What is the benefit of having your pet examined when they are sick?
Why can’t Dr. Google just tell me what is going on?
There are many online sites that will give veterinary advice – are they credible is the question you need to ask? There are many sites that are designed to be a service unto themselves, i.e. you pay for their services. You have to know if you are getting advice from an actual veterinarian or is it someone who has no medical education and is giving you advice based on “old wives tales.” Would you fly on an airplane if the pilot was flying based on advice from an online site or would you rather fly with a pilot actually trained to fly the airplane?
So what is involved in an exam at the Glencoe Veterinary clinic? We take a complete history from you – many times asking you questions that seem unrelated –but actually give us information to your pet’s overall health. Next, your pet has 10 body systems we examine: Skin, Gastrointestinal, Cardiac, Lymphatic, Urinary, Reproductive, Muscles and Skeleton, Respiratory, Nervous and the Immune system. We look at how each system is working, is there abnormalities and if there are, what are they and how are they affecting the other systems.
A perfect example of this is a dog that comes to the clinic not wanting to play or eat. Through the history and physical exam, we gather that the dog has a painful back. What we picked up by the physical exam that would have been missed without it, includes the following:
- The legs were numb and the dog was not sure where they were (Nervous system)
- The dog is painful to walk, posture to go to the bathroom and also to lower its head to eat (Muscle and Skeleton system)
- The dog is having a hard time pooping or peeing because his back hurts (Urinary and Gastrointestinal systems)
- The dog is panting due to pain (Respiratory system)
All of these clinical signs can be gathered on a physical exam done in the clinic. We would then treat the dog for back pain.
Now how would this be handled by an on line veterinary site, especially if the advice was being given by an individual without a veterinary degree. The most common thing owners tell us when they bring this type of injured dog in is that the dog is not eating. So without a physical exam the online site may deduct that there was a gastrointestinal problem. The bad thing here is that if a back injury is not treated properly – the dog can progress to becoming paralyzed, not able to walk, which may be a permanent
So we always ask when we hear – “well on-line we were told it is this” – we always want to know – what veterinary college did the person telling you the information graduate from and did they make their diagnosis after examining your pet?
If your pet is sick – have an actual physical exam done to make sure your pet is treated correctly!
The beauty of Christmas comes with several warnings for your pets. The decorative plants you use to celebrate the season may be dangerous to your four-legged friends. As you decorate your home this year, keep in mind these potential dangers:
Severely toxic to dogs and cats. Eating this plant may cause erratic behavior, GI upset like vomiting and diarrhea, trouble breathing and complications with the heart.
Severely toxic to cats. Just 1 – 2 leaves can cause kidney failure. Non-toxic to dogs.
American Holly –
Moderately toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion of this plant may cause vomiting, diarrhea or depression.
Christmas Tree –
Mildly toxic to dogs and cats. The oils from the tree are mildly irritating to the GI system and can cause excessive drooling or vomiting. The needles are not easily digested and may cause vomiting, obstruction or puncture the intestines.
Mildly toxic to dogs and cats. If consumed, nausea or vomiting may be seen.
Keep these plants out of reach of your pets.
If your pet eats any of these plants, please call the clinic to speak with one of our staff members.
You can also check out the toxicity of other plants in your house at the site:
Fall is the most frequent season for accidental rodenticide poising – New mandates by the EPA,Environmental Protection Agency, have reduced and eventually will eliminate ACR, Anticoagulant Rodenticides. This has been the most common mouse/rat poison for many years. Ingestion of ACR’s cause internal bleeding over several days. When a veterinarian treats a patient for accidental eating of an ACR, they were able to use Vitamin K, an effective antidote along with rest and supportive care. With the introduction of new products to the market, this effective way of treating animals is about to disappear.
These two newer rodenticides act much differently in the animal. Bromethalin products – Assault, Tomcat Mole Killer, Clont, Real Kill etc. act on the brain. Neurological signs such as seizures, staggering and eventually coma develop in 2 to 24 hours.
Cholecalciferol products – Tomcat, is one of the most deadly and costly to treat rodenticides. 1 ounce can kill a 70 lb. dog. This product is toxic to the kidneys with signs developing in 1 – 3 days. Signs include increase thirst and urination, weakness, lethargy, no appetite, vomiting, and dehydration. Treatment regiment is several weeks of fluids and monitoring. Prognosis is often very poor due to kidney damage.
Poisoning with rodenticides can be very hazardous to your pet. If your pet consumes any amount of rodenticide, call your veterinarian immediately. It is imperative to know the name of the rodenticide that was used and if possible how much was consumed. Proper treatment as soon as possible and knowing which poison was eaten are critical, now that we are dealing with these new rodenticides on the market