Educational Articles

Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Raising orphan puppies requires great care, time, and vigilance. Puppies must be kept at appropriate temperatures and humidity levels. Hypoglycemia can develop quickly if they are not ingesting food regularly. Orphaned puppies need to be fed appropriate amounts of a commercial puppy milk replacer at regular intervals and can be fed by bottle or feeding tube. After each feeding the puppies will need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Around 4 weeks, puppies can start the weaning process onto puppy food by mixing puppy food with the commercial milk replacer to make a gruel-type food. Orphaned puppies need to be dewormed every 2 weeks starting at 2 weeks of age and should start their vaccination series no later than 6 weeks. A veterinarian should be consulted early and frequently throughout the first 6-8 weeks of life.

  • Inside the eye is a lens that focuses light on the back of the eye, or retina. Vision occurs at the retina. The structure of the eye is similar to a camera, which has a lens to focus light on the film. A cloudy or opaque lens is called a cataract.

  • Cervical stenosis is also known as cervical vertebral instability, cervical spondylopathy or Wobbler syndrome. It is caused by compression of the spinal cord, usually at the base of the neck.

  • Chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancer and other conditions in people because they target and kill rapidly dividing neoplastic (cancer) cells and other cells. They're primarily used as anti-cancer agents, but may also provide benefit for a variety of auto-immune disorders and for organ transplant recipients as immunosuppressive agents.

  • Yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant.

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a term that refers to the heart's inability to pump adequate blood to the body. There are many causes of CHF in dogs. The two most common causes are mitral valve insufficiency (MVI), or a leaky mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and the let ventricle and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

  • The cornea is the transparent, shiny membrane that makes up the front of the eyeball. With a corneal ulcer, fluid is absorbed from the tears into the stroma, giving a cloudy appearance to the eye. The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is trauma. Less common causes of corneal ulcers include bacterial infections, viral infections, and other diseases.

  • When there is not enough oxygen being carried to the body by the red blood cells, the skin and mucous membranes can turn a bluish color. This is known as cyanosis.

  • Cystine bladder stones appear to be the result of a genetic abnormality that prevents a dog from reabsorbing cystine from the kidneys. While bladder stones in general are somewhat common in dogs, cystine bladder stones are rare. Your veterinarian may be able to palpate the stones or may need to perform imaging studies such as a bladder ultrasound or a contrast radiographic study. There are two primary treatment strategies for treating cystine bladder stones in dogs: urohydropropulsion or surgical removal. Dogs that have developed cystine bladder stones in the past will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Unfortunately, cystine stones have a high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.

  • Diabetes mellitus results from an inadequate production of insulin from the pancreas. The primary treatment is replacement by insulin injections. The body’s response to the injections needs to be regularly monitored by glucose curves over 12-24 hours. There are several glucometers that can be used at home for this purpose. Insulin must be stored and reconstituted carefully to ensure dosing is accurate. Giving subcutaneous injections of insulin can seem daunting at first, but by following the directions in this handout, it will quickly become second nature to both you and your pet. Hypoglycemia can result from too much insulin, not enough food, or excess exercise. Pet owners are trained to recognized hypoglycemia and treat or obtain emergency veterinary attention.