My animal is down and will not get up. What is wrong and what can I do to help?
There are many reasons that an animal will be unwilling/unable to get up. It may be a metabolic issue or a neurologic issue. For example, if the animal has an electrolyte imbalance or a pinched or damaged nerve they will be unable to use their muscles effectively. The answer also depends on what the animals history is. If an animal is pregnant, but not ready to give birth she may unable to get up because of lack of nutrition. This is true especially if the animal has more than one fetus. If the animal is in the process of giving birth, there are some nerves that can get pinched and prevent the animal from standing. If an animal was recently involved in a physically traumatic event that may have cause spinal damage, it may not be able to get up. I hope you can appreciate that it is necessary for a veterinarian to see and examine the animal in order to determine the exact reason it is unable to stand. It is important to remember, however, that, as a good rule to live by, the longer the animal is down and unable to stand, the more likely it is that they will not get up. Please do not hesitate to call us if your animal is unable to stand on its own. The best thing you can do while you wait for a vet is to make sure they animal is in a safe from other animals. Clear the area so we can have room to work when we get there. Do your best to leave the animal alone so that it does not get stressed or excited. This can lead to further injury.
Why should I vaccinate my animal?
Vaccinations have been shown to reduce the incidence of infection/disease, reduce disease shedding, and reduce the severity of infection by both government agencies, private individuals and public institutions both domestically and internationally. There are some diseases that are so contagious and deadly that vaccinations are a public health necessity and are required by law. One example is rabies vaccination. Rabies is very deadly to both humans and animals. It is not necessary to vaccinate for every known disease, but there are some disease for which we do have very effective vaccinations that can save you a lot of money in the long run. I like to think of vaccinations as a form of insurance. You hope you never need insurance, but when you need it you are glad it is there. It is true that some vaccinations have been shown to have adverse side effects. It is in everybody's best interest to make sure that such vaccines are reported to the proper authorities and, if necessary, removed from circulation.
There are 2 reasons:
1) Public and Animal Health and
2) Economics. There are a many diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. This is a serious concern especially if there are children or immunocompromised individuals. As in humans, young animals are born with an immune system that is not very effective. This causes them to be more susceptible to infection. Yes young animals can get some antibodies from the mother but the effect of those antibodies starts wearing off after about 6 – 12 weeks. That is why we follow up with a series of vaccinations to make sure the animal stays protected. There are many diseases that are highly contagious that can have devastating economic effects if allowed to spread. Some diseases are so devastating that an owner can go to sleep one night and find 90% of their herd dead the next morning. That sort of loss would have devastating effects on international economies. Everyone needs to be on board for our efforts to work.
Why would the vet say I have a “lame” horse?
Lameness is a condition where an animal has painful legs or feet which impair movement.
Evidence of this is often seen when the animal walks. When a lame animal walks you will see a limp in mild cases. In extreme cases, the animal may be unable to use the limb entirely. Therefore, when a veterinarian examines a horse for lameness, it is called a lameness exam.
What is the best way for me to get an appointment?
The best way or you to get into our office to have your animal examined is to make an appointment. By making an appointment you ensure that you will have the shortest wait time possible. We suggest that you get to your appointment about 10 minutes early. If we are running ahead of schedule, this time allows us to get started on your animal which saves you time. If we are running on schedule then the extra time will be used to check in with the front desk. To make an appointment call us at (361) 348-2716.
What do I do if I have an emergency and need to see the veterinarian immediately?
The clinic is opened on Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 5:30pm and Saturday from 8:00am-12:00pm. After hours, you can reach Dr. Wilkinson at his home at (361) 348-2660. Please call at any hour your animal is in need. We recognize that life does not always happen on a schedule and that emergencies can arise at all hours. Due to this fact, we do our best to make ourselves available at all hours should the need arise. As you can imagine, Dr. Wilkinson does many things while the office is closed. There are times when he may be somewhere out of reach, but, rest assured, he will call you back as soon as possible.