Saturday, November 5, 2016

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Are You Smarter than a Vet Student? Best Chew Toys for Dogs, and more ...

Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student About Intestinal Parasites (Worms)?

Dr. Nancy Kay/Speaking for Spot

Tapeworm inside dog intestine / Copyright Juan Gaertner

This is Dr. Kay's ongoing series which I love. Yes, I'm striving to be smarter than a vet student. Though I have to admit that this one was hard for me because we had very little issues with parasites. Other than suspected Giardia when Jasmine was young and Cookie contracting tapeworm, my exposure to intestinal parasite problems has been, fortunately, nonexistent. I did give it a shot anyway for the opportunity to learn something new.

What about you? Are you smarter than a vet student when it comes to intestinal parasites?

Once you're done, you can find the correct answers in the follow-up article. Sorry, I didn't manage to get it here sooner.

Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Dog—The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Dr. Jason Nicholas/Preventive Vet

Is there such a thing as a safe chew toy? You might be surprised by Dr. Nicholas' overview. The short answer is, "not really." At the very best it depends on the dog.

Some of the listed items are things I would never use. Some of them I do. I mean, at the end, a dog has to chew on something, right? I actually do like giving what is referred to as entertainment bones. Raw, of course. Yes, there is the potential of a broken tooth. But I watch Cookie closely and she likes to gnaw off the meat and might tackle the ends which are tender enough. I do not let her try chewing the hard parts. The more meat and connective tissue there is on the bone, the safer it is in our case. They do indeed provide a lot of entertainment.

The important point Dr. Nicholas is trying to make is to be aware of potential risks and give the choice of a chew toy for your dog a lot of consideration.

Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy For Dogs And Cats

Dr. Jean Dodds/Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog

We came very close to trying allergen-specific immunotherapy for Jasmine. Would have done it except she came down with completely different problems. The immunotherapy got pushed aside and eventually it never happened.

I am a fan of the concept and I believe it is way better than trying to manage allergies with drugs.

Immunotherapy doesn't stop at allergies. Vaccines are really a form of immunotherapy as well as it's being employed as cancer treatment.

The definition of immunotherapy is that it is a type of biological therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight infection and diseases. Some types of immunotherapy only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. In other words, getting the immune system on the dog's side. Whether to wake it up or calm it down.

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