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YOU NEED TO KNOW!!!
We picked up the following information in an ASPCA brochure at our vet's office when we went to collect the body of 10-month old "Payday," one of our all-time favorite dachshunds and a foundation sire of our famous Cash Clan, who succumbed May 28, 2008 to internal damage from a rough piece of crushed rock that measured less than an inch in diameter, which he had swallowed. Dogs are like small children who will put just about anything in their mouths, all too often with tragic consequences. We hope we can help you avoid the same kind of tragedy we've experienced - not even the vet could save him, despite emergency surgery and what we felt were heroic efforts on her and her staff's part.
Edited to cover the "important stuff," we're not including all of their advertising for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. You can contact the ASPCA for more information on that, at www.aspcapetinsurance.com or by calling 1-866-861-9092. There are several other pet insurance companies listed online, as well.
Our own notes are in italics, where we felt it necessary to add to the brochure's information. We are also adding our own hazards, such things as the grains we feed to our livestock, especially "sweet mix," comprised of rolled corn, oats and molasses. Many people will happily allow their dogs a "treat" handful of such grain, thinking it couldn't possibly hurt their dog, but we've known of dogs who got too much of the good thing, it swelled up inside their stomach and burst the stomach, killing the dog. We country folk also use a lot of mouse and rat killers, such as D-Con and Bar-Bait, which are grain-based and flavored to attract rodents, but also will attract our pets. From personal experience, trying to place such stuff where the dogs couldn't get to it - and miniature dachshunds can almost ALWAYS get to it - we've found that the ingenious rodents many times won't eat it themselves, but will carry it around and leave it expressly where the dogs CAN find it! Strategically placed traps are much safer! By the time you've discovered that your dog has eaten a mess of poison - and figured out WHAT it ate, it's frequently too late to save its life. There are some extremely dangerous NEW poisons, too, sold in grocery stores alongside the older types, which are not well publicized as being horrific in the speed with which they can kill not only rodents, but also other animals and humans, even the vet laboring to save your dog's life. (More on THAT, later, as well as directions for making some terrific rodent traps that really WORK!!!)
Here are the contents of the ASPCA brochure:
HAZARDS IN THE HOME
Make your home a safer place for your pets by keeping them away from the following hazardous household items, plants, foods, objects, and trouble areas. [NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list, which would include far more than just 101 hazards, but is intended to start you thinking about all the different things a pet (or a small child, for that matter) could ingest that would or could be harmful or fatal - basically, if you wouldn't let your toddler have it, don't let your pet have it!]
If you think your pet has been exposed to a poisonous substance, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can help. Call 1-888-426-4435 (any time, 24/7), and consult with your vet for follow-up care. It may save your pet's life. For more poison prevention information, visit
1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory 13. Lighter fluid
medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.) 14. Mothballs & flakes
2. Acetaminophen [deadly to dogs] 15. Anti-cancer drugs
3. Cold and flu medications 16. Solvents (paint thinners, etc.)
4. Antidepressants 17. Flea and tick products
5. Vitamins 18. Drain cleaners
6. Home insect products 19. Liquid potpourri
7. Rat and mouse bait 20. Slug and snail bait
8. Bleach 21. Oven cleaner sprays
9. Diet pills 22. Lime/scale remover
10. Disinfectants 23. Fly bait
11. Fabric softener 24. Detergents
12. Lead 25. Tobacco products & e-cigarettes
[Note: this list contains common names, many of which have been applied to several unrelated plants - not the Latin species name for each plant. The same plant may be called by different names in different areas, or by different people, and many different plants are called by the same name, causing great confusion. The best rule of thumb is to keep pets and plants away from each other, or to spray the plants with bitter-apple spray or cayenne spray to make them less appealing to chewing pets - including dogs, cats, birds and rodents. Remember, bored pets left to themselves can be terribly inventive in finding ways to reach things - and in the damage they can do while accomplishing it!]
Aloe Dieffenbachia Marble Queen Pothos
Amaryllis Dumbcane Morning Glory
Andromeda Japonica Easter Lily (all lilies are deadly) Mother-in-law's Tongue
Asian Lily Elephant Ears (Caladium) Mountain Laurel
Asparagus Fern Emerald Fern Narcissus
Australian Nut English Ivy Needlepoint Ivy
Autumn Crocus Eucalyptus Nephthytis
Azalea (DEADLY) Ferns Nightshade (DEADLY)
Belladonna Fiddle-leaf Philodendron Oleander (DEADLY)
Bird of Paradise Gold Dust Dracaena Panda Plant (Kalanchoe species)
Bittersweet (American and Florida Beauty Peace Lily (Anthurium)
European) Foxglove Philodendron
Black Locust [seeds, pods] Glacier Ivy Poison Hemlock (DEADLY)
Branching Ivy Gladiolus Precatory Bean (rosary pea (DEADLY)
Buckeye, Horse Chestnuts Golden Pothos Privet
Buddhist Pine Heavenly Bamboo Red Emerald Philodendron
Caladium Honeysuckle Rhododendron (DEADLY)
Calla Lily Hurricane/Rain Lily (Zephyranthes) Ribbon Plant
Castor Bean (DEADLY) Hyacinth Sago Palm
Ceriman Hydrangea Satin Pothos
Clematis Iris Schefflera (umbrella tree)
Cordatum (heart-leaf Jerusalem Cherry Striped Dracaena
philodendron) Jimson Weed (DEADLY) Sweetheart Ivy
Corn Plant (Dracaena sp.) Kalanchoe Tulip
Cycads Lantana Water Hemlock (DEADLY)
Cyclamen Lilies (all Lilium species) (DEADLY) Wisteria
Daffodil Lily of the Valley Yew
Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.) Lupine Yucca
Devil's Ivy (all Pothos). Rose of Sharon/Rose of China/Hibiscus (Althea species)
Hazards in the Home:
You should never let your dogs or cats eat any of these foods. Be sure to store them where your pets can't find them. [Many can cause liver or kidney damage over a period of time. Some kill almost instantly.]
27. Avocado 35. Alcoholic beverages [No, it isn't cute to get animals drunk!]
28. Chocolate (all forms) 36. Moldy/spoiled foods - if you won't eat it, don't feed it to pets!
29. Coffee (all forms) 37. Salt
30. Onions & onion powder 38. Fatty foods
31. Garlic See note below 39. "Sugar-free" gum, candies, ANYTHING sweetened with xylitol (DEADLY, even in small quantities), including toothpaste, baked goods, diet soda - read the labels!
32. Grapes 40. Tea leaves
33. Raisins 41. Raw yeast dough
34. Macadamia nuts 42. Nutmeg
NOTE: CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GARLIC. In small quantities it may repel fleas & ticks; in larger quantities it can cause organ damage leading to illness or death. Many commercial dog foods contain onion and/or garlic, so it isn't too harmful in small quantities.
42. Balls (specifically balls that are 51. Nylon stockings & pantyhose*
small or have a smooth outer coating) 52. Paper clips, push pins & other office supplies
43. Batteries 53. Plastic wrap & plastic bags
44. Wire twist-ties 54. Socks*
45. Buttons 55. Rubber-bands
46. Coins 56. Sharp objects (knives, razors, scissors, nails,
47. Cotton swabs needles, etc.)
48. Glass 57. String, yarn, dental floss, Christmas-tree tinsel*
49. Hair pins 58. Towels and blankets* (can fray dangerously)
50. Jewelry 59. Wax (candles, crayons, etc.)
[* We've seen animals who swallowed small pieces of string or thread, which tangled in the intestines and strangulated the intestine, killing the animal. We never use towels or woven blankets as bedding, for that reason. All our blankets are non-woven. Watch the rope chew-toys you give your dogs, too! When they start looking frayed, throw them away! It's not worth your dog's life. And please, don't leave your dog unattended for hours on end, day after day, in a pen with wood, sticks, or small crushed rock in it - but it doesn't even have to be that long - they can pick up such things even on a walk! Dogs get curious or bored and start mouthing or chewing all sorts of things. We had previously used small, rounded river-rock in our pens, hauled from 20 miles away, but in 2007 we obtained closer, less expensive crushed rock - and had to deal with at least two dogs who ate one. We lost our precious Payday, but after another expensive rock-removal operation, we saved a pregnant female and her unborn pups.]
60. Balconies & stairs - Tall balconies without safety railings, or railings spaced too far apart, can lead to a dangerous or fatal fall. [One of our 2007 clients lost their brand-new puppy when it fell off a balcony in their house the day after they took it home. The puppy died on impact with the tiled floor below.]
61. Bath tubs or sinks - Small pets can drown in full bathtubs or sinks - or a bucket of water!
62. Doors and windows - Dogs and cats can run away if they find an open door or window. They can also get seriously injured if they run across a busy road. Windows should have screens to prevent cats or other pets from falling out.
63. Electrical cords - Your pets can be electrocuted if they bite or chew on electrical cords that are plugged in.
64. Fireplace - Your pets can be burned by the flames or get sick if they eat the ashes.
65. Toilets - Toilet water is not healthy for pets to drink; always remember to close the lid. Make sure you leave plenty of clean, fresh water for your pets if you must leave them home alone. [Toilets are also a potential drowning hazard for small animals that jump up and fall in head-first, then can't turn around to get out.]
66. Washer and dryer - Your pets can crawl into a washer or dryer without your knowledge; close the doors to these appliances when you're not using them.** Trash cans - Pets love to get into the trash, where they can find all sorts of nasty and dangerous discards! Keep such things only in covered cans your pet cannot get into, and keep small trash cans emptied frequently, and placed where the pet can't reach them.
Outside the Home:
67. Algae* - can be found in ponds or other bodies of water; certain forms can be toxic.
68. Antifreeze/Coolant* - some types of antifreeze or coolant products contain ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to dogs and cats, even in small amounts.
69. Fire pit/Grill - flames can result in serious burns and ashes can cause illness if ingested.
70. Fences or gates - your pets can run away if they find openings in damaged fences or gates, or if they dig under one - check your fences frequently. They can also get hurt or strangled if they get stuck. [We have seen a small dog sandwiched in a tight space between two chain-link fences; the dogs on either side saw it as "trapped prey," and attacked it from both sides through the fences! Make sure to close such gaps so nothing can get into them.]
71. Deck lattice - your dogs or cats can get stuck in the openings under your deck and possibly be strangled. [You can staple or nail "hardware cloth" or 1" chicken-wire mesh to the back side of the lattice so the pet cannot get its head through.]
72. De-icing salts - some formulations may contain chemicals that are hazardous to pets if ingested in large amounts (including licking the substance from their feet and fur). Look for "pet-friendly" de-icing salts.
73. Compost (particularly if moldy)
76. Pesticides* - including herbicides applied to your lawn
77. Cocoa bean shell mulch/fertilizer* [there's a comprehensive article posted below on this extreme hazard!]
78. Swimming pools and hot tubs - NEVER leave your pet unattended near uncovered pools, even if they can swim - they can't always climb out, and can't swim forever. Also, many contain chemicals which can sicken or kill animals if swallowed, or cause skin problems.
* All contain chemicals that may cause serious illness or death, depending on the circumstances of exposure.
Help your pets enjoy the holidays safely by keeping them away from potential problems on these special days.
79. Alcohol - Alcoholic beverages are toxic to pets and should NEVER be given to them during the holidays or any other time.
80. Flowers and candy - Many types of flowers and plants found in bouquets are harmful to dogs and cats if they are ingested (see the above list of hazardous plants). Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures, and, in severe cases, chocolate poisoning can be fatal. [The darker and purer the chocolate, the greater the danger - unsweetened dark chocolate and baking cocoa are the worst.]
81. Fake grass - This colorful "grass" may look appetizing to your pets, but it could cause them to choke, or obstruct and possibly strangulate their intestines if ingested.
82. Small toys and other plastic items - If swallowed, small toys and plastic Easter eggs can cause your pet to choke or even damage their intestinal tracts.
4th of July
83. Fireworks - Fireworks can scare your pets, making them run off, or cause serious injuries if detonated near them. Many formulations are also toxic if ingested. [And remember, their hearing is MUCH more acute than ours is, so loud noises can also damage their eardrums, leading to deafness. Animals severely traumatized by loud noise at an early age will typically be terrified of all loud noise for the rest of their lives, so it is best NOT to expose them to such an experience.]
84. Repeatedly opening doors to greet trick-or-treaters can increase the chances of your pets running out. Keep an eye on their whereabouts at all times. If feasible, keep cats in a secure area or closed room when opening doors.
85. Candles - Pets are naturally curious, and may be attracted to the bright lights of the flame in dark areas. Dogs and cats could either burn themselves by the flame or knock the candle over, starting a fire.
86. Xylitol - Candy or gum and even baked goods sweetened with xylitol (typically sold as "sugar-free") are toxic even in very small quantities and should be kept away from your pets. [Xylitol is now used in many "diabetic" products and even toothpaste - read the label and DO NOT share it with your pet! It is also found in some dental-care products made specifically for pets - READ LABELS!!!]
87. All forms of chocolate can be harmful to your pet, potentially resulting in poisoning, or even pancreatic inflammation from the high fat content.
88. Bones - Turkey, chicken and other small animal bones are very different from the large bones you find at the pet store. These small bones splinter easily and can cause serious internal damage if swallowed, so NEVER give them to your pet.
89. Hot containers - Your dog or cat will most likely become curious when they smell something cooking. Keep an eye on hot containers so that your pet does not tip them over and get burned.
90. Holiday plants - Christmas rose, holly, lilies, poinsettias and mistletoe are all toxic to some degree to dogs and cats.
91. Ribbons - It may look adorable, but placing a ribbon around your pet's neck may cause them to choke.
92. Bubbling lights - Older forms of this attractive decoration may contain methylene chloride, which is a highly toxic chemical.
93. Fire salts - Contain chemicals that could be harmful to pets.
94. Angel hair (spun glass) - Can be irritating to eyes and skin, and could cause intestinal obstruction if eaten in large amounts.
95. Christmas tree water - Stagnant tree water or water containing preservatives could result in stomach upset if ingested.
96. Decoration hooks - Can cause blockage and/or trauma to gastrointestinal tract if swallowed.
97. Styrofoam - Can cause your pets to choke if swallowed.
98. Tinsel - Can cause choking or internal trauma [blockage, tangling & strangulation of the intestines] if swallowed.
100. Balloons and confetti - These fun New Year's party decorations can cause your pets to choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested. Keep an eye on your pets when they're around these items, or move them to an area that is not decorated.
101. Loud noises - New Year's is typically a noisy holiday. Unfortunately, loud noises frighten pets and can cause them to run off. Keep your pets in a separate room, away from noisemakers, music, and other loud sounds that may startle them.
* * * * * * * * *
We at Flickennel hope and pray that your beloved pet never falls victim to any of the multitude of potential accidents, chemicals and other hazards abounding in their surroundings. Use basic common sense, just as with raising children, and your pet should live to a very happy ripe old age.
The following information came in an email from email@example.com - www.petplace.com is a great site for finding ALL KINDS of information on pets, from the smallest to the largest. The following information is for people who have never had a vet prescribe any of these drugs - our own vet has told us how much BABY aspirin to give our dogs, and we find it to be quite safe and effective IN THE CORRECT DOSAGE for the dog's size, age and condition, but ONLY your animal's veterinarian should decide on the correct dosage - not you.
THREE MEDICATIONS YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE YOUR PET
You should NEVER give your dog medication without first checking with your veterinarian. It is not uncommon for a well-intentioned owner to accidentally poison their dog with medications that are dangerous. So...what medications should you never give your dog? I'll tell you.
1. Aspirin. Aspirin toxicity (salicylate toxicity) is poisoning that occurs following the ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-containing products. Aspirin can be especially dangerous when mixed with other drugs such as steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is a much higher risk of toxicity. Aspirin interferes with platelets, which are responsible for helping the blood to clot. Disruption of platelet function increases the amount of time it takes the blood to clot in cases of wounds or lacerations. Spontaneous bleeding may also occur causing pinpoint bruises to appear in the skin and on the gums (petechiae). Aspirin toxicity may cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal problems are common in dogs.
2. Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people. For dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner who tries to alleviate pain in his dog by administering a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing the toxic dose. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms include poor appetite, vomiting, black tarry stools, vomiting blood, abdominal pain, weakness and lethargy.
3. Acetaminophen. Common brands include Tylenol®, Percoset®, aspirin free Excedrin® and
various sinus, cold and flu medications. Dogs most commonly receive toxic amounts of acetaminophen because owners medicate them without consulting a veterinarian. They also consume tablets that are dropped on the floor or left around. Dogs are less sensitive to acetaminophen than cats. For example, a 50-pound dog would need to ingest over seven 500mg tablets in order to suffer toxic effects, but a smaller dog (like a miniature dachshund) would need far less. In the cat, one 250 mg acetaminophen tablet could be fatal. If you suspect that your dog (or cat) has ingested any amount of acetaminophen, (one pill or more), contact your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency facility immediately.
* * * * * * * * *
From an email from Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM:
TEA TREE OIL - They said it was safe...
Last year I was at a large un-named pet supply store in Spokane doing some research on Alternative products.
I asked about what I could use for flea control on my cat.
The sales clerk showed me a product containing high doses of Tea Tree oil., which is potentially VERY toxic to cats and small dogs.
I informed the oh so helpful salesperson that it is NEVER safe to use on cats, especially as a spray. She at first challenged me, until I used the 'I am a Veterinarian' card, and then she proceeded to agree with me.
Here is an abstract documenting some of the toxicity:
Toxicity of melaleuca oil and related essential oils applied topically on dogs and cats.
Villar D, Knight MJ, Hansen SR, Buck WB.
National Animal Poison Control Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 61801.
Cases of melaleuca oil toxicosis have been reported by veterinarians to the National Animal Poison Control Center when the oil was applied dermally to dogs and cats. In most cases, the oil was used to treat dermatologic conditions at inappropriate high doses. The typical signs observed were depression, weakness, incoordination and muscle tremors. The active ingredients of commercial melaleuca oil are predominantly cyclic terpenes. Treatment of clinical signs and supportive care has been sufficient to achieve recovery without sequelae [other ill effects] within 2-3 days.
There is a TON of conflicting information on the Internet about what is safe and natural, and obviously, the staff of the local pet supply store is not usually trained in what is and is not safe. Dr. Jones has compiled an entire learn-at-home/treat-at-home veterinary program for dog and cat owners, which you can examine for yourself at http://www.theonlinevet.com.
Another article from Dr. Jones:
Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs
It seems hard to believe, but as little as one grape can be FATAL to your dog.
In fact I have seen one case of kidney failure in a dog from grape consumption.
Meaning it happens.
And there is no way to predict it.
The point here is to encourage you to NOT leave grapes on the ground, and definitely DON'T feed them to your dog.
Years ago I used to feed them to my last dog - prior to being aware of this.
Here is a very good article from Wikipedia:
The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute renal failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine production). The phenomenon was first identified by the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). A trend was seen as far back as 1999. Approximately 140 cases were seen by the APCC in the one year from April 2003 to April 2004, with 50 developing symptoms and seven dying.
Cause and pathology
The reason some dogs develop renal failure following ingestion of grapes and raisins is not known. Types of grapes involved include both seedless and seeded, store bought and homegrown, and grape pressings from wineries. A mycotoxin is suspected to be involved, but one has not been found in grapes or raisins ingested by affected dogs. The estimated toxic dose of grapes is 32 g/kg (1.1 oz/kg) (grams of grapes per kilograms of mass of the dog), and for raisins it is 11-30 g/kg. (0.39 - 1.06 oz/kg)  Dogs suffer acute renal failure after ingesting 3 grams per kilogram of raisins or dry matter of grapes. (Dry matter is calculated as 20% of grape weight). The most common pathological finding is proximal renal tubular necrosis. In some cases, an accumulation of an unidentified golden-brown pigment was found within renal epithelial cells.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Vomiting and diarrhea are often the first symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity. They often develop within a few hours of ingestion. Pieces of grapes or raisins may be present in the vomitus or stool. Further symptoms include weakness, not eating, increased drinking, and abdominal pain. Acute renal failure develops within 48 hours of ingestion. A blood test may reveal increases in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, phosphorus, and calcium.
Emesis (induction of vomiting) is the generally recommended treatment if a dog has eaten grapes or raisins within the past two hours. A veterinarian may use an emetic such as hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine to cause the dog to vomit. Further treatment may involve the use of activated charcoal to adsorb remaining toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and intravenous fluid therapy in the first 48 hours following ingestion to induce diuresis and help to prevent acute renal failure. Vomiting is treated with antiemetics and the stomach is protected from uremic gastritis (damage to the stomach from increased BUN) with H2 receptor antagonists. BUN, creatinine, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium levels are closely monitored. Dialysis of the blood (hemodialysis) and peritoneal dialysis can be used to support the kidneys if anuria develops. Oliguria (decreased urine production) can be treated with dopamine or furosemide to stimulate urine production. The prognosis is guarded in any dog developing symptoms of toxicosis. A negative prognosis has been associated with oliguria or anuria, weakness, difficulty walking, and severe hypercalcemia (increased blood calcium levels).
An article posted on eHow.com gives some answers to the question, "What Plants Cause Renal [Kidney] Failure in Dogs?" and the sidebars list links to related articles on treatments for dogs with renal failure. The plants are common in many homes, yards, gardens, parks and other places dogs are liable to be, so it will be very beneficial for you to read about them.
5-25-11 NEW ITEM!!! SOME TOADS AND FROGS CAN BE DEADLY TO DOGS!!!
I just found an article on PetPlace.com regarding Toad Toxicity in Dogs, and since it is now the season when toads and frogs are out and about, this is an extremely timely and important article. Whether you think toads and frogs are cute, or icky, you need to know that two species of them (the Colorado River toad, found in Arizona and Southern California, and the giant toad, found in Texas and Florida) can be DEADLY - VERY QUICKLY - to your dog if the little hopper is even so much as licked, not even eaten - or if it happens to sit in the dog's water dish and the dog drinks the water or licks where the toad sat on the side of the dish! The common garden toads found in the rest of North America are not so poisonous as these, but can still be an unpleasant-tasting playmate for your dog.
I discovered a toad in my fenced dog-pen while mowing the grass and was amazed that the dachshunds (with their keen noses) had not found it, hunkered down at ground-level in the grass. (Maybe they have no odor the doxies can detect!) Besides the fact that I like toads and all the beneficial bug-eating they do, I vaguely remembered that it's not good for dogs to eat toads, so I took it to a nearby pond and released it, but now I'm REALLY glad I did that! I have double-fenced the pen now, 24 inches high, with 1-inch chicken-wire that toads are less likely to get through than the other 2"x 4" regular fencing.
As the article says, if you think or know that your dog as been in contact with a frog or toad, rinse his mouth with water. If he has eaten any part of the toad, take the dog (and any remains of the little critter) to your vet and explain what happened. A list of symptoms is posted in the article - PLEASE READ IT!!!
1-19-16 Update to the above toad item. As it turns out, the toads I have in New York are not lethally poisonous, but they sure don't taste good! Little ones still manage to crawl under the gate and get into my dog pen. I found the dogs mouthing and barking at a couple last summer, but not eating them - I was able to remove the toads and release them. The dog that had the toad acted like a person who has tasted something terrible - shaking his head and trying to spit out the bad taste. I was happily surprised that they didn't harm the toads at all!
Do you have problems with fleas, ticks and/or mosquitoes where you live? I just found reference to a product I'd never heard of, which repels by its odor (DOES NOT KILL) these vermin as well as fire ants,
gnats and even Canada geese that graze (and defecate very messily) on lawns and golf courses - it makes the grass taste bad so the geese leave and don't come back! It's completely non-toxic and safe for people, pets, fish, birds, butterflies and beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs. What is it? It's a spray-on product called Mosquito Barrier.
It's 99.3% extra-strong garlic juice and some food-grade preservatives - no chemicals or poisons. It's been around for at least 10 years (I haven't seen any date of original production on the website yet), is
used around the country and evidently around the world - I was visitor number 3,187,286 to the website.) Cities, golf courses, restaurants with outdoor dining areas, parks - all are spraying on a large scale for mosquitoes and other listed pests, and having amazing results with this product, as are ordinary home and pet owners. This garlic spray is totally safe, unless you're allergic to garlic! The odor even dissipates within a very short time, so it doesn't make your home or yard reek. The effect lasts 3-4 weeks or more, even through moderate rainstorms.
Add canola oil and dish soap, then spray it on standing water, marshy spots in the yard, tires, etc., where mosquitoes breed - bye-bye wigglers! ... I'm tired of having fleas bug my dogs and I REFUSE to apply poisons to them, so I've ordered some Mosquito Barrier to make the fleas flee!
UPDATE - We live on a windy ridge, but even that didn't abate the effect of the Mosquito Barrier. I sprayed the entire yard and all around the house, and noticed vastly decreased numbers of skeeters.
This article is from The Saturday Evening Post, which has several other articles on dogs and their health. In case they ever remove the article (as sometimes happens online), I have copied it here:
The Hidden Dangers of Cocoa Mulch
By Ashley Mitek
It is a mistake every pet owner could easily make. As spring approaches, you head to the local home and garden store for mulch to freshen up your flower beds. Next to the bags of traditional shredded mulch are bags of a newer type—cocoa mulch.
According to National Cocoa Shell, the nation’s largest retailer of cocoa shell mulch, the material is
leftover from the cocoa bean roasting process—making the product more environmentally friendly than regular mulch. Plus, who couldn’t resist putting chocolate smelling mulch down in their garden? For chocolate lovers across the country it’s a dream come true.
But there’s a catch. Cocoa mulch is extremely toxic to pets, especially when curious dogs have access to the outdoors.
Dr. Maureen McMichael is a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana who specializes in emergency and critical care. She says, “Cocoa mulch is significantly more toxic than milk chocolate or even baker’s chocolate because it has quite a bit more theobromine in it.” Theobromine is the toxic compound in most chocolates that is responsible for the clinical signs seen in pets after ingestion.
Though it, too, can be deadly to pets, milk chocolate has only 44 mg. per ounce of theobromine. Baking chocolate has nearly eight times the concentration of theobromine in it compared to milk chocolate, making it one of the most toxic kinds of chocolate, but still not as concentrated as cocoa mulch.
In addition to having more theobromine in it, cocoa mulch is also usually found in an unlimited supply to the pet. Your Labrador may gobble up that chocolate bar on the counter, but left to their own devices, most dogs will eat cocoa mulch until you catch them or toxic effects start to set in, leading to the ingestion of large amounts of the toxin. “Unfortunately, many of the dogs that present with a history of eating cocoa mulch do not survive if they were not stopped quickly,” notes Dr. McMichael.
The clinical signs of chocolate or cocoa mulch toxicity include: hyperactivity, muscle tremors, fast heart rate, hyperthermia, and seizures. There are anecdotal reports from gardeners who unknowingly
purchased the mulch and later found their dog dead after a very short exposure time. Incidents such as this are likely a result of heart arrhythmias that develop after ingestion.After time, the sweet smell of the cocoa mulch will wear off, and some have questioned if, after that point, it is safe for dogs to be around it. Dr. McMichael cautions that, “it is possible that dogs are not attracted to it once the smell wears off but that does not eliminate its toxic load—it is still toxic.”
The moral of the story is: don’t purchase cocoa mulch if you have an outdoor pet. That said, if you happen to make the mistake of buying the mulch and you catch your animal eating a bite, time is of the essence. The quicker you can get Fido to the veterinary emergency clinic, the better the chances are of survival. For more information on the topic, please contact your local veterinarian.
Ashley Mitek is an information specialist at University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine.
VERY IMPORTANT EMERGENCY INFORMATION
THAT MAY SAVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DOG IF IT ATE POISON
Becky writing here... If you ever catch your dog eating cocoa mulch - or you smell chocolate on its breath and you didn't have any chocolate in the house - you have to do something about it ASAP. Unless you live next-door to your vet (as I used to when I lived in town), there's something really simple YOU can do AT HOME.
I know this is going to sound really gross, but I want you to be able to save your dog's life. If you will take the time to immediately make your dog throw up what it has eaten, that's even better than trying to race to the vet - depending on the poison ingested, of course! ALWAYS READ THE LABEL FIRST, but if it says to "induce vomiting," here's what to do.
Use any safe means you can, to get 2-3 teaspoons of 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (no more, please, and only 1-2 teaspoons for a little puppy!) down the throat of your dachshund or other small breed (up to 2-3 tablespoons for a larger dog), and keep the dog in the bathtub or shower or contained in a room with a smooth, washable floor until it vomits - you want to be absolutely certain it vomits every bit - and you don't want it where the dog can potentially re-eat it. The reaction shouldn't take any more than 15-20 minutes, if that. It would take you at least that long to call the vet, get the dog in the car, fight the traffic to get to the clinic, and pray they weren't tied up with a different emergency, or the vet was in surgery, or out on a farm call or something. There's nothing like a genuine emergency to make everything go wrong!
Keep a fresh bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand - you can find it in the pharmacy section of any store, and it's very inexpensive: a couple of bucks for a pint. A 3 ml plastic syringe (no needle, please!) makes an easy applicator: 5 ml= 1 teaspoon, 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon. You can buy a larger syringe from the pharmacist or the local Big R or Tractor Supply (or any similar feed-store that sells animal vaccines), but if the dog you're treating is small, like a dachshund, it's a lot easier to handle a 3ml or 6ml syringe.
This may sound like I'm trying to "practice medicine without a license," but it's basic emergency first-aid, and if it saves a single life, isn't that what first-aid is all about?
It is ESSENTIAL to get as much of the toxic material OUT of the dog as you can, as FAST as possible. SAVE the stuff, if it IS the mulch, and take it with you to the vet as proof of what the dog ate, and how much was expelled. I pray you never have to use this information, but it's far better to know what to do and never have to do it, than to not know - and helplessly watch your furry best friend die because you couldn't get it to the vet in time, when a little bit of effort on your part could have saved it.
I had a 90-lb dog that ate an entire 16-oz. slab of "Bar Bait" rat poison - I found the empty wrapper right after she ate it - and I had to do this exact procedure. Let me tell you, IT WORKED, and it saved her life! I didn't have a syringe at the time, so I floated some sliced cheese (which she loved) in about a half-cup of peroxide (she was a BIG DOG, and I did sort of go overboard), and she lapped up the peroxide while trying to get the cheese. I was thrilled to see how quickly and effectively the peroxide worked - but she wouldn't touch cheese again for WEEKS! Afterward, I still had the vet dose her with the Vitamin K that counters warfarin rat poison, but getting the poison OUT of her system immediately was what actually saved her, since our vet at that time was at least an hour's drive from our home, and he said he would have done the very same thing in his office - and charged extra for the emergency visit!
2-13-13 I just came across an article on http://healthypets.mercola.com that describes a new type of rodenticide (sold under a variety of brand names - Arrex, Commando, Dexol, Kilrat, GophaRid, Phosvin, Ridall, Ratol and Sweeney’s Poison Peanuts ) made with zinc phosphide that not only kills rats, mice, moles, gophers and other rodents, but can kill your pet AND YOU!
Please take the time to read this article, and DO NOT use ANY KIND of rodenticide in your home, garage or outbuildings - critters that eat it don't die immediately, but have time to crawl out where your dog can find and eat them. Any other predator (cat, dog, fox, coyote, owl, hawk, eagle, etc.) that eats the affected varmint will also die - and whatever scavenger eats IT will die - repeated over and over until the stuff is finally too diluted to work.
Also, I had "smart mice" in my Colorado home that would carry D-Con pellets and chunks of Bar-Bait from where I had "safely" put them so the dogs didn't have access to them, around the house and stash them in the crevices of my sculptured carpet - out where the dogs could easily find them! It's as if they KNOW what the stuff is, and try to turn the tables on you for trying to kill them!
After that experience, I decided it was a lot safer for all concerned, to just not use the poison baits. Snap traps, glue traps and live traps all work, and are much less likely to kill the wrong victim. We've even made and used water traps using plastic buckets that are VERY effective!
This zinc phosphide is scary stuff - it interacts with stomach acids and any other liquid to form lethal phosphine gas, and that's what can kill YOU, when your dog throws up - it's formulated with an emetic to cause pets and humans to vomit the bad stuff, which rodents can't do, but the zinc phosphide interacts with the vomited stomach contents to give off toxic gas, which gets inhaled by unsuspecting people and animals, including the vet who attempts to treat the animal. (My dogs curiously sniff whatever one has vomited, probably to see if there's anything worth eating in it. Their curiosity would get them killed if this poison was involved.) Thankfully, very few cases have been reported, but it IS a hazard that all pet owners should know about.
I've already written about dogs ingesting pennies, which are not solid copper, but a very thin 'skin' of copper around zinc slugs. The dog's stomach acids dissolve the copper, then the zinc, and the zinc kills the dog if it isn't treated immediately - and who notices a dog swallowing a penny? By the time the symptoms are noticed, the dog is taken to a vet and the cause is discovered, it's usually too late.
The article gives full directions for dealing with an animal that has ingested one of these rodenticides, so PLEASE make sure you read it, in case your dog or another animal gets into some of it, AND DON'T USE THIS TYPE OF POISON!
5-24-13 I just received an email from Dr. Karen Becker, an "alternative vet" who practices holistic veterinary medicine, about a new danger to our pets - pesticides that contain "Bromethalin: The New Rodenticide That Can Kill Your Pet." This neurotoxin acts so quickly on the brain and nervous system - a couple of hours - that there is only a VERY small window of opportunity to treat the animal for it. There is also NO KNOWN DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR IT, AND NO ANTIDOTE FOR IT!!! You have to KNOW that your pet consumed the poison, catching it in the act, because there is no other way to find out, and there may not be time to get your animal to a vet!
The only treatment so far is the immediate emergency dosing of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, followed by dosing with activated charcoal to adsorb (attract and hold) any leftover particles of the poison so it can be expelled by the body before it has a chance to be absorbed into the body tissues.
Hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal are two substances that NO first-aid kit or medicine cabinet should be without, as they can be used by both humans and animals when time is of the utmost importance - and poisoning is definitely one of those instances. Charcoal can be used in those cases where the poison is caustic (drain cleaners, petroleum distillates, etc.) and vomiting is NOT a recommended option, because it will bind the poison and keep it from doing its 'dirty work,' giving time to seek medical help. This particular article's page contains a side-bar listing some other articles - you would do well to read them, too!
11-10-14 My email this morning brought an item of interest to pet owners - 5 Quick Tips If Your Pet Becomes Poisoned. Here's the 'meat' of the article, which you are encouraged (on that web-page) to share, which I have right here:
5 Quick Tips for Dealing with a Pet Poisoning Emergency
1. Be Ready
Before you ever need them, make sure your veterinarian’s phone number, the number of the closest emergency veterinary hospital, and the number for a pet poison center are saved in your phone. The Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) number is 888-426-4435; the Pet Poison Hotline is 800-213-6680. [Add these numbers to your cell-phone emergency numbers for ready access when you're away from home!]
And remember that you may be able to provide important, even life-saving initial treatment at home if you have a pet first aid kit ready and easily accessible in an emergency.
2. Keep Your Cool
Maintaining your composure when faced with a pet emergency can be hard to do, but it’s really important if you want to insure your furry family member gets the help he needs. If you stay calm, you’ll be better able to provide first aid, as well as vital information to the people treating your pet.
3. Evaluate Your Pet’s Condition
It’s important to make a clear-eyed observation of your pet’s condition. Is she behaving abnormally? Is she bleeding? Is she having trouble breathing? Is she having convulsions or seizures? Is she unresponsive? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your pet needs immediate medical attention. Call your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital and alert them that you’re on your way.
4. Be Prepared to Answer Questions
What is the toxic substance you know or suspect your pet ingested? Either pack up the substance itself (this is ideal), or write down the exact name of the product or medication. You’ll also want to write down the strength (typically in milligrams) of the drug, the concentration of active ingredients in herbicides or pesticides and the EPA registration number, and any other information you think might help the veterinarian who will be treating your pet. When did the poisoning happen? Did you catch your pet actually ingesting the substance? Has your pet vomited? If so, did she vomit up any of the poison or packaging?
5. Be Proactive
If you know or suspect your pet has ingested a poison, don’t wait for symptoms before seeking help. Time is of the essence in preventing the poison from being absorbed by your pet’s body. The faster you are able to treat your furry companion at home (with guidance from your vet or a pet poison hotline), or get her to a veterinarian, the better her chances for survival and a full recovery.
I've already posted (above) the importance of keeping both hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal ON HAND in your home, and even in a first-aid kit in your car - many accidental poisonings can happen when you and/or your dog are away from home, and both items will work equally well on you and your dog.
The Cause of Half of All Pet Poisonings: Are You Making These Mistakes?
By Dr. Karen Becker
Every year, tens of thousands of pet guardians call animal poison control centers or their veterinarians concerned that their dog or cat has swallowed a toxic substance.
While most conscientious pet owners are aware of poisons and other potential hazards around the home, many don’t realize that several very common over-the-counter and prescription human medications can spell disaster for a beloved pet.
9 Drugs That Top the List of Dangerous Human Medications for Pets
1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Topping the list of human medications that can get into the mouths of pets are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Brand names include Advil, Motrin, and Aleve.
Your pet is extremely sensitive to compounds in these medications and can become very ill from even a very small dose. Cats can suffer kidney and liver damage, and any pet that ingests NSAIDs can develop ulcers of the digestive tract.
Symptoms of poisoning include digestive upset, vomiting, bloody stool, increased thirst, increased frequency of urination, staggering, and seizures.
Next on the list is another anti-inflammatory called acetaminophen, the most well known of which is Tylenol. Other drugs, including certain types of Excedrin and several sinus and cold preparations, also contain acetaminophen.
Cats are at particular risk from acetaminophen, as just two extra-strength tablets can be fatal. If your dog ingests acetaminophen, permanent liver damage can be the result. And the higher the dose, the more likely that red blood cell damage will occur.
Symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning are lethargy, trouble breathing, dark colored urine, diarrhea,and vomiting.
Number three is pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant compound found in a wide range of cold and sinus medications. Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen as well.
Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, another decongestant, are highly toxic to pets. A tablet containing just 30 milligrams of pseudoephedrine can cause a small dog to show clinical signs of toxicity, and just three tablets can be fatal.
If your dog or cat ingests an antidepressant, symptoms can include listlessness, vomiting, and in some cases, a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This condition can cause agitation, disorientation, and an elevated heart rate, along with elevated blood pressure and body temperature, tremors, and seizures.
The drugs Cymbalta and Effexor topped the list of antidepressant pet poisonings in 2013. For some reason, kitties are drawn to these medications, which can cause severe neurologic and cardiac side effects. Other common brand names of antidepressants are Prozac and Lexapro.
5. Drugs to treat diabetes.
If you or a family member takes an oral medication for diabetes, including glipizide and glyburide, you’ll want to make sure to keep these medications out of your pet’s reach. Diabetes drugs can cause a dangerous drop in your pet’s blood sugar levels, which can result in disorientation, lack of coordination, and seizures.
6. ADD and ADHD drugs.
Prescription attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs are amphetamines and are very dangerous for pets. Ingesting even minimal amounts of these medications can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperature, and heart problems. Common brand names include Concerta, Adderall, and Ritalin.
7. Vitamin D derivatives.
Vitamin D derivatives like calcitriol and calcipotriene are used to treat a wide range of human conditions, including psoriasis, thyroid problems, and osteoporosis.
These compounds can be rapidly fatal if ingested by your dog or cat because they cause blood calcium level spikes. Signs of toxicosis include loss of appetite, vomiting, increased urination, and excessive thirst due to kidney failure
8. Beta blockers.
Even taken in very small quantities, beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure can cause serious problems for pets. Overdoses can trigger life-threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate.
9. Benzodiazepines and sleep aids.
Benzodiazepines and sleep aids with brand names like Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, and Lunesta, are designed to reduce anxiety and help people sleep better. However, in pets, they sometimes have the opposite effect. About half the dogs who ingest sleep aids become agitated instead of sedated. In addition, these drugs may cause severe lethargy, incoordination, and a slowed breathing rate. In cats, some forms of benzodiazepines can cause liver failure.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
To prevent your dog or cat from getting into your medications, always keep them safely out of reach and never administer a medication to your pet without first consulting with your veterinarian.
Never leave loose pills in a plastic sandwich bag – the bags are too easy to chew into. Make sure all family members and guests do the same, keeping their medications out of reach.If you keep your medication in a pill box or weekly pill container, make sure to store the container in a cabinet, as your dog might think it’s a plastic chew toy.
Never store your medications near your pet’s medications. Pet poison hotlines receive hundreds of calls every year from concerned pet owners who have inadvertently given their own medication to their pet.
Hang up your purse or backpack. Curious pets will explore the contents of your bag and simply placing it up out of reach solves the problem.
Remember: nearly 50 percent of all pet poisonings involve human drugs. Pets metabolize medications very differently from people. Even seemingly benign over-the-counter herbal medications, including human vitamins and mineral supplements, may cause serious poisoning in pets.
If your pet has ingested a human over-the-counter or prescription medication, please call your veterinarian, your local emergency animal hospital, or Pet Poison Helpline’s 24-hour animal poison control center at 800-213-6680 immediately.
1-19-16 The American Kennel Club is also sending email alerts about XYLITOL and how horribly toxic it is to our dogs. I've just received a link to an article about it on their website. A large part of the reason it's so dangerous is because of how many things it's now found in - foods, candies, medicines, toothpastes, peanut butter, baby wipes, shaving cream - even one brand of DOG mouth-rinse! - and the TINY amount needed to be life-threatening!
Best of all, they have a link to a comprehensive LIST of all kinds of products known to contain xylitol, sorted by product type and manufacturer! If you use any products labeled "diet," "sugar-free," "low- or reduced-sugar," "sugar substitute," or anything similar, or anything on the extensive list of products known to contain xylitol, don't even leave them in your purse or backpack, sitting where a dog can reach it - and remember, some dogs are tall or agile enough to get up on counter-tops and tables! A friend of mine had a dachshund who learned to push the roll-around kitchen chairs to a point where he could jump on one, then onto the table!
HEARTWORMS are portrayed as a super-prevalent, pervasive threat to our dogs and cats, all year round, everywhere, but are they really? This webpage suggests otherwise, and that the basic threat-assessment is most likely driven by conflict-of-interest - the old "root of all evil" - the love of MONEY! It pays to be inquisitive about the motivation behind drug prescriptions, as well as their true effectiveness and side-effects, not only on ourselves but on our animal friends as well. Soon after we moved to central New York in 2010, I asked a vet in my area about the prevalence of heartworms here, and he said he'd found some (perhaps 15 cases a year, out of the hundreds of dogs tested) - but most were in dogs that were already ON heartworm drugs, so I asked "Why give the drugs if they don't actually PREVENT the worms - their very name suggests that they "prevent" heartworms!" (The drugs actually kill worms already in the body, and can be lethal to the dog if the worms are already at the adult stage, which would normally happen only if the drug was given without previous testing.)
If maintaining excellent health is doable by other means than by over-use of drugs, especially those with potentially lethal consequences, why shouldn't we be using the other means?! We're being informed with increasing frequency of new threats to health and the environment through drugs and other chemicals that affect not only us but all the other creatures sharing our ride on this big blue ball hurtling through space that we call home. If we can reduce the dependence on those chemicals, using safer and more-effective methods, LET'S!!! Please read the article and the suggested options - I'm using some of them for my own dogs instead of the drugs. - Becky
4-8-16 Here is another article on the same topic, from another source. Pumping my dogs full of toxins
in an effort to prevent heartworm does NOT appeal to me at all. I would far rather keep them healthy and their immune systems strong enough to repel parasites. I'm putting crushed brewer's yeast tablets on their feed daily, so they're "walking bug-repellents" - not only for mosquitoes, but also fleas and ticks. They get diatomaceous earth sprinkled on their food every day, too, so I've never seen any signs of intestinal worms, either.
9-4-15 We've been made aware of another awesome website that teaches pet owners (or even occasional pet-sitters) how to keep their pets safe in and around their home. This Home Safety Guide for Pet Owners from Expertise.com is pretty comprehensive and we recommend that you read and bookmark it, then feel free to share it with your family and friends. You can even share it on Facebook and other social media websites - I just did!
1-19-16 While our specialty at Flickennel is dachshunds, we are aware that other folks prefer other breeds of dogs. Some dachshund owners also have other breeds, or mixed-breeds, and we've had some, too. Because of this, we are sympathetic when ANY dog gets sick, has a genetic predisposition to an ailment, or dies, so we share the information on this page with ALL dog owners, whatever they have, in the hope that we can help whoever needs it.
The American Kennel Club registers hundreds of breeds, and they have posted a warning on their website: "Dogs of some herding breeds and some mix-breed dogs can have a genetic mutation that makes them dangerously oversensitive to ivermectin, the active ingredient in some commonly used heartworm prevention medicines for dogs. ... Dogs with the mutation are hypersensitive to other medications as well, including loperamide (Imodium), acepromazine, and some chemotherapy drugs.
Given at the proper doses and under the supervision of a veterinarian, ivermectin is safe for most dogs and is very effective in treating and preventing a number of parasites. However, a dog with the mutation who ingests the drug can have a severe, life-threatening reaction called ivermectin toxicity.
This sensitivity is because of a mutation in what is known as the MDR1 gene. In dogs who have the mutation, the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes neurological damage, which can be lethal.
Dogs can ingest ivermectin not only in the form of heartworm preventative, but also if they eat the manure of livestock that were treated with the drug for parasite control. For this reason, owners of vulnerable breeds should be extra vigilant when their dogs are around horses, sheep, or other livestock. Owners of herding breeds or other vulnerable dogs should be careful that their dogs do not eat the manure of sheep or other livestock that may have been treated with ivermectin." FYI, ivermectin is one of the most commonly used wormers for horses, cattle and other livestock, so if your friend or neighbor - or someone riding a horse down your street - has any manure lying around where your dog can find and eat it, beware! It can also be a problem when walking your dog on trails, fairgrounds and other areas where horses are ridden, or on farms.
Breeds affected are listed and pictured on this same page of the AKC website, including some that are not generally thought of as herding breeds, such as the Longhaired Whippet and the Silken Windhound. Now that a simple DNA test can detect the presence of the gene mutation involved, it would be wise to have your herding or mixed-breed dog tested for it before you ever allow your vet to give the dog any ivermectin heartworm preventive. You might just save your dog's life, and yourself a lot of unnecessary expense and grief.
I mentioned using various sorts of traps to catch rodents, rather than using poisons to kill them, and thought you might like to see examples of the bucket traps Janet and I have found work really well for us. She taught me to make the water-bucket trap, and I found directions for the wire-topped bucket trap online. Oddly enough, the water trap works best for her in Colorado, while the mice out here in New York didn't find it attractive at all - they prefer the wire-topped one!
Both traps work on the principle of getting the rodent into the bucket and not letting it escape. The water trap is baited with peanut butter smeared on the tin-can, which was slid onto a dowel or stick wired to the bucket. (I've also made them with a piece of wire coat-hanger instead of the dowel, and that works well, too. Drill two holes on opposite sides of the bucket, slide the can on the wire, and poke the wire through the holes, bending the ends so it stays put,) Put a few inches of water in the bucket, set it where you've seen evidence of mice, and place a stick so the mice can easily get up to the top of the bucket. They try to reach the peanut butter, the can rotates, and the mouse tips over into the water. They don't swim very long! The nice thing about this trap is it can catch a number of mice without needing to be re-set for each one, unlike a wooden snap-trap or glue-trap. Since mice don't swim long and cannot jump out of water that's more than a couple inches deep, you don't need a very big bucket for this trap.
The wire-topped bucket also catches multiple mice or other rodents, but since rodents do jump pretty well from a dry surface, it's advised to use a 5-gallon bucket for this one. Use tin-snips to cut a piece of 1/2-inch mesh hardware cloth an inch or so larger than the top of the bucket so you can fold it down around the edge and it stays in place, but can still be removed easily. Cut an X in the center of the wire, push the wire down a little to make an opening, and insert a piece of 2-inch diameter pipe about 4-6 inches long. I used 6 inches of PVC, but metal would work just as well, as long as your prey can't get any traction on the inside of the pipe. On the underside of your wire 'lid,' squeeze the wire tight around the pipe and slide a pipe-clamp onto the wire, then tighten it so the pipe can't move. I make this trap even better by setting a large wooden Victor rat trap, baited with peanut butter, in the bucket so the bait-lever is directly under the pipe. (I'm dealing with rats and squirrels, too). The critter slides down the pipe, can't stop, and plops onto the trap - SNAP! Use your favorite bait - I use a cupful of black oil sunflower seeds and/or other birdseed, or you can use whatever grain you're feeding your livestock in the bucket - rodents easily smell it - and set the trap wherever you find evidence of the vermin. (If you don't use the snap-trap inside, you can dispose of the rodents any way you see fit.) I have been using this particular bucket for about three weeks now, and caught over a dozen mice - the water bucket only caught two, and won't work in freezing conditions, obviously. This one works ALL the time! HAPPY HUNTING!!!
(Becky here - I discovered that some animal-cracker cookies I was trying to get my dachshunds to eat (but they refused!) contained NUTMEG - many brands just say 'spice.' Read labels, and if they're not specific, don't trust them!)
We have also been made aware of Your Dog Advisor, a website that links to an extremely comprehensive list of plants that are dangerous to our furry friends, and suggest that you check it out. It's from a British source, so some of the common names are unfamiliar to folks in America, but the Latin names are given for most of them so you can look up images of the plants by those if you don't recognize the common names. There's no such thing as being "too educated" about things that can harm our family - and most of us feel that our pets ARE members of our family!