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    Protecting Your Dogs From Summertime Hazards

    Originally Posted by ZenCat 05-19-2007 04:02 PM
    With summer upon us, its probably a good idea to refresh ourselves about a few hazards to watch out for. In addition to the obvious dangers of overheating in the car or too much exercise on hot days, there are other summertime dangers we might overlook:

    The Tempting Grill and other Barbeque Hazards
    For those (like us) who use charcoal grills, be careful which products you choose. Quick-starting charcoal (like Matchlight) is saturated with lighter fluid which is HIGHLY toxic to your dog. If you've got a puppy or an adult dog who's extra curious about the grill (like mine is), its probably better to use traditional untreated charcoal.

    What's summer without corn on the cob? Unfortunately, corn cobs are a major obstruction risk in dogs. Please avoid giving them to your dogs.

    Citronella candles may also smell attractive to dogs. Keep them out of reach whether in use or not, as ingestion of citronella products (I caught Grip trying to drink rainwater collected in a citronella candle bucket last summer) can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

    Sunblock & Insect Repellent
    Many (if not most) sunblock formulas are also highly toxic if ingested. Plenty of them smell delicious, so remember to keep them safely out of your dogs' reach and bear in mind they should not lick sunblock off of you. In addition, those which are waterproof will be difficult to remove should your dog get some in his eyes or mouth. Topical human insect repellents are often scented, and may seem appetizing to your dog. Be sure to remember these are pesticides and carry a wide range of risks. Products containing DEET are particularly harmful (to you, your children as well as your pets. PLEASE read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly.)

    Lawn Care, Gardens & Container Plants
    Fertilizers, herbicides, and other lawn treatments can be dangerous if ingested or via absorption through foot pads. Use caution in areas your dogs use. Also watch out for gardens and containers on patios or decks in which you've used fertilizer-enriched soil mixes.

    That's all I can think of at the moment. If there's something I missed, please share!
    Originally posted by ChocLabOwner
    Gardening season is also upon us. A couple of things to consider:

    A lot of plants that we have in our gardens are potentially poisonous to our pets. You can google a list. A couple of sites that I found were as follows:

    Plants Poisonous to Dogs

    As well, I know this has been mentioned before, but there was a mulch that is also poisonous to dogs as it contains cocoa nuts. The smell may be irresistible to your dog.
    Originally posted by ZenCat
    Originally Posted by 2shoes
    Great thread! Thanks! Here's a question that occured to me the other day. Can you use the bandanas that are treated with Buzz Off to keep mosquitoes away from your dog?

    Buzz Off fabric is fairly controversial. I can't find anything that states its approved for safe use on animals. The fabric is treated with the insecticide Permathrin (which is classified as a pesticide not an insect repellent) and the products themselves do not carry what many believe to be adequate warning labels. They are, in fact, not designed to be worn against your skin (which is worrying, since they make Buzz Off shirts, hats, etc.). I would be very concerned about using it on a dog, not only because it will be in contact with their skin, but because of the inhalation aspect and the proximity of a bandana to their eyes. Of special concern is insecticide overdose if they are already being treated with flea/tick preventives (like Frontline).

    Here's what The Green Guide says:

    The Green Guide Responds:

    Two years ago, the EPA approved Buzz Off "insect repellent apparel," which is now carried by many outdoor gear retailers, such as REI, Eddie Bauer and Sierra Trading Post. The products are made effective by a powerful insecticide, yet even the clothing designed for children does not include warnings about the potential health risks and environmental impact from the active ingredient: permethrin.

    Permethrin is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring pyrethroids. It is easily metabolized by many insects, which may be effectively disabled by the chemical, though often they recover. It can be highly toxic to fish and tadpoles, and in humans can cause asthma attacks, headache and nausea.

    The information provided by the manufacturer, which many retailers use as their ad copy, contains no product safety disclosure, though some warning is certainly implied. Instead of making non-toxic claims, Buzz Off is characterized as odorless and colorless. The company's literature states the insecticide is "tightly bonded to the garment during the patent-pending Buzz Off Insect Shield treatment process," but also notes that after 25 washings the clothing is no longer protected. This means the active ingredient will come off the material, possibly while you're wearing it, especially after heavy perspiration. And research has shown that skin can absorb permethrin. Further, consumers are told not to wash the treated garments with other apparel, because, "small amounts [of the active ingredient] can come off in the wash." All of this suggests the product could pose some health risk to consumers, but the garments come with no warning label.

    Apart from the potential health risk, the product has limited impact. It will not protect exposed skin from insects. Permethrin is not a repellent; it is an insecticide. That means when insects come into contact with the chemical they are disabled permanently or temporarily. In effect, then, the treatment protects the clothing from insects. If you are wearing a treated garment, you'll sustain fewer bites through your clothing, but exposed skin won't be protected.

    And the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides:

    ** ACTION ALERT **
    Pesticide-Clothing For Adults and Kids Lack Health Warnings
    (Beyond Pesticides, August 2, 2004) Buzz Off™ Insect Shield Insect Repellent clothing, a line of clothing that has been impregnated with the insecticide permethrin to ward against mosquitoes, is being sold in outdoor stores across the country without labels that warn against possible exposure and contamination routes. The company recently launched a new line of kid's clothes that is being sold at Talbot's Kids and other stores.

    The outdoor stores selling the clothing, including REI, EMS, and Hudson Trail Outfitters, appear to know very little about the pesticide contained in the clothing. Although permethrin is being described by Buzz Off ™'s manufacturers as "a man-made version of a repellent that occurs naturally in chrysanthemums," in reality, permethrin, like other synthetic pyrethroids, is engineered to be much more toxic and persistent than natural pyrethrins.

    The new line of kid's clothing is particularly offensive as children are known to be more susceptible to the adverse effects of low dose pesticide exposure. Animal studies have shown permethrin, in particular, to be more toxic to young children than adults and to potentially inhibit neonatal brain development.

    The recent popularity of the Buzz Off™ clothing is alarming due to the lack of warnings on the clothing's label. The label essentially neglects to display any dangers of permethrin exposure, either to consumers or the environment, and does not caution against certain uses that could present higher risk.

    The label states that the clothing is effective for 25 washings, and that the clothing should be washed separately. This indicates that the chemical comes off in water. Research has shown that some permethrin from impregnated clothes comes off onto the skin, and a portion of that is absorbed into the body. If a person is sweating or swimming while wearing the clothing, more of the chemical will likely come off onto the skin. The longer one wears the clothes, the more permethrin will be absorbed into the body. But the label does not caution against wearing the clothing while in water nor does it warn against prolonged exposure to the clothes. Although the acute toxicity of permethrin is fairly low, there are some serious long-term health problems associated with this pesticide.

    Permethrin is a possible carcinogen and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors interfere with normal hormone function and can contribute to breast and testicular cancer, birth defects, learning disorders, and other problems. Animal studies indicate that small amounts of permethrin may cause immunotoxicity, or corruption of the immune system. Exposure to sunlight may worsen this response, according to the research of Virginia Tech Professor Steven D. Holladay and colleagues. Although Holladay's research is based on higher doses than that found in the clothing, he points out the need for studies that examine immunotoxicity at comparable doses to the clothing. "Nobody really knows at this point the risk that the clothes pose," he explained.

    A major concern with this clothing is the potential for people to receive combined exposures to a mix of pesticides. The clothing label advises that people should use the clothing "in conjunction with an insect repellent registered for direct application to skin," and at least one of the manufacturers suggests that the clothes be used specifically with DEET. According to the U.S. EPA, approximately one-third of the U.S. population uses DEET every year.

    Use of DEET in combination with permethrin likely facilitates enhanced dermal absorption of permethrin-meaning more permethrin could be absorbed into the bloodstream than EPA has taken into account. Additionally, when registering active ingredients, EPA does not consider the synergistic effects of the active ingredient with other chemicals.

    Several studies done by a team of Duke University researchers lead by Mohammed Abou-Donia suggest that DEET in conjunction with permethrin-impregnated clothing may be linked to Gulf War Syndrome. The symptoms, which affect thousands of veterans from the first Persian Gulf War, include headaches, fatigue, loss of memory, and chronic muscle and joint pain. The researchers exposed animals to the same doses of DEET and permethrin experienced by the war veterans using the same routes of exposure and found neurological damage that lead to motor deficits and learning and memory dysfunction, like the damage characterized by Gulf War Syndrome. (See a review of the study.)

    According to Dr. Abou-Donia, there are three main problems with these clothes (and their inadequate labels): Prolonged exposure to permethrin, combined exposure to permethrin and DEET, and increased sensitivity of certain segments of the population-particularly the elderly, pregnant women, and young children. He explained that even though the clothes might not pose that much risk to the average person, certain populations are more at risk. At this point, Dr. Abou-Donia explained, we don't know the effect of these clothes on those more sensitive people. "There is an urgent need for studies to document the safety of these chemicals…we need the information, and right now we just don't have enough."

    Another danger that these clothes pose is that of environmental contamination. Although the label states that the clothing should not be stored or disposed of in water, it does not warn against washing or wearing the clothes in bodies of water, such as while swimming, camping, or washing in streams, lakes or other water bodies. Permethrin is well known for its high toxicity to fish and other aquatic organisms, in notably small doses. A recent U.C. Berkeley study also found that low doses of synthetic pyrethroids are accumulating in creek sediments in levels toxic to freshwater bottom dwellers, which could have an adverse affect on the water body's entire ecosystem.

    When touting the safety of Buzz Off, the manufacturers claim that in order to get registered by EPA, the clothing "underwent rigorous testing and review." Yet according to EPA, the 2003 registration of Buzz Off™ was not for the use of permethrin-treated clothing; it was solely for the fabric. The use was registered in the early 1990s, when it first started to be used for soldier's clothing. None of the studies done in the last 10+ years, including Abou-Donia's studies linking permethrin and DEET to Gulf War Syndrome, could have been taken into account. EPA will not do a revised risk assessment examining all uses of permethrin until at least 2006.

    TAKE ACTION: Buzz Off™ 's label does not adequately protect the environment or the consumer from the knowing the real and potential hazards of these clothes. Join Beyond Pesticides in writing REI, EMS, or other stores selling Buzz Off™ clothing and urge them to stop selling these products. Use our SAMPLE LETTER to REI to help you. Send a copy to EPA or write the EPA Administrator and responsible department directly and voice your concerns over this new product:
    1. The label fails to warn against washing or wearing in water bodies such as streams or lakes
    2. The label fails to warn against prolonged use or specify a safe duration
    3. The label and the manufacturer both suggest use with DEET when they should be cautioning against it
    4. Important studies on pesticide-impregnated clothing have not been taken into account

    What is BUZZ OFF Insect Shield and how does it work?
    BUZZ OFF™ Insect Shield is a revolutionary new product that literally keeps bugs from biting. By combining Permethrin, a man-made version of a centuries old natural insect control product, with a new patent pending process, BUZZ OFF™ Insect Shield is the smart way to protect against annoying insects including those which may carry West Nile virus and other diseases.
    Is it approved?
    Following many years of extensive product testing, BUZZ OFF™ Insect Shield has been successfully registered with the Environmental Protection Agency – the EPA. In addition, unlike traditional insect repellents, BUZZ OFF™ Insect Shield has the benefit of being near your skin instead of on your skin.

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  3. #2
    Best Friend Retriever emma_Dad's Avatar
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    Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent

    WHY IT WORKS: The bugs won’t bug you any longer. Eucalyptus oil is the best known insect repellant around. And bugs hate lemongrass oil too which is why we love it. Since there’s no deet, it’s safe enough to apply with confidence to children and pets. Unless you happen to keep a pet mosquito.

    HOW IT WORKS: Apply liberally to exposed skin, particularly ankles, legs, arms and hairline before venturing outdoors.
    4 oz.

    Soybean Oil,
    Eucalyptus Oil,
    Lemongrass Oil
    Originally posted by ZenCat and Bailey'smom
    What to do in case of jelly fish stungs? What's best to give to dogs if it happens.

    What a great question, and one that challenged my searching skills! I couldn't find much, but from what I understand vinegar is the first recommendation to remove the sting. Perhaps you could keep a bottle in your car in case of emergency.

    I would also ask your veterinarian if they recommend keeping benadryl (I like the dye-free gelcaps) on hand just in case there's a reaction.
    Originally Posted by memcnult


    There are several articles starting to come out if you google it - but hops are very, very, very dangerous for your dog!! (resulting in death something like 95% of cases). Ingested in any form at all - even after they've been tinctured for beer brewing, or right off the vine -- bad. And tiny amounts can cause severe reactions.

    If your dog does injest hops take them to the vet immediately and bring a cold towel and ice - the dog will develop a sudden and severe fever.

    Hops, a plant used in making beer, can cause malignant hyperthermia in dogs, usually with fatal results. Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds, seem particularly sensitive to hop toxicity, but hops should be kept away from all dogs. Even small amounts of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction, even if the hops are "spent" after use in brewing.

    Overheating and severe panting

    When the dog is so heated that it is panting severely, only let it have a few laps of water. Water in the stomach does not cool the dog, you just need to keep the mouth wet so the panting is more effective. Do not worry about hydration until the temp has started down. A dog panting heavily, taking in large amounts of water is a risk of bloat. Due to the heavy panting, they will swallow air, mixed with a large amount of water and they can bloat. Once the temp is going down and panting has slowed to more normal panting, then allow water. The dog will rehydrate itself after temp is normal.

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