Articles, Case Studies, and News from Advanced Veterinary Specialists
Keep up-to-date with all-things pet-related in Santa Barbara, with articles and information written by AVS Doctors and Veterinary Technicians. From pet-friendly advice to specialty case studies, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.
Limping in dogs, or lameness, is a very common occurrence in our canine companions. There are many different causes of limping; some are very simple, such as a sticker in the paw or a mildly pulled muscle, and some causes can be much more serious, such as a torn ligament, fractured bone or arthritis. What to do if your dog is limping? If your pet has never limped before and you are noticing that he/she is acutely (all of the sudden) lame on his leg, first check for the obvious cause such as a wound or a thorn in the paw. If nothing is found you may want to watch him for a few hours to see if the lameness resolves. A minor muscle strain will usually get better quickly. However, if the lameness persists then you should have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian.
Tetanus infection is rarely a problem in dogs. A bacterium called Clostridium tetani is responsible for this disease. Or rather, the toxin produced by the bacteria. Presence of bacteria alone will not cause clinical signs of disease. C. tetani bacteria produce spores that persist in the environment where they are found in dirt and debris. The spores are resistant to boiling and to many disinfectants. Clinical tetanus develops when C. tetani spores enter wounds where anaerobic conditions favor germination of the spores and promote toxin production. Deep wounds including puncture wounds and nail bed wounds typically seal over quickly creating a low oxygen (anaerobic) environment where the spores can germinate. Patients only develop clinical disease if the toxin is developed and binds to the neurons. Patients may develop localized or generalized tetanus. Of the domesticated animal species, horses are the most sensitive to the neurotoxin. Humans are also very susceptible, while dogs and cats are more resistant to effects of the toxin. This is why dogs do not require tetanus vaccinations like we do.
Our homes contain dozens of common items that may pose a danger to our pets. Here are some common pet poisons every pet owner should be aware of: - Over-the-counter human anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, herbal and nutraceutical supplements. Just because something is safe for you does not mean it is safe for your pet. - Human prescription medications, including antidepressants, muscle relaxants, pain medication, albuterol inhalers, and blood pressure medications. Sometimes we accidentally drop a pill when getting ready to take it ourselves. Pets can gobble it up thinking it was a treat. - Overdoses of veterinary medications, especially Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox, Metacam and joint supplements, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney or liver failure. It is important for pets to receive the dose prescribed by your veterinarian. Often poisoning scenarios occur when one pet eats the entire bottle of their medication or a housemate’s medication.Please take special care to keep all medications where pets cannot steal them from the counter. This is especially true for flavored chewable medications such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Baytril. - Over-the-counter flea and tick products containing permethrin. This insecticide is toxic to cats and will result in elevated body temperature, muscle tremors, hyperexcitability, drooling, and seizures.
Pet owners must prepare for disasters for themselves, but also for their loved pets. Before a disaster arrives, you should also take time to review the important details of your pet’s medical history, including vaccination and rabies status. Also, please review or make a plan with your buddy regarding which diet and medication your pet is taking and how it is to be given. Microchip your pets, as often there are stray or lost animals that are clearly from a loving home. You can also consider adding a second name to the microchip database, allowing for an alternate person to be contacted if you unable to be reached. Birds can also benefit from easy identification through leg bands, and a photo in the disaster preparedness kit.