Posts Tagged ‘seizures’

By Dr. Marc for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
(Shared by permission)

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

First let’s start with clarifying what shivering (or trembling) is versus what a seizure is.
A seizure is when the dog suddenly loses all body control, paddling their legs, jerking or convulsing. It can last for a number of minutes. To learn more, visit Dr. Fiona’s blog post on dog seizures.
Shivering is when a dog can make eye contact with you and respond to you, but its body is shaking. Shivering can vary from minimally, to a lot, but the dog still has control of its body.

6 Reasons Your Dog May Shiver

1) The most common reason a dog shivers is due to being cold. A normal dog’s temperature may be as high as 102.5 F. Since a dog’s body is warmer than a persons, just touching your dog won’t accurately let you know if they’re cold or not. So be careful during the winter months with dogs being outside, especially little dogs.

2) Dogs shiver due to anxiety or fear. Thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or any type of environmental change can cause dogs anxiety or fear. If your dog has severe shivering and anxiety in these situations, they may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication during the stressful periods. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate your therapeutic options.

[Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, recommends natural supplements to help with storm stress. Already a client? Contact Us to learn more.]

3) Dogs shiver with excitement. For example there may be a squirrel outside they really want to go chase. Or before being fed, they see the food going in the bowl and they start shivering with anticipation.

4) Dogs shiver because it’s a learned behavior. This occurs when a dog shivers and it results in a desired response. For example, every time Fluffy shivers, mom says, “poor Fluffy.” Fluffy then gets picked up, wrapped in a blanket and showered with attention. Fluffy quickly learns that just by shivering she gets the attention she wants.

5) Shivering can result from medical and physiologic problems. The pain or illness can cause dogs to shiver. It’s important to find the underlying problem so that it can be addressed. In addition to shivering from the pain, the pain itself can induce anxiety in the dog, resulting in more shivering.

6) There are also some toxins that can cause a convulsive response in the animal. This convulsive like behavior could be misconstrued as shivering, when in reality it may be a much more serious issue.
If your dog’s shivering seems out of the ordinary, or like it’s resulting from a serious issue, you need to visit your veterinarian. They can help if there is a medical issue or possibly prescribe medication to help.

Pet insurance makes necessary veterinary care more affordable; Pets Best Insurance reimburses you off your veterinary bill, from 70% to 100%! Considering Pets Best? Read pet insurance reviews here.

This article originally appeared on the Pets Best blog here.

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With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Let your dog chill out this summer!

For long-time readers of this blog, this post on heat stroke looks familiar. Why? Because I’ve been posting it nearly every year since 2010. Every year, pets suffer heat stroke, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So I’ll keep repeating this column until heat stroke in pets is a thing of the past.

And now, without further ado:

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your ex-boyfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Here’s a super-cool idea: Check your dog into Happy Tails Resort
in Norfolk and let her enjoy the indoor swimming pool and play area!

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

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This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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With daily high temperatures in the 80s and 90s,
it’s time for a reminder on how to prevent deadly heat stroke in pets.

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Let your dog chill out this summer!

Heat Stroke in Pets

Do you know how to protect your pets from heat stroke during the muggy days of summer?  This goes beyond the usual caveat of “never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your girlfriend, etc.  Here are some tips to keep your pet safe in the yard or out and about:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Here’s a super-cool idea: Check your dog into Happy Tails Resort
in Norfolk and let her enjoy the indoor swimming pool and play area!

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  

Bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.] 

Apply ice packs to his head and neck. 

Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk of Heat Stroke?

Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others. All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency.  If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, we recommend taking him to the nearest emergency hospital for comprehensive care.

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

****************************************************************************************
This article was originally published on July 28, 2010.

Photo credit: By Leif Skoogfors (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Will your pet's next meal come from the trashcan?

Will your pet’s next meal come from the trashcan?

If your dog gets into the trash, he could be in for more trouble than just a tummy ache. Moldy compost or garbage — especially grains, nuts, dairy, pasta, bread, and other foods — can cause a severe illness in pets known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis.

Let’s break that down:

Tremorgenic refers to a substance that causes tremors (severe shaking and trembling).

Mycotoxins are poisons released by fungi (mold), and mycotoxicosis is the resultant illness.

In some cases, the tremors are so severe that they resemble seizures. The pet can also develop a high fever, along with excessive panting and salivating. Also look for vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and lethargy. These signs can occur anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the pet has eaten the moldy and rotting food.

Once begun, tremors can last from hours to days, and immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent lasting damage. Dogs are more commonly affected than other household pets because of their tendency to get into the trash, but all pets that scavenge outdoors are at risk of eating spoiled foods.

Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is considered an emergency. The affected pet will likely undergo blood tests and urinalysis, in part to rule in or out other possible causes of illness. Special laboratory tests can determine whether the pet is positive for certain mycotoxins, but those tests are not available at all locations.

Treatment of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is often based on known or suspected garbage ingestion. There is no antidote to the fungal toxins, so treatment consists of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system, relaxing tremorous muscles, relieving the symptoms of illness and allowing the body to recuperate. With treatment, pets may recover within 1-4 days, although some pets may be affected for weeks or months afterward.

Prevention of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is a matter of removing opportunity: keep pets out of compost piles and garbage, and never throw moldy foods or vegetable waste into the yard.

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This post first appeared on February 19, 2013.

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Springtime is around the corner, and already we are seeing new litters of pups.
Whether you plan to breed your female dog, or she becomes pregnant by the roving Romeo up the street, you should know about eclampsia.

Eclampsia (also known as hypocalcemia, milk fever, and puerperal tetany) is a life-threatening imbalance of calcium in a lactating (milk-producing) dog.
Lactating female dogs need an adequate amount of calcium in their diet to replace the calcium lost through nursing their pups.
If you suspect your dog is pregnant, or you plan to breed her, ask your veterinarian about your dog’s nutritional needs. In non-lactating dogs, too much calcium can also lead to a dangerous imbalance, so check with the vet before adding calcium to your pet’s diet.

Fast Facts:

  • Small dogs with large litters are at greatest risk.
  • Any breed can be affected, but small and toy breeds experience eclampsia more often than large breed dogs.
  • There is a higher incidence in first litters, but eclampsia can recur in later litters, also.
  • The onset of signs is usually sudden and severe.
  • Eclampsia typically occurs 1 to 4 weeks after whelping (giving birth), but it has also occurred in dogs just before whelping and late into nursing.
  • To aid in your dog’s recovery, you may be advised to hand-feed the pups until weaning.
  • Eclampsia is rare in cats.

What to look for:

  • Restlessness, anxiety, excessive panting, whining
  • Staggering or stiff gait (manner of walking)
  • Muscle tremors, convulsions, seizures
  • Rigid legs
  • Hyperthermia (greatly increased body temperature)

What’s the worst that can happen?
Delayed treatment or neglect can lead to coma, cerebral edema (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain), and death.

Suspected eclampsia should be treated as an emergency.

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Will your pet's next meal come from the trashcan?

Will your pet’s next meal come from the trashcan?

If your dog gets into the trash, he could be in for more trouble than just a tummy ache. Moldy compost or garbage — especially grains, nuts, dairy, pasta, bread, and other foods — can cause severe illness in pets known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis.

Let’s break that down:

Tremorgenic refers to a substance that causes tremors (severe shaking and trembling).

Mycotoxins are poisons released by fungi (mold), and mycotoxicosis is the resultant illness.

In some cases, the tremors are so severe that they resemble seizures. The pet can also develop a high fever, along with excessive panting and salivating. Also look for vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and lethargy. These signs can occur anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the pet has eaten the moldy and rotting food. Once begun, tremors can last from hours to days, and immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent lasting damage. Dogs are more commonly affected than other household pets because of their tendency to get into the trash, but all pets that scavenge outdoors are at risk of eating spoiled foods.

Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is considered an emergency. The affected pet will likely undergo blood tests and urinalysis, in part to rule in or out other possible causes of illness. Special laboratory tests can determine whether the pet is positive for certain mycotoxins, but those tests are not available at all locations.

Treatment of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is often based on known or suspected garbage ingestion. There is no antidote to the fungal toxins, so treatment consists of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system, relaxing tremorous muscles, relieving the symptoms of illness and allowing the body to recuperate. With treatment, pets may recover within 1-4 days, although some pets may be affected for weeks or months afterward.

Prevention of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is a matter of removing opportunity: keep pets out of compost piles and garbage, and never throw moldy foods or vegetable waste into the yard.

Read Full Post »