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News: Shea Cox
The Dangers Snail Bait Poses to Pets
Awareness and prevention of “shake and bake” toxicity
Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. The arrival of new bulbs and blossoms breaking through the earth makes me giddy. It’s the official kick-off of another season in the garden and I look forward to the earth’s welcoming party. But spring also brings snails, followed close behind by the perennial gardening-season danger, snail bait. Gardeners around the country use snail bait...
News: Shea Cox
Idiopathic or “Old Dog” Vestibular Disease
Vestibular signs in dogs are often incorrectly referred to as a stroke
A fairly common reason for a veterinary visit is the concern that an older dog has had a stroke, when he suddenly starts walking like a drunken sailor with his head tilted. I know of other cases, where these sorts of symptoms are assumed to be a brain tumor and the dog is euthanized—maybe unnecessarily. (The condition plays a role in the new Hallmark movie, Duke.) Well, I want to shed some light...
News: Shea Cox
Pet Cloning and Mummification
The lengths we can go to preserve our precious pups
Following a recent euthanasia, the owner asked me to collect some of his Labrador’s fur. I was under the assumption that he wanted a tangible fragment to remember his dog by, but when I handed him a locket of fur, he told me that he was going to “look into cloning him.” He asked me if fur was enough and if I knew of any cloning resources. I was at a loss. I realize these questions were, in part,...
News: Shea Cox
Advantage vs. Advantix: An Important Difference
Monthly flea prevention warning for homes with dogs and cats
Bayer makes two different flea control products that can easily be confused with one another, leading to potentially lethal complications in our feline family members. Advantage has formulations approved for both dogs and cats, while the product Advantix is intended for use in dogs only. Advantix causes permethrin toxicity in cats, which is a common emergency I see, especially during the spring...
News: Shea Cox
How to Care for a Bleeding Pet
Working in the ER, I often see dogs suffering from blood loss as a result of trauma, which can become life-threatening if not properly treated. If bleeding is severe or continuous, a dog can lose enough blood to cause shock. Shock from blood loss is classified as hypovolemic shock, which basically means that there is not enough fluid (blood) circulating throughout the body. Without an adequate...
News: Shea Cox
The Trouble with Puddles
Giardia, not muddy paws
Diarrhea. Boy, do I see lots of this, and when I say “lots,” I mean lots. In fact, on some shifts, it feels like that’s all I see. One of the common causes of diarrhea in dogs worldwide is giardia, a ubiquitous single-celled protozoan parasite. Giardiasis is transmitted by a fecal-oral route, meaning that the parasite is swallowed in food and water (think: puddles, lakes and streams) contaminated...
News: Shea Cox
Investigating Halitosis
Bad breath may not be a sign of dental disease
Halitosis is the fancy word for bad breath, and that odor is nearly always a sign of a bigger problem. Just this week, I noted a slightly foul odor coming from my own little girl, Dharma. On closer inspection, I noted that the very top of her canine tooth is beginning to turn brown. Overall, the tooth and gumline appear pretty much normal, but I am suspicious of a tooth root infection lurking...
News: Shea Cox
Can Your Dog Give the Gift of Life?
The importance of canine blood donors
Not long ago an adorable Dachshund-mix puppy named Sunny was brought into my ER because he was having trouble breathing and was coughing up blood. A quick blood test determined that he had eaten rat poison. A blood transfusion was required to save his life. He made a full recovery. The need for blood or plasma transfusions is a frequent occurrence in our referral hospital, and can be crucial in...
News: Shea Cox
“Pot Patch” for Pups
Company explores pain-relief potential for pets
Last year, a company called Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems, LLC (MMDS) acquired the rights to a patent for a transcutaneous (through the skin) delivery of medical marijuana to humans and animals. Since our pets suffer from many of the same debilitating illnesses that we do, and with many states legalizing the use of medical marijuana, it doesn’t seem like such a stretch to apply this concept...
News: Shea Cox
Detailing the Dangers of Chicken Jerky. UPDATE.
Update on toxic treats from China
[Update, 3/9/12: The FDA has released new product safety information about chicken jerky treats from China. Update, 3/14: The FDA has just released the TOP 3 brands cited in chicken jerky poisoning cases: Waggin’ Train (Nestle Purina); Canyon Creek Ranch (Nestle Purina); Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats (Del Monte)] China has been in the news repeatedly for problems related to the production...

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