in the city can be dangerous for pets.
cars, swimming pools with steep sides or waterfront
docks, and picnics where dogs can sneak a helping of
raisins or grapes ó tasty to you but potentially
poisonous to your animal friend ó all pose a problem,
say veterinarians who work in critical care.
summertime activities like watersports, plus increased
temperatures and humidity, also up the potential for
cats or dogs to be injured or even killed, said Dr.
Lynel Tocci, an animal critical care vet at Lauderdale
Veterinary Specialists in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
few months ago, a Boca Raton, Fla., woman rushed to the
clinic with her cockapoo that had tumbled into the house
pool, Tocci said. The puppy had inhaled water while
struggling to get out and required 36 hours of oxygen
treatments and intravenous fluids, but it recovered.
many hazards to animals lurk year-round, there are
potential pet danger zones you should be aware of as
summer moves in.
pools, docks and canals: People assume dogs can swim so
theyíre safe around water, Tocci said. While most
pooches can paddle a bit, they can injure themselves or
drown while frantically trying to climb out of a
steep-sided pool or up a barnacle-covered sea wall.
advises residents who have pools to
"drown-proof" their pooches by wading into the
water with them and training them to seek out the steps.
Pool fences also are a good idea, she said.
youíre a watersports fan, make sure to outfit your
pets with life jackets if they are going to be spending
time on boat or docks, she said.
cars: "Heat stroke from leaving animals in the car
is a big deal," Tocci said. "Cracking the
window isnít going to work."
problem is compounded by people traveling more with
their pets, she said.
itís 85 degrees outside, temperatures inside a car can
soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, according to the
Humane Society of the United States. Your pet can suffer
irreversible organ damage or die.
hereís the good news: Prevention is simple, Tocci
said. Just donít leave your dog or cat in a car this
balconies: Be careful about leaving your condo balcony
door open to catch a summer breeze. Tocci said she
recently treated a cat that jumped off a ninth-floor
patio after being accidentally left outside.
this kitty amazingly survived with little more than a
broken leg, another pet wasnít so fortunate. A blind
dog brought to Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists died
from a balcony fall, Tocci said.
dwellers must make sure their railings are high enough,
and bars or screening secure enough, before letting
their pets onto the balcony, she said.
home: Food, plants and medications are among the common
household items that can injure or poison pets, said Dr.
Stacey West, a vet at Boca Veterinary Clinic in Boca
Raton who has worked in animal emergency care. Raisins,
grapes, onions, chocolate and garlic are toxic to dogs.
are poisonous to cats, and the objects they play with,
like yarn, can cause potentially fatal intestinal
blockages if swallowed.
always tell people that they need to treat their pets
like they are toddlers. They will go after
anything," West said.
yard and neighborhood: When outdoors, be on the lookout
for poisonous Bufo toads, snakes and rat bait or garbage
like chicken bones that someone may have thrown in the
grass. If your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea, is not
eating or in pain, call your veterinary immediately,
a list of items that are toxic to pets, call
800-213-6680, or go to petpoisonhelpline.com. Online
information is free, but there is a one-time $49 fee for
a phone consultation.
that are fun for humans but not necessarily for pets:
Chances are good your pooch would rather stay home than
get overheated or stepped on at a loud, hot, crowded art
festival or outdoor concert, Tocci said.
said she regularly treats injuries incurred at dog
parks. So if you go, make sure your dog is well
socialized and leashed and watch out for canine bullies,
and if you are one of those pet parents who has a full
wardrobe for your furkid? Donít leave your
sharp-dressed dog unattended. West treated one that
managed to get tangled in its outfit, rolled off a bed
and broke its leg.
one of Westís more interesting emergency room shifts,
she said she treated four dogs in one night for
guess they like to eat it," she said.
time, she tended to a puppy sickened by inhaling pot
remember, your idea of a good time may not be so great
for your pet.