General Dog Health

All dogs and puppies in Phoenix foster care are treated for fleas, ticks and worms. They also receive the appropriate vaccinations and are micro-chipped.

This protection will need to be continued when the animal leaves Phoenix. Vaccinations need to be continued and your dog will need to be treated regularly for fleas, ticks and worms. Whether it is fleas, worms or ticks, prevention is better than having to see you animal suffer. Consult with your vet about the most appropriate means of prevention and treatment.

You will be given a medical dossier on adoption and all treatments given to the dog to date will be noted down in this document. It will also contain the dog’s identity (ICAD) number.

Having fleas will not be a pleasant experience for your dog and as well as causing him or her to itch and scratch, there are wider health implications. If left the saliva from fleas can cause a type of dermatitis, which causes extreme and painful itching and can cause your dog to continually scratch him/herself meaning that the skin may be broken and bald patches in his/her may appear. If left untreated your dog could develop anaemia, as the fleas gradually lower the red blood cell count. This is especially problematic in young puppies, where an inadequate number of red blood cells can be life-threatening to some dogs.

Dogs can be the victims of several intestinal parasites frequently referred to as worms. The most common are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Of these four only two are commonly seen in the stool with the unaided eye: roundworms and tapeworms.

Ticks can make dogs and people seriously ill. They are spineless creature that burrow their head into the skin and once attached will suck his/her blood until it has had its fill. An infected tick can transmit serious life threatening diseases such as Lyme Disease, Piroplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis. Ticks are tricky to remove and it is worth spending a couple of euros on a simple pronged tool, supplied by your vet, which is easy to use and very effective at removal. It is important to remove all of the tick as leaving the head embedded can cause inflammation and serious infection. Ticks are more prevalent in wet and warm weather and are often found in long grass.

All dogs in Phoenix care will have an identity chip, it is required by law. On adoption we will notify ICAD of the change of ownership and a new certificate will be posted to you at no cost.

Neutering your dog
Neutering your dog not only prevents unwanted litters but can also prevent tumours and other health problems. It also has a number of behavioural benefits. If a dog is not neutered on adoption then it is part of the adoption contract that you, as the new owner, must undertake to have the dog neutered when old enough

A healthy diet is as vital for a dog as for a human. There are many schools of thought as to the type of diet that is ‘best’, including – a dried complete food diet, a raw diet (BAARF), wet complete food and a home cooked diet. There are pros and cons of each approach and it is down to you as dog owner to thoroughly research and decide upon the type of diet that suits you and is best for your canine family member.

10 Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

We all know that a pair of pleading doggy eyes are difficult to resist, but failing to do so can lead to serious health consequences for your canine friend. Here is a list of ten foods (not exhaustive – there are more) that can lead to serious health implications if eaten by your dog.

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which fall under the methylxanthines category. If eaten by a dog, chocolate can cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, elevated body temperature, seizures and death.

Cooked Bones
Giving your dog a raw uncooked bone to chew on is great, but avoid cooked bones at all cost. These can easily splinter, get caught in the throat and in large quantities cause constipation or at worst, a perforation of the gut which can be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts and Walnuts
Macadamias and walnuts contain toxins that can cause a severe toxic reaction in dogs. Dogs can develop weakness and an inability to walk, specifically in their hind legs. Vomiting, staggering gait, depression, tremors and hypothermia. Other nuts to avoid (although the consequences of ingestion are not considered to be as serious) are almonds, pecans and pistachios – due to them being hard to digest and the likelihood that they may cause intestinal upset.

Grapes and Raisins
While its currently unknown what chemicals and compounds are in grapes that cause toxicity to dogs, the results of consumption can be pretty devastating. Grapes and raisins can cause rapid kidney failure. While it varies between dogs, symptoms may not show up in them. Other than kidney failure, dogs can also develop vomiting or diarrhea as well as a lethargic state. Dogs will also develop dehydration and lack of appetite. Death from kidney failure may occur within three to four days.

Avocado plants contain a substance called Persin which is in its leaves, fruit and seed. Avocados can have toxic effects on dogs depending on the variety. They can cause upset stomachs in dogs, breathing difficulties, fluid buildup in the chest. Also, the seed can accidentally be swallowed by dogs, leading to obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.

Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Our desire for sweet treats, chewing gum and drinks together with low-fat, diet and sugar-free products (including some peanut butters so always check the label before using this as a treat) are often laced with an artificial sweetener called Xylitol which causes an insulin release in our bodies. However, if your dog digests one of these sweetened foods they can go into hypoglycaemia which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.

Alcohol has a huge impact on dogs even in small doses. The drink not only causes intoxication as it does in humans, but it can lead to sickness, diarrhoea and even central nervous system damage.

Yeast dough
The raw yeast dough from making bread can ferment in a dog’s stomach, becoming toxic. Aside from the toxicity from alcohol being produced in the stomach, yeast dough can also expand in your dog’s stomach or intestines and create a large amount of gas in the digestive system. This can lead to severe pain and a potentially ruptured stomach or intestinal tract. Vomiting, abdominal discomfort and lethargy can also occur.

Fruit Cores
The core of an apple, as well as plums, peaches, pears and apricots, contain cyanogenic glycosides which is also known as cyanide. Some of the symptoms that come from ingesting this toxin found in cores are dizziness, struggling to breath, seizures, collapsing, hyperventilation, shock and even coma.

Foods with a High Fat Content
If consumed on a regular basis, foods rich in fat, like bacon or pigs’ ears, can lead to the disease Pancreatitis. Once a dog has developed Pancreatitis their pancreas becomes inflamed and stop functioning correctly. The disease is extremely painful for your dog and can lead to death.