Beginning with Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin there has been an ever escalating arms race between microbes and the doctors that treat life-threatening infection. Fleming's discovery saved countless lives; however, it did not take long for bacteria to respond by developing mechanisms for resistance.
Many of the reproductive abnormalities that present as emergencies are straight- forward and relatively easy to resolve. Treatment of these diseases, however, requires knowledge of the underlying pathophysiology as well as the options available for dealing with such emergencies.
Cats with respiratory distress represent a significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the small animal veterinarian. The most common causes of feline respiratory distress are pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, asthma, and neoplasia. Available methods to try to elucidate the etiology of an individual cat's respiratory distress include evaluation of historical and physical examination findings, thoracic radiography, cytology and ultrasonography or echocardiography.
In its earliest forms, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is most likely as old as human society itself. Depictions of mouth-to-mouth ventilation appear in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and descriptions appear in the bible. Modern CPR techniques emerged in the late 1950's and early 1960's.
Blood gas analysis provides information about respiratory function and acid/base status. This information is vital in determining and monitoring treatment of patients with primary or secondary respiratory disease and/or metabolic disturbances. Blood gas (BG) can be assessed on arterial (ABG) or venous (VBG) samples, although oxygenation assessment is made on arterial blood only.
The transfusion of blood products to treat acute blood losses, coagulopathies, and severe anemia has become indispensable in the care of critically ill veterinary patients. As with any therapy, the risks, cost and potential benefits associated with the use of blood products must be carefully considered and every effort should be made to minimize the occurrence of adverse effects.