Springtime Injuries in your Vail Valley and Eagle Pets
The snow will soon be gone, and the days will become longer and warmer! With the onset of warm weather, our Emergency Vail Valley and Eagle Veterinary Office begins to observe an influx of orthopedic injuries in both cats and dogs! After a long winter of reduced activity, pets and their owners are excited to open the doors and get out in the sunshine , but with that comes more activity and an increased opportunity for your pets to get injured.
Common Spring time injuries in your pets include:
Torn Cruciate Ligament:
All pets have “knees” just like their human counterparts. The knee in your pet is called the “stifle.” Within the stifle, are two small ligaments forming a “cross” which are called the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments.
- A torn anterior cruciate ligament ( ACL ) is a common injury in dogs and happens in some cats, resulting in hind-leg lameness. This injury occurs when the ACL in the dog or cat’s knee joint stretches or tears, causing either acute or chronic pain. Although a torn ACL is painful for your pet, this injury can be repaired.
- Your pet has very sensitive pads on the bottom of their feet, and after a long winter at home, these pads are soft and pliable. Sensitive pads will crack and or/tear as your pet begins to travel down the rocky trail or the river . These injuries typically require repair, either with staples or sutures and require 2-3 weeks of healing time!
- Lacerations are a common spring-time injury as pets are so excited to be out running and hiking, they are often running into rocks, sticks, and newly applied lawn edging, resulting in immediate tendon tears and painful lacerations. Lacerations should be instantly repaired to avoid inevitable infection, and allow your pet to heal quickly to be back on the trails!
- Unfortunately, the over zealous pets will often suffer painful fractures during the spring months as they quickly chase after wildlife and are hit by a car ,or unknowingly jump off the high cliffs during the first spring days landing on the rocks below. Fractures can be “open” and require immediate surgery by one of our Board Certified Veterinary Surgeons, or “Closed” but in alignment, making casting a viable option. Because fractures are very painful and time sensitive, if you suspect a fracture in your Vail Valley or Eagle Pet, please call our Emergency On call service instantly.
Torn Toe Nails
Torn nails can result in painful and infected nails and the digits of the paws.
- When a nail cracks and or tears, it is critical you call your Vail Valley or Eagle veterinarian. Nails require cutting and “cauterizing” ( stopping the blood loss thru the blood supply of the nail) and often pain medication and antibiotics to avoid infection spread to the neighboring bones resulting in osteomyelitis. If you see a toe nail “cracked” or “hanging” please call for urgent veterinary attention.
Bite wounds and Abscesses
- Cats especially are prone to dangerous bites from other cats resulting in large, pus-filled swellings resulting in moderate infections and high fevers. Any bites from other animals , either in a dog or a cat, should be aseptically cleaned immediately and veterinary care obtained. Most pets require antibiotic therapy to avoid these dangerous abscesses which often times will become painful and result in systemic illness in your pets.
Though the injuries listed are not “all “ the injuries our Emergency On-Call Veterinary Team in the Vail Valley and Eagle experience, they are the most common. Just know if you have questions on your pet’s recent injury, call us immediately and we will be there to help you!