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Category: Pets

Ivermectin Toxicosis: It Could Kill Your Dog

About 6 months ago on a lazy Saturday afternoon, we received a phone call from a pet store that we frequently visit. It was the owner of the store, and she asked if there was a way we could stop by. Well, we had nothing better to do, so we went. When we got there, she explained that someone had found this little guy, and proceeded to introduce us to an adorable little puppy. He was brown with a little bit of black… he had the markings of a German shepherd. Also, he had some purple on his tongue and really fuzzy fur, so perhaps he had some chow in him. Either way, he needed a good home, and we were happy to oblige. He was a sweetheart, so we took the little fuzz-butt home and named him Scooter.

Not knowing much about him except that he was sweet and furry, we figured we’d better get him to the vet for a check up and to start him on vaccinations. His first few check-ups went fine; nothing was wrong with him other than fleas and intestinal parasites, (which wasn’t a big surprise since he’d obviously been on his own for a while). We got that taken care of pretty easily. The vet said that she thought he was about 8 weeks old, and that he was definitely some sort of shepherd mix, perhaps with chow and maybe some basset hound in him somewhere down the line. He was an odd-looking little fella, with his short, stubby legs and his long body and curly tail. It did not take long for it to feel like he was part of the family.

Well, one day, I noticed him getting a bald spot on his forehead. It didn’t look too bad, and he had a booster appointment coming up, so I decided just to watch it and take him to his scheduled appointment if it didn’t get any worse. Things seemed ok, so we just kept his appointment. I asked the vet about his little bald spot, and she said she’d have to scrape up a bit of skin and look at it under a microscope to determine exactly what it was. Well, Scooter took the skin scraping like a little man, even though it made him bleed some. After about ten minutes, we knew what was going on – he had demodectic mange, which basically meant that he had mites. The vet said it was not a big deal; lots of puppies have mites, but not all have skin irritation from it. So she gave us a prescription, showed me how to give it to him, and sent us on our way.

That evening, I gave him his medication right before bed; he took it without a fuss, because he’s a good boy like that. Things seemed fine – until I checked on him in the morning. It was the most horrid sight‚Ķ he, (along with the entire bathroom) were covered in a layer of vomit, and he couldn’t walk. I stood there, shocked at what I was seeing, and murmured “Oh Scoot-Scoot”. He pitifully tried to push himself over to me, and I burst into tears. Immediately, I called the vet and described his symptoms, and they said he was probably just nauseated. They told me to wait a few hours and try to feed him, and that if he wasn’t any better by noon, I should bring him in. I waited as long as I could, but I was scared to death. His body was trembling, he couldn’t walk, wouldn’t eat or drink, and stopped responding to me at all. It was time to go.

When we got to the vet, I needed help getting him out of the car‚Ķ he’d bitten me twice trying to get him in there, and I was kind of afraid to touch him again. I rushed into the office and asked for help; a lady who worked there appeared shortly. When she saw him in the car, she picked him up and headed straight for the door. Just inside the building, she shouts, “I think we have an emergency!” and takes him back to be looked at. Promptly, I lose my composure. A nice lady in a pink jacket comes over and hugs me, and tells me that he’s in good hands. The consolation was nice, but I was still very afraid of losing him.

After probably the longest 20 minutes of my life, a nurse came out to talk to me. She told me that he was having an allergic reaction to his medication, and that they didn’t know if he was going to make it. They’d sedated him (the trembling I’d described turned out to be seizures), and put him on an IV. They said that was the most they could do; the medication would have to make its way out of his system, which would take about a week. We’d just have to hope he could hold on that long.

My, what a terrible week that was; I cried constantly. We went to see him every day, often without any news of improvement. It was disheartening, at best, to see him lying in the kennel sedated day after day because the seizures had not yet subsided. He would always be in such awkward positions, with his tongue hanging out and drooling, eyes half open and dilated, legs folded and splayed at the same time. He looked, and smelled (because he had no control over his bodily functions) quite awful. Finally, nearing the end of a week’s time, he began moving some on his own. When we’d go to see him, he’d respond when we would pet him and talk to him, usually by twitching around in a failed attempt to move. That was good; it was improvement, right? At least he knew we were there.

Well, during the course of the week he was in the hospital, I decided to do some research on his prescription to see how likely it was that he was allergic. I’d given him Ivermectin; so I started by doing a search on that. As it turns out, Ivermectin is commonly used as an anti-parasitic drug to get rid of intestinal parasites, lice, and mites. Ok‚Ķ that sounds right so far. Then I read that generally, side effects are not a concern when low dosages used for internal parasites are given; it’s when larger doses are given – such as those used against mites – that problems occur.

I continued my search, and as it turns out, certain breeds of dog have more of a chance of being sensitive to Ivermectin than others… collies, shepherds, and sheepdogs being the main ones, though it can show up in any breed. They have a mutant gene that (long story short) fails to keep medications like Ivermectin out of the central nervous system, which is called Toxicosis. Symptoms of Toxicosis include: dilated pupils, depression, coma, tremors, stupor, loss of coordination, vomiting, drooling, in rare cases seizures, and death.

I’m no vet, but I’m no stupid girl either, and I’m certain that’s what happened to my pup; however, the vet would only say that he’d had an allergic reaction that no one could have predicted (probably only to remove themselves from liability for almost killing my dog – who, by the way, IS alive and well; it took a lot of time and patience to get him back to normal, though). I wish I’d known this sooner, but there are test kits available (in the form of an oral swab) from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine that can determine if your dog has the mutant gene that allows toxicosis to happen.

So if you really love your dog, it is advisable to provide him or her with all the necessary things to keep him or her happy. If you want to train your dog, there are available tools that you can use to make it more effective such as barx buddy

In closing, I wrote this to alert people to the dangers of Ivermectin. I almost lost a real sweetheart to this drug because of someone’s (a veterinarian, no less) ignorance to the effects it could have on him. What’s scarier still is that the drug is available in some magazines and over the Internet under the name “Ivermec” or “Ivomec”- no prescription necessary. Also, Ivermectin is an ingredient in the widely used parasite-control product HeartGard, so caution should be taken if you suspect your dog may be sensitive. In any case, I would recommend having a test done if you’re faced with the possibility of needing to use this sometimes-fatal drug.

Cuddly Exotic Pet: The Chinchilla

Are you looking for an exotic pet that is interesting but not dangerous? Chinchillas are small rodents native to Peru that fit that description perfectly. Every chinchilla will have its own distinctive personality. Most in captivity are grey and males. If you can find a female, it will cost more to purchase.

There are numerous things to consider if a chinchilla is a right pet for you. They are not good pets for small kids. Additionally, they are nocturnal. This means they spend most of the day sleeping. They need a home to hide in. They are naturally skittish. However, by spending time with them, they will let you touch them. They like the top of their head scratched.

Like all rodents, they need to chew on things to keep their teeth down. The bad news for the chinchilla owner is they will chew on anything such as wires and plugs. They are best kept in a room with nothing else, but their multilevel cages.

Chinchillas are agile jumpers. If they are let out of their cage for exercise, they will run-up to the wall and jump up against it. Also, if you lie on the ground, the chinchilla will jump on your back and look around. In the cage, chinchillas love their exercise wheel to keep active.

In the wild, chinchillas eat plants, fruits, and small insects. You are not able to give them the exact diet in captivity. There is a special chinchilla food that you can find in most pet stores. This will take care of all their dietary needs. Like people, chinchillas like treats. Giving one raisin a day is a special treat that will make the chinchilla happy. It will grab it with its cute little paws and slowly eat it. If you give them more than one raisin, it could make them sick.

Chinchillas need special dust to keep their fur soft. This removes the oils and moisture from their fur. They love to roll around taking their daily dust bath. The bad news is that many chinchillas are killed yearly for their fur.

Most chinchillas should be kept apart unless you are trying to breed them. They have one – seven babies that take almost 4 months to be born. They are fully furred and eyes open at birth.

Here are some other things to know about chinchillas. Their health will suffer if the temperature gets above 75 degrees. Aspen is the preferred bedding and red cedar bedding is toxic. They need to be given grass hay and a water bottle. Do not put them near rabbits.

Chinchillas are cute cuddly pets that are exotic. They love attention and don’t respond to negative punishment. If you can meet their requirements, you may have the perfect pet for the next 10-15 years.

Choose What Works Best Among Different Types On Natural Cat Litters

Like any other pets, cats too need specialized care and things. One such thing is cat litter which is an absolute necessity for any cat owner. One can buy cat litter from shops and online retailers which come in various forms.

But as the silicone litter can be harmful and even disliked by cats too, pet owners are more inclined towards natural litter these days.

What are natural cat litters?

Anyone is thinking about going green with their cat litters then natural cat litters are the things to choose. These litters are good for the cat’s health and also are biodegradable and renewable. Also, these litters are less expensive and are made from most natural things like corn, soya pulp, grass, newspaper, sawdust etc. they also have a natural scent of their which act as odor controller.

Benefits of natural cat litter

  • Lesser harmful:

most of the cat litters contain silica, excessive dust and many other types of chemicals which can be harmful to cats and the people living in the house too. these chemicals may get absorbed into the cat skin and also come in contact with the family members too. all these chemicals are put into a litter to make them smell better and also to help in clumping. But this will not be the worry with natural litter as they do not contain any chemical which can harm the cat or anybody else.

  • Odor control:

keeping a litter box odorless is something which is the top priority for almost all the cat owners. The litter box smell can be something very disturbing to both the owners and the cat, that is why cat litters are inebriated with chemicals and silica to keep the door But the natural cat litters are equally effective with its natural compositions which gives out their natural scent and also lock the odor.

  • Clumping:

this is another issue that cat owners pay attention to, that is clumping of the litter when a cat urinates or potty on the litter. Natural cat litters are also very good in clumping without any kind of chemical added to it. easy clumping is necessary for cat owners as clumping of the litter makes it easy clean and sift the litter and also it means the cat will not carry the wet litter stuck on its paw everywhere.

  • Variety:

every cat has their own preferences depending upon what they like and what they don’t. this is why natural cat litters are something one should go for as one can find several options to choose from depending upon the absorption quality, clumping and odor control capabilities. One can try different options before choosing one for their cats.

Types of natural cat litter

There are many types available that one can avail at bestcatlitterforodorcontrol.com, but some of them are the most effective ones among others. They are:

  • Clumping clay litters:

they are finer grained and gets clumped easily which can be sifted through the rest and removed. They also control odor and one need to have to change it too often. They are expensive than other clay litter and are dusty in nature which can get tracked out of the litter box.

  • Clay-based litters:

they are the most easily found litter and cheap too. they are dusty in nature but do not get tracked out of the box. They can cover the odor completely and clumps easily. One thing that one needs to keep in mind is that they need to be changed every week.

  • Pine pellet litters:

they are made of pine, and they turn into dust when cat urinated on them. When dry they get tracked out the box and need to change frequently. They also do not control strong odors. They are less expensive than others.

  • Corn cob litters:

these are better and inexpensive than pine litters and also can be found easily. They last longer and are good at odor control. They also clump easily and can be cleaned out after cat urinates.

  • Newspaper pulp litters:

these litters are small pellets of newspaper pulp and are gray in color. they are good for clumping too. also, one the cats do not leave a track outside the litter box as there are not dust particles involved. Two of the drawbacks involved are that it can be expensive as compared to others and also it does not control the odor.

Cats take time to get acquainted with new litter so one should introduce them slowly to the litter box so that they can be comfortable into the surrounding. Choosing a natural kitty litter will not only make the cat healthy and happy but also will reduce the cat owners work as well.

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