Educational Articles

Emergency Situations

  • Syncope (or fainting) is defined as a temporary loss of consciousness that occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Most dogs who experience syncope spontaneously recover once appropriate levels of oxygen reach the brain.

  • The tail is an important part of the canine anatomy and is actually an extension of the spine. This complex tail structure of bone, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels can easily be injured.

  • Toad poisoning (or toxicity) occurs when a cat is exposed to the toxins secreted by certain species of toads. The two most common species of toads that cause poisonings in the United States are the cane or marine toad and the Colorado River or Sonoran desert toad. While there are toads in Canada that secrete toxic substances, their effects are much less severe than the toxins secreted by the cane or Sonoran desert toads. Death can occur quickly and immediate treatment is required.

  • Toad poisoning (or toxicity) occurs when a dog is exposed to the toxins secreted by certain species of toads. The two most common species of toads that cause poisonings in the United States are the cane or marine toad and the Colorado River or Sonoran desert toad. While there are toads in Canada that secrete toxic substances, their effects are much less severe than the toxins secreted by the cane or Sonoran desert toads. Death can occur quickly and immediate treatment is required.

  • The uvea is the part of the eye made up of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. The choroid is the middle layer or vascular tunic of the eye located between the sclera, which is the fibrous protective outer coat (the white of the eye) and the retina, which is the light sensitive surface within the eye.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a cat accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occurring anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion, include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a dog ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a dog accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Another source of vitamin D poisoning is the accidental ingestion of certain human medications.

  • Vomiting describes the active expulsion of food from the stomach. Vomiting may be caused by disorders of the stomach but is a clinical sign that can occur with many diseases and problems. It is not a specific disease or diagnosis itself. Cats vomit quite readily and occasional vomiting in an otherwise healthy cat may not indicate anything abnormal.

  • When a cat bites, its sharp canine teeth easily puncture the skin, leaving small, but deep, wounds in the skin. These punctures rapidly seal over, trapping bacteria from the cat's mouth under the skin of the victim, where they can readily multiply.

  • Cats are instinctively very territorial. They fight with other cats to protect their territory or to acquire more territory. As a result, fight wounds are common in cats. In cats, over 90% of infected wounds result from cat bites sustained during a fight with another cat. Dog, rat and other rodent bites can occur but they are much less common.