Blood work is a very important diagnostic tool that provides a significant amount of information about your pet’s health. A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test used to measure and evaluate cells that circulate in the blood. The test includes an actual counting of red and white blood cells as well as an analysis of cells viewed on a blood smear. A CBC may be useful as a [...]
WHAT IS AN ABDOMINAL RADIOGRAPH (X-RAY)?
An abdominal radiograph (X-ray) is a procedure that allows your veterinarian to visualize tissue, organs and bones that lie beneath the skin. Abdominal X-rays are indicated to evaluate pets with abdominal symptoms such as vomiting, retching, constipation or diarrhea. This test can also be helpful in cases of unexplained fever, abdominal trauma, penetrating[...]
Blood work is a very important diagnostic tool that provides a significant amount of information about your pet’s health. A biochemical profile is a blood test that assesses the function of internal organs, measures the electrolytes such as blood potassium, and identifies the levels of circulating enzymes. Understanding the biochemical profile can be difficult but reveals a [...]
WHAT IS A THORACIC RADIOGRAPH?
A thoracic (chest) radiograph (X-ray) is a procedure that allows your veterinarian to visualize tissues, organs and bones that lie beneath the skin of the chest cavity. Thoracic radiographs are recommended for any pet with difficultly breathing or with suspicion of heart disease or lung disease. They are also indicated in geriatric patients, and in patients that may[...]
WHAT IS AN EAR SWAB EXAMINATION?
An ear swab examination is a test used to determine the cause of abnormal ear discharge. Bacteria and/or yeast organisms or mites are common findings with ear infections. The result of the examination can help determine drug choice. Culture and sensitivity can also be performed on an ear swab sample to determine which bacteria are causing the infection and the [...]
WHAT IS A FECAL EXAMINATION?
A fecal examination is the microscopic evaluation of feces. The test is indicated for pets with diarrhea, straining, lack of appetite or vomiting. Annual fecal examinations are recommended on all animals as part of a yearly health exam. Fecal examinations are also recommended on all puppies and kittens.
There is no contraindication to performing this test. Negative[...]
WHAT IS A THYROID TEST?
A thyroid test is a blood test to evaluate the function of the thyroid gland. This gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone, an important hormone in the regulation and maintenance of body functions. A thyroid test is indicated in any ill animal. Normal animals, especially the elderly, will benefit from thyroid test results and this test is often used as a [...]
WHAT IS A URINALYSIS?
A urinalysis is a laboratory test of urine commonly referred to by medical professionals as a “UA.” The urine is evaluated for the presence of certain chemicals. A microscopic exam of the urine is also done to look for abnormalities.
A urinalysis is indicated for evaluating pets with urinary abnormalities such as increased urine production, increased urinary [...]
HOW TO GIVE INJECTABLE FLUIDS AT HOME
Everybody needs water, the most important of all nutrients. Humans are lucky; we can usually drink fluids when we need them. But when animals don’t feel well, they stop drinking. During illness your dog has a greater need for water and can become dehydrated rapidly. In fact, a loss of just 10 percent of body fluid can cause your pet some trouble. It is most[...]
GIVING PILL MEDICATION
Frequently, medications are required for treatment for illness or injury and dogs are sent home with prescription medication. Once your dog is released from the veterinary hospital, administering these medications can be scary, confusing and, sometimes, difficult to do. With practice, giving pill form medications can be quick and easy.
Some medications can be hidden in a[...]
GIVING LIQUID MEDICATION
Once your dog is released from the veterinary hospital, administering home medications can be scary, confusing and, sometimes, difficult to do. Several medications are available in both liquid and pill forms. If you feel that the liquid form would be easier to give to your dog, make sure you ask your veterinarian if this option is available.
Try the following method [...]
Some dog diseases, most commonly diabetes and allergies, require periodic administration of injectable medications. Proper administration of these medications will help ensure your dogs' continued good health. Frequently, you will do this at home. If you feel uncomfortable administering injectable medication, discuss alternatives with your veterinarian. Try this method:
GIVING EYE MEDICATION
Frequently, your veterinarian prescribes medication for your dog after an eye examination. Administering these medications can sometimes be difficult. Some dogs, especially if their eyes are painful, are resistant to the administration of medication. Diligence and patience are necessary to help give the medication. There are several techniques that may facilitate giving eye [...]
GIVING EAR MEDICATION
Frequently, your veterinarian prescribes medication after an ear examination. Administering these medications can be confusing and difficult. Some dogs, especially if their ears are painful, are resistant to the administration of medication. Diligence and patience are necessary and this technique may be helpful:
Have the medication container ready and the cap off.
APPLYING TOPICAL MEDICINE
Medications come in a variety of forms – pills, liquids and ointments. New flea and tick products are most commonly associated with topical application but other drugs are also available, such as antibiotic creams and ointments for wound care.
Some topical medications include an applicator for easy administration. For flea and tick products, once applied to the [...]
Weight loss is a physical condition that results from a negative caloric balance. This usually occurs when the body uses and/or excretes essential nutrients faster than it can consume them. Essentially more calories are being burned than are being taken in. Weight loss is considered clinically important when it exceeds 10 percent of the normal body weight and is not associated [...]
Vomiting, also called “emesis”, is the act of expelling contents from the stomach through the mouth. There are multiple causes of vomiting. An occasional, infrequent isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal.
Vomiting is a symptom that can be caused by disorders of the gastrointestinal system (stomach and/or intestines) or it can be secondary to a disease from a [...]
A seizure or convulsion is a sudden excessive firing of nerves in the brain. It results in a series of involuntary contractions of the voluntary muscles, abnormal sensations, abnormal behavior, or some combination. A seizure can last from seconds to minutes. The severity of the seizure can vary between a far-away look or twitching in one part of the face to falling on the side, [...]
Red eye is a non-specific sign of inflammation or infection. Some conditions associated with a red eye can be painful, itchy and cause sensitivity to light resulting in squinting or the eye being held closed. A red eye may be seen with diseases of the external eyelids, third eyelid, conjunctiva, cornea, or sclera. It may also occur with inflammation of the structures inside [...]
Lethargy is a state of drowsiness, inactivity, or indifference in which there are delayed responses to external stimuli such as sound, sight, or touch. Lethargy may also refer to the general malaise and decreased activity exhibited by animals that do not feel well.
Lethargy is a nonspecific sign associated with many possible underlying systemic disorders. It may have little to[...]