Saturday, September 23, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Wobbler Syndrome, Enucleation, and more ...

Wobbler Syndrome in Dogs – Weebles May Wobble, but Dogs Shouldn’t!

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Photo Matthias Zomer

To anybody who doesn't know what it is, wobbler syndrome likely sounds rather innocent, maybe even funny. But, unfortunately, it isn't funny at all. It's a disease of the neck vertebrae, affecting the spinal cord.

The sign you might readily see is, you guessed it, a wobbly gait, weakness, even inability to walk. What you might not see is the pain that comes with it. In a way, it's similar to IVDD, but while IVDD is generally degenerative, wobblers is congenital. That means that the dog's spine doesn't develop properly.

The breeds predisposed to this condition include Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Mastiffs, Bernese Mountain dogs and some other large breeds.

To learn about wobbler syndrome, check out Dr. Byers' article.


Is it Okay for Dogs to Eat Cat Food?

Dr. Marty Becker

I read somewhere that a dog could survive on cat food, but a cat could not survive on dog food. There might be a circumstance when you might give that to your dog, though it is more likely that your dog will help themselves when they get a chance. If your dog gets their paws on some cat food, don't panic but keep it away as a general rule.


Why Would My Dog’s Eye Need to be Removed (Enucleation)?

Dr. Phil Zeltzman/Pet Health Network

The thought of your dog having to have their eye removed is horrifying. Sometimes, though, it is the kind thing to do. Your dog will rather do without an eye than with excruciating pain.

To learn when the eye removal (enucleation) is the right choice for your dog, read Dr. Zeltzman's article.


Toy Stuck in a Puppies Rectum

Dr. Greg Martinez

Monday, September 18, 2017

Adoption Monday: Chargerita, Labrador Retriever & American Staffordshire Terrier Mix, Page, AZ

Chargie is a high energy girl that is ready to leave the center and head out on an adventure with you.

She is good with people, but would prefer to pick her own canine friends. She would also be ok to be the only dog in the house.


Chargie will need an active family willing to provide training.

Chargie is house trained, spayed and current on vaccinations.

***

Page Animal Adoption Agency is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides animal adoption, education, and low-cost spay and neuter services to Page, Arizona, and the surrounding communities.

Page Animal Adoption Agency began about four years ago as a small group of people who wanted to reduce the number of unwanted pets being euthanized in the city shelter. Now, they are in the process of renovating a building donated by the city to turn it into an Adoption Center of which Page can be proud. Through fundraising efforts and generous donations, that goal gets closer every month.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Insulinomas, Patellar Luxation, and more ...

Insulinoma in Dogs – When Too Much of a Good Thing Isn’t Good

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM


A dog's body is a highly organized system with strict checks and balances. For a dog to remain healthy, everything needs to be just so. When something gets out of whack, bad things happen. And just like with any system, the problem can be with the instructions or their execution.

The levels of insulin in your dog's blood are carefully controlled. Not enough insulin, your dog gets diabetes. Too much insulin, your dog suffers from hypoglycemia. A healthy pancreas it responsive to blood glucose and works to keep it at the right levels.

An insulinoma, however, is a tumor that consists of insulin-secreting cells. And like any other tumor, these cells don't give a damn about what happens when they go rogue. These cells secrete insulin willy-nilly just because they can, making the dog hypoglycemic.

If other causes of hypoglycemia, such as liver failure, Addison's disease, sepsis ... have been ruled out, it's time to look for an insulinoma. It's rare but it happens.

To learn about insulinomas in detail, read Dr. Byers' article.


What to Do when a Dog Goes ‘Weak in the Knees’

Dr. Marty Becker

Ever heard about luxating patellas? It's relatively common in small breeds and it's a condition in which the kneecap doesn't like to stay where it belongs. A patella in a healthy knee is meant to move up and down in a groove specially designed to guide its movement. If the groove is too shallow, the patella will slide sideways which causes the leg to "lock up." Depending on a degree of the problem, it can slip back in its position, be helped back into position or it can remain out of position. Treatment options, naturally, depend on the type/grade.

If your dog hops funny when running, pay attention.

Read Dr. Becker's thoughts.


How to Protect Your Dog from Foxtails

petMD

This is not the first time I'm highlighting an article about foxtails and it is not the last. These grass awns can be incredibly nasty and cause serious trouble. Every time I see a dog with a funny-looking, pus-filled "cyst" or lesion that's not going away, I want to be looking for a foreign body, foxtails being a high suspect. I remember clearly what went on with Cookie's porcupine quill fragment that was finally discovered embedded between her toes.

If you live in an area where foxtails are common, be especially vigilant.

Foxtail in a paw. Photo Ripon Veterinary Hospital
Foxtail in a paw. Photo Ellensburg Animal Hospital

To find out how to protect your dog from foxtails, check out petMD article.


What to Do if Your Dog Eats Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil)

Dr. Justine Lee

Whether well-meaning owners decide to give their dog some OTC human pain meds, or whether their dog manages to help themselves to a "candy" they found all on their own, is it safe or dangerous?

I recommend against giving your dog anything at all without consulting your veterinarian; many medications you take without thinking twice can cause harm to your dog even in small doses. If your dog decides to help himself, the danger is that much worse.

Advil isn't dog candy, even though your dog might believe otherwise. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Advil is a NSAID. It can damage the GI tract, kidneys, nervous system and blood. It can kill your dog and quite quickly.

"While [NSAID toxicosis] is treatable, the past few cases have been frustrating to treat. Want to know why? Because the pet owners brought their dogs in too late…" ~Dr. Justine Lee

Don't take chances and don't wait when your dog ingests something like that.

Read Dr. Lee's article for a detailed explanation of NSAID toxicosis.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pardon Me While I Bang My Head on the Keyboard: Cooper's Story

Cooper is an adorable, loving senior Shih Tzu mix. He's a happy guy, still full of life. However, Cooper has problems with his hind legs.


Cooper had a problem with his hind legs for a few years.


Cooper's mom started searching for supplement recommendations. But all that is not why I want to bang my head on my keyboard.

Those few years ago, Cooper was diagnosed with luxating patellas.


A patella, or a kneecap, is a small bone located in front of the knee joint and in spite of its size it does play an important role in the knee function. It is designed to move up and down within a patellar groove. A problem arises when the groove is too shallow or damaged allowing the kneecap slide sideways out of its place. This causes pain and lameness.

This problem is classified in four grades. Grades III and IV require surgery but with grade I and II you might get away without one.

I can only assume that Cooper was diagnosed with grade I or II. However ...

... when asked about supplements, Cooper's veterinarian told his owner to hold off until the problem started to bother him.


I don't even understand what that means. More importantly, though, no such problem ever gets better or even remains the same. Every time the kneecap dislocates out of its position, it makes it that much more likely for it to happen again. Every time it dislocates, it causes further damage to the tissues.

Supporting the tissues involved would be the first thing on my mind if my dog was ever diagnosed with this.


Of course, the time was coming when the problem was going to bother Cooper more and more. Why would one not want to take measures to protect the knee as well as possible? Because there was not enough erosion yet? Not enough arthritis? Not enough inflammation? Not enough secondary issues?

Carefully selected supplements could have slowed down the progress of all of those things.


I don't get it. Do you?





Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!


What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.




Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Adoption Monday: Polly, Keeshond & Mixed Breed Mix, Page, AZ

Polly just arrived at Page Animal Adoption Agency who is working hard to write her biography.


Polly plays well with the big dogs and loves to play in the water. She even likes the cats.


No one is really sure of Polly's breed, but she's about 2-3 years old and very friendly!

Polly is house trained and current on vaccinations.

***

Page Animal Adoption Agency is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides animal adoption, education, and low-cost spay and neuter services to Page, Arizona, and the surrounding communities.

Page Animal Adoption Agency began about four years ago as a small group of people who wanted to reduce the number of unwanted pets being euthanized in the city shelter. Now, they are in the process of renovating a building donated by the city to turn it into an Adoption Center of which Page can be proud. Through fundraising efforts and generous donations, that goal gets closer every month.

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