Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Pet Tip: Pancreatitis by Kristel Weaver, DVM

Whether you give your pooch leftover hotdogs or he snatches pulled pork that slipped from your friend's plate, eating barbequed, rich, greasy, or unusual items can lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis causes abdominal pain, vomiting, lethargy, poor appetite, and sometimes diarrhea. While some cases are mild, others require hospitalization and aggressive treatment. So ask your guests to keep their barbequed ribs to themselves!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Pet Tip: Heatstroke by Kristel Weaver, DVM

We have discussed this on our blog before, but it is such an important topic that it is worth repeating. Every summer we see dogs with heatstroke. Heatstroke results from significantly elevated body temperature, causing multiple organ failure and potentially death, even with aggressive treatment. A dog with heatstroke will typically pant rapidly, drool, vomit and become weak or mentally unresponsive. 

 Dogs do not sweat the way we do. They cool themselves by evaporating water in their airways through panting. Dogs with shorter noses (e.g., pugs, bulldogs, chows) cannot cool themselves as effectively as other breeds and are more susceptible to heatstroke. High humidity also makes it more difficult for dogs to cool themselves.  

In hot weather it is best to keep your dogs inside and only exercise them in the cooler hours of early morning or late evening. Make sure they have easy access to plenty of fresh water. Under no circumstance should you leave your dog in the car, even for a few minutes! The temperature inside a car can soar to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked. 

If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, get them to a vet immediately. In the interim you can try to cool them off by dousing them with cool (but not COLD water) especially on the groin, arm pits, and paws. You do not want to soak them completely with cold water. This can cause shock and can also cause the blood vessels to constrict, thereby trapping heat inside the body. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Pet Tip: Ulcerated Paw Pads by Kristel Weaver, DVM

Dogs exercising on hot ground or playing on rough, hot surfaces like gravel can develop painful blisters on their footpads. The pads heal and return to normal with basic care and, over time with continued exercise, they form calluses for added protection. There are other reasons for ulcerated footpads, though, so it is important to have them checked out by a veterinarian.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Pet Tip: Foxtails by Kristel Weaver, DVM

Every day in the summer we remove foxtails, a weed rampant in California with seeds that look like a fox's tail. The tip of each seed has barbs, allowing it to move only deeper into your pet's eyes, ears, nose, feet, genitals, and coat. Foxtails cause a lot of discomfort to dogs and cats and can even migrate internally, potentially causing organ damage and severe illness. 
Check your dog's feet and coat for foxtails after a hike. If you think your dog or cat has a foxtail that you cannot remove at home, take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to reduce the risk of the foxtail migrating deeper.