pound or two of chocolate. If the dog is small, that could be deadly.
It turns out that chocolate poisoning is actually not as unusual as it sounds. For a human being, caffeine is toxic at levels of 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That’s the same as for dogs! Humans generally weigh a lot more than dogs, but small children can get into trouble with caffeine or chocolate if they consume too much of it.
A: Recently we fielded an emergency phone call from a dog owner. She was worried because when she arrived home from work, she found that her dog had consumed half a jar of Nutella. The 13-ounce jar was tipped on its side on the floor bearing all the signs of a canine lick-fest.
Knowing how panicked the owner must be, I wanted to figure out quickly if her dog had eaten a toxic dose. With chocolate it can be tough. Dark chocolate has more cocoa per ounce than milk, and a chocolate spread? Nutella has how much cocoa in it?
Googling Nutella did absolutely nothing to tell me how much cocoa was in the product. The ingredient that causes the bad side effects is methyl xanthine. I hopped on my Veterinary Information network and found a posting by an ER vet who knew that European Nutella has 8.5 % cocoa or 8.5 grams per 100 grams of product, and the US Nutella has 7 grams. Going with the worst-case scenario, I began the calculations. After triple-checking my math, I determined that the pup had eaten 450 mg of cocoa, or half the potential lethal dose.
A dose in this range could cause a racing heart and nervous tremors. A lethal dose could cause seizures and cardiac arrest. Her pup was showing no symptoms, but to be cautious we advised that he be examined. Since he had eaten the chocolate sometime during the day, the toxin had already been absorbed and inducing vomiting was not on the table. He did well treated with fluids and activated charcoal.