Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac
There is much confusion when it comes to identifying these plants! Pictured, is Poison Ivy. It grows on the ground, climbs up trees and sometimes grows like a shrub. The hairy vines themselves are poisonous, as are the leaves. You'll see the vines in the winter when the plant leaves have fallen - don't touch the vines - they can give you the same rash as the leaves!
Poison Oak is often confused with Poison Ivy. It is not as common as Poison Ivy. It has more roundly lobed leaves, but many people have trouble telling them apart. Rule of thumb - "3 leaves, let it be"!
Poison Sumac is found ONLY in very wet areas. It is rather rare, unlike Poison Ivy.
These plants contain URUSHIOL which causes an allergic reaction when you touch the leaves, vines, stems of these plants. Urushiol can brush off on your dog or cat. Normally, your pets aren't affected by the contact, but the urushiol can stay on their coats and when you pet your dog or cat, can be transferred to you. Most people are NOT immune to the oil's effects, and if you are, that can change quickly.
Click on the button below to go to a great identification/information site. It also has some great advice on how to avoid coming into contact with the plant's long-lasting, irritating sap, so explore that website!
Water & Your Dog
Many dogs love to go boating or fishing with their parents. There are a few things you need to know, and you need to prepare your dog for a much different experience on the water than on land. Here are a few pointers!
- Know the boating laws and regulations in the state you are in.
- Learn and practie boating safety. Too many people think driving a boat is just like driving a car. It's not. There are many other things to consider - rights of way, water hazards - both human (think jet skis) and underwater like rocks or logs.
- Know the tide schedule.
- Understand how currents work - especially when your dog is in the water.
- Investigate the water quality in the body of water you'll be boating/swimming in.
- Algae scum can potentially kill a dog if he/she ingests it. You are better off safe than sorry.
- Watch your pets for signs of exhaustion - especially when they are swimming. Use caution with older and younger dogs as they may tire more quickly. Keep them close to shore and keep their swimming session short.
- Acclimate your dog to your boat pre-float. Make sure you have some food and plenty of water on board. Have a plan if your dog goes overboard. Have one person on board in charge of supervising your dog.
- Keep the first boat trip short!
- Pets (and people) can get hot on a boat. Make sure you take that into consideration when you plan the length of your boat trip. Also, some surfaces in a boat can get hot - take care to protect your dog's feet. Surfaces can also get slippery, so constant supervision is a must! Be careful and don't make sudden direction changes while driving your boat - that may throw your dog (and your passengers) overboard.
- Put a life preserver on your dog. Let him practice swimming with it before your trip. Many have handles to retrieve your dog more easily should he/she go overboard.
- Fishing with a dog - be careful not to "catch" your dog while fishing! Hooks are best removed by a veterinarian, likely under sedation. You can, if no other choice, remove it by pushing the barbed end all the way through, cutting it off, and then removing both section of the hook. It will hurt, so don't do this unless you have no other choice!
As with any other recreational pursuit involving the outdoors, preparation is paramount to safety. Be smart. Be safe!
Treats for your kitty cats!
- 1 lb ground organic chicken or turkey
- (1) 3.75-oz. can sardines IN WATER WITH NO SALT ADDED
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 T of your cat's favorite catnip
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 gallon-size Ziploc baggie or a piping bag
- Parchment paper and a baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- If you have a food processor, you can put the chicken or turkey, sardines (including water in can), egg yolks, nutritional yeast, water and catnip in and blend until it becomes the consistency of a thick paste.
- If you do not have a food processor, dump the sardines in a bowl and mash up with a fork. Add the egg yolks, chicken or turkey, nutritional yeast, water and catnip and mix until all ingredients are blended together well.
- Put your Ziploc baggin in a glass and fold the opening over the top. Fill the baggie with the blended mixture.
- Take out the baggie and carefully cut one of the bottom corners so that you have a small opening, about 1/2 inch wide.
- Pipe treat-sized dollops of the mixture onto the parchment paper about 1 inch apart, using the back of a knife to help slice as you go.
- Put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until treats are cooked through and no longer bubbling liquid.
- Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or the freezer for 3-5 months.
Remember - treats should be used sparingly! They DO add calories to your cat's diet and should not be used as a replacement for their balanced cat food!
Peanut Butter Apple Bites
Treats for your dog!
- 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt
- 1 apple
- 2 T of peanut butter (regular peanut butter - steer clear of artificial sweeteners or things such as xylitol, which is toxic to dogs)
- Mix yogurt and peanut butter together and add a splash of water, if required.
- Slice apple into bite-sized chunks and remove any seeds.
- Fill ice cube trays almost to the top and place your apple chunk in the center of each slot.
- Pop them in the freezer and serve when frozen.
Dog treats should be used sparingly, and should not replace your dog's regular balanced diet. Treats have calories, so take that into account!
Here are our staff members celebrating birthdays this month!
Left to right: Lydia, Lauren, Diane, Ivy & Bethy
Staff Feature for May - Angela, Veterinary Nurse Supervisor
Angela keeps us straight in the treatment area, surgery and exam rooms. She is our fearless leader and we wouldn't be what we are today without her leadership and guidance!
Q: How long have you worked for AHS? ANGELA: 24 years, this August.
Q: What was your very first pet, and what do you remember most about her? ANGELA: My first pet that I can remember was a Border Collie named Baby. I was probably between the ages of 2-6 when she was alive. She protected me, herded me, and was always with me wherever I went. She was a great girl and I wish I could have another like her!
Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life so far, and why? ANGELA: I would have to say my grandmother "Mawmaw". She was my protector, too. She always taught me right from wrong in every aspect of life. She loved me unconditionally and was very patient and kind. She gave me so much wise advice. Every day of her life, she always had a positive thought she would give me at the end of every conversation. I miss hearing her kind, sweet voice every day.
Q: What brings you joy? ANGELA: A nice, warm, sunny day with a gentle breeze. Anywhere ocean/beach-related. A glass of wine or a "fru-fru" drink with a colorful little umbrella for "garnish". Yummmm!
Q: What do you want to do that you haven't, yet? ANGELA: I would love to go skydiving someday. I've always dreamed of going - I just haven't had the opportunity yet. I like doing anything that triggers adrenalin, really!
Q: What talent do you wish you had, but don't? ANGELA: I would love to be able to sing (pleasantly - not like a hoarse cat) and play the piano. I'd like to learn and speak fluent French - ooh la la!
Q: Do you have a favorite song/recording artist? ANGELA: I love all kinds of music. I am particularly fond of old country artists. I grew up listening to all of them. Top of the list would be Johnny Cash, followed by Elvis, although I know he's not really old country - LOL!
Q: Name one of your favorite movies and why. ANGELA: My favorite go-to movie, whenever it's on, is Pretty Woman. I usually HAVE to watch it! OR, the Lord of the Rings triology and The Hobbit. I know - total opposite ends of the spectrum!
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? ANGELA: I grew up thinking I wanted to be a nurse or in a medical field of some sort. As I got older and entered into an externship of medical office administration in college, they let us choose and contact an office of our choice. I chose AHS and an orthopedic office. Just so happened, AHS accepted and I've been here since - (1994). I loved it so much I couldn't leave!
Q: What was the last book you read? ANGELA: 5 Love Languages
Q: What is your favorite splurge - how do you, or how WOULD you, spoil yourself? ANGELA: I would love to have a spa day at least once a month. I would be in heaven! Even better...if the spa was on a tropical oasis somewhere...(and had "fru-fru" drinks with pretty unbrellas as garnish...) (add without permission by newsletter "author"!)
Kyle Elizabeth Cook, Lauren Jenkins, Adobe Stock