Author Archives: Dr. Marc Edward

Pet Poison: Sugar-Free Products

sugar free gum and mints are toxic to dogs.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used to replace sugar in products. It is commonly used in sugar-free gums, mints, candy and even toothpaste. Check labels and keep any products with xylitol far away from your dogs. Xylitol is a known toxin in dogs, however it is not clear the affect it has on cats.

Why and How is Xylitol Toxic to Dogs

In humans, xylitol is absorbed very slowly and has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. In dogs, however, xylitol is absorbed very rapidly into the bloodstream. This rapid absorption can cause a widespread release of insulin, which is what causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver failure, which may lead to bleeding problems and death.

What Amount of Xylitol is Toxic?

Very little xylitol can be extremely toxic to dogs. In a 20 pound dog, as little as one or two pieces of gum may cause hypoglycemia (0.1g/kg).

Signs and SymptomsRead More…

Pet Poisons: Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs.

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Ingestion of grapes or raisins may result in acute kidney failure in dogs. At this time, anecdotal evidence suggests that cats may also be affected.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin within several hours after ingestion. Initially, symptoms may include vomiting and lethargy. This may proceed into an increase in thirst and urination, weakness or the inability to stand, and possibly the inability for the kidneys to produce urine. Once an animal has reached this state (which may occur within 24 hours of ingestion), treatment may be ineffective in reversing the toxicity and death may ensue.

Why and How Are Grapes and Raisins Toxic?Read More…

How to Tell if Your Dog Has a UTI


Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc. I’m filming for Pets Best Insurance, answering some Facebook questions for you guys, at Broadway Veterinary Hospital, in Boise, Idaho. The next question comes from Marie. She has a 3-year-old house-trained dog, and it sounds like he jumped up on the bed, and immediately squatted and peed on the covers right in front of her. Her dog has never done anything like this before, and it seemed ashamed.Read More…

Why Do Basset Hounds Get Ear Infections?

basset hounds are prone to ear infections.Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Today’s question was posted on the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page. Joe asked, “Why does my Basset Hound get ear infections?” Great question Joe, I’ll explain a bit about ear infections and why Basset Hounds are prone to them.

How are ear infections caused? Are there ways to prevent them?

Some ear infections are just spontaneous with no understood cause. Others can be set off by allergies or by moisture being retained in the ear. If the dog has allergies, controlling them with allergy medications will decrease ear infection break-outs. If it is more related to moisture, regular ear cleanings can help prevent the infections.

Why are ear infections common to Basset Hounds?Read More…

Dog Had Allergic Reaction After Vet Visit

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

dog had allergic reaction to anesthesia or vaccines.

Today’s question comes from the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

Jill asks, “Three years ago, my dog received vaccinations and a teeth cleaning in the same vet visit. I took her home and her entire head swelled up with an allergic reaction. I raced her back to the vet and they gave her Benadryl, but I’m not sure if it was the anesthesia or the vaccinations that caused the reaction, and I’ve been too scared to take her in since. I’ve made and cancelled appointments due to this fear. Is there anything else I can do for her teeth? I want to be a good pet parent and have her teeth cleaned again because I know she needs it.”

I know that an allergic reaction to anything can be a scary event and I’m glad to hear your dog recovered from the incident without complication. I’d like to first address your question about what you can do for her teeth. In my opinion, the best home dental hygiene is to brush the teeth regularly. You need to use a dog specific toothpaste (some human toothpastes can be toxic) and it needs to be done consistently. Ideally, this would even be done everyday if possible. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent of home care, most animals will still require professional cleanings from time to time.

I can understand your concern about returning to the veterinarian for care since she had a reaction. However, unless the reaction is very severe, your pet will likely still need to continue to receive vaccinations and dental care. In my experience, I have had more reactions from vaccines than I have from anesthetic.

That being said, here are three options that might help avoid this issue from recurring in the future:Read More…

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