Saturday, March 12, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Foods that Promote Healing, A Disease You Likely Haven't Heard of, and more ...

Culinary Cures: Foods that Promote Healing
Dr. Ernie Ward/Petplan

Considering the trouble Cookie had after she was sedated for her x-rays a week ago, this article really caught my eye. Not only Cookie had diarrhea ... this didn't even look like diarrhea at all. After some initial loose poop she was literally gushing fluid from her bum. Scary stuff and definitely extremely uncomfortable for her, poor thing.

We'd have been on our way back to the vet but I called first and they were convinced that it was from stress and that unless it gets worse (not sure how), doesn't go away by the next day or she starts vomiting, to bring her in. I did review the sedation protocol and it is a good, gentle protocol. Could it really have been just stress? I'm still not sold on that.

According to Dr. Ward's article, anesthesia (or sedation as he told me when we talked about it), causes changes in normal intestinal bacteria which can cause all kinds of tummy trouble. He recommends giving probiotic 24 to 48 hours before the procedure and for 3 to 7 days after. Except Cookie already is on probiotics.

We've never had tummy troubles after anesthesia or sedation before. Perhaps it was just stress, though I really don't feel it. I will keep giving the probiotics and add some extra fiber and hopefully she won't get any upsets when she goes for her PRP treatment.

Dr. Ward is also recommending cutting down on carbs and providing some extra lean protein and orange veggies before and after surgery to facilitate healing. I think that's a great idea too. Cookie already is on very little carbs but we'll be adding some bone broth. Her treats are lean meats so we're covered there.

Check out Dr. Ward's awesome suggestions.

Infective Endocarditis in Dogs & Cats – A Serious Heart Wall Problem
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

If you watched House MD religiously, you know what infective endocarditis is. For those who are not House MD fans, what is it then? The suffix -itis means there is an inflammation. Endo- means within, inside. Cardio-, as we probably all know, stands for heart. Endocarditis then is an inflammation of the heart wall. Inflammation always needs a cause, which in this case is an infection. All together, bad news. The guy on House MD needed a heart transplant.

Heart issues in dogs typically arise from disease of the heart muscle, such as dilated cardiomyopathy. But not always. Bacteria, or occasionally fungi, can invade the heart wall, messing with the heart's function. However rare this disease is, it is life-threatening. Quick and accurate diagnosis is all-important.

Will My Dog Catch a Disease or Fleas at the Vet’s Office?
Dr. Eric Barchas/dogster

Doesn't that question just put ideas into your head? And make you itchy all over? I have to say that sometimes I do get concerned. For example, with the dog flu outbreak. Or when we run into a dog who really looks very sick.

Now, not all illnesses are contagious. But some obviously are. Some are very, very contagious. For some of the worst of them, though, there are vaccinations which should make my dogs immune to these things. There are, of course things that are contagious and our guys are not vaccinated for, there are infections for which there aren't vaccines. On the other hand, for a dog to get sick they'd have to be both exposed AND their immune system being unable to deal with the bacteria or virus. Things like the new flu would still be a concern then. Being careful always makes sense.

As for fleas, only adult fleas could spread from one dog to another. And since they're already being served, they are not all that likely to leave their meal in search of another. Dogs are much more likely to get fleas from the environment than other dogs. Still makes me itchy all over just writing about it.

It's good to always be careful and thoughtful of dangers to your dog. But for most part, vet's office isn't really one of them.

Balancing Phytoestrogens for Companion Pets
Dr. Jean Dodds

Phytoestrogens were on my radar. They are estrogen-like compounds found in plants. There are still debates on their benefits and downside. So are they good or are they bad? For Cookie, we are supplementing some trying to offset her incontinence brought on by Cookie having been spayed way too early. So far this seems to have been working well enough.

Read Dr. Dodds' detailed thoughts on phytoestrogens.

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