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Vaping Product Hazardous to Your Pet!

Electronic cigarettes such as Vapes and Juuls have gained popularity as a healthier and potentially less expensive alternative to cigarettes, but for our pets, it could pose a greater risk than the classic tobacco.

The toxic compound here is nicotine, which is extracted from tobacco as a highly-concentrated liquid that is then added to some chemicals of negligible toxicity to create e-juice. E-cigarettes contain a cartridge for e-juice that, when heated, becomes the vapor users inhale.

It is this juice (also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid) that can pose such a severe threat to our pets. While a full cartridge of e-juice in a vaping device could contain up to 36 mg of nicotine, a single 30mL (average-sized) bottle of the liquid, at 36mg/mL, will contain 1080 mg of nicotine. To put this in perspective, just 0.5 mg per pound of body weight is enough for cats and dogs to show clinical signs of nicotine poisoning, with lethality starting at 20mg for the smaller animals.

It is important to remain careful if you use e-cigarettes to keep both the e-juice and the vaping device out of your pet’s reach, but also away from the edges of tables or countertops. Beyond the danger of ingestion, nicotine can also be absorbed into your pet’s body through their skin. A spill on their back or beneath their paw could be just as hazardous as lapping it up off the floor.

Because the nicotine in the vaping liquid has already been extracted from the tobacco, it could take as few as 15 minutes for signs of poisoning to begin, whereas they may not begin for a few hours if it had been a cigarette with tobacco that still has to release the nicotine. These symptoms include rapid heart rate, vomiting, muscle tremors and, in the worst cases, stupor, collapse, or coma.

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to this e-juice, it is important that you call Animal Poison Control at (888) 486-4435 and get your pet to a hospital as soon as possible. You can contact our office by calling 925-230-9422, but if the emergency takes place outside our normal business hours, there is a list on our website of after-hours emergency hospitals to reach out to.

Remember to stay safe and aware when using products that could pose a threat to your furry friends!


Foxtails: Tiny Seeds, Big Problems

Foxtails: Tiny Seeds, Big Problems

Foxtails are one of the more serious pet hazards in our area: not only can they work their way into any part of your dog or cat, but they’re very hard to find in a pet’s fur. They like to get around, too—a foxtail in the nose can migrate to the brain and one in the skin can eventually make its way to a lung.

To decrease exposure to foxtails, try to keep your pet out of tall grasses and remove all foxtail plants from your yard. If your pets are outside frequently, brush them regularly and check for foxtails over their entire body, paying special attention to your pets’ ears, mouth, nose, between their toes and around the base of their tail.

While you can use tweezers to remove foxtails you find on your pet right after attachment, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Constant licking of an area, especially feet or genitals
  • Limping or swelling of a foot
  • Shaking the head, tilting it to one side or scratching incessantly
  • Redness, discharge, swelling, pawing or squinting of the eyes
  • Frequent or intense sneezing, or nasal discharge

At Del Valle Pet Hospital, we encourage you to ask us any questions you have about foxtails and how they affect your pet, especially around this time of the year. For more information, or if you notice any of the above symptoms, please contact us at 925-443-6000 or reach out online.


Rattlesnake Season is Here

Rattlesnake Season is Here

As we enter summer and you spend more time outdoors with your pets, remember to look out for rattlesnakes. Like all cold-blooded animals, rattlesnakes are more active in the hotter seasons. They love to bask in the sun, so there’s a good chance you’ll come across one when hiking, camping or walking in our area.

To lower the risk these bites can pose to pets, Del Valle Pet Hospital highly recommends having dogs vaccinated against rattlesnake venom.

Rattlesnake venom is extremely dangerous to pets because it causes excessive swelling and death of the tissue surrounding the bite wound. Because the vaccine can only reduce the severity of symptoms, bites should always be treated immediately at our hospital or, if we are closed, our closest emergency vet hospitals are:

Other things to consider regarding outdoor pet care in our area include remaining on designated paths and to always remember to keep an eye (and an ear!) out for rattlesnakes. And of course, always keep pets leashed and out of brush.

For more information on rattlesnake venom and your pet, or if you’d like to schedule your pet’s rattlesnake vaccine, please contact us at 925-443-6000 or book online today.


Flea & Tick Season . . . is Coming

Flea & Tick Season . . . is Coming

Your pets are much more likely to encounter fleas and ticks around this time of the year. Don’t overlook the problems these pests cause: fleas can trigger dermatitis and hot spots and one tick bite can transmit numerous dangerous diseases.

Your pets are much more likely to encounter fleas and ticks around this time of the year. Don’t overlook the problems these pests cause: fleas can trigger dermatitis and hot spots and one tick bite can transmit numerous dangerous diseases.

It’s always a good idea to constantly check your pets for fleas and ticks on a daily basis. This can be done while you are playing with your best friend or grooming them. Although fleas and ticks can be anywhere on your pet’s body, they prefer posting up near the head, ears, neck and paws. You can spot evidence of fleas if you notice little black specks that resemble pepper or bits of dirt.

Preventive medications are the best way to keep fleas and ticks away from your pets. At Del Valle Pet Hospital, we have a variety of products for dogs and cats, which will help rid your pet of these nuisances.

If you’re not sure which preventive medications are right for your pets or would like to discuss a proper course of action, we highly encourage you to schedule an appointment with us today by calling 925-443-6000 or scheduling online.

Together we can eliminate these freeloading pests!


Keep Your Pets Safe This Paw-liday!

Keep Your Pets Safe This Paw-Liday

The winter holidays are fun for us humans, but our parties, decorations, and festive foods can put our pets at risk! Here are a few tips for keeping your animal companion safe this season:

• Skip the tinsel if you have cats. They’re very attracted to shiny objects and you don’t want them ingesting tinsel.

• Keep pets away from holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies, which are toxic to animals.

• Secure your tree to a doorway or strong drapery pole with fishing line to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat tries to climb it.

• Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, currants, macadamia nuts and walnuts are all on the naughty list for pets as these foods can make them seriously ill. Also, beware xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in chewing gum, candy and peanut butter) which can cause illness and even death.

• Put your pet in another room with toys and a bed when having a party or large gathering. This way your dog, and especially your cat, will be less stressed.

Need more help preparing your pet for the holiday? Give us a call at (925) 230-9422.


Have You Heard of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

Veterinary medicine is constantly evolving. One of the newest advancements in the field includes platelet rich plasma (PRP), which has already been used for years in human medicine to heal tendon and ligament lesions, promote wound healing and help with bone grafts. In fact, some very high-profile athletes have had PRP treatments and had lasting great results!

Tiger Woods

When Tiger Woods blew out his knee in 2008, he needed a knee reconstruction. However, this procedure often results in knee pain and recurring problems so instead, Woods had PRP injections before the Master’s Tournament. After he received several injections of PRP in his knee, he competed. In what appeared to be a miraculous recovery, he was then able to golf without pain.

Kobe Bryant

In basketball, the risk of knee injuries is great. The famous Kobe Bryant was a victim of a knee injury—after years of stress on his knees, he developed trouble with his joints. His pain was so bad that he thought about retiring early. However, he opted instead to try PRP therapy. Bryant flew to Germany and received several rounds of PRP injections. Then, Bryant was able to resume his career without knee troubles. PRP saved him from an early retirement.

Alex Rodriguez

When Alex Rodriguez underwent surgery in 2009, people had concerns about his return. They thought that the baseball all-star might not make it back on the field quickly. However, Rodriguez decided to try PRP therapy. He eventually made it back on the field much sooner than everyone else expected. Thanks to PRP, he got his career back quickly.

Dr. McCool

Celebrities are not the only ones getting PRP treatment—our very own Dr. McCool has just had this procedure done for the arthritis and pain in her hands. She is the pioneer for bringing this great medicine to Del Valle Pet Hospital. Her belief in alternative medicine and the benefits of not needing to be on pain medications daily is why she wants to share this with our clients.

What Can PRP Be Used for in Veterinary Medicine?

PRP in our companion animals is being used for problems such as soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis, ligament injuries, tendon injuries, burn wounds and large open wounds. Since the PRP is obtained from the pets’ own blood, there are minimal risks, while the positive effects of treatment can last for up to six months or more.

The cost associated with this procedure is less than many people anticipate, and it can be comparable to the cost of six months of commonly used pain medications. This procedure is an outpatient procedure and can be done any weekday here at our hospital.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this procedure or are interested in trying it out for your best friend, give us a call at 925-230-9422 or make an appointment online.


Ratting Out Poisons That Can Kill Your Pet

Ratting Out Poisons That Can Kill Your Pet

When you see multiple animals in one day who are in danger of being severely ill from the same cause, you know there’s a problem.

The veterinarians at Del Valle recently saw three pets in one morning who had ingested rat poison or snail bait. Even if the box says “pet safe”, the ingredients in these products can be deadly for dogs and cats as well as the pests you want to exterminate. These pets could have been seriously sickened had their owners not brought them in right away for treatment.

We understand that getting rid of rodents and snails in your home and garden is important. However, if any of the following active ingredients are present in the product or trap, you don’t want it in your home with your resident animals—or small children, for that matter. Continue Reading


Rattlesnake season: is your pet protected?

Help the Bark Avoid the Bite

If getting into the great outdoors with your dog is on your to-do list, a rattlesnake vaccination for your pet should be on that list as well.

As the weather gets warmer, snakes will become more active and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter one basking in the sun. Rattlesnakes aren’t confined to rural areas, however—they can be found in cities, suburban parks, and riverside areas.

To decrease the risk of being bitten, it’s a good idea to stick to well-used trails, keep your dog leashed, and don’t hike alone. It’s also important not to let your dog sniff or step where you can’t see, such as around rocks, brushy areas, and downed logs.

Rattlesnake venom is extremely dangerous as it causes excessive swelling and death of the tissue surrounding the wound. Baby rattlesnakes, which are very common in spring, pack an even deadlier bite as they release all their available venom at once rather than rationing it out like adults.

To lower the risk these bites pose to pets, Del Valle Pet Hospital highly recommends having dogs vaccinated against rattlesnake venom. Because the vaccine can only reduce the severity of symptoms, bites should always be treated immediately at the closest veterinary emergency facility.

To schedule your pet’s vaccination, make an appointment online or by calling us at 925-230-9422.


Keeping Pets Safe in the Car in Summertime

With the weather reaching its summer highs, Del Valle Animal Hospital wants to make sure that you and your family remain safe.

With the weather reaching its summer highs, Del Valle Pet Hospital wants to make sure that you and your family remain safe. Each year, an average of 37 children and hundreds of pets die due to car-related heat stroke. Tragically, nearly all of these are preventable.

Even on mild days temperatures soar inside vehicles, often rising more than 20F in minutes and continuing until reaching staggering numbers. On 90F day, car temperatures can reach well above 135F, entering fatally hot numbers within an hour. Because of their smaller bodies and poor cooling mechanisms, pets and children heat up much faster than adults, allowing heatstroke to occur quickly. Symptoms rapidly progress from flushed, dry skin, to vomiting and seizures, organ failure and death. Precautions like cracking a window or leaving drinking water in the car are woefully ineffective. It is never acceptable to leave your child or pet alone in a car.

As a bystander, if you see a pet or child alone in vehicle, call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to handle these situations, but the time it takes for them arrive could be the difference between life and death.

If you have questions for your Del Valle Pet Hospital veterinarian, stop by our veterinary hospital in Livermore or call 925-230-9422 to schedule an appointment.


Introducing Baby to Your Pet

Introducing Baby to Your Pet

Of the many changes a new baby brings to life, it is easy to overlook how this new addition to your family can affect your pets. The bond between pet and a child is deep and rewarding, but needs to be carefully managed from the beginning. Here are some useful tips to help your pet safely get to know, and grow to love, your new child.

  • Make your pet familiar with your baby’s scent. Prior to bringing your child home from the hospital, take an article of his or her clothing and calmly present it to your pet, letting them sniff it from a distance before letting them examine it up close. It is important that your pet learns to associate the smell with positive feelings and reinforcement, beginning the process of training your pet to respect the baby.
  • Establish boundaries around the nursery. Condition your pet to understand that nursery, or place when your infant will spend the most time, is off-limits and they may only enter with your permission.
  • Control the first meeting. The first time your pet and baby meets should be calm and positive, establishing good experiences from the start. Reward good behavior like cautiously approaching the baby, gentle movements, or responding to obedience cues with treats. Make sure your pet has burned off excess energy by taking them for a walk beforehand.
  • The first few weeks are important. Continue to reward your dog for good behavior around your child. This will teach them to associate being tranquil with positive reinforcement. Make sure they have extra toys available so they don’t play with the baby’s belongings.
  • Never leave your child alone with your pet. Your baby’s crying and sudden movements may make your pet nervous and force them to lash out. Because they are so small, pets may hurt them, even if they aren’t intending to.

If you have questions for your Del Valle Pet Hospital veterinarian, stop by our veterinary hospital in Livermore or call 925-230-9422 to schedule an appointment.