Dr. Amanda Slider of TVV Decatur Emergency provides us with very critical pet healthcare information...
Most pets will experience some type of emergency medical condition in their lifetime. Below are the most common pet emergencies and a few tips on how to prevent a potential crisis. Always contact The Village Vets Decatur Emergency immediately, 24-hrs a day, seven days a week, if you have any questions or concerns about your pet. (404-371-0111)
- Vomiting and diarrhea – Vomiting and diarrhea is usually the result of eating something other than your pet’s normal diet. This can include contents from a trashcan, table scraps, bones, foreign objects, or a diet change. Make sure all trashcans are covered, do not give your dog bones, and always change to a new food gradually over 1-2 weeks.
- Soft tissue trauma - Soft tissues include the skin, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Trauma to these tissues can occur from pets being hit by a car, animal fights, strains, and any other type of injury. Protect your pet by preventing him from dangers leading to trauma.
- Toxins – Toxins include household chemical ingestions, rat poison, chocolate, human medications, plants, antifreeze, and more. Make sure your dog does not have access to cleaning chemicals or empty bottles. Do not allow your dog access to Halloween candy, cookies, and other sweets. Semi-sweet baking chocolate can be especially dangerous. Check all plants before bringing them into your home. Buy antifreeze products that do not contain ethylene glycol and are labeled as "pet" safe.
- Fractures – Most fractures are the result of being hit by a car, jumping from high heights, or other types of trauma. Walk your dogs on a leash, keep them in a fenced area, do not allow them to ride in the bed of a truck, and when traveling secure your pet in a carrier or use a pet approved seat-belt.
- Lacerations– Lacerations most often occur from dog fights, being hit by a car, or pets stepping on glass, nails or other sharp objects in the yard. Check your yard and fence periodically for possible hazards. Protect your pet by ensuring that he does not run unrestricted. Keep him in a fenced in yard or on a leash.
- Parvovirus – Parvo is a contagious virus causing infection in dogs and puppies. The disease can vary from mild to fatal if not treated appropriately. It is caused by ingestion of infected dog feces and is most common in unvaccinated puppies. Keep all puppies at home and do not visit dog parks or pet stores until they have completed their vaccine series. This disease can be easily prevented.
- GI foreign bodies - “Foreign bodies" are objects your pet may eat which can get stuck in their mouth, stomach or intestines. This is most common seen in puppies. When choosing chew toys, make sure they are durable and don't have parts that can pull off easily. Also make sure all laundry is put away, children’s toys are picked up, and sewing needles are out of reach from cats. Common foreign bodies include: socks, coins, underwear, ribbon, needles, pacifiers, and toys.
- Feline urinary obstruction – Feline urinary obstruction is an acute obstruction of the urinary tract most commonly affecting male cats. It can be caused by stones, but is usually due to a plug of inflammatory debris and crystals. The underlying cause is sometimes unknown but it may be related to a urinary tract infection, stress, genetic factors, diet, or viruses. Provide clean litter box at all times, plenty of fresh drinking water, maintain a healthy body weight, canned diet to encourage extra water intake, and minimize stress in the environment.
- Bloat/GDV - Bloat is a life-threatening condition caused by rotation of the stomach. Signs can include a suddenly distended abdomen, non-productive vomiting, and weakness. The underlying cause is often unknown however there is an increased incidence in large breed dogs. Ways to decrease the chance of occurrence is to feed more than one meal a day, do not allow your dog to over eat, and avoid exercise after meals.
- Heatstroke – Heatstroke is a condition that occurs from an extremely high body temperature. The most common cause is keeping a dog in a hot car and strenuous exercise on a hot, humid summer day. Signs can vary from heavy panting, collapse, and weakness to death. Visit the dog park in the evening, always bring water, and if you suspect your dog is having early signs of heatstroke wet them down with water immediately.