Iliopsoas. One of the things I was much happier not knowing the meaning of. Jasmine has some minor issues with them, secondary to her other challenges; Cookie had major issues to the point that we almost thought she was getting paralyzed or something. It is still unclear whether her problem was secondary as well or primary from her athletic endeavors through the rough bush.
One way or another, this is a tricky injury, and it landed Cookie under house arrest for a month. It's not easy to treat because these muscles are hard to reach whether with massage or laser and they get re-injured readily. While sporting dogs are most likely to be diagnosed with this, it could well be because often the only visible symptom might be poorer performance, something that one might not notice in a dog with a typical lifestyle. It can often be an injury secondary to other issues such as bad knees. Diagnosing it sucks too because it's painful.
Check out Dr. Byers' thoughts on iliopsoas injuries here.
Related article: Iliopsoas Injury: A Common Undiagnosed Injury
Not everything that looks concerning always is. Recurrent flank alopecia is one of those things. Suddenly your dog loses fur on their flanks. The skin looks fine and dandy, it's not itchy, everything looks happy, and yet the fur is gone. Why? What is happening?
As the name suggests, this is a seasonal problem which likely has to do with the amount of exposure to daylight. It usually occurs during the winter.
Jasmine had a little bit of that at one point; a relatively short course of melatonin took care of it very quickly.
Learn more about this condition in Dr. Louis' article.
Finding a veterinarian is one of the most important decisions you get to make for your dog. Whether you have a dog for the first time in your life, whether you moved to a new place, or whether you decided to part ways with your current vet, make sure you know what you're looking for.
We had an excellent vet, but then we were moving; too far to be able to keep seeing him on a regular basis. We do still go to him when things get complicated, but for day-to-day stuff, we needed to find one at our new location. I knew exactly what I was looking for. I had a detailed list of criteria. I pre-screened local vets based on their websites and reviews and narrowed it down to three clinics which I that interviewed over the phone. Then I made an initial audition visit before making a final decision.
PetMD offers a checklist and recommendations for the process. Some of the questions they suggest are those I asked. My list was way longer than that, though.
Note on AAHA accreditation: I think it's an awesome basic criteria to consider and I did take that into consideration. It gives you an idea of what the minimum standard of care should be. If a hospital I was considering weren't accredited, though, I would not be a deal-breaker for me. Jasmine's vet does not have AAHA accreditation, and yet he's the best veterinarian I have ever worked with.
If you want to see what my list of questions to our prospective new veterinarian/clinic was, you can check it out here.
Aren't these videos fabulous? If you missed previous parts, you can watch part 1 here and part 2 here.