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Educational Articles

Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Icterus is also known as jaundice or yellow jaundice. It refers to an excessive accumulation of a yellow pigment in the blood and tissues. When icterus has been present for any length of time, it will discolor many tissues and will become visible as jaundice on most body surfaces, including the skin.

  • Dogs are curious by nature. They love to investigate new sights, smells and tastes. Unfortunately, this curiosity can lead them into trouble. Dogs are notorious for swallowing paper, tissues, articles of clothing, sticks, wicker, bones, food wrappers, rocks, and other foreign objects. Many of these objects will pass through the intestinal tract without problem.

  • Many people and pets are sensitive to the proteins contained in the saliva or venom of biting insects. The most common clinical signs associated with an insect bite reaction include swelling and redness at the site of the bite, hives or multiple red, raised swellings over the body, a swollen face or muzzle, difficulty breathing and vomiting. Some patients will progress to severe respiratory distress and anaphylactic shock. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and history. Treatment typically consists of removal of the stinger or other insect parts, followed by administration of anti-histamines and anti-inflammatory agents, such as corticosteroids. Future insect bites should be avoided because many reactions worsen with repeated exposure to the offending proteins or toxins.

  • The lens is the transparent structure within the eye that focuses light on the retina, the area where vision occurs. It is a flattened sphere held in place by tiny ligaments around its circumference.

  • Metaldehyde toxicity occurs when a dog (or, less commonly, a cat) eats slug bait that contains metaldehyde. The signs of metaldehyde toxicity include vomiting, anxiety, ataxia (due to muscle incoordination), stiffness, muscle tremors, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, increased salivation, and increased sensitivity to touch. These signs often progress to continuous muscle tremors and seizures. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and history. There is no antidote to metaldehyde; treatment is centered upon decontamination and supportive care. Prognosis is good, with aggressive treatment.

  • Besides making your dinner taste great, onions, garlic, leeks and chives can instigate severe medical problems for your dog. Although clinical signs of illness can occur soon after your dog eats the veggies, symptoms may take days to appear.

  • House paint, art paint, varnishes and other decorative or protective solvents come in many varieties… and most are dangerous to dogs and cats. Water-based paints, the most common, include latex, tempera, and poster paints.

  • Penetrating wounds such as sticks, arrows, or gunshots can be life-threatening though the outer appearance of a wound may not seem as severe. Take immediate steps to calm your pet, stabilize any foreign body that is present, and get your pet to your veterinarian. Surgery may be necessary after your pet is stabilized.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • Porcupines are not aggressive, but they happily defend themselves, their offspring, and their dens if needed. Porcupine quills can puncture the skin and move through muscle, ultimately penetrating into body cavities and internal organs.