Emergencies include serious injuries from accidents, burns, poisoning, a new and sudden illness, or worsening of an ongoing illness. These conditions often require immediate veterinary attention. A call to your veterinarian can help you decide what needs to be done next.
When you have a health problem, your doctor may order blood tests, imaging, or other tests to help pinpoint the cause of the problem. When your pet has a health problem, your veterinarian will often order similar tests to determine the cause and seriousness of your pet’s condition. Depending on the tests needed and the facilities available at your veterinarian’s clinic, the tests may be performed at the clinic or at a laboratory or test facility in another location.
Microorganisms are tiny living creatures, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Microorganisms are present everywhere. Despite their overwhelming abundance, relatively few of the hundreds of thousands of species of microorganisms invade, multiply, and cause illness in animals and people.
Diseases passed between animals and people (called zoonotic diseases or zoonoses) present an ongoing public health concern. Many organisms (such as bacteria and viruses) that infect animals can also cause disease in people. These organisms can be passed on in a number of ways. Contact with the animal itself is one way that disease is spread, but other ways include contact with urine, feces, or respiratory secretions of an infected animal, or contact with other items in the animal’s environment. Disease can also be spread through scratches or bites by a pet, or by insects that carry the infection from animals to humans.
If your pet has been diagnosed with a condition or disease that can be managed or cured, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options. He or she will recommend drugs that are necessary, safe, and effective for both the individual animal and the specific disorder. For many conditions, there are a variety of drugs that might be considered as an appropriate treatment. When selecting one to prescribe, veterinarians also consider the dose (amount), the method of action, how often to give the chosen drugs, the best way to give the drug, the particular form (for example, pills, liquid, or ointment) to be used, any public health or environmental effects, and local and state regulations.
Poisoning occurs when a toxic substance is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed after coming in contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. Poisoning is also called toxicosis or intoxication. Because pets are unable to tell whether a substance is poisonous or not, they are often poisoned by eating something toxic, such as antifreeze or a poisonous plant. Pets can also be poisoned by a sting or bite from a venomous insect or snake, or even by a well-intentioned owner giving human drugs that are poisonous to animals.
This resource provides basic information on traveling with your pet, both within the United States and internationally. While the focus is on the United States as the “home country,” many of the principles and suggestions are applicable to travel within or between other countries. Some of the issues facing owners who want or need to travel with their pets will also be addressed. Where complete discussion of a particular issue is not possible, places to obtain additional information are suggested. Alternatives to traveling with your pet are also discussed, because sometimes it is not possible or in your pet’s best interest to bring it with you on your travels.
The rate of cancer among dogs and cats is similar to the rate of cancer among humans. Cats seem to get cancer a little less frequently than humans while dogs seem to develop cancer slightly more frequently than humans. For most species, the chance of cancer occurring goes up with age. For example, cancer is more common in pets 10 years old or older. Among dogs aged 10 or more, just under half of the deaths are due to cancer. However, even young animals can develop cancer; age is not the only factor involved in cancer development.