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Sequoia Veterinary Hospital








You may have heard about the recent Canine Influenza outbreak in the Bay Area... Here are some quick facts about the disease that will hopefully answer some questions you might have! We do now carry the vaccine if your pet is at risk. If your pet is showing symptoms, please give us a call at 650-369-7326 to schedule an appointment.










Vacations are a lot more fun if you share them with your best friend! If you plan to take your dog with you, careful planning and safety precautions will make travel more enjoyable for both of you.


Safety First!


  • It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
  • Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
  • Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
  • Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.


Things to Bring


Pack a spill-proof water bowl, your dog’s regular food, any medications he takes and his favorite toys for playing fetch or tug. Bring some long-lasting edible chews and durable chew toys, too. Hollow toys you can stuff with food, like the Kong®, are ideal for quiet time in the car, campsite or hotel. (Please see our article on How to Stuff a Kong Toy to learn about this kind of toy.) It‘s also a good idea to bring along something you can use to safely secure your dog when she’s unsupervised, such as a sturdy tether, a crate or an exercise pen.

Riding Quietly in the Car

Road trips can be a lot less fun with a shrieking, quaking, barking or vomiting dog in the backseat. Here are some tips to help your canine companion travel more calmly.

Dogs Who Dislike Car Rides

Although some dogs gleefully bound into the car, others seem to hate car rides. If you have a dog who seems afraid, anxious or uncomfortable during car trips, you’ll need to help him get over his fear or discomfort long before you take a road trip.

  • The first thing to do is speak with your dog’s veterinarian. Your dog may suffer from carsickness. Even if he doesn’t vomit in the car, he might still feel nauseated. Watch for drooling, trembling or a hunched posture. A vet can tell you about medications that may remedy this problem.
  • If your dog is fearful of car rides, you’ll have to do some exercises to change the way he feels. The key is to start small. Feed at least one meal a day in the car. At first, keep the car turned off for the whole meal. Over a period of a few weeks, work up to short rides. If the rides end at a fun destination, like a hiking trail or dog park, your dog may get over his fear quickly! Please see our article on Fear of Riding in Cars for more detailed information.


Excited, Unruly Behavior in the Car


If your dog gets overexcited and whines, barks or paces in the car, try the following strategies to encourage calm behavior:

  • Stuff a Kong toy with delicious food and top it off with some peanut butter or soft cheese. If your dog is lying down in the backseat, happily working on a tasty food puzzle toy, he can’t also be barking and circling in the car!
  • Consider crate training your dog. Resting in a comfy crate covered with a blanket or towel may cut down on his excitement and barking. Please see our article on Weekend Crate Training to learn how to introduce your dog to a crate.
  • If your dog only whines and barks until you reach your destination but rides quietly on the way home, try driving him to the dog park or a hiking trail before setting off on a longer drive.


Eliminating on Cue


Some people don’t know until their first road trip that Fluffy will not use the bathroom anywhere but the backyard. Teaching your dog to eliminate in different places and on cue will speed up your trip and allow faster bathroom breaks at rest stops. To teach your dog this skill in preparation for an upcoming journey, try the following steps:

  • When your dog is about to eliminate—when you see him sniffing, circling or sidling up to a tree—say your new cue, “Hurry up!” Aim to say the cue right before your dog starts to urinate.
  • As your dog relieves himself, praise him quietly and, after he finishes, give him a treat.

Repeat these two simple steps for a few weeks. It may help to visit the same spot at first. After two or three weeks, try saying your cue right after you take your dog outside. If he immediately does his business, praise him enthusiastically and deliver his reward. If he doesn’t, pause for a few seconds and then try again. (If he still doesn’t respond, practice the steps above for another couple of weeks.) With practice, your dog will get better and better at relieving himself right after he hears the “Hurry up” cue. At this point, start practicing in different places and on different surfaces.


Nights on the Road


  • Make sure the hotel, bed-and-breakfast or campsite where you plan to stay allows dogs. You can search for places that allow dogs online. (Try websites like or When making reservations, ask about specific pet policies. Some hotels don’t allow guests to leave their dogs in hotel rooms, even if they’re kept in crates. Others ask for a pet deposit or charge a non-refundable pet fee.
  • At the end of a long day, it’s great to relax with a calm dog in your hotel room or at your campsite. If you and your dog have been hiking all day, he should quiet down naturally. If you’ve been driving, take time to let your dog stretch his legs before settling in for the night. A nice jog, game of fetch or a visit to a local dog park will help expend pent-up energy.
  • If your dog barks at sounds outside your hotel room, he may disturb other guests—and you may be asked to leave. Try some white noise. Leaving a fan on may help muffle the sounds of footsteps in the hallway.
  • Give your dog something to chew before bedtime. Offer him a bully stick or a Kong toy stuffed with something delicious. Chewing and licking are very soothing to dogs and may help yours get to sleep.







Fall is officially here and the scariest & spookiest night of the year is approaching quickly. The ASPCA has some great tips on how to keep your pets safe, so the whole family can have fun without the fright!


1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.


2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.


3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.


4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.


5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.


6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.


7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.


8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.


9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.


10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.






An article by the ASPCA


Warm weather is here, and many of us are heading outside.

Many dog parents love outdoor adventures with their canine companions. Dogs’ eager appreciation of nature’s sights, smells and sounds is contagious! But as any seasoned outdoor adventurer knows, it’s important to stay safe while you’re having fun. Whether you hike through the woods, spend the day at the beach or just take your dog for a jog in the park, proper gear and preparation are essential parts of a well-planned outing. Most dogs are rugged and ready for action—but they’re not invulnerable to outdoor dangers. So if you plan to explore the great outdoors with your dog, don’t forget to take appropriate safety precautions.




First, Visit the Vet

Before you embark on your adventure, it’s important to make sure that your dog is healthy enough for physical exertion. Her veterinarian should check for any health issues that may be aggravated by exercise. Here are some size, breed and age considerations:

  • Breeds with short or flat noses (brachycephalic breeds) can have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously, especially in warmer climates.
  • Exercise is great for energetic young dogs, but sustained jogging or running is not recommended for young dogs (under 18 months) whose bones haven’t finished growing.
  • Because large dogs are more prone to cruciate ligament injuries, arthritis and hip dysplasia, sustained jogging can be hard on their joints and bones, too. If you’ve got a large dog, make sure she’s well conditioned for lengthy runs before you hit the road.
  • Once a dog reaches her golden years, osteoarthritis can cause pain and lameness after strenuous exercise. It’s much better to discover that your once-sprightly dog’s joints can no longer handle long hikes before you hit the trail!

Also make sure that your dog has all the vaccinations she needs. A rabies vaccine is required by law in all states, and making sure your dog’s rabies vaccine is up to date is an important precaution to take—especially if your dog might encounter wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats or foxes, which sometimes carry the disease. Some areas of the country pose a higher risk of contracting other diseases, like leptospirosis. If you’re travelling away from home, let your vet know where you’re going so that he or she can update your dog’s vaccines...


Continue reading the full article here.


And to learn how to make a great pet first aid kit at home, click here.






Written by Katie Liu, DVM


Anesthesia-free dentals seem like an attractive alternative to dental cleanings under general anesthesia, but they are a cosmetic procedure that has little effect on a pet's health and gives a false sense of benefit.
They remove the superficial tartar on the surface of the teeth without addressing the plaque and tartar under the gum line, where the true periodontal disease that leads to bone and tooth loss is present. Also without the benefit of post-scaling polishing, the surface of enamel is uneven and will subsequently accumulate tartar more quickly.
Visit Cornell University's website here to see a great instructional video on how to brush your pet's teeth.












An article by the American Animal Hospital Association


Our pets provide us with fun, companionship, and unconditional love. In return, we incur the responsibilities that go along with pet ownership, including veterinary care. Providing our pets the preventive health care they deserve, as well as keeping them in a safe environment, significantly reduces the risk of illness and injury. Together, you and your veterinarian can take control of your pet’s health.

What health care considerations should I plan for when determining how much to set aside for my pet’s care?

  • Pets are not a one-time expense. Your accredited veterinary hospital will recommend you consider the following before bringing a pet into the home:
    • Costs for regular preventive health care such as immunizations, parasite control, and dental care
    • Costs for treatment of unexpected illness or injury
    • Breed-specific predisposition to certain conditions such as:
      • Allergies and dermatologic diseases
      • Ear and/or eye disease
      • Cardiovascular, endocrine and immune-related diseases
      • Orthopedic conditions
    • Costs to provide appropriate daily care including proper nutrition for the lifestage and lifestyle of the pet

What kind of veterinary care do I have available to me for my pet?

  • Today, pet owners have access to the same advanced technologies that are available in human medicine, including emergency healthcare services, veterinary specialists, diagnostic imaging, x-ray, MRI, laboratory services, surgery, pain management, boarding services, and more. Management and treatment of health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, hip dysplasia, oncology, arthritis, and dermatological issues are also enabling animals to live longer, pain-free.

What ways can I pay for veterinary care?

  • The ability to budget for pet health care costs varies greatly. Some individuals and families simply pay for these things out of the household budget as they arise. Others may need to consider other options for funding proper care for their pets. These options include:
  • Regular contributions to a savings account designated for veterinary care
  • Credit card reserves
  • Medical credit cards
  • Monthly payments to a preventive care plan available through many veterinary hospitals to cover normal preventive care services
  • Pet health insurance to cover unexpected illness or injury

How can my veterinarian help me reduce the cost of veterinary care?

  • The best way to reduce the cost of veterinary care is to invest in preventive care for your pet early on. This means scheduling regular exams during which your veterinarian can help your pet avoid preventable conditions and detect diseases early on, which helps to avoid costly and painful treatment down the road. Just like with humans, preventive health care is widely recognized as a method of helping reduce long-term medical costs.

How do I know what kind of preventive care is right for my pet?

  • Talking with your veterinarian can help you determine what kind of preventive care is right for your pet based on its lifestage and lifestyle. Each pet is different and unique - your veterinarian can give you a personalized assessment of what kinds of routine tests and care your pet needs to stay healthy. Preventive care includes routine tests such as bloodwork, fecal tests, X-rays, parasite preventives, immunizations, dental cleanings, and more.

I love my pet, but do I really need to come see my vet regularly for dental cleanings?

  • Yes! You visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and procedures, so it makes sense that your pet receives the same care. An estimated 80% of adult dogs have periodontal disease, which is painful for your pet and can lead to other health issues. Because 60% of a dog and cat tooth lies beneath the gum line, regular cleanings by your veterinarian are necessary to keep your pet’s mouth disease-free.

How does the cost of veterinary care compare to that of human health care?

  • Veterinary care is actually a good deal compared to human medicine. We are lucky enough to live in a world where veterinary hospitals can use the same technologies that are being used in human health care. Thankfully for pet owners, veterinary hospitals offer medical care for a fraction of the cost of human medicine. In human medicine, we often do not see the cost of health care, as it is generally covered by a health care program and we do not realize the greater cost.

How are veterinary fees determined?

  • Fees for veterinary health care take into account the complexity of the case and treatment options, operational cost of maintaining hospital facilities with the appropriate technologies and equipment, and support personnel to provide the elevated level of service and care that pet owners expect and deserve.

Why do the fees at my veterinary hospital differ from those at the hospital my friend takes their dog to?

  • It is important to recognize that just like any other health care service, veterinary hospitals provide varying levels of care and expertise. Hospitals may be different in the services they offer. As consumers of health care services, pet owners must choose based on a combination of the quality care they seek as well as their financial constraints.

What can I do to keep my pet healthy and avoid costly and painful disease treatments?

  • Scheduling regular examinations with your veterinarian and following recommendations for routine tests (bloodwork, fecal tests, X-rays) can help your veterinarian spot disease before it becomes serious. Diet and exercise are vital, too: Asking your veterinarian for a nutritional recommendation for the individual needs of your pet can contribute to your pet’s overall health.

Pet owners are in control of their pet’s health. Providing appropriate nutrition in a safe, enriched environment is the obligation of the pet owner. Seeking proper veterinary care and developing a strong relationship with the veterinary practice team is also essential in promoting good health and longevity. Providing appropriate nutrition, environment and veterinary care is a small payback for the unconditional love, enrichment of our lives, companionship and joy that pets give us.


For more information, please visit the AAHA position statement on Meeting the Cost of Pet Care.






written by Jeralyn Terry, DVM


A zoonotic disease (or zoonosis) is a disease that is transmitted from your pet to you or your family. Most zoonoses are rare in pets, but when they do occur they tend to affect young children or immunosuppressed adults. The following is an abbreviated list of things to think about in your feline friend. If you’re worried about any of these diseases, please ask one of our veterinarians or your human physician!


  • Cheyletiella: skin mite in cats that make them very itchy! People can get from direct contact from affected cats. Prevention is keeping them away from other cats in addition to using certain flea preventatives.
  • Scabies: skin mite in cats that can make them very itchy as well. People can get scabies from contact with an affected cat. Prevention is keeping them away from other cats in addition to using certain flea preventatives.
  • Ring worm: A fungus that causes hair loss in cats. Ring worm can affect entire families that are in contact with the cat.
  • Roundworms & hookworms: intestinal parasite of cats. People can get it from consuming the eggs of the worms that are in the environment. Owners should wash their hands after interacting with their cats and before eating.
  • Rabies: viral and lethal disease. Owners should have their cats vaccinated yearly for this untreatable disease.
  • Toxoplasmosis: microscopic disease of cats. In cats, they can have short term diarrhea. But in people it can cause problems with pregnancies. Typically people get it from undercooked meat rather than from the cats litterbox.
  • Assorted Gastrointestinal bacteria: Can cause upset stomach in both cats and people. Again, make sure to wash your hands before eating.








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written by Katie Liu, DVM


Traditionally, anticoagulant rat baits have been the most abundant rodenticide available for residential use. These toxins deplete the body stores of vitamin K, reduce blood clotting and at toxic doses, lead to internal bleeding within 3-5 days of ingestion. The good news is that there are effective tests and most importantly, an antidote (vitamin K) for cases of exposure and even those with active bleeding.


New regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recently banned the use of these long-acting anticoagulant rat baits in the residential setting. The intent was to make rat baits safer for children, pets and wildlife who may inadvertently ingest the toxins. However, alternative toxins pose a greater threat; many manufacturers have begun replacing anticoagulants with bromethalin, a potent neurotoxin with rapid onset of action and no available test or antidote.


Treatment involving the reduction of toxin absorption in the first couple of hours after ingestion carries the best prognosis. However, once an animal begins showing neurological signs, including abnormal behavior, incoordination, depression, hypersensitivity, seizures or coma, usually within 2 to 24 hours of ingestion, successful treatment is difficult and costly.


Our recommendations include avoiding potential exposure:


  • Do not purchase or putting bromethalin rodenticides on your property, even in areas considered inaccessible by children and pets.
  • Ensure that everyone with access to your property, such as gardeners or landscapers, does not put out these toxins.
  • Inform and educate friends and family with pets or who you pets may spend time with about these rodenticides.


Finally, if you suspect your pet has been exposed to any toxin, seek immediate veterinary care and bring any packaging of the suspected toxin.






To get the real scoop on raw diets, click here... Raw meat diets, are they worth the risk?





The following article was retrieved from AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) website


FDA Expands Jerky Investigation


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expanding its investigation of jerky treats to now include duck and sweet potato jerky treats.


Ernie Ward, DVM, noted the update on his Facebook page.


"The FDA quietly updated their FAQ about potentially tainted jerky treats to include the following statement:

‘Has the agency received reports of illness associated with other types of jerky treats?

Yes. More recently (2012), the product-associated complaints have expanded to other jerky pet treat products such as duck and sweet potato jerky treats. Our investigation now includes these types of jerky treat products.’

An earlier story from NEWStat reported that the FDA is also investigating beef jerky treats manufactured by Del Monte Pet Products as well.

The FDA says it is still unable to determine a definitive cause of the illnesses, or link the illnesses to a particular company, from the samples collected.

The FDA had sent inspectors to Chinese plants that made the jerky treats."


On his Facebook page, Ward urged pet owners to stay away from dangerous treats.


"I continue to strongly advise you DO NOT feed your pet any of these types of treats MADE IN CHINA OR MEXICO," Ward posted on his Facebook wall.





The following article was retrieved from AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) website


49 Human Illnesses From Diamond Recall



According to a July 20 report from the global food safety blog eFoodAlert, the number of pets and humans sickened by a Diamond Pet Foods recall has continued to rise. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged two lab-confirmed infected dogs. Total reports of sickened pets, including reports from the FDA and the media, currently stand at 58. However, not all of these cases have been confirmed by veterinarians or FDA labs.


Forty-nine confirmed cases of human illness have been reported, with four additional reports unconfirmed. NEWStat last reported on July 20, 2012 that 22 people had been sickened from the food that has been contaminated with Salmonella Infantis. The Diamond food recall began April 6, 2012, when Diamond Pet Foods announced it was recalling certain batches of its dry dog food due to possible salmonella contamination from its Gaston, South Carolina plant. Illnesses began between October 2011 and May 11, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control reported. Problems with food from Diamond Pet Foods were discovered to be more widespread than originally thought after the FDA announced contaminated dog food had been found at a second Diamond manufacturing facility.


According to the FDA, a surveillance sample of Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice collected by the state of Ohio from the Diamond Meta, Mo. plant has now yielded a positive for Salmonella Liverpool. The strain from the Missouri plant is not the same strain of Salmonella found at the Gaston, South Carolina plant in April. The strain from the South Carolina plant has led to a human outbreak of the illness. Diamond has issued a recall for the Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice product from the Missouri facility.


Additional investigational steps include analyzing consumer complaints to determine if they are related to this outbreak and continued state surveillance to determine whether any recall expansion may be required. The FDA says Diamond is working with FDA to ensure adulterated products are not on the market





The following article was retrieved from the AVDC (American Veterinary Dental College)


Dental Scaling Without Anesthesia

In the United States and Canada, only licensed veterinarians can practice veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian, or a supervised and trained veterinary technician, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and is subject to criminal charges. This page addresses dental scaling procedures performed on pets without anesthesia, often by individuals untrained in veterinary dental techniques. Although the term Anesthesia-Free Dentistry has been used in this context, AVDC prefers to use the more accurate term Non-Professional Dental Scaling (NPDS) to describe this combination.

Owners of pets naturally are concerned when anesthesia is required for their pet. However, performing NPDS on an unanesthetized pet is inappropriate for the following reasons:

1. Dental tartar is firmly adhered to the surface of the teeth. Scaling to remove tartar is accomplished using ultrasonic and sonic power scalers, plus hand instruments that must have a sharp working edge to be used effectively. Even slight head movement by the patient could result in injury to the oral tissues of the patient, and the operator may be bitten when the patient reacts.

2. Professional dental scaling includes scaling the surfaces of the teeth both above and below the gingival margin (gum line), followed by dental polishing. The most critical part of a dental scaling procedure is scaling the tooth surfaces that are within the gingival pocket (the subgingival space between the gum and the root), where periodontal disease is active. Because the patient cooperates, dental scaling of human teeth performed by a professional trained in the procedures can be completed successfully without anesthesia. However, access to the subgingival area of every tooth is impossible in an unanesthetized canine or feline patient. Removal of dental tartar on the visible surfaces of the teeth has little effect on a pet's health, and provides a false sense of accomplishment. The effect is purely cosmetic.

3. Inhalation anesthesia using a cuffed endotracheal tube provides three important advantages... the cooperation of the patient with a procedure it does not understand, elimination of pain resulting from examination and treatment of affected dental tissues during the procedure, and protection of the airway and lungs from accidental aspiration.

4. A complete oral examination, which is an important part of a professional dental scaling procedure, is not possible in an unanesthetized patient. The surfaces of the teeth facing the tongue cannot be examined, and areas of disease and discomfort are likely to be missed.

Safe use of an anesthetic or sedative in a dog or cat requires evaluation of the general health and size of the patient to determine the appropriate drug and dose, and continual monitoring of the patient. Veterinarians are trained in all of these procedures. Prescribing or administering anesthetic or sedative drugs by a non-veterinarian can be very dangerous, and is illegal. Although anesthesia will never be 100% risk-free, modern anesthetic and patient evaluation techniques used in veterinary hospitals minimize the risks, and millions of dental scaling procedures are safely performed each year in veterinary hospitals.

To minimize the need for professional dental scaling procedures and to maintain optimal oral health, AVDC recommends daily dental home care from an early age in dogs and cats. This should include brushing or use of other effective techniques to retard accumulation of dental plaque, such as dental diets and chew materials. This, combined with periodic examination of the patient by a veterinarian and with dental scaling under anesthesia when indicated, will optimize life-long oral health for dogs and cats. For information on effective oral hygiene products for dogs and cats, visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council web site (

For general information on performance of dental procedures on veterinary patients, read the AVDC Position Statement on Veterinary Dental Healthcare Providers.

Want to read more about dental scaling without anesthesia? Click here.




Spring & Summer Gardening Hazards


“It’s garden season!” declares Melinda Myers, a gardening expert who is the host of “Melinda’s Garden Moments,” which airs on 50 network TV stations across the U.S., and author of over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss: Small Space Gardening.

This spring and summer when you get outside and start your gardening and landscaping projects, she urges you to steer away from toxic plants that could be dangerous for your pets. Years ago when she helped a friend landscape her yard, her pal’s Golden Retriever ate everything they’d planted within a week.

“Luckily the dog was fine, but the landscaping was in bad shape,” she recalls with a chuckle. “That gave me a totally different perspective on poisonous plants and landscaping.”

Myers suggests that when gardeners plan their planting projects, they review the comprehensive lists of plants that are toxic for cats, dogs and horses at the ASPCA’s website ( ). Some of the most widely used spring and summer plants that are potentially dangerous for pets include:

1. English Ivy.
This Old World vine with lobed evergreen leaves and black, berrylike fruit is popular indoors as a houseplant and outside as a ground plant or in containers. But, it is toxic to pets, leading to abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. As Myers says, “You’ll have a mess to clean up.”

2. Azaleas.
These colorful, flowering shrubs are a favorite of gardeners in spring, and are also popular gift plants. But ingestion of just a few leaves can cause serious problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, drooling and in severe cases, even coma and death. As with any time you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, call your veterinarian immediately.

3. Yew.
This common evergreen with needle-like leaves has a toxin that causes trembling, lack of coordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death. Its effects extend beyond dogs and cats: “People who have horses are used to not having yew near their stables,” Myers says.

4. Castor Bean.
This seed of the castor oil plant is very toxic not just for pets but humans as well, causing severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma and death. “One seed can kill a small child,” Myers warns.

5. Lilies.
These fragrant Easter favorites are highly toxic to cats; even ingestion of a small amount can lead to severe kidney damage. Because Myers has three cats who love to “chow down” on plants in her home, if someone gives her a lily, she locks it away in a room where Roma, Max and Frankie can’t reach it.

6. Tulip and daffodil bulbs.
Be careful to keep these perennial bulbs out of reach of your pets, as they can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities. The plants themselves are safe, so once the bulbs are in the ground it should be fine — unless your dog digs them up.

Plants aren’t the only part of gardening that can harm your pet. For example, Myers suggests dog owners steer clear of cocoa bean shell mulch, which is popular with gardeners who want to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. But since it is made from the husk of cocoa beans, and chocolate is toxic to dogs (vomiting and muscle tremors are symptoms), other mulching options such as shredded leaves, straw or pine needles should be used instead.

Pesticides are poisonous and should be stored away from pets. Eco-friendly alternatives include corn gluten meal, which prevents weed seeds from germinating, and insecticidal soap, which kills pests but “not the good bugs that eat the bad bugs,” according to Myers.

She also suggests alternatives to slug baits, “which are among the most toxic things on the market.” Some options include products with iron phosphate, such as Sluggo or Escar-Go! The traditional method of placing beer in a saucer can be effective, but far from ideal if your dog or cat decides to eat the slugs and drink the beer — which can happen!

Ultimately, by familiarizing yourself with the plants and gardening products that are harmful with pets, you’ll be able to beautify your home and property safely.

“It is possible to have a beautiful landscape that both you and your pets can enjoy,” Myers says. “As a pet owner, you don’t want to tempt them. We all want to be responsible.”

Freelance journalist Jen Reeder used to get gardening help from her calico cat Pretzel, who also liked digging holes.

**This article was retrieved from

U.S. District Court Rules PetArmor TM Plus Violated Merial Patents on Frontline - Orders Seizure
A U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia ruled that sales of PetArmor™ Plus by Cipla Ltd. and Velcera Inc. infringed on Merial's patents covering its flea-and-tick product FRONTLINE Plus®.

In fact, the court barred the two companies from further sales of PetArmor Plus in the United States and ordered the seizure of existing inventory starting in the next 60 days. Cipla vowed today to appeal the decision, according to reports. However, U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land found Cipla in contempt of a March 6, 2008 order prohibiting the company from infringing on Merial's patents. The court ruled that both pet-health companies were aware that their sales of PetArmor™ Plus products infringed Merial's patent and barred those two companies from further sales of these products in the United States.

According to Land's decision, "The court orders Cipla and Velcera to produce to Merial for destruction all inventory existing in the United States of any veterinary products manufactured by Cipla that contain fipronil and methoprene, including but not limited to the veterinary products that contain fipronil and methoprene sold under the brand names Protektor Plus, PetArmor Plus, TrustGard Plus and Velcera Fipronil Plus." In addition, Land said he would conduct a hearing regarding damages and monetary sanctions that may be appropriate "based on Velcera and Cipla’s violation of the court's order." The hearing will be to determine an award to Merial for damages relating "to all sales committed in violation of the court's order."

"We are pleased that the court recognized the 'contumacious' nature of Velcera and Cipla's conduct and prevented them from further violating Merial's intellectual property rights," says Merial Executive Chairman José Barella in a prepared statement. "Merial has invested considerable time and resources developing its flagship FRONTLINE Plus® products, and is confident that Judge Land's well-reasoned order will be affirmed. Merial is committed to continuing its support of the veterinary profession and will continue to vigorously enforce its patents covering FRONTLINE Plus® products."
**This article was retrieved from

Prescription Diet Foods Available for Order - Online or by Phone
Sequoia Veterinary Hospital will no longer carry a large quantity of prescription diets. Diets are now available  for purchase online to be delivered to your home, or can be ordered by phone (with one week notice) for pick-up at SVH.
Refills can be ordered through our online store (click here to be redirected). Purchasing food at our online store is inexpensive, will provide convenience, and is easy to use. In addition to the prescription diets, here you can also purchase flea & tick preventatives, heartworm medications, pain management medications, and accessories! Shipping is free on select items, and is also free when you set up automatic refills. Shipping for all Royal Canin products is only $2.99.

If you wish to reorder food or prescriptions for pick-up at Sequoia Veterinary Hospital, please call us at 650.369.7326, at least one week in advance to place an order. You will be transferred to a reorder-line where you will leave a message including details regarding your request. You will be called once the refill request is completed.

Buyer Beware: Purchasing Pet Drugs Online
Article by FDA - Consumer Health Information

"Discount pet drugs - no prescription required" may appeal to pet owners surfing the web, but FDA experts say it can be risky to buy drugs online from sites that tout this message and others like it.
Some of the internet sites that sell pet drugs represent legitimate, reputable pharmacies, says Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in FDA'S Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). But others are fronts for unscrupulous businesses operating against the law. FDA has found companies that sell unapproved pet drugs and counterfeit pet products, make fraudulent claims, dispense prescription drugs without requiring a prescription, and sell expired drugs. Pet owners who purchase drugs from these companies may think they are saving money, says Hartogensis, but in reality, they may be short-changing their pet's health and putting its life at risk. CVM regulates the manufacture and distribution of animal drugs, while individual state pharmacy boards regulate the dispensing of prescription veterinary products.
Some foreign internet pharmacies advertise that veterinary prescription drugs are available to U.S. citizens without a prescription. But, says Hartogensis, "There is a risk of the drugs not being FDA-approved." A foreign or domestic pharmacy may claim that one of its veterinarians on staff will "evaluate" the pet after looking over a form filled out by the pet owner, and then prescribe the drug. "A veterinarian should physically examine an animal prior to making a diagnosis to determine the appropriate therapy," says Hartogensis. CVM is especially concerned that pet owners are going online to buy two types of commonly used prescription veterinary drugs - nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and heartworm preventives. "Both drugs can be dangerous if there is no professional involvement," says Hartogensis. "It's not generally a concern if the owner uses a legitimate online pharmacy and mails in a prescription from their veterinarian, who is monitoring the animal. But if there is no veterinarian-client-patient relationship, it's a dangerous practice."
NSAIDs and Heartworm Preventives
Veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs to relieve pain in dogs. NSAIDs should not be purchased on the internet without a veterinarian's involvement because...
  • ... dogs should undergo blood testing and a thorough physical examination before starting NSAIDs.
  • ... dogs should be monitored by a veterinarian while they are taking NSAIDs.
  • ... veterinarians should discuss possible side effects of NSAIDs with the owner.
  • ... the prescription should be accompanied by a client information sheet that explains important safety information to the owner.

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal condition transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that is carrying infected larvae of the heartworm parasite. Dogs, cats, and ferrets can get heartworm. Heartworm preventives, given daily, monthly, or semi-annually depending on the product, kill the larvae before they become adult worms.

The American Heartworm Society recommends...

  • ... using heartworm medication for dogs year-round, no matter where you live in the United States.
  • ... getting dogs tested yearly to make sure they're not infected with heartworm.

"Testing is important even in dogs regularly treated with heartworm preventive products due to the occasional reports of product ineffectiveness," says Hartogensis. An internet pharmacy veterinarian cannot draw blood from the animal to perform the test. If the test isn't done, a pet owner could be giving heartworm preventives to a dog that has heartworms, potentially leading to severe reactions.


Tips for Buying Pet Drugs Online

  • Order from a website that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy.

Vet-VIPPS - the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites - is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of the Pharmacy (NABP). NABP gives the Vet-VIPPS seal to online pharmacies that dispense prescription animal drugs and comply with NABP's strict criteria, including federal and state licensing and inspection requirements, protecting patient confidentiality, quality assurance, and validity of prescription orders. Look for the Vet-VIPPS seal displayed on a pharmacy's website or check with NABP at (click on "Accreditation Programs") to find out if a pharmacy is Vet-VIPPS accredited. Because this is a new program, begun in 2009, a small number of pharmacies are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited.

  • Order from an outsourced prescription management service that your veterinarian uses.

These state-licensed internet pharmacy services work directly with the veterinarian, require that a prescription be written by the veterinarian, and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Ask your veterinary hospital if it uses an internet pharmacy service.


*Find this and other consumer updates at


Iams Food Recall
As of July 2010, Procter & Gamble is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its ProActive Health (canned) diets and Iams Veterinary Dry Formulas, due to a possible health risk. The foods being recalled include the following:
Iams Feline Renal Formula dry foods with lot codes: 01384174B4 and 01384174B2 and UPC Code: 019014214051

Iams ProActive Health canned Cat & Kitten Food - all varieties of 3 oz & 5.5 oz cans, dated 9/2011 to 6/2012 (printed on bottom of can)

Iams Veterinary Formulas, Dry (with "Best By" dates from 01 Jul 10 - 01 Dec 11. All UPC codes are included in the recall)
Eukanuba Naturally Wild, Dry (with "Best By" dates from 01 Jul 10 - 01 Dec 11. All UPC codes are included in the recall)
Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Skin, Dry (with "Best By" dates from 01 Jul 10 - 01 Dec 11. All UPC codes included in recall)
Eukanuba Pure, Dry (with "Best By" dates from 01 Jul 10 - 01 Dec 11. All UPC codes are included in the recall)
This recall is placed in North America as a precautionary measure, as the food has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported. If you have purchased this Iams diet with the lot codes listed above, it is recommended to discard the food. People handling this dry pet food can become infected with salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product.
Consumers can call P&G Pet Care if they would like additional information, or have any questions, at 877.340.8826.