What is red and used in things dogs eat, yet are toxic to dogs?

Zeuscar Have any idea what is red, is a food humans eat all the time, is used as an ingredient that dogs eat, and yet has toxic properties? If you guessed a tomato plant you are ahead of me in the knowledge department. Pictured here is my buddy Zeus and over the weekend we had a little (big) issue with diarrhea. Diarrhea in dogs is pretty normal every now and then but when it’s constant and a puppy it could be trouble. It can lead to dehydration and to a puppy that’s not good. After some heavy investigative work and working through my yard to figure out what is in the yard that could cause this. I realized the only thing in my yard that was different from my other dogs was our vegetable garden. A little known fact about the tomato plant is it’s in the nightshade family and although the tomato won’t do much damage the green leaves are toxic. So if you’re dealing with a dog that has a sour stomach you might want to take a look around to see if you lost some leaves off your tomato plants.

Is that puddle safe to drink for your dog or is it poison?

Dog_Hlth_AntifrzePsn_99737194 Ever take your dog for a nice walk after it rains? Sometimes it’s still a bit muggy and your pet needs a drink so it stops by the puddle and takes a swig. The problem with this is most puddles are near the street or drive where people tend to work on cars or park cars. Antifreeze is very deadly to pets and it doesn’t take much to poison them. Next time you’re out with your dog keep a bottle of water with a spout for them to drink from. Or bring a collapsible water dish to ensure they are drinking good clean water.

Summertime heat is on the way. Don’t lock your dog in the car!

hot-car-hot-oven2I see it every summer. Nice summer day, sun is out, time for a ride in the car with the dog. While I am out the phone rings and it’s the wife asking me to stop at the store. Not a problem I am out anyway and it will only take a few minutes. I stop at the store roll up the window but leave it cracked since the dog is in there and he needs fresh air. What people forget in that scenario is even though the windows are cracked the summertime heat will begin to build in the car. As your dog sits it will begin to pant to cool down. If your 10 minute stop turns into a longer one this situation could turn deadly for your dog. If you are traveling with your dog don’t leave it locked in a hot car. It doesn’t take much for heat stroke to set in or the police to show up and break the dog out.

How the right dog food can cut down on the yard mess.

Dinner Time
This is the time of year when the snow is gone and the reminder you own a dog and forgot snow doesn’t dissolve pet waste becomes clear.

It is also a busy time for us here at Scoop-It taking care of our regular Weekly Customers as well as our Spring Customers and it gives us time to survey the type of food people feed their dogs.

Why the interest in what dog food? Just as what we humans eat affect our health and digestive systems so does what your dog eats.

I can usually tell how bad a yard will be if they have not cleaned up since last fall but use food that has meat as the first ingredient.

If the dog was feed food that had rice, corn, or anything other than meat in the first ingredient I would know to schedule more time for that yard.

Dogs (I hope you’re sitting) are carnivores and there system needs meat. If your dog food has filler than your dog will have to eat more often to get the nutrients it needs to live and thus produce more waste.

There are a lot of choices of dog food on the market some high priced some really low price but you do not have to pay top dollar for quality dog food.

It may cost a little more than the cheap stuff but the cost over time will balance out since your dog will eat less of it, lower Veterinarian bills, and less waste in the yard.

A families struggle to help their dog.

german-shepherdsBailey is a full bred German Shepherd, now about 8 years old. A little over a year ago he began losing weight.
Around that time Brad from Scoop-It stopped by to let us know that he wasn’t seeing much stool in the yard, and what was there, was the size he would normally see with a small dog, not one that was 125 pounds.

After that Bailey started squatting numerous times trying to have a bowel movement, often with no success.
We took him to our Vet who ran X-rays which showed nothing out of the ordinary. His routine blood work was also good. So they prescribed something for diarrhea assuming his problem was related to cramping and the sensation of still having to go when nothing was there.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work and Bailey became increasingly ill wanting to go outside day and night straining to go with no results.

Bailey began to whine to the extent that one night we took him to an emergency vet clinc. Their X-ray showed that he had a large amount of stool in his intestines. So they gave him a litre of fluid intraveniously and gave us an enema pack to give him if needed. When we got home however, he was able to expel a large amount of stool. That was in the end of January 2012.

Bailey’s problems continued resulting in frequent visits to the Vet who was unable to find any root cause and prescibed prednizone. On one visit they took extensive blood work that was sent to Texas A&M to check for pancreatic issues, but the tests came back negative.

All during this process we asked about perineal fistulas a condition common to German Shepherds and because of conversations we had with Brad from Scoop-It.
However, the Vets we were seeing didn’t think it was fistulas because normally they present themselves on the outside of the rectum, and Bailey’s examinations showed nothing unusual.

Finally in May of 2012 we were at the end our rope. Bailey was suffering and we needed to make some hard decisions.
As a last resort we took him to the Ohio State University Animal Hospital. They kept him for 3 days and did numerous tests including a colonoscopy. What they found were fistulas but they were down inside the rectum.

They prescibed cyclosporine, a medicine given to humans after transplant surgery to help the recipient not reject the new organ. They also gave us an unusual diet of non typical – non processed foods – such as rabbit, venison and even kangaroo meat!

Within a short time on the medicine Bailey was having less pain and problems going to the bathroom.

The diet however was a nightmare. Not only were the items hard to find and expensive, but Bailey didn’t like them.
Eventually based upon Brads recommendation we called a kennel owner who had two German Shepherds with the same condition as Bailey. She told us that she had good success with a dog food brand called Wellness and we’ve been feeding that to Bailey ever since along with hypoallergenic dry food that we buy from the Vet.
Bailey has been on the medication now for almost a year. We would describe his condition as much improved although we still monitor his bowel movements and sometimes have to hand feed him to get him to eat (but Bailey has ALWAYS been a picky eater anyway.) We’re grateful for the support Scoop-It provided during this process and hope that Scoop-It’s readers who may be seeing similar issues with their dogs may be able to find a shorter route to getting the problem fixed.

Our journey was expensive. Ohio State gives wonderful care but was not cheap. The cyclosporine is also pretty expensive.
But we’re thankful for having Bailey still with us and seemingly pain free.

A German Sheppard named Bailey

Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Shepherd (also known as the Belgian Sheepdog or Chien de Berger Belge) is a breed of medium-to-large-sized herding dog. It originated in Belgium and is similar to other sheep herding dogs from that region, including the Dutch Shepherd Dog, the German Shepherd Dog, the Briard and others.

While blog’s are normally short, I am going to make an exception for this one. I wanted to pass along a true story about a German Sheppard named Bailey.
I have been cleaning up Bailey’s yard for several years. This dog’s life was almost cut short because of a medical condition that was not diagnosed. On Bailey’s cleaning day, I noticed he was not going to the bathroom like a normal German Sheppard should. For some reason, his waste was getting less and less and smaller on a weekly basis. After going through the yard, I went up to the door and spoke with the family. I asked if Bailey had been feeling ok or if they noticed anything different about his behavior. They asked why and I explained what I had notice. I pointed out that a full grown Sheppard shouldn’t have stools the size of my pinkie.
After this conversation, Bailey’s family took him to their veterinarian and began undergoing some expensive tests to try to figure out what was going on. Bailey’s condition got so bad that he was showing physical signs of pain and yelping anytime he tried to go to the bathroom. He stopped eating, and for a time there wasn’t anything in the yard for me to clean.
During another one of my normal stops, I ran into Bailey’s owner and asked how things were going and if they figured out what was wrong? His owner began to tell me that they were at a loss and the Veterinarian had not been able to diagnose the problem and they couldn’t go on much longer with Bailey in so much pain. At this point my Customer began to get upset at the thought of taking Bailey’s pain away. I asked her to let me make a few phone calls and see if I could find out anything. After several phone calls to the different people I know in the veterinarian practice, I called my Customer and asked if they had looked for Perianal Fistula? She said that this was one of the first things her Vet had looked for and didn’t see any. It then occurred to me that I needed to talk with someone that really knows this breed. So I called a German Sheppard breeder that I know. I went over the symptoms Bailey was presenting. The Breeder indicated that this was a definitely a case of fistula. I told the Breeder that the Vet had already ruled it out. The Breeder said in German Sheppard’s the fistula can be inside the dog and not visible from the outside. She recommended taking Bailey to a specialist and to tell them to look inside. The Breeder also asked me to pass along her contact information to my Customer and have her call.
After a visit to the specialist and an exam, sure enough the Breeder was correct and Bailey suffered from Perianal Fistulas and would need to take a pill. Since then Bailey has returned to normal and has gone back to ensuring I have stuff to clean. So if you don’t have a pooper scooper like Scoop-It take the time to look at what you’re cleaning up, it can give you a clue as to the health of your dog and may prevent the loss of your pet.