Cut Feet

The snow beavers are coming!  Every year, immediately after the first snow of an inch or more, we get a flood of dogs coming in with lacerations on their feet.  When owners puzzle over what caused the cut one of our technicians would be quick to tell them that it was a particularly aggressive type of wildlife known as the Snow Beaver.  As it turns out the culprit is almost always metal lawn edging.  When the snow covers it dogs cannot see it to avoid it and often end up with severe injuries to their feet and legs.  Lawn edging must have been created by a diabolical veterinarian to bring in more business, because without it we would probably see 80% fewer feet and legs to sew up.

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Demodex Mites

  Mr. Shelby got a new Labrador puppy Hershey a few months ago. On her first exam at 8 weeks he had noted that she seemed to be more itchy than normal and seemed to have quite a bit of dandruff. In our dry climate it is common for young puppies with their tender skin to be a bit dry and flaky, so we didn’t worry too much about it at that time, but by her 4 month exam she was digging at her skin continually and had started developing bare patches in her coat all over her body. It was pretty clear that something more than just dry skin was going on.

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Discoid Lupus

“I think he is rubbing his nose across the fence”, and “I think he is just rooting around with his nose in the yard” are the two most common reasons owners give me for that crusty patch of skin on their dog’s noses that often starts at the junction of the haired skin on the bridge of the nose and the nose itself and never seems to heal. As the pink, crusty area spreads up the bridge of the nose or starts involving the end of the nose it starts becoming apparent that this isn’t just minor abrasions from rooting and rubbing.

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Dry Eye--KCS

Princess, a nine year old Shih Tzu, sat on the exam table peering at me through the little gaps where her eyelids weren’t stuck together with a thick green goo.  Her owner was used to clearing a little discharge every day, but this stuff was like super glue on her hairy little face, and no amount of washing was enough to get rid of it

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Ear Hematomas

Buddy the Beagle was a serious repeat offender in the ear infection department. He had been diagnosed with allergies, a problem that manifested with itchy skin, and especially itchy skin inside his ear canals. When his ear canals became inflamed the normally mild-mannered yeast and bacteria that lived there in modest populations would start to reproduce enthusiastically in the suddenly hot, swampy environment, producing buckets of dark brown, smelly goo, and causing Buddy to start flapping his ears and digging at them with his feet. We kept on top of the problem with regular ear cleaning and medication for the skin and ears when he had a flare up, but this time there was something different going on. This time one of his ear flaps was very swollen and felt and looked a little like a water balloon. He clearly wanted to shake his head, but that ear was so sore that he couldn’t do much more than twitch.

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The weather is warming up and it is time to get out in the mountains with our dogs to enjoy the beauty that our region has to offer.  Frequently our hikes will take us along creeks, streams and ponds, and that triggers significant concerns for many people that their dogs may pick up Giardia as a result of drinking contaminated water.

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