Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?

9.09% survey participants checked cuts and abrasions as an emergency.



This is the kind of scenario where common sense should rule. You wouldn't rush your kid to an emergency with a scraped knee, and you don't need to do that with your dog either. But ...

"An abrasion is a wound caused by superficial damage to the skin ...." ~wikipedia

Abrasions further break down into three grades ranging from scrapes/grazes to avulsions. An avulsion refers to a surface trauma where all the layers of the skin have been torn away, exposing the underlying tissues. In other words, an abrasion can be a mild injury or a substantial trauma.

While a superficial skin damage is not an emergency, skin ripped away and revealing muscles, tendons or bone would be.


Not because it is in itself life-threatening but being taken care of properly is imperative.

This would be particularly true if a dog suffered an avulsion as a result of falling off or out of the vehicle, or other, similar scenarios where further, more serious injuries are possible even though not readily apparent.

Jumping or falling out of a vehicle, being in a car accident, falling off heights, etc. are always an emergency regardless of how minor the injuries might look.


It should indeed be common sense to evaluate the injuries as you can see them as well as what led up to them.

I'd like to note that chronic injuries to feet and foot pads, while not an emergency, should be evaluated. Foot pads can suffer from chronic exposure to hard, abrasive, or hot surfaces, the tops of the feet might keep being injured from neurological deficits.

Similar distinctions need to be made when it comes to cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds.


How did the injury happen? How much bleeding is there? How deep is the wound? Could there be a foreign body left in the wound?

Is is quite easy to underestimate how deep a cut might be.


There is also a limited window during which such a wound can be expertly sutured or glued. Many veterinarians recommend having all cuts seen and tended to.

It's also important to keep in mind that the odds of such wound getting infected are high.

With cuts and abrasions, use good sense. It is better to overestimate the potential damage than the alternative.


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Adoption Monday: Tali, Rottweiler Mix, Toronto, ON

Tali urgently needs an experienced foster home.


Having to remain in a shelter is very stressful for Tali.

Tali can get extremely excited when meeting new people and will jump and lunge. The hope is that in a home environment with a family who understands the larger breeds and is also familiar with fear based behaviors, she will settle down.

Tali does not like to be put back in her kennel. Because of her anxiety and fear of her surroundings, she needs an experienced foster home willing to take her under their wing and help her to learn some manners with nothing but positive reinforcement training.

***

ANML-RESQ is a dedicated group of volunteers looking out for the 4-legged creatures we share this world with. Their goal is to save a dog or cat from being euthanized in a shelter, through no fault of their own - just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they don't have a foster home available they will work with other reputable organizations to find a place.

ANML-RESQ relies solely on donations and fundraisers to spay/neuter, vaccinate and microchip their pets prior to adoption.  They don't even use funds for gas to transport the pets in their program to their new homes!




Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Dog Body Language Quiz You Must Take

Every now and then I decide to help with one survey or another just to find that they are way too time consuming, cumbersome and simply annoying. Then I stay away from them until I forget what pain it was the last time and do it again in the attempt to be helpful.


This quiz, though, is short and sweet and you can learn a lot about how well you understand your dog or dogs in general. They did an awesome job on it and I recommend every dog parent take it.

I made hubby take it and I was very proud how much I taught him over the years.

Take the quiz here.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles: Different Approaches to Pet Medicine, AHDS, and more

Pet X Talks - Dr. Patrick Mahaney - Understanding the Different Approaches to Pet Medicine

Dr. Patrick Mahaney


Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS) – A Cause of Bloody Feces in Dogs

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

You might be familiar with this problem under the label of Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). Don't you just love when they change what they call things? Though I suppose this new label is more descriptive of the problem. The way diseases are named has to do a lot with describing the problem rather than explaining it. In fact, when it comes to AHDS, the true cause of AHDS has not been determined. The present thinking is that the evil behind it is clostridium bacteria.

So how much blood is there? If you're thinking a dog diarrhea with a few drops of blood in it, that is not it. With hemorrhagic diarrhea, there is ay more blood than that. Lots of it. Enough to be deadly.

Bloody diarrhea characteristic of acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome. Photo CriticalCareDVM

"Many pet parents describe the feces as pure blood" ~Dr. Byers

If your dog is pooping blood, it's an emergency.

Read Dr. Byers' great article explaining
acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome.


When pet owners are blind to blindness

Dr. Marty Becker

I'd like to think that if my dog started having vision problems that I'd notice it right away. But would I? I remember a story from one of Dr. Stanley Coren's books about a dog who quietly went blind without anybody knowing until they took him to a groomer who trimmed his whiskers. [I so wish groomers didn't do that.]

You see, until then, the dog was relying on his whiskers as a blind man on a cane. The whiskers let him know when he was close to objects. By reacting to subtle changes in air currents, the canine whiskers provide important information about nearby objects. But then he got groomed for show and started stumbling around, bumping into everything and overall became quite scared and miserable. It wasn't until then when his owners found out he was blind.


I imagine, like with many issues, the more gradual the onset, the better everybody adapts without really noticing until the status quo suddenly changes.

"I’ve had a dog of my own who went blind, probably starting days to weeks before I noticed." ~Dr. Marty Becker

Read Dr. Becker's story and advice here.


Should you give your dog Vitamin C?

Dr. Karen Louis

An important takeaway point is that dogs can synthesize vitamin C. While for people, vitamin C is an essential nutrient, it is not so with dogs. For that reason, a healthy dog does not need any vitamin C supplementation.

Dr. Louis is making a strong point when such supplementation can do more harm than good, particularly in young puppies. I fully agree with that. Based on my integrative dog nutrition course, though, I believe that there are times when vitamin C can become conditionally essential and should be supplemented in cases when production is insufficient either because the liver is unable to produce enough. This can happen when liver function is impaired either due to disease, age or when the demand is higher than the liver can keep up with.

I do believe that there is a time and place for vitamin C supplementation but needs to be way more discriminate than taking it yourself. I would not supplement it without discussing the need with a vet. It certainly isn't one of those "the more the merrier" situations.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?

87.88% survey participants checked the inability to urinate as an emergency. What did you check?



What can cause the inability to urinate? The causes break down into two groups. One of them is urinary tract obstruction, either due to a blockage, inflammation or compression of the urethra. The problem behind this can be

  • urinary tract stones
  • tumors
  • urinary disease
  • prostate disease in male dogs ...


The other category involves what is referred to as functional urinary retention, caused by a dysfunction, rather than an obstruction. This can be neurologic or systemic in nature.

A dog unable to empty their bladder is an emergency.


Balloon pop from overinflation. Image Science Amino

Urine buildup can lead to kidney failure, electrolyte issues or bladder rupture. All of these things can be fatal.


Note: "A dog straining to urinate might actually look like a conctipated dog, hunching over while urinating." ~petmd

Signs to watch for, other than difficulty urinating, include distended bladder, weak urine stream, urine leakage, blood in urine, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and pain.


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.
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