Dogs and cats eat lots of things they shouldn’t especially when they are young. They chew and swallow socks, rocks, balls, pacifiers and a host of other odd things. Although large objects like rocks are likely to get stuck they often cause less damage than those cloth objects that fray and become a linear string.
A few months ago, we had an optional surgery turn into an emergency surgery due to the hatred of a cat for its carrier. Boo Boo had mast cell disease, a type of cancer that lodges in the spleen and causes it to become markedly enlarged. Mast cells contain histamine so cats with these tumors can sometimes have vomiting, unexplained allergic reactions and can have problems with clotting. Luckily, surgery to remove the spleen is often very successful in prolonging quality life for significant amounts of time.
What does “healthy aging” mean for your pet? Is it the same as for you? Basically, the answer is yes, with one glaring difference. Your pet cannot be trusted to tell you when something is starting to go wrong.
Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, has long been known to be toxic to household pets. Exposure is usually from puddles under a leaking car or a container in the garage that has been spilled or chewed up by a pet. The minimum lethal dose is only around 2.5 tablespoons for a 20 lb dog or just one teaspoon in a seven-pound cat. The toxic component is not the ethylene glycol itself, but rather the metabolites that form when it is broken down by the liver.
A week ago, we alerted referring veterinarians in the area to an uptick in the number of parvovirus cases we were seeing at ACCES’ two referral hospitals (Seattle and Renton). Word quickly spread to the greater community setting off an unexpected scare.
Parvovirus is a virus that causes vomiting and severe diarrhea. In addition, it can suppress the immune system and put animals at risk for secondary infections. It mainly affects puppies and can cause death if not treated appropriately. With treatment, which includes intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medication, antibiotics and plasma in severe cases, survival is 90%. Adults dogs can get the infection as well but often are less sick or may shed virus and not have clinical signs.