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Emergency Situations

  • 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. With a corneal ulcer, fluid is absorbed from the tears into the stroma, giving a cloudy appearance to the eye. The most common cause of a corneal ulcer is trauma. Less common causes of corneal ulcers include bacterial infections, viral infections, and other diseases.

  • 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. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.

  • 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. Consistent treatment is a vital component of the proper management of the diabetic dog. Once you are coached on how to give them, you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and how well your dog tolerates the injections.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal.

  • Even though e-cigarettes may be safer for humans than using traditional tobacco products, they are certainly not safe for pets. The nicotine associated with e-cigarettes, even without the tobacco, poses a serious health threat for dogs and cats.

  • Eclampsia (hypocalcemia or puerperal tetany) is an emergency medical condition associated with a life-threatening drop in blood calcium levels that occurs in nursing mothers. Eclampsia occurs most commonly when the kittens are one to five weeks of age and the mother is producing the most milk.

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Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 967-4281
Fax: (515)967-8824


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