Ruckus is a 9-year-old tabby cat who was referred to the Emergency and Critical Care Department for severely increased kidney enzymes due to a left ureteral obstruction. Ruckus had a blocked ureter, which is a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, because of a stone which caused his kidneys to not function properly, potentially causing irreversible damage. The most common cause of ureteral obstruction in cats is due to calculi which cannot be medically dissolved. The clinical signs can be non-specific and a general unwell feeling which can include lethargy, vomiting and/or decreased appetite.
Ruckus had to undergo two sessions of hemodialysis to decrease and normalize his kidney parameters before he was stable enough to go to surgery (along with having a blood transfusion and further supportive care). Hemodialysis acts as treatment to take over the excretory part of the kidney function. It can be helpful … Continue reading
October is Registered Veterinary Technicians month, a time of year when the veterinary community recognizes Veterinary Technicians and their contributions and commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care. This is a valuable time to acknowledge our hard working support staff and to help you learn more about the important role Vet Techs play in veterinary medicine.
Vet Techs are important members of the veterinary health team providing technical support for all aspects of patient care. There are only two accredited programs in BC (19 in Canada), which provide intensive study of the skills and knowledge to work competently as a Vet Tech. These include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, clinical techniques, pharmacology, anesthesiology, surgical and medical nursing, radiology and clinical pathology education.
After graduation, it is important for Vet Techs to maintain certification and registration by successfully completing a national exam and participating in continuing education in the latest medical advances and … Continue reading
Molly and The Bear Attack
In late July on a Whistler trail, Molly and her owner were surprised when they encountered a bear making aggressive noises who then charged towards them. The bear pinned Molly down by her throat.
The owner tried to distract the bear to no avail – it disappeared in the bush carrying and shaking Molly by her neck. The owner thought Molly dead, and walked back to his truck only to find Molly there, albeit bleeding and going into shock.
Molly underwent two emergency procedures that night in Whistler and the owner had been nursing her at home for a week when we heard of their incredible tale and resolve. Molly had made some progress, but there were complications – she was reluctant to walk and carried her head to the right.
The big questions that loomed were whether she could make enough of a … Continue reading
There are many, many reasons why our pets may “bring up” something, and it’s easy to assume that what they are doing is vomiting. But what if we told you that in addition to the reasons to vomit, there are many other reasons why they might regurgitate! Being able to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitation helps us diagnose pets and get them feeling better faster.
To vomit means to force out matter from the stomach through the mouth. It is an active movement in which the abdomen contracts and forces the stomach contents up and out. The material can be an array of colors depending on what was eaten or what the underlying condition is, and can contain some digested food, as the stomach has begun to process it. The list of diseases causing vomiting includes stomach upset, foreign bodies stuck in the stomach or intestines, pancreatitis, or countless … Continue reading
As summertime approaches, so do holiday plans. Whether you plan to bring your pet along on your vacation or leave your pet at home, we have some tips and thoughts for each option.
What could be better than going on holidays with your pet? You are together with your fur-buddy, you don’t have to worry about how your pet is doing without you, and you’re making new memories.
The downside is that many pets don’t travel well. There is always some stress associated with travel, and many pets are anxious in new situations. Most importantly, the logistics of keeping your pet physically safe while flying or driving must be addressed.
Different airlines have different requirements. A flight for a dog that is larger than the allowed cabin kennel size (which differs depending on the airplane/airline) carries risks, especially if there are stops or transfers on the itinerary. … Continue reading
Hardy is an aptly-named and lovely 7-month old Bernese Mountain dog who recently arrived at our Emergency Room after eating a large amount of raisins and two pounds of Crisco (vegetable shortening)! That night his owner discovered more than 50 raisins in his stool along with some paper towel remnants.
Blood work was done to rule out the two concerns that could arise from the ingestion of these two separate potential trouble-makers:
- Raisins or grapes, which can cause kidney failure. (The mechanism by which raisins or grapes cause kidney injury is unknown).
- Ingestion of high amounts of fat (from the Crisco) can cause pancreatitis.
Hardy was treated with IV fluids, monitored and was discharged home after a couple of days. He was very lucky, but not all dogs are. We have seen dogs succumb to pancreatitis, despite our best efforts.
Pancreatitis can strike fear in the heart of emergency/critical … Continue reading