Saturday, October 14, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Telemedicine, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), and more ...

Telemedicine: Gaining Steam Within the Veterinary Profession

Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

Telemedicine is gaining steam both in human and veterinary medicine. While nothing can substitute your veterinarian's hands on your dog, at least not yet, many things can be handled remotely. In case you're not familiar with what telemedicine is, it is a veterinary consultation without actually having to physically go to the clinic.

In a way, we were practicing telemedicine with Jasmine's veterinarian all along. Besides numerous visits, sometimes we'd just talk, email back and forth, I'd send photos or videos to consult about. If you ever called Pet Poison Helpline, that is a form of telemedicine too.

Naturally, not everything can be handled this way but some things can. The range of issues that can be evaluated remotely is growing with improving technology. You can not only describe what is the cause for your concern or send photos and videos, but you can now also have a live video call where your veterinarian can see your dog. New gadgets are cropping up where your vet might be able to evaluate your dog's heart rate, respiratory rate and other values with the help of data collected through your cell phone. I think the possibilities will only expand with time.

One day, perhaps, technology will even replace veterinarian's hands. Though that depends on the hands. Some veterinarians have such keen diagnostic hands that I don't believe any gadget could ever replace those. On the other side, not having to drive down to the clinic with every funny-looking stitch or a hiccup is an advantage I would not pass on. To me, the ideal solution is a healthy combination of hands-on evaluation and telemedicine. And that's the path I pursue.

Read Dr. Kay's thoughts on the subject.

PDA in Pets – There’s Nothing Affectionate About Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

After all the medical challenges with our dogs, family and friends' dogs, I'm quite happy to come across a condition I never heard about. Sadly, it doesn't happen very often, but it does happen sometimes. Checking out Dr. Byers' article, I was quite pleased there still are conditions I don't know anything about. There is a good reason for my not knowing, this condition applies to newly born puppies.

So what is this patent ductus arrteriosus? Let Dr. Byers explain it in his article.

Lyme Disease in Dogs (Part I)

Dr. Justine Lee

After finding ticks on Cookie back-to-back last fall, things had been quiet. So far this year, not one. I don't know whether it is the tick tag working or whether they're just not around so far, I take either of the reasons.

Of course, the primary concern with ticks are not the ticks themselves but the diseases they can bring with them. Around here that means mostly Lyme disease. After such a tick-busy season, we tested Cookie, and we are in the clear. But it is important to stay on top of things.

A tick tag is not the most sure-fire solution out there, but after Cookie's reaction to Advantix, we decided to give it a fair shot. Should it turn out that the tag cannot handle the situation, we'd have to revisit the matter.

Read Dr. Lee's introduction to Lyme disease.

7 Causes of Weight Loss in Pets


These days, the opposite, obesity, is the most common problem. And when trying to get some pounds of your dog, weight loss might be welcome. But what if it happens faster than it should or without you even trying?

Unexplained weight loss, particularly when rapid, is a reason to investigate. What do you think the most common cause of unexplained, rapid weight loss might be?

Things that can be behind such weight loss can be anything from stress, parasites, dental disease, to advanced heart disease, kidney disease or cancer.

It's important to take any changes in your dog seriously. Watch petMD slideshow.

Related articles: Unexplained Weight Loss

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