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Posted on 10-07-2016

Common Household Dangers To Your Pets


     Well, the weather is now becoming a little cooler and our pets are probably going to be spending a little more time indoors, so I thought I would just give a little reminder to state the sometimes obvious but unseen dangers that may pose a threat to our pets.

 

     Washers and Dryers can often times be a serious threat to your pet especially if you have a cat.  Cats harmed in large appliances are rare but not unheard of.  Cats often jump into large appliances because of the small space that makes them feel secure.  They also like to sneak into places where they are not seen but can observe the environment.

     Animals that climb into washing machines are at risk for near drowning, aspiration pneumonia, thermal damage to tissues, head trauma or trauma to other areas of the body, chemical damage from detergents to body tissues, hypothermia, hyperthermia, broken bones, and death. 

     As we can imagine, being trapped in the washer causes panic and stress which increases the risk of vomiting and subsequent aspiration.  Aspiration of inhaled water or other bodily fluids can and often leads to pneumonia.  Neurologic damage from tumbling around can increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia also.  Neurologic injury can lead to muscular incoordination, mental depression or weakness.  Aspiration of fluids may not be immediately known and may take serveral hours to be determined.

     Dryers are another place that your cat may try to climb into without you knowing.  The obvious risks are hyperthermia, trauma to soft tissues as well as to bones, burns and death. 

     Some tips to help prevent your pet from jumping into the washer or dryer are to keep the appliance doors closed when they are not in use; before turning on the washer or dryer, do a hand sweep to make sure your cat is not in there; if you hear unusual noises when you start the washer or dryer check it out immediately; and if your pet is ever trapped, immediately take him to a veterinarian for assessment.

   

     

 

Stoves, Wood Burning Stoves, and Fireplaces can also pose dangers to your pet.  We all like to have our furry friends near us when we are home but when cooking on the stove it is best to have your pet trained to sit outside of the kitchen doorway at a safe distance just in case whatever you may be preparing falls from the stove. 

     When you must leave your home for a short period of time it is a good idea to remove the knobs on your stove if  your pet can reach them and replace them with covers.  Many dogs are inquisitive and large enough to be able to turn the knobs and start a fire.  House fires have also been started by the family dog chewing on the wiring to the stove.  It might be helpful to get down on the floor and look around to view what your pet sees and where the potential for trouble lies. 

     Cats may often times try to jump onto a hot wood burning stove or fireplace. This can cause serious burns to the feet, burns to whiskers or worse burns to the skin on the body. 

     Ant/Roach Baits are other common objects found in homes that can be problematic.  In addition to the insecticides used most commonly in these baits, inert ingredients such as peanut butter, breadcrumbs and sugar are found. These products may cause symptoms that are mild in nature and self-limiting.   Most of the the time the symptoms are attributed to the inert ingredients instead of the active ingredients. 

     Liquid Potpourri often contains essential oils and cationic detergents which can be harmful to your pet.  Essential oils can cause mucous membrane and gastrointestinal irritation.  Skin exposure to the cationic detergents can result in redness, swelling, intense pain and ulceration.  Keep these items on high shelves or in areas where your pet cannot reach them. 

     Silica Gel Packets which absorb moisture from leather items, medication, or in some food packaging can cause symptoms of gastrointestinal upset such as nausea, vomiting, and inappetence.  Some silica could also absorb qualities of the medications they are packaged with and this may be a potential problem.  Some silica gel packets may contain high levels of iron or iron salts which may lead to severe and sometimes fatal iron toxicity. 

     There are many things in our homes that could pose potential dangers to our pets.  Next time we will discuss some of the many houseplants that can cause problems for them. If you have any questions regarding something that may cause harm please feel free to contact us at HOLY FAMILY PET CARE.

And once you have taken away the obvious possible hazards to your pets, you may come home to this:

Dr. Martinez

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