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BratPack Rescue, Inc.
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Ph. (352) 577-0036  -   Fax (877) 890-1903
Bichon Frise and Small Breed Rescue
~Caring For Each Of Them As If There Is Only One Of Them~
An Independent Bichon Rescue Adhering to BFCA
"Best Practices/Guidelines"

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets

Although pet parents are well aware of poisons lurking around their home, many don’t realize that some of the biggest culprits are sitting right on their own nightstands. In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 89,000 calls related to pets ingesting over-the-counter and prescription medications. To help you prevent an accident from happening, our experts have created a list of the top 10 human medications that most often poison our furry friends.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the following items, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. And remember to keep all medications tucked away in bathroom cabinets—and far from curious cats and dogs.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil—an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives
Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don't occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

Change in Vaccine Protocol


Download PDF with
Complete 2006 Vaccine Protocol Info

I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics 

Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects.
Politics, traditions, or the doctor's economic well being should not be a factor in medical decision.


"Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced." Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. "There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines." Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks.

Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide lifetime immunity.


Distemper & Parvo

"According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with a MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. "There are no new strains of parvovirus as one mfg. would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.

Bordetella Parainfluenza: Commonly called "Kennel cough" Recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months).


There have been no reported cases of rabid dogs or cats in Harris, Montogomery or Ft. Bend Counties [Texas], there have been rabid skunks and bats so the potential exists. It is a killed vaccine and must be given every year. Rabies is requied in all states by law. Some states require it yearly, others every 3yrs. A live rabies shot is now know to give protection for at least 7yrs if not a lifetime. however the law is still requiring we all give our animals shots! If your state will accept a Rabies Titer you should opt to go that route. The longer you can go between redoing this this vaccine the better.

Lyme disease is a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge killed bacteria has proven to be the most effective vaccine. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot, as amitraz paralyzes the tick's mouth parts preventing transmission of disease. However there are higher risks in using Amitraz collars (read here): http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&articleid=1376


Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction.

Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell &Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.

Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs . Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia.  The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.


Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in North America, 30% or more of all dogs & cats are infected with giardia. It has now been demonstrated that humans can transmit giardia to dogs & cats & vice versa.  Heartworm preventative must be given year round in Houston


New vaccines in development include: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and cat scratch   fever vaccine for cats and Ehrlichia [one of the other tick diseases, much worse than Lymes] for dogs.


Most vets recommend annual boosters and most kennel operators require them. For years the pricing structure of vets has misled clients into thinking that the inherent value of an annual office visit was in the "shots" they failed to emphasize the importance of a physical exam for early detection of treatable diseases. It is my hope that you will continue to require rabies & Kennel cough and emphasize the importance of a recent vet exam. I also hope you will accept the new protocols and honor these pets as currently vaccinated. Those in the boarding business who will honor the new vaccine protocols can gain new customers who were turned away from vet owned boarding facilities reluctant to change.


Dogs & cats no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, & feline leukemia

 every year . Once the initial series of puppy or kitten vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from MLV vaccines persists for life. It has been shown that cats over 1 year of age are immune to Feline Leukemia whether they have been vaccinated or not. Imagine the money you will save, not to mention fewer risks from side effects. PCR rabies vaccine, because it is not adjuvanted, will mean less risk of mediated hemolytic anemia and allergic reactions are reduced by less frequent use of vaccines as well as by avoiding unnecessary vaccines such as K-9 Corona virus and chlamydia for cats, as well as ineffective vaccines such as Leptospirosis and FIP. Intranasal vaccine for Rhiotracheitis and Calici virus, two upper respiratory viruses of cats provide more complete protection than injectable vaccines with less risk of serious reactions.

The AAHA and all 27 veterinary schools of North America are our biggest endorsement for these new protocols.

Dr. Bob Rogers

Please consider as current on all vaccinations for boarding purposes

DOGS Initial series of puppy vaccines

1. distemper, hepatitis, parvo, parinfluenze - 3 sets one month apart concluding at 16 weeks of age.

2. Rabies at 16 weeks of age (later is better)

3. Bordetella within last 4-6 months.  First annual (usually at 1 year and 4 months of age)

1. DHP, Parvo, Rabies

2. Bordetella within last 4-6 months 2 years or older

1. Rabies with in last year

2. Bordetella within last 4-6 months

3. DHP & Parvo given anytime over 6 months of age , but not necessarily within the last year.

Recommended: Physical exam for transmissible diseases and health risks.


911 Pet Emergencies and First Aid

Bratpack Rescue, Inc.


First Aid

What it is:  Initial assessment and stabilization of injured animal

What it is not. Therapy for a condition


  Prioritization of critically ill or injured animals into those requiring immediate treatment


911 – Overview

Basic animal physiology

Normal vital signs

Shock – What`s it all about?

General First Aid Information

First Aid Kit

Initial Scene survey

Capture, muzzle and transport techniques

How to place a bandage

Basic CPR

Common emergency situations and fist aid help

Final Thoughts

Download full article

Mammary Tumors in Dogs

The Pet Health Care Library

We've all heard of breast cancer in women. With approximately one woman in eight or nine falling victim to this form of cancer, there are awareness campaigns from numerous health care agencies. and research continues. What many pet owners do not know is that the incidence of mammary tumor development in dogs is higher yet with one in four unspayed female dogs affected. This is a huge incidence, yet awareness among owners of female dogs is lacking.
Protection from Spaying

A female puppy spayed before her first heat cycle can expect never to develop a mammary tumor of any kind. The incidence of tumor development in this group is nearly zero.

If she is allowed to experience one heat cycle before spaying, the incidence rises to 7% (still quite low).

If she is allowed to experience more than one heat cycle, the risk is driven up to one in four.

  • Since most female dogs come into heat the first time before age one and breeding an immature female dog is not recommended, this means one must generally choose between a litter of puppies or mammary cancer prevention.
  • Because mammary tumors are promoted by female hormones, spaying at any age is helpful in tumor prevention. Just because a female dog is in the high-risk group doesn't mean it is too late to reap benefit from spaying.

Early Detection


If your dog is unspayed, was known to have had puppies, or was spayed in adulthood, she fits into the high-risk group for mammary cancer development. It is important to be somewhat familiar with the normal mammary anatomy of the female dog. There are ten sets of mammary glands as shown though the average female dog has only nine. (It is not unusual for asymmetry of mammary glands to be found.) The normal glands should be soft and pliant, especially towards the rear legs. There should be no firm lumps. If a lump is detected, see your veterinarian at once regarding possible removal. Most tumors occur in the glands nearest the rear legs.

Benign vs. Malignant

The good news, if there is some, is that approximately 50% of the tumors formed by female dogs are benign.  Since one cannot tell which it is by looking at a tumor, the tumor or part of it must be removed and sampled for biopsy. The laboratory can determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant based on the cells and their architecture within the tissue. Alternatively, a needle aspirate can be performed, in which a syringe is used to withdraw some cells from the growth and the laboratory can determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant with enough accuracy to determine how aggressive the surgical approach should be. Needle aspirate may be a helpful pre-operative procedure in many cases, but it should be understood that biopsy is ultimately what is necessary to determine the extent of disease.

Hormone Receptors

Approximately 50% of malignant mammary tumors in the dog have receptors for either estrogen or progesterone. This means that the presence of these female hormones promotes the growth of these tumors. Benign tumors also have female hormone receptors and can also be stimulated by hormonal cycling of the female dog. This means that spaying is important even if a tumor has already developed; in one study, female dogs spayed at the time of mammary tumor removal or two years prior lived 45% longer than those who remained unspayed.

Types Of Tumors

The following are common classes of mammary tumors that might be found on a biopsy.

A benign glandular tumor for which no treatment is necessary.

Mixed Mammary Tumor:
What is mixed is the type of cell that makes up the tumor: the epithelial cells that line the glandular tissue and the mesenchymal cells that make up the non-glandular portion. (Mixed does not refer to a mix of benign and malignant cells.) The mixed tumor can be either benign or malignant and the biopsy will indicate this.

Adenocarcinomas can be tubular or papillary, depending on the gland cells the tumor arises from. Adenocarcinomas behave malignantly but how aggressively malignant they are depends not on whether they are tubular or papillary, but on other cellular characteristics described by the pathologist (such as how quickly the cells appear to be dividing and how closely they resemble normal gland cells). When the oncologist reads the description he or she will be able to determine how aggressively to combat the tumor.

Inflammatory Carcinoma:
A highly malignant tumor that generates tremendous inflammation locally with ulceration, pus, and discomfort. This type of tumor tends to spread early in its course and is difficult to treat. Fortunately, this especially tragic tumor type accounts for less than 5% of mammary tumors.

In general: approximately 50% of malignant mammary tumors will have already spread by the time of surgery.

This, of course, means that the other 50% are locally confined and surgery is curative.

What Else Determines Prognosis?

The type of tumor is obviously important in determining the prognosis; further, spaying at the time of tumor removal or prior is also an important factor in determining prognosis. Other factors include:

  • The size of the tumor. Tumors with diameters larger than 1.5 inches have a worse prognosis than smaller tumors.
  • Evidence of spread to the lymphatic system (such as the presence of tumor cells in a local lymph node or visible tumor cells with in lymphatic vessels on the biopsy) carries a worse prognosis.
  • Deeper tumors or tumor adherence to deeper tissue structures carries a worse prognosis.
  • An ulcerated tumor surface carries a worse prognosis.
  • A history of especially rapid growth carries a worse prognosis.

The biopsy sample will not only identify the tumor type, it will also indicated whether or not the tumor was completely removed (so called "clean" or "dirty" margins).

If the tumor was not completely removed, one may wish to consider a second surgery to remove more tissue.

Further Therapy?

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and anti-estrogen therapy have been used for incompletely removed tumors. Sometimes it is most appropriate to monitor for recurrence with periodic chest radiographs.

Specialized care is often required for cancer patients. To find a cancer specialist, please visit: www.vetquest.com or http://www.acvim.org.