Saturday, March 4, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Stop Sitting Pretty! Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs, and more ...

Stop Sitting Pretty!

Laurie Edge-Hughes, BScPT, MAnimSt (Animal Physiotherapy), CAFCI, CCRT

This article certainly caught my attention. I too have read and heard that "sitting pretty" was a great core exercise. Because core strength is important for overall fitness and function, I decided to try these exercises with Cookie. Teaching her what I wanted her to do wasn't all that difficult. But something about it felt wrong to me. It felt unnatural, awkward and uncomfortable for her. Even though Cookie was working hard on obliging me, my reservations against this exercise were so strong that I dropped it from the things we are doing.

According to Laurie Edge-Hughes, this exercise is not only not functional, but it can also actually be damaging. It is up to you to evaluate what is said in the article and make up your mind about this one. For me, I will not ask my dog do this.

Ovary-Sparing Spay Surgery (OSS)

Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

Last time I highlighted Dr. Kay's article about hormone-sparing sterilization method for male dogs. Whether this is an ideal option for your male dog is something you and your veterinarian need to decide.

Is there a similar option for female dogs? Yes, there is. It is Ovary-sparing spay surgery (OSS). In typical spay, both ovaries and uterus are removed. With OSS, only the uterus is removed. Is that the ideal option for your female dog? Again, you need to decide. Would I use it? All I can say at this point is that I would consider it.

Real life offers few if any perfect solutions to any given problem. It is good, though, that there are options. Each of them has its pros and cons, and it is an individual decision to be made.

Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs – An Aggressive Blood Vessel Cancer

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

I wrote about hemangiosarcoma on a couple of occasions. It is one of the nastiest, if not the nastiest cancer affecting dogs.

If you heard about hemangiosarcoma before, the immediate thing that pops into your mind is the spleen. The spleen is probably the most commonly affected organ even though liver and heart can be affected as well.

There are other forms which don't get nearly as much publicity, dermal and subcutaneous.

Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen comes with highly unfavorable prognosis. New therapies, however, are being introduced such as antibody therapy, immunotherapy, and a mushroom-derived compound.

Earlier this month a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine published promising results with a new drug used in dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma.

Check out Dr. Byers' overview of hemangiosarcoma and overview of available options.

Most importantly, if your (particularly older) has waxing and waning episodes of severe lethargy before you chalk it off to arthritis or old age, do talk to your veterinarian about making sure there is no bleeding from a splenic tumor.

Related articles:
What You Probably Didn't Know about Splenic Tumors
Walks Like a Splenic Tumor, Quacks Like a Splenic Tumor ... It Must Be a UTI?
Fast Decline Joey's Hemangiosarcoma

What NOT to Do During a Pet Emergency


"... the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words 'DON'T PANIC' in large, friendly letters on the cover." ~The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy

Sorry, I couldn't help including one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. There is a point to that, though. The last thing you should be doing in a pet emergency is panicking. Of course, that is much easier said that done; believe me, I KNOW.

So how can you increase your chances of not panicking? By being prepared. Know what constitutes and emergency and what it might look like. Have a well-stocked first aid kit and at least basic idea what to do in most common emergency situations. Know how to reach your nearest emergency clinic or on-call veterinarian.

Don't go with the opposite extreme assuming everything is fine, and the problem will go away if ignored. Don't wait, don't experiment, and don't waste time on the internet looking for easy fixes.

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