We have had an increased amount of foreign body surgeries with in the last couple weeks so we thought a spotlight on foreign body surgeries and prevention may be beneficial.
A foreign body is defined as a surgical procedure to remove foreign material from the gastrointestinal system (stomach and intestines) that is obstructing the system. Where the obstruction is located greatly affects the signs and symptoms for each animal. Some small objects that are smooth can pass through the intestines without causing a blockage. However, large objects, such as toys, can get stuck within the intestine and stomach and cause extreme irritation to your pet. Dogs and cats with an intestinal obstruction may show but are not limited to continuous vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, dehydration, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you are afraid your pet may have an intestinal obstruction, contact your veterinary office.
The first step to any kind of treatment for pets is a physical examination to assess painful areas, symptoms, and concerns. If we are concerned that there is a foreign material obstructing the intestinal system, we use further diagnostics to be definitive. The diagnostic tool for determining a foreign body is to take abdominal radiographs (X-rays). By using radiology we can assess normal and abnormalities in the stomach and intestines. If there is an obstruction, surgery is needed as soon as possible.
Check out a normal vs. abnormal abdominal radiographs below.
Is your beloved pet having a hard time standing after laying down? Not going up and down stairs lately? Had any decreases in activity or appetite? Is your pet over grooming or licking in a particular area? Humans and animals both suffer from pain. Unfortunately our pets cannot tell us they are in pain the same way humans tell their doctor, so we depend on changes in your pet’s behavior. September is Pet Pain Awareness Month so we would like to bring to light some common behaviors animals show when they are in pain. Painful behaviors may be the following but are not limited to: difficulty standing after laying down, not going up or down stairs, reluctance to jump up onto surfaces, over grooming or licking a particular area, limping, whining, decreased activity/energy, weight loss, submissive behaviors, guarded behaviors, decreased appetite, and reluctance to move. The majority of pain is chronic and hard to be detected. Many cats and dogs will not whine in pain to alert their owner because hiding pain is a natural “stay alive” instinct inherited by many animals including your pets. The best way to detect if your pet is in pain is to pay attention to changes in your pet’s behavior and speak to veterinary staff and veterinarians about your pet(s). If you are ever concerned about your pet’s pain or have any questions, we are more than happy to help you.
Did you know 95% of fleas live as immature stages in the pets surrounding? Adult female fleas lay 40-50 eggs on your pet per a day. These eggs fall off into the environment aka your house. Eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the blood found in flea feces and eventually form into Pupa. Pupa can remain dormant for months as they wait for opportunities hatch into adult fleas. Adult fleas find a host, take a blood meal, and find a permanent home on your pets. Female fleas find a home, and start producing eggs within 20-24 hours of their first blood meal on your pet. That means at a rate of 20-50 eggs a day, the adult female flea can produce 2,500 eggs in her 4-8 week adult life!
Getting Rid of the Flea Problem
Treating your pets:
Preventing a Flea Outbreak
All dogs and cats should be on a flea preventative to protect your pet and home from a flea invasion. Since fleas are contagious, all pets can easily become infected with fleas from other pets, wildlife, and rodents infected with fleas. That means strictly indoor pets could get fleas from a mouse that may be in your home. Indoor-outdoor dogs and cats could get fleas from another animal outside. Unfortunately, your pet can become infested with fleas in any season due to fleas surviving on other animals and in houses. If a flea problem is left untreated, the fleas can cause dermatitis, skin irritations, and in severe cases anemia. For rental properties and pets with a high exposure risk (dog parks, trips to groomer, boarding facilities) we do recommend year-round flea preventatives to prevent your pet from getting fleas.
We hope this education spotlight on Fleas helps solve your recent flea problems but also help to prevent a flea out break in your home. If you have any questions, call us at (605) 697-5252.