Saturday, May 7, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: GERD, Keeping and Eye on the Eyes, and more ...

My pet’s eyes are watery – how soon should I see a vet?
Dr. Karen Louis/VetChick

Dogs love traveling with their heads sticking out of the window.
It is however one way of getting an unwelcome foreign object in the eye.

Eyes are one of the things I would never take chances with, particularly when there is evidence of trauma, infection or pain. There are times when a problem with an eye can be a major emergency. We had some eye issues with Jasmine as well as with Cookie. And Cookie decided to have a problem on the day when it was impossible to see a vet. We were flushing the eye with sterile saline like our lives depended on it. Fortunately that's all it took for that eye to get better. It was really a minor eye irritation but sometimes these just blow up on you.

So when should you rush your dog with an eye problem to a vet right away? Find out in Dr. Louis' article.

GERD Golly Miss Molly!
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

At one time, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was one of the suspects behind Jasmine's mysterious episodes of panting, pacing and general discomfort. It made sense to consider it particularly since Jasmine also had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We did a therapeutic trial with an antacid but it didn't make a lick of a difference.

Why an antacid? Because GERD is a fancy term for acid reflux. Don't be fooled, though. While acid reflux sounds like it is more of a nuisance than a serious issue don't shrug it off. Firstly, if you ever had one yourself, you know how much discomfort it causes. There are people who end up in an emergency thinking they're having a heart attack.

Even more importantly, severe and/or chronic acid reflux can be associated with a more serious condition. As always, where there is smoke, look for the fire.

Also check out Dr. Spector's podcast on GERD.

With Venom 15 Times Stronger Than a Rattlesnake's, Keep Your Pet Away From This Insect
Dr. Karen Becker/Mercola Healthy Pets

I hate spiders. I hate spiders of any shape and size even though many of them are not dangerous at all. Some of the are, though. Black widow spiders mostly prefer warmer regions to a latitude of about 45 degrees though they can be found throughout most of the Western Hemisphere.

Snapshot of Leptospirosis Strains & Vaccine
Dr. Jean Dodds/Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog

Because of our trip South, leptospirosis came recently back on our radar. I've gone through all my usual anguish in trying to decide whether we should vaccinate or not. After a lot of deliberation we decided we were going to vaccinate. And then Cookie sprung a bump on her belly. Of course we wouldn't throw a vaccine into this mix. So it didn't happen. I will keep a close eye on any signs of Cookie being ill and that's about all I can do. That and hoping that everything is going to be fine.

On the other hand, there seems to be a relatively high percentage of dogs who receive the vaccine but don't respond to it. So you might think your dog is protected while they're not.

Anyway, the present situation is what it is and we have to run with it.

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