Saturday, December 3, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Abscesses, Diabetic Emergencies, and more ...

Preventing and Handling Diabetic Emergencies

Dr. Donna Spector/Vetstreet

Hubby's cousin died last week. He was diagnosed with diabetes and decided to manage it on his own using remedies and tips found online.  I'm serious. He thought it was a bright idea. Clearly, it wasn't. There are other aspects to successful management, such as diet and consistent routine, but you just cannot manage diabetes without insulin.

Diabetes is a dangerous condition and needs to be treated with all seriousness and managed properly. And even with the best tools and care, diabetic emergencies can happen. Hypoglycemia is the most common diabetic emergency. It means that sugar levels in the blood drop too low. It happens when too much sugar is removed, whether by accidental insulin overdose, or not enough sugar in the blood to start with such as with a dog who isn't eating well or misses a meal etc.

Learn about diabetic emergencies, and how to prevent and handle them here.

Abscesses in Dogs and Cats – Painful Pockets of Pus

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

An abscess is a pocket of pus. Pus is a thick fluid that consists of white blood cells, bacteria, tissue debris, and serum. At an infection site, neighboring healthy cells from a "wall" to contain it. An abscess can form anywhere. Superficial abscesses are easy enough to see or feel. Jasmine had a huge abdominal abscess nobody knew about until a freak combination of events alerted us to its existence. Those are the most dangerous because you might not know there is a problem until the abscess ruptures. And then you might have a huge problem.

Learn about abscesses and their causes here.

My dog is vomiting 

Dr. Justine Lee

According to an emergency specialist, Dr. Lee, vomiting is a number one reason for ER visits. Those are the dogs who are lucky that their parents know what to do.

How many times does your need to vomit for it to be an emergency? For me, the rule of thumb is one vomit - no vomit. That, however, depends on what else I"m seeing. When my dog throws up but looks otherwise happy and healthy, looking for food and acting normally, I let the one vomit go. When Cookie came down with pancreatitis, she vomited only once. But she was also lethargic and overall looking unwell. Everything always ought to be considered as part of a big picture.

Some other aspects to consider when your dog is vomiting are frequency, time of day, material found in the vomit ... And don't forget that unproductive retching with no vomit coming out can be the biggest emergency of them all.

Find Dr. Lee's comprehensive article to learn when you should take your vomiting dog to the emergency vet.

Heart Disease in a Young Dog

Dr. Greg Martinez

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