Thursday, April 24, 2014

12 Year Old Husky Mix Recovery From Thrombocytopenia With The Use Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

by Donna Addy

Athena was hospitalized at her general practice veterinarian in early October, 2013 for thrombocytopenia after the owner noticed bruising on her abdomen, bloody stool/ vomit, and decreased activity level.

Prednisone was started and her platelet count improved but then began to decrease further as time went on. Azothioprine was added and her platelet count improved but her hematocrit dropped.  Abdominal ultrasound revealed hepatomegaly but no obvious masses. Since her diagnosis in October, Athena's activity level has been low and she has developed significant muscle wasting and weakness secondary to her disease and her medication regimen.

Athena was referred to an internal medicine specialist in late January.  

Prednisone and azathioprine were continued and cyclosporine, doxycycline, melatonin, famotidine, and sucralfate were added to her treatment regimen.  Despite the changes in her medications, her hematocrit remained low and her weakness progressed.

Athena was referred to Holistic Veterinary Care in late February because of ongoing anemia and decreasing quality of life in that she was very weak and unable to stand up on her own.  She had severe muscle wasting due to the high doses of prednisone. She could walk if she was picked up and put her on her feet but could not get up from a sitting or lying position.

Upon referral, the owner had one request for treatment: for Athena to be able to stand up on her own and walk around.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and herbal/ nutritional supplementation were initiated. Athena began HBOT at 2 ATA for 60 minutes per dive.  She was treated five times over a one-week period.

In the week following HBOT, the owner reported Athena was feeling better and more active.  

Two weeks post treatment, Athena was easily able to get up and walk around on her own.  She could sit and stand on command from the owner as well.

Athena's blood work also dramatically improved.

The owners are thrilled that they have their dog back and her lab values continue to improve as her doses of medications are slowly being reduced.

Small animal hyperbaric chamber

HVM is the first company to partner with Emergency & Critical Care Veterinary Hospitals. Sharing in the same interest of promoting animals quality of life and relieving them of their pain and suffering, HVM places the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber with partnership to Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Hospitals. Oxygen treatments given in the Chamber allow Veterinarians to consistently deliver the most cost effective, yet, positive results in most challenging cases.

Conditions which HBOT have good success rates:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Dental
  • Neurological
  • Dermatology
  • Pathology
  • Oncology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Central Nervous Systems
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genito-urinary
  • And many others

Oxygen therapy is particularly well suited to treating animals. Research indicates that animals have around five times the accelerated rate of tissue healing than humans. Your Veterinarian can provide treatments in the Chamber which are customized according to condition. These treatments are in duration of approximately 1 to 2 hours. HBOT is a non-invasive and well tolerated approach. 100% oxygen breathed at 2 bar for 60 minutes is a remarkable safe regime for treatments.

Safety Information
100% oxygen breathed at 2 Bar for 60 minutes is a remarkably safe regime for treatment. Animals tolerate this therapy extremely well.

List of Veterinary Practices with a HBOT Chamber
Holistic Veterinary Care & Rehabilitation Center
4382 Piedmont Ave. Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 339-2600
Facility Type: Holistic & Rehab - Daytime

VCA Advanced Veterinary Care

7712 Crosspoint Commons, Fishers, IN 46038
(317) 578-4100
Facility Type: Specialty Care - EM Referral 24/7

Pet Emergency and Specialty Services of Jupiter
300 South Central Boulevard, Suite A, Jupiter, FL 33458
(561) 741-4041
Facility Type: Specialty Care - EM Referral 24/7 Wkends

St. Francis Animal Hospital
2107 Mango Place, Jacksonville, FL 32207
(904) 674-7223
Facility Type: General - EM 24/7 Wkends

Animal Emergency & Critical Care of Brevard
2281 W Eau Gallie Blvd  Melbourne, FL 32935
(321) 725-5365
Facility Type: Emergency Referral 24/7

University of Florida Small Animal Hospital
2089 SW 16th Ave. Gainesville, Florida 32618
(352) 392-2235
Facility Type: Emergency Referral 24/7

Homestead Animal Hospital
1250 N Flagler Ave. Homestead, FL 33030
(305) 247-3845
Facility Type: General Daytime

Critical Care & Veterinary Specialists of Sarasota 
4937 S. Tamiami Tr. Sarasota, FL 34231
(941) 929-1818
Facility Type: Emergency Referral Daytime

McClurg Animal Medical Center/SPCA
5850 Brannen Road S. Lakeland, FL 33813
(863) 646-7722
Facility Type: General - EM 24/7

Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic
4540 S, Clyde Morris Blvd, Port Orange, Florida 32129
(386) 788-1550
Facility Type: General Daytime

Peace Love Pets Veterinary Clinic
6229 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, New York 11725
(631) 499-3300
Facility Type: General Daytime

Calusa Veterinary Center
6900 Congress Ave. Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561) 999-3000
Facility Type: Emergency Referral 24/7

Integrative Veterinary Oncology
2501 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85008
(602) 841-0626
Facility Type: Oncology - EM Referral 24/7

Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency & Rehab Hospita
l816 S. Lemay Ave., Ft. Collins, CO 80524
(970) 484-8080
Facility Type: EM Referral 24/7

Sarasota Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center
7414 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
(941) 923-7260
Facility Type: Specialty Care - EM Referral 24/7

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
1111 West Loop South, Houston, TX 77027
(713) 693-1111
Facility Type: Emergency Referral Daytime

Veterinary Specialty Center
1515 Busch Parkway, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
(847) 459-7535
Facility Type: EM Referral 24/7

Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine
5520 N. Nevada Ave #110, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 272-4004
Facility Type: Specialty, Referral, Critical Care 24/7

The LifeCentre: Animal Emergency Critical Care
165 Ft. Evans Rd NE, Leesburg, VA 20176
(703) 777-5755
Facility Type: EM Referral 24/7

Advanced Veterinary Care
1021 E. 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Facility Type: Specialty Care - EM Referral 24/7

Animal Emergency of Pasco
8740 US 19, Port Richey, FL 34652
Facility Type: EM Referral Daytime/Wkends

AV Veterinary Center
1051 W. Columbia Way, #207 Lancaster, California 93534
(661) 729-1500
Facility Type: 24/7 Emergency

Veterinary Healthcare Associates
3025 Dundee Rd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
(863) 324-3340
Facility Type:

Veterinary Specialty Care
985 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 216-7554
Facility Type:

2440 Plantation Center Drive, Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 844-6440
Facility Type: 24/7 Emergency

VCA Aurora Animal Hospital

2600 West Galena Blvd., Aurora, IL 60506
Facility Type: Specialty Care - EM Referral 24/7

Related articles:
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Heals Diamond

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grocery Bag Is Not An Open Buffet: What Was In JD's Vomit

At about five in the morning I was woken up by hubby rushing JD to the yard. When I asked what was happening, I was told that JD was trying to throw up.

As a good dog mom, after JD came back in, I went into the yard to look for and examine the puke.

Me? I know nothing about that.

I was looking for chunks of wood, because that's what I'd typically find under circumstances such as these. There were none. There was nothing overly suspicious, other than what at first appeared to be undigested strips of chicken meat. At least that's what it kind of looked and felt like. When I tried to pull them apart, though, they wouldn't, which didn't make any sense. I bagged the puke and went back inside, reporting my strange findings.

"I think I know what it is," said hubby sheepishly.

"Huh? What do you think it is?" I asked.
"I think those are pieces of plastic," hubby replied.

That would explain why it was so strong that it couldn't be pulled apart. It would not explain when and where JD got the opportunity to munch on any. When I asked, hubby was reluctant to tell me. Eventually he came clean.

JD ate a package of beef kidney on the way from the store. 

Including the plastic it was wrapped in. At least he left the tray and the sheet they put at the bottom.

"Wait a minute, you brought home the organ meats two days ago," I turned to hubby.
"Yeah. I figured I'd rather not tell you not to worry you."

Well, that was potentially thoughtful, because I do worry about things a lot. Or hubby just didn't want the guys get in trouble with mom.

In this case it was a shame, because if I knew, this would be one of the times when making him throw up would have solved our trouble.

Later that morning JD ate his breakfast and overall seemed fine.

The whole gang left to spend another day at the horse farm. As I was left alone in the house, I got thinking and went to look for poop. I was so focused on the vomit earlier, it didn't occur to me but now it did. There was no morning poop in the yard.

That was slightly suspicious.

JD is quite a pooping machine and poops every morning. However, I decided not to panic just yet.

Unfortunately, when they are at the farm, it is quite hard to keep track of the dogs' elimination. Sometimes they do it during the morning walk, but sometimes they don't. Hubby didn't see JD poop during the day, which didn't really give much information to go on. I was hoping in the evening we'll see some poop.

But we didn't.

None in the evening and none before bed. Now I was getting nervous. Did some of the plastic make it through and caused a blockage? How much did he actually eat and how much came out the front end?

It was time to dissect the vomit.

I started pulling out the strips of plastic and washing them. It looked like hardly any. When I started straightening the little pieces out, though, it turned out being quite a bit. That was hopeful. How much plastic was on the package and how does it compare with what we got?

So we unwrapped a different kidney, laid the saran wrap out and started matching our pieces.

It was quite a bit but it seemed there was still enough missing.

How much does the saran wrap shrink exposed to stomach juices for two days?

The texture was harder and seemed thicker. But could we rule out a good amount of it missing conclusively? And why still no poop? Could it be he had diarrhea during the day and there is nothing left to come out? Or is there something stuck?

I decided to put JD on a fast, in case he did need some further diagnostics or intervention the next day.

Plastic can do some pretty nasty things.

Finally, in the morning, JD pooped and it was normal and healthy.

Next time, man, if you're gonna steal food, at least take it out of the package first!

Related articles:
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
What’s In the Vomit? 

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me and get your story published.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adoption Monday: Chance, Labrador Retriever & Hound Mix: Deerfield, NH

Check out this awesome boy at Mary's Dogs Rescue and Adoption!

Chance is a sweet adult guy who is the perfect sizer for a family. 

Chance was, like many other dogs in the south, heartworm positive at the shelter and has been treated. He will arrive in NH in May looking for his new family.....could that be you?

Chance is neutered, house trained and current on routine shots. Want more info on Scooter? Call Mary's Dogs: 603.370.7750 or send along an email:

Ready to bring Scooter home? Tell us about yourself and your interest in Scooter in the adoption questionnaire. Check out all the wonderful dogs on Mary's Dogs Facebook Fan Page.


Mary’s Dogs rescues and re-homes dogs and puppies from Aiken County Animal Shelter, a high-kill shelter in South Carolina, USA. They also serve as a resource to communities in Southern New Hampshire and pet owners nationwide by providing education and information on responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spay/neuter, positive behavior training, and good nutrition.

Don't forget to check out Mary's Dogs Shop where you can shop dog and support their work!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks

I used to think very little about teaching my dogs tricks. I figured I didn't need my dogs do these things. Teach them what they need to know and that's it. What are tricks good for? Showing off at parties?

Little I realized how much we've been missing.

I also didn't realize that to a dog, learning any behavior is really a trick and it is best taught that way. Do you think that a dog knows the difference between a sit being a serious business and sit pretty being a party trick? They might notice the difference in your attitude, though.

Based on your attitude, which one do you think they enjoy learning more?

So I concluded that from now on, any behavior I want, I'll teach it as a trick. It is so much more fun for both parties that way.

But there is more.

By learning tricks, dogs learn learning.

I notice with Cookie how much faster she picks up every new thing we're working on now. She is also more likely to offer different things to see which one will get her a reward. First she'll try the things she already knows, then she might throw in something new. When she gets really excited, she will try everything at once, which is pretty funny.

Learning tricks exercises the brain

When presented with a challenge, I can clearly see Cookie thinking. It is so precious to watch. She might come over to me and sit - nothing happens. She offers a paw - nothing happens. Then she remembers "Oh, I'm supposed to go put the paw on the target thingy."

It's a bonding time and teaches her that paying attention to me means good things.

Our training sessions are high quality time for both of us. We go for walks and play games, but this to Cookie is a type of game too and she loves it.

And she has a lot of fun with it.

It is clear from her excitement. And no matter how tired may be after a day at the farm, she still looks forward to her training games with mommy. She won't pass on it. It became a part of our daily routine.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Veterinary Highlights: Worms And Germs Map

A comprehensive veterinary disease reporting, mapping and trending source system is now out there. And, unlike many others, this one is for Canada too. Yay!

This can become quite an awesome tool.

Of course, such map can only reflect diseases as they have been diagnosed and reported. So if the dogs don't get to see a vet when sick, don't get diagnosed, or cases are not properly reported, it could lead to false sense of security.

But let's be optimistic and hope that won't happen that much.

Worms and Germs Map is an interactive, real-time disease mapping system designed to track selected infectious diseases of companion animals (including horses). It is a companion to the educational site WormsAndGermsBlog. Both were developed by Dr. Scott Weese of the University of Guelph and Dr. Maureen Anderson from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

I hope this map will get used to its full potential.

Source website:
Worms & Germs Map
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