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Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome, also known as shock lung, is a life-threatening complication of critical illness in dogs, such as systemic infection or disease, severe trauma, or near-drowning. Treatment involves targeting the underlying cause while also supporting the dog's compromised lung function with the use of an oxygen cage, an oxygen line direct to the dog's nasal passages, or in severe cases, a mechanical ventilator. Unfortunately, the prognosis for this condition is poor.

  • Early decontamination of can be performed following exposure to a toxic dose of alcohol as long as a pet is not showing clinical signs. Decontamination may include inducing vomiting (for ingestions) or bathing (for skin exposures). Other therapies include intravenous (IV) fluids, IV dextrose to help with low blood glucose, anti-nausea medication and warming support. Although there is no specific antidote for alcohol poisoning, medications may be used to assist with severe clinicals signs of respiratory depression and coma. Hospitalization for monitoring of cardiovascular and neurological parameters is needed until animals have recovered. Recovery is expected within 24 – 36 hours following treatment.

  • Anticoagulant rodenticide is used to kill mice, rats, and other pests. Poisoning occurs when a dog ingests rodenticide accidentally. Anticoagulant rodenticides cause excessive bleeding by interfering with vitamin K1 recycling in the body. Vitamin K1 is needed for the body to make certain clotting factors which enable blood to clot and help control bleeding.

  • Arsenic poisoning is the accidental ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation of products containing a toxic dose of arsenic. Clinical signs can include abdominal pain, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, weakness, rapid weak pulse, lethargy, low body temperature, collapse, and death. Supportive therapy is a crucial part of treating arsenic poisoning.

  • Aspirin is a commonly used over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and is used to treat fever, pain, inflammation (swelling), and clotting disorders in humans. Aspirin poisoning occurs when a dog ingests a toxic dose of aspirin, either through misuse or accidentally. The most common side effect of aspirin is gastrointestinal irritation, which can lead to signs such as a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Treatment for aspirin poisoning depends on how quickly the dog is seen by the veterinarian.

  • This handout summarizes the possible reactions a dog may experience when receiving a blood transfusion. Many transfusion reactions occur acutely, within seconds of starting the transfusion up to 48 hours post-transfusion. The clinical signs and treatment protocols both vary based on the type of reaction. Prior to a blood transfusion, your veterinarian may perform tests to help ensure that the donor blood is a good match for your dog.

  • Dogs are exposed to botulism by eating raw meat or dead animals containing botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes ascending paralysis of the nervous system. Clinical signs are reviewed as well as diagnostic tests and treatment. Prognosis is guarded depending on the amount of toxin ingested and the degree of supportive care available. There is no vaccine.

  • A burn is a type of skin injury, commonly caused by heat, fire, or chemicals. Burns are classified based on how many layers of skin are affected; this classification scheme can help predict prognosis. Treatment of burns varies, depending on the severity of the burn and how much of the body is affected. Superficial burns may heal without treatment, while more severe burns may require hospitalization and possible skin grafts.

  • Chlorfenapyr poisoning is suspected if a pet has access to this pesticide and subsequently develops expected signs; it should also be suspected in a pet exhibiting signs and at risk of malicious poisoning. Pets that develop clinical signs following chlorfenapyr ingestion are unlikely to survive and chronic complications may be present for survivors.  

  • Bloat: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in Dogs

    Este término, mucho más descriptivo que otros utilizados en el pasado, se emplea para definir una alteración en la que el estómago del perro se distiende con gas y puede además girar (torsionarse) sobre sí mismo dejando el gas atrapado en su interior.