Fall Fouls – 2 Common Medical Issues We Deal with

Certain ailments seem to ebb and flow in a veterinary hospital. Right now we are seeing an increase in skin/ear issues as well as urinary issues in both dogs & cats.
Skin & ear issues – Classic & common signs that your pet may be suffering from an ear or skin infection are as follows:

  • Intense itching
  • Red/pinker than normal skin
  • Head shaking or rubbing against objects
  • Unfamiliar and/or bad smell emanating from the ears or skin
  • Hair loss
  • Open sores or scabs on the skin.

A common risk we often see of leaving an ear infection untreated is an Aural Hematoma. This is a broken blood vessel that develops within the ear flap and is caused by aggressive scratching or head shaking. Medical attention is necessary to drain the hematoma and administer medication. A cheap and simple ear infection treatment has now become a more costly outpatient surgical procedure (which is not always successful the first time. Hematomas often fill up again which requires repeat draining)
Skin (yeast and/or bacterial) infections go from bad to worse very quickly. A simple, short course of Antibiotics can easily turn into WEEKS of treatment, many hospital follow-ups and unnecessary discomfort for your pet.

It’s super important to have skin and ears checked immediately if you suspect an infection may be brewing. Ear and skin infections do NOT clear up on their own.

Urinary Issues – Classic signs that your pet may be suffering from a Urinary infection are as follows:

  • Frequent urination
  • Inappropriate urination (housebroken dog suddenly starts urinating indoors or kitty starts urinating outside of the litter box)
  • Blood in Urine
  • Straining to urinate or inability to urinate at all
  • Urinating smaller than normal amounts or drops
  • Licking at the genital area

The risk of leaving a Urinary tract infection untreated can be very deadly. What may begin as a simple infection in the urinary tract can progress to a bladder infection and then on to a kidney infection at which point the infection enters the bloodstream, and the pet becomes Septic. This is life-threatening.

Also, a minor urinary tract infection CAN lead to a full urinary blockage. This is caused by the white blood cells and/or crystals forming an obstruction/plug within the urinary tract itself which makes the pet unable to urinate at all. This is obviously an emergency situation since the bladder will only expand so much and inevitably rupture. Not only would this be excruciatingly painful for the pet but it would end with death.
As soon as you suspect that your pet may have a Urinary infection, it’s critical that s/he receive medical attention immediately. Urinary issues will NOT resolve on their own.

Written by: Mountain Road Animal Hospital