Jun 23 2017

Fourth of July Safety Tips

It’s the time of year to celebrate Independence Day! It is an annual Federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and registering as a country, the United States of America. We typically celebrate with family, friends, fireworks, and good times. However, our furry friends don’t enjoy the holiday as much as we do, so we here at Wayside thought it would be helpful to provide tips on Fourth of July safety for our four-legged family members.

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This goes without saying, but sometimes the animals get so nervous and scared they might try to run off and find a safe place. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

2. Leave your pets at home.

To avoid something like a lost pet happening, and to ease your furry friends’ stress, consider leaving them at home for the celebration. Most pets do not want to be near fireworks when they are set off, and find the most comfort at home. Please do not lock them in the car either, because they could suffer from heat stroke and/or brain damage.

3. Don’t put insect repellant on your pet.

This also should go without saying, but if your family is having a get-together and you would like to take your pets before the fireworks show, do not put insect repellant or sunscreen on your pet. There are certain ingredients in both that are poisonous for animals, and will have effects like neurological disorders and lethargy.

4. Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended to where your pets could reach them.

Dogs and cats are naturally curious, and if a beer or cocktail is left on the ground, they might consider knocking it over and drinking it. If consumed, the animal can get intoxicated and very weak, and could even go into a coma. Put those drinks on coasters on a high-rise table so they are unable to reach it, and provide fresh water for them to drink instead.

5. Keep your pet on their normal diet.

This is the time of year when people are barbecuing more and more because the weather is nice. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.

6. Don’t give your pet access to glow jewelry. 

Glow jewelry is that super popular item that people put in freezers and wraps around your joints in place of bracelets and necklaces. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

7. Don’t force your pet into a costume for the holiday. 

It may seem cute to dress them up in the red, white, and blue, but unless your dog (or even less likely, your cat) loves to play dress-up, don’t push the issue. If they have a medical condition, some sort of loose clothing is definitely acceptable. Also, if your animal shuts down during the fireworks, consider purchasing a thunder shirt, which can be found at our store Whiskers & Wags. They are proven to help make animals feel safe and secure, while keeping anxiety levels down.

8. Do keep matches and lighter fluid out of the animals’ reach.

Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. Keep those items on a high-rise table out of their reach, and all will be well!

9. Consider getting calming treats and Adaptil collars

Calming treats and Adaptil/anti-anxiety collars are both sold in our retail store Whiskers & Wags, and they have been helpful to ease stress for our animals here. The collar mimics the dogs’ natural pheromone that helps ease tension, and can help them relax during a fireworks display, as long as they are indoors. Calming treats will help do the same things, and will taste good as well!

10. Brush up on flea/tick treatment.

Ticks and fleas are more abundant than ever because of the mild winter we had. They will find a host environment in dogs and cats, and during a celebration it might go unnoticed. We also sell seresto collars which help battle unwanted visitors for up to eight months. They will help during that barbecue and high heated areas! They can be found at our retail store Whiskers & Wags.

These are just some tips that help our furry friends, and you, prepare for the celebratory holiday! Enjoy, and be safe! Our retail store Whiskers & Wags is open during our adoption hours, provided below.

Adoption Hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Thursday: Noon-8pm
Friday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn

Jun 9 2017

Expect A High Tick Season in KCMO

It’s summertime, which means family vacations, trips to the pool, and fun times had by all. However, the hot summer days also bring things we don’t enjoy so much: ticks! Here are just some visuals of ticks that have been found in the KC Metro area;

Lone Star Tick:
Lone star tick American Dog Tick:TK5KAK4K6KAQ10WQ30VQJ0NQ10KKTK1Q1KBQC05Q10LKO05QNKKKTKIKCK8KBK9QTKBQAKVQT01QJ0BQTKQKTK4K Brown Dog Tick:male brown dog tick(1) Black-legged Tick:lymetickfemale_86086_7

Because we had such a mild winter, during the spring and summer, ticks become more active. KSHB 41 did a piece on what to look out for, which you can find here.

Ticks are commonly found in wooded areas, such as tree limbs, bushes, branches, and leaves, and the more time you spend outside, the more chance you get of facing off ticks, including your furry friend.

Even if you don’t suspect you or your pet has a tick on them, it is always recommended that you do a full-body check after coming from outside. If you see a tick, using tweezers to remove them is the best and safest way. Check your pet regularly, and fitting in a bath might be a good idea too! Here is a video tutorial on the whole process!

While they are a nuisance, the potential diseases they can transfer to us and our furry friends are not fun. Flu-like symptoms can start if you don’t notice them quick enough, and sometimes people develop Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is not necessarily prevalent in the KC area, but still something to watch out for!

Don’t let this scare you into staying indoors for the summer! Continue to go on walks, that is great bonding time for you and your pet! Having a dog version of a pool party is always a good time! Here at Wayside Waifs, we also sell Seresto collars that can help ward off those fleas and ticks at our retail store, Whiskers & Wags, purchased on site. Now is a good time to also check with your veterinarian to see what preventative you can get prescribed. From all of us here at Wayside Waifs, have a great summer, and be safe!


Written by: Teryn J.

Jun 8 2011

Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Summer is definitely here!  After an extended rainy spring season, the heat is here in full force!  Our furbabies don’t always handle the heat well.   The heat effects dogs and cats the same way it impacts humans.  Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.

1. Keep pets inside. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your Waif!  Imagine being outside in the heat with all that fur, not enjoyable for any human or pet.

2. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle-heat exhaustion can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time.  During warm weather the temperature inside a car can rise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.  Think about how hot it gets when you park your car and run into the store to grab something.  Even leaving the windows down is not enough.  You wouldn’t leave your children in the car- please don’t leave your pets!

3. Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the heat and humidity are the lowest.  

4. Don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt.  Their body temperature can rise quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.

5. Time for a summer cut!  Get a long hair dog groomed for the summer.  Long haired breeds can be shaved to a one-inch coat.  Never shave down to the skin as this robs the dog of their protection from the sun.

6. Be sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzu’s, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. 

7. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. While you do want to protect pets that have light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears, ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

8. Avoid taking your pet to events where there are crowds, like concerts and fairs.  The loud noise combined with the heat can be extremely stressful and dangerous for our furry friends.  Trust me, your pet will thank you later.

If your dog or cat is exposed to high temperatures: 

1. Pay attention to signs of over-heating and heat stress.  Heavy panting, glazed eyes, increased pulse, staggering, throwing up, unsteady walking are all signs.  Also check your pet’s tongue- a deep red or purple tongue is another sign. 

2. If your pet is overheated, you must lower their body temperature immediately. 

3.  Take your pet to a shaded area and put cool, not cold, water all over their body to gradually lower their body temperature.

4.  Apply ice pack or cool towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest only.

5. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. 

6. Finally, always visit and consult with your veterinarian.  These tips are only a recommendation, and you should always consult with your personal veterinarian about your pets health.


Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs

Dec 18 2009

Canine Distemper

Many people have heard of the canine distemper virus, whether through personal experience or hearing it on the news.  It is a particularly nasty virus that can have devastating consequences for survivors and even be fatal.  Luckily, it is not common nowadays because of vaccination- however this has led to the lack of information about the disease, even amongst veterinarian professionals.  Some practitioners may never see a true case of canine distemper.  This lack of experience can often lead to misdiagnosis of a sick animal with potentially severe consequences.

Distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus.  It affects dogs as well as other mammals including raccoons and ferrets.  Susceptible animals can be any un-vaccinated dog, but usually affects younger dogs.   I should also note that canine distemper and feline distemper are completely different.

The virus is shed in bodily fluids and secretions (i.e. feces, urine, nasal discharge etc) and infection can be from direct contact with an infected animal or contact with “fomites” which refers to contaminated objects or people.

Exposure to the virus generally results in infection after 1-2 weeks, but can take up to 4-5 weeks.  Early symptoms after infection can be as vagues as lethargy and fever, but if these symptoms are mild, they can be easily missed.

Clinical signs of disease are very similar to signs of “kennel cough”-nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, fever and anorexia.  Distemper infections differ in the fact that they are much more severe.  Kennel cough infections are generally somewhat mild and self limiting and respond well to treatment.  The distemper virus can affect other systems as well, such as the GI tract, the nervous system, the immune system, and even the eyes.  Other clinical signs can include diarrhea, inflammation within the eyes, KCS (dry eye), blindness and even neurological signs such as seizures.  The virus can cause immunosuppression, which makes the animal very susceptible to secondary infections.  Pneumonia is one common as a secondary illness.  Neurological signs can develop at the same time as other clinical signs or even months after infection.

Diagnosis can be difficult but should be based on clinical and diagnostic testing.  Sometimes diagnosis cannot be made until after death.  Testing is available for tissue or fluid samples, but false negatives can be common.  Microscopic examination of tissue samples obtained on necropsy is considered the best way. 

Treatment of distemper infections can be long and stressful.  Hospitalization is generally required in the beginning.  Antibiotics are used to help treat secondary bacterial infections; supportive care (i.e. IV fluids, maintaining proper nutrition and rest) is also necessary.  Recovery is possible but lengthly.  Survivors may be more susceptible to respiratory infections due to damage of the respiratory tract from the virus.  Animals may also experience neurological damage which could be permanent depending on the severity of the illness.

Vaccination is very effective in preventing the disease and dog owners need to be educated by their veterinarians to ensure new canine family members are properly protected.

As always if you have any concerns about your pets health, don’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian and ask questions to make sure you understand what is happening with your pet.

Written by Dr. Cynthia Moon
Veterinarian at Wayside Waifs

Dec 16 2009

Feline Respiratory Disease

Watch Kenya & Dr. Moon's video on YouTube!

Watch Kenya & Dr. Moon's video on YouTube!

Cats are special creatures who like to make simple issues complicated ones- I suppose they find it amusing.  But for those of us who are caring for them, it can be very frustrating.  Here are the most common questions I am asked about feline respiratory disease.  Hopefully this will clear some questions you may have as well.

What causes URI’s in cats?
     Just like dogs, URI’s (Upper Respiratory Infections) in cats can be viral or bacterial.  However, in cats, viral infections are usually the primary cause with bacterial infections being secondary.  The major viruses in cats that cause the URI’s are the herpes and calici virus.  Cats can also be infected with bordetella (part of “kennel cough” in dogs) but this is not as common with the exception of shelter or large kennel situations.  Generally, one does not know which virus is causing the illness-routine URI’s are treated the same regardless of the cause (supportive care and antibiotics to name a few).  Testing is available but can be expensive so it is generally reserved for more special cases.

What are the clinical signs of a URI in cats?
     Clinical signs can vary, depending on the severity of the infection and also the cause.  “Routine” signs can include: nasal discharge (varying from clear to greenish, sometimes blood), sneezing, sometimes coughing, lethargy, decreased appetite, and fever.  Eye infections are also common as a secondary problem, unlike URI in dogs.  Redness, ocular discharge (clear to yellowish), puffy eyes, and even corneal ulcers can be present.  Herpes infections are generally the cause for corneal ulcers, they can also result in ulceration to the front of the nose and even the skin surround the eyes in severe cases.  In addition, just like in people, once a cat is infected with the herpes virus, they are infected for life.  For animals severely affected at a young age, this can cause chronic problems, but in most cases it is not noticed unless the animal becomes stressed, as stress can cause mild flare-ups such as sneezing or runny eyes.  Calici virus infections can cause ulcers in the mouth and lameness.

How does one diagnose a URI in cats?
Diagnosis is generally made based on clinical signs.  Testing is available to differentiate between viruses but in most cases is not necessary.

What is the treatment for URI’s in cats?
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the infection and the individual.  In mild cases, supportive care may be all that is necessary.  Supportive care would include making sure the animal keeps hydrated, ensuring low stress levels and keeping them comfortable.  In more severe cases oral antibiotics may also be required to treat any secondary bacterial infections.  Medication can be given to help reduce any temperature or to help with lameness.  Topical antibiotics may be prescribed for an eye infection.  Generally, most cats recover quickly with proper care and most infections are somewhat self limiting.  Individuals in lower stress environments are more likely to recover quickly and with less medication than ones in high stress situations, like a shelter with a lot of other animals.
Severe eye infections and corneal ulcers generally require more intensive treatment, with medication lasting several weeks.  In some cases, corneal ulcers may worsen to the point of removal of the eye is necessary.  Oral ulcers may also complicate treatment, especially if they are severe enough to cause anorexia.

Is a URI in cats contagious?
Yes.  Other cats are susceptible.  While cats are vaccinated against these viruses routinely (FVRCP, FVR and C are for herepes and calici), the vaccine does not 100% protect against the infection but it does help to decrease severity of the illness should the animal become ill.  Severity of the illness depends on the overall health of the animal and their situation.  Otherwise healthy individuals in low stress situations generally have mild illnesses, while highly stressed animals are usually the ones who get the sickest.  It is recommended that sick animals be kept separate from healthy ones until they have recovered.

As always, if your pet is displaying any signs of illness, consult with your veterinarian for a plan of proper treatment.

Written by Dr. Cynthia Moon
Veterinarian at Wayside Waifs

Aug 25 2009

Keep It From the Beagle

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

My beagle mix, Eloise, puts everything in her mouth. She is, after all, a dog. At age five, she concentrates on fallen food, socks, shoes, and used Kleenexes. But in her puppy days, everything was up for grabs. One day I brought home Chinese takeout and arranged it on the dining-room table next to a bottle of Beano. In an instant, Eloise took a running start, leapt onto the chair, and skated across the table, sending kung pao shrimp and fried rice flying. What was she after? The bottle of Beano. She scooped it up in her jaws, catapulted off the back end of the table, and zoomed through the family room, down the hall, and into the master bedroom. By the time I reached her, she had the childproof lid off and was chomping down a handful of pills. 

In a panic, I called Animal Poison Control. No worries, they told me; you might even end up glad she’d had a few Beanos. 

I knew pills could be trouble, and we were lucky. But lately I’ve found out about a few “harmless” kitchen foods that could prove more deadly than Beano: 

Raisins & Grapes.  Really? Yes. Too many grapes, whether in fresh or dried form, can cause renal failure in dogs. Don’t ever give them as treats, and if you suspect your dog has eaten a bunch, get him to the vet right away. 

Onions & Garlic.  Dogs lack the enzyme needed to digest these properly–they’ll cause gastrointestinal distress. 

Apple Cores/Seeds.  Only the fruit is safe–even apple leaves and stems may contain dangerous compounds. 

Macadamia Nuts. Causes gastrointestinal trouble. 

Fruit pits/seeds.  Apart from the choking hazard, the pits of plums, peaches, and cherries can cause internal health problems. 

Summertime barbecues and picnics are prime feasting time for nosy dogs. Keep all of these away from your pup, and be careful when offering your dog leftovers. Monitor guests as well and keep firm rules: No feeding from the table. Those hound-dog eyes may be mournful, but at least they’ll be around for many summers to come.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

May 15 2009

A Low-Cost Resource for KC

Congratulations to Spay & Neuter Clinic of Kansas City, which just moved this week to new headquarters at 59th and Troost! This clinic focuses specifically on providing low-cost spay and neutering services to residents who might otherwise be unable to afford surgery for their pets. Log on to www.snkc.net to learn more about this wonderful resource, or call at (816) 353-0940.

Most shelters, like Wayside Waifs, include spaying and neutering in their adoption fees, but people who obtain their pets from other sources may find the cost of surgery prohibitive. We are grateful to Spay & Neuter KC for helping to stem the tide of pet overpopulation.

Dogs and cats that are spayed or neutered generally live longer, healthier lives and have fewer behavior problems. If you haven’t yet taken this step with your pet, don’t delay scheduling surgery. Check out our website for more low-cost spay and neuter resources.

Posted by Claire M. Caterer

May 11 2009

It’s Swine, Not Canine

With all the recent national anxiety about swine flu, some pet owners are worried about their animals at home. Can dogs or cats get the flu, and can they transmit it to humans?

Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying there’s no evidence of viral transmission to or between domestic pets. If your dog goes to a doggy day care, there’s no reason she shouldn’t keep going. Normal precautions still apply, of course. Your dog or cat is much more susceptible to pet-borne illnesses like parvo or distemper than swine flu-so be sure vaccinations are up to date.

As for humans, reasonable precautions are in order. Follow the same advice you hear during any other cold and flu season: wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, dispose of any used tissues. If you’re ill, drink fluids and rest; flu remedies like Tamiflu and Relenza can be help ease symptoms if taken early in the illness, says Besser.

 Jut don’t worry about Fido and Fluffy. They’ll be just fine.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

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