Saturday, October 24, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Wound Home Care, Veterinary Mistakes, and more ...

How to... Take Care of Minor Wounds at Home
Dr. Jennifer Coates/petMD

I still remember taking care of Cookie's cut paw pad. She was running through the bush and her foot found a piece of glass. The cut seemed pretty deep but it was Sunday. Because we were able to stop the bleeding we figured cut pad is not an emergency and we could take care of it at home.

This was a pretty deep cut but healing was progressing nicely without complications.

We did, successfully and I became an expert in bandaging very quickly. If it was a week day, we would have gone to the vet. If it was a bite wound, we would have definitely gone to the vet. Cookie's pad healed nicely and never got infected. But I was all over it like a stink on cheese.

Be a prudent judge of seriousness of the wound.

For minor wounds, see Dr. Coates suggestions for home care.

When Veterinarians Make Mistakes … Tales of an Inexact Science
Dr. Patty Khuly/Dolittler Blog

Anybody can make a mistake. Veterinarians as no exception. Sometimes because things are too hectic, sometimes from the best intentions, sometimes because the right answer isn't apparent at the time. Trust but test, is a saying in my old country (sounds much better in the original language). I learned to review all the labs, discuss things in detail, check medications properly ... I understand that even the best vet can make a mistake but I'd prefer if I could prevent it from happening to my dog [ever again]. So I do my best. And I know our vet and the staff do their best too.

Dr. Khully shares her clinical disaster.

Pet Cancer: Understanding Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs and Cats
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus/Vetstreet

Sarcoma is a malignant tumor of connective tissue. Hemangiosarcoma is a rapidly growing, aggressive cancer in the lining of blood vessels. It most likely occurs in the spleen, liver, heart and skin. It strikes like a lightning bolt. Everything might seem fine and then your dog collapses from internal bleeding.

My brother-in-law lost a dog to hemangiosarcoma in the spleen not long ago. She was quite ill before it got diagnosed, though. Her spleen was removed before it ruptured but it has already metastasized.

Chemotherapy for Dogs & Cats – Better Than You Think!
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Seeing what chemotherapy does to people, there was a time when I would even think twice about saying no to chemotherapy for my dog. Jasmine's best friend, a Boxer, got a lymphoma and was started on chemotherapy. He didn't do well at all. The therapy was stopped and shortly after he was set free of his misery.

However, I've been following Dr. Sue Ettinger, a veterinary oncologist, for a long enough time now, I've learned otherwise. Chemo protocols for dogs are different than for humans and most dogs do not experience significant side effects. And when they do, a different protocol can be prescribed.

And the main point? If you say yes to chemotherapy, you didn't sell your soul. You're by no means obligated to continue with a treatment should you change your mind based on your dog's reaction to the treatment.

Today I would not discount the chemotherapy option without at least considering it.


  1. Thanks for that Hemangiosarcoma piece - sending to my sister who's dog was just diagnosed with it.

    1. Oh no, so sorry about your sister's dog :-(