What Can Veterinarians Do to Help in a National Disaster?

The hurricanes that have plagued the southeast United States and the Caribbean in the recent weeks have made me question what my role is as a veterinarian in a national disaster and what can I do for my patients and pets during one?   I was astounded by troubling information gained by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Did you know that since emergency response teams were overwhelmed rescuing people, nearly 600,000 animals died or were stranded (Yuijano,…

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Warming the Hypothermic Canine and Feline Patient

Warming the Hypothermic Canine and Feline Patient Hypothermia commonly occurs in critically ill or injured canine and feline patients as a result of excessive heat loss, decreased metabolism and/or loss of the ability to thermoregulate at the level of the autonomic nervous system. Passive external rewarming by covering the patient with a blanket or towel may be sufficient in warming mildly hypothermic patients. This method minimizes heat loss to the surrounding environment and relies on…

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Cooling Methods for Canine Heat Stroke

As the weather gets warmer and our dogs have yet to acclimatize to the change in temperature, more cases of canine heat stroke are seen. The primary goal in the treatment of heat stroke is to actively facilitate cooling. Methods of cooling in the heat stroke patient focus on evaporative and conductive mechanisms of heat dissipation. Evaporative cooling is the most commonly used method, and typically involves soaking the patient with cool or tepid water…

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Hops Toxicity in Dogs

With the rising popularity of home brewing, hops ingestion and toxicity in dogs is becoming more common in the ER. Ingestion of hops in dogs causes malignant hyperthermia, however the mechanism of action is unknown. The toxic component of the plant is also unknown, but essential oils, resins, phenolic compounds or nitrogenous constituents have been considered. Toxicity can occur from both raw and spent hops. Symptoms of Hops Toxicity in Dogs Body temperature often exceeds 105°F…

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Tips for Diagnosing Septic Peritonitis in Dogs & Cats

Septic peritonitis is a challenging problem to diagnose and treat in dogs and cats. Early diagnosis may improve survival as it will lead to quicker surgical resolution and elimination of the septic foci. Part of the challenge is that is that the physical examination only positively predicts those that require surgery 50% of the time (Walters, 2003).  Dr. Natashia Evans and Dr. Jayme Hoffberg gives the following tips to help diagnose septic peritonitis: Tips for Diagnosing…

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