Friday, May 17, 2019

Dog Symptoms: When Is It an Emergency?

Does your dog's injury or illness call for an emergency veterinary visit?


Dogs pant. They pant when they exercise, when they are hot, they pant when they are excited. Panting is your dog’s way to cool their body. Because dogs don’t sweat like we do the only effective way they can cool themselves is by panting. All dogs do that, and it is perfectly normal.



Even if your dog looks to be in relatively good shape, some conditions are potentially life-threatening. Do you know which situations or symptoms are always an emergency?

Freshly updated article on when it is an emergency is now available at our new location at mydogsymptoms.com.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting - updated

Why is my dog panting so much? 


Dogs pant. They pant when they exercise, when they are hot, they pant when they are excited. Panting is your dog’s way to cool their body. Because dogs don’t sweat like we do the only effective way they can cool themselves is by panting. All dogs do that, and it is perfectly normal.

Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting - updated

What is normal for your dog and what are the circumstances?

If your dog’s panting doesn’t fit the typical pattern, they might be in trouble. Excessive or unexplained panting can be a symptom of a serious health issue ...

Freshly updated article on excessive panting now available at our new location at mydogsymptoms.com.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Drinking - updated

Why is my dog drinking so much? 


Since you’re asking that question, the issue isn’t really how much your dog drinks but that they are drinking more than they usually would, correct? Because it is the change that it’s significant, not necessarily the amount of water they consume.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Drinking - updated


How much water your dog needs depends on their size, diet, activity, and even the environment. There might be a perfectly natural reason for your dog to drink more, and it might be a reason for concern ...

Freshly updated article on excessive drinking now available at our new location at mydogsymptoms.com.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

We Are Moving! Bookmark Our New Location

We have exciting news. After staying put for many years, we decided it is time to move on to a WordPress blog. We are in the process of making a new home there.

What is even more exciting, our new home also comes with a new, fabulous domain--mydogsymptoms.com. How awesome is that? Much more appropriate, don't you think? We will work on redirecting visitors to the new place but to save yourself the trouble, why don't you bookmark the new blog instead?

mydogsymptoms.com


We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Symptoms: Recognition, Acknowledgement And Denial - updated

Symptoms: Recognition, Acknowledgement And Denial

Observing doesn't mean understanding

a symptom n. an abnormality caused by a disease that is observable in a sick animal. ~Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-speak Deciphered for the Non-veterinarian

The above definition points out two important things. A symptom is an abnormality, and it can be observed. Note: Technically–as it was pointed out to me by my book editor–the more accurate term is signs ...

Freshly updated article on symptoms observation skills is now available at our new location at mydogsymptoms.com.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Phoenix's Lethargy and Loss of Appetite

How seriously do you take your dog's loss of appetite and lethargy? How does it fit with your dog's normal? How does it fit in the big picture?

Phoenix's Lethargy and Loss of Appetite

Would your point of view on the same set of symptoms change if your dog was an intact female who just recently finished her heat cycle?

What difference does that make?


Phoenix was a middle-aged, intact female. She's been always healthy and hasn't visited a veterinarian in years. Her parents brought her in because she was lethargic and not eating.

Phoenix was looking really sick.


Her parents couldn't afford to take her to an emergency clinic so they had to wait until a regular clinic opened. The diagnosis was fast and straightforward--Phoenix had pyometra.

Pyometra is a bacterial infection of the uterus. That sounds so much less scary than it is. It is a life-threatening condition that needs prompt, aggressive treatment--surgery.

If your intact is going to get this serious infection, it's going to happen following her heat--it's brought on by the hormonal changes in the reproductive tract. As the body prepares for pregnancy, the uterine lining thickens and continues to thicken with every heat cycle that doesn't result in pregnancy. The thickened tissue is the perfect environment for bacterial growth.

If the cervix remains open, you will notice pus and abnormal discharge which, hopefully, will bring you to a vet. If the cervix closes, all of that remains trapped inside, releasing toxins that make their way into the bloodstream. This is called closed pyometra--way more dangerous one of the two. Your dog will look and act very ill just like Phoenix did.

What are some of the symptoms that come with closed pyometra?



  • increased urination
  • increased drinking
  • distended abdomen
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • listlessness
  • lethargy
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea


Increased drinking alone, in a female dog who recently came out of heat, should be suspect for pyometra.

In other words, if your dog just was in heat and there is anything at all strange about them, see a vet. The sooner pyometra is diagnosed the better,

By the time Phoenix got to see a vet, her pyometra was well advanced.


Her uterus was more than twice its normal size--4 pounds of an angry nest of puss and fluid. It took two hours to remove that from Phoenix's body.

Even after her surgery, Phoenix wasn't out of the woods. Two days later she was still down and refusing to eat.

Phoenix's story has a happy ending.


But not all pyometra cases do. If you have an intact female dog, be aware of this dreadful condition that can kill her.  Know when it's most likely to strike and what it looks like.

Original story:
Pyometra. The Challenge of Finding a Happy Ending 

Related articles:
Congratulations, It's an Infected Uterus: Miku's Story



Help others 

Share your story for a chance to win a free copy of Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog. To share your dog's story, email me at ranchjasmine@gmail.com


What is your dog telling you about their health?


Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is an award-winning guide to help you better understand what your dog is telling you about their health and how to best advocate for them. 

Learn how to see and how to think about changes in your dog’s appearance, habits, and behavior. Some signs that might not trigger your concern can be important indicators that your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms, while hard to miss, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping, are easy to spot but can have a laundry list of potential causes, some of them severe or even life-threatening. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is a dog health advocacy guide 101. It covers a variety of common symptoms, including when each of them might be an emergency. 

An award-winning guide for dog parents

Monday, April 22, 2019

What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog: R.G. Hind End Lameness and Paralysis

R.G.

German Shepherd
spayed female

What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog: R.G. Hind End Lameness and Paralysis

R.G. was a happy, active girl, until one day she suddenly became lame on her rear end. She could barely walk. When examined, she was showing neurological deficits. The preliminary diagnosis was a disc injury.

The veterinarian recommended an MRI.

R.G.'s parents agreed to the testing. When the results came back, R.G. was diagnosed with a herniated disc. The veterinarian recommended surgery.

Before making such a major decision, R.G.'s parents decided to seek a second opinion. The orthopedic surgeon they consulted with agreed with the diagnoses and the proposed solution--spinal surgery.

This kind of surgery is invasive and carries a high risk.

R.G.'s parents decided to try conservative management first. R.G. was treated with acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy. But she continued to get worse until she ended up in a wheelchair.

Should they have gone through with the surgery after all?

R.G.'s parents sought yet one more opinion with a veterinary neurologist. That's when they found out what the real diagnosis was ...

What would you make of R.G.'s symptoms? What do you think was wrong with R.G.? Would you have pursued the spinal surgery? What would you do if it was your dog?

Read R.G.'s story here.



Help others 

Share your story for a chance to win a free copy of Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog. To share your dog's story, email me at ranchjasmine@gmail.com


What is your dog telling you about their health?


Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is an award-winning guide to help you better understand what your dog is telling you about their health and how to best advocate for them. 

Learn how to see and how to think about changes in your dog’s appearance, habits, and behavior. Some signs that might not trigger your concern can be important indicators that your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms, while hard to miss, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping, are easy to spot but can have a laundry list of potential causes, some of them severe or even life-threatening. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is a dog health advocacy guide 101. It covers a variety of common symptoms, including when each of them might be an emergency. 

An award-winning guide for dog parents