Saturday, August 11, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Gastroenteritis, When to Bring Your Dog to the ER, and more ...

My Dog Was just Diagnosed with Gastroenteritis

Dr. Justine Lee

Not unlike many medical terms, the word gastroenteritis is more of a description of the problem than a diagnosis. This is especially true for terms that end with the suffix -itis which stands for inflammation. Inflammation is one of the tools the immune system uses to fight pathogens--real or "imaginary."

Since the article is talking about the dogs' gastrointestinal tract, these pathogens are likely real most of the time. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi--would you be surprised any of these could have made it into your dog's GI tract? Other causes can include dietary indiscretions or changes, stress, or certain medications.

It is important to remember that what might look like a simple case of gastroenteritis could be something scarier such as pancreatitis, obstructions, autoimmune reaction, and even cancer. Either of these lists is far from complete.

"The diagnosis of gastroenteritis is typically based on ruling out other medical causes as listed above." ~Dr. Justine Lee

That is the main takeaway point. Don't assume and don't let your vet assume either. A mild case of gastroenteritis, such as from a dietary indiscretion, should not come with severe symptoms and should resolve in about a day. If symptoms are severe, or if the problem continues, it's essential to do the work and nail down the proper diagnosis. There is no one fix-all treatment that works for any of the potential reasons your dog's belly us out of sorts.

Read Dr. Lee's article to learn what an emergency veterinarian recommends.

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Gastroenteritis Is When ...

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Gastroenteritis, When to Bring Your Dog to the ER, and more ...

Pooch Plights – When to Bring Your Dog to the ER

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

What are the top emergency situations for which you should bring your dog to the emergency room? Some of the situations listed are more likely to hit the panic button in your head than others. In fact, the top emergency in dogs, GDV, might not get recognized as such unless you know what you're looking at when your dog is trying to vomit but nothing comes out. As bad as vomiting can be, non-productive vomiting is way worse.

Read Dr. Byers' article to learn what are the top 7 situations that call for an emergency vet visit.

Related articles:
When Is It an Emergency?

How To Keep Your Senior Dog Youthful

Dr. Anna Coffin

In her article, Dr. Anna tells the story of her own dog, Jade. She doesn't just share some generic advice but the real issues she noticed and the steps she took to help her senior Weimaraner girl.

The most important thing is not to copy what other people have done but to learn to see and understand when you need to look for reasons why something about your senior dog is changing.

As for generic recommendations?
  • nutrition
  • weight management
  • physical and mental activity
  • wellness exams

Vets Read Bad Advice -- Tortillas for Toxicity?!

Dr. Andy Roark/Cone of Shame

Dr. Roark's videos are both an excellent source of information and humor. I never miss any of his Cone of Shame videos and neither should you.

Could tortillas be an antidote for poisoning? I doubt it. Though the old wive's tale back in my country is that milk is. For some of them, anyway, particularly mushroom poisoning.  But I don't recommend eating poisonous mushrooms just to test that theory. Tortillas, though? That's a new one on me. It's kind of right up there with vanilla yogurt for ear infections.

Related articles:
Should You Curb Your Internet Research Enthusiasm?

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