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Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Seizures and syncope are commonly confused with one another due to similarities in the appearance of these episodes. Both present with collapse but there are several details, explained in this handout, that can differentiate between them, which is important for determining treatment. The prognosis for each condition varies depending on the underlying causes.

  • Shar-Pei recurrent fever syndrome is a hereditary condition that affects nearly one in four Shar-Pei dogs. Affected dogs experience recurrent episodes of fever and inflammation, with no identifiable underlying cause. Inflammatory cytokines released during fever episodes contribute to the production of a protein called amyloid which is then deposited in a variety of internal organs, resulting in a condition known as amyloidosis. Signs that may accompany the fever episodes include swelling of the hocks and muzzle, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to reduce fever and alleviate discomfort. Colchicine is the drug of choice for the long-term treatment. Affected dogs can often be managed, but the condition will affect them for the remainder of their lives. If your dog is already showing signs of chronic kidney disease, your veterinarian will also develop a treatment plan to address the kidney disease.

  • Smoke inhalation injuries are caused by a combination of heat and airborne toxins. Clinical signs of smoke inhalation vary, depending on the materials contained within the smoke and how much smoke the dog inhales. Common signs include coughing, shortness of breath, eye injuries, and burns. Neurologic signs can also occur, especially in cases of carbon monoxide inhalation. Treatment typically involves oxygen therapy and other supportive care measures.

  • Telehealth is a broad term that refers to the use of telecommunications to provide health-related services. Telehealth services can be delivered by a variety of methods including telephone, text messaging, internet chat, and videoconferencing. Teletriage is the act of performing triage remotely, via telephone or internet and helps determine the urgency of your pet’s medical concern. Telemedicine refers to the practice of medicine at a distance. In the context of veterinary medicine, telemedicine refers to a veterinarian formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet without an in-person examination. Telemedicine is typically only permitted within the context of an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and social/physical distancing requirements however, some federal and local governments have relaxed the requirements surrounding telemedicine.

  • If a potentially toxic amount of CBD or THC is ingested by a dog, induction of vomiting followed by administration of activated charcoal may be dependent upon the formulation of the product in pets already showing signs and/or pets ingesting oil, lotion, or liquid formulation products. Inducing vomiting requires caution. Pets with moderate gastrointestinal signs of CBD poisoning are treated with anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications; hospitalization is not usually required.

  • Toad poisoning occurs when a dog is exposed to the toxins secreted by certain species of toads. The two most common species of toads that cause poisoning in the United States are the cane or marine toad and the Colorado River or Sonoran desert toad. While there are toads in Canada that secrete toxic substances, their effects are much less severe than the toxins secreted by the cane or Sonoran desert toads. Death can occur quickly and immediate treatment is required.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a dog ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a dog accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Another source of vitamin D poisoning is the accidental ingestion of certain human medications.

  • Xanthine bladder stones are an uncommon type of urinary stone that can occur in both dogs and cats. Xanthine is produced when certain types of proteins are broken down within the body; while most dogs further breakdown xanthine to other substances that are more easily excreted, some pets are deficient in an enzyme that is required for this breakdown to occur. These pets develop elevated levels of xanthine in the urine, resulting in xanthine stones forming within the urinary tract. Xanthine urinary tract stones are typically removed surgically. Affected dogs require long-term care to prevent recurrence of xanthine urinary tract stones.