Health and Wellness


Welcome to the Health Blog of the Scottish Terrier Club of New England, Inc. In this Article regarding the health and well-being of our beloved Scotties we'll present some common things at home that could make you Scottie sick.  Future posts will cover a range of information from basic care of your Scottish Terrier to genetic issues that can be in the breed.

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Most responsible homeowners make an effort to keep harsh chemicals, rat poison and other dangerous substances away from pets. However, the same people may not realize how many other pet toxins lurk in the home.

Here are some other items that could make your pet sick:

1. Ibuprofen: You may have the best intentions in giving human pain medications to pets, but no drugs should be given to pets without first consulting your veterinarian. Ibuprofen in particular can cause significant intestinal and kidney damage and many other over-the-counter and prescription medications for humans can harm animals. Also keep in mind that child-proof medicine bottles are not necessarily animal-proof, and pets could ingest a whole bottle of drugs.

2. Pet medications: It's also important to keep animal medications out of reach of pets. They are often enticingly flavored, so if pets find their way into the bottle, they are likely to gobble far more than a safe dosage.

3. Grapes and raisins: It's also important to be careful with snacks for animals. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Some tests show as few as seven grapes can be toxic. Onions and garlic are also dangerous for both cats and dogs, though typically in larger amounts.

4. Sugar-free gum and mints: Sugarless candy and other items often contain xylitol, a sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and liver failure.

5. Chocolate: It's not a myth propagated by chocoholics trying to hoard their sweets. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and other pets. A mild stimulant in chocolate can be far from mild for pets. It can cause seizures, vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems. Dark chocolate is particularly dangerous. Also, coffee and other caffeinated drinks contain similar substances.

6. Alcohol: Your dog may be your best buddy, but don't share a beer with him. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory problems in many animals, and may be deadly.

7. Lilies: Lilies top a long list of common plants that can be toxic to animals. A cat that eats even small amounts of lily parts can incur severe kidney damage. Other dangerous plants include sago palms, tulip bulbs, azaleas, rhododendrons, yew and English ivy.

8. Batteries: Again, most corrosive acids are kept away from pets, but pet owners may not think of keeping batteries well out of reach. Battery acid can cause corrosive injuries to the mouth and stomach of many animals. Liquid potpourri may also be similarly dangerous.

9. Christmas trees: If pets eat tinsel and other decorations, the material can cause intestinal problems. Similarly, Christmas tree water may contain dangerous bacteria and fertilizers.

10. Citronella candles: Citronella smells good, so it attracts dogs, but it can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps if ingested.

If your pet may have consumed one of the above toxins or other dangerous substances, contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Remember the best time to be prepared for an emergency is before it happens!

Common Sense Dog Safety ideas from Charlie Stevens

Everyday bits of knowledge that every dog owner has forgotten at least once. 

We all know never to leave our Scotties in a parked car with the windows closed in the summer. Winter can be just as challenging.  If it is15 degrees outside, it won't take long to reach 15 degrees inside a parked car.

Never leave your Scottie out in the sun for long periods of time.  Provide lots of shade for your Scottie, and always provide plenty of cool, clean water to prevent dehydration, inside ad outside in your fenced yard.

Dogs can have severe allergic reactions to insect bites.  If you notice your dog acutely swollen around the muzzle, or developing hives, it is best to get him or her treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Inflammatory response can lead to severe illness and respiratory distress.

Charlie Stevens at a Club Grooming Seminar

Read all labels of flea and tick medication carefully. Misuse can lead to toxicity and even death.

Scotties should not ride in truck beds. They can overheat there as well.

Avoid leaving windows and doors open in your house. A determined Scottie can tear through a screen.

Keep your scottie away from mouse, ant, and roach traps or bate. 

Human medications can be lethal to small dogs   Even chocolate can be toxic, even lethal.

Fertilizer, antifreeze and pesticides can be deadly to pets. Store them safely.  Don't allow you pet to walk on a freshly fertilized lawn

Finally if your a gardner, check the toxicity of the plans in your garden: Easter lily, Azalea and amaryllis, also  Lilly-of-the valley. Foxtail (spear grass) can be a health hazard for skin, ears, eyes and nose.  

Excerpts from Scottie Tails #1 2013