Saturday, May 6, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Second Opinions, Mosquitoes, and more ...

Don’t Wait Too Long to Get a Second Opinion

Dr. Nancy Kay/Speaking for Spot

If there was a single take-home point from all my experiences with complicated medical issues, it is the importance of knowing when to get a second opinion. For me, learning this was a long process, and if I knew back then what I know now, Jasmine's medical journey didn't have to be as hard as it has been. Having learned the hard way, getting second opinions is one of the things I preach.

So often I see people looking for help online, stating their veterinarian doesn't know what's going on, doesn't know how else to help, remains unconcerned about a problem, or randomly throws in treatments without having a diagnosis. I have nothing against a therapeutic trial if there is a theory on which this is based. But trying things willy nilly not having a good rationale is another thing altogether. What is even worse is when they have clearly given up on seeking answers.

If your veterinarian isn't taking your concerns seriously, it's time to seek a second opinion. If the diagnosis or treatment doesn't seem to make sense, it's time to seek a second opinion. If your dog isn't getting better and there is no clear answer to why it's time to seek a second opinion. If your veterinarian has given up, it is time to seek a second opinion. If your veterinarian is recommending a drastic solution, it's best to have a second opinion.

Second opinions can save lives when sought early enough.

A good veterinarian will not get offended if you seek one. A good veterinarian might facilitate one, such as with a specialist. Jasmine's vet always sought input from other veterinary experts when he felt he didn't understand the problem.

Do not wait to get a second opinion until it is too late.

Read Lucy's story and Dr. Kay's thoughts here.

Related articles:
A Word on Second Opinions
Misdiagnosis: Spinal Cord Injury
Bulging disc and the Importance of a Second Opinion

New Guidelines on How to Stop Mosquitoes before They Spread Disease to Pets

Dr. Marty Becker

Bugs. I hate bugs. Black flies are already out, and mosquitoes are close on their heels. Not only that these bloodsuckers are immensely annoying, but mosquitoes also spread disease. When it comes to dogs, the most dangerous disease mosquitoes spread is heartworm. That is not something you want to mess around with. If there were just one single thing I could afford to do for my dogs, it would be heartworm prevention.

What about controlling mosquitoes themselves? I wish more were done with that. Back in the old country, all woods were lined with pheromone mosquito traps. I don't know how well they worked, but mosquitoes weren't a big problem at all.

On Jasmine's ranch, there are marshes all around. Lots and lots of standing water means lots and lots of mosquitoes. This year we're experimenting with introducing oil film in some of the areas. The film is supposed to suffocate the mosquito larvae and be harmless to everything else. It seems that it might be working. I also noticed that not all standing water had the larvae in it. Some were polluted, and some had none. I'm going to try and find out what makes the difference.

We are experimenting with essential oils. Dr. Becker is listing several products which, besides their original function, should also kill mosquitoes. K9 Advantix is on the list, but Cookie had an adverse reaction to it. That makes me very hesitant to experiment with another similar product.

For heartworm prevention, we use HeartGuard as it has been well-tolerated by both JD and Cookie.

I wish, that instead of coming up with more and more chemicals to lace our dogs with somebody came up with a solution to limit mosquito populations overall. There are some interesting products out there, I don't know why it's not used more generously.

Violent head shaking in a dog. What are the causes and treatment options

Dr. Krista Magnifico

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