Tips to Prevent an Emergency

Parvovirus
Since this disease is a viral infection, there is no real cure for it.  Treatment is focused on curing the symptoms and preventing secondary bacterial infections, preferably in a hospital environment.

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Intensive therapy and system support are vital to recovery. Intravenous fluids and nutrition therapy is crucial in maintaining a puppy’s normal body fluid after severe diarrhea and dehydration. It is common for an untreated puppy that is infected with parvovirus to suffer shock or even sudden death.

Prevention of Parvovirus

The best prevention you can take against Canine Parvovirus is to follow the correct vaccination schedule. Young puppies should be vaccinated at six, nine, and twelve weeks. As always, talk to your vet to get your dog on an appropriate vaccination schedule to minimize the risks of this deadly virus. They should not be socialized with outside dogs until at least two weeks after their last vaccination, due to the disease being so contagious. If your puppy is showing symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy, take them to your local veterinarian or after hour’s emergency hospital immediately.

Distemper
Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure.  Young, unvaccinated puppies and non-immunized older dogs tend to be susceptible to this disease.

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This virus is spread through the air and by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal. The initial stages of Distemper can include such symptoms of high fever, reddened eyes, and a watery discharge from the nose and eyes. An infected dog will become lethargic and tired, and will usually lose interest in food. Persistent coughing, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. In the later stages of this disease, this disease can attack your dog’s respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

Prevention of Distemper

The best prevention for canine Distemper is routine vaccinations and immediate isolation of infected animals. Special care must be taken to protect newborn puppies from exposure, since they are especially susceptible to the disease. If your dog is showing symptoms of Distemper, take them to your local veterinarian or after hour’s emergency hospital immediately.

Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world.  Main symptoms include recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints.  There may also be a lack of appetite and depression.

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Main symptoms include recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression.

Prevention of Lyme Disease

If possible, avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested environments. In addition to grooming your dog daily and removing ticks when found, talk to your veterinarian about tick prevention and whether the Lyme vaccine is right for your dog.

Heartworm Disease
This disease is spread by mosquitoes; therefore areas heavily populated by these insects tend to have a greater incidence of heartworm disease.  When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it sucks out blood containing the microfilaria.

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When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it sucks out blood containing the microfilaria. After about two weeks in the mosquito, the microfilaria become infective larvae. This step is necessary for the transmission of heartworm. When the mosquito bites another pet, the infective larvae are transmitted.

Prevention of Heartworm Disease

Your pet should stay on heartworm preventative prescribed by your veterinarian year-round. It is necessary to have a heartworm test performed on your dog prior to using a preventative and also to have this test performed annually. Heartworms are not only limited to dogs, therefore your feline friend should be on heartworm preventative as well.

Snake Bites
Most snakes will try to avoid you or your pets.  Snakes typically bite only in a last resort situation.  While you may wisely decide to simply walk away when you encounter a snake, dogs and cats will often harass the slithering invader-and may get bitten as a result.

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Prevention of Snake Bites While hiking, stay on open paths. Keep your dog on a leash and away from high grass and rocky places in which snakes like to rest. Don’t let your pet explore holes or dig under rocks or logs. If you pet is bit by a snake, seek medical attention for your pet immediately.

Allergic Reaction
Virtually any environmental or ingested substance can cause anaphylaxis in dogs.  Causes may include insect stings, drugs or food.  If the animal comes into contact with a severe allergen, their body typically reacts in a severe way to the exposure.  The reactions can be localized or throughout the entire body of the animal.

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Causes may include insect stings, drugs or food. If the animal comes into contact with a severe allergen, their body typically reacts in a severe way to the exposure. The reactions can be localized or throughout the entire body of the animal.

Prevention of Allergic Reactions

There are no known ways to prevent an initial reaction, but once the allergen is identified, it can be controlled by the pet’s owner.

Laryngeal Paralysis
Laryngeal paralysis is a condition in which the muscles that surround the larynx (the voice box) cease to function properly because the nerves that control the muscles malfunction. Laryngeal paralysis is more commonly found in older large dogs.

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Laryngeal paralysis is more commonly found in older large dogs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, gagging and a change in the sound of your dog’s bark. Symptoms generally worsen after exercise or in hot weather. Laryngeal paralysis can lead to aspiration pneumonia if food or other substances get into the lungs.

Prevention of Laryngeal Paralysis

Unfortunately there is no prevention for laryngeal paralysis. Please seek medical attention immediately if your dog is showing symptoms.

Congestive Heart Failure
Right-sided congestive heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump blood at the rate required to meet the basic needs of the body.  While it is not curable, there are treatment options that can improve the quality of life for your pet.

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Prevention of Congestive Heart Failure Preventing right-sided Congestive Heart Failure is dependent on the underlying cause of the disease. For example, if heartworms are the cause of the heart diseases, you will need to ensure that your dog is taking heartworm preventative regularly, and that you revisit your veterinarian for routine wellness checkups.

Feline Hepatic Lipidosis
Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, also known as “feline fatty liver syndrome,” is the most common form of liver disease in cats in North America.  This disease is unique to cats; it is not found in other companion animals.

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The condition is triggered when the cat stops eating due to stress, another disease, or for any other reason. After a few days without food, the cat’s body will begin to use fat for energy. Cats do not metabolize fat well; therefore the fat cells build up in the liver and eventually prevent it from functioning normally. Feline Hepatic Lipidosis is very dangerous for cats and can be life threatening if left untreated.

Prevention of Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

This disease is more common in obese cats because they tend to metabolize fat more readily than thinner cats. The best way to prevent your cat from developing Feline Hepatic Lipidosis is to keep him in a healthy body condition. Your veterinarian can recommend an effective weight control plan for your cat.

Urinary Tract Infections
Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection in your pet could be frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, foul smelling urine, urination in inappropriate places, fever and lethargy.

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Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection in your pet could be frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, foul smelling urine, urination in inappropriate places, fever and lethargy.

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections

There are a few steps you can take at home to decrease the incidence of Urinary Tract Infections. Make sure that your pet has access to plenty of clean, fresh water. Let your pet outside every few hours to help him eliminate bacteria. If you have an indoor cat, make sure their litter box is always accessible and clean. Also, taking your dog on at least two walks a day will increase the frequency of urination and may reduce the risk of infection.

Bloat (Gastric Dilation and Volvulus)
Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV) occurs when the stomach becomes enlarged (or dilated), and then it twists somewhere between a quarter and a full turn.  When an animal has GDV, the openings at the top and the bottom of the stomach twist, blocking all materials from entering or leaving.

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When an animal has GDV, the openings at the top and the bottom of the stomach twist, blocking all materials from entering or leaving. As the digestive process continues, the stomach will swell more and more. As the stomach gets larger, it can press against blood vessels and decrease circulation. This can eventually lead to death of the tissue in the stomach walls. It can also take up some of the room the diaphragm needs to expand, which makes it hard for the animal to breathe. If left untreated, the circulation and breathing problems caused by GDV and bloat can cause infections, bleeding disorders, heart failure and sudden death.

Prevention of Bloat (GDV)

The cause of GDV is still unknown, so the best prevention is to watch your pet carefully for symptoms. GDV is most common in larger dogs that have eaten a large or abnormal meal. GDV happens very rapidly and can be fatal in 30 minutes, when it’s severe. If your pet’s abdomen is distended and/or you notice nausea, vomiting, attempts to vomit, sudden weakness, or collapse, contact your veterinarian immediately. Bloat is a life-threatening condition that must be treated by a veterinarian.

Urethral Obstruction
The urethra is a tube like structure that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.  Sometimes, mineral crystals or stones form in the urethra and block the path to outside the body.

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Sometimes, mineral crystals or stones form in the urethra and block the path to outside the body. The blockage is called a urethral plug. Because a male cat’s urethra is longer and more narrow than a female’s, urethral plugs are most often seen in males (whether or not they are neutered). Once a plug has formed, urine fills up in the bladder. This is not only painful for the cat, but can quickly cause kidney damage. The kidney’s job is to release poisonous wastes from the body; when kidneys don’t function properly, these poisons accumulate in the bloodstream. The final result, if not treated, is death.

Prevention of Urethral Obstruction

The cause of urethral plugs is not fully known. Plugs could result from a combination of poor diet and highly concentrated, alkaline (low acid) urine. All cats should be encouraged to exercise and be kept at a trim, healthy weight. Feed your cat a high quality cat food and entice him to urinate frequently by keeping his litter box clean and always accessible. He should have constant access to plenty of fresh water. If your cat is using his litter box often, but with no or little resulting urine, he may have a urethral obstruction. Other signs of obstruction include depression, weakness, vomiting and lack of appetite, dehydration and collapse. If any of these signs occur in your cat, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Heatstroke
Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition.  Signs of a heatstroke in your pet include panting, anxious expression, warm, dry skin, high fever, rapid heart rate, vomiting, and collapse.

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Signs of a heatstroke in your pet include panting, anxious expression, warm, dry skin, high fever, rapid heart rate, vomiting, and collapse.

Prevention of Heatstroke

Ensure that your pet has adequate shelter from sun/midday heat. Avoid excessive exercise on hot days and always provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that cannot be tipped over. Never leave your pet in the car on even a mild sunny day. If your pet can’t come with you when you get out of the car, leave them at home. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heatstroke.

Toxicities
There are a lot of common household items that are toxic to your pet.  There are food items, plants, pesticides and even some commonly used medications that can severely harm your pet.

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Signs of a heatstroke in your pet include panting, anxious expression, warm, dry skin, high fever, rapid heart rate, vomiting, and collapse.

Prevention of Heatstroke

Ensure that your pet has adequate shelter from sun/midday heat. Avoid excessive exercise on hot days and always provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that cannot be tipped over. Never leave your pet in the car on even a mild sunny day. If your pet can’t come with you when you get out of the car, leave them at home. Seek immediate veterinary care if you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heatstroke.


What are some of the household items that are harmful to your pet?
Always be aware of household items that may be harmful to your pet such as specific foods, medications and seasonal items.

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Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Products sweetened with xylitol

Warm Weather Hazards

  • Animal toxins—toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
  • Blue-green algae in ponds
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost piles Fertilizers
  • Flea products
  • Outdoor plants and plant bulbs
  • Swimming-pool treatment supplies
  • Fly baits containing methomyl
  • Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde

Medication

  • Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses, include:
  • Pain killers
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet Pills Cold Weather Hazards
  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • Ice melting products
  • Rat and mouse bait Common Household Hazards
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Mothballs
  • Post-1982 pennies (due to high concentration of zinc)

Holiday Hazards

  • Christmas tree water (may contain fertilizers and bacteria, which, if ingested, can upset the stomach.
  • Electrical cords
  • Ribbons or tinsel (can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction—most often occurs with kittens!)
  • Batteries
  • Glass ornaments
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