Notice to Pet Owners of Wainwright: Be Careful With Chew Toys

Fractured Teeth Pets        fractured teeth pets wainwright

Common problem items include bones, nylon bones, antlers, cow hooves, rocks and ice cubes.

Some side effects of chew toys can include:
-worn teeth
-fractured teeth
-soft tissue trauma

Indestructible Toys are not always as resistant as you think.

Given the right dog and the right object plastic toys that are supposed to be resistant to chewing can be torn or fragmented into sharp pieces.

Note: You won’t always be able to tell that teeth or fractured or that gums are injured. Most people would assume that a dog would stop chewing if there was “pain in its mouth”, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Fractured teeth can lead to infection at the root and destruction of bone and depending on location of the tooth-this can erode a HOLE in the bone and result in excessive bleeding, or nasal discharge because the infection has spread from the tooth into the nasal cavity or sinuses.
Some of these problems are not easily fixed with just tooth extractions-sometimes reconstructive surgery is required.

So to put this in perspective for you: Most of the dogs you own will not have issues that are severe or life threatening but the problem may result in pain, loss of teeth, and significant financial strain depending on the situation. It is a risk benefit analysis or every client.

This is just a heads up-giving you “something to chew on”.

Holiday Hazards for Pets

Festive Decorations

Ornaments

Tinsel

Ribbons

Wrapping/tissue paper

Extension cords

Christmas lights

Liquid potpourri

Potpourri candles

Parcels containing foods

The main concern when it comes to the decorations that are put around the house, outside and inside, are obstructions that can be caused from ingestion. Secondary concerns could include digestive disturbances or toxicity.

Holiday Feasts & Goodies

Chocolate

Grapes/raisins

Peanuts/nuts

Allium species (garlic, onions etc)

Bones (turkey/chicken)

Xylitol (artificial sweetener)

Christmas Plants

Holly

Ivy

Poinsettia

Mistletoe

Lilies

Live Christmas trees

We are wishing everyone and their pets a safe Holiday Season & a Happy New Year !

Case Study – Miss Hoover

Miss. Hoover was a young Boston terrier who was brought into the clinic presenting with diarrhea that had been ongoing for 2 days. Vaccine history was incomplete. Due to her age, she had only received the first in a series of DA2PP vaccines.

Upon arrival, Miss Hoovers’ feces were tested using a commercial ELISA snap test. She tested positive for canine parvovirus.

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Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and serious disease.

The virus does not have a cure and in order for survival aggressive supportive care is required – IV fluid therapy, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections. In untreated dogs, mortality rate can exceed 90%.

Once the virus enters blood stream, it causes damage to the intestinal tract, heart muscle, lymphoid tissue, and bone marrow. This results in a low WBC count, breakdown of the intestinal tract lining allowing pathogens to invade the intestinal tract and enter into the blood stream.

Whether an individual dog gets infected or not depends on the number of viral particles the dog is exposed to, what kind of immune experience the dog has had with the virus before (vaccinated? previously infected? how much past exposure?), and how strong the individual dog is (stress factors, diet etc.)

The viruses are small and hardy in the environment and many household disinfectants are not capable of killing this virus.

The parvovirus can survive over winter in the ground despite freezing temperatures. It is readily carried on shoes or clothing to new areas.

The incubation period is 3-7 days.

Infected dogs shed huge amounts of virus in their feces, saliva and vomit; thus the need  to isolate infected dogs from other dogs.

In surviving dogs, the virus may be shed for 2-3 weeks post infection.

Miss Hoover’s clinical signs after physical exam:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Lethargic
  • Little appetite
  • Painful abdomen
  • 10% dehydration (extreme)
  • Muddy mucous membranes, cold ears and paws – signs of shock
  • Coughing- aspiration pneumonia due to persistent vomiting

On presentation, Miss. Hoover was immediately hooked up to IV fluids and antibiotics to correct dehydration, to treat secondary bacterial infections, and to rehabilitate shock.  The use of continuously delivered IV therapies was needed to control severe pain, nausea and vomiting.   This supportive care was monitored hourly, and provided as symptoms presented themselves.

Intensive care was continued at Dr. Judy’s home for over 7 days with little improvement. Finally, the bloody diarrhea subsided but vomiting continued to happen after each attempt to feed. She was also profoundly anemic because of the blood loss from diarrhea and vomiting blood over a prolonged period. She had a low amount of proteins in her blood from the chronic disease and anorexia.

It was determined that Miss. Hoover was in need of a blood transfusion to regain antibodies, red blood cells and proteins. Luckily, Johnny, one of our technicians dog, was up for the task!

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On day 7, due to persistent vomiting and anorexia prevailing, an abdominal ultrasound was preformed to check for intussusceptions. Intussusceptions are when part of the intestine telescopes onto another piece of intestine causing a blockage.  Ultrasound showed a signs of an obstruction, so an emergency exploratory surgery was needed. During the exploratory, Miss. Hoover’s cecum was impacted with blood clots and lining of the GI tract and colon were completely compromised.

During the days following surgery, Miss. Hoover was still unable to eat without vomiting, because of the effects that the virus had on the intestinal motion and function.  As a last chance to avoid euthanasia, a nasogastric tube was inserted in through the nose and advanced into the stomach to allow for drainage and small amounts of liquid food to be fed every half hour.

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It was a full two weeks before Miss. Hoover finally turned the corner and has made a full recovery!!!

She is now a very bouncy, energetic, ball of fun that will give you love, kisses and smiles!

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