A blue heeler puppy, hung limply in her owner’s arms, panting heavily. On exam, she had pale gums, was working hard to breathe and had quiet lung sounds. A quick ultrasound showed free fluid in her chest and abdomen. Blood work showed a severe anemia (low red blood cells). These signs, in a young dog, are most consistent with ingestion of rat bait causing severe internal bleeding. We placed an IV catheter and started transfusing packed red blood cells and plasma.
A year ago I quit my full time job at ACCES as an emergency veterinarian to explore the world with my wife and to do some volunteer work as part of those travels. I hoped that the time spent working would allow me to help animals and people that would otherwise not have access to those resources, to gain a deeper connection with the communities we were traveling through, and to gain some perspective on my work as a veterinarian in the United States. We have toured some shelters and recently just finished a week of volunteer work at the Care For DogsFoundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand and those goals were both met and exceeded.
January is National Blood Donor Month. While most people are aware of the need for human blood transfusions, many people are UNAWARE of the need for transfusions in dogs and cats. Transfusions are needed for many of the same reasons that people need transfusions. Trauma, surgical blood loss, cancer and many other disease processes could cause a cat or a dog (or a person) to require a blood transfusion. The ACCES Blood bank, as the only animal blood bank in Seattle, provides blood products to both ACCES hospitals (Seattle and Renton) as well as many of the other veterinary hospitals in the Greater Puget Sound Area (and beyond!).
The New Year is approaching next week, and with it come the inevitable resolutions. While you are making your own list, consider making one for your pet as well. Whether it’s as simple as learning to trim your pets nails, or focusing on finally getting that extra weight off your beloved companion, remember that you are your pet’s advocate and change starts with you.
The holiday season is upon us yet again, as is evidenced by the appearance of eggnog lattes and theme music in shopping malls. It is time to review the most common pet hazards seen during the next few months.
As the holiday season approaches, thoughts of pumpkin pies, gingerbread houses and sugar plum ferries occupy a lot of our free time. I’ve heard many people joke about going into a diabetic coma after taking in too much sugar. You may not realize that, although it’s not quite as straightforward as that, our canine and feline family members too can have serious consequences from an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
By Emilio E. DeBess, DVM, MPVM, State Public Health Veterinarian, Oregon Department of Human Services
FDA warns about feeding your pet a raw-food diet
In a new study, compared to other types of pet food tested, raw pet food was more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, the FDA said “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cautioning pet owners about feeding their animals raw diets, warning that those who do may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.”
It’s that time of year when all of us start seeing more mushrooms around. The combination of sun, rain, and increased organic material on the ground is perfect for fungal growth. This year in particular has been very good for mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest and those mushroom hunters who know what they are doing, have had a banner year. However, the conditions that make for amazing edible chanterelles, also lead to more of the poisonous variety as well.
As the fall sets in, I always feel that I really want to eat more. The colder weather means we are inside, closer to the kitchen. I find I’m baking more and thinking about desserts for upcoming holidays. As we eat more, and spend more time in the kitchen, our furry companions tend to join us and they know just how to meet our eyes, do tricks and convince us, that they too need a little extra something yummy.
Dogs and cats eat many of the same things we do but they metabolize both foods and drugs differently than humans. Cats, in particular, have different metabolic pathways in their livers, which mean that some drugs that are safe for people or dogs are very dangerous for them. Following are five (5) common items which can be potentially deadly to your pet.