Saturday, June 6, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Snake Bites, Facial Wounds and more ...

Snake Bites And Dogs

This article isn't really new but the snakes are coming out. Just today somebody was looking for help on Facebook after their dog got bitten by a copperhead snake. They were panicked and didn't know what to do.

Having a dog bitten by a snake is certainly one of the situation when you DO WANT TO KNOW what to do.

Copperhead snake. Image: Wikipedia

Liver Enzymes Gone Awry – It’s Not Always The Liver’s Fault

Liver enzymes are one of the things measured on routine blood panels.

Just recently we were having dilemma with Cookie's elevated ALT, one of the liver enzymes, that was stubbornly remaining above normal range. Eventually we did manage getting it to drop where it belongs. ALT is considered liver-specific.

Not every elevation in liver enzymes mean that the problem lies within the liver itself. There are other lab values help evaluate liver function as well. When diagnosing anything, it is always important to identify the root of the problem. I have a friend who's dog was almost put down at the recommendation of the emergency vet because of acute liver failure. It turned out the dog was suffering from bad infection instead. The infection was treated and the dog lives.

Understanding what is really happening is always the key.


Facial Wounds. How to treat an eye wound as if it's your last good eye.

A wound doesn't have to look like a big deal to be bad.
Bite wounds, however minor, can get infected and nasty in a hurry. Almost every  bite wound ends up as an infection.

Assume that if your dog gets a bite wound, that it is going become infected and act accordingly.


Pyometra: Why you should spay your pet!

If there was just one good reason to spay your dog, this is it. This infection of the uterus is often life-threatening situation and can be fatal without aggressive treatment.

If you're lucky, and your dog gets what is referred to as open pyometra, you will notice foul smelling, bloody green discharge from your dog's vulva. If you're not as lucky and your dog gets what is called closed pyometra, you won't seen any of that. All you will see is a sick dog. Signs can include loss of appetite, increased drinking or urination, lethargy, vomiting ... Quite often closed pyometra slips under the radar until the situation is dire.

That is one of the reasons why you want to see your vet every time your dog looks ill. Particularly if it is an intact female, especially if she starts acting ill several weeks after heat cycle.


Anesthesia-free Dental Cleaning: Yay or Nay?

As temping as it might sound, I'd never use this option for my dogs. There are so many reasons not to do this. For me, the most important one is that the worst dental problems happen where the eye cannot see them. I'd consider having dental work on my dog without x-rays of the mouth quite useless at best.

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