Saturday, July 8, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Rhinoscopy, Aging Process and Yes, Talking Obesity Again

Dogs and the Aging Process

Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

Photo Pixabay

As time goes on, a body wears down. Some changes are inevitable as our dogs age. We might be able to slow down the process, but we cannot stop it. Such changes happen on the cellular level and eventually affect function. Understanding these changes is helpful to mitigate or accommodate them as they happen.

The changes you can expect as your dog ages are changes in muscle mass and body condition, hearing, immune system, cognition and changes in the function of organ systems. Dr. Kay breaks them down including a brief explanation why these things happen.


Rhinoscopy in Dogs & Cats – Looking Inside the Nasal Cavity

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Rhinoscopes. Photo CriticalCareDVM

No, rhinoscopy isn't the scoping of a rhinoceros. Should be, though, right? And if it isn't, why does it sound that way? It's because the word rhin- is Greek for "nose." Rhinoceros literally means "horn nose."

Okay, so rhinoscopy is "scoping" of a nose.

I think scopes are a fantastic invention. However unpleasant it may be, it is a way of looking (and even do things) inside the body without cutting it open. So that's very cool. The procedure is then named after whatever part of the body is being probed. Such as arthroscopy, laparoscopy, endoscopy, or rhinoscopy.

To learn all you might want to know about rhinoscopy, read Dr. Byer's article.


The growing problem of obesity in pets

Dr. Justine Lee

I bet you're really irked to see another headline about the obesity thing, don't you? We've been beaten over our heads with this forever. Do you know why? Because it not only remains to be a problem, it keeps getting worse.

Perhaps the messaging isn't working. Perhaps it's falling on deaf ears. Perhaps nobody is addressing the cause and offering a real solution. Perhaps all of the above.

For example, the Banfield infographic cites lack of exercise. Yet, experts are now all saying that exercise makes a very little difference considering how little calories a dog can burn with increased activity, insisting that the answer to obesity is in the bowl.

Concerning food, the main focus is on the number of calories; feeding too much, using too many treats. What I find interesting, that with the exception of a few little studies, nobody is looking at the type and content of what we feed. Why is it that the rise of modern health problems our dogs are battling, including obesity, seem to come hand-in-hand with most dogs living on processed, high-carb foods and treats? Is that just a coincidence?

Understanding the real reason could make it easier to solve this problem. As it were, we are left with counting calories, wherever they come from.

Except the proper ration is so small, it feels wrong to put so little into the bowl, and the dog walks away still hungry. I think we need to come up with a better plan to keep our dogs both healthy and satisfied and thin. I believe that applies to what nutrients the calories represent, as well as to a water content of the food.

In her article, Dr. Lee reflects on recent data from Banfield Pet Hospitals which includes the list of states where pet obesity is most prevalent. Interesting stuff but doubtfully useful to finding a solution.


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