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Emergency Situations

  • Cervical stenosis is also known as cervical vertebral instability, cervical spondylopathy or Wobbler syndrome. It is caused by compression of the spinal cord, usually at the base of the neck.

  • Yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant.

  • Medical emergencies occur suddenly and without warning. It is important for all pet owners to have a basic understanding of common veterinary medical emergencies and basic first aid for their pet.

  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a term that refers to the heart's inability to pump adequate blood to the body. There are many causes of CHF in dogs. The two most common causes are mitral valve insufficiency (MVI), or a leaky mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and the let ventricle and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

  • The cornea is the clear, glistening membrane that makes up the surface of the eyeball. A penetration or erosion through a few layers of the outermost corneal epithelium is called a corneal erosion or corneal abrasion. A corneal ulcer is a deeper erosion through the entire epithelium down into the stroma.

  • The cornea is the transparent, shiny membrane that makes up the front of the eyeball. Think of it as a clear windowpane. To understand a corneal ulcer, you must first know how the cornea is constructed.

  • When there is not enough oxygen being carried to the body by the red blood cells, the skin and mucous membranes can turn a bluish color. This is known as cyanosis.

  • Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause.

  • Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This small organ located near the stomach has two different types of cells that have very different functions. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion.

  • This handout provides detailed information on insulin administration. For more information about diabetes mellitus, see the fact sheets "Diabetes Mellitus - General Information", and "Diabetes Mellitus - Principles of Treatment".

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3070 8th St SW
Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 967-4281
Fax: (515)967-8824


After Hours Emergency
IVS: (515) 280-305
IVRC: (515)727-4872



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