If you do go to a veterinary hospital, what is your part in what happens to your pet once he or she gets there?
Be aware that if you should choose to take your pet into a veterinary facility or emergence clinic, you are the ONE who decides YES or NO on what they recommend for the care of your animal friend. The main reason you are going to either is because you are not sure if your animal has a life threatening issue and or needs medical or surgical care.
Before you call a veterinary hospital, do your best to assess whether your friend needs immediate attention or if you can manage help the animal heal at home. This is not meant to insinuate you are replacing a veterinarian but rather that you are ACTING as opposed to REACTING to a symptom or set of symptoms.
Obviously if your pet is severely injured in a car accident an uncontrollable bleeding episode, snake bite, life threatening breathing condition or intractable vomiting or diarrhea you should take your pet in immediately for professional care.
If you feel that your pet is in a serious situation, take it to your local veterinarian or emergency clinic for assessment and support. Remember you are there to learn if your pet is stable and in need of emergency care. Make sure you get a thorough physical examination and history taking by the veterinarian before you start diagnostics and therapy. If the animal is critical you will need immediate triage to keep them alive and then determine what you options are.
NEVER say do everything to the veterinarian before finding out what everything is. Often times everything isn’t necessary for excellent veterinary care. Often time’s hospitals have standard protocols for specific symptoms and or diagnosis that are recommended as the ONLY course of action. In most cases you need less rather than more to effectively help any condition you may encounter.
Always make sure you stay as calm as you can be so you listen to every word that is conveyed to you and know what you are signing before you sign your animal over to their care. The more educated you are as a caregiver to what symptoms are major or minor, the more effective you will be in saying YES or NOT to what is being recommended to you.
There are some excellent books and links to articles and research listed on this site to help you become a more informed animal caregiver that we recommend you read.
A common practice is to try to sell you a wellness plan that you either pay monthly or yearly that they feel will keep your pet healthier. Most often these plans are for vaccines, parasite control, blood work, dental plans, and pre packaged diets they are selling at said practice. Make sure you do not get talked into this practice while you are there to find out whether your pet is in need of medical or surgical care or not.
Once it is determined the animal does not need hospitalization, take it home and allow it to rest and medicate as needed. Follow up should be based upon how the animal is recovering not a preset time schedule. If the animal is healing and continuing to feel better each day, wait on returning for a follow up until either the animal’s progress declines or not at all if it no longer has any symptoms.
In most cases the animal’s state of hydration is most critical to their recovery. If fluids are needed, they are generally given subcutaneously, rather than IV unless the animal is in shock or severely dehydrated. In either case the fluids should be warmed to body temperature before they are administered. DO NOT MICROWAVE. Heat them in their IV bags by submerging them in hot water until they are temped at around the animal’s core temperature of 101.5 degrees F.
If you see that your pet is not in any of these situations, consider supporting his or her recovery at home using natural safe modalities.
Are Vaccines an Emergency Protocol? Often times veterinarians will not tell you there is ONLY one vaccine required by law in the Dog and that is Rabies. The longest any state will allow is 3 years between vaccines. This is NOT science this is politics. Research has shown one rabies vaccines will provide protective antibody titers that will last at least 7 years or more. All other vaccines are simply a recommendation and are NOT mandated in this country. You as the caregiver have the option to opt out of any vaccine and NEVER allow any vaccines to administered if your animal friend has any health . VACCINES are NEVER an emergency protocol ! As for Rabies vaccine, you can ask the veterinarian for an exemption letter if your pet has any issues and you can submit with your licence fees ac to your local animal control in lieu of the actual vaccine. You can also request that an antibody blood titer be taken and submitted in lieu of vaccines when licensing you pet. Some counties and states allow titers and exemption letters and some do not. Do your homework on vaccines. The fact of the matter is there are NO safe vaccines. They all have side effects and should be avoided unless you as the caregiver feel compelled to vaccinate because of your own personal beliefs. The rule is NO regrets no matter what decision you should make. If you choose to vaccinate, ALWAYS wait to weeks after giving a Rabies shot before vaccinating with any other vaccine.
You can learn more about vaccines at
Are all drugs safe? The fact of the matter is ALL drugs and chemicals have side effects. Make sure you make it clear to the veterinarian that you want as few drugs as possible and the ones that have the least side effects. The biggest problem is there are no studies on how combinations of drugs interact with each other and compound the side effects. Often times antibiotics are prescribed because this is standard practice even when an animal has a viral infection (viruses do not respond to antibiotics) The antibiotics destroy the natural balance of the intestinal flora and throw both the digestive and immune systems out of balance. Make sure there is just cause for administering antibiotic before doing so. Also if you have to use an antibiotic in an emergency, make sure you know all the side effects so you know when to stop them should they occur. Wait 3 hours after you dose you pet with an antibiotic and then give them a dose of probiotics to help keep the intestinal flora in balance. Do this for a full month after they go off the antibiotics. The GOLDEN rule is LESS is better. You do not need to give antibiotics to all animals for 7 to 14 days unless they are not fully recovered. ONCE they are free of symptoms you can stop giving the antibiotics and allow the animal to continue the healing process without them. If they should digress, resume the antibiotics. Make sure you dog or cat goes home with the fewest number of drugs.
Are flea, tick, lice, internal and topical parasite and heart-worm medications/chemicals SAFE? Like all medicines/chemicals they have their side effects. Is there another choice? The answer is yes. However like all treatments, drugs and chemicals included they are not 100% guaranteed! There are natural herbal and mineral medicines which have been used for 100s of years to help prevent and treat parasite issues in animals and people. The MOST important thing to remember is parasites are opportunists and seek hosts aka your pets that are NOT in optimum HEALTH. It is not necessarily the parasite that causes he problem as much as it is the less than optimum health of the host aka your pet. This being said, you as the caregiver's most important task is prevention. Clean water, healthy natural foods and supplements, avoid pesticides and herbicides, exercise, grooming, clean environments and lots of LOVE will help your pet optimize the healer within them to help them deal with both external and internal parasites. Since 90% of parasites enter through the intestinal track or through the skin in the case of heart worm infestation from the bite of an infected mosquito, it makes since to make sure both of these organs are in optimum health. . The most effective way to keep the intestinal track (where 80% of the immune system is housed) is to avoid anything that is toxic to the gut IE drugs, chemicals, vaccines, dyes in food, artificial flavoring and by-product based foods high in grain and low in meat. By adding Bovine Colostrum to the diet you will supply the gut with all the micro-nutrients it needs for optimum gut health and also support the immune system at the same time. Unpolluted Algae is an excellent super green food to add to the diet to help with detoxification and additional micro-nutrients the body needs for optimum health. There are many natural herbal and mineral based and essential oil remedies that can be used in lieu of chemical based parasite prevention and treatment. Is a fever an emergency and what does it mean? The dog and cat have a rectal temperature of 101.5 degrees F. As will all animals it can go up and down depending upon the needs of the body. A rectal temperature of 104 F sounds high but in reality it is only 2 1/2 degrees of elevation. The old rule of thumb is feed a cold and starve a fever. So, fast during the fever unless the animal is extremely thin and demanding food. If this is the case use small amounts of high protein based foods and ALWAYS as much WATER as they desire. A fever is ONE of the many means it has for defending itself from toxins and pathogens. You do NOT want to suppress a fever with aspirin, Tylenol (deadly in the feline) or any other form of medication that suppresses fever. The ONLY time you need to reduce a core temperature in the case of heat stroke or very rapid fevers that cause seizures.
How can you tell if your pet is dehydrated? The first sign of dehydration is dry gums. When you rub your fingers on your pets gums, they should be moist and slimy. You may also note at the same time or soon after this symptom the skin loses its elasticity. You can assess this by pulling up on the skin over the shoulder blades and then letting it go. I should fall rapidly. If it stays up or descends slowly, you are seeing signs of dehydration. You can attempt to give the pet water orally with a syringe or subcutaneous with the help of a veterinarian. Dehydration is a common symptom animals will have when they are ill. Often times by simply re-hydrating them you will help them recover with minimal medical care. If subcutaneous fluids are indicated make sure they are warmed to body temperature before they are administered. Do NOT heat them in a microwave oven. Use a hot water bath to bring them to body temperature.
Must Pills Be Given If Your Animal Is Suffering From Diarrhea? The short answer is "No, pills generally are unnecessary; there are other remedies for diarrhea and intestinal upset available." For example, one well-proven remedy that vets consistently fail to mention (because they don't tend to sell it) is pureed pumpkin. When a couple of tablespoons of canned, pureed pumpkin (not the pie filling, but "unadulterated,"pureed pumpkin) is given just after diarrhea is noted the problem is often magically cleared up. If your dog won't eat the pumpkin in pure form, then add the pumpkin to some dry kibble and mix in, along with some beef or chicken broth in order for the dish to be "attractive" to your pet.