Protect Your Dog With These Toxicity Facts

Protect Your Dog With These Toxicity Facts

Protect your dog by learning about five toxic threats to your pet, their symptoms, and how to prevent common forms of pet poisoning.

One minute you and your pet are enjoying the sun, sand, and waves, and the next your dog is sick with poisoning. If you’re not careful, your puppy can get into toxic substances, leading to a rollercoaster of problems. You know the obvious dangers: rat poison, chemicals, and anti-inflammatory medications. But what else could be making your dog sick?

Since the goal is effective treatment, we need to find the root of the issue. We’re going to identify five of the most common toxic substances. But first, these are three things to consider when faced with dog poisoning: exposure, diagnosis, and treatment.

Unfortunately, harmful substances like medication, plants, and food can look tasty to dogs. Sometimes a canine will even ingest inedible objects. The amount or size of the object ingested will impact the severity of poisoning.

While some sources of contamination may be obvious, others may not. It can be hard to determine the source of poisoning. As soon as you notice a change in your dog’s behavior, look for hazards that your dog could’ve come into contact with.

Envenomation is another form of poison exposure caused by a bite or sting. Animals like toads, marine life, spiders, and snakes are notorious for their defense mechanisms that can carry toxins. These fangs and barbs cause injuries that are life-threatening to your pet. Local hazards include bufo toads, centipedes, and Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish.

Think your dog could be showing signs of poisoning? It’s helpful to know the common symptoms and gather as much information as possible. Quickly and calmly collect samples, packaging, or photos of the toxin that remains. Then bring your dog to Alii Animal Hospital & Resort right away! This will help us determine the most effective course of treatment for your pup.
Symptoms of poisoning can progress rapidly, so it’s important to identify them early. We’ve included some of the most common signs to look out for:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Discolored gums
  • Trouble breathing or excessive panting

As soon as you notice these symptoms or see your pet with a poisonous substance, treat it as a medical emergency. Call Alii Animal and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately. The sooner they’re seen, the better the chance they’ll recover successfully. We offer urgent care and same-day appointments to provide emergency care when needed.

Never treat your animal with a home remedy without consulting a veterinary professional. It may not be safe and can create further medical issues. Only induce vomiting if you’re instructed to do so. Let your vet know if your dog is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or showing signs of serious distress. Don’t attempt to induce vomiting if any of these signs are present.

If the toxin is ingested, your vet may instruct you to rinse out your dog’s mouth using a wet washcloth. Do your best to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue. Avoid using a powerful hose unless advised by your veterinarian. Inhaling water into the lungs can cause “aspiration pneumonia,” a life-threatening condition.

If the contamination is topical, your vet may recommend you bathe your dog. Along with regular dog shampoo, keep Dawn dish soap handy. When advised, you can use it to bathe your dog as an effective grease-cutting cleaner.

Chocolate is one of the most well-known foods that are toxic to dogs. But why is it so bad for our furry friends, and what do you do if your dog eats chocolate? While it may be the perfect treat for you, the ingredients don’t settle well with canines. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. These compounds metabolize slowly in dogs, speeding the heart rate and stimulating the nervous system.

As a result, your dog may experience anything from an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea to the following:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

Treatment varies depending on the amount of chocolate eaten, how long it’s been in your dog’s system and the size of your dog. Knowing these details and the type of chocolate helps your veterinarian advise you on the best course of action. You can get an idea of the danger your pet is in with the chocolate toxicity meter by Merck Veterinary Manual.

Once you bring your pet in, your vet will start the decontamination process. We’ll support your pup through intravenous (IV) fluids and medications. That might include anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, or anti-seizure medications. Dogs experiencing severe chocolate toxicity may need to be hospitalized and continually monitored.

Toads, a lesser-known threat to canines, produce a dangerous venom. The most toxic species is the Rhinella marina (formerly Bufo marinus). Hawaii’s warm weather creates the perfect climate for many toads year-round, including the Bufo. These toads are most prevalent in early spring and during the rainy season. The islands’ dogs, and sometimes cats, find themselves the victim of these large toads.

Their venom contains hallucinogenic and cardiac toxins. This irritating substance can contaminate your dog in a variety of ways. Your dog doesn’t have to bite the toad to become a victim. And only a small amount of venom is needed to cause a toxic reaction. Poisoning can be caused by:

  • Licking the toad
  • Ingesting the tadpoles, toad eggs, or a dried out toad
  • Chasing or playing with the toad
  • Eating food or drinking water that’s come into contact with the toad

Signs of Bufo toad exposure usually show up around 5-15 minutes after contact. If you notice your dog acting unsteady, disoriented, or drooling more than normal after being outside, seek veterinary help. Immediately rinse your dog’s mouth following the directions above. Stick to your veterinarian’s instructions carefully if they recommend using a hose. Then bring him to Alii Animal.

There’s no test to diagnose toad toxicity or an antidote to the venom. So your veterinarian will perform a physical exam to assess your dog’s breathing, heart rate, temperature, and more. Based on their findings, your veterinarian will treat the symptoms. This may include rehydration and medications to ease seizures or tremors and regulate heart rate and breathing.

Grapes and raisins are also known to be highly poisonous to dogs. Never allow your dog to eat grapes or raisins of any kind. That includes any product that may contain this harmful fruit.

Even a small amount of raisins can lead to GI upset, lethargy, or sudden kidney failure. Symptoms will usually present themselves between 12-24 hours after a dog eats a grape.

Bring your puppy to Ali’i Animal Hospital to be fully treated. As part of the decontamination process, your vet may use activated charcoal to absorb the toxin. Expect your dog to be hospitalized for 48 hours to monitor their kidney function and be supported through IV fluid.

Wondering what’s making your dog sick after going to the beach? Several mouthfuls of saltwater might be the culprit. In the best-case scenario, a little saltwater may cause some diarrhea, but it can be much worse.

Seawater aspiration results from being submerged or taking in too much water. Without the proper safety precautions, while swimming and playing, your dog could be at risk. Take them to our emergency clinic immediately if you notice difficulty breathing, a change in behavior, or bluish skin and gums.

Also a hazard for dogs, saltwater poisoning happens when too much salt builds up in its body. This sodium imbalance can cause many health issues, including:

  • Seizures
  • A loss of brain cells
  • Injury to the kidneys
  • Severe dehydration

This condition can even lead to death if not treated by a medical professional. Your vet will carefully balance your dog’s electrolytes while preventing cerebral edema (fluid on the brain) and swelling. At the same time, we’ll offer supportive care, managing seizures, and other complications as they arise. In an ideal case, your dog will be hospitalized for 2-3 days. But it may be necessary to track your canine for longer depending on the severity.

The beach offers prime digging among other opportunities for play. But sand, like saltwater, is another beachfront hazard to be aware of. You may not see your dog flat out eating sand, but a little bit here and there adds up.

So what exactly happens? While playing with their sandy toys, your dog will ingest sand. If there’s enough of it, they’ll be in danger of intestinal sand impaction. As the tiny sand particles get wet and heavy, the result is a solid lump that can block the intestinal tract. Sand impaction causes:

  • Vomiting
  • A hard mass in the abdominal area
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • And more

If your dog is suffering from this condition, veterinary intervention is crucial. Your dog will receive a complete examination of its abdomen and may need an ultrasound or x-ray. Often, your dog will experience pain and need medication to manage it. The sandy blockage may not pass without IV fluids, and lifesaving intestinal surgery may be required.

Want to know how to help prevent poisoning during your beach visit? Provide shade and plenty of fresh water for your pup. Take a break from the saltwater every 15 minutes. If you notice them drinking ocean water, restrict their access.

Exposure to any of these toxic substances can be fatal and expensive to treat. The best course of action is to always be aware of your dog’s surroundings and prevent them from coming into contact with toxins. Two general ways to prevent poisoning are teaching your dog to “leave it” and crate training your pup.

Just a little knowledge and some prevention can be game-changers and just might save your furry friend’s life.

Making Pet Dental Care A Priority for Honolulu Pets

Making Pet Dental Care A Priority for Honolulu Pets

Nope, “dog breath” isn’t normal. It’s actually a sign of dental disease, which is one of the most prevalent diseases in both cats and dogs. Yet, it is entirely preventable. Dental disease not only affects your pet’s mouth; it can cause damage to internal organs that can seriously affect their overall health and well-being. Our veterinarians believe your pets deserve better. At  Alii Animal Hospital, we offer superior pet dental care services for cats and dogs, including digital dental X-rays, dental cleanings, and dental extractions.

Preventing dental disease requires three steps:
  1. Bringing in your pet for routine oral hygiene evaluations.
  2. Practicing a consistent dental care plan at home.
  3. Providing routine professional dental care with our veterinarians.
Dr. Cook is examining her patient’s teeth and gumline.
Pet dental care at home is so important.
Superior dental health = happy and healthy pet.

Professional dental care services are essential for assessing the presence or progress of disease and doing what we can to prevent or treat it.

Our comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment begins with:
  • Digital dental X-rays to examine the integrity of tooth roots and bone because 60% of the tooth root is under the gumline.
  • Thorough cleaning of each tooth using a special ultrasonic scaler. This efficiently removes built-up plaque and tartar on each tooth.
  • Polishing of each tooth to help slow future plaque build-up.
  • Extractions of broken teeth affected by periodontal disease.

Summer Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

Summer Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

During the summer months, the heat can easily affect the health of our fur babies. Here are some helpful tips to keep your pets cool, comfortable, and safe!

Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, stumbling, seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, you should contact us as soon as possible. It is important to walk your pets during cool times of the day and never during the mid-day heat.

Dogs love the beach, but playing games of fetch, chasing waves, and swimming can all lead to a thirsty dog who consumes salt water. In most cases, a few mouthfuls of salt water may only cause diarrhea. Consuming large amounts of salt water, however, can have serious, potentially life-threatening, consequences.

When dogs ingest salt water, the excess salt draws water from the blood into the intestines, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Saltwater ingestion can subsequently disrupt the balance of electrolytes in your pet. If you believe your dog has consumed a toxic amount of salt water, please contact us.

The temperature inside your vehicle can climb rapidly. Leaving your pet exposed to heat for extended periods of time can put your pet at serious risk of discomfort, illness, and heat exhaustion and even death. One study showed that your car can climb from 70ºF to 113ºF in just 30 minutes. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.

Khon2 – Love Your Pet Segments

Khon2 – Love your pet segments

March 24, 2020 – Pet Staycation
When we go on vacation, we want to make sure our pets also have a comfortable stay while we’re away.
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March 10, 2020 – Pets Staycation While You Vacation
With spring break and summer travel coming up, we have to keep plans for our pets in mind too!
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December 26, 2019 – Keeping Your Pets Safe for the New Year
New Year’s is right around the corner, and you don’t want to forget about your furry four-legged family members.
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December 10, 2019 – Safety Tips for the Holidays
The holiday season is a fun and festive time, but it can also be dangerous for our pets.
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November 26, 2019 – Celebrating Thanksgiving with Fur Babies
Thanksgiving is a time to share with loved ones, which include your four-legged family members.
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November 20, 2019 – Animal Hospital and Resort
We learned all about the amazing facility and services with owners Dr. Joanna Cook and Matt Malta.
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October 1, 2019 – Luxury Animal Hospital and Resort Opens on Oahu
Pet owners now have the option to take their furry friends to a luxury pet resort and hospital in Kakaako.
Watch Now

What Is Pet Acupuncture?

What Is Pet Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body via the insertion and manipulation of very fine, sterile, taper point needles. Medical acupuncture builds upon the 3,000-year-old Chinese practice, based on the study of qi or “vital energy,” and its flow through the body. Acupoints often correspond with blood vessels and nerve clusters, where physiological communications can be interrupted due to pain, injury, or illness.

The fine needles stimulate therapeutic effects in the body that enhance circulation, relieve muscle tension, and release neurotransmitters and other chemicals which help relieve pain and decrease inflammation.

Acupuncture enhances circulation and relieves muscle tension.
Veterinary acupuncture has very little risk of side effects.

Veterinary acupuncture has very little risk of side effects when performed by a certified veterinary medical acupuncturist. On our team, our
cVMA has extensive experience with cat and dog acupuncture for a variety of conditions. Acupuncture can help treat arthritis, nerve injury, urinary problems, allergies, chronic diarrhea, as well as improve general well-being and support a healthy immune system. We tailor each treatment to your animal’s unique situation based on a thorough medical history review, careful physical examination, and assessment of the body’s neurological and musculoskeletal systems.

Clinical applications include:
• Degenerative joint disease
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Wounds and fractures
• Post dental procedures
• Skin conditions such as lick granulomas
• Post-surgical pain
• Sprains and strains
• Infections and inflammation

Treating the Itch of Pet Allergies with Dermatology

Treating The Itch of Pet Allergies with Dermatology

Your pet can have allergies just like us, and we usually see this affecting their skin. In Hawaii, pet allergies are a big deal. They are very prevalent all year round, causing consistent discomfort for many of our furry friends. At  Ali’i Animal Hospital  we help to treat your pet’s itch so they can get back to enjoying all the things they love best.

While skin conditions can result from any number of things, allergies are typically the primary cause. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, it’s likely they have an allergy:
• Excessive scratching
• Red, irritated skin
• Dry, flaky skin
• Licking/chewing the paws
• Hair loss

Our products are always made with natural and organic ingredients.
Fleas are a common skin irritant.

Pets are allergic to many of the same things we are. These could include:
• Pollens
• Grasses
• Avocado trees
• Mango trees
• Dust and dust mites
• Mold
• Dander
• Certain fibers or materials
• Fleas

Management & Treatment
In order to treat allergies effectively, it’s important to know what causes them. We will do an initial assessment and learn about the living environment of your pet. We may draw blood and send it to an outside lab to evaluate for the potential allergen contributing to the skin disease. We also do skin testing in-house to check for other conditions besides allergies such as microscopic external parasites and bacteria and yeast infections. Once we determine the cause of allergies, we’ll form a personal treatment plan for your pet. This may include:

• Flea preventatives – these are essential for preventing flea bite dermatitis
• Cytopoint (an allergy injection for dogs)
• Apoquel (an anti-itch tablet for dogs)
• Atopica (an anti-itch oral medication for cats)
• Antibiotics (to treat secondary infections)
• Antifungals (to treat secondary fungal infections)
• Medicated shampoos
• Creams or topical therapy

For food allergies, we’ll need to do an elimination diet for approximately 12-16 weeks, then add in possible allergens one by one until your pet has another reaction. This is a long process, but we’re here to help every step of the way.

Pamper your pup with our custom line of spa products

Pamper your pup with our custom line of spa products

Interested in pampering your pup at home? You can purchase our line of spa products. All our products are made locally here in Hawaii with natural and organic ingredients.

Natural Balm (Fragrance-Free)
Good for hydrating dry noses, paw pads, elbows, and more.
2oz – $22.00
Ingredients: Organic coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E, aloe, and kukui oil.

Lilikoi Pineapple, 2 fl.oz – $6.75
Lilikoi Pineapple, 8 fl.oz – $18.00

  • Free of sulfates, phthalates, TEA, dimethicone,
  • Includes kukui nut oil, which helps with hot spots
  • Hypo-allergenic, natural formula with organic extracts
  • Helps maintain a shiny coat
  • Reduces shedding with Omega 3 fatty acids from kukui nut oil
  • Deodorizing and anti-bacterial
  • 100% biodegradable

Ingredients: Deionized water, aloe vera leaf juice, renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, coconut oil, gardenia tahitensis (Tiare flower) extract, oleic acid, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), calendula, white tea extract, awapuhi extract, aleurites moluccana seed (kukui nut) oil, rose canina fruit (rose hips) oil, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), organic sea kelp, carica papaya fruit extract, sodium benzoate, glycol distearate, citric acid, fragrance.

Safe for use on your pup and your human family.
4.5 fl.oz – $18.00

  • DEET free
  • All-natural
  • Safe for pets and children
  • Avoid spraying around eyes
Our products are always made with natural and organic ingredients.
Matt Malta, our resort director, freshening up our guest after their stay.

Scrub for Paw/Nose/Elbow
Perfect for both your pup and you!
Lilikoi Pineapple, 6oz – $21.00

• Includes vitamin-rich plant extracts
• Paraben, TEA, and phthalate-free, 100% Vegan
• Gently polishes skin without leaving an oily residue
• Naturally anti-bacterial cleanser too with glycerin and coconut oil

Ingredients: pure Hawaiian cane sugar, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia nut oil, kukui nut oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, fragrance

Anti-Itch Shampoo
Itch relief for you and your pup.

8 fl.oz – $20.00

Ingredients: deionized water, aloe vera leaf juice, renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, coconut oil, gardenia tahitensis (Tiare flower) extract, oleic acid, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), calendula, white tea extract, awapuhi extract, melaleuca (tea tree) oil, aleurites moluccana seed (kukui nut) oil, rose canina fruit (rose hips) oil, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), organic sea kelp, carica papaya fruit extract, sodium benzoate, glycol distearate, citric acid, fragrance

Changing Lives One Spay And Neuter At A Time

Changing Lives One Spay And Neuter At A Time

Your pet’s reproductive hormones can actually do them more harm than good. The high production of testosterone and estrogen can often cause behavioral problems, infections, and even cancer. Alii Animal Hospital highly recommends spay/neuter surgery for your pet if you do not plan on breeding them. The recommended time for this surgery is prior to sexual maturity and before the first heat cycle for a female. With a safe, effective procedure, we can help your pet live their best life.

Why Spaying And Neutering Matters to The Greater Community
While the surgery has a lot of personal benefits for your pet (we’ll get to that in a second), the positive effects are far-reaching. Spaying and neutering reduce the number of unwanted litters. Many of those puppies and kittens would likely end up in shelters, become feral, or be euthanized due to shelter crowding. When you choose to spay or neuter your pet, you’re giving pets already in shelters a better chance at being adopted and helping to take a stand against the serious problem of pet overpopulation in Hawaii.

Benefits to Your Pet
As we mentioned, your pet will receive a wide range of benefits. Surgery reduces and even eliminates many undesirable behaviors as well as serious conditions including:

  • Urine spraying (males)
  • Mounting behavior (males)
  • Heat cycles (females)
  • Roaming (both)
  • Aggression (males)
  • Prostate disease(males)
  • Testicular disease (males)
  • Mammary gland tumors (females)
  • Pyometra, a uterine infection (females)
  • Ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancers (females)

Timing for Surgery
The timing of your pet’s surgery is important and varies based on their gender, breed, and health. While the general timeline is 6 months of age, that can fluctuate to a later or earlier surgery. When you welcome a new puppy or kitten into your home, make sure to make an appointment with us soon so we can assess their health and schedule a properly-timed surgery.

Reducing The Risk Of Disease with Pet Vaccinations

Reducing The Risk Of Disease with Pet Vaccinations

As a pet parent, you want to ensure your pet’s lasting health for years to come. Pet vaccinations are a crucial part of making that happen by protecting your furry family from a wide variety of dangerous diseases. At Alii Animal Hospital, we administer only the highest quality vaccines for your pets at the perfect times to avoid over-vaccination.

For all our services, we believe that each pet is unique and deserves a personalized plan that suits their needs. Vaccines are no different. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s lifestyle, travel potential, exposure to other pets, and activities to determine their individualized vaccination protocol. There are some vaccines we recommend for all pets, due to the prevalence and dangerous nature of the diseases they protect against.

Vaccines for dogs we recommend include:
  • DHPP
  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella
Vaccines for dogs we recommend based on lifestyle include:
  • Rabies – only needed for traveling into Hawaii and out of Hawaii if you plan on returning to Hawaii.
  • Canine Influenza (required for boarding with us; recommended for traveling dogs)

When they are still a puppy, your dog will begin their initial vaccination administration series. The series is important as they build their immunity over the course of their first year of life. Subsequent booster vaccinations are spaced out over the years of their life in order to prevent over-vaccination.

Relieving Discomfort With Pet Laser Therapy

Relieving Discomfort With Pet Laser Therapy

Your pet’s pain not only takes a toll on them; it takes a toll on you, too. When in pain, they are not their best selves, which makes it hard to enjoy your time with them. Alii Animal Hospital aims to heal the pain so your pet can return to their happy life. Our multimodal pain management approach includes pet laser therapy, a brand-new innovation in veterinary medicine. Laser therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment that complements conventional veterinary medicine.

A therapeutic laser uses concentrated light energy which penetrates deep into your pet’s damaged tissue. When light energy reaches the target tissue, it stimulates cellular activity which decreases inflammation and pain and accelerates healing. This  veterinarian-prescribed, technician-driven modality effectively treats a wide variety of conditions including pre-surgical, post-surgical, acute, and chronic disease states. It can also be used in conjunction with medical acupuncture.

Laser therapy is safe and non-invasive.
Laser therapy decreases inflammation and pain and accelerates healing.
Our trained technicians use our handled laser therapy device to treat many different conditions, including:
  • Arthritis
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Joint injuries
  • Post-surgical incisions
  • Wounds and lacerations
  • Skin conditions such as lick granulomas and hot spots
  • Hip dysplasia