Discovering The Cause, Treating The Affliction

Vomiting & Diarrhea

A couple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea in one day is not always related to severe illness. Sometimes is a small flair up from dietary indiscretion, but it can be the tip of the iceberg.

Many times symptomatic care is able to help limit the process from getting worse while the body heals. If an animal has eaten something that doesn’t agree with their stomach it can cause inflammation and discomfort.

Without limiting the process patients can become dehydrated which can progress to a more severe illness. On occasion the process can lead to bloody diarrhea, risk of bacterial translocation into the bloodstream, or severe concentration of red blood cells which limits adequate blood flow.

Parvovirus, pancreatitis and blockages are common concerns to rule out. Renal damage, early diabetes, parasites, infections, and a number of metabolic conditions are other illness that can show up as nausea, anorexia, or diarrhea.

Lacerations

Wounds come in all shapes and sizes. A small puncture from a bite would can leave extensive damage under the skin.

Things to Remember:

Infection sets in after 6-12 hours. Getting wounds addressing in a timely manner improves the outcome.

Many cuts require sutures, some need flushing, most need preventative antibiotics, and a few need drains. The choice in drain type makes a difference. Closed suction drains reduce risks of infections and allow tissue to be pulled together while open drains don’t clog as easily and are not as difficult to manage in rowdy pets. Both cause irritation leading to drainage and at times simply leaving an opening is best.

We will help guide you through your pets needs while discussing the risks of different approaches and possible complications to watch for.

Despite the best care in the world, any wound can have complications. Antibiotic resistance is not only a human medical concern. Also, damage or devitalized tissue doesn’t always appear unhealthy until a few days pass. These injuries can require a second surgery or may heal by a delayed healing process called second intention. We can help but frequently your primary care veterinarian will best help manage injuries that require prolonged care.

Difficulty Urinating

Urinary Track Infection (UTI) or Blocked Urethra

IMPORTANT: If you have a male cat that cannot pee it could be a life threatening emergency! 

Best case scenario is that trouble urinating will be due to something a course of antibiotics will take care of such as a UTI.

To identify the root cause difficulty urinating some testing is required. These help rule out ailments and identify others.

URINALYSIS: This can show inflamation and other signs of a urinary track infection. A UTI can be related to a kidney infection and bloodwork helps rule in/out that component.

RADIOLOGY: Used to see if the formation of stones in the bladder caused the blockage. If they are present then the blockage could reoccur until they are removed.

Toxins

Pets get into all sorts of things we know of, and many that we do not!

Some things will casue gastric irritation and ulceration while others can lead to life threatening complications. 

We can help in a number of ways from symptomatic care and cardiovascular support, flush out the toxins, and treating the effects of things that can change the blood sugar of cause seizures. 

In an acute case when things have been recently ingested its useful to have them expel the contents. Please note: if it is something hard or sharp has been swallowed then vomiting those objects up risks esophageal tears which are far more difficult to heal than something in the abdomen. 

VOMITING:  Hydrogen peroxide is frequently used to help a patient throw up by irritating the stomach lining. While this can work, we offer an injectable medication that does not risk further damage to the stomach. 

LIMITING ADSORPTION: Activated charcol can be used to limit further adsorption of the produces eaten. Depending on the toxin will depend on it use and frequency.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A TOXIN: A great resource for further information about toxins is Pet Poison Control. They will help evaluate if your pet has eaten critical amounts and discuss the needs and expectations with you. We work with then to best treat the effects. 

Not Eating, Not Drinking

When a animal decides against eating and drinking it is a sign something else is going on internally. The rage of possibilities is very large. Figuring out the cause can take a few diagnostics but most important is a good history. 

Not drinking water can make an animal dehydrated fairly quickly. Dehydrated animals feel bad and it can become a downward spiral. Fluid therapy helps to make sure they stay hydrated and get adequate circulation to help them heal.

Cats that don’t eat are of particular concern because they can develop hepatic lipidosis (a fatty liver) due to their bodies incredible ability to utilize the fat stores for nutrition. Larger bodies felines are most at risk.

We can help provide symptomatic relief to help reduce the anorexia, fluid for support, and diagnostics to rule out critical issues or identify a primary cause. In many non-critical cases we will simply help them feel better and if they continue to put their nose up to food your primary provider can further assess the issue. 

Seizures

Watching a seizure is incredibly scary an knowing what to do is important.

If your pet has had more than one seizure they need to be seen in order to figure out the cause and get them under control. Frequently the cause is not able to be identified however some tests can be used to rule out treatable causes.

The general causes for a seizure can be genetic, from a toxin, metabolic, infectious, or cancer related.

We can help gather baseline blood work, discuss the possible causes as well as therapy, and help to make sure there is not a critical underlying process that needs immediate attention.

Lethargy

Our pets don’t always want us to see their weakness, other yelp for help at every little thing. 

When your pet is more tired than usual it can be mild GI upset or pain from an injury. Other causes are far more serious such as a loss of red blood cells from internal bleeding or an autoimmune disease. Liver failure or undamaged diabetes can cause lethargy. A list of causes is long and hopefully we don’t find something critical but the only way to know is to have a thorough evaluation from a veterinarian. 

If we do find something we can discuss treatment for the cause, symptomatic care, or the basics of the ongoing management you will get with your primary care provider.

Painful Extremities

When a pet is struggling to use a limb it can be due to anything from arthritis, soft tissue strains and sprains, infections, or fractures. 

A physical exam from a veterinarian will look for the root cause and help to provide pain relief while things heal. Frequently radiology will be necessary to make sure there isn’t underlying bone disease or a fracture. 

During the physical exam and diagnostics we gather information to help identify causes and a prognosis for healing. Some soft tissue injuries such as crainial cruciate tears and bicipital tendon tears do much better with surgical repair shortly after being diagnosed. 

Fractures

Frequently more than a little pain, but pets never cease to amaze us with how little they want to share their discomfort while focusing on the positive!

Fractures should be seen as soon as possible to get adequate pain relief and stabilization. On occasion a splint can do a sufficient job however most will require a surgical repair. We can assess the fracture, provide relief, discuss the outcome and surgical options, and help establish you with a veterianarian that will perform surgery.