Canine Bloat - What is It?

Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) and gastric torsion are commonly referred to as BLOAT. It is a LIFE threatening emergency that generally affects large, deep chested dogs. It occurs when the stomach rapidly fills with gas which then enlarges and distorts creating acute swelling. When the stomach is unable to get rid of the gas it can twist on itself creating a volvulus. Both esophagus and intestines can become twisted shut. First signs of this may be a dog becoming uncomfortable and begin to pace and salivate. 


It is normally seen in large deep chested breeds such as Great Danes, Collies, Dobermans, German Shephards or Boxers. It can occur in smaller breeds such as Beagles and Bichons. It can also be an hereditary condition. Eating or drinking too fast along with exercise before a meal can be digested, are all factors. Bloat also commonly occurs in older dogs between 7~12 years of age.  


• Vomiting

​• Dry Heaves

• Salivating

• Restlessness

• Distention and Swelling of Abdominal Cavity

Dogs will often assume an unnatural body posture by extending their head and neck. Sometimes owners will notice the signs, but will not attribute it to a problem until the dog collapses.


An X-ray will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. A GDV case is very serious and must be attended to immediately for the animal to be saved. GDV can cause a total collapse and the dog to go into shock which can cause death from the cardiac irregularities. 

There is a 50% survival rate even with medical attention. Treatment for shock and stomach decompression will initially be started. This may be done with passing a stomach tube, but sometimes surgery is the only option. Surgery does not always guarantee the best outcome. Unfortunately, some dogs do not recover after it. Your dog will be hospitalized for several days following surgery. If a dog survives a bloating episode with no corrective surgery they are considered high risk for another attack. Without 'tacking' the stomach in place, a dog will most likely bloat again. 

This article was courtesy of the SMOKY DOG LODGE in Sevierville, TN

Pet First Aid Kit Essentials

• Phone Numbers 7 addresses: Veterinarian, emergency animal hospital, poison control


• Alcohol prep pads: to sterilize equipment - DO NOT USE ON WOUNDS

• A basic pet first aid book

• Self-adhesive bandages: flexible bandages used to wrap and stabilize injuries (do NOT

  wrap too tightly.)

• Photocopies of your pet's paperwork: important medical records, vaccinations,

  microchip number, etc.

• Hydrogen Peroxide: for cuts and abrasions.

• Tweezers: for the removal of foreign objects from skin and paws.

• Eyewash: contact lens solution or water in a squeeze bottle to gently but thoroughly

  flush out wounds and eyes.

• Medical gloves: to protect hands and prevent contamination.

• Scissors: to cut gauze or the animal's hair or skin if necessary.

• A mild antibacterial soap: to clean skin and wounds.

• Triple antibiotic ointment: for cuts and abrasions (NEVER for the eyes).

• Gauze pads and rolls: for addressing wounds

• Cotton swabs

• Adjustable muzzle: to safely attend to wounds without the risk of being bitten

**Article appeared courtesy of North Shore Animal League of America**

TIPS to Protect your pet

•  DON'T leave your dog or cat unattended in your yard or in your car.

•  DON'T leave your pet unattended while you go inside a store or a


•  DON'T use "free to a good home" ads to place companion animals. These

   ads are often answered by CLASS "B" DEALERS

•  DO make sure your pet has identification. Microchips and tattoos are 

•  DO keep photos and written descriptions of your companion animals on

   hand at all times.

•  DO educate your family, friends, and neighbors about pet theft!

(for additional information please visit Last Chance for Animals special Pet Theft Awareness website -

BUNDLING UP:Not every dog or cat is built for cold snowy weather. Walks should be adjusted to the temperature outside. The lower the temperature the shorterthe walk should be. Short-haired pets may need an extra layer of protection when outside. Long-haired pets may need an additional layer if the outsideis very cold. Cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, do NOT leave your pets outside for long periods of time.

PAWS: There are many pet-friendly alternatives for ice-melt but you should still protect your pet's paws from ice-melt and snow. This can be done with booties. However, if your dog is like many, and absolutely hates booties, use "Musher's Wax" to prevent paw pads from drying out and remember to routinely wipe snow and ice from their paws during your walks. 

CARS: Antifreeze is incredibly TOXIC. IF you encounter any antifreeze be sure to wipe off your pets paws (and stomach if low to the ground) when coming inside in case they have walked through some. Outdoor and stray cats can hide in cars for warmth during the colder months. PLEASE check underneath your car and bang on the hood or honk the horn BEFORE starting the engine to encourage them to leave. 

ROCK SALT: Use pet-friendly ice-melting products. If pets are exposed to rock salt, wipe off their paws, tummies and any other exposed areas. Booties are a good idea if your pet will allow. 

KNOW YOU PETS LIMITS: Some breeds to well in cold weather but should still be kept inside when not on walks or outdoor breaks. Short haired breed should be outside ONLY briefly. If it's too cold for YOU it is probably too cold for your pet. Please keep your cat indoors, regardless of the season.

WATCH FOR SIGNS: When a dog or a cat's body temperature drops significantly they may shiver, become disoriented or have a slow heart and respiratory rate. Frostbite can occur on the tips of their ears or tail of any animal if left outside in the frigid temperatures.  


Some owners treat sick animals with cannabis

On this page is a guide that helps provide the minimum requirements needed should an emergency arise. Also we have provided helpful hints to cover those times when it is NOT an emergency. We hope it proves useful to you.


We each hear and see the words 'animal cruelty' but most often dismiss it as something that happens 'someplace else.'  We are being conditioned to "mind our own business" or that if we report any such activity we have somehow committed a crime and now WE are the 'bad guys.' NOTHING can be farther from the TRUTH! In order to combat this and help save these precious and innocent lives from those that wish to do them harm, we have instituted a tab committed to ANIMAL CRUELTY. PLEASE, take the time to review this valuable information as it may indeed save a poor creature from a life of torture and misery. 

The Costs of Cuteness

Short faces; Long Medical Bills

Many flat-faced dogs, including French and English bulldogs and Boston terriers - are typically prone to a host of health conditions, many of them dire3ctly related to the exact quality that makes them so appealing to so many people: their comical, smushed-looking faces. 

The technical term for these breeds is "brachycephalic" (or shor-headed). The sructure of their bodies means that dogs of these breeds often suffer from health issues ranging from breathing problems to heatstroke; many of them can't exercise for long without collapsing. 

Comparing pictures of bulldogs from a century ago, you will see they had somewhat longer snouts. Dogs are reliant on their nose to relieve high temperature and to breath properly. So, without the nose, their capacity to breathe properly and move air is very limited. Due to selectively breeding the nose of out these dogs to make them cuter has the unintended consequences of makeing these dogs les and less healthy, and less and less able to function and breathe properly. 

Pet lovers need to know what to expect when they adopt one of these breeds and to be prepared for likely medical costs. 

**from an article that appeared in ALL ANIMALS magazine - June/July/Aug 2019**

Question: I have a friend who uses plug-in deodorizers. Her cats spend most of their time in that room. My understanding is that these plug-ins can be harmful to pets. Can you enlighten me on the dangers of using these products?

Scented plug-ins can cause respiratory irritation in cats. Part of the problem is that they are usually pluged into wall outlets that are low to the ground and therefore in close contacts with the cat. Another problem is the chemicals they contain, such as volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and phthalates. Inhaling these chemicals can cause watery eyes, a watery nose, and irritation in the nose or throat, and may even lead to drooling or vomiting and breathing difficulties. If the product contains VOCs, there is a risk of liver or kidney damage to cats who inhale these products. Plug-ins should not be used around cats' food or water bowls, or areas where they hang out and sleep. 

Here are alternatives to use in the home to help dispel everyday odors:

• Candles made of 100% beeswax are better than synthetic ones, and they will clean the

   air and not just cover the odors.

• Febreze fabric freshener is safe for use around pets as long as you follow the

  manufacturer's directions on the label, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control


• Disinfect your home with vinegar and water. Adding hydrogen peroxide to the vinegar

  and water helps kill germs in areas that need extra cleaning and disinfecting.

• Use an air purifier, which helps eliminate odors, allergens, dust and mold.

• Clean your home regularly by vacuuming and mopping floors.

• Wash cats' blankets and beds often and scrub out the litter box weekly.

Courtesy of BEST FRIENDS Magazine - July/August 2019

COLD  Weather Tips

TIPS for TRAVELING with your PET!

1) See your veterinarian: It is important to visit your vet to ensure ALL

    shots are up to date and your baby has received the appropriate flea, 

    heartworm and tick repellent treatments.

2) Take along copies of your pet's health records: Rabies certificate and other

     important certificates are typically required when flying or traveling

     internationally. In the event your pet should become ill while on vacation a

     copy of all vaccinations, drug regimes and any other medical information

     could prove life saving.

3)  Chipped, collared and leashed: Don't forget to have READABLE tags with

     your latest contact information on your pet at ALL times. Your pet should be

     on a leash when in an unfamiliar area not only for its protection but for those

     around you. Don't forget to carry along a RECENT picture with a written

     description of your pet. This along with an active and current chip could be

     critical should your pet accidently get lost or stolen.

4)  Car & Boat Safety: Seat belts and harnesses are now available for pets. Life

     vests and preservers are also available for pets that will be on boats. Don't

     forget that traveling can take any number of hours to get to ones destination

     so please pack a bottle or two of fresh water and a collapsible bowl as well as

     a sufficient supply of their favorite food (to avoid changes in your pet's diet).

     Treats to break up the travel are also a welcomed delight. 

5)  Air Travel: Pets that are being flown to their destination must be placed in a

     crate. To provide the best travel conditions for your baby, please make sure

     the crate has room for them to lie down, stand up, sit, and circle around

     COMFORTABLY. Don't forget to remove any leashes or objects that could

     prove harmful. NEVER MUZZLE your pet while traveling!

6)  PET-FRIENDLY accommodations: A growing number of vacation spots and

     hotels are recognizing the value of being pet friendly and will welcome your

     pet. However, they may have specific rules, restrictions or guidelines

     regarding pets and they will expect you to follow them. Please find out all the

     details before you make your reservation. Better to know now than when you

     are checking in.

Here's Wishing you and your pet a safe and fun-filled trip!


What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough, also known as tracheobronchitis, is a HIGHLY contagious upper respiratory disease that occurs in canines. It is caused by Bordeteilosis, (the most common infectious agent it spreads from), Parainfluenza and Adenovirus agents which often transmit through the air, but can also spread via hands or clothing. The incubation period is usually 3~10 days and can last up to 3 weeks after first symptoms appear. Dogs with Kennel Cough are more susceptible to secondary diseases due to weakened immune systems. Kennel Cough can also be more serious problem for puppies and the geriatric dogs whose immune system may already be lower.


•  Persistent Dry Hacking Cough

• Sneezing

• Nasal Discharge

Generally the cough can be very annoying for the dog, but usually does not develop into anything more serious. In mild cases dogs often eat normally and remain active. In severe cases it can progress into loss of appetite, fever, pneumonia or lethargy. 


There is no cure for kennel cough and it must run its course. Any canine displaying symptoms should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Typically, mild cases are just treated with a week or two of rest. Often antibiotics can be prescribed to prevent secondary infections and cough suppressants may also be prescribed to reduce coughing. Home remedy treatments are NOT recommended. 


Vaccinations are available for the bordetella bacterium. Dogs who are frequently boarded, visit dog daycare or exposed to large groups of dogs may benefit from the vaccine. Boarding, and day care facilities generally require proof of vaccination. The vaccine is available in oral, intranasal, and injectable forms. It is initially given in two doses that are 2~4 weeks apart, then a booster is given every 6 months to a year. 

Vaccinations against parainfluenza and adenovirus type 2 (in combinatiin with other vaccinations) are also given routinely to help pre3vent kennel cough. Vaccinatiins are not always 100% effective as there are many different strains of he virus and the vaccination is made up from only 1 of them. Veterinarians also recommend the vaccinatioin 5~7 days before taking your dog to a pet care facility.

Courtesy of the 'Smoky Dog Lodge' located in Sevierville, TN

Disaster Preparedness for HORSES

Horses require extra consideration when it comes to disaster planning so we hope the following topics will prove useful if or when that time comes.

Planning for the Disaster:

1)  Permanently identify each horse by tattoo, microchip or photograph. Ensure your records include the horse's age, gender, breed, color and any other specific markings or characteristics that your animal has. Keep this information with all the other IMPORTANT papers.

2)  Be sure your animal's Coggins tests, veterinary papers, identification photos and any other vital information (medical history, allergies, emergency telephone numbers and family members) are placed in a water tight container/envelope. Place this and any other important documents in an area that is easy to reach and remember so when the time comes to evacuate all is within each reach.

3)  Ensure arrangements have been made for trailers and transportation should YOU not be able to or do not have such equipment. Be sure to have several people on the list should one prove unable to help when the time comes.

4)  HALTERS at the ready. Each halter should have a luggage tag or other device on which the following information is placed: horses name, your name, physical address, email address and important telephone numbers. ANY other additional information you feel may be critical should also be noted.


1)  It is important that your horses are comfortable and acquainted with being loaded into a trailer. During an emergency is NOT the time to get them acquainted with this process. IF THEY ARE NOT, then consider working with your animals by practicing the process of loading and unloading into a trailer long before the evacuation order is given. It will make things a whole lot easier for everyone.

2)  WHERE are you going with your animals? It is best to have made arrangements with friends, relatives or commercial enterprises long before the crisis to ensure there will be room for your horses. IF you should find yourself short, then please contact the local animal care or control agency, agricultural extension agent, or local emergency authorities about shelters that may be available in your area.

IF you cannot EVACUATE with your horses:

1) Have a back-up PLAN in case it's impossible to take your horse(s) with you when you evacuate. Consider the various disasters and the varying needs for plans to these scenarios. IF the decision is made to let the horses free from the barn because of a wildfire, or fast moving and rising water, it will NOT be enough to just open the stall doors and let them out. IF time allows, please restrict their access to return to the stall or barn. Horses will return to where they are fed and cared for and may NOT flee if the option exists to return to a familiar barn or stall. 

Share your evacuation plans with friends and neighbors:

1)  Post detailed instructions in several places (barn office, tack room or the horse trailer and barn entrances. This will ensure emergency workers can see them in case you are not able to evacuate your horses yourself.

WHEN Disaster Strikes:

1)  Don't leave your horse behind. A situation that isn't safe for you won't be safe for your equine companions either.

2)  Evacuate Immediately. IF you wait until the last minute to evacuate, there may be limited options for you and your horses. In this case, your horses could be unattended for days without care, food or water.

3) Supplies. Prepare a basic first aid kit that is portable and easily accessible. Be sure to include enough water (12~20 gallons per day per horse), hay, feed and medications for several days for each horse.

As the old saying goes, "AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE" by preparing in advance for the evacuation of your horse you will save a lot of time, money and heartache and just possibly your horses life. 

IN an EMERGENCY and General Knowledge

      Welcome to the Official - Paws For Friendship Inc. - Website

One of our Members will be happy to contact you within 24 hours. For urgent needs call us at: (866) 925-7297

Foods that are POISONOUS to DOGS!


Garlic is an allium, a family of foods that can be fatal to dogs due to a compound called thiosulfate that damages red blood cells. It takes a lot of garlic to cause toxicity but some breeds, particularly Japanese ones (such as akitas and shiba inus), are particularly susceptible.


Avocados are dangerous to many animals, not only dogs, partly due to a fungicidal toxin called persin. They are only dangerous to dogs in large quantities; however, veterinarians recommend keeping them away due to the large pits, too, which can get lodged in their throats. The high-fat content is also dangerous because it can inflame their pancreas.

Eating unbaked bread dough can be extremely dangerous for your dog because the fermenting yeast gets rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream, where it produces enough ethanol to cause alcohol poisoning. Additionally, yeast dough can rise as it moves through the digestive system, potentially twisting the stomach—a situation that can lead to death. Even if the yeast doesn’t cause a life-threatening emergency, it can severely bloat your pup’s stomach, causing intense pain and discomfort.

Chocolate is one of the most commonly recognized toxins for dogs. The culprit is theobromine, an alkaloid that can cause cardiac arrhythmias and central nervous system dysfunction in dogs. Dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and unsweetened baker’s chocolates are the most dangerous, while milk and white chocolates have smaller amounts (though they can be toxic, too). “While chocolate is a sweet treat that humans can enjoy, it’s something dogs should never have,” explains PetMD. “Depending on body weight, even a small bite of chocolate can make a dog sick—in a large enough quantity, death is a possibility.”

Although humans love rhubarb pies, the sweet treat can cause kidney failure in dogs due to an antinutrient called oxalic acid. The substance creates crystals in the urinary tract and can cause the kidneys to shut down.
Signs of rhubarb poisoning can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, bloody urine, changes in thirst, and other symptoms.

While oranges are typically fine for your dog to eat, citrus oil—often used medicinally—is not. This is because of the insecticidal properties of the oil, which can lead to liver failure in dogs. In addition to preventing your pup from ingesting it, you should never rub it on your dog’s skin medicinally because they are likely to lick it off. Note that many essential oils contain citrus, not just citrus oil itself.

Many nuts are not good for dogs; however, macadamia nuts rank among the most toxic. The reason for this is not fully understood by vets, but it’s known that it leads to vomiting, weakness, hyperthermia, and loss of bodily functions. Weakness, particularly behind the hind legs, is one of the most common symptoms. “If you suspect your dog may have eaten even a small amount of macadamia nuts, consult your veterinarian immediately,” the AKC advises.

Although cat food won’t poison your dog immediately, it can lead to pancreatitis and other health complications over time, causing organ damage and potentially sudden death. Every now and then it’s OK if you’re in a pinch but you should never feed cat food to your pup on an ongoing basis.

No one knows what ingredient or compound in grapes and raisins makes them so poisonous to dogs but they rank among the most serious food threats. Even small amounts can cause sudden kidney failure, often signaled by your dog ceasing to urinate. Other symptoms include foul breath, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Milk is not technically poisonous for dogs; however, it’s definitely something you should put on their “do not feed” list. While some dogs are OK with it, others experience extreme discomfort in addition to potential health problems, especially among certain breeds.

Xylitol is a sugar alternative found in human foods like candy, chewing gum, baked sweets, and other items. It’s extremely toxic to dogs, causing rapid insulin release that can put them in a coma within 15 to 20 minutes, according to Ahna Brutlag of the Pet Poison Helpline.

“You need to call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately,” Brutlag told PetMD. They may advise you to feed them syrup or honey on the way to the emergency clinic to boost their blood sugar during the drive. However, you should only do this if you receive instructions to do so.

While the types of mushrooms you purchase in the grocery store are typically safe for dogs, wild mushrooms growing in your yard or out in nature can be toxic. If you have mushrooms around your house, make sure to pull them up regularly and if you catch your dog trying to eat them in the wilderness, stop them immediately.

“Some people believe that dogs won’t eat toxic mushrooms because they can identify toxins by scent,” explained the AKC’s Anna Burke. “Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. Veterinarians and mushroom experts believe that wild mushroom poisoning is an under-reported cause of fatal poisoning in pets.”


Although the flesh of apples is not toxic, the seeds can be poisonous due to the presence of a compound called amygdalin. They have to be consumed in large quantities and they must be chewed to be toxic, so a few seeds are unlikely to kill your dog. However, if you plan to feed your dog apples, veterinarians recommend always seeding and coring them first to be safe.