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Emergency Situations

  • Arsenic poisoning is the accidental ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation of products containing a toxic dose of arsenic. The clinical signs of sudden arsenic poisoning can vary depending on the dose. Supportive therapy is a crucial part of treating arsenic poisoning. Aggressive fluid therapy and rehydration is necessary and helps the body to remove arsenic from the body.

  • Acetaminophen is a medication that is used to treat fever and/or pain in humans. Cats have a genetic deficiency in a metabolic pathway in the liver that makes cats vulnerable to acetaminophen toxicity.

  • Acetaminophen, a common human drug used to control pain and fever, is toxic in dogs. Acetaminophen is occasionally recommended by veterinarians and should only be given under their direction. Young and small dogs have a higher risk for toxicity.  

  • Acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (AHDS) (also known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis [HGE]), is an acute disorder of dogs characterized by vomiting and bloody diarrhea. AHDS can affect any breed, age, size, or gender of dog, but it is most common in small- and toy-breed dogs. The exact cause of AHDS remains unknown. An elevated hematocrit in combination with a low or normal total protein is an important clue that a dog may have AHDS. Intravenous fluid therapy with potassium and electrolyte supplementation provides the foundation of AHDS therapy. Dogs with AHDS may die, if left untreated.

  • Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney failure refers to the sudden failure of the kidneys to perform normal filtration duties. ARF leads to accumulation of toxins and other metabolic wastes in the bloodstream, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and disturbances in the acid-base balance of the blood. The initial prognosis is guarded for all cases of ARF. If the cause is an infection, there is a better prognosis than if the cause is a toxic substance.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening complication of critical illness. These underlying critical illnesses may include sepsis, pancreatitis, pneumonia (either due to an infection or the inhalation of foreign materials), trauma, near-drowning, and other severe illnesses. In ARDS, massive inflammation and the release of various inflammatory chemicals leads to the leaking of capillaries within the lungs. Signs of ARDS include increased respiratory rate, blue discoloration to skin and mucous membranes due to poor oxygen delivery, and occasionally coughing. Treatment of ARDS is primarily focused on supportive care and addressing the underlying critical illness.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening complication of critical illness. These underlying critical illnesses may include sepsis, pancreatitis, pneumonia (either due to an infection or the inhalation of foreign materials), trauma, near-drowning, and other severe illnesses. In ARDS, massive inflammation and the release of various inflammatory chemicals leads to the leaking of capillaries within the lungs. Signs of ARDS include increased respiratory rate, blue discoloration to skin and mucous membranes due to poor oxygen delivery, and occasionally coughing. Treatment of ARDS is primarily focused on supportive care and addressing the underlying critical illness.

  • Early decontamination of can be performed following exposure to a toxic dose of alcohol as long as a pet is not showing clinical signs. Decontamination may include inducing vomiting (for ingestions) or bathing (for skin exposures). Other therapies include intravenous (IV) fluids, IV dextrose to help with low blood glucose, anti-nausea medication and warming support. Although there is no specific antidote for alcohol poisoning, medications may be used to assist with severe clinicals signs of respiratory depression and coma. Hospitalization for monitoring of cardiovascular and neurological parameters is needed until animals have recovered. Recovery is expected within 24 – 36 hours following treatment.

  • Anaphylaxis is an acute severe allergic reaction caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an allergen such as a food protein, medication, vaccine antigen or other chemical. The most common signs include itching, cutaneous edema, hives, excessive drool, vomiting, diarrhea or respiratory distress. Diagnosis is made based on history and physical exam.

  • The pupil constricts or dilates (enlarges) according to the amount of light that enters the eyes, with both pupils normally dilating in dim light and constricting in bright light. Anisocoria is a condition in which the pupils of the cat's eyes are different sizes. Anisocoria is a sign of an underlying disease condition and therefore there are several different causes. Your veterinarian will begin by conducting a physical examination of your cat, including a detailed examination of the structures of the eye. The treatment and prognosis of anisocoria depends entirely on the underlying cause of the condition, and specific treatment will be tailored specifically to the diagnosis.

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