Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Burns, Leech Therapy, and more ...

Burns in Dogs & Cats – Avoid This Heated Problem!
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

With me being as paranoid as I am, our dogs never got burnt. Brother-in-laws dogs did get their noses burnt once. They normally stayed outside year round. That Winter it was so cold, though, that he let them into the basement so they could keep warm. There is a furnace there. And they got curious.

To top it off, according to Stanley Coren, dogs actually cannot sense heat. They only sense heat as absence of cold. Which means they don't know that something is too hot until they actually get burnt.

For most part, there aren't many opportunities for dogs to sustain burns. But open campfires, hot liquids, heat lamps, electrical current, sun, even electrical heating pads and some chemicals can injure your dog.

Find out more in Dr. Buyers' great article.

How Are Toenail Injuries Prevented and Treated in Dogs?
Dr. Eric Barchas/dogster

None of our dogs had a nail injury yet and I'm counting my blessings. Nail injuries are actually quite common and on my facebook group people post about that kind of a problem quite often. The more active a dog is, the more likely it is that they will hurt their nail.

A nail can get injured by getting caught on something such as a carpet, vegetation, small hole between rocks ... When it gets caught like this it can get partially or fully torn from the foot. And it can be very painful and has a high potential for further complications such as infections.

Keeping your dog's nails properly trimmed can help prevent injuries to the nails themselves or even injuries to the rest of the body from improper gait. The longer the nails, the higher risk of injury.

Check out Dr. Barchas' article for more information and tips.

If your dog doesn't like having their nails trimmed, check out Donna Hill's tips.

You'd Probably Call This Treatment Gross, Yet It's Safe and Incredibly Effective
Dr. Karen Becker/Mercola Healthy Pets

Leech therapy? Sounds wacky, doesn't it? Not to me, really, I'm all for these kinds of things. To me, leeches beat drugs any day.

Did you know that leeches as medical devices are actually approved by the FDA? This therapy has re-emerged in human medicine in Germany and the US. It is making its way into holistic veterinary medicine. Leech therapy apparently can be used in wound care as well as to treat arthritis, inflammation and vascular conditions ...

Is leech therapy all about sucking blood? Actually, it isn't. It's also about the bioactive substances present in their saliva, which, for example, make the whole process painless.

As weird and backwards as it all might sound, there seems to be some science behind why this would be effective. I think it's cool and wouldn't hesitate to consider it.

Jarrettsville Vet 2016 Price Guide
Dr. Krista Magnifico/Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian

I think posting a price guide is such an awesome idea. Dr. Krista made helping animals her true life mission. For owners, being able to take a peek at what various things will cost is very helpful.

Of course, some of the things do add up in the process so it is important to be aware of that. And if your dog does need a procedure, it is always a good idea to ask your vet for a detailed written cost estimate.

I myself by now have a pretty good idea how much things cost but sometimes I still do ask. And I have to remember taxes. When we got the bill from Cookie's ultrasound, I couldn't understand why it was so much more than I thought. It actually wasn't. It was exactly what I thought. Except I forgot about the wretched tax. That might be just a Canadian thing but it surely hurts. Particularly since even pet health insurance does cover cost of the procedure but not the taxes.