Grape and Raisin Toxicity

November 10th, 2014 by Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

Although very tasty to us, grapes and raisins can be deadly to our beloved dogs. The exact toxic substance in grapes and raisins has yet to be identified and it is not known exactly how much is considered toxic. What we do know is that it takes very little, only a few grapes or raisins can cause serious side effects or become fatal in some dogs.

Ingesting these foods can cause serious complications very quickly; one of the most serious is sudden kidney failure and lack of urine production. Not all dogs experience kidney failure after ingestion, and it is unclear why some dogs do. Studies are ongoing to determine why some dogs are affected more than others. If you feel your dog has ingested either of these foods, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.

The following are symptoms of raisin and grape toxicity:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Inability to urinate or passing less urine

If you feel your dog has ingested any amount of raisins or grapes, do not wait for the symptoms of toxicity before seeking medical attention for your dog. Seek help immediately!

Similar to grapes and raisins, other toxic foods include chocolate, onions, and garlic to name a few. Always check ingredients prior to offering your dog table food, if you are not sure then it’s best to avoid offering the food and stick to treats made specifically for dogs.

Halloween Tricks, not Treats!

October 31st, 2015 by Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

It’s that time of year again! While most of us look forward to the variety of goodies that are available this time of year, it is can also be a dangerous time for our pets. During the time around Halloween, calls to veterinarians and pet poison hotlines increase dramatically. Most of the calls are because a dog has eaten some Halloween candy, usually chocolate, but can also include other things like cookies or other baked goods, sugar free gum, and raisins. Chocolate is one of the most toxic to pets but other candies, especially those that contain artificial sugars/sweeteners can be life threatening as well. Just one ounce of baking chocolate can make a 50-60 pound dog sick! Dogs usually enjoy the taste and smell of chocolate as much as people do so be sure to keep that candy out of reach of your pets. In addition to chocolate, artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can sicken a pet. Most of the xylitol toxicities are due to dogs ingesting sugar free gum so if you happen to get any sugar free gum while out trick-or-treating, be sure to keep it away from the family dog.
It’s not just candy that can cause a pet to become sick. Raisins are often given out to trick-or-treaters as a healthy alternative to candy. Raisins (and grapes) are particularly toxic to pets. Only small amounts of raisins are needed to sicken a pet. It takes just a small box of raisins to cause a dog’s kidneys to fail. Make sure raisins are kept out of reach of all family pets.
It isn’t just certain ingredients that are toxic to animals that can cause problems. Candy wrappers, small decorations, toys, glow sticks, and just plain overindulgence, can cause a dog or cat to become ill. Dogs are pretty indiscriminate when enjoying holiday goodies and have been known to eat wrappers, small decorations, or toys. The concern for those types of items is possible foreign body obstruction. If you feel your pet has ingested any of these and becomes ill, please call your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, if your pet should eat too much of some tasty goodies, they can become ill and get pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. Dogs can become very ill and usually have to spend a few days at the veterinary hospital.
So, while it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of Halloween and the rest of the holidays this year, please remember to keep your treats and goodies out of reach of the family pet, especially dogs and cats. If you feel your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, please call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 immediately.

Keep pets indoors on July 4th

June 19th, 2015 by Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

Every year many pets are lost or separated from their owners on the 4th of July. Unfortunately this year will be no different,  however you can prevent your own pet from becoming a statistic. Many dogs and cats become frightened when they hear the sound of fireworks and the reverberations that follow, they are much more sensitive to differences in their environment than we are.

Simply leaving pets at home, where they feel safe, is the best thing you can do for you pet on the holiday. Although they may miss out on being at the family picnic or enjoying the park, they will ultimately be more comfortable in the security of their own home.

If you have a pet that becomes anxious during thunderstorms, it is likely your pet will also not enjoy the sound of fireworks. If this is the case, talk to your pet’s veterinarian about what options are available to ensure his or her comfort. We now carry Adaptil and Feliway, pheromones that helps dogs and cats feel more comfortable in their environment and special situations.

The Importance of Wellness Exams

May 5th, 2014 by Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

Most of us will visit our doctor at least once a year. It’s simple and easy because we have the ability to tell the doctor exactly how we are feeling. “I have headaches, ” “my stomach hurts,” “I’ve been tired lately. “  A yearly visit for us is comparable to your pet visiting the veterinarian every 5-7 years!  In addition, your furry friends cannot walk into the office and tell us where it hurts, what they’ve been eating, or how they’ve been feeling, as much as we wish they could for just one day. For these reasons,  an annual or even semi-annual wellness exam is so vital to the health and well-being of your pet.

Pets age more rapidly than we do, and most are considered seniors by age eight, which is why they require more frequent physical exams. Regular visits enable your veterinarian to provide the preventative care needed to keep your pet healthy and happy.  Annual exams often give your veterinarian the opportunity to detect early signs of illness or disease, and early detection can lead to a proactive treatment approach, or even a cure. Illnesses caught in the early stages can often be treated in less time, with less expense, and may lead to a longer and healthier life for your pet.

You know your pets best and and share a special bond with them, but sometimes it is difficult for them to communicate, especially when their natural instincts tell them to hide any symptoms of illness. Your vet understands this, and knows the signs to look for when your pet isn’t completely healthy. During a physical exam, they will thoroughly check your pet from “nose to tail,” and will often recommend bloodwork which is a key tool in monitoring your pet’s organ function.

A physical exam is one of the most important investments you can make to ensure your pet’s health and well-being.  When you remember that your pet’s annual exam is like visiting your doctor every 7 years, the importance becomes clear. Also, we really enjoying seeing your pets, and when it’s only every few years we really miss them.

Purchasing Preventatives For Your Pet

March 19th, 2014 by Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital

It’s that time of year…Spring! Soon it will be 70 degrees, daffodils and tulips will bloom, and outdoor activities will be in full swing. Even our pets will want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors! Unfortunately mosquitoes, fleas and ticks are enjoying the nice weather too- by multiplying! It’s time to stock up on preventatives for your pet.

When it comes to purchasing items for your pet, there are many options. So many that it can make ones head spin! Most clients purchase their pets preventatives and medications from their veterinarian, often when their pet is in for their yearly physical exam or vaccinations. This option offers clients the comfort of knowing they are receiving high quality products, stored in optimal conditions, from an ethical pharmacy and most importantly, they are backed with the manufacturer’s guarantee. What is the importance of a manufacturer’s guarantee? Should your pet contract heartworms while on heartworm prevention, the manufacturer will cover the cost of treatment, which can be costly.

Some clients prefer online shopping and the convenience of having products shipped to their home. This is a good option, but comes with some disadvantages. Preventatives and medications should be kept around room temperature to remain effective, extra time spent in delivery trucks and mailboxes may not always be ideal- especially on extremely hot days. Keep this in mind when ordering products online. If online shopping is the best option for you, careful consideration needs to be given when selecting the online retailer/pharmacy. Not all online pharmacies are ethical and purchase their products from legitimate sources, therefore voiding the manufacturer’s guarantee. If the manufacturer no longer trusts the medications effectiveness, should you?

There are ethical online pharmacies for those that prefer to purchase this way. We have selected Vet’s First Choice as our online pharmacy and have linked them to our own online store. The preventatives and medications are purchased directly from the manufacturer, stored in optimal conditions and are guaranteed by the manufacturer. Purchasing your products directly from us is the preferred method, but if you rather shop online check our our store at