March is Pet Poison Prevention Month. Many pet parents are surprised by the number of seemingly harmless items around the house that can cause serious injury or death for cats and dogs. To help you march through this spring and into the rest of the year with a safer home for your animal companions, here are the most common and dangerous household poisons to keep away from your pets.

Chocolate

 

Most pet parents know to not feed their dog or cat chocolate, but this sweet indulgence still tops our list because sneaky canines can get into their humans’ chocolate stash and wind up in a world of trouble. 

 

Chocolate contains a toxic combination of caffeine and a molecular compound called theobromine. Your dog or cat cannot metabolize these the way humans can, resulting in a racing heart and overly stimulated nervous system. While a small amount of chocolate will likely only cause an upset stomach and diarrhea, larger amounts can lead to seizures or a heart attack.

 

Darker chocolate is more dangerous as it contains more theobromine and it doesn’t take much to reach toxic levels. A 50-pound dog may show serious signs of poisoning if they ingest just an ounce of baker’s chocolate. 

 

Keep your chocolate stash safely stored and educate your kids about how toxic chocolate is to their furry friend. Teaching your kids about the dangers of their favorite sweets can help keep your pets safe. 

 

Xylitol

 

Xylitol may sound like a substance you’d find on a science fiction movie, but it’s actually a common sugar substitute. Commonly labeled as “sugar alcohol” on an ingredients list, a small amount of something containing it could send your dog, cat, or ferret to the emergency room. Xylitol creates a sudden rush of insulin through your pet’s body, resulting in dangerously low levels of blood sugar, causing shock, seizures, lethargy, liver failure, and potentially death.

 

Xylitol is commonly used in

 

    • Toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
    • Sugarfree gum
    • Vitamin gummies
    • Baked goods
    • OTC medicines
    • Lotion
    • Sugar-free peanut butter 

 

Typically, dogs are more susceptible to xylitol poisoning than cats, since cats don’t have the tastebuds that allow them to detect and appreciate sweet flavors.

Grapes and Raisins

 

Some dogs can eat grapes while others can be fatally poisoned by just a few. There is currently no conclusive research to explain why grapes can be so toxic to dogs or any “safe” amount they can have, so it’s best to avoid them completely.

 

Fig bars, granola bars, or other snack bars might include the dried fruit, so be sure to read the ingredients list closely if you’re sharing your snack with your pal.

Hops and Alcohol

 

We know these may seem obvious but there’s been a recent increase in pet poisoning related to home brewing. If you have gotten into the hobby of fermenting your own wine or beer, carefully store your supplies. 

 

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications

 

Our pets are naturally curious, and while medications often come in child-proof containers, they’re not necessarily pet-proof. Some of the most common ways pets become poisoned is by ingesting medications meant for humans. 

 

Which medications pose the biggest threat to pets?

 

  • Cold medicine
  • Allergy medication
  • Vitamins (especially vitamin D3)
  • Minerals
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Antidepressants
  • ADD & ADHD Medications
  • Cardiac medications

 

What You Can Do to Protect Your Pet from Poisons

 

We all do our best to protect our pets but accidents happen. Familiarize yourself with the common symptoms of poisoning and watch for signs of mischief in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Create and regularly review an emergency plan for your pet ingesting something poisonous. Make sure you know the location of the nearest emergency animal hospital at home or on the road. 

 

Save our number, a local emergency vet, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in your phone. If you suspect your cat dog may have eaten something toxic or gotten into a dangerous substance, give us a call immediately. If we’re not open, call the emergency vet or Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. The ASPCA line charges a fee for calls but can give you accurate and helpful advice that may save your pet’s life. 

 

Save any packaging from the product you suspect your pet ingested and bring it with you if you’re directed to bring your pet to be seen by a veterinarian. Do not induce vomiting unless you are explicitly directed to do so by a professional. 

 

When it comes to your pet and possible poisons, you’re always better safe than sorry. Survey your home and make sure the cabinets where you store your cleaners, medications, and dry goods are pet-proofed. Read the label of products before bringing them into your home and only feed your pals treats created specifically for them. If your pet is showing any signs of being poisoned, like vomiting, lethargy, or if you simply find a package with bite marks in it and someone is looking extra guilty, give us a call right away.

Megan Olmscheid, Receptionist

One of the newest people to join our team is Megan. She’s been with us since 2019, and she fits right in with her positive attitude and love of animals. In fact, her favorite aspect of her job is helping sick animals and preventing healthy animals from becoming ill. Megan’s fur family includes creatures of all shapes and sizes. There’s her horse with a big attitude, Hazel, who adores apple-flavored treats and has a knack for escaping, her Rat Terrier, DJ, who is convinced he’s a cat, Lucy, a kitten that sneaks inside whenever Megan’s dad isn’t home, and Miley, Megan’s newest bundle of joy, a Australian Shepherd-Blue Heeler puppy, who has more energy than she knows what to do with. Megan studied early childhood special education at Minnesota State University and St. Cloud State University. 

Emily Achman, Certified Veterinary Technician

Emily joined our team in 2007 and has enriched our practiced with her skills and kindness. She’s one of our talented veterinary technicians who thrives on variety and excels when faced with challenges. In 2014, Emily graduated from the Minnesota School of Business with an Associate of Science degree. Her favorite part of working here is that each day she gets to see and help a wide variety of animals. Abscess appointments and similar issues tend to be her favorite. Koda, Emily’s dog is her pride and joy. He loves food, going for a swim, and taking naps. Even though Koda is not lightweight (he’s 90-pounds!), he thinks he’s a lap dog. During her downtime, Emily loves spending time with her family and friends. And her favorite hobby is reading. How much does Emily like reading? She and her friends regularly participate in a book club!

Rachel Ramacher, Veterinary Technician

Rachel is one of our veterinary technicians. She started here in 2015 and has since graduated from Ridgewater College in 2019. She’s a model for patience, kindness, and understanding. She works hard to help patients and their pets live long lives, and she loves helping all kinds of species: big and small, stay healthy. Rachel has two rabbits and a dog. Her rabbits, Cinder and Asher, love nibbling on apples and other treats. She loves spoiling her dog Jeezy with squeaky toys, treats, and cuddles with his favorite fuzzy blanket. She also finds as much time as she can to spend with friends and family. Her favorite hobby is photography.

Janelle Schlangen, Lead Receptionist

Time flies when you’re part of a team that helps pets feel their best and stay healthy, at least, that’s what our lead receptionist, Janelle Schlangen, thinks. Janelle has a huge heart, and she’s been able to fulfill this mission with us since 2008.  Janelle isn’t just talented when it comes to assisting clients, their pets, and her co-workers, she earned her surgical technician certificate from St. Cloud Technical College, and she studied cosmetology at Regency Beauty Institute. Janelle loves spending time with her beautiful family, which includes her husband Scott, and three amazing children, Carson, Cameron, and Cali. She’s also a sports enthusiast who likes watching and getting in the mix by playing.  When Janelle clocks out and arrives home, she’s greeted by her friendly and loving pets, Boston, a Cocker Spaniel and Josie, a tabby. Her pets adore her family almost as much as Janelle does. Boston and Josie both love treats and taking naps when they’re not snuggling with the kids or playing.

Tammy Lehner, Receptionist

Tammy has been with us since 2017 and is a fixture here at Lake Country Veterinary Services. She greets clients on the phone with her friendly voice or in-person with her glowing smile. She loves each pet that walks through the door, and her favorite part of being part of our team is interacting with clients and their pets. When she’s not at work, she loves cooking and spending time with her family, including her Chocolate Lab, Daisy.

Janice Hommerding, Certified Veterinary Technician

Janice Hommerding, our adept and caring certified veterinary technician has provided our clients with her kindness and skill since 2011. Janice dreamed of working with animals long before becoming a vet tech, and she excels at, and thrives on, the variety of tasks her position requires. Janice earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology in 1999 from Ridgewater College in Willmar Minnesota. After Janice clocks out, she tries to find as much time as possible to dive into her many hobbies. From reading to gardening and scrapbooking, Janice stays busy. And when she’s not tending to her garden, you might find her horseback riding, deer hunting, fishing, baking, napping, walking, or spending time with her husband and kids. Janice’s pet family includes Annie, a 14-year-old Bernese Moutain Dog, Josie, a 10-year-old Blue Heeler mix, and her three cats: Elmer, Candycorn, and CC. Her household isn’t complete without her hobby farm creatures, which include horses, sheep, chickens, and calves.

Addie Moeller, Lead Certified Veterinary Technician

Addie Moeller brings energy and enthusiasm to our practice. As our lead certified veterinary tech, she cares for each pet that she meets. You often find her performing her favorite duties: helping clients and educating them about the care of their pets. She also loves the variety of day-to-day duties she is tasked with. Addie has been with us since 2007 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Minnesota School of Business.  When Addie gets a day off, she loves spending time with her loving husband, Bob, and two boys, Logan and Jaxon. She also enjoys biking and walking her sweet dog, Emma. In addition to Emma, Addie has a bird named Bobo and two cats: Sophie who is 11 and Kalle who is one of the oldest kitties around at 20-years-old.

Dr. Neal Womack

Dr. Neal Womack, DVM, has practiced veterinary medicine in Albany since 1996 and founded Lake Country Veterinary Service in 2003, and is co-owner of the clinic. He thrives under pressure and loves creating a positive outcome in difficult situations.  In 1992, Dr. Womack graduated from North Carolina State with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Before attending veterinary school, Dr. Neal Womack graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Dr. Neal Womack has southern roots that lead back to Missouri where he was born and raised. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening on his days off. He describes his pet situation as “a house of misfits.” 

Dr. Sam Beech

Dr. Sam Beech has been with Lake Country Veterinary Service since May of 2019. He is a graduate of the University of MN for both his undergraduate work, as well as his veterinary degree. His favorite part of veterinary medicine is working both in large and small animal services, and being able to be involved in the variety of care offered to our patients throughout the day. From surgical care, to anesthesia, preventive medicine and pet behaviors, his day is filled with challenges he enjoys. Dr. Sam is Fear Free Certified. In his spare time, Dr. Beech enjoys spending time with his wife and their two dogs - Nala, a 6 year old Shih Tzu-Bichon mix that his wife rescued in college, and Willow, a 6 month old black lab, who is full of energy and is gearing up for pheasant and duck hunting. Dr. Beech has greatly enjoyed training both dogs, as they are true companions in the Beech household. Outside of the clinic, you may also find Dr. Beech hunting, fishing, golfing, or watching sports.

Dr. Wendy Womack

Dr. Wendy Womack, DVM, has helped make Lake Country Veterinary Services the practice you know and love. She’s been helping pets from all around Albany since 2004 after renovations which included adding small animal services. Dr. Womack cares for a wide range of animals and founded the small animal side of our practice, and enjoys making a positive difference in the lives of pets and their owners. Dr. Wendy Womack earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1986. She then went on to study veterinary medicine at North Carolina State College, graduating with her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1992.  When Dr. Womack isn’t providing pet parents with advice or caring for their beloved pets, you can find her practicing yoga, gardening, or enjoying a great book. She knits like a pro, spends time with her friends, and goes on walks.  Her pet family includes both cats and dogs. She loves her two Britannies, Rowdy and Sammie, who may seem like typical hunting dogs but are really beloved family members. As for her feline friends, Dr. Womack opened her home and heart and embraced her lovely cats. Julius has hyperthyroidism and is a bit elderly, but found his place in Dr. Womack’s home after he was orphaned and abandoned on a client’s doorstep. Gloria, our retired clinic cat also enjoys living with Dr. Womack and her crew.

+49 856 9568 95

info@vetcare.com

39 Lion Street
London-Lutton

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Dr. Jenny Revermann

Dr. Jenny has been an owner of Lake Country Veterinary Service since 2018. She graduated from the University of MN with her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and then graduated in 2009 from the University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to traditional veterinary methods, Dr. Jenny is a CVA (Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist) and is currently studying Osteopathy to help provide additional treatment options to the clients she serves.

In her spare time, Dr. Jenny enjoys scrapbooking, reading and spending time with her family, which includes her husband, six children, and pets - Zora - a German Wirehair, Coonie - who joined her family after she was found injured, Cy - a stray kitten adopted from the clinic in summer 2019, and Bolt - joining the Revermanns in summer 2019.