206.323.4433 2115 - 23rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

Proper ID for Your Pet: Even More Important While Traveling

“Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey,” was a cute Disney movie about three lost pets traveling across country and arriving home.

Sadly, that’s not reality.

Losing your pet can be a traumatic and sometimes tragic event. Even if your pet wears a collar and ID tag, those can fall off. Protect your pet with a collar, ID tag, and properly-registered microchip. 

Proper ID for Your Pet: Even More Important While Traveling | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

What is a microchip?

Microchips are implantable computer chips no bigger than a grain of rice. Each chip encodes a unique identification number to help reunite you with your lost pet.

The microchip is placed under your pet’s skin with a needle and syringe. The chip receives a radio signal from a scanner and transmits the encoded chip identification number back to the scanner.

Why microchip?

Lost cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned home than cats without, and dogs with microchips are 2.5 times more likely to be returned home than those without.

Register the microchip

It is important to register your pet’s microchip, to maintain updated contact information, and to provide multiple emergency contacts in case your pet gets lost while you’re out of town.

Give your pet the best chance of being reunited with you. Call us today to schedule an appointment to have your pet microchipped.

If Fleas Could Spit…

Did you know that a common allergy in dogs is caused by flea spit (aka, flea saliva)?

It’s true. A flea’s saliva causes allergic dogs to become very itchy and puts them at high risk for secondary skin infections, hair loss, and pure misery.

Some symptoms to watch for that could indicate a flea allergy:

  • Intense self-scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Chewing or biting at the hind legs, hind end, and tail
  • Open, oozing sores

If you notice these symptoms, please bring your dog in to see us. After performing a physical exam, your veterinarian may recommend tests to rule out other common problems. If your dog is allergic to fleas, we will treat with medications (possibly antibiotics) to get the itch under control.

After treating the skin irritation, meticulous flea prevention is required to prevent the situation from reoccurring. During your appointment, we’ll recommend safe and effective flea preventives.

Is your dog feeling itchy? Give Atlantic Veterinary Hospital a call: 206-323-4433

9 Human Medications Dangerous to Dogs

When your dog is feeling uncomfortable and is obviously in pain, it’s tempting to give her an over-the-counter human medication. But instead of helping her feel better, human meds can cause a great deal of harm to your pup, and may even result in a fatal reaction.

Rule of thumb: Never give your dog human medications unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to.

Here are 9 household medications you must keep out of your dog’s reach:

1. Multivitamins

Human vitamins commonly contain four ingredients toxic to dogs: xylitol (can cause low blood sugar and liver failure), vitamin D (can cause secondary kidney failure), iron (can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and organ damage or failure), and calcium (can cause mild stomach upset to kidney failure).

Rather than giving your dog human multivitamins, feed your dog a balanced diet and ask your veterinarian to recommend vitamins or supplements specially formulated for dogs.

2. Topical Creams and Ointments

When you apply lotions, oils, creams, or ointments to your own skin, don’t allow your dog to lick your skin. Some of the ingredients found in these products can cause serious or life-threatening gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Read the label and be especially wary of products that include:

  • baclofen
  • calcipotriene
  • dibucaine
  • diclofenac
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • flurbiprofen
  • ketamine
  • lidocaine

3. Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol®, Percocet®, aspirin-free Excedrin®, and other sinus, cold, and flu medications. Acetaminophen helps reduce fever and general aches and pains in humans. However, when a dog eats acetaminophen tablets, the results can be catastrophic. Acetaminophen poisoning can cause permanent liver damage or liver failure, abnormal red blood cells, lack of oxygen, and dry eye.

If you believe your dog ingested acetaminophen, seek emergency veterinary attention immediately.

4. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

In the same way that acetaminophen can wreak havoc on your dog’s system, human NSAIDs such as Advil®, Aleve® and Motrin can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers, as well as potential kidney failure.

Even veterinary NSAIDs, when ingested in large amounts, can cause similar problems. Keep chewable veterinary NSAIDs and human NSAIDs out of your dog’s reach.

5. Nasal Decongestants

If your dog ingests a nasal/sinus decongestant containing pseudoephedrine, it stimulates the nervous system and cardiovascular systems. Symptoms may include restlessness, agitation, hyperactivity, tremors, tachycardia, hypertension, hyperthermia, panting, and mydriasis.

6. Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol

If your dog has an upset tummy, do not treat her with Kaopectate, Pepto Bismol, or any product that contains salicylates. Large doses of bismuth salicylate could cause gastric irritation or ulceration, bleeding problems, seizures, and liver damage.

7. ADD/ADHD Drugs and Amphetamines

Common prescription ADD drugs such as Adderall contain amphetamines, which stimulate the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. If enough amphetamines are ingested, they can cause hyperactivity, tremors and seizures, fever, abnormal heart rate and rhythm, coma, and even death.

Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested a medication containing amphetamines.

8. Cardiac Medications

Human cardiac drugs are commonly used for hypertension and to prevent heart failure. These medications are also used in veterinary medicine, but the human variety can be dangerous to dogs when ingested in small amounts. Signs of poisoning include a very abnormal heart rate, collapse, low blood pressure, excessive thirst and urination, and even organ failure.

9. Antidepressants

Antidepressants are one of the top medications prescribed by doctors, and some of these medications are also used in veterinary medicine to treat behavior problems and anxiety. When a dog accidentally ingests human antidepressants, signs of poisoning may include hyperactivity, a racing heart rate, hypertension, dilated pupils, tremors, and even seizures.

What to do if you think your dog was poisoned

Your best line of defense is to dog-proof your home, keeping ALL medications (human and pet) out of reach. If you take multivitamins or other tablets daily, be careful not to drop tablets on the floor or to leave open bottles around.

If you suspect your dog ingested a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435. For more info, visit  their website.

Or call the Pet Poison Helpline (fee-based). For info, visit their website.

Learn more about dog hazards and toxins

Animal Poison Control Center Podcast

Download a free mobile app from the Animal Poison Control Center that will:

  • help you identify over 300 potential hazards and toxins found in and around the home
  • provide crucial information about the severity of the problem
  • suggest critical next steps


7 Common Household Items That Can Kill Your Curious Cat

You’ve heard the phrase, “curiosity killed the cat.” That can be true when it comes to accidental poisoning caused by everyday household items such as laundry detergent or bouquets of flowers.

Your best line of defense is to cat-proof your house, removing poisons dangerous to cats (or at least, keeping them completely out of your cat’s reach).

In this article, we’ll introduce you to seven common items that are toxic for cats, and explain what to do if your cat ingests something poisonous.

7 Common Household Items That Can Kill Your Curious Cat | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

The 7 Most Common Feline Poisons

1. Poisonous plants

Cats love munching on greenery and bouquets of flowers. But some common household and garden plants, such as tulips, daffodils, lilies, philodrendon, Dieffenbachia, foxglove, and Japanese yew, are very dangerous for cats. Only one bite of the petals or leaves can kill a cat! Even licking the pollen or lapping up water from the vase can result in severe, potentially irreversible acute kidney failure.

Lilies are particularly toxic, including the following varieties:

  • Tiger lilies
  • Day lilies
  • Asiatic hybrid lilies
  • Japanese show lilies
  • Easter lilies
  • Rubrum lilies
  • Stargazer lilies
  • Red lilies
  • Western lilies
  • Wood lilies

2. Laundry detergent, drain cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and other household cleaners

Keep your cat out of the room while you’re scrubbing toilets or doing laundry. Some household cleaning products, when ingested by a cat, can cause profuse drooling, chemical burns, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

3. Human antidepressants

Human antidepressants are like catnip to cats. They love the smell of common antidepressants such as Effexor, Prozac, Cymbalta, and Zoloft and can’t resist eating the pill. However, instead of improving their mood and energy level, human antidepressants can cause lethargy, tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperthermia in cats.

4. Flea and tick topical medications for dogs

Never apply an insecticide intended for dogs (even small dogs) to your cat. These medications often contain high concentrations of a chemical derived from the Chrysanthemum flower – a chemical that is highly toxic to cats. Don’t allow your cat to lick the medication off your dog, either.

5. Over-the-counter aspirin, baby asprin, naproxen, and ibuprofen

If your cat is experiencing joint pain, giving him even half a pill can be fatal, resulting in stomach ulcers and kidney failure. Consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any over-the-counter medications for pain.

6. Onions, Garlic, Chives

The gastrointestinal irritation humans feel when indulging in copious amounts of onions, garlic, or chives is compounded in cats, and can lead to red blood cell damage.

7. Raisins and Grapes

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure.

What to do if you think your cat was poisoned

Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435 (fee-based). For info, visit https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

Or call the Pet Poison Helpline (fee-based). For info, visit https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/

Learn more about cat hazards and toxins

Animal Poison Control Center Podcast

Download a free mobile app from the Animal Poison Control Center that will:

  • help you identify over 300 potential hazards and toxins found in and around the home
  • provide crucial information about the severity of the problem
  • suggest critical next steps


Wellness Wednesdays Are Back!

kitten and large dog at veterinarian

Is your pet due to for important wellness care services?

Preventive health care is one of the cornerstones of loving our furry family members. Give your pet the gift of a long, healthy life.

Save $20* on the cost of wellness exams scheduled on Wednesdays through December 26, 2018.

Wellness appointment slots fill quickly; please contact us today to schedule.

(*Offer does not apply to illness exams or pets on a Wellness Plan, which are already discounted. Cannot be combined with new client discount.)

Beautiful Catios Keep Kitties Safe and Happy

We’ve been recommending catios for years!

Catios are attractive, outdoor cat enclosures designed to please both the cats and humans in the family. They allow cats to experience the physical and mental benefits of the outdoors while providing you with peace of mind knowing your cat and backyard wildlife are safe.

Now, a small Seattle company called Catio Spaces makes having a catio a lot easier.

Take a look at these nifty enclosures and learn about the small local company that is working hard to improve cats’ lives by providing DIY catio plans and custom catios.

Smoky Air May Cause Asthma-like Symptoms in Your Pet

The smoke in our air from summer wildfires can bother cats and dogs. Pets’ reactions to smoke are similar to what is seen in humans; their airways can be particularly reactive to smoke and other airborne irritants.

Smoky Air May Cause Asthma-like Symptoms in Your Pet | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

We’ve seen more pets with asthma-like symptoms in the past few weeks. Please keep a close eye on your pets, and if you’re concerned, seek medical attention before any major problems occur.

When your pet has difficulty breathing…

Learn more about the signs of difficult breathing in pets at Pet Health Network. Some key points from the article:

  • Difficulty breathing is not the same as a shortness of breath
  • Signs a pet shows when they are having difficulty breathing
  • Look-alike issues that may be causing difficult breathing
  • How your veterinarian can help your pet breathe
  • The prognosis for difficult breathing

12 Low-Cost Items You Can Craft for Shelter Pets (And How to Make Them)

National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day is Saturday, July 21, 2018. What, exactly, does that mean?

12 Low-Cost Items You Can Craft for Shelter Pets (And How to Make Them) | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

It’s a low-cost, DIY way for you to give a pet in need a gift from the heart, according to Erika Lindquist, who established the observance in 2012.

Erika, who lives in Seattle, blogs at SewDoggyStyle.com. For the past six years, Erika and friends have called on pet lovers and crafters to give back to their local shelters in a crafty way by making toys, vests, beds, and “sew” much more.

How to get involved

  1. Before you start dreaming up craft ideas, contact the shelter you’re considering donating to and confirm that they will receive your donation.
  2. Ask them what items they most need.
  3. Make a list of the materials for your project. If you need fabric, for example, ask friends and neighbors if they’d be willing to donate remnants.
  4. Organize a craft night with your friends and neighbors. Set up stations and mass-produce the items, assembly line style.
  5. When you’re ready to donate your finished items, call your shelter and arrange for a time to bring in the items. Ask if you can take a picture of one of the dogs or cats wearing the item, so you can share it on social media.

How to make 12 items you can donate to your local animal shelter

1. Pet bed

Create these out of old blankets, pillowcases, or fleece. How to make a fleece pet bed

2. Security blanket

Think of this as a de-stressing blanket. It stays with the cat or dog while it’s at the shelter and when it transitions to its new home. The blanket carries the animal’s scent, which comforts it. How to make a no-sew fleece blanket 

3. Braided dog rope toy

Make them from old t-shirts or fleece. How to make a fleece rope toy

4. Dog color and leash

Use jacquard ribbon and nylon webbing.

5. Doggy leg warmers

How to make leg warmers out of an old pair of socks.

6. Dog bowl feeder

A vintage soda pop crate or wine barrel will do the trick!

7. Hand-painted dog and cat bowls with “adopt me” placemats

Ideas and pictures of bowls and placemats

8. Dog treats

Recipes for quick and healthy baked dog treats

9. Dog vest

10. Over-the-collar dog bandana

(If you want to make an “Adopt Me” freezer paper stencil, here’s how)

11. Cardboard cat scratcher

DIY cardboard cat scratcher tutorial

12. Crocheted cat toys

10 free crochet patterns for cat toys

Vaccinate Your Dog Against Canine Flu

Vaccinate Your Dog Against Canine Flu | AtlanticVetSeattle.comCanine flu has reared its ugly head again, with nearly 300 cases reported in San Francisco and some in Oregon.

“Dog flu” hasn’t been diagnosed in Seattle yet, but we’re encouraging dog families to vaccinate or booster your dog.  Social dogs that are in contact with other dogs at dog parks, in day care, training classes, boarding or at the groomers may be at high risk of infection.

About the Flu Virus

The current flu bug is a highly contagious and potentially very serious respiratory infection caused by the canine influenza virus H3N2. Chances are, if your dog is exposed to H3N2, he or she may become infected.

How the Virus is Spread

Dogs can spread the virus even if they don’t appear sick. The virus can be spread dog-to-dog or through objects, including dog toys, bowls, and human hands, clothing, and shoes.

Severity of symptoms vary from a mild cough and runny nose, to a high fever, decreased appetite, severe pneumonia, and extreme lethargy. Symptoms can persist for weeks.

If you have a puppy, elderly, or pregnant dog, or a dog that has a chronic illness, you should take extra precautions.

The Best Prevention is Vaccination

Our office has vaccines available to help control illness associated with H3N2. We also have a second vaccine for another type of canine influenza, H3N8, which is likewise capable of causing severe respiratory disease in dogs (but to date has not been reported in Seattle).

Vaccination against both types of canine flu helps to ensure maximum protection. This is particularly important if you plan to board your dog in the near future or send him or her to a grooming or daycare facility.

Canine Upper Respiratory Package

We require all dogs that stay with us for boarding, grooming, or bathing to be vaccinated for both canine flu viruses H3N2 and H3N8.  We are offering a Canine Upper Respiratory Package that includes both initial flu vaccines, plus the 3-week boosters.

If your dog is a current patient and up-to-date on his or her other vaccinations, the flu vaccines can be given during a brief complimentary nurse appointment.

What To Do if You Suspect Your Dog Has the Flu

If your dog develops a cough, nasal discharge, or fever, please call us right away. We have developed infectious disease protocols to help protect all our patients, and will advise you regarding how to bring your dog to our office to minimize the risk of infecting other patients.

If your dog becomes ill after hours, please call Seattle Veterinary Specialty Center on Capitol Hill at 206-624-9111.

More Information:

Why Does My Dog Chew?

Why Does My Dog Chew? | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dogs use their mouths a lot like humans use their hands. Their sense of touch is experienced through their mouths; they love to chew on toys, treats, clothing, shoes, furniture, sticks, bones, etc.

Some chewing is natural, such as when puppies are teething or dogs are playing “fetch.”

Some chewing is destructive. And some is darn dangerous and can lead to broken teeth, lacerations, foreign bodies, electrical shock, etc.

Learn more about why dogs chew, how to analyze whether your dog has a chewing problem, and when to intervene if you suspect excessive or destructive chewing.

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.