Show your soft side

posted Sep 26, 2011, 2:56 PM by Unknown user

How Bad Is a Bite? Well, It Depends

posted Sep 12, 2011, 10:12 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 10:28 AM ]

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's newsletter]

Bite wounds are an emergency that vets see quite often.  Recently we treated Barney, an affectionate mixed-breed dog, for some serious bite wounds.

Bite wounds can be deceiving.  On the surface, it can look like the damage is superficial - and often, it is.  But below the surface, it's what you can't see that can be serious and even life threatening.

What may look like only a small puncture wound in the skin can often be much more.  Once the tooth penetrates the skin, severe damage can occur to the underlying tissues and vessels without major skin damage.

In Barney's case, he and his owner, Arlene, were enjoying a nice stroll through the park when another dog owner approached from the opposite direction with his German shepherd.  Suddenly, the Shepherd took off after Barney, pulling the leash right out of his owner's hand.  The dog attacked Barney, and before the Shepherd's owner could get him under control, Barney had several bite wounds on his neck.

Arlene was frantic.  She examined Barney and was relieved that his bite wounds didn't look that bad.  She took him home and carefully cleaned his wounds.  "It's probably fine," she thought, "but I'm going to take him to the clinic anyway, just to make sure."

Good thing she did. 

What Arlene couldn't see was that the Shepherd's bite had actually punctured a blood vessel in Barney's neck.  If she hadn't brought Barney in for treatment, she would have lost him. 

Barney had emergency surgery to repair the damage and he was just fine. 

He was lucky that Arlene brought him in when she did.  Like many dog owners, she thought the wound was OK.  She questioned whether or not he needed emergency care, and then she decided to play it safe and seek treatment.  Arlene told the vet tech that she had been "on the fence" about bringing Barney in for an examination.  When he asked her what had changed her mind, she told him, "I have pet insurance.  Even if he wasn't badly injured, I knew that the visit would be covered.  And if it was worse than I thought, it was better to be safe than sorry.  I know that, either way, Barney's treatment would be covered - so why take chances?  I wanted to be sure he was alright."

That was a very smart decision.  For successful resolution of bite wounds, the dog has only a 12-hour window for treatment.  After that, the chance of complications greatly increases and the dog's chance for survival decreases.

Here's the bottom line.  All bite wounds should receive veterinary attention. 

Bite wounds must be carefully cleaned to kill bacteria.  They are also very painful and the injured dog will require pain medications.  Some wounds may appear deceptively minor but under the skin, there can be life-threatening damage.  Bite wounds to the neck can cause excessive bleeding when a major blood vessel is torn.  There can be nerve damage, airway trauma and trauma to the dog's esophagus.  Signs of underlying damage include:

 • Bleeding
 • Swelling
 • Drainage
 • Breathing difficulty
 • Limping
 • Weakness
 • Collapse

Attacks like this can happen in a split second - and often, with no apparent provocation or cause.  If your dog is ever attacked, please seek treatment immediately.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

P.S.  We never think about something like this happening to our dog - but it does.  Arlene never imagined that Barney would be brutally attacked when they went to the park that day.  But things happen.  And it can happen to you, too.  If it does, I hope that you are financially prepared, as Arlene was, so that money will not stand in the way of your dog's life-saving treatment. Without pet insurance, Barney's story could have ended quite differently. 

P.P.S.  If it would be difficult for you to come up with hundreds or thousands of dollars for your dog's emergency care, pet insurance is a great solution.  A good comprehensive policy can be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation like this.  It can also cover ongoing illnesses, well care, even vaccinations. And all of this protection starts at less than a dollar a day!  So please, make sure your dog gets the protection he needs.  Take a minute now to get a free pet insurance quote.

Squeaky toys

posted Jul 26, 2011, 9:10 PM by Unknown user

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's newsletter]

Dogs just love toys that squeak. I've heard this from dog owners over and over again. For example, some dogs will go crazy for their squeaky toys until they actually chew them up and pull out the squeaker. After the toy no longer squeaks - they no longer want to play with it. This is common.
So why do dogs like toys that squeak? 

Our theory goes back to nature. When dogs hunted for prey, they would hunt and kill. Their prey would squeak or make noises, which allowed the dogs to find their prey. This was part of their natural hunting instinct. Once caught, the prey made noises as the dog proceeded with the kill, which can be very satisfying to a hungry dog. 

Until next time,

Dr. Jon


posted Mar 14, 2011, 8:00 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 14, 2011, 8:49 PM by Michelle Doneza ]

Boh and Teddy broke with Parvovirus on the morning of March 12th.  The are currently in the vet's care, fighting for their life.  Their treatment is very expensive, and we will update with the cost of this treatment.  Please keep these puppies in your thoughts!

3 Symptoms That Are a REAL EMERGENCY

posted Feb 25, 2011, 6:34 PM by Unknown user

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's Dog Crazy Newsletter]

This is a real combination of symptoms that spells out EMERGENCY. These are the classic symptoms of a condition referred to as "bloat" - an extremely dangerous condition. If you notice these 3 combined symptoms in your dog, seek treatment immediately:



Bloat is a common problem in large breed deep chested dogs but can also occur in smaller dogs.

Basically what happens is this. The stomach twists causing the blood supply to the stomach to be compromised, which leads to tissue death. As tissues are damaged, toxins are released and a sequence of events occurs that, if left untreated, leads to death.

If you ever notice these symptoms in your dog, call your local veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible.

This is a condition that is fairly common and often occurs in the evening or nighttime hours. It is also a very expensive condition to treat.  I was at a local emergency clinic the other night and they had two dogs with bloat there at the same time. Buster, an 11-year-old mixed breed, was euthanized because his owners didn't have the money to treat him. The other dog was a 6-year-old German shepherd that was treated and saved with surgery. She was doing well when last I talked to the clinic.

It is not uncommon for this hospitalization, treatment, surgery, etc. to cost over $2,000 and even up to $5,000. That is a LOT of money.

If this type of unplanned expense would also be a lot for you - consider pet insurance. See if it is right for you.

Also, keep the phone numbers of your vet and your local veterinary emergency clinic on your frig or in some central location so you will have it in the case of an emergency. Most pet owners are very upset and flustered when something happens and having the number handy can really help.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

Influenza Vaccination Grant

posted Feb 24, 2011, 4:45 PM by Unknown user

Press Release
Lisa Robinson, Program Manager Foundation (520) 207-0626

Michelle Doneza, Diamond in the Ruff Rescue & Rehab, Inc.
For Immediate Release:

Diamond in the Ruff Rescue & Rehab, Inc. Gets Grant to Vaccinate Dogs for Influenza Foundation furnishes funds to protect shelter dogs from canine flu.

TUSCON, February 23, 2011 - Diamond in the Ruff Rescue & Rehab, Inc., Seneca, now has help in protecting dogs against canine influenza virus (CIV), a highly contagious disease that spreads easily from dog to dog, especially those in close proximity. The shelter received a grant for the vaccines as part of a Foundation program to build community immunity against this respiratory infection. The foundation partnered with Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, a global animal health company and makers of the NOBIVAC(r) Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine, to fund the grant.

Because CIV is relatively new, most dogs have not built up immunity to the disease. Dogs can get the disease by being exposed to those that have it, as well as playing with toys or drinking from bowls used by other dogs. People can also unwittingly spread the germ if they come in contact with infected dogs.

"Shelters and rescue organizations are often the first places that new diseases already in the community become evident. Dogs come in from the community and are released back into it, and often move to and from states with confirmed cases," said Liz Neuschatz, director of the Foundation. "Canine flu can be a real problem for shelters, where one sick dog can cause an outbreak through an entire facility. We are pleased to be part of this effort to help protect the community by providing canine flu vaccine to Diamond in the Ruff Rescue & Rehab, Inc.."

Dog flu is a growing problem throughout the U.S. It has been confirmed in 34 states so far, but tracking the disease is hard because it is so difficult to diagnose. Dogs are contagious before they show any symptoms. By the time the dog starts coughing, it's too late. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus will become infected, and some will get more serious infections, such as pneumonia, which can be fatal.  Dogs that go to doggie daycare, boarding facilities, groomers and shows and are vaccinated for canine cough (Bordetella) are also at risk for canine flu.  Information about canine flu is available at

The grant for Building Community Immunity seeks to protect all at-risk dogs in the community, including those in close proximity with other dogs, as is the case with shelters and rescue facilities. It also provides greater assurance to adopting families that their new pets will be healthier and much less likely to be sick or get more serious, and sometimes fatal, infections. The grant further links member shelter and rescue grant recipients with local veterinarians to protect all adoptable dogs in their care. The program promotes veterinary visits for wellness exams and, when appropriate, the second dose administration of Nobivac Canine Flu vaccine.

About Foundation
The Foundation was created in 2003 to respond to needs of its Petfinder member shelters and rescue groups and to assist them in ensuring that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home. The vaccine grant will help keep dogs healthy and adoptable. 

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, based in Boxmeer, the Netherlands, is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative animal health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health; subsidiaries of Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station NJ, USA. For more information, visit

Pit Bulls Save Chihuahua from Near-Fatal Coyote Attack

posted Nov 22, 2010, 2:49 PM by Unknown user

Courtesy Janis Stephenson

A regular morning romp through the yard turned into a nightmare for a young Chihuahua named Buster when he was suddenly attacked and taken by a wild coyote in the suburban town of Littleton, Colo. But thanks to two brave pit bull neighbors, the dog survived the frightening encounter and is on the road to a recovery.

Four-year-old Buster had just returned from his morning walk with mom Jodi Robinette on July 31, but wanted a little more play time outside. Having already checked the surroundings of her back yard, Robinette felt it safe to let Buster burn off some active energy while she kept an eye out from her living room couch. But not even 30 seconds later, Robinette was back on her feet.

"I heard him scream like I've never heard an animal scream before," Robinette tells "I instantly knew that an animal got him."

After spotting a tail turn the corner of her house, Robinette sprinted to the front of the yard and saw the coyote running off with Buster in his mouth. While Robinette was in pursuit, a pair of pit bulls were on neighborhood watch and ran toward the coyote, on a mission to rescue the poor dog from the vicious abductor. Realizing he was outnumbered, the coyote released Buster and ran off.

"The pits followed my dog underneath a bush, guarding him," Robinette recalls. "[They] lay next to him, licked him and protected him."

Robinette, a neurosurgery coordinator, wrapped the gravely injured canine in a towel and rushed him to Columbine Animal Hospital. Immediately treated for pain and shock, Buster was scheduled for surgery on Aug. 2 to repair damage to his chest wall on both sides. Dr. Lee Bregitzer performed the operation, and is happy to report that Buster is well on the road to recovery — thanks to the quick thinking of the neighboring dogs.

They were "guardian angels for her dog," Dr. Bregitzer says, "disguised as pit bulls."

Robinette has nothing but praise and gratitude for the heroic canines, who stepped in quicker than she ever could have.

"[They] were looking out for Buster's best interest against the coyote," Robinette says. "They were looking out for my dog."

Your Dog Is Hit by a Car - Do You Know What to Do?

posted Nov 15, 2010, 6:24 AM by Unknown user

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's Dog Crazy Newsletter]

What would you do in case of an emergency with your dog? What if your dog suffered from poisoning or heat stroke? What if he was hit by a car? Emergencies like these happen all the time, just ask an emergency vet.  

I know most people think it will never happen to them; but trust me, things happen all the time. I have seen it over and over again.

Your dog's health is very important to me. That's why I want all of my PetPlace subscribers to be well prepared to deal with health related emergencies.

Over the next few weeks I will explain how pet emergency rooms operate. I will give you information about common emergencies, including tips on how to prepare for them and how to prevent them.  

I will also be going out to visit pet emergency rooms so I can give you the best and most useful information. I'm really excited about this!

So, what do you do in the case of an emergency? The best thing you can do is to be prepared. It is important that you know who to call, where to go and what to do. You also need to be financially prepared for this type of unexpected expense.

The first thing you can do is to find out how your vet handles emergencies. Does he see emergency cases himself or does he refer to a local emergency room? Call and find out. WRITE DOWN the phone number and directions. The best way to deal with an emergency is to prepare and plan ahead.

Another important thing you can do to prepare for an emergency is to evaluate your financial situation. If a $2,000.00 or $2,500.00 expense would be no big deal, then you may be financially prepared to deal with a difficult situation. However, if like most of us you would have difficulty dealing with that kind of expense, you really should consider the benefits of pet insurance. Pet insurance helps pay for your pet's treatments, surgeries, lab fees, X-rays and much more. This will give peace of mind and the financial resources to care for your dog should an emergency arise.

Why do I believe in pet insurance? It's because I've seen how it's saved the lives of so many pets by giving their owners the financial ability to do what is best for their pet. So take a minute now and find out if pet insurance is right for you.

I'm very excited to share my emergency room experiences and to give you valuable emergency information to help you and your dog. I have tons of ideas that I want to share and lots of great tips. So check your e-mail frequently for updates.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

One Very TOUGH Puppy - Car Runs Over His Foot

posted Nov 15, 2010, 6:21 AM by Unknown user

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's Dog Crazy Newsletter]

How do you know if your dog is in pain? This is a common question for many dog owners. Dogs can't talk and it can be difficult to determine if and when a dog is in pain.

Below is a photo of a puppy with a very swollen foot and superficial skin damage. His foot was run over by a car. Yep, by a car. This puppy was actively playing and acted as though he had NO idea he was injured.

The puppy above had x-rays and nothing was broken. He was lucky to have only suffered from soft tissue injury to the foot. The area was clipped and cleaned and he went home on some pain/anti-inflammatory medications. At last check, he was doing great.

Every dog responds differently to pain and may show different signs.  Some dogs are very stoic and barely show any pain, while others cry and whine at the thought of pain.

For example, I recall seeing a Labrador Retriever come in with a broken leg. The dog was not bearing weight on the injured leg but he was wagging his tail and happy to see me. He was not crying - even when I examined the leg. On the other hand, I saw a Beagle for a minor scratch and he screamed bloody murder before I even touched him.

So every pet really responds differently to pain. Some pets will act lethargic or withdrawn, others won't eat, and some will sleep more, move around less, or play less. Others may cry and be more vocal.

Dogs can be very good at hiding their illness based on their survival instincts.  So it can be very difficult to tell if some dogs are in pain. The only sign that some dogs may be in pain is an elevated heart rate or respiratory rate.

If your dog's foot is run over by a car please have him or her evaluated by your veterinarian, even if they do not appear to be in pain. Most of us think it will not happen to us, but emergencies can happen at any time. We would not think about letting our kids be without health insurance... our dogs should also be protected. 

I encourage you to take a minute to educate yourself about
pet insurance
. Knowing that you will be able to provide the best medical care for your dog can really give you peace of mind.

So take a few minutes to learn about the many benefits of pet insurance and get a FREE quote. Go to: quote

I will be sending an article entitled  "Pain in Dogs" to you soon. This article goes through some of the common causes and symptoms of pain in dogs. Depending on why your dog is in pain, medication may help. There are several medications that are approved for use in dogs. So stay tuned...

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

Dangerous Fall Plants - Protect Your Dog

posted Nov 8, 2010, 8:03 PM by Angela G

[cross-posted from Dr. Jon's Dog Crazy Newsletter]

It's nearly that time of year when we start thinking about the holidays. Families are breaking out all the seasonal decorations and some of these decorations may include plants or dried flowers.

Curious pets often get into these and eat them. Before the holidays even begin - I want you to see the list of dangerous
fall and holiday plants to help keep your dog safe.
To be prepared, I suggest you also print it for later. Also - feel free to forward to a friend. I'd like to prevent as many holiday problems as possible.

Another big danger can be house plants. See the list of
20 common house plants that can be dangerous to dogs.

I hope these articles keep your dog safe this fall.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

P.S. One more thing about plants - if you are going to send flowers to anyone with dogs - find out if the most common ones are toxic. Go to:

1-10 of 28