Friday, May 21, 2010

Lil Miss Shines!

On December 14 2009 Lil Miss presented to our Hospital for having trouble getting up. Dr. Burns assessed her condition and at an astonishing weight of 107lbs described her as morbidly obese. He concluded that the only thing debilitating Lil Miss was her lazy golden ways and her love for biscuits!
Lil Miss' owner obviously loved her dearly and when she realized that she could possibly add years to Lil Miss' life she quickly sprung into action!

Lil Miss now has a new diet, she eats Purina OM (overweight management) and the only treats she gets are carrots. which she really doesn't mind!

On March 26 2010 a mere 3 months after Lil Miss could not pick herself up off the floor she weighted 87.3 lbs!

Lil Miss has also began exercising on the water treadmill at C.A.R.E. (Cape Animal Referral & Emergency) for 6 weeks and has seen great results.

Today we were so excited to see Lil Miss weighing in at 78.4 lbs! a total loss of 28.6 lbs.

Congratulations Lil Miss! keep up the hard work!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beware of Cocoa Mulch

It’s that time of year when gardeners and landscapers are out in full force sprucing up their yards and lawns. That makes it the right time of year to remind everyone about the dangers of cocoa mulch.
Cocoa mulch is made from the shell of cocoa beans. It looks and smells great. Because of the chocolate-like smell, dogs, especially, are attracted to it and may eat it. Unfortunately, cocoa mulch contains caffeine and theobromine, just like chocolate does. These chemicals have an effect on animals similar to that on people. They increase the breathing and heart rate, sometimes causing irregular beating of the heart. They cause restlessness, and the caffeine also directly stimulates the heart muscle and the central nervous system.
Common signs of cocoa mulch toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, restlessness, incoordination, muscle tremors, increased or decreased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and increased body temperature. Seizures, coma, or death may occur. Less frequent symptoms include abdominal pain and blood in the urine.
If your pet has eaten cocoa mulch, contact your veterinarian immediately. Time is critical. Your veterinarian may recommend that you induce vomiting. At your veterinarian’s office, they may continue to induce vomiting and give activated charcoal. Intravenous fluids may be given to prevent dehydration and to stimulate more urine production to help rid the body of the toxins. The heart rate and rhythm will be monitored, and heart medications given if necessary. Your pet will also be monitored and treated for any hyperthermia (increase in body temperature) and seizures. The urinary bladder may need to be catheterized to prevent reabsorption of the toxins.

Article By: Dr. Holly Nash DVM

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hot Dogs!

The summer heat and humidity can be very dangerous to your pet. No matter how young or old the excessive heat can be debilitating and life threatening.
Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans - they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog's temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body's cellular system and organs may become irreversible. Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Learn how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog.

There are ways you can prevent heat stroke from happening:
NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless of whether the windows are open. Even if the weather outside is not extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven - temperatures can rise to dangerously high levels in a matter of minutes.
Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days. When outside, opt for shady areas.
Keep fresh cool water available at all times.
Certain types of dogs are more sensitive to heat - especially obese dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs. Use extreme caution when these dogs are exposed to heat.

The following signs may indicate heat stroke in a dog:
Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency)
Vigorous panting
Dark red gums
Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
Thick saliva
Dizziness or disorientation
If you believe your dog may have heat stroke remove him/her from the heat immediately.

DO NOT use ice or very cold water to cool down! Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body's core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to further rise. In addition, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, introducing a host of new problems.

Call or visit your veterinarian right away - even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary (and further testing may be recommended).