Posts Tagged ‘pet emergency’

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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Cough, Gasp, Blurp – Causes of Vomiting in Dogs and Cats

White and tan English Bulldog on black rug

Did your best friend get sick on the carpet again? Let’s talk about it! [Photo by Pixabay via Pexels]

By Morris Animal Foundation

Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a pet leaving a gift on the carpet/bed/laundry? If you own a dog or cat (or both), chances are you’ve had to clean up something your pet has brought up.

Although many pets experience an occasional episode of vomiting, it also can be a sign of many serious diseases. In addition, regurgitation can be mistaken for vomiting. The two are not synonymous and point toward different underlying problems. It’s important for owners to know the difference, and to know the various causes of vomiting and regurgitation to determine when a trip to the veterinarian is needed and when it isn’t.

The difference between these two activities all boils down to the problem’s anatomic location; esophagus for regurgitation and abdomen for vomiting.

The esophagus is a long tube stretching from the neck through the chest, emptying into the stomach. No digestion takes place in the esophagus, but it’s considered part of the digestive tract. The oral cavity also is part of the digestive system, but most diseases in this area don’t cause either regurgitation or vomiting.

The main business parts of the digestive tract are contained in the abdomen and include the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, cecum and anus. Problems in any of these areas can result in vomiting.

Knowing the anatomy helps understand the signs typically seen when problems occur in a specific area of the digestive tract.

Signs of regurgitation include:
*Passive expulsion of material – usually a pet lowers their head and material comes out
*No signs of nausea such as lip smacking or salivation
*Undigested food or other ingested material is common
*Occasionally frothy, foamy material is noted

Signs of vomiting include:
*Retching
*Nausea and salivation
*Contents can range from undigested to partially digested food, to liquid
*Expulsion is active and contents are often propelled with force
*Presence of bile

While taking a video of your pet can be helpful in guiding your veterinarian toward the best diagnostic tests, owners usually can’t respond quickly enough to catch the pet in the moment (while they are trying to get their pet off the carpet) or the owner isn’t present.

Unfortunately, most pet owners just find a pile of something on the floor and don’t witness the event itself. However gross, it’s important to note the characteristics of the material. This includes:

*The color of the material, paying special attention to the presence of red blood, dried blood (which looks like coffee grounds), bile (which is yellow), or brown, foul smelling material
*The presence or absence of food and if it’s digested or undigested
*The presence or absence of foreign material
*The presence or absence of lots of saliva or foam

Before we move on, we need to make a quick detour and talk about esophageal foreign bodies. As many of us know, dogs often don’t chew things 100 times as our grandmothers suggested – they often swallow food, toys and other objects after just a few bites. Occasionally, items are simply too large to pass through the esophagus into the stomach. Dogs with esophageal foreign bodies will salivate a lot, gag, paw at their mouth and retch – they can look a lot like a nauseous dog but their problem is esophageal.

This brings us to one of the most common questions heard by veterinarians and their staff – when is vomiting an emergency and when can a pet owner wait and watch?

As mentioned above, esophageal foreign bodies are an emergency. The vast majority of owners either witness their dog (cats rarely eat something too big!) eat something and then start gagging, or their dog is so clearly distressed they immediately seek veterinary care.

Other times, owners should seek veterinary care, is if there is blood in the vomitus; if a pet is vomiting and seems depressed, lethargic or has stopped eating; if vomiting/gagging/regurgitating is prolonged and severe; or if vomiting is intermittent but lasts longer than one week. A pet that vomits once or twice and seems bright and alert is one the owner can monitor closely.


Registered client? Contact Us with questions about your pet.


Morris Animal Foundation has funded a large list of studies looking for answers to the diverse diseases associated with vomiting in dogs and cats, including viral infections such as parvovirus in both dogs and cats, kidney disease and cancer. But there are still many unanswered questions. We need your help to find better ways to help our dogs and cats have better, healthier lives. Learn more about the scope of the studies we fund as well as our history and commitment to advancing animal health.

Original article can be found here.

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