Saturday, February 27, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Collecting Urine Sample, Influenza Precautions, and more ...

Going to the Vet – How to Collect Your Dog's Urine Sample
Dr. Jason Nicholas, BVetMed

Over time, we got a lot of practice collecting urine. Urine can provide a wealth of useful information about a dog's health. Most of the information is about the urinary tract itself but that's not what you can learn from urine stops. Urine can tell you about your dog's kidney function, adrenal function or whether your dog has diabetes ...

The timing of the collection, the way it is collected and stored, how fresh the sample is and whether it's a fasted urine impact how useful the information you get is going to be. That's why it is important to understand how you want to go about collecting your dog's sample.

For example, if you're particularly interested in learning about kidney function, you want first morning urine. This is paramount. The freshness is not first priority there. On the other hand, if you're suspecting infection, crystals or stone, the freshness is paramount. Ideal sample would be fasted (which it normally would be in the morning), first morning (that's when it's most concentrated), and fresh. For example, with Jasmine, we'd have an early morning appointment for such things and we would whisk her from the house straight into the truck and collected the urine right in front of the hospital. That way I met all the criteria. But because the ideal scenario is not always possible, it is best to talk to your vet about what is the most important information you're trying to get from the sample and therefore which parameters are the most important.

Check out Dr. Jason's awesome tips on urine collection.
Further reading: Why Your Veterinarian Goes Crazy for a Urine Sample from Your Pet

Stopping the Spread and Preventing Canine Influenza Virus
Merck Animal Health

If you ever watched any zombie or other horror movie about how disastrous and quick to spread viral diseases can really be, you might have a good idea how dangerous viruses can be. While not all viruses are THAT terrible, they spread very readily. The more people and dogs travel, the more they frequent areas of high traffic, the easier it is for the virus to spread. There are measures and precautions that can be taken.

Pleural Space Disease – A Common Cause of Respiratory Distress
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

There are very few things as scary as your dog having difficulty or being unable to breathe. And it must be just as scary for the dog. Having had asthma issues in the past, I have a pretty good idea how that feels. A common cause of respiratory distress is pleural space disease. What the heck is that?

Pleural cavity is the space between the lungs and body wall. Normally, there is nothing in this space. Some diseases, though can cause either air or fluid to accumulate, resulting in difficulty breathing. Quick and proper diagnosis is crucial.

The Amazing World of Fleas - Plain and Simple (Part 2)
Dr. Simanovszky

If you missed part one, you can catch up here.

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