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Liver Disease in dogs

DDD_liver_gallbladder_pancreas-150x150The liver is one of the most important organs in the body of your dog. It performs various functions like aiding blot clot, digestion, detoxification of waste products, and manufacturing of the body’s building blocks. If the liver fails to work properly, your pet can fall sick causing hepatitis which can progress into serious liver disease.

The liver is prone to being affected by a variety of diseases, including bacterial and viral infections, toxicities and neoplastic and degenerative diseases. According to canidae.com, “Canine liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death for dogs, and it’s estimated that three percent of all diseases veterinarians see are connected to the liver”. However, liver diseases can be treated and your pet can make a full recovery. [Read more…]

Pneumonia in Dogs

sick-dogThere is nothing more distressing then when someone you love is ill. It is even more difficult when the one who is sick cannot tell you what is wrong. It’s no different when your dog is not feeling well! When your dog is sick you just want to make him feel better! We understand. The best thing you can do for your dog is be diligent in your efforts to stay informed and educated! [Read more…]

Pet Oxygen Mask Project Part 2

The Invisible Fence Company is on a mission to equip every fire/rescue truck in the US and Canada with pet oxygen masks through Project Breathe. According to industry web sites and sources, an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires. To date, Project Breathe has donated more than 3,000 kits to fire stations throughout the US and Canada. They’ve set up a donation program and are asking for your help, please donate if you can!

A similar project, the Wag’N O2 Fur Life Program, has provided over 1,550 pet oxygen mask kits to over 660 departments in North America since 2008. You can sponsor a department on this site as well. All over the US and Canada there are thousands of rescue vehicles that are still not equipped with kits. April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month, what better way to honor the safety of our pets than to donate pet oxygen mask kits?

Mask

Pet Oxygen Mask Project

Next Topic: Pet Obesity

What is the Pet Oxygen Mask Project?

Exceptional Pet Sitting in on a mission to equip as many fire/rescue trucks with Pet Oxygen Masks (POMs) as possible! This is a nation wide project aimed at equipping every truck in the US and I’d like to do my part here in Texas. All of the fire stations in DFW have them so I looked a little further out of the area for stations in need. I came across a fireman in Rhome, TX (about 50 mi NW of Dallas) and he told me they have one set of POMs but 5 trucks to equip. He was very grateful when I offered to help get the other 3 needed masks! (I already have one set to donate.) Now I’m asking for your help to accomplish this goal. I’ve set up a PayPal account for POM donations, anything will help me help the city of Rhome and will be greatly appreciated! The goal is $225 for three more sets of masks. If you happen to know of a business that might be interested in sponsoring this cause, please let me know.

October is Fire Safety Month and fire safety applies to our pets too. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year. Additionally, “Pet oxygen masks are crucial at the scene of a fire to prevent the harmful effects of smoke inhalation. The access to oxygen can mean the difference of life and death for a pet,” advises Dr. Ernie Ward of Seaside Animal Care in North Carolina.

These facts and more can be found in this article: Fire Safety Month

More about the POM Project: Pet Oxygen Mask Project

Where to donate:

Oxygen Mask

Pet Oxygen Mask

Next Topic: Chocolate Toxicity

The ABCs of CPR

The ABCs of CPR are Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. This is a quick overview of CPR to introduce the initial steps to take which must be done in order.

If you come upon a pet that is not breathing, after determining that the environment is safe, check the throat for obstructions and clear the Airway. Any obstructions in the mouth/throat should be removed manually or by performing the Heimlich Maneuver. Once the obstruction is removed and/or air can pass through the airway, check for Breathing. (Even if you cannot remove obstructions from the airway completely, you can give rescue breaths as long as some air can get to the lungs. It is more important to get air into the lungs than it is to completely clear the obstruction.) You can check for breathing by laying the pet on its left side then watch for the chest expand. Also, if you have a small mirror, you can check for condensation when placed next to the nose/mouth. If the pet is still not breathing after clearing the airway, a few quick rescue breaths are in order. The next step in CPR addresses Circulation. Check for a heartbeat by putting your hand on the left side of the pet’s chest. You can also check for pulses at the femoral artery which is located in the groin area, at the crease where the lower abdomen meets the upper thigh. If the heart is not beating at all, begin chest compressions. Alternate between rescue breaths and chest compressions until you get to the vet. We will learn more about CPR and how to perform it later, this is a summary and is by no means complete instructions on pet CPR.

Once you determine if Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is needed, you can help get oxygen to the lungs and blood flowing to the major organs until you get to the vet. Note: It is very important to make sure the pet is not breathing and does not have a pulse before starting CPR. It can be dangerous to perform CPR on a pet that is breathing normally and has a heartbeat.

More information can be found at these sites:

CPR for Dogs and Cats

Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs

Pet CPR & First Aid

Suggested Books:

Dog First Aid

Cat First Aid

CPR

Buddy


Next Topic: The Pet Oxygen Mask Project

Do You Know What to Do in a Pet Emergency?

If a pet emergency occurs, the goal is to get to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible. An initial visual evaluation of the pet and area will be essential, so stay calm and be observant.

Look for abnormalities on the scene such as blood or vomit around the pet, access to poison or additional hazards in the area. Also, take notice of the pet’s condition – conscious or unconscious, disoriented, unable to walk, and other physical or behavioral abnormalities. All of this information will help you properly assess the situation before taking action, so staying calm and observing the environment first is vital. The information you gather will also be very helpful for the veterinarian and their staff once you arrive with the injured pet.

The most important thing to keep in mind is YOUR safety. If you are injured, you will not be able to help the pet. For example, if we see a dog get hit by a car, we may panic, not watch for traffic on the road then run into harm’s way as we try to get to the injured pup. Also, a pet in pain may lash out and bite, so handling an injured pet on the scene of an emergency may be very tricky. Once you assess the situation and ensure your own safety, then you can begin transport to the veterinary hospital. If possible, call the vet immediately to let them know you are on your way and what the situation is. This will give them time to set up the proper pet emergency equipment to treat injuries.

In addition to proper observation and safety skills, knowing our pets’ normal vital signs may help us administer basic first aid in a pet emergency. So, in our next blog, let’s find out what’s normal!

Here are some excellent resources on pet first aid by the American Red Cross:

Pet First Aid: Dogs and Cats

Be Red Cross Ready Safety Series Vol. 2: Dog First Aid

Be Red Cross Ready Safety Series Vol. 3: Cat First Aid

Pet Emergency

First Aid for Pets


Next Topic: The ABCs of CPR

Do you have a Pet First Aid Kit?

First Aid for Pets

First Aid for Pets

As pet owners, we may be faced with any number of emergency situations and having basic pet first aid supplies on hand for our furry loved ones, just as we do for ourselves, can prepare us for incidents that may occur. Pets have accidents, get hurt or sick and having a pet first aid kit helps treat minor injuries or quickly administer first aid in an emergency on the way to the veterinary hospital or emergency clinic. A second kit in the car is also recommended for traveling and outings. Basic preparedness can help us keep our furry companions healthy and happy for a long time to come!

A few modifications to a human first aid kit works well. Band aids aren’t needed for pets and Tylenol, Advil (which are toxic to pets) as well as aspirin should be removed. Never give your pet any medications without consulting you veterinarian first.

Inexpensive pet first aid kits can be found online and restocking supplies can be found at any pharmacy or grocery store. Some items like antibiotic ointment and Kaopectate® will expire and should be replaced as needed. A tackle or tool box with compartments makes a great organizer for your kit and is easily transported. You can label compartments to help locate supplies quickly. The following list contains items that are useful to have in your pet first aid kit:

Phone Numbers and Directions

  • Your Veterinarian
  • Emergency Veterinarian
  • Animal Poison Control Center 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435, fee required)

Supplies

  • Sterile gauze pads, 3″ x 3″ and 2″ X 2″
  • Gauze bandage rolls, 1″ and 2″ (can also use as a makeshift muzzle)
  • Non-stick gauze pads/telfa pads
  • First-aid adhesive tape, 1″ roll
  • Vet wrap – flexible, self-adherent wrap
  • Cotton swabs (Q-tips®)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Small bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Styptic pencil (stops blood flow from minor cuts)
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Kaopectate®
  • Glucose paste/Kayro® Syrup (for low blood sugar)
  • Eyewash
  • Eyedropper
  • Lube/KY jelly
  • Non-glass digital thermometer
  • Towels
  • Blanket
  • Leather work gloves (to protect you from being bitten)
  • Latex/non-latex gloves
  • Slip Leash
  • Muzzle (do not muzzle a vomiting pet)
  • Pillow case or cat bag
  • Thin rope
  • Splint materials (tongue depressors, thick magazine, rolled newspaper, small branches or sticks)
  • Pen Light
  • A current pet first aid book

For more information on Pet First Aid Visit:

Next Topic: Signs of Illness and Administering Basic First Aid