8.17.2016 Emergency, South Bay, CA

Case Count: 9

Favorite Quotes

  •  "If the prefix 'a-' means 'not-', what does 'acute' mean?"

Birthday surprise!

10yo female spayed Chihuahua
Congestive heart failure (CHF), ongoing care
     This little dog developed a cough and had a moderate heart murmur. Then she developed breathing difficulty and a sever murmur. It's possible that one of the cords (cordae tendonae) that attach to one of the heart valves broke, allowing the valve to billow through the opening it's supposed to block in the heart. Left-sided valve problems are most common and cause fluid to build up in the lungs, causing a cough and then difficulty breathing. Treating with meds to cause urination and therefore dehydration...less fluid overall means less fluid in the lungs. Long-term survival in this patient is unlikely. 

3yo FS Dachshund
Hemilaminectomy, post-op care
     Dachshunds and other long-backed-short-legged dogs are prone to calcification of the intervertebral discs. Instead of a jelly doughnuts acting like shock absorbers between the bones of the spine, the jelly turns to chalk and even normal walking can compress it and shoot it upward into the spinal cord, causing paralysis (or partial paralysis) of one or more limbs (usually the back legs). This dog had surgery to carve an opening in the spine to relieve pressure and allow the offending material to be scooped out. Patient had surgery this morning and is already walking a little and peeing on her own.

5yo female spayed Beagle
     Second seizure, first was at 2 years of age. Just based on that info, epilepsy is the most likely cause. Other things that can cause seizures include low blood sugar (the brain can only use glucose for energy), electrolyte abnormalities (messes with electrical function), toxins, trauma, brain tumors (most likely if first seizure is after 5 years old), liver failure, some others. Gave Valium, which stops most seizures, though sometimes stronger meds or anesthesia is needed to reduce brain activity. Shes staying overnight for observation, yowling like Beagles tend to in the hospital. She's quiet if we sit with her. Looks like sitting-on-the-floor-with-an-anxious-pet night.  

3yo male intact Chi/Corgi mix
Acute worsening of chronic rear leg neurological dysfunction
     Young case with slower onset signs of IVDD (see Dachshund above). No surgery yet due to low pain level and presence of some function.

11yo male neutered Chalene (new breed for me!)
Second seizure in 2 days, acute severe kidney failure
     This dog was treated for acute kidney failure, but did not improve as much as was hoped. He probably has very little time left, and the seizures are a disheartening new sign. The owner is hoping to have two more days and euthanize on Friday. Took a dose of Valium to give per rectum in case of seizure (absorbs through mucus membranes and avoids risk of getting bitten). 

5-month-old male intact Pit Bull
Acute facial swelling
     This is classic for a bee sting or other envenomation. Treated with injection of steroids and Benadryl. As long as there's no vomiting, breathing changes, or other serious signs within the first hour, a life-threatening event is unlikely. Hives weren't present, but often occur.  

1yo female spayed Chi cross
Acute vomiting and diarrhea
     This dog started vomiting and having diarrhea while laying down SUDDENLY. She was normal by the time I evaluated her an hour later. I think she was having a reaction to a bee sting as described above. Owners elected to monitor at home with minimal treatment.    

18-month-old female spayed Shepherd mix
Paw pad laceration
     Uncomplicated cut on the right front main paw pad. Cleaned, applied a bandage, started antibiotics and pain meds. Most importantly is sending home an e-collar. The most common cause of complications in wounds is self-trauma. Interestingly, pet has skin allergies...common in Shepherds.   

18-month-old Scottish Terrier
Acute sneezing
     In California between Spring and Autumn, I ALWAYS assume there's a foxtail in a sneezing patient's nose until proven otherwise. Look thos bad boys up if you aren't familiar. They get into noses, ears, tonsils, between toes, and they continue moving until they can't move any more. I've had foxtails migrate from the nose, through the lungs, through the diaphragm, into the abdomen. I've had them migrate between the toes and up and out the shoulder. They're AWFUL. Abscess.infection follow in their wake until removed, even for months/years. Sedated this pooch and no foxtail was seen in his nose. Antibiotics and see how it goes.