Poisoning and Toxicities

Poisoning and toxicities can happen at any time. Usually the cause of the poisoning is due to a combination of human error and mischievous pets. Toxic substances left unattended may be accidentally ingested by pets. Toxic foods left out on the counter or table will be no match to a determined pet. Plant toxicities may occur if you were unaware the plant was actually toxic, or if they are in areas of your house where they are in reach of your pet.



Feline Breed Spotlight: The American Shorthair

Let’s take a look at the American Shorthair cat!


The American Shorthair is a breed of domestic cat, and according to the American Cat Fanciers Association these cats are descended from cats who came over to America on the Mayflower. These cats became a recognized breed in 1906. They are a specific breed, differing from the domestic shorthair cat, who are cats of unknown parentage. 


Canine Breed Spotlight: Shih Tzu

Here’s a quick look at the Shih Tzu


Dog breed group: Toy dogs

Average life Span: 10-16 years


The Shih Tzu dog is also know as the Chinese (or Tibetan) Lion dog or the Chrysanthemum dog. The name Shih Tzu translates to “mini lion”. The lion was highly esteemed in China for its connection with Buddhism, since it had a long tradition as guardian of the temples and palaces.  The Shih Tzu was bred to reflect that appearance of strength, regality, and beauty.

Temperament: Outgoing, Alert, Loyal, Affectionate

The Shih Tzu is  a lively and playful companion, they love to romp and play. They also make good lap dogs,  Shih Tzus are content to relax with the family at the end of the day.

Is this dog for you? These are some considerations if considering a Shih

  • Training and proper socializing must start at a young age , because they are prone to stubbornness when it comes to training.
  • Shih Tzus make excellent indoor and apartment pets, as they have minimal exercise requirements. A daily walk or good play session in the house or back yard will meet the daily exercise need required by these dogs.
  • The Shih Tzu needs all of the humans in the house to be in charge and stay in charge. This means the rules of the house must be made consistently clear. If they learn and believe that they are the boss of the humans in the house it can lead to a bunch of behavioral issues. These behavioral issues can include separation anxiety, guarding, nipping and biting.
  • Whether you choose to grow their hair long or keep it clipped short, Shih Tzus require a lot of time and effort when it comes to grooming. Their  coat requires combing or brushing regularly, either daily or every other day. It is essential that they accept grooming at a young age so they are not frightened or disobedient during grooming.
  • Shih Tzus have a tendency to bark and can bark for long stretches of time. Even if it is kept indoors, this breed will bark frequently, at anyone, or anything.

Health concerns:

Both pure-bred and  mixed-breed dogs have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Problems that may affect the Shih Tzu more frequently can include the following:

These dogs are brachycephallic and therefore can be predisposed to  problems related to the shape and size of their head.

  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye problems, including ulcers, trichiasis, entropion, and cherry eye
  • Dental concerns, such as crowding of the teeth and early dental disease

The size of the Shih Tzu also can predispose them to problems with their back and knees. Spinal issues such as inter-vertebral disc disease and knee problems such as luxating patellas are common in Shih Tzus.



Feline Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a recurring respiratory issue caused by the constriction of the lung’s airways. An asthma attack is caused by a series of events.

  1. Excess mucus forms in the lungs.
  2. This mucus causes the airway walls to swell with inflammation.
  3. Then the muscles in the airways go into spasm, which leads to constriction.

Constriction of the airway leads to inability to draw a deep breath, exercise intolerance, coughing and wheezing, however all these symptoms may not be apparent at the same time.

A severe asthma attack in a cat can be life threatening if not treated properly or promptly. Seek emergency care right away if you think you cat is having an asthma attack.