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January 12, 2013

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Sarah

Great article and very important!

For most pet parents, myself included, our pets are a part of our own family and are often thought of as our children. We ultimately want the best for them, including medical care. Granted that medical care can sometimes (ok, a good share of the time) get expensive. A very big deterrent to getting problems solved.

Now, say your human child had a medical issue that needed relatively immediate attention. You would not put that off. So why would you do so for your pet?

Like you said, the best advice is to confront it head on. Often there are multiple options to choose from and maybe even your vet would work with you on payments. You do not know until the situation is accessed and you ask the questions.

Brad

Hi, I would like to say I have been through the hematoma issue and with both barrels. Our Male Siamese gets them when he shakes his head violently and you can actually hear the snap of his ear as it changes direction from shaking. He got return hematomas 3 times in one ear and it gets worse every time. The final time seemed to work best for us. After his last surgery, we maintain the stitches as long as possible. I visited our vet once every week for at least 2 months and each visit removed stitches only in the healed areas of the ear. He finally fought the hematoma off and it has not returned in that ear. The other ear has just acquired a new hematoma and it ain't messing around. It has increased in size so fast you could almost watch it grow. I'm bringing him in asap and going to use this long term stitches course like the initial ear was cured by. Stitches in our cat were able to stay in incredibly long and were watched very closely by our caring doctor. Removing stitches that may have the look of a starting infection were instantly removed and healed right up. My opinion, hematomas need pressure on them to stop the filling up of fluid. They need almost 100% attention by the pet owner to keep them away. If you want them to heal, you better devote yourself 100% to the animal during this very important period so the ear can reattach it's self to the cartilage and anchor down. 2 weeks is not long enough in most cases. Go longer to be sure it is healed and can fight the refilling of fluid. Your work will be rewarded in the long run when your pet can shake its head again and the hematoma does not return. If you have a head shaker animal, try to control it by a soft discipline to try and make it aware that its not right to do. Keep the nails cut down and watch your pet as if it was an infant. They need help in these recoveries of a returning menace that has no problem causing pain to your animals.

Doc

Thanks for sharing your story.

Kel

Hello I'm reaching out about my 7 year old Yorkie. He seems to have some pretty bad teeth. It's been recommended that he have a cleaning, but it's just too much money. Two weeks ago my dog became ill (he had been boarded 3 weeks prior) with what appeared to be some sort of doggie cold. He was warm, wasn't eating or drinking much, quite lethargic, not pooping and had his tongue peaking through his mouth(which isn't normal for him). After a day and a half of this, I called his get over night to make sure he got in the next morning. My dog gets extremely anxious at the vet and whimpers the entire time. They typically muzzle him as he doesn't like their fingers near his mouth. A quick temp reading showed a fever and they gave him some fluids and an anti nausea medicine. Fast forward 3 days and he's back to normal! A week post all of this, he's back to kind of acting strange - hiding in places he doesn't typically go to, peaking his tongue through his mouth and lying on his side which he never does. I am growing increasingly concerned that something is wrong with his mouth. He's eating and drinking somewhat normally, but he isn't as active as usual. He won't play with his toys and he keeps licking his lips to the point his beard is wet and matted. I was feeling around and noticed a small tiny pea-sized lump right along his lower jAw bone. He didn't seem to like me touching it. Is this an emergency situation where I should take him to the 24-hour vet ($$$) or can this wait 36 hours until monday? I'm concerned his infection will spread. I've read a lot about abscesses but he doesn't have swelling under his eye and the tiny lump j found was under his jaw bone. I should note one of his teeth (rather large) fell out abiut 2 years ago. Any help is greatly appreciated! Did the vet get it wrong? Would his eating and habits get better and worse again if it was a bad tooth originally?

Doc

Hello, Kel,
Sorry I'm a little behind on these questions.
Swelling under the eye can certainly indicate an abscess of an UPPER jaw tooth. Lumps UNDER the jaw could indicate a tooth problem with a lower tooth. You can also have tumors, foreign body penetration, abscesses for other reasons than a tooth.

If he is having recurring problems with apparent discomfort with eating, and with drooling, I would say that tooth problems are pretty high on the list. A dental cleaning with dental X-rays would be the way to rule that in or out (and treat it).

This is not something anybody can diagnose "over the phone".

The getting better and worse could occur if there were other treatment that would help with pain, inflammation, or infection.

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