Posts Tagged ‘pet emergency’

All owners of newly adopted puppies should be aware of Parvovirus, a serious and potentially fatal disease that can attack pups before they’ve completed their series of “distemper-combo” vaccines.

Winking brown and black puppy

Keep an eye out for signs of Parvovirus in your new puppy.

What is it? “Parvo” is a highly contagious viral disease of dogs that attacks the intestines, heart, and white blood cells.

How is Parvovirus spread? Parvo is spread through direct contact with other dogs and dog feces. However, other animals and people can carry the virus on themselves (through contact with feces) and transmit it to dogs.

What are the signs of Parvovirus?

  • Bloody diarrhea, often with a distinctive foul odor
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever 
  • Dehydration

Which dogs are most at risk?

  • Unvaccinated dogs
  • Puppies between weaning and 6 months old
  • Certain breeds, such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, English Springer Spaniels, pit bull terriers, and black Labrador retrievers
  • Dogs living in high-density housing, such as boarding or breeding kennels, animal shelters, and pet stores
  • Dogs that visit dog parks

What is the treatment? After a special fecal test is used to confirm a positive diagnosis of Parvo, the pet will be hospitalized in an isolation ward (to protect other patients from exposure.)

Since viruses cannot be killed through the use of antibiotics, the pet will receive supportive therapy, aimed at reducing the incidents of vomiting and diarrhea, and replenishing fluids and nutrients.

In many cases, pups with Parvo also have parasites (such as Roundworms or Hookworms), which can worsen the pet’s condition. In those cases, treatment will include worming.

Antibiotics may also be given to prevent the onset of opportunistic bacterial infections.

What are the odds of survival?

Dogs diagnosed with Parvo have the best chance of survival with immediate and intensive care. Due to the life-threatening nature of the disease, it cannot be adequately treated in a home environment.

Dogs that survive the first 3 to 4 days of illness have a good chance of recovery.

Pups less than 4 months old are at highest risk for severe illness. Less common these days is sudden death due to inflammation of the heart (myocarditis.)

It is important to note that even with appropriate treatment, Parvovirus can cause death, especially in young dogs. No veterinarian can guarantee a positive outcome.

Dogs that recover from a bout of Parvo may have permanent damage to their intestines and possibly the heart.

How can I protect my dog from Parvovirus?

  • Make sure your pet receives its annual Parvo vaccine (often contained within the distemper-combo shot.)
  • Because not every pet will develop the proper immunity to disease after vaccination, be cautious about letting your dog around other pets.
  • Do not let your dog sniff or come in contact with other dogs’ droppings, and always dispose of your pet’s waste.
  • Pay attention to bulletins warning about Parvo outbreaks in city dog parks.
  • If possible, keep dogs under 3 months of age away from other dogs altogether.

What if my dog has been infected already?

  • Assuming your pet is in treatment at a hospital or has unfortunately passed away, now is the time to disinfect the home environment.
  • Parvovirus can live outside the host animal for many months. Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, typically recommends against bringing new animals into the household for a period of at least 6 months.
  • To disinfect the home, mix 1 part bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) to 30 parts water and thoroughly clean the areas where the pet lived. Be aware that the bleach solution may alter or damage certain materials.
  • Discard food and water bowls, toys, collars and leashes.
  • If the pet is deceased, arrange for cremation. Do not bury the pet in your yard.

Resources for this article:
What you should know about Canine Parvovirus Infection, an AVMA publication.
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult, Canine and Feline, Larry P. Tilley, DVM and Francis W. K. Smith, Jr., DVM
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice, Stephen J. Birchard, DVM and Robert J. Sherding, DVM
Photo credit: Dominika Roseclay via Pexels.com


This article was originally posted on August 8, 2012.

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Warmer days are here, which means reptiles are ready to have their day[s] in the sun. This means that your dog or cat could get up close and personal with a snake while sniffing around outside. 

Copperhead snake in leaf litter

This copperhead snake blends in well with the leaves at York River State Park.

Cities in Hampton Roads (including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth) are home to a variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes.

Non-venomous snakes can certainly bite if threatened and the bite can be painful. Local types include the garter snake, rat snake, watersnake, greensnake, and more.

Venomous snakes, which pack a powerful dose of toxin in their bite, include the copperhead, canebrake (or timber) rattlesnake, and the cottonmouth (aka water moccasin). Their bite is dangerous and is considered an emergency.

The copperhead, canebrake rattlesnake, and cottonmouth are known for their patterns of brown, tan, and black colors — but did you know that other snakes have similar coloring, especially when young?

When attempting to identify a snake, it can be helpful to look for a triangular-shaped head, which indicates a venomous snake — but not everyone wants to get that close.

The Virginia Herpetological Society maintains a list of snakes found in the state, along with maps of their common habitats across Virginia, and photos to help with indentification. Check it out here:
https://virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/snakes/snakes_of_virginia.html

For information on what to do if your pet is bitten by a snake and how to help prevent encounters with snakes, visit https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/evr_dg_snake_bites_and_dogs.

If you believe your pet has been bitten by a snake, contact your local veterinary emergency hospital right away!

Do not attempt to handle a snake yourself. Call a critter control company to safely remove snakes from your home or yard.


Photo credit: Virginia State Parks / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

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The American Red Cross has designated April
as Pet First Aid Awareness Month.

Every home should have a first aid kit for people. Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, says pet owners should also have a special kit for their furry family members. You can put together your own kit (using a watertight container) with these items:

  • Veterinarian’s contact information
  • Emergency veterinary hospital contact information
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Gauze rolls
  • Soft muzzle
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Cold pack
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rags or rubber tubing
  • Blanket or towel

Just as important as having the kit,
is knowing how to use it.
See the Suggested Reading section below
for resources on first aid techniques at home.

Nationwide Pet Insurance provides these tips on knowing how to respond in an emergency:

“While it’s important not to self-diagnose your pet’s symptoms, you must first determine the situation. Next, stabilize your pet, then take him to the veterinarian, who will want to know what happened and when, and if your pet is feeling worse, better or the same since the incident occurred.”

Note that First Aid does not mean you provide all the medical care at home in a true emergency. However, there are occasions, such as in heat stroke or burns, where some home treatment is necessary to stabilize the pet in order to transport him safely to the hospital.

Ask for your copy of “First Aid for Your Pet” [brochure; while supplies last] or purchase a first aid book, such as one from the list below.

Suggested reading:

The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats

Cat First Aid by the American Red Cross

Dog First Aid by the American Red Cross

Need to Know Now:
BluePearl Emergency Pet Hospital…..………757-499-5463
Pet Poison Helpline…………………………………….1-855-764-7661
(fee charged to your credit card)
Nationwide Pet Insurance…………………………1-888-899-4874


This post originally published June 24, 2011. Links updated.

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Dear Clients,

As the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 [aka novel Coronavirus] continues to rise in Hampton Roads, we are compelled to increase our protective measures — both for our clients and ourselves and as a matter of public health.

The following restrictions are currently in place:

*We cannot accept walk-ins for pet care or food & medication refills.

*Refill orders must be placed by phone; a pick-up time will be determined, and we will deliver the items to you at your vehicle in our parking lot. Please have your payment ready.

*Clients are asked to remain in their vehicle while their pet is seen by the doctor. If the pet is not comfortable in its owner’s absence, we will reschedule the visit.

*From this point, we are scheduling visits to take place in late April and beyond. We will continue to assess the local numbers of COVID-19, and make further decisions about whether or when to close the clinic and postpone all visits.

*In the event of an emergency, contact Blue Pearl Pet Hospital at 757-499-5463.

Other notes you may need:

*Our FAX machine is offline and unable to receive documents. Please route all documents through our email: littlecreekvet@live.com 

*Registered clients should Contact Us with any questions or concerns.

As much as possible:

STAY HOME, STAY SAFE AND BE WELL!

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Pyometra is a potentially fatal disease of female dogs and cats that can be prevented through ovariohysterectomy surgery [spay], in which the pet’s ovaries and uterus are removed. Intact (non-spayed) females are at risk for pyometra, which often presents 1-2 months after estrus [heat cycle]. Elevated hormone levels can lead to greater than normal secretions in the uterus, providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

Affected pets may have an “open” pyometra, in which pus, mucus, and blood may be seen draining from the vulva. Alternately, in a “closed” infection, the accumulated pus does not drain, and the pet may show more severe signs of illness. Symptoms of pyometra can include lethargyanorexia, depression, and excessive thirst. Additionally, pets with ”closed” infections may exhibit vomiting and diarrhea, shock, and collapse. However, fever is not always present.

In most cases, spay surgery is the preferred remedy for pyometra. Due to the illness, the risks of surgery are elevated because the infected organ must be removed from the body without introducing its contents to the body cavity. Adding to the risk is the pet’s poor general health as a result of the infection. For these reasons, prevention through early spay surgery is recommended.

Infected dog uterus and two normal uteri

 

If your female dog or cat has not been spayed and is showing signs of illness, especially after a recent heat cycle, talk to your veterinarian about whether pyometra is a concern.

 Glossary

  • anorexia – loss of appetite
  • estrus – the portion of the reproductive cycle in which female animals will accept a mate; “heat”
  • intact – not spayed or castrated
  • lethargy – tiredness, reluctance to move or engage in normal activity
  • ovariohysterectomy – surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus; “spay” surgery
  • pyometra – infection of the uterus
  • vulva – the external female genitals

Resources:
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice (Birchard, Sherding)
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary (Blood, Studdert)


This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you believe your pet is exhibiting signs of illness or injury, contact your regular veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital right away.

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Typical broken New Year’s Resolutions:

eat less
exercise more
stop smoking
be kinder to mother-in law

Now here’s a resolution you can keep:
Protect your pet with veterinary pet insurance.

Pet insurance

If your pet is healthy and active, you may not believe that insurance is necessary. But this is actually the best time to buy pet insurance. Here’s why:

*Will you get a telegram announcing that a pet emergency is on the way? No!
Pet injuries and accidents are often unforseen, which means that your healthy, active pet could suddenly wind up in the emergency hospital with a treatment bill totalling in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Wouldn’t you like to have help footing the bill? Of course you would!

*If your pet is diagnosed with a chronic illness, your insurance options will become limited.
Don’t count on pet insurance companies agreeing to cover pre-existing conditions. Most won’t. Get your pet protected before it develops disease, so that you’ll have help covering the costs of treatment.

Remember: although many illnesses and injuries are unpredictable, it’s a pretty safe bet that the longer your pet lives, the more likely it is to develop an illness — like kidney, liver, or heart disease. You don’t have to handle those long-term care expenses on your own — if you opt to insure your pet before it develops disease.

*Pet insurance premiums tend to be lower for young, healthy pets.
Who doesn’t want to save money these days? And you can opt for coverage for routine care items, such as vaccines, heartworm and flea control, spay/neuter surgery, and annual lab tests. Preventive care is an important part of keeping your pet healthy — and pet insurance can help you pay for that, too!

So where do you start?

Check out these companies, all licensed to insure pets in Virginia:

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Pets Best

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Trupanion

Brochures for these companies are available at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.


This post originally appeared on January 16, 2014.

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Is pet-pilling time the most dreaded time of
your day? Let’s talk about it!

Pills spilling out of blue vial


When a sick or injured pet is non-cooperative at dosing time, it can lead to less-than-ideal outcomes, such as delayed recovery or worsening of a medical problem — not to mention the stress suffered by the pet owner.

 

However, a non-cooperative pet is not the only reason that medications may not be given as prescribed.
Some of the top reasons pet owners may not be giving medications as directed are:

  • forgetfulness / distraction
  • worry of side effects
  • inability to understand instructions
  • inability to administer medicine due to physical limitations
  • inability to administer medicine due to scheduling conflicts
  • inability to administer medicine due to pet’s character
  • the pet’s refusal to accept medication due to size of tablet or objectionable flavor
  • the pet’s apparent improvement before the course of treatment has been completed

It is important to inform the veterinarian that a medication has not been given as instructed, so that you can work as a team to come up with a solution.  

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, also advises:

  • Make sure you understand all instructions given to you, including dosage amount, frequency of administration, what to do if you forget to give a dose, whether it’s okay to combine different drugs, and whether to give the medication with food or on an empty stomach.
  • Ask questions about anything you do not understand. If you get home and realize you have a question, call the veterinarian ASAP.
  • Request easy-open (non-childproof) containers when needed.
  • Ask for a typed copy of instructions not already included on the pill container.
  • If you cannot give your pet its medication at all (especially if you fear being bitten), tell the doctor right away, so that any other treatment options can be considered.

Let us know how we can better serve you when we dispense medications.

  • Do you need a large-print version of all instructions?
  • If a choice is available, would you prefer liquid or tablet medications?
  • Would you like a dosing demonstration?
  • Would you like a written timetable to coordinate administering multiple drugs?
  • Would smaller quantities help? It can be budget-friendly.
  • Would you like recommendations on flavorful pill concealers or other tricks to improve the taste of medications?

What are your concerns about administering medications to your pet? Registered clients, please Contact Us.


Bonus Content — We found this pet pilling demo on YouTube: How to Give Your Pet a Pill.


This article was originally posted on July 20, 2012.

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During the holidays, batteries abound, because so many of the gadgets we buy for ourselves and our loved ones run on AA, D-cells, 9-volts, button batteries, and more.

But if those shiny objects look like candy to your dog or cat, you could be in for a shock: batteries can cause painful burns and ulcers inside your pet and may require a special procedure to remove them if they become lodged in your pet’s body.

remote control with batteries

Has the remote become your pet’s new favorite chew toy? That could be a real problem!

Alkaline batteries, which are often used to power common items like toys, electronics, remote controls, and clocks, contain potassium hydroxide, which can destroy delicate tissues and cause ulcers if ingested. Although early signs of damage can appear within 1-2 hours, further damage can occur over the first 24 hours after contact.† This includes injury from a pet chewing the battery, but not necessarily swallowing the pieces.

Disc batteries, which power hearing aids, watches, car key fobs, greeting cards, toys, and more, are very easy for your pet to swallow whole or chew into small pieces. They can also cause burns and possibly become stuck inside your pet’s body.

As a result of chewing or eating batteries, your pet may need Xrays to locate the pieces, bloodwork to determine how his health may be affected, or a special procedure to remove the battery if it is stuck inside your pet’s body.

Along with testing and any special procedures, your pet’s doctor may prescribe pain medication, antibiotics, fluids, and special medications used to treat ulcers.

†Monitoring for further complications following battery ingestion can last as long as 6 weeks, while pets recover at home.

What you might see if your pet chews or swallows a battery:

  • grey, white, or red burns in your pet’s mouth
  • swelling inside the mouth
  • difficulty eating or swallowing food
  • drooling
  • wheezing / noisy breathing / difficulty breathing
  • vomiting
  • lethargy / reluctance to move
  • pain at the mouth or abdomen

What to do if your dog or cat chews or eats a battery:
Call your local veterinary emergency hospital or animal poison control hotline for guidance [see references below], as soon as you become aware that your pet ate or may have eaten or chewed a battery. Since injury can continue to occur for some time after the initial exposure to potassium hydroxide, immediate action is key to a good outcome. In other words — don’t wait!

Prevent battery snacking!
This holiday season — and all year-round — be mindful of the items within your curious or hungry pet’s reach.

Pets that like to dig through the trash can may chew up a greeting card or used battery they find there. Children’s animatronic stuffed animals may look similar to a pet’s chew toy and pose a danger with their batteries and stuffing.

Take an inventory of each room and try to identify the objects within your pet’s reach, that contain batteries of any type or size. You may be surprised!

Even pets that don’t have a history of eating or chewing non-food items may suddenly develop interest in a new object, according to Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian.

Bottom line: Don’t let battery ingestion be a drain on your pet’s health!

Note: This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you believe your pet is exhibiting signs of illness or injury, contact your regular veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital right away.


Keep these numbers handy for emergencies –
Blue Pearl Emergency [hospital] in Virginia Beach 757-499-5463
Pet Poison Helpline 1-855-764-7661 [$59 fee charged to your credit card*]
ASPCA Animal Poison Control 1-888-426-4435 [a fee may be charged to your credit card]

*This fee is current as of the date of this post.


Link: https://www.aspca.org/news/dangers-batteries-and-your-pets-what-you-should-know

 

 

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Schedule update for November 21

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…Rabies?

Raccoon at water's edge

This raccoon may be carrying the Rabies virus — a disease which is fatal in people and animals.

Simply put: If your pet is not up-to-date on its Rabies vaccination and is bitten by a wild animal (raccoon, skunk, fox, bat, or feral cat, for example), it may need to be euthanized.

[Virginia’s positive Rabies cases from January – September 2019 includes 138 raccoons, 51 skunks, 31 foxes, 22 cats, and 17 bats.]¹

There is no test for Rabies that can be performed on a live animal.

There is no cure for Rabies.

Rabies kills animals and people.

Protect your pets and your family by vaccinating all your cats and dogs (including the “indoor-only” types).

Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to check your pet’s Rabies vaccination status and to schedule a booster vaccine appointment, if needed.


¹http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/12/2019/10/2019_3rd-Qtr-Positives-1.pdf

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons

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