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Is My Dog Sick?

Archive for the ‘General Dog Health’

How to Find an Emergency Veterinary Clinic

January 01, 2010 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog First Aid and Veterinary Emergencies, Dog Injuries, Emergency Veterinary Clinics, General Dog Health, Veterinarians and Veterinary Clinics

Be ready to help a sick dog in an emergency! Find a 24-hour veterinary clinic. (Timo Balk Photo)

In the event of a pet emergency, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. You can’t waste time Googling emergency veterinary clinics, nor can you afford to get lost en route to the veterinary hospital.

What’s more, emergencies involving a pet are a very frightening experience for the owner. So even simple actions — like Googling a vet clinic or following GPS directions — can be difficult.  So to avoid a potential tragedy with a sick or injured pet, consider the following preparations.

Finding a 24-Hour Veterinary Clinic & Emergency Treatment for Pets

The following measures will help pet owners avert tragedy if a dog, cat or other pet is injured or falls seriously ill.

  • Keep a pet first aid kit in your home and in your car.
  • Learn how to perform basic first aid for pets, including CPR for a dog or cat and the Heimlich maneuver for pets.
  • Find the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic or animal hospital.
  • Drive to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital before an emergency arises – you need to be familiar with the route.
  • Store the phone number to the 24-hour animal hospital in your cell phone.

To find the nearest 24-hour animal hospital,  pet owners can ask their regular veterinary clinic. Also, many vets will provide the address and phone number for a local emergency veterinary hospital on the clinic’s voicemail for pet owners who call after hours.

There are also some great online directories for veterinary hospitals, including the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society’s directory.

More Tips on How to Help a Pet in an Emergency

If a dog or other pet suffers from a specific illness or condition that makes the animal prone to a medical emergency, pet owners should ensure that the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic is equipped to help the pet.

In addition, pet owners should always call ahead when bringing a dog or other pet to a clinic for emergency treatment. This will enable the animal hospital staff to prepare for the animal’s arrival, enabling them to provide more prompt treatment.

If an owner is bringing their pet to their normal veterinary clinic for emergency treatment, they may be re-directed to a larger animal hospital if the pet’s injury or condition is beyond the clinic’s capabilities. So calling ahead is vital, as it can cut down on transportation time – something that’s essential when minutes mean the difference between life and death of a pet.

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What’s a Dog’s Normal Temperature?

December 31, 2009 By: admin Category: All Sick Dog Blog Posts, Dog Fevers, Dog Symptoms, Ear Thermometers for Pets, General Dog Health, Pet Products, Taking a Dog's Temperature

Pet Temp Instant Ear Thermometer. Available for $49.99 at PetSmart. Click photo to learn more or purchase.

If a pet owner is wondering, ‘Is my dog sick?” one of the first steps is to take the dog’s temperature. But many dog owners don’t know what’s a normal temperature for a dog. So if you’re wondering, “What is a normal temperature in a dog?” read on!

What’s a Normal Temperature for a Dog? – Dog Fevers vs. Normal

A dog’s normal body temperature is much higher than a human’s – 100.5º to 102.5º Fahrenheit is a normal dog temperature when the reading is taken rectally.

Pet owners can also take a dog’s temperature using an ear thermometer. While, pet ear thermometers are much easier to use (and they’re versatile, since they can be used for dogs, cats, and small animals too), readings do tend to be a bit less precise. So if using a pet ear thermometer, the dog’s normal range is between 100º and 103º Fahrenheit.

Whatever the method, a dog’s temperature is below 100º or above 103º, it’s time to visit the veterinary clinic for an exam. A dog with a fever may be sick with a virus, or he may be suffering from an infection or any number of other ailments. Illnesses and medical conditions (i.e. a disease affecting the circulatory system) can cause the dog to have a temperature that’s lower than normal.

What’s a Dog’s Normal Temp? – Determining a Dog’s Temperature Baseline

Unfortunately, this normal temperature range in dogs can complicate matters. If a dog’s normal temperature is 100.5º, then a temperature of 102.5º may mean that this dog is sick. In other dogs, 102.5º is normal. Unlike humans, “normal” varies among individuals.

For this reason, it’s important to determine the dog’s baseline when he’s healthy. Take the dog’s temperature at various points during the day over the course of several days. Once a couple dozen temperature readings have been taken, calculate the average to determine the dog’s baseline.

To ensure accurate readings, avoid taking the dog’s temperature after exercise (the temperature will be higher than normal) and avoid taking the dog’s temperature after sleeping (the dog’s body temperature is lower than normal during and immediately following sleep.)

(Pictured: Pet Temp Instant Ear Thermometer, $49.99 at PetSmart. Click photo to learn more or purchase.)

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