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Dogs + Emergency Situations

  • Dogs that fall from heights can suffer sprains, broken bones, head trauma, and chest or abdominal injuries. Toy breeds can sustain injuries from jumping off a couch or chair. If you see your dog fall, monitor him for at least 3-5 days for anything abnormal that may develop. Serious injuries need to be evaluated immediately by your veterinarian, but there are steps you can take at home to prepare your pet to be transported to your veterinary hospital.

  • Insect stings or bites can cause mild signs of swelling, pain, and itching or can be more severe causing hives, anaphylactic reactions, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures. If the sting or bite has been observed, look for the insect or spider to allow identification. Look for a stinger and carefully remove it without squeezing more venom out of the venom sac. Depending on the severity of the reaction, first aid including cool packing the area, dosing with oral antihistamine, and prevention of self-trauma may be all that is needed; however, in more severe cases emergency veterinary attention is required to stabilize the dog, screen for organ dysfunction, and provide supportive care.

  • Lameness occurs due to the injury or debilitation of one or more parts of the leg: bones, muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, or skin. Depending on the cause of the limp, immediate veterinary care may be needed. If your dog is in severe pain, carefully transport your dog to your veterinary hospital or emergency hospital immediately. For non-emergency limps, you may be able to determine the cause of the limp and provide home care. If the lameness persists for more than 24 hours, seek veterinary care. Medication or surgery may be necessary to help your dog heal and reduce pain.

  • Tail injuries are common and can sometimes be managed with home first aid but some cases require veterinary care. Abrasions are mild scrapes that can be treated with daily cleaning and application of antibiotic ointment. Lacerations are more serious cuts that may expose underlying muscle and bone requiring stitches and often antibiotics. Happy tail is a condition where the skin at the end of the tail becomes damaged and continues to split and bleed whenever the wagging tail hits a hard surface. Bandaging, antibiotics and pain medication may help these heal but amputation may become necessary to reduce re-injury. Tail fractures can heal well if they occur near the tip of the tail but if bones are severely damaged then amputation may be required. Nerve damage can occur from fractures, crushing injuries or severe tail pulls causing stretching or tearing of the nerves and can result in loss of fecal and urinary continence and can also result in a limp tail. Limber tail is a painful muscle condition likely caused by overexertion and treated with rest and anti-inflammatories.

  • If your dog limps, or licks at his pads, he may have a foot pad that is torn, punctured, or burned. Minor injuries may be treated at home, but deeper or complicated wounds require veterinary attention. Clean the wound and remove small debris if possible. If larger foreign or deeply seated objects are discovered, or if the wound is deep and does not stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes, seek immediate veterinary care. Control bleeding and apply gauze as a bandage, wrapping the affected paw including the ankle or wrist. Keep the wound clean and bandaged and if any changes are noticed, seek veterinary care. Avoid walks on hot sidewalks in the summer and protect your dog’s feet with boots during the winter. Try to avoid foot injuries in your dog by surveying the areas that your dog plays and walks.

  • Frostbite is the damage that is caused to the skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. The paws, ears, and tail are the most common tissues to be affected. Diagnosis is usually based on the dog's medical history and physical examination. If you suspect your dog has frostbite, you should seek medical attention immediately. Mild cases of frostbite usually resolve with little permanent damage, while more severe frostbite may result in permanent disfiguration or alteration of the affected tissues. In severe cases, some dogs require surgical removal of the necrotic tissue or amputation.

  • A gastropexy is a surgical procedure that is sometimes performed in large breed dogs to prevent the life-threatening condition, gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. This handout explains how the procedure works, how it is used as a preventative and in emergency situations, risk factors, and post-operative care.

  • Giardia in Dogs

    La giardiasis es una infección intestinal del hombre y los animales provocada por un protozoo parásitario llamado Giardia intestinalis (conocido también como Giardia lamblia).

  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye, called the intraocular pressure (IOP) is increased. Glaucoma is caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid. It is classified as primary or secondary glaucoma. High intraocular pressure causes damage to occur in the retina and the optic nerve. Blindness can occur very quickly unless the increased IOP is reduced. Analgesics to control the pain and medications that decrease fluid production and promote drainage are often prescribed to treat glaucoma. The prognosis depends to a degree upon the underlying cause of the glaucoma.

  • Heatstroke is another term for hyperthermia. Dogs suffering from heatstroke can have varied signs from high respiratory rate to coma depending on how high their temperature is. Heat stroke is most often caused by a dog being left in a car without adequate ventilation; however, it can happen outside as well if the dog does not have access to shade or water. Dogs have difficulty with heat exchange as they only have a few sweat glands in their feet and mainly control heat exchange by panting. Because of this, brachycephalic dogs or muzzled dogs are at higher risk. Treatment for heat stroke requires controlled evaporative cooling with water and fans, intravenous fluids, sedation, and oxygen therapy. It is important to discontinue active cooling once the body temperature reaches 103°F or the dog can quickly become hypothermic. Prognosis depends on the extent and duration of temperature elevation. Some dogs recover normally but more severe cases will have permanent organ damage or may die from hyperthermia.

Contact

2554 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
94110

Phone: 867 5309

Hours of Operation

Monday 9 am – 9 pm
Tuesday 9 am – 9 pm
Wednesday 9 am – 9 pm
Thursday 9 am – 9 pm
Friday 9 am – 9 pm
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday Closed