Saturday, July 9, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Compensatory Injuries, Anesthesia Risks, and more ...

Compensatory Injury in Dogs—Peeling the Onion
Dr. Julie Buzby/

No part of the body is an island. Every time one of them cannot function properly, the rest of the body takes the hit. If your dog gets injured, other parts need to take over the load and will start hurting or get injured too. I remember vividly what happened when I hurt my knee. Not even all that much. But it wasn't my knee but my calf that decommissioned me for good.

Why do you figure that if a dog ruptures their cruciate ligament, sooner or later the other one usually goes too? True, there are often other factors involved, but compensation is what breaks the camel's back. Dogs with hind end problems end up with sore shoulders or neck. When Cookie gets her massage and other therapies, the focus is not only on the hind end but secondary and even tertiary areas.

Read Dr. Buzby's story and take on the subject.

5 Anesthesia Risks for Pets You Should Know

Who doesn't fear their dog going under anesthesia? With new protocols, monitoring and standards, anesthesia has become quite safe. But that doesn't mean there are no risks involved. Considerations include breed, age, size and health status.

There are ways to make things as safe as possible. I would never have my dog be anesthetized without doing a full check up and blood work. Close monitoring during and after anesthesia can be crucial. Talk to your vet about best ways and strategies to make anesthesia safe for your dog.

Anticoagulant Rodenticide Intoxication in Dogs – A Dirty Rat!
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/Critical Care DVM

Anticoagulant rodenticides are one of the most common causes for dog poisoning. Though I have to say that the newer rodenticides scare me way more. Just a tiny amount can cause severe poisoning and there is no antidote! Why they can put things like that on the market in the first place beats me. Compared to these things, anticoagulants look almost harmless. But make no mistake, they can kill your dog just as well. The difference is that unlike the others this one does have an antidote - vitamin K. Without prompt care, a dog who ingested anticoagulant rodenticide can bleed out.

The best thing, of course, is to prevent your dog from getting into such stuff in the first place. The sooner you figure out what has happened, and take action, the better.

Find out about anticoagulant rodenticide intoxication, signs and treatment in Dr. Byers' article.

Can Medical Marijuana Improve Your Pet’s Health?
Dr. Patrick Mahaney

When used appropriately, marijuana products can help dogs suffering from variety of health conditions. I can, for example, relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapy, liver disease, glaucoma, reduce the need for pain meds and other problems. That doesn't mean that you can let your dog snack on it, or worse, marijuana-containing baked goods. More importantly, it is not FDA-approved for any use in animals. However, whatever you do, talk to your veterinarian first.

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