Educational Articles

Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that results from inadequate insulin or interference of insulin action on the body preventing glucose regulation. This causes a buildup of ketone bodies that, at a high enough level, will cause a metabolic derangement resulting in inability to retain water, weakness, vomiting and weight loss, among other signs. Treatment usually requires intensive hospitalized care including IV fluids, potassium supplementation, short acting insulin injections, and regular monitoring of glucose and electrolytes. In dogs already diagnosed with diabetes, ketoacidosis can often be prevented with regular glucose monitoring performed at home.

  • Even though e-cigarettes may be safer for humans than using traditional tobacco products, they are certainly not safe for pets. The nicotine associated with e-cigarettes, even without the tobacco, poses a serious health threat for dogs and cats.

  • Eclampsia is hypocalcemia in a dog who has recently given birth. Breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, Miniature Pinscher, Shih Tzu, and other small breeds are at an increased risk. Eclampsia is considered an emergency and immediate medical attention should be sought. It can quickly progress from weakness to tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Treatment involves immediate intravenous injections of calcium and other drugs. Recovery from eclampsia is usually rapid and complete if treated early.

  • Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian for recommendations in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Once you have received initial instructions, it is important to transport your dog to your veterinarian for a complete examination as soon as possible.

  • Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures without a known cause or abnormal brain lesion (brain injury or disease). A seizure is a sudden surge in the electrical activity of the brain causing signs such as twitching, shaking, tremors, convulsions, and/or spasms. The exact cause of epilepsy is unknown, but a genetic basis is suspected in many breeds. Seizures can vary in appearance and can be focalized or generalized.

  • Ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting, odorless liquid, is the active ingredient in antifreeze. Ethylene glycol can also be found, in lower concentrations, in some windshield de-icing agents, hydraulic brake fluid, motor oils, solvents, paints, film processing solutions, wood stains, inks, printer cartridges, etc.

  • Fading puppy syndrome describes puppies that decline in health and die within about two weeks of birth. Neonatal puppies are fragile and so there can be many causes of this syndrome including birth defects, inadequate care from the mother, poor health status of the mother and/or infectious diseases. As well as addressing a specific cause, treatment focuses on maintaining hydration and warmth while providing adequate nutrition. Environmental hygiene is extremely important.

  • When it comes to bleeding, what you can't see can be more serious than what you can. To minimize blood loss, you can provide first aid for bleeding dogs until you arrive at the veterinarian.

  • Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Basic first aid in the meantime can help reduce the chance for complications.

  • Dogs that fall from heights can suffer sprains, broken bones, head trauma, and chest or abdominal injuries. Small dogs can incur the same degree of injury falling from much smaller distances. Toy breeds have been known to break one or both legs when simply jumping down from the sofa.