Fall 2021

Fur-ightful experiences

We’re coming up on the spookiest time of the year. Never mind the ghosts and goblins, there are a number of Howl-o-ween pet hazards to put a fright into pet parents.

Good thing our vethelpline® experts are here to handle the scariest scritch-uations

Member concern: Winged worries
Dog looking at bat

My Doberman, Clooney, was sniffing around an injured bat about 10 minutes ago. He doesn’t have any apparent bite wounds or signs of discomfort, but we’re nervous about the potential for rabies exposure. What should we do?

vethelpline response:

It’s not common, but bats can carry rabies—and their teeth are small enough that bite wounds may not be obvious to pet owners, even under close observation. We recommend contacting your veterinarian to see if they recommend a rabies booster.

If Clooney starts limping or becomes lethargic, we recommend seeking emergency vet care immediately. Also, for your safety, don’t handle the bat with your hands. Call a wildlife center or animal control for help with the bat.

Member concern: Pumpkin spiced
Dog and coffee cup

Penelope, my beloved pug, just ingested about 1 to 2 ounces of brewed plain Starbucks Pumpkin Spice coffee that spilled onto the floor. No creamer or sweeteners were added to the coffee, and she’s acting fine—should I be worried?

vethelpline response:

Good news! The amount of caffeine ingested with that amount of coffee does not pose a concern for toxicity.

High amounts of caffeine can impact our pets’ health. It poses a risk for gastrointestinal distress, along with cardiovascular and central nervous system effects. However, this dose likely isn’t toxic.

We do recommend watching Penny closely for the next few hours for any changes, such as vomiting, agitation, hyperactivity, panting or shaking. If any of these signs develop, take her in for immediate veterinary care.

Member concern: Candy corn caper
Dog and candy corn

Our twin pups, Darleen and Durham, did some countertop trick or treating—and ingested about half a bag of candy corn. The candy isn’t sugar free, but they did eat the packaging along with the candy. Both are behaving normally. Should we be concerned?

vethelpline response:

Happy to report that we don’t expect systemic toxicity from ingesting this candy. However, they could get an upset stomach, and the plastic packaging they ingested may pose a risk for gastrointestinal irritation or a foreign body obstruction.

Since both Darleen and Durham are behaving normally, we recommend monitoring them closely at home for the next 48 hours. If they start exhibiting signs of obstruction—vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, constipation, straining to defecate or loss of appetite—go in for an evaluation with your vet.


*Pets’ names have been changed

vethelpline® experts are not a substitute for your veterinarian. They cannot prescribe or authorize refills of medications, treat, or diagnose your pet’s condition.

Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will

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