Pet Emergency Clinic

SW Louisiana's After Hours Pet Hospital!

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Current helpful pet owner info from the viewpoint of Dr. John Emerson.

http://drjohnspetissues.wordpress.com 

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Pet Hooverettes- Ingesting Bad Things

Posted by petemergencyclinic on May 13, 2014 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE TOPIC- WHEN PETS ARE HOOVERETTES

 

 

Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,

 

Recently, I treated a beautiful, young adult Labrador Retriever that had

ingested a long piece of cloth that was blocking his intestinal tract.In

addition to causing the obstruction, the frayed cloth began to act like

a string. The small intestines bunched up around the "string", causing

the intestines to be cut. Despite having over 2 hours surgery including

removal of a foot of non-viable small intestine, removal of the string

and all multiple repairs of perforations, this fine young pet did not

survive. long

 

Why am I giving you this "bummer" story during the holiday season?

Because your pets will have meny opportunities to ingest foreign

materials during this season.

 

How to avoid such problems?

-Never leave your pet alone with foreign materials such as ribbons,

wrapping paper, or even towels.

-Be certain that any pet toys are safe- I have seen them swallowed

before.

-Do not leave food on the counters when a dog is around. I have had to

surgically remove a large turkey bone from the stomach of a small Lhaso

Apso one Christmas holiday.

 

As always, it is smart to anticipate possible problems before they

occur, especially when there are pets around.

 

But if you do get into trouble this fine season and it is business

hours, call your DVM. If the problem occurs after hours, PetER at

337-562-0400.

 

 

That is all.

 

 

Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic

 

Draining Wounds- What to Do?

Posted by petemergencyclinic on June 13, 2011 at 2:11 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE TOPIC- Cats and Draining Wounds

 

One problem we frequently treat at the ER is cats with nasty draining wounds.

 

This is almost always outdoor cats, is usually males, and is the result of fighting. When cats fight, they create puncture wounds with teeth and/or claws. The puncture wound has thousands of bacteria of the type that do not like air. (anearobic bacteria) These bacteria find themselves in a perfect environment to grow, with warmth, moisture, a good food supply (blood), and of course, no oxygen. The bacteria grow and the body sends defenses to the site, creating pus and isolating the area to prevent spread.

 

The pet gets fever and feels bad. Finally, the area bursts, with nasty, creamy drainage.

 

The above process is known as abscess formation. If your cat (and sometimes dog) gets an abscess, get him seen ASAP. Treatment is usually a sedated cleanup, creation of drainage, and antibiotics. During business hours, call your family veterinarian, and after hours, call Pet Emergency Clinic at 337-562-0400.

 

Best idea is to prevent. Neuter male and spay female cats, or better yet, keep them indoors. Keep vaccinations current, and get a Feline Leukemia test for the cat about 2-3 months after any fight. That is all.

 

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

Draining Wounds- What to Do?

Posted by petemergencyclinic on June 13, 2011 at 2:11 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE TOPIC- Cats and Draining Wounds

 

One problem we frequently treat at the ER is cats with nasty draining wounds.

 

This is almost always outdoor cats, is usually males, and is the result of fighting. When cats fight, they create puncture wounds with teeth and/or claws. The puncture wound has thousands of bacteria of the type that do not like air. (anearobic bacteria) These bacteria find themselves in a perfect environment to grow, with warmth, moisture, a good food supply (blood), and of course, no oxygen. The bacteria grow and the body sends defenses to the site, creating pus and isolating the area to prevent spread.

 

The pet gets fever and feels bad. Finally, the area bursts, with nasty, creamy drainage.

 

The above process is known as abscess formation. If your cat (and sometimes dog) gets an abscess, get him seen ASAP. Treatment is usually a sedated cleanup, creation of drainage, and antibiotics. During business hours, call your family veterinarian, and after hours, call Pet Emergency Clinic at 337-562-0400.

 

Best idea is to prevent. Neuter male and spay female cats, or better yet, keep them indoors. Keep vaccinations current, and get a Feline Leukemia test for the cat about 2-3 months after any fight. That is all.

 

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

The Heat- Tips to Protect Pets

Posted by petemergencyclinic on June 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE TOPIC- MIAMI IS NOT THE ONLY HEAT

In case you have not been outside lately, it is HOT.

 

This update is to review symptoms of heatstroke and how to avoid it. Our pet's bodies, like our own, can only operate at a certain limited temperature range. The body has many mechanisms to hold the body there, creating heat when it is cold and cooling when it is hot. But after a certain point in summer heat, the body becomes overwhelmed, and can succumb to heat stroke.

 

Since most of our pets have a fur coat and the inability to leave a hot area, it is up to us to prevent heatstroke. For outside pets, be sure shade, air circulation, and lots of water are readily available. Limit exercise and workouts in the heat. The Labrador Retriever especially will keep running full speed right up to the collapse. Exercise early in the morning and late in the evening. Never leave your pet in a parked car. The car becomes an oven in just a few minutes.

 

If your pet becomes really weak and is apparently overheated, cool her rapidly with cool tap or hose water, and GET HER TO A VET NOW. Even if the pet appears to be better, many will succcumb up to 2 days later due to the extreme stress to the body. Medical care is critical and is the best chance to prevent this.

 

Speaking of preventing this, PREVENT it in the first place with the tips above. This is always the best approach. Let's keep the summer fun! That is all.

 

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

Digital X Rays- New at PetER

Posted by petemergencyclinic on March 25, 2011 at 5:58 PM Comments comments (1)

Digital Radiography is the most modern way to get an X ray picture. And Pet Emergency Clinic has just invested in what is known as DR Digital Radiography in order to better serve you and your pet. Why is digital better?


In traditional radiography, X rays go through your pet and hit a cassette, which contains a sheet of plastic X ray film. This exposed film is then taken into a darkroom, placed into an automatic processor, and after about 2 minutes, you have an image. If the chemicals are weak, temperatures wrong, or the X Ray exposure is not right, the film must then be retaken and more time is spent. Toxic waste is generated and the plastic film must then be hand-delivered to your referring DVM.


In the type of  Digital Radiography now at Pet ER, a picture is taken just as before, but in 30 seconds, the image is captured on a computer hard drive and is visible on a monitor. If the image is good but not perfect, it may be corrected with software. No chemicals, toxic waste, or film. No film to be transported to your DVM. Instead, the image is e mailed to your DVM and instantly available. Additionally, you may see it yourself on any computer in the PetER.


The bottom line is this: Pet Emergency Clinic has invested in some very good new equipment that will allow us to diagnose and treat your pet faster and to get that information to your DVM more easily. Everybody wins!










Disc Disease- Pain in the Neck (and Back)

Posted by petemergencyclinic on March 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM Comments comments (0)

Fear Fellow Pet Lovers,


This update is on disc disease in dogs. The discs I am referring to are technically Intervertebral discs, which are sort of bumpers and shock absorbers between the vertebrae (bones of the spine.)


The dog spine is horizontal, and in some dogs, the discs weaken and the material in them gets "squished" upwards, pushing against the spinal cord. Sometimes this causes only severe pain and sometimes this results in weakness or paralysis.


There are certain breeds that get this more often than others. The ones we see most often are Dachshunds, Poodles, and Boston Terriers, but there are others. In these breeds, the disc degenerates and weakens, and then at some point "blows", causing pain and or paralysis. Though this appears to be an injury, it in fact is usually not.


If your small breed dog becomes weak and wobbly or seems painful after a seemingly minor injury, consider disc disease. If you suspect this, you should get the pet seen immediately either at your DVM's during hours or at Pet Emergency Clinic (337-562-0400) after hours.


Many of these pets are treated with specific medicines and rest, but some need surgery. Time makes a difference in how these pets do, so get it seen immediately.


That is all.



Pet Health Insurance- Exists and is a good product

Posted by petemergencyclinic on February 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE TOPIC- PET HEALTH INSURANCE

 

Dear Fellow Pet Lover,

 

 

This week's update is on Pet Health Insurance.

 

 

As the capabilities of veterinarians grow and sophisticated surgeries and diagnostics become more available, our pets' lives are made even better. But, this high level of care can become expensive.

 

 

Many times I hear clients say "I wish I could get health insurance for Fido or Fluffy" I then usually tell them that there are such products available and the fee is reasonable. Many of us shy from the idea of health insurance like our own human products due to the hassle associated with these products. Pet health insurance plans are almost universally very little hassle. The insurance companies seem in general to do what they say they are going to do and not create lots of difficulty.

 

With pet health insurance, the plans are indemnity plans, which means that the client pays the bill and then submits for reimbursement. This type of plan avoids many of the difficulties that we may have with our plans. And the fees are relatively low, too.

 

 

There are several good companies out there, including VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance), a plan by Purina, and one endorsed by the American Humane Society.(I am not endorsing these- They are just a few names that I have heard of) My advice is to check all the companies out, and go for one that is highly rated by customers. Insurance is one way to prepare yourself from high pet medical bills. It is available, low-cost, and workable.

 

 

But there are a couple of other options:

One is to self-insure. You could do this by setting $1000-3000 aside in a special pet medical account. In this way, you would be ready for most emergencies. Care Credit is a 6 month interest-free medical line of credit. It helps, but it would be my last resort if other avenues fail.

 

 

To summarize, it is a great time to have a pet, since veterinary medicine has come so far in our ability to help the pet live a long time. But with these strides sometimes comes higher costs of care. Planning ahead and being ready can make this situation much less stressful. You get to enjoy your pet without worry!

 

 

That is all.

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

websitewww.petemergencyclinic.net

 

337-562-0400 1501 W. McNeese St. Lake Charles

Heartworms- DO NOT MISS this new information.

Posted by petemergencyclinic on February 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM Comments comments (0)

Heartworms is an old, ugly story that seems to be overtold. But here is some newer info that makes me want to update you.

 

To summarize, heartworms are large worms that grow in your dog's (and your cat's) heart. The worms are spread by mosquitos from pet to pet. Heartworms are prevented by giving monthly medicine by mouth, or in some cases in a spot-on product. It is critical to give your dogs and cats medicine to prevent heartworms, because the treatment is a bit of an ordeal in dogs and is not do-able in cats.

 

Most common symptoms in dogs are coughing and shortness of breath. In cats it may be sudden death or an extreme asthma-like distress condition.

 

A new twist is this. For the past several months, veterinarians have been seeing a few heartworm-positive dogs that have been properly on prevention and yet still caught the disease. The percentage is still very low, but it reminds me to give you two important points to bring out now:

1. If your pet is an all-outdoor pet, it would be good to find some way to reduce exposure to mosquitos. That may be spraying the area to kill mosquitos, being certain that you have no standing stagnant water in your area, and using a flea treatment product that has mosquito repellent. (Example- Vectra- ask your veterinarian)

2) If you purchase your heartworm prevention products from your veterinarian (versus via mail-order), the manufacturer's guarantee will be in effect should the product fail. Manufactures may pay for heartworm treatment in cases in which the product has been properly purchased from a veterinarian and given correctly. Be certain when you buy it that it is posted to the correct pet, etc.

Please do not be overly concerned about this information. Generally the products are working fine. But it really shows us just why it is so key that you get and use product under the expert advice of your DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)

 

That is all.

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

337-562-0400 1501 W. McNeese St. Lake Charles

Your Pet's Surgery. How to make it go RIGHT!

Posted by petemergencyclinic on December 7, 2010 at 5:56 PM Comments comments (1)

Dear Fellow Pet Lover,

 

Today's update is on surgical aftercare. We veterinarians do lots of surgery with very few problems. In fact, we often downplay the possible problems that can occur with any surgery since we do so many uneventfully. 

 

This update is to remind you that ANY surgery, no matter how routine, has some risk attached to it. The risks may be related to anesthetic, the overall condition of the pet, its ability to heal, and the surgical aftercare. Generally, it is your DVM's job to assess the risk of surgery prior to performing it. Your input is needed in this area as well. For example, if your pet just ate a large meal and was supposed to have been fasted, risk is introduced if you do not advise your DVM.

 

The surgical technique and anesthesia is up to your DVM. So choosing a surgeon based on known good reputation or known skill and experience is a very good idea. Naturally, a more experienced surgeon may have higher fees. It is up to the owner to choose an appropriate surgeon or facility.

 

The most important factor that an owner can control is the aftercare. The aftercare for any surgery, no matter how apparently routine, is crtitical. Be sure that you as an owner understand exactly what is required and are prepared to do it. Aftercare is probably the single most important factor of successful outcome in surgery. (MY opinion, of course)

 

So if your pet is to have surgery, select a surgeon whom you trust, prepare the pet correctly, and exactly follow all aftercare instructions to the letter. Then your pet's surgery will become an UNMEMORABLE experience.

 

That is all.

Thanks, Dr. John Emerson

Tiny Toy Puppies- Preventing hypoglycemia

Posted by petemergencyclinic on November 28, 2010 at 9:39 PM Comments comments (0)

Today's update is on tiny toy breed puppies. How and why they get hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and how to prevent it.


With the popularity of tiny "teacup" and "micro" breeds increasing, we at PetER are seeing more cases related to potentially fatal low blood sugar in these breeds. Example of breeds like this include the tiny Chihuahua, Yorky, Poodle, and others.


To better explain, a significant percentage of tiny toy breed puppies have a metabolic disorder in which they are unable to properly store energy (Glycogen) in their livers. Puppies with this condition are like a very large gas-guzzling car with a 2 gallon gas tank. They may go fast but they will not go far without constant "fillups" (meals.)


Signs of hypoglycemia include disorientation, dizziness, severe lethargy (droopiness), and possibly passing out and seizuring.


One way to avoid these symptoms is to feed your toy breed puppy small frequent meals of a very high quality dog food at least until the puppy reaches the weight of 3 pounds. By the time of reaching this weight, almost all of these puppies will have "outgrown" this condition and have no more problems with it. Do not feed honey or Karo syrup as a "preventative" in the case of no symptoms. Doing this could actually trigger this disease.


If symptoms should occur, your first action is to get sugar into the puppy. You may use honey, Karo syrup, Nutrical, etc. Your next action is to get it seen by a DVM, even if all seems to be ok. It may relapse. During business hours, get to your DVM immediately. After hours, come to PetER pronto!


Tiny teacup micro breeds can be quite a lot of fun and a novelty. However, some of them are afflicted with many serious medical issues. Be sure to do your research before you add one of these cute puppies to your family.



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