About Deirdre Brandes

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Jake’s Cautionary Tale

Golden Retriever

Source: Wikipedia

An urgent call came in to the hospital in early December. Jake’s owner was on the line. “Jake has been coughing up phlegm and blood. What should I do?” We recommended that he be brought in to our hospital immediately.

Jake arrived and we rushed him directly to the treatment area. I could see that he was very lethargic, had pale gums and a bruised underbelly. He normally comes into our hospital wagging his golden tail and is so happy to see us, but he yelped when I started his exam. His owner said, “Jake has been eating less lately and seemed to be in pain when we lifted him into the car.” Based on what I saw, this looked like a possible case of rodenticide toxicity.

Radiographs and blood testing confirmed my suspicion. More

Deadly Dog Days of Summer

Pug

Source: Texas A&M University

My chest still tightens when I think of Rhett on his next-to-last visit to our hospital, his rear half wagging away as he pranced out of the exam room, a healthy and happy two-year-old.  Most pugs have an abundance of personality, but Rhett was unusually charismatic even for a pug.  His owners were thorough and careful with every decision they made about his health — Rhett was their first dog as a couple and he was their pride and joy.

The Andersons often arrived as a smiling threesome for Rhett’s scheduled veterinary exams, and I was always happy to see their name on my appointment list. But on one unusually hot day in August, the receptionist hurried back to the treatment area to announce that Rhett was on his way in and that the Andersons had sounded hysterical.  More

When Jinx Suddenly Went Blind

Source: North Carolina State University

Source: North Carolina State University

In the exam room Mr. Johnson held his cat Jinx in his arms as he explained why he thought Jinx might have gone suddenly blind.  The morning had begun like every other day, with Jinx underfoot looking for breakfast.  A few hours later, Mr. Johnson heard Jinx meowing urgently and noticed him moving timidly and walking into things.  Mr. Johnson felt sure that Jinx couldn’t see and called our hospital right away.

I had Mr. Johnson set his cat on the exam room floor and noticed that Jinx seemed a little uncertain with his steps and was bumping into furniture.  I tried to determine if Jinx would react to visual stimuli by dropping a cotton ball in front of him and by moving my finger quickly toward his face, but he seemed oblivious.  More

Parvovirus: Fighting a Concealed Killer

puppy

Sick puppy - Image courtesy of www.lakecountyfl.gov

Ms. Olsen arrived looking very concerned about her 12-week-old puppy’s vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The front staff immediately isolated them in a designated exam room, fearing a contagious disease. Kono had dull eyes sunken from dehydration while his tail barely wagged. Two days of symptoms had taken their toll.

“I got Kono last week,”  Ms. Olsen said.  She also reported that Kono was not yet vaccinated, and that she had taking him frequently to the local dog park.

A parvovirus infection was my primary concern, given Kono’s age, lack of immunization and visits to the dog park.  More