Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday Tips

Sorry I didn't get this out Thursday but I was out all day and half the night. Better late than never! This is an important warning.

For pet lovers...

Even if you don't have a pet, please pass this to those that do. Yesterday one of our dog agility friends experienced a tragedy and wanted me to pass a special message along to all of my dog loving friends and family. Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in anyway.

The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly. Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it. This Snopes site gives the following information: Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'.

It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.

A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cocoa bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cocoa bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.


Nancy Bristow said...

Oh God, bless your friend's heart Debbie. Even though I don't have a pet now I was aware of this danger. I belonged to a yorkie group forever and the topic was discussed. There are so many dangers that loving pet owners have to be vigilant about. I'm sure that those who read this alert will be most appreciative of the warning and hopefuly will also spread the word to their friends.

While on the subject, I'd like to mention another potentially fatal threat to dogs that is way, way too common (especially for small dogs) and that is raw hide bones of any kind including "greenies."

Nobody has to take my word for this but hopefully will do their own research and be alerted to the danger and then ask themselves if it's really worth potentially losing their pet's life over this supposed treat -- no matter how much they seem to enjoy them. If we own pets, then we are their guardians and must do our best to safeguard them. No, we are not perfect...all we can do is try and act in their best interest.

Fatalities have happened over and over again with the raw hide bone issue...even with the owner being physically an arm's length away.

My condolences to your friend. Whatever the reason it is always heartbreaking to have a pet die that is considered a family member. I hope she will allow herself to grieve for her four legged friend just as she would for a human friend....Nancy

Debbie Wallace said...

Gee, I can remember giving my dogs rawhide bones. Why would they make something for a pet that's dangerous for them? I suppose there's a lot of dangers out there for those curious little critters!