As Concerns Mount About Deaths Linked to Pet Treats, Deciding When to Take Your Pet to the Veterinarian is Not Easy
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, January 21, 2013, 04:34 PM EST
Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging pet owners to learn more about when to seek medical attention for their pets in the wake of certain brands of pet treats being pulled from the market by manufacturers last week following reports of hundreds of pet illnesses and deaths made to the Food and Drug Administration.
Veterinarians are warning pet owners to be alert for symptoms their pets may be experiencing, including diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, increased water consumption, and lethargy. “Out of caution, we always recommend calling your veterinarian should your pet have any of these symptoms,” said Dr. Meredith Daly, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine at BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Manhattan. “At the same time, we also urge using some common sense.” Daly says there are some guidelines pet owners can use to decide their course of action. If those symptoms occur more than once in 24-hours or persist for more than one day, medical assistance should be sought. Additionally, any time a pet drinks a lot more or a lot less water than usual, professional veterinary advice is in order. “Call your veterinarian if you notice these sorts of things. Ultimately, your best prevention is to know your pet’s typical behavior,” says Daly. “Some dogs and cats may be completely healthy and display these symptoms somewhat often for reasons unknown.” However, according to Daly, some symptoms signal a potential medical emergency and warrant an immediate call or trip to a veterinarian. These include the following:
• Blood in urine, stool, or vomit
• Difficulty walking or standing
• Excessive coughing
• Difficulty breathing
• Strain and difficulty urinating
• Prolonged or dramatic lethargy
• Behavioral changes associated with any symptoms described in this article
“Call your veterinarian right away if any of those symptoms occur. If it is after hours, contact the local emergency veterinary hospital,” says Daly.
“Always err on the side of caution,” she says. “Problems caught early usually are treated more successfully and less expensively that if ignored. You know your pet best. If you are concerned it is an emergency situation, then we consider that to be an emergency. Call your family veterinarian or, if your family veterinarian’s office is closed, come see us.”
About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.