Saturday, November 18, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Hypothermia, Congestive Heart Failure, and more ...

Hypothermia in Dog and Cats – Avoid Pupsicles and Catsicles!

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM


It would seem we didn't have much of a fall this year. It was just a few weeks ago when we were still fending off mosquitoes, and now it's freezing.

Every season comes with its own risks, and one of the potential dangers of winter is hypothermia. Hypothermia is when your dog gets too cold for their body to function properly. That means the heart rate and breathing slow, blood sugar levels drop, nervous and immune systems are impaired, blood clotting can be compromised and it might even lead to kidney failure or coma. If body temperature drops enough, it can be deadly.

And, of course, even if your dog's body manages to keep the core temperature in the "safe zone," you still need to worry about the extremities and frostbite.

Our guys have good coats and always preferred cold to heat. We don't have to worry until it gets REALLY cold. But it's important to be watchful and diligent. With extreme temperatures on either end, we opt for more frequent, shorter walks. Even right now, Cookie gets 5 half-an-hour walks instead of her typical 4 45-minute ones.

To learn more about the dangers of hyperthermia, read. Dr. Byers' article.


Can an Older Pet be Spayed?

Dr. Marty Becker

Coincidentally, a few people asked the same question about their elderly dogs on my facebook group. Of course, the older the dog gets, the higher the risk of any surgery. But these days, pre-op screening and sophisticated anesthesia protocols make things quite safe. It's important to consider what the benefits and risks of doing that are as well what is the reason it's being discussed.

As long as proper considerations are taken based on the individual case, it can be safe, and it can be a good idea to do it.

Read Dr. Becker's thoughts on the subject.


Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs 

Dr. Justine Lee


Congestive heart failure is a build-up of fluid in the lungs, chest or abdominal cavities that results from the heart being unable to pump blood adequately. The reasons why the heart might not be able to do its job can include a congenital defect, heart disease, abnormal rhythms, infections, endocrine issues, cancer, and even drugs such as chemotherapy.

Congestive heart failure is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

To learn more about congestive heart failure, read. Dr. Lee's article.


Glyphosate Exposure

Dr. Karen Becker

Glyphosate is a widely used toxic weed killer that is not only used in agriculture but also in forestry, urban and home applications, on farms, lawns, schoolyards, golf courses and other public spaces. It is possible that it can be present in the food you're feeding your dog if it contains grains.



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