A Guide to Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Be Ready for a Veterinary Emergency

Almost every pet will experience a veterinary emergency in their lifetime. These range from a sudden illness, to an injury, to more critical situations like poisoning or an animal attack. In these scenarios, the scene can be scary and confusing for you and your pet. You may wonder what to do, and how you can help until getting your pet to a hospital.

This OVRS Emergency Guide gives you the basics of what constitutes an emergency and what to expect, including the steps to take should you need to act quickly.

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How Veterinarians Are Responding to the Opioid Epidemic

A graphic of a prescription form saying "Opioid perscription", scattered with capsules or pills.

What has been labeled the opioid epidemic or crisis has impacted not only the medical community but also law enforcement, municipalities, the pharmaceutical industry, community health and safety, and so many others. News headlines about this epidemic are frequent, while states have mobilized to address the issues of addiction and prescription drug abuse.

At first, some may wonder why this human addiction has anything to do with our pets. Unfortunately, some of the drugs we use to treat pain in our pets can be abused by humans. Although opioids are used on a more limited basis by veterinarians, we must be vigilant in light of possible prescription abuse.

The opioid epidemic and how it affects the veterinary community is a difficult one, but one we want to address.

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Keep the Cheer Without the Fear: Avoiding Pet Emergencies this Holiday

pet emergenciesThe holidays are a time of joy and merriment, where loved ones gather to exchange gifts and make memories. There’s food, family, decorations, and stress. No wonder the holiday season sees a spike in the number of pet emergencies we see.

During the midst of the celebrations and festivities, your curious pet may be up to, or more appropriately, in to something they shouldn’t. Let’s look at how you can avoid a pet emergency this holiday and keep the happy in Happy Holidays.

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When the Unexpected Strikes: The True Cost of a Veterinary Emergency

veterinary emergenciesConsider this, you are at the park with your dog and, after throwing the Frisbee another time, he comes back to you limping.

Or your cat has been vomiting since the early part of the day, and now it is close to midnight and she continues to vomit. What if your puppy comes down with diarrhea and a bloated tummy, and you wonder if it is just digestive upset or something more serious, constituting a veterinary emergency?

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How to Make a First Aid Kit for Your Pet

how to make a first aid kitNot every pet injury requires a trip to the veterinarian. For minor pet emergencies, a first aid kit for your pet is a great idea. For larger issues, a good first aid kit can help until you can reach emergency care. Do you know if you’re prepared to handle a cut, a bee sting, a mild allergic reaction, or an upset stomach?

We all love our pets, so a first aid kit is the best way to be prepared in case of a pet emergency.

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When Good Knees Go Bad: All About Pet Cruciate Ligament Surgery

pet cruciate ligament surgeryThere isn’t a football fan out there who hasn’t heard of an ACL injury. This common injury in the knee involves the anterior cruciate ligament and can have a player on the sidelines for months. What you might not know, though, is that animals can rupture their cruciate ligament as well. When this happens, thankfully, Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to help talk about pet cruciate ligament surgery.

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Compassion Fatigue in Veterinary Medicine

compassion fatigueCaregivers are a unique breed, so to speak. From human doctors, nurses, and home health care providers, to veterinarians and veterinary technicians and staff, these talented individuals put their hearts and minds into helping their patients every day.

Caregiving professions typically attract people with empathy and compassion. The nature and demands of caregiving work, coupled with these traits, means that sometimes these caregivers may sacrifice their own needs for their patients. Burnout and compassion fatigue can result.

Our profession has seen an epidemic of compassion fatigue in the last few years, which has tragically led to an increase in depression and suicide. At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we wanted to explore this alarming trend and shed some light on what we can do to recognize and prevent compassion fatigue.

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Entertainment, Stimulation, and Exercise After Your Pet’s Surgery

pet surgeryAfter surgery, it’s very likely that your pet will be ordered to rest and remain calm during recovery (and we’re sure you want them to rest too!). Depending on the procedure, your pet may be restricted in movement, diet, and other aspects of daily life in order to promote healing. But what does this time of rest during recovery actually mean for your pet?

If you’ve ever had surgery, being relegated to sleep and a restricted regimen can be quite boring. The same is true for your pet post-surgery. Because all animals need enrichment and stimulation, it’s necessary to create games, activities, and other positive outlets that can promote wellbeing during this time.

A happy pet, after all, typically enjoys a faster recovery time. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services has some suggestions for activities and exercises after your pet’s surgery.

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Pet ICU: Understanding Veterinary Critical Care

When most people consider critical care or an ICU, they likely think of life-threatening medical scenarios where a patient is given life support and monitored closely in a special unit. The same is true for our pet patients. Advances in veterinary critical care have made it possible to treat those with critical illnesses or traumas that once would have likely resulted in a very poor outcome.

While veterinary emergency and critical care are often closely intertwined, veterinary critical care (or intensive care) is a branch of veterinary medicine that focuses on animals who are experiencing a serious medical situation that can potentially be helped. Unlike hospice care, where a pet is supported and kept comfortable during the end stages of life, the goal of critical care is to use all avenues of treatment to give a patient the best chance of survival.

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All Your Questions About Pet Emergencies Answered

Animal HospitalWhen you have a pet emergency, no doubt there are many questions racing through your head. You might think to ask them, but your mind is generally preoccupied with the task at hand:  getting your pet better.

Oakland Veterinary Referral Hospital thought it might be nice to answer some of the more frequently asked questions about pet emergencies for you before you ever need to know them.

In the heat of the moment

No matter what kind of emergency you are having, things can get a little harried in the midst of it. Keep your cool by remembering the following: Continue…