Signs Symptoms of Bloat
Symptoms are not necessarily distinguishable from other kinds of distress. A dog might stand uncomfortably and seem to be in extreme discomfort for no apparent reason. The most obvious sign is distention and swelling of the abdominal cavity as the stomach expands. Other possible symptoms include weakness, depression, difficulty breathing, hypersalivation, and retching without vomiting. A veterinary hospital will confirm the diagnosis with an abdominal x-ray. Bloat causes total collapse. The dog goes into shock, and ultimately can die from cardiac irregularities.
Caring for older or Special Needs pets
Most pet care facilities have accommodations and procedures in place to help your pet cope with their specific needs and stress. Often, these pets can be provided with additional attention, extra bedding, soft music, or a special boarding area away from the general pet population. Special care may need to be taken when handling or feeding the pet as well. If they are on a special diet, you may be asked to bring their food to ensure there’s one less change in their environment and that their nutritional needs are met the same as they are at home.
Be certain to discuss your pet’s individual needs and health conditions as well as what to do if something changes with them. An emergency number is very important, so your pet care provider can reach you or someone who can make decisions for you. Provide your veterinarian’s contact as well.
Planning to Board
Speak with your pet care provider and staff regarding the care of your geriatric or special needs pet to be certain they are prepared to care for your pet. Be honest about any known medical condition your pet may have so the staff knows what to look for and is better able to recognize problems with a condition.
Take along all medications your pet may need during the stay. Be sure they are all labeled appropriately. If your dog is on several medications or a complicated dosage schedule, a small chart or calendar showing the medication schedule may help the staff to keep the treatments on time. Bring your insulin needles or other measuring devices for liquid medications to ensure that all measurements are the same as at home.
Stress and Your Pet’s Health
If the boarding facility must seek veterinary care for your pets, be aware that you, as the owner are financially responsible for your pet’s treatment. But how could my senior pet become ill or my special needs pet go into a medical crisis? He was fine when I left him! Many older pets have underlying conditions or undiagnosed illnesses that are not readily apparent. The stress of being away from home and out of your pet’s regular routine can cause a medical condition to flare up.
Stress can be caused by a variety of factors including being away from home and loved ones, a new environment, other dogs, new noises, different smells, the people associated with eh pet care facility, a change in food or water…. The list goes on. Whatever triggers a stress reaction also triggers physical changes in your pet.
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