FAQs Animal ER Of SW Florida in Cape Coral, FL


What is a pet emergency?

Not everything constitutes an emergency visit to the vet. As pet owners, we understand that pets can sometimes be considered as children with fur and the smallest thing can cause a big concern.

Below, we've listed common emergencies that we see on a regular basis. There is no particular order of urgency.
  • Trauma
  • Hit by a car
  • Acute, (sudden), swelling anywhere on the body
  • Lacerations, wounds, or bites from other animals
  • Getting shut in a door
  • Ingestion of toxins or foreign objects
  • Chocolates
  • Cleaning products
  • Toys
  • Bones
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (Especially if there is blood noted).
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Pain, paralysis, or disorientation
  • Bleeding
  • Heatstroke
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Coughing
  • Excessive Panting
  • Abdominal Breathing
  • Drowning
There are many other things that can be considered an emergency. If you have any concerns, please feel free to call with questions.
Dear Dr. Smith and Staff

I want to send my gratitude for the kindness, compassion, and professional care you showed to my client whose pet had to have a spenectomy. This client was so thrilled and thankful with the care her pet received, and with the entire AER service.

I appreciate you being there when our office is closed.

Thanks so much,
Dr. PowellNorth Shore Animal Hospital

What happens if my dog has trouble delivering her puppies?

Although the majority of dogs will give birth without the need for veterinary assistance, problems can arise which require veterinary attention. It is important to closely monitor your pet during birthing and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.

How will I know that she is starting?

When whelping or birth is imminent, the female often stops eating (although this is not always the case) and her rectal temperature often drops below 100°F (38.1°C). The female will often go into a corner or a quiet room and start scratching to make her bed. If you see any of these signs, you may wish to contact your veterinarian since this is the first stage of labor, when the birth canal starts to dilate.

This is followed by second stage labor when the female starts to forcibly contract her uterus. These contractions start gradually and increase in intensity, frequency and duration. If intense contractions have been occurring for twenty to thirty minutes without a puppy being born, it is important to contact your veterinarian.

Other situations where veterinary help may be needed include:
  • A mother straining for eight to ten minutes with a puppy or a fluid filled bubble stuck in the birth canal
  • A female with a body temperature of more than 103°F (39.5°C)
  • Bleeding from the vagina for more than ten minutes
  • A green discharge from the vagina without puppies being born

What is canine pancreatitis?

The pancreas is a vital organ which lies on the right side of the abdomen. It has two functions:
  • To produce digestive enzymes to assist in food digestion.
  • To produce hormones such as insulin.
When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the disorder is called pancreatitis. It is a disease process that is seen commonly in the dog. There is no age, sex, or breed predisposition.

There are two main forms of acute or sudden onset pancreatitis:
the mild, edematous form and
the more severe, hemorrhagic form.
A few dogs that recover from an acute episode of pancreatitis may continue to have recurrent bouts of the disease, which is then called chronic, relapsing pancreatitis. The associated inflammation allows digestive enzymes to spill into the abdominal cavity resulting in secondary damage to the liver, bile ducts, gall bladder, and intestines.

What causes pancreatitis?

The cause of pancreatitis is not known; however, there may be several contributory factors. It is often associated with eating a rich, fatty meal. In some cases, it may be associated with the administration of corticosteroids; however, some dogs with pancreatitis do not have exposure to either.

Under normal conditions, digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas are activated when they reach the small intestine. In pancreatitis, these enzymes are activated prematurely in the pancreas instead of in the small intestine. This results in digestion of the pancreas itself. The clinical signs of pancreatitis are often variable, and the intensity of the disease will depend on the quantity of enzymes that are prematurely activated.

What are the clinical signs of pancreatitis?

The diagnosis of pancreatitis is normally based on three criteria: clinical signs, laboratory tests, and the results of radiographs (x-rays) and/or ultrasound examination. The disease is typically manifested by nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If the attack is severe, acute shock, depression, and death may occur. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, it is important to get him or her in. The sooner treatment is started, the better the chances are for a speedy and healthy recovery. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call!

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