Sunday, March 20, 2016

Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly?

The temptation of treating a symptom is high. When your dog gets a bad diarrhea, what you want is for the diarrhea to go away. Now.

I think it's important to resist such temptation - most of the time.

I have two reasons to believe that. Firstly, a symptom is typically a manifestation of the dog's body trying to deal with whatever the problem is. According to many holistic vets, if you interfere with the process, you're really interfering with the body's attempt to restore order.

Secondly, by suppressing the symptom you might never get to actually figuring out what is causing it. And the cause is where the cure lies. It's important not to only notice what is happening by asking why is it happening.

However, sometimes the symptom can be so violent that it in itself becomes dangerous. 

And that's when it needs to be curbed. Particularly when you already do know what is causing it. But even if you don't, you need to make sure that it's not the symptom that might kill your dog.

It's important to make such decisions carefully.

"My dog has had a diarrhea for a week, can I give them Immodium?"
I've seen people ask such questions quite often. And I normally say I would not do that. PARTICULARLY if the diarrhea lasted this long. See a vet. Get it diagnosed. Get it treated. And then, if your vet deems it necessary to suppress the symptom along with the treatment, that's a different story.

I would have never thought that I'd actually arm myself with Immodium to potentially give my dog.

For me, this was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. After Cookie's violent reaction to sedation, I was very concerned about repeat of the situation. And because she was to be sedated yet again in a week's time, I was going to try to make sure that we take all steps we can to prevent this from happening again.

We took a number of measures for the days before the sedation and for the day of the procedure. One of the vet's recommendations came unexpected, "Have loperamide (Immodium ) available if needed."

But in this case it did indeed make sense.

Whether the effects Cookie suffered were indeed from stress, or from the sedation drug(s), or combination of the two, addressing that in itself under such circumstances was logical. Particularly since she was going to be on her five-hour ride home.

So we made sure we had Immodium on hand.

Not just any ol' Immodium, though, some of the products put all kinds of stuff into them. And these days one even has to watch to make sure there is no xylitol added.

What we needed for straight loperamide by itself and nothing else.

For example, the Immodium I had at home for myself actually seems to contain very little of the loperamide itself and a whole lot of something else all together (simethicone). What we needed to get was loperamide only, 2 mg tabs.

Fortunately, our local pharmacy, however small, has always had any strange thing we came up with needing.

Thankfuly, we never needed to use it because Cookie had no ill effects from the sedation.

But if there was a time to treat a symptom directly, this would have been one of them.

Related articles:
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Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
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Cookie's Leaks Update 
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Cookie's ALT Update
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Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
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Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications

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