Saturday, January 16, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Low Blood Sugar, Eye Discharge, and more ...

Origin of Raw Food Diet for Pets
Dr. Patrick Mahaney, petMD

Raw food diet for dogs, clearly, originates in nature. Before domestication, that's all our dog's ancestor's ate. It wasn't until dogs joined man when they gained access to cooked scraps and eventually ended up being fed kibble.

The burning question is, which is better for them? Raw diet can be just as complete and balanced as kibble if done correctly. Raw diet can be void of preservatives, additives and high levels of carbohydrate. Raw diet can be rich in nutrients and non-nutrients such as enzymes.

While there are some risks associated with raw feeding, [balanced and complete] raw is what makes sense to me as the ideal diet.

Low Blood Sugar in Dogs and Cats – Figuring Out Hypoglycemia
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Blood is a life-sustaining solution, a distribution system for vital compounds such as oxygen, nutrients, immune cells, and more. It's a system that keeps the cells, and therefore the body alive and functioning. How else would all these things get to where they need to go fast enough?

For that reason, the content of the blood is carefully regulated. It's important that a supply of vital nutrients doesn't run dry and that there are no traffic jams. When this regulation fails, the body has a big problem.

Glucose is an important source of energy. Some cells, such as the brain and red blood cells are fully dependent on it. Too much glucose in the blood is no good. Too little glucose is no good either. Without fuel, important functions shut down and the results can be life-threatening. Puppies, small dogs, and dogs who are ill are particularly susceptible to this problem.

Ask a Vet: Should I Help My Dog Breathe During a Seizure?
Dr. Eric Barchas/dogster

Now there is something that hasn't yet crossed my mind. Helping a dog breathe during a seizure? In words of one of old Czech comedians, "Sure, but how?" Meaning, good luck with that. Seriously, though, as much as I appreciate the thought, don't do such things. And not just because of the rabies prevention laws Dr. Barchas is talking about.

What would I do if I was in that situation? Frankly, I don't know. When Roxy had her seizures, breathing assistance didn't occur to me. And I'm hoping that was the last seizures I've seen in any of my dogs for the rest of my life. With Roxy, breathing seemed to be the last of her issues. What would I do if it was? I don't know.

Managing Eye Discharge (Mucus) in Dogs and Cats
Dr. Michael Dym/Pet Health Blog

Eye discharge is a common problem. How serious that is depends on what the cause is. It could be simply from allergens. Or it could be from improperly formed eye lid, such as JD has. It's there but not significant enough to put him through surgery for it. Most of the time he doesn't have any discharge at all but combined with other factors, such as the said allergens, there are times when he has quite a bit of goop coming out of his eyes. Since it's really bothering us more than him, we just clean it. A week or two later it stops.

With all discharges it's about consistency and color as well as accompanying signs, such as irritation of the eye. If the eye is irritated, then you need to do something. If the discharge is thick, yellow or green in color, you need to do something. If the smells bad, you need to do something.

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