Dog Rescued from 30 Foot Well in Malibu

This amazing dog rescue story luckily has a happy ending, but it does serve as a timely reminder that it’s always a good idea to keep your dog on leash when out for a hike.  A dog named Lucy was in the hills outside of Malibu when she feel down a deep well.  It took the Los Angeles County Fire Department several hours to rescue her, but fortunately the rescue operation was a success.  Here’s a local news video from the rescue scene:

 

Cat Saves Owners From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A Maine Coon cat named Gracie is being credited for saving the lives of a couple who were experiencing the deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. Kevin and Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin went to bed not realizing that the vent of their tankless gas hot water heater had been frozen shut with ice, leading to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide leaking into their home.

Annette got out of bed feeling sick and collapsed in a chair. Gracie began pounding on the bedroom door to wake up Kevin. Kevin woke up thanks to Gracie’s persistent efforts. He was also feeling the effects of the gas but luckily the couple were able to call their son and 911. Emergency responders found lethal levels of carbon monoxide on the 2nd floor of the house.

The couple credit Gracie for saving their lives and think that she sensed what was happening and did her best to alert them. As Annette says, “We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie.”

Watch the news video here:

 

A FACE in the Spotlight: Meet Dr. Seth Ganz

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Dr. Ganz and Rebel

In addition to being a surgeon at FACE partner Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Dr. Seth Ganz also serves as a Veterinary Relations Advisor on FACE’s Advisory Committee.   Dr. Ganz’s dedication to saving the lives of pets in need of urgent veterinary care is obvious. “As a doctor, I like knowing that there may be a chance to help an animal and the family when another option isn’t available,” says Dr. Ganz. “I’m just always grateful that I am in a position where I can help!”

Dr. Ganz has a DVM from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He completed a 3 year small animal surgical residency in Wisconsin and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Ganz performs a wide range of surgeries, including orthopedic and soft tissue surgery as well as neurosurgery. What’s his most memorable FACE case? “They are all equally memorable, whether the actual case was more severe/dramatic/unusual, it doesn’t matter,” says Dr. Ganz. Dr. Ganz is grateful for the opportunity to perform surgeries on pets that would otherwise be debilitated, die, or be euthanized for economic reasons.

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Dr. Ganz and Winter

 Dr. Ganz values his collaborative relationship with FACE. “It’s a special group of people and it was started purely as a desire to solve a real problem and make a real difference,” he notes. As for himself, “It’s a chance to be involved with a group that has shown a determination to make a significant impact on the lives of so many animals and their families here in San Diego,” he says. In his role as FACE Advisory Committee Member, Dr. Ganz advises on decisions for funding medical care for potential FACE grantees. “This allows the organization to use donations in the most effective manner and maximize the intended result per donated dollar,” explains Dr. Ganz.

While Dr. Ganz enjoys his work at the hospital and with FACE, he also values spending his off-time with his wife, young twin boys, and a one-eyed pit bull-mix named Winter. Dr. Ganz enjoys running and biking, and hopes to travel to new destinations with his wife when life gets a bit less hectic!

Dr. Ganz enthusiastically recommends that other veterinary practices consider working with FACE or other organizations with a similar mission in their geographic area. “They want to help,” he says. “They want to get their donations to the pets that need them. Vets want to help every patient. It’s a win-win. Enough said!” We couldn’t agree more, Dr. Ganz! Thanks to you and all of your colleagues at VSH for helping us save the lives of pets in need!

 

 

 

Dogs and Chocolate Marijuana Edibles: A Toxic Combination

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A recent report in The New York Times highlights a dangerous and increasingly common health threat to our pets (especially dogs) – eating recreational or medical marijuana…and chocolate desserts that contain marijuana. Most pet owners know that they should keep chocolate, a known toxin, away from their animals. But if that chocolate brownie also happens to contain marijuana, your dog could be doubly at risk.

According to the article, consuming marijuana can cause symptoms like lethargy, unsteady gait, urinary incontinence, excessive salivation, and sensitivity to noise, light, and movements. But the ingestion of marijuana alone is rarely fatal. Your vet will induce vomiting and provide extra hydration during recovery. New York City’s Animal Medical Center reports that it treats several cases of pet marijuana poisoning every week.

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Consuming marijuana alone can be harmful enough, but if your dog consumes a chocolate marijuana edible like brownies, the effects could be life-threatening. The director of the ASPCA’s poison control center reports that any canine deaths from marijuana ingestion pretty much always involve the dog consuming chocolate as well.

The toxic component of chocolate, a compound called theobromine (combined with the chocolate’s caffeine) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, and excessive urination. In serious cases, dogs can experience tremors, seizures, and heart failure. Older dogs with underlying heart conditions can die. As with marijuana poisoning, your vet will induce vomiting and give extra fluids.

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It’s important to keep all forms of marijuana and chocolate out of your curious dog’s reach. When the two are combined into one edible, be especially careful to make sure your dog cannot access this tempting but potentially deadly food.

The 15 Most Dangerous Pet Toxins

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The experts in veterinary toxicology at the Animal Poison Control Center recently put out a very useful list of the top 15 drugs, household items, and plants that are dangerous to pets. Here’s a quick rundown. Be sure to check out their website for the complete story, lots of valuable information about pet poisons, and to learn more about the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661.

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  1. Sago Palm. An ornamental plant that is highly toxic and can cause liver failure in pets. Unsafe as an indoor or outdoor plant.

2. 5-Fluorouracil. A topical chemotherapy treatment which can be deadly to pets.

3. Baclofen. A human muscle relaxant that can cause seizures, coma, and death in pets.

4. Isoniazid. A treatment for tuberculosis, this drug can cause severe toxic reactions in pets.

5. Calcipotriene/Calcipotriol. A synthetic form of Vitamin D. Even a tiny amount can be toxic to pets.

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6. Lilies. Lilies are especially toxic to cats…even the pollen. Ingesting lilies causes acute kidney failure in cats.

7. Ethylene Glycol. This is the sweet-tasting but toxic ingredient in antifreeze that causes kidney failure and central nervous system distress in pets.

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8. Metaldehyde. An ingredient in snail and slug bait. Causes seizures, tremors, and hypothermia in pets.

9. Baking Xylitol. This type of sugar substitute is especially toxic to dogs, even more so than the xylitol in gum or candy, because it is 100% xylitol.

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10. Golden Malrin. A fly bait that can cause the same symptoms as organophosphates (see #11).

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11. Organophosphates. A type of insecticide that causes severe central nervous system, heart, and digestive reactions in pets.

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12. Rodenticides made with Vitamin D or Bromethalin. Two very dangerous types of rodent killer that are designed to be attractive to animals. Ones made with Vitamin D cause kidney failure and those with bromethalin cause brain swelling.

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13. Japanese Yew. All parts of this ornamental plant are toxic to pets. In fact, horses can die if they graze on the trimmings.

14. Caffeine Pills. This includes diet and fitness supplements that contain caffeine. Pets are extremely sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

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15. Grapes and Raisins. Can cause severe kidney failure in pets, even just a small amount.