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The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional membership association dedicated exclusively to the profession of veterinary medicine and the interests of the veterinary team. The focus of our association is professional development, advocacy, and practice vitality to ensure the continued success of our members.


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Summer Holiday Safety Tips For Pets

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, May 24, 2018

For many of us, summer holidays means backyard barbecues, drinks, and fireworks. While this can make for a fun holiday for neighbors, friends, and family, it can be bad news for your pet. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. 

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the 
    plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.


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This information was provided courtesy of the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

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Football Parties And Hazards For Our Pets

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, January 18, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Football Party Hazards

Football Parties And Hazards For Our Pets

by Greg Wiley, Senior Manager, Public Relations
Petplan Pet Insurance

With the conference championship games this weekend and the Super Bowl on Feb 4, there are sure to be a fair share of house parties to watch the games. Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs — especially when sitting at eye-level — but even cats can grab a piece of the action. Unfortunately, furry fans who intercept game day grub are likely to catch more than they bargained for.  Pet parents can find themselves at the emergency room, dishing out cash to treat their sick pup instead of high fives for great plays.

Petplan pet insurance encourages would-be revelers with pets to think carefully before serving the following:

  • Brew-hoo — Just like people, some animals have a taste for beer. But think twice before pouring your pet a pint: even a nip can cause fatal respiratory depression. 
  • No bones about it — Chicken wings have especially fine bones, which can splinter easily and puncture the GI tract. Besides, the sauces are virtually guaranteed to cause an upset stomach.
  • Not fun-ion — Onion rings are doubly dangerous: onions in any form are poisonous to pets and fried foods can cause diarrhea.
  • (Don’t) pick ‘em — Toothpicks make a nice presentation for cubed meats, cheeses and other appetizers, but can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to pets’ GI tracts, if swallowed.
  • Aw, nuts! — Many nut varieties have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.

Costs for pet parents can range from an average of $830 for treating onion toxicity to thousands of dollars for GI tract surgery.

Here are some tips from Petplan Staff Veterinarians on how to avoid that costly trip to the ER.

  • Start with a game plan - For some pets, the temptation may simply be too great. If that’s the case, seek alternative arrangements before hosting, or consider leaving your pet at home, if attending.
  • Watch the turnovers - When begging doesn’t work, dogs may resort to linebacker tactics: playing smart and aggressive. Encourage guests to minimize the risk of fumbling food by sitting at a table or using snack trays.
  • The best defense is a good offense - Go for the extra point by keeping pet-friendly snacks handy for hounds with hungry eyes. Better yet, go for two with pigskin-themed pet treats!
  • Don’t leave it all on the field - Keep an eye on unattended plates and cups — and make sure to clean up promptly. Even if they’re blocked at the line of scrimmage, sufficiently motivated dogs will run the end-around without a second thought.

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More about Petplan

Petplan is the world’s #1 pet insurance provider, with over 280 dog years’ experience keeping tails wagging and pets healthy. More than a million pet parents around the globe trust us to protect their best friends with confident coverage and first-class service that's second to none. 

Did you know...

Petplan gives the Pennsylvania Veterinary Foundation (PVF), PVMA's charitable arm, $10 for every insurance plan that uses the promo code INS0398? This money helps to run PVF's community-based programs like The Last Chance Fund, Henry's Helping Paws Fund and the PVF Scholarship Fund.  

Plus, when you enroll online, you SAVE 10%. Visit Petplan to get a 10% discount when you enroll online. Just be sure to use promo code INS0398c. 

Tags:  eating  football  game  instructions  pets  safety  super bowl 

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