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Posted on 02-08-2018
Top Signs You Should Take Your Dog To Your Veterinarian Part 2
Concluding our list of signs that indicate you should take your dog to your veterinarian immediately, here we have numbers 5 through 1. These are all signs of something that can be potentially life threatening for your dog. If you notice any of the symptoms listed here (and in part 1), call us immediately and come right in. If you’re not sure if what you’re experiencing with your dog is enough to warrant an emergency, my rule of thumb is that if you’re concerned enough to call, then we definitely think your pet should be checked out. Sometimes it isn’t about the emergency itself, but just making sure that everything IS okay and potentially ruling out anything that might be wrong. Our dogs are a part of our family, and thus we want the best for them. If they’re not feeling well, we want to help you make them feel better. And if we can eliminate as much danger as possible along the way, it’s better to be proactive and catch something before it is too serious than try to catch up to the disease for common ground.
5. *Unable to urinate. Especially in male dogs, the inability to urinate can become very serious very quickly. Often times when a dog is unable to urinate, it is due to an obstruction in their urethra, most commonly due to crystals. Crystals can form from something as simple as inadequate water intake to an infection in the bladder. While a bladder infection does not seem dire, it can be quite painful and ultimately, if your dog is unable to pass urine, renal failure can develop and become fatal within as little as three days.
4. *Ingesting toxic food/medications/products. Dogs can be fast when they want, we learned that with foreign objects. There is an extensive list of foods that are toxic to dogs (most common being chocolate, grapes, raisins, onion and garlic) as well as medications (Ibuprophen and Tylenol are also no-nos). If your dog ingests food or medications that is known to be toxic for them, it is very imperative to have them be seen by your veterinarian immediately. The shorter the time that the food or drug is in their system, the easier it is to help them bring it up and get it out of their system. If you find that it is medication that your dog got into, we always recommend bringing the bottle or box that it originally comes in so that we can see exactly what we’re dealing with and how best to treat/counteract.
3. *Unusual swelling or fast appearing lumps and bumps. Both unusual swelling and fast appearing lumps can become very serious, very fast. It can be anything from a benign lump to an infection to something completely unexpected. If it is an infection or cyst, we can drain it immediately and start your dog on antibiotics that will help kill the infection and save him or her a lot of pain and discomfort. If it is something serious, we can start immediately to do diagnostic tests to confirm what it is and how to treat. But in the chance that it is just a fatty lump, we can note it on their file so if it does by chance grow larger, we can monitor it and keep an eye on it.
2. *Bleeding. This is an easy one. If there is bleeding, excessive or not, it is always recommended to come in immediately. If there is a laceration, we can locate the area, clean it and do what is needed to close it up. Be it sutures or bandaging the area so that it can begin to heal. If it is beyond a simple clean and sanitize, we will be able to clean, begin antibiotics so that an infection does not result and do what is necessary to begin the healing process. The main point to remember is that we can’t judge how serious it is if we can’t see it. It’s always best to bring your pet in because more times than not, explaining the situation or sending pictures does not allow us the same point of view as us physically seeing the injury.
1. *Distended abdomen. In larger breed dogs (and sometimes in smaller breed dogs), a distended abdomen can be considered one of the most dangerous of emergencies for your pet. Often times it indicates a situation called “bloat” which is when gas or food stretches your dog’s stomach and the stomach itself flips, blocking the gas inside and blocking blood supply. There are many causes of ‘bloat’ and left untreated can be fatal. By no means is this the only cause for a distended abdomen, there are also instances where there is fluid collecting in the stomach (which can signify the failure of major organs), internal bleeding, and other diagnosis which also require immediate medical attention.
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