The Vet Life

Honesty is the Best Policy

Our patients are part of their owner’s family, and when they get sick, no time is wasted seeking the expertise of a trusted Veterinarian. But are you prepared to give the information needed? Pet owners can help by giving valued history, behavior through the day leading up to when their pet became ill, and provide as much candor as is necessary. The health of your pet may depend on it and can save time, trouble, and expense.

Being on the front lines of disease in animals can be exciting and perplexing at the same time. The diagnosis of the problem is the key. Diagnosis requires a proper and careful physical examination. If the answer to the puzzle does not reveal itself with the exam, we must use diagnostic tests to levy us to a correct diagnosis. This process must be followed in each case.

This week, a fifty-pound pit bull mix named Buster was presented by a young man. This fellow was very concerned because his furry buddy was acting erratically. He was uncontrollably shaking, opening and closing his eyes, and was stumbling around the treatment area of the hospital, nearly falling many times. His caretaker had also noted that Buster vomited at least seven times at home, then again in the lobby upon arriving at the hospital. In fact, a staff member noted a very distinct odor to the vomit.

Upon asking the young man whether Buster could have ingested a toxin, he replied that it was likely since the dog had gone into his brother’s bedroom. Naturally, I had to inquire as to what was in the room. He simply looked down and whispered, “weed.”

The mystery of the distinct odor of the vomit was solved: it was marijuana. As it turned out, Buster had eaten a large quantity of marijuana. Ultimately, this led to the classic neurologic symptoms and vomiting. He was stoned! I told the young man that Buster would need to be confined so he would not fall and hurt himself. In time, the drug would leave the body and Buster would be back to his normal self.

In this case, the diagnosis was made without any lab work. The physical exam, using noses, eyes, and a good history, led to the correct diagnosis. Luckily, this case had a happy ending! “Dogs like eating anything not nailed down, so BEWARE and watch your pets closely! “ Says Dr. David Smith, VMD—Bay Road Animal Hospitals. Keep all medication and potential toxins safely out of reach from your pets.

David Smith, VMD

Bay Road Animal Hospitals