Saturday, December 9, 2017

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Hip Dysplasia, Constipation, and more ...

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs and Cats – Those Hips Don’t Lie!

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

This is not the first article on hip dysplasia and it is not the last. The main reason everybody should understand this condition there are measures that can be taken to prevent it.

I have read enough times that every puppy is born with normal hips. Which is not exactly true; it is more accurate to say that a puppy is born with none. The best way to illustrate the relationship between breeding and rearing is an x-ray of what the bones look like in a new-born puppy.

Photo Growing Puppies
Isn't it amazing how much growing those little bones have to do? Whether or not the hips form properly has to do with the instructions they receive from the genetic code as well as outside influences such as diet and exercise. That's why both breeding and rearing are important.

In his article, Dr. Byers does a good job explaining what hip dysplasia is, how it is diagnosed and treated.

I find it important to note that hip dysplasia is a degenerative/progressive disease. If your dog was doing fine on Monday and becomes fully lame on Tuesday, something else is likely at play, regardless of what the x-rays are showing.. It was certainly the case with JD.

Are You Smarter Than a Puppy Miller?

Dr. Nancy Kay/Spot Speaks

This is the latest, and for a while the last, quiz by Dr. Kay. I have really enjoyed these quizzes, testing my knowledge. I am a little late posting this one so there is the follow-up article with answers out there already as well. Go check it out.

Five Ways to Help Your Constipated Dog

Dr. Jennifer Coates/petMD

Before I start talking about constipation I'd like to note that constipation and lower intestinal diarrhea can look the same - lots of straining with a little or nothing coming out. Unless you actually find actual hard poops, don't fall into the assumption trap and make sure it is indeed constipation you're dealing with.

I would also be careful to distinguish between constipation--hard poops--and an obstruction. Though severe constipation can eventually cause an obstruction, and even lead to a systemic disease and permanent damage to the digestive tract.

"If your dog is in significant discomfort, is vomiting, won’t eat, hasn’t pooped for more than three days, seems weak, has an obviously distended belly, or has blood in his stool, call your veterinarian. Dogs who are severely constipated can become systemically ill and risk permanent damage to the gastrointestinal tract." ~Dr. Jennifer Coates

Sometimes, constipation can have a relatively harmless cause, such as Cookie's poops would get sometimes hard after she chowed down a bit too many bones. But the causes can include anything from anxiety, lack of exercise, certain medications, and indigestible material, to hormonal disorders, systemic disease, pain, and even cancer.

As with everything, I'd be very careful jumping to any conclusions.

Read Dr. Coates' article for great insights into the subject.

Dog Pyometra. Why it is so dangerous and how much does it cost?

Dr. Krista Magnifico

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