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Erindale Animal Hospital in the News

Follow the link to watch the CTV News Report

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/she-was-coughing-and-choking-and-hacking-warning-for-dog-owners-about-harmful-weed-1.6530384?fbclid=IwAR0HTZ8fxBQTMhNIYkxWAzKts6OXyPiJX5YYolIeT65cl2rE9c4V358c0gc_aem_AYItVnX1yJy1t1xCLdZKaVcJskiU5tNEXPxvjT2ghFt2dDVIKlpyUwOGwH4wRBClNY8
 

Carla Shynkaruk

Multi-Skilled Journalist CTV News Saskatoon

Updated Aug. 23, 2023 10:59 a.m. PDT

Published Aug. 22, 2023 5:43 p.m. PDT

There’s a natural hazard lurking in the weeds in Saskatoon this time of year that dog owners should be aware of because it could mean costly vet bills or even losing your pet.

Foxtails have been seen more over the past five years and pet owners should be on the lookout.

Sophie is a Shih Tzu Pomeranian, and in her 10 years, her owner Hannah Carswell has never had to deal with a foxtail encounter- until this month.

“Sophie was on the deck of my condo, and she started skittering around and I didn’t know what was wrong with her. She was coughing, and choking and hacking,” Carswell told CTV News.

It was nighttime and her vet wasn’t open, so she waited until the morning. That’s when the vet confirmed it was foxtail, a potentially deadly weed according to Veterinarian Miranda Wallace at the Erindale Animal Hospital.

“It is a bigger deal than people would suspect,” Wallace says.

The grassy weed is topped with a sharp needle which can get stuck in a pet’s coat, paws, or worse if ingested.

“Sometimes it can migrate to places, that can cause issues. Granulomas or abscesses in lungs and chest and migrate into sinuses,” according to Wallace. 

Nicole German experienced foxtails with her previous dog and faced $5000 in vet bills.

“She ate them, so we went through two really serious bouts removing hundreds of foxtails under anaesthesia. Removing them from her throat, mouth, esophagus, we almost lost her,” German told CTV News.

Her new dog is only nine months old and hasn’t had a run-in with foxtails, mostly because the family is diligent and watches for them, according to German. She’s also taken to Facebook to warn other dog owners, so they don’t have to endure what she did.

At the Erindale clinic they’re prepared for numerous cases in the summer with foxtail case numbers on the rise over the past five years.

“We’ve had a few cases come in already. We actually have a case coming in today for foxtails.”

Wallace wants pet owners to watch their dogs and closely monitor what they are eating.

“If you notice that your dog is sniffing around in the grass and then starts pawing at their face, sneezing or coughing that could be an indication that they have a foxtail,” she said.

Tent signs have been put up in various locations around the city, in parks and green spaces.

The signs provide little consolation for Carswell and Sophie.

“It was a really scary. I’m paranoid. I will not take her to the dog parks. The small dog park has them.”

The City of Saskatoon said in an email it is currently managing problem foxtail areas.

“(In) 2021, the City began its educational efforts on foxtail, including information on prevention and control techniques for foxtail barley (foxtail) for developers and landowners.”

For more information and to download a copy of the guide, visit saskatoon.ca/weedcontrol

For more information about the amazing product OutFox Field Guard, please check out their website  https://outfoxfordogs.com/en-ca

Hot Weather Tips to keep your pets cool when it heats up!


We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry family members, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, here are some simple precautions.


Offer Multiple ways to cool off!

Try making fans available and / or freeze water in water bottles and place under towels in bed.


Provide open access to cool spots!

Let your pet reach shade and cooled surfaces like tiled floors, tubs, and shaded rooms.

Try to keep them inside during the day.


Make sure there is always clean and fresh water available!

Check your water bowls more often! Water evaporates more quickly in hot weather. Try adding ice cubes to their water!


Walk your dog during cooler parts of the day.

Either early morning or late evening


Your dog may appreciate...

- Cooling Collars or Bandanas

- A paddling pool to splash around in.


* Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.


Avoid

- Walking your dog on hot asphalt, as their paw pads can easily burn.

- Never under any circumstances leave your dog in a parked car

- Direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

- Excessive Exercise


Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brush your cats coat more often, to remove the extra fur that can hold in extra heat.


Animals at a higher risk

- Brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds such as Persian cats, pugs, bulldogs, and boxers

- Pets with thick or dark coloured coats

- Young Pets

- Senior Pets

- Obese Pets


Watch Carefully for signs of heat stroke

Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, it includes

- excessive panting or difficulty breathing

- increased heart and respiratory rate

- drooling

- mild weakness

- stupor or even collapse

- Symptoms can also include seizures

- bloody diarrhea

- vomit

- along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees

These can signal a serious condition.



To help cool your dog, wet the fur immediately with lukewarm to cool water, not cold water. Bring them into the shade and offer drinking water.


Even if your dog cools down take him to a vet as soon as possible as some medical problems caused by heatstroke may not show up right away.


If you suspect your pet got overheated or if they have a dry tongue, no drool, and are no longer panting.


Please seek vet attention immediately!


If you see an animal trapped in a car on a hot day, try to locate the owner for call 911.

Stay by the car until assistance arrives.


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