Certain breeds of animals are genetically predisposed to various orthopedic conditions or defects. This includes conditions such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, cruciate ligament tears, disc disease, and degenerative joint disease. This is important to keep in mind when we are determining specific considerations we must make when transporting them from place to place. In particular, pets that are distressed or have had an acute injury require special care, as they necessitate delicate handling in order to prevent further injury or exasperation of pain. From the way they are lifted, carried, walked, or manipulated in any way, it is important that we handle them carefully and thoughtfully.
The same applies to patients that are experiencing any type of neurologic deficit. Neurologic conditions can present themselves in several different ways and it is important that we respond to signs and symptoms appropriately. Typical symptoms include: seizures or convulsions, balance problems, dragging back or front legs, inability to walk, or obvious back/neck pain when touched. Be sure to take the same precautions in handling these patients safely to avoid exasperation of their condition.
So what do you do when your pet is experiencing an orthopedic injury or exhibiting neurologic symptoms, and requires a visit to the vet?
First and foremost – consult your veterinarian. Give the clinic a call and seek guidance on the best approach to getting your pet there safely. It is crucial for these patients to be transported securely as certain movements can have detrimental effects on their health (ie: lifting a daschund inappropriately can result in a severe back injury). Some patients may even require special restraints or medical intervention for transportation. If you are on your own and do not feel confident transporting your pet safely, consider seeking assistance from a professional. The benefit in doing so is the peace of mind you will have knowing that your pet remains safe and comfortable and that the right precautions are being taken to avoid further injury. Not to mention easing the stress on yourself!
Toronto AMS can help! Our team of veterinary professionals is equipped with stretchers and gurneys to provide secure and safe transportation of your pet, under the supervision of Registered Veterinary Technicians and Animal Care Assistants.
Caitlyn A. is a Registered Veterinary Technician and a valued member of the Toronto AMS team.