On Your Side: Doggy Dangers

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News 12 at 6, August 23, 2007

COLUMBIA CTY, Ga.---Taking care of your dog can go way beyond making sure it has enough food, water and taking it to the vet every once in a while.

You may need to dog-proof your house.

If you have a dog like mine, dog-proofing is not an option, it's requirement. Grady has eaten an entire jar of peanut butter; glass and all. Then there were the two bars of soap. How about the entire bunch of bananas?

But his latest brush with death was one I thought I'd share with you because it might save your dog's life.

My dogs are named Max and Grady. They are the ultimate odd couple. Max is a Miniature Schnauzer and Grady is a Great Dane.
Max only visits the vet for check-ups. Grady finds othe ways to get there.

In his short life, Grady's been to the vet more times than I can count.

The most recent time caused a big scare. He got into a bottle of Excedrin Migraine and ate at least 20 pills. He had taken enough caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen to cause some serious problems.

Organ damage, kidney and liver damage were all potential outcomes." Dr. George Runnels of Augusta Animal Emergency said.

Luckily, he got to Doctor Runnels in time and he's doing okay. But things certainly could have turned out differently.

And that got me thinking, what else is a danger around my house?

The key is figuring out what should be in your house and what shouldn't. Some things, like chemical sprays, are obvious and some things, like many plants, aren't. That means you need to know what to put out and what to put up.

So I invited Doctor Runnels into my house to look around. He spotted some of the same things that might be in your home.

First off, he noticed some a big no-no on the counter.
"One thing that can be an issue are batteries." he said.
Of course, there are all kinds of nasty things in there that can do damage to your dog.

Right after that, he noticed something you probably have in your window sill.
"Certain house plants can be an issue." he said.
You may not know it, but plants like geraniums, azaleas and carnations can be toxic.

The next thing he saw surprised even me.
"One box of raisins can be a danger." he said.
And of course, that means grapes can be too. In fact, raisins and grapes have been known to cause kidney failure in dogs.

Next we headed up to the bathroom.
The caffeine in excedrin can be very dangerous." he said while pointing to a number of over-the-counter pain relievers we have in the bathroom.
The thing to know with them is they may be common pain relievers for humans, but they can be deadly to pets.
But Dr. Runnels said most soaps and shampoos aren't deadly, but they may play havoc with your dog's stomach for a few days.

Next up was the garage.

"The first thing I spot is gasoline. Dogs will drink or get it on their feet or paws." he said.
Gas is no joke at all. It can end up causing seizures, comas or death.

Pointing to a bottle of Round-Up, he said "Most of this stuff, they will have to physically consumer it from the bottle. Just licking it off a blade of grass, it's pretty hard to cause serious damage."

But if they do drink it, get them to a vet immediately. A qualified vet can keep the problems from getting too serious and maybe even can save your pet's life.

Now chocolate can be a danger too. It only takes 1 and a half ounces of baker's chocolate to cause problems, compared to a pound of milk chocolate.

Obviously, these are just few of the things you should be looking for.
Try this website for more information http://www.Aspca.Org/site/pageserver?Pagename=pro_apcc_toxicplants

But a good rule of them is if you question it, go ahead and put it up. You'll be glad you did.

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