Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Treatment

  • Many dogs will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism which in the past, led well-meaning experts to presume that dogs did not feel pain the same way humans do. Although the signs may be subtle, careful observation of a dog’s everyday behaviors will often reveal pain when it is present. These signs may include changes in behavior, mobility, and appetite. Common pain medications include NSAIDs, opioids, and other therapeutics. Your veterinarian will choose the appropriate drugs based on your dog’s specific needs.

  • Penetrating wounds can look minor on the surface but may cause severe injury below the skin. A thorough assessment requires sedation or anesthesia and surgery may be required to address the extent of the injury. This handout outlines first aid steps a pet owner can take while transporting their injured pet to the veterinary hospital.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • Radiation is a type of energy produced naturally by the sun, earth, and rocks and artificially by machines. Although several types of tumors can be treated with radiation therapy alone (e.g., nasal tumors, brain tumors, and certain types of lymphoma), radiation therapy is most commonly used to destroy or limit the growth of cancer cells left behind (i.e., microscopic disease) after a tumor has been surgically removed. Side effects depend on the type and location of the tumor and its surrounding tissues.

  • Roundworms are the most common gastrointestinal worm found in dogs and can also be transmitted to people. They are of most concern to puppies when present in large numbers, causing stunted growth, a pot-bellied appearance, and recurrent diarrhea. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • This handout discusses the use of corticosteroid (such as prednisone or dexamethasone) in the dog. Reasons for use as well as the common short-term and long-term side effects of these drugs are outlined, along with strategies to avoid these effects.

  • Administering supplemental fluids can benefit dogs with a variety of medical conditions. Giving injections is outside the comfort zone for almost anyone outside the medical profession; however, subcutaneous fluid administration is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. Your veterinary healthcare team will provide you with all the equipment that you will need to administer fluids to your dog. They will go through the steps with you in person. Do not use the fluid bag if cloudiness or discoloration develops in the fluids.

  • The main objectives of fracture repair are to promote rapid healing of the fracture and to get the dog using its leg as quickly as possible. In most cases, this involves rebuilding the broken bone and fixing it in that position with metallic implants. Post-operative care includes pain medications, antibiotics, adequate nutrition, exercise restriction, and physiotherapy. Most fractures can be repaired very effectively and in many cases, your dog will resume normal activity.

  • Nebulization and coupage are used in patients with a variety of lung conditions and can be performed by veterinary staff and pet owners. Nebulization may be used to deliver a variety of medications to the lungs in cases of infection, allergic lung disease, or other lung conditions. Coupage is often recommended for patients with pneumonia or bronchitis.

  • Therapeutic laser is the application of light energy to areas of the body to stimulate healing. This light–tissue interaction is called photobiomodulation. In the past, therapeutic laser was often referred to as low-level or cold laser (as opposed to a surgical or hot laser).