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Medical Emergency!

not feeling well

Medical emergencies notoriously happen in the middle of the night or on the weekend.

1)     Know your dog: take your dog’s temperature when he is healthy. A dog’s normal temperature is between 101 and 102 degrees. You will have a better idea of how your dog is feeling if you know that his normal temperature is usually 101.2 degrees for example.

2)     Know your dog’s normal gum coloration. If your dog is in shock the gums will appear pale. Again, that is a relative standard and it will be helpful to know what gums look like on a normal day. The same is true for the rim of the lower eyelid.

3)     Check the blood refill speed of your dog’s gums on a normal day. Hold the upper lip and press a finger against the upper gum. You will see the gum whiten around the finger imprint.  As soon as you remove your finger the gum should return to the original color. In a dog experiencing an emergency this will happen more slowly.

4)     The gums of a healthy dog should feel nice and moist and slippery. If your finger sticks to the gum and the gums feel tacky your dog very well might be dehydrated and need veterinary attention. Especially if your dog has vomited multiple times or has had diarrhea and the gums feel tacky: take her in.

5)     Another test to see if your dog might be seriously dehydrated is to check the elasticity of the skin around the scruff. When you pull the skin it should feel thick and bouncy and should bounce right back. If it feels thin and slack your dog is quite dehydrated and may need subcutaneous fluids.

6)     Unsuccessful vomiting and retching can be a sign of the onset g of gastric dilatation ( bloat)…a life threatening condition for large -chested dogs. The abdomen spontaneously expands hugely, filling up  with air . Then the stomach turns around itself and causes death by cutting off blood circulation to the brain. Go to the emergency vet immediately.

If you are at all in doubt if you should or should not take your dog to the emergency room:


Better one unnecessary trip than a missed chance to save your dog’s life!




       Toxic ingestions account for a significant portion of the cases seen in animal emergency rooms. Our canine companions are regularly exposed to the foods we eat, the drugs we take, and the chemicals we bring into our homes, garages, and yards. Following are some of the most common toxicities we see…

ASPCA Poison Control  Hotline 1 888 426-4435


  1. How adorable! Such manners for Nono and Sia. Very creative on the adults end.

    Comment by karen on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  2. That is totally hilarious! Great job and really fun to watch!

    Comment by Fran on June 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm
  3. Actually my friend and website designer Kendra Dixson was the person who sent me the video. So 99% of the credit goes to her!

    Comment by Elisabeth on June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am
  4. Hee hee, well a good friend of mine forwarded it to me so the list goes on. I think it is so cute and I’m amazed at how well the dogs are behaved, although you do see a little help from the human hands so they don’t dive their noses into their dish. lol

    Comment by Kendra Dixson on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
  5. yes the dogs are great! I also liked HOW they helped the dogs by pretending it was a human “putting your chin in your hands” gesture. It is most entertaining.

    Comment by Elisabeth Weiss on June 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm