Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some People Just Don't Know

Client education is STILL the number one preventative health care tool - in MY opinion.  

It can save lives - and dollars.

I think sometimes we - myself included - take for granted what pet owners know.

One example:

If you have certain breeds - like Dachsunds, Shih Tzu's, Bassets, to name a few - they are prone to intervertebral disc disease - or a disc herniation resulting in partial paresis (weakness in one leg) to complete paralysis (to the point of having no bladder function and no bowel control).

The thing with nerves is, once they "die" off you really can't get them back - ESPECIALLY the longer they are hurt. Deep pain is the last thing to "go." We test that by pinching the toes with a hemostat - very hard. When they dog doesn't exhibit any pain (withdrawal is a different reflex and can remain intact in the WORST of cases)

If you have a dog - ANY dog - that goes down, don't wait. If it's a weekend, YES, DO take it into the emergency hospital. This is a case where time does matter. A lot. It could mean the difference between having a dog that can walk to one that is paralyzed for that you have to manually express his or her bladder every day. In some cases you may be put in the position of choosing euthanasia because of this.

Just be prepared that some of these dogs will absolutely need an MRI and surgery. And this will cost anywhere from $4000-6000. This is a major procedure performed by board certified veterinary surgeons. 

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