Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Lymphoma in Dogs, Dogs Who Eat Feces, and more ...

Your Pet’s Life Could be Saved by Snake Venom
Dr. Ken Tudor/petMD

It's amazing when things that could kill your dog could become your dog's best friend. Scorpion venom could be used as a tumor paint, to help surgeons distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells. This allows better detection and removal of cancerous cells while saving healthy tissue.

Snake oil will not save your dog but snake venom might. The venom of the Fer-de-Lance, to be precise. A substance in the venom works as blood coagulant, which is what normally kills his victims. However, Dr. Jeffrey Hartgerink at Rice University are working on using the active substance for localized clotting to control bleeding in surgical patients. So far they're experimenting with rats but it might become a life-saving product.

Lymphoma in Dogs – What You Need to Know
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

Dr. Sue Ettinger says is loud and clear. There are cancers with which you can go home and take your time figuring out what you want to do about them. With lymphoma, though, there is no such time. Time is of the essence. You need to act NOW. You need to see an oncologist NOW. Not next week, not tomorrow, TODAY. Lymphoma is aggressive and fast. By the time you might be done making your decision time is wasting.

Jasmine's best buddy died to lymphoma. It was fast as a lightning.

If your dog was already diagnosed with lymphoma, don't waste time reading articles or researching. See an oncologist first, then you can do your reading. And if you do have time to do your reading, start with Dr. Byers' article. Then get your hands on the Dog Cancer Survival Guide. Getting the book was one of the first things I did when JD was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor.

Dogs Who Eat Feces
Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

Does your dog eat poop? Our guys love horse poop, bunny poop, deer and moose poop. They were never interested in their own or poop of other dogs. They did have second thoughts about cat poop. To some dogs, cat poop is the top delicacy.

I can understand their interest in the poop of herbivores. It's like salad, isn't it? Green tripe is one of the most popular foods dogs love. Tripe is really cow poop before it became one. I give my dogs green tripe and I'm not worried when they munch of herbivore poop they find. I would be concerned if they started eating their own or any poop they can get their mouths on.

Poop eating can sometimes be a behavioral issues. But I do believe in always looking for a medical reason first. Poop eating can be an early symptom of diabetes or Cushing's.

Check out Dr. Kay's article on her insights into the subject and suggestions on what can be done about it.

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