Marci Sorrell | Indy Week

Marci Sorrell 
Member since May 11, 2017


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Re: “Poisoning our pets

Because of a few comments from 2017, I wrote the following believing the article was a recent post. I'm sure Lucy is long gone now, but I'm still posting my comment in case it's helpful to others who might come across it years later, like I did.

I'm so sorry that your little dog suffered so much (and that you experienced such anxiety) from your neighbors' use of the pesticide. My husband and I have two little girls of our own whom we couldn't possibly love more than we do. These precious little beings, who are alone among living creatures in that they love their people more than they love themselves, give us such joy. I can imagine how agonizing this was for you. And it sounds as if you're extremely fortunate that your little one pulled through. I found your article while seeking to verify something I believed to be correct regarding another toxin which has a relatively low risk to dogs, but a much higher one for cats. I had just read an article about using the pesticide pyrethrin in order to kill gnats. The author stated that the toxin poses no risk to pets, and I felt compelled to let the author know of the potential danger, especially since the writer asks for corrections. I feel sure that he wouldn't want to cause harm to a pet. I'm with you in avoiding the use of chemicals as often as possible because they can be so dangerous. Anyway, I appreciate your post, and am so relieved there was a happy ending to your story. As a side note, our older dog is nearly 15 and tore her ACL a few years ago. I didn't want to resort to surgery for her because I was scared to have her put under general anesthesia. We decided on a route involving a combination of rest and the administration of a supplement of glucosamine and chondroitin. It was a long road back to full health for her, but she did very well. Ever since, we've continued giving both of our pups, Simi and Elphie, a supplement which also has other beneficial ingredients, such as omega 3 and 6, probiotics, various vitamins and minerals, etc. We started out with the Missing Link version geared towards joint health, but (because of availability issues down the road) we have since switched to GNC's Superfood Complex Plus Joint Health (sold at PetSmart). I loved Missing Link, but the GNC product is more comprehensive, whereas ML's various offerings are much more limited in their focus (one's for joint health, another's for skin and coat, etc.). You might not have a need for this or you might already treat Lucy's mild arthritis, but I wanted to pass along the info in case it could help Lucy or another reader's pet.

I was about to post my comment, but decided to read the other comments. Some are truly obnoxious and pretty rude. #1. As Sue pointed out, Seven dust's active ingredient is carbaryl, a carbamate. Some national and international health organizations have reported that it can be dangerous to pets (the extent to which is unknown due to insufficient data), but poses a definite risk to children. This has been verified through extensive research. As of 2010, the EPA mandated that carbamates could no longer be included in new flea and tick formulations. If it were entirely safe, this wouldn't have happened. The EPA and the UK's equivalent organization have said the chemical is likely carcinogenic. In Great Britain, only professionals can legally use it. While I agree that Lucy shouldn't have had the opportunity to wander into the neighbors' yard, that doesn't diminish the fact that the pesticide can harm pets and children, at the very least. And the cancer risk is just one among many, including death. I never leave my dogs outside unattended. They're under my husband's or my supervision at all time. I live in Georgia where there are many, many dangers outside. There are no pesticides in our yard, but there often are plenty of snakes, sometimes venomous ones. If one of them was bitten by one without our seeing it, we'd have no idea what happened or especially what antivenin would be needed. That's just one of the reasons we're so protective. My husband and dogs were mere inches from stepping on a copperhead one evening 2 weeks ago (my husband's foot was in the air just inches above it. But there's an unlimited number of hazards outside, especially during the summer. Regardless of Sue's mistake in letting Lucy wander into the neighbors' garden, it's apparent that she's a good and loving pet owner. She sought medical care and did research to figure out what caused the illness. Her diligence saved Lucy's life. And I feel sure that she'll ensure nothing like this will ever happen again. #2. Just because some of you have used Sevin dust on or in the vicinity of pet play areas, that doesn't mean it's guaranteed safe for someone else's pet. Saying such a thing is irresponsible of proponents of Sevin. Like people, different dogs can be affected differently. It's better to be safe than sorry. According to legitimate studies, there's no denying that carbamates can cause health issues in some animals and humans. I love my dogs and choose to leave nothing to chance where their safety is concerned. Their little lives matter far too much to me, and I want them to be part of our family as long as is possible. Some view pets differently, I suppose. That's a shame. Furthermore, Carbaryl can be ingested, absorbed through the skin and inhaled. And it's supposed to be toxic only in higher quantities, but what constitutes a risky level in animals who generally weigh far less than adult humans? And it's possible that a curious dog could eat, breathe AND absorb through the skin this chemical compound. Besides, as Mark Cram mentioned, there are safer alternatives, such as diatomaceous earth. I also thought Cassie Hughes gave some good information. I've never used it, but I've heard good things, as far as its function as a flea preventative, about a product called Springtime Bug Off. The active ingredient is garlic powder. While fresh garlic can sometimes cause problems in some dogs, garlic powder has been found to be safe for them. I suppose fleas are a bit like vampires when it comes to avoiding garlic.

I do agree that special care must be taken when you have pit bulls. I absolutely love the breed, but not everyone does. I've heard some horror stories about evil cretins killing pit bulls or other breeds that frighten ignorant jackasses, not because of anything the dog has ever done, but because of an undeserved reputation resulting from the actions of a few. A couple of years ago, a neighbor poisoned the outside water bowl of our friend's dog, a beautiful, sweet 8 month old Rottweiler. The dog was never unsupervised, and our friend, who is just in his mid 20s, didn't realize that he shouldn't trust that no one had bothered his puppy's water or that his neighbor wasn't a demon who would kill his sweet, innocent dog. It still makes me so sad to think about it.

Some of you need a lesson in diplomacy. It's quite simple to avoid rudeness or hostility when disagreeing with someone or voicing disapproval over how someone cares for a pet. By the attitudes of some of you, you'd think Sue had attacked you personally.

Posted by Marci Sorrell on 05/11/2017 at 3:55 AM

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