Saturday, July 15, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Antibiotics for UTI? Reverse Sneezing and Parainfluenza

Abuse of Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Disease

Dr. Donna Spector/The Expert Vet

Photo Pixabay

This one is not an article but a podcast; even better. It's an episode of the Radio Pet Lady, The Expert Vet radio show. It is the best, most insightful pet podcast library I have ever listened to, rivaled only by The Pet Cancer Vet.

I have learned a lot of fantastic info on these shows; stuff one won't learn anywhere else.

This particular podcast brings up the topic of antibiotic treatment for urinary tract infections, more accurately, treatment of laboratory findings. A routine urinalysis is an important tool, and I use it regularly. It's an affordable, non-invasive way to screen for kidney issues, early detection of diabetes and other problems. But what if your veterinarian finds bacteria in the urine during the routine analysis? Should it be treated? Does the mere presence of bacteria mean there is a problem? What if there are no signs your dog is actually sick?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The presence of bacteria if urine does not automatically mean a disease and lack of bacteria does not mean a lack of an active infection. Jasmine had a UTI twice, and in neither case, any bacteria was found in the sample.

The old belief that a healthy urinary tract is always sterile seems obsolete. What if there are bacteria but not causing any harm?

The overuse of antibiotics is an increasing problem. The risk of breeding resistant strains is always at play. Learn whether you should let your veterinarian prescribe antibiotics solely based on finding a presence of bacteria in urine in The Expert Vet podcast.


Reverse Sneezing in Dogs & Cats – Should You Be Worried?

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Not the first article on reverse sneezing out there but Dr. Byers always provides a thorough and comprehensive overview of every subject. In summary, reverse sneezing looks very scary but usually is nothing to worry about.

However, if it happens frequently, the episodes are severe, or there are other worrisome signs present, it is time to get to the bottom of it.


Parainfluenza in Dogs: What Is It?

Dr. Jean Dodds

Do you ever feel that they design medical terms just to confuse the heck out of people? Why else would they use the word parainfluenza for something that has nothing to do with the flu?

Let's break this down. Influenza, also known as the flu, is a viral infection of the respiratory passages. That, btw also has nothing to do with stomach "flu" either.

The prefix para- has a bunch of meanings, such as near, resembling, beyond or abnormal.

Parainfluenza, then, is also a viral disease, that resembles the flu. Why does the distinction matter? It matters when you're talking about vaccines. Flu vaccines do nothing against parainfluenza and vice versa. In dogs, the parainfluenza virus rarely causes very little trouble, unless it joins forces with Bordetella bacterium. Those two like gang up to cause kennel cough.

In her article, Dr. Dodds breaks down what parainfluenza is, how infections work and what is the vaccine efficacy.

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