Saturday, January 27, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Congestive Heart Failure, Fecal Transplants, and more ...

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in Dogs – When the Blood Pump Fails!

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is not a disease in itself, but it is a manifestation of a heart that is not working as it should. The potential underlying heart diseases that can lead to CHF are many. The heart failure needs to be addressed before one can try and figure out what is causing it. The ideal treatment would be fixing the underlying issue, but that is not always possible.

Read Dr. Byers' comprehensive article on the subject.

Eyeworm Infection in Dogs

Dr. Jennifer Coates/petMD

The only time I heard anything about an eyeworm infection was an episode of HouseMD. It was fascinating how they covered every obscure disease one could think of and then some. The patient was an autistic boy who got it from eating sand in a sandbox.

Dogs don't get worms in their eyes from eating sand, but it can be transmitted to them through contact with certain species of flies, such as canyon flies. Perhaps I might not complain about our black flies and horse flies so much anymore. Nah, I will complain because they are just too nasty.

To learn more about eyeworms, what an infection looks like and how it is treated, read Dr. Coates' article.

What’s Up with Canine Leptospirosis

Dr. Scott Weese/Worms and Germs Blog

I hate it when leptospirosis issue comes up. It's nasty, complicated, and hard to protect my dog(s) from. It can cause severe kidney disease, among other things, and it's everywhere. There are many different strains (serovars). Some are included in the new vaccines, some are not. Vaccination itself can lead to mutations or increase of serovars that are not included. Though Dr. Weese says he's not aware of a vaccinated dog succumbing to the disease, I know specific cases when this did happen.

When we moved up here, local hospitals weren't vaccinating for lepto because their screening showed the serovars present around here were not covered by the vaccines. Now, that seems to be changing also which makes the lepto vaccine something to reconsider every year.

Read Dr. Weese's thoughts on the subject.

What Is a Fecal Transplant for Dogs and Cats?

Dr. Hanie Elfenbein/petMD

It's amazing how cures could be hiding where nobody would look for them, isn't it? The subject of fecal transplants isn't new; I already wrote about it way back. It doesn't mean that it isn't fascinating, however icky it might sound.

The bacterial content in a gut has a profound impact not only on gut health but on the health of the entire body. This symbiotic relationship is very delicate, and there are many things that can throw it off. Probiotics can help, but there are way more bacterial species in the gut than any probiotic can provide. What then?

It makes perfect sense to provide the full range of the bacteria as it should be present in the gut from a healthy one. It's really a genius idea.

Read Dr. Elfenbein's thoughts on the subject. She recommends the treatment when all else fails. I don't think I'd wait that long. If my dog had a problem which could be solved by fecal transplant, I'd be very likely to consider it early in the game.

Related content: The Expert Vet on fecal transplants and C-Diff bacteria.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in a Dog

Dr. Krista Magnifico

1 comment

  1. Thanks for sharing these! Our beagle has an enlarged heart and was showing signs of CHF. Medications have been helping but lately her cough has been worse. She heads back to the vet tomorrow but the article you shared reassured me that she has probably not worsened considerably. That's a big relief.