Posts for: July, 2012
More times than not when pet owners hear the diagnosis bladder stone, they associate this with extensive surgery, never-ending veterinary visits, and expensive medications. Learn below about one owner’s struggle to overcome her dog’s guarded prognosis.
Domino, a 4-½ year old male, neutered Dalmatian presented to an emergency clinic with symptoms of an urinary obstruction (straining to urinate, blood in urine). Domino has had a history of bladder stones and had been on a restricted diet. Upon examination, Domino’s owner was given the options to pursue surgical means to remove the stone obstruction (requiring a significant financial investment), or to otherwise euthanize her young pet. Unable to say goodbye to her wet-nosed pal just yet, she opted to proceed with the surgery. Fortunately, prior to surgery, a urinary catheter (which had previously been attempted unsuccessfully) was finally able to be placed with anesthesia. Upon removal of the urinary catheter, a large stone and three others were pulled out. Although Domino’s prognosis was still guarded, he seemed to have successfully passed his urinary obstruction.
At his follow-up exam here at Morena Pet Hospital, Domino, given his history of urinary obstructions, straining, and painful urination, underwent x-rays and blood-work examination to evaluate whether surgery would still be needed. Upon ultrasound, no obvious stones were visualized, only numerous bright, sand-like fragments in the bladder were apparent. Thus, surgery was averted. An urinalysis was performed that showed build-up of ammonium urate crystals. Fortunately, for Domino and his owner, urate stones can be dissolved on an outpatient basis using medical treatment (in this case allopurinol and diet).
Dalmatians by breed are genetically predisposed to forming these urinary stones, most commonly the urate stones that Domino had experienced. Similar to Domino’s treatment plan, these stones can be managed by feeding certain prescription diets that are low in certain types of protein that yield purine (Dalmatians due to their unique metabolism are sometimes unable to convert these purines properly leading to stone formation). High water intake may also help prevent stones, as well as prescribed medical therapy when necessary. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian as to the proper methods to treat and prevent future stone formation.
Common statistics of urate stone formation in Dalmatians as reported by Veterinary Information Network:
- Average age at which a Dalmatian first experiences stone formation is 4.5 years.
- Male dogs are reported as stone formers more often than females, which may be a reflection of the male anatomy being more predisposed to the added complication of urethral obstruction (rarely an issue with female dogs).
- The risk of stone formation declines as the dog ages.
Common signs your Dalmatian may have stones:
- Bloody urine
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating frequently, in small amounts
- Cloudy, gritty material in dog’s urine
Urinary Obstruction is an emergency! If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
For references or additional information, please refer to the following:
ThinkPets, Inc. Healthy Pet University. Dalmatian Breed Information. 2011 http://www.healthypetu.com/breeds/dogs/dalmatian.aspx
Veterinary Information Network. Uric Acid Stones and Urate Urolithiasis. 2004 http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1683&S=1
MPH's Adoption Star of the Week
Stew is a Cairn Terrier/Norwich Terrier mix, approximately 2 years old, and weighs about 13 lbs at the moment. He is neutered, vaccinated, and dewormed. He is learning to walk on the leash and sleep in the crate at night. He is good with people and a little wary of dogs upon first meeting, but settles down after a bit.
Stew was rescued from the streets of Baja, Mexico late May 2012. This little guy was seen sifting through trash cans and fending off some dogs, when he was called by a rescuer and loved the food she offered him...trusting that this rescuer had his best interest at heart, Stew followed her home, and decided to stay outside of her home until she of course welcomed him in and accepted him into the ARWOB rescue.
His physical look is wire haired, with docked tail and just very much a terrier mix and a handsome little guy! He is house trained and a very calm, quiet dog (not much of a barker which is rare for a terrier breed) or maybe he just hasn't found his voice yet.
Hopefully Stew will find a forever home in your care to complete his 'rags to riches' fairytale!
If you would like more information on Stew, please visit his webpage at http://www.arwob.org/animals/detail?AnimalID=4651428. For any other questions relating to Stew, or any of the other cats and dogs, PLEASE contact ARWOB at 619-977-3593 or email at email@example.com.
MPH's Adoption Star of the Week
It is only fitting that "Summer" be named our 'Adoption Star of the Week' with temperatures heating up here in San Diego.
Summer is a petite (only 2lbs!) russian blue/domestic short-haired kitten, who loves to play and pal around with her feline friends. She is very sweet, but needs more one-on-one time around people. When she feels safe, her little motorboat will purr non-stop and insist that you continue to pet her.
She is in need of a loving, gentle, forever home. She has been in a foster home along with her best gal pals, Winter and Squeaky (2 DSH white and orange tabby female kittens). If you would like to meet her, please FIRST file an adoption application online at www.arwob.org
Now that the ‘dog days of summer’ are upon us, you can make them even more enjoyable by sharing them with your favorite pet. While your pet is having a tail-wagging good time in the summer sun, here are some pet safety tips to ensure your furry companion remains happy, healthy, and safe all summer long.
Visit Your Veterinarian-
A visit to the veterinarian for an early summer health check-up is a must. Your veterinary team can help you make the best choice for flea, parasite, and heartworm prevention in order to prepare your pet for warm weather. If your pet has not been on a year-round prevention, it is important to have your pet be thoroughly examined, and have a fecal and heartworm test ran.
In addition to extreme discomfort, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can also cause serious health problems in your pet. Fleas can cause extreme skin irritation and in severe cases can cause pets to become anemic. Tick bites are a concern for pets because they can transmit Lyme disease, a bacterial infection causing joint inflammation and more serious complications of the kidney, heart, and nervous system. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworms to your cat or dog, which can also prove fatal.
At your visit, make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Since your pets tend to be outdoors longer in the summer months, they may come into contact with other animals more frequently while at dog parks, dog beaches, etc.
Keep Things Cool-
Pets have the tendency to get dehydrated quickly, so ensure you always have plenty of fresh, clean water available for them. If you are traveling with your pet, bring along some water and a bowl. It is also important that your pets have access to a shady place to keep cool.
Note: Doghouses are not good shelter options during the summer as they can trap heat.
Some Pets Have a Harder Time Than Others in the Heat-
Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature, so it is imperative that they stay cool and out of the sun on extremely hot days. Brachycephalic breeds with pushed-in noses, such as Pugs, Pekingese, and Bulldogs, have a hard time cooling themselves since they cannot pant efficiently. They too should stay out of the heat. Overweight dogs have the tendency to trap heat in their bodies, restricting their breathing capabilities. In extreme heat, it may be best to keep them indoors and to avoid strenuous exercise. Try taking walks in the early mornings or evenings when the sun is less intense.
No Pets Left Behind-
Never ever under any circumstances leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows open, a car can easily transform into a furnace in the matter of minutes. Because of the severity of this issue, several states have now made it illegal to leave pets unattended in cars in extreme weather.
No Dogs Allowed-
It may seem like fun to run errands with your pet, but if you cannot bring your dog inside the store, it’s best to leave him/her at home. Leaving a pet unattended, tied up outside the store is hazardous as they are left exposed to the hot sun. Unfortunately, not all people are animal lovers either, and could potentially harm your pet or even set your pet free to roam the neighborhood.
Supervise pets around pools, lakes, and oceans-
Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake (remember not all dogs are expert swimmers). If you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have a doggie life jacket. Also, beware of the possible chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset. Other natural "doggie bowls," such as puddles, ponds and bay water—may contain parasites.
Be sure to keep your pets off any chemically treated or fertilized lawns for at least 24 hours (or according to instructions). Keep your pets a far distance away from potentially toxic plants and flowers, as well as citronella candles, insecticides, rat poison, and antifreeze. Asphalt is also a danger, as it can quickly get hot enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. On hot days, walk your dog on grass or dirt where it’s cooler. Lastly, beware of wildlife that may pose a danger to your pet.
Pet Makeovers, Ooh La La-
You may wish to get your pet groomed during the summer months, especially if your pet is prone to mats and tangles. Brushing pets more often than usual is another method to prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Remember to apply sunscreen to your newly groomed pet, especially since they will be more prone to sunburn with a shorter coat. Make sure to use a sunscreen product labeled specifically for use on animals, such as EpiPet Sunscreen.
Most Importantly, Know the Symptoms-
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately. Some of the common symptoms of overheating include difficulty breathing, excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate, dizziness, collapse, diarrhea, vomiting, and elevated temperature of over 104 degrees.
Even with medical treatment, heatstroke can prove fatal. For more information please refer to our Pet Care Library article, Heat Stroke in Dogs.
Ultimately, the best cure is PREVENTION! With ample precaution, both you and your wet-nosed friend can enjoy these long, hot ‘dog days of summer’.
For additional summer pet safety tips, please refer to the following:
American Kennel Club http://www.akc.org/public_education/summer_safety.cfm
MPH's Adoption Star of the Week
He was named Batman because of his huge ears and his beautiful, black coat. He is a 2 ½ year old full Chihuahua. Although he looks mighty, he is actually a tiny little guy, full-grown weighing only 5-6 pounds.
Batman is an AMAZING DOG! He is very well behaved and has a very sweet disposition. He would love to be a lap dog and would make the perfect family dog, as he is good around children. He is also very patient, a perfect companion for a working couple who will leave him behind while at work.
Batman is very shy at first, but once he gets to know and trust someone he becomes very loving! Batman gets along great with cats and other dogs too! Best of all, he is NOT a barky little guy (a rare quality in a small breed dog).
Hopefully Batman will find a forever home in your care!
If you would like to adopt or foster Batman, please file an application online at www.ARWOB.org.