Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cooper: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Survival Story and a Warning

Those who own a large, deep-chested breed and don't know what gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), aka bloat, is, go stand in a corner and don't come out for the rest of the day. After that, please go read up on it.

I am sure, or at least hope, that does not include you. You are familiar with this horrible emergency and take every precaution to prevent it, right?

There is a little clarity about what causes GDV, though.

The body conformation is a risk factor. Other things that can contribute might be age, stress levels, feeding habits as well as some ingredients. In general, bloat is being connected to eating one large meal of kibble a day, how fast is eaten, and what time before and after the meal the dog exercises or plays.

Cooper had his meal early in the morning, long enough before his afternoon playtime.

It was a hot day, and Cooper and his buddies had a great time playing with a hose.

You've seen dogs having fun this way before. Attacking the water, bouncing around barking. The perfect activity for hot weather.

Everybody was having a great time until Cooper suddenly look like he was not feeling so well. Perhaps he just overdid the play?

All the fun and games became a deadly situation quickly. 

Cooper drank swallowed too much water too fast and was too active that is caused his stomach to twist.

When this happens, the stomach expands, and twists up and starts to cut off blood flow to neighboring organs. It is one of the most deadly things that can happen to a dog.

GDV kills on average 40,000 dogs a year. 33% of dogs who get this injury do not survive.

This can happen with eating too fast, too much water, activity after eating & drinking and so many more things that dogs do on an everyday basis.

If your dog becomes restless, starts dry heaving, pacing, or has a distended stomach to start packing up the car.

Understanding the significance of these signs saved Cooper's life. Cooper's mom knew something was wrong and they rushed him to the only vet open.

If they waited any longer, Cooper would have died or had permanent damage to his organs.

Time is of the essence when it comes to bloat

There is no treatment at home! If you suspect bloat, rush to a vet. It will save your dog's life. 75 % of dogs who get to the vet within the first hour or two survive.

But prepare for a big bill as the average cost of bloat surgery is $2500-$5000 depending on location and how bad of damage has been done.

Don't forget Cooper's story. Bloat can happen any timeime! Know the signs so you can save your dog's life should this happen to them.

Cooper had the life-saving surgery and is recovering well.

Read Cooper's original story here.

Related articles:
Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV): What Causes It?
Gastric dilatation and volvulus: Rip Barbie

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 your 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, I'll be happy to hear from you.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog

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 serious 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. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog has won the following awards:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Adoption Monday: Kade, American Staffordshire Terrier, Killeen, TX

Look at this adorable, sweet face.

Kade is a 1-year-old sweetheart. He is good with kids, cats, and other dogs! Kade is potty trained, crate trained and currently working on basic commands.

Adoption Monday: Kade, American Staffordshire Terrier, Killeen, TX

Kade is neutered and up to date on vaccinations.


PAWS Humane Society was founded by dedicated animal rescue volunteers to provide a loving environment and veterinary care for the highly adoptable animals in local shelters that otherwise would not have received the opportunity to continue their lives. 

PAWS Humane Society is a non-profit group that relies on donations provided by the public. PAWS Humane Society has no physical shelter location and all of their animals are placed in fosters until their time for permanent adoption comes.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Inducing Vomiting, Placebo Effect, and more ...

How to Induce Vomiting in Your Dog if they Ate Something Poisonous

Dr. Justine Lee

Were your dog to ingest something poisonous, the bigger question than how is whether you should induce vomiting. You can always ask or look up how it's done. But do you know when you absolutely should not even consider it?

There are actually only a few select circumstances when it might be okay for you to induce vomiting in your dog yourself. And there is quite a long and important list of times when you should not. Sometimes you could cause further harm.

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Inducing Vomiting, Placebo Effect, and more ...

I only induced vomiting in my dog once, and it was after I consulted with a veterinarian. It was after she found and ate something outside which might have been a pot brownie.

Do read Dr. Lee's article to learn when inducing vomiting is a terrible idea and why.

Related articles:
Too Young for Pot: Cookie's Snack with a Side of Hydrogen Peroxide
Don't Panic. Don't Panic ... Too Late: Our Call to pet Poison Helpline
When to Induce Vomiting and When It's Not a Good Idea

What is a placebo?

Dr. Brennen McKenzie/Veterinary Practice News

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." ~Shakespeare

I find it interesting how science keeps finding more ways in which thoughts, actions, and outcomes are connected. And not just connected but mutually affected in both directions. There seems to be more evidence of how the physical can be influenced by the psychological.

Where does a placebo effect come into this? Simplified, a placebo effect is when something works which should not.

One might be able to see how this could work in people but what about animals? Seems impossible. But is it?

I really love Scott Adams' take on this.

In dogs, do things work similarly or is it just our wishful thinking that makes us see improvements that don't exist?

Do check out Dr. Brennen's article and do watch the above video. I think some of the explanations offered might be the ways in which dogs can benefit from placebo as well.

As far as I am concerned, if something works, I don't need to know how. As long as I can have a reasonable belief that it has.

Did Your Vet Recommend Removing Your Dog’s Eyeball?

Dr. Karen Louis

Enucleation, the medical term for removing an eyeball, must be one of the scariest propositions you might be faced with. Removing body parts doesn't seem like much of a treatment solution. Well, it is really not much of a treatment--rather more of a Hail Mary approach. However, there are times when this is the kindest thing one can agree to have done to their dog. It can relieve a tremendous amount of pain, it can prolong life.

The amount of pain your dog might have to go through not having this done could be something you can't even imagine. Yes, it is drastic and it sounds horrible. But so is a debilitating pain.

Read Dr. Louis' article to learn more about this surgery and why your veterinarian might recommend it.

Dogs vs. Bugs and Bees: When Should I Worry About Insect Bites?

Guthrie Pet Hospital

Bugs. I hate bugs. At least those who are trying to get a piece of my dog. Or those that sting. Quite often bug bites and stings are just a nuisance. But there are times when it can be an emergency.

  1. Bites or stings in the mouth or swallowing of insect. This situation can quickly lead to swelling of the throat and a blocked airway. Do not waste time-get to the vet!
  2. Multiple stings. Getting stung or bitten by several insects at once puts a lot of toxins into the bloodstream. Getting to your vet quickly gives them more time to counter those toxins before they can cause serious damage.
  3. Difficulty breathing. Swelling from bites in or around the mouth and nose can cause airways to swell and become blocked.
  4. Extreme swelling, lethargy.
  5. Drooling, paralysis, stumbling.

Read the article to learn when you should see a medical professional if your dog gets stung.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Veterinary Highlights: Have You Even Heard About "Dry Drowning?"

Have you ever heard the term "dry drowning?" I haven't either.

The worst part, I think, is that it can happen anywhere between hours to DAYS after the trip to the beach. If it happened days after, how would anybody be able to make the connection?

Veterinary Highlights: Have You Even Heard About "Dry Drowning?"

Dry drowning involves complications after swallowing too much saltwater and/or sand. If you wonder why a dog would do that--not on purpose, usually. Just fetching a ball and playing in the waves can lead to ingestion of enough water or sand. Though some dogs do seem to like bite at waves as well.

Fortunately, it is not very common but it can happen and requires immediate aggressive treatment.

Symptoms you would see can include difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, change in gum color, coughing ...

Would you suspect the beach fun as the culprit if it happened days after? That, to me, is the most important point.

Source article:
Vets warn of 'dry drowning' for dogs

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Useful Tips for Dog Walking: Biting Insects Life Hacks - Deer Flies

I hate bugs. Well, not all of them, just those who want a piece of my girl [and ourselves]. Around here, that means mostly black flies, mosquitoes, horse flies and deer flies.

Useful Tips for Dog Walking: Biting Insects Life Hacks - Deer Flies
Photo Natural Unseen Hazards Blog

The black fly season wasn't as terrible than last year. But the mosquitoes and deer flies are plentiful and quite rabid I'd say. There is also way more horse flies this year.

It's kind of strange because it's been quite dry. But here the bugs are--everywhere--and they always bring their appetite.

For my own protection, I choose clothing--light-color, loose clothes that cover as much skin as possible. I might look like a nomad, but it works well enough.

Bug repellents?

There might be products to protect from fleas and ticks, but not much has been discovered out against biting flies and mosquitoes that would be effective.

You will find stuff online--we've tried some of the natural formulas-- some might work maybe for a half an hour; kind of. In general, the only sure-fire way to dodge biting flies is to stay hidden from them.

Leash Ninja

For the rest of the time, I use our long leash to keep the deer flies off Cookie, swinging it through the air like a mad woman. It's quite satisfying when I actually give them a solid smack.

It must look ridiculous. And I think I'll have a tennis elbow by the end of the season. But I can't take them getting a piece of my girly.

Those which do manage to land, I catch and squish with my fingers. Yes, it's one of the grossest things you can do to yourself. Until there are too many to handle and we have to bail.

Unlike horse flies, which come from below, deer flies start their attack from the highest point. It is the rationale behind deer fly patches and why they are to be attached to one's hat.

Deer Fly Patches

I already wrote about them a long time ago; it's a great idea. It usually worked great, but this year it seemed to have stopped working. I could go out there, have them buzzing all around and yet come back with none attached to the patch. What is going on?

The stash of the patches we had was from last year. They do come packaged in a plastic sleeve, and I've put them in a ziplock bag on top of that because the glue can dry up.

Perhaps that's what happened? The glue was too dry? I wasn't coming home with an empty patch for the lack of deer flies buzzing around, that's for sure.

Hubby and I analyzed the situation and figured the glue might have dried up and we needed to buy a fresh batch. But then he mentioned something else.

"You always used to catch way fewer flies than I did," he said.

That is true. His patch was always covered by many more flies than mine. Perhaps he just stinks more? He's not that much taller than I ... And then it dawned on me.

Color matters?

As I mentioned above, I opt for light-colored clothes so the bugs can see me less on a bright day. That's the theory, anyway. Which means I also wear a white baseball cap. Would I catch more deer flies were I to wear a black hat?

So I stole hubby's black cap for my experiment.

My freshly-installed deer fly patch after three days wearing a white cap

My freshly-installed deer fly patch after 15 minutes of wearing a black cap

Color matters.

Check out the difference. After three days of wearing a freshly installed patch on my white hat, I got three deer flies. After switching to a black cap, I got quite a crop after 15 minutes hanging out with Cookie.

Everything was the same. Patches from the same package, freshly installed. Same weather conditions. Same places we went to. The same amount of flies buzzing around--trust me, you can hear them well. Plus I saw how many I was shooing off Cookie.

The more flies on my hat, the fewer on my dog.

With my white cap, the flies seemed to all but ignore me, going straight after Cookie. She was the highest moving black mass around. With my black cap, the highest black mass was now my hat.

And I solved the mystery of why I was not getting any crops on my patch. The more flies I get stuck to my hat, the fewer go after Cookie. It's still plenty but less those glued.

One female can lay up to a thousand eggs in each batch. Meaning I might have eradicated up to 17 thousand deer flies just in the next generation in fifteen minutes.

Guess what color cap I'm wearing from now on?

Related articles
Deer Fly Patches
Dodging Deer Flies