Saturday, June 2, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Summer Safety, Heat Stroke, and more ...

Heat Stroke in Dogs

Dr. Justine Lee

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here we jumped from winter straight into summer. We had about two weeks of what one could consider spring in between. That was it. Two weeks after the rest of the snow finally melted it was already crazy hot.

I already wrote about heat stroke before, but one cannot repeat the dangers enough times. Heat stroke can make your dog severely ill and even kill them. There are never too many preventive measures one should take.

Read. Dr. Lee's introduction to heat stroke.

Related articles:
Heat Stroke: What Happens in the Dog's Body?
Heat Stroke Is No Light Matter!
Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment of Heat Stroke in Dogs
Don't Make this Mistake: Ruby's Death to Heat Stroke
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Mucus Membranes
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Panting


Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Summer Safety, Heat Stroke, and more ...

Summer Animal Safety Tips for Beating the Heat

Dr. Hanie Elfenbein/petMD

Summertime brings a number of dangers we need to protect our dogs from, but heat is the summer danger number one. Heat, humidity, hot pavements ...

How do you keep your dog safe?

The most important measure to take is providing your dog with access to plenty of fresh water. This cannot be understated. Dealing with temperature is a secondary consideration.

In her article, Dr. Elfenbein goes into detailed advice on how to keep your dog safe from the heat and other related dangers.

Related articles:
Should we leave the AC on for Our Dogs?


Vestibular Diseases – When Our Dogs and Cats Get Dizzy!

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCare DVM

Did you ever spin long enough to end up completely dizzy and stumbling all over once you stopped? I think everybody's done that at least once in the lives. That is pretty much what a vestibular disease feels like.

I can tell you I even have a similar problem after getting off a treadmill! I have to take a while to adjust to the ground no longer moving.

The vestibular system is a sensory system in charge of the sense of balance and spatial orientation to coordinate movement with balance. Knowing whether you're right-side-up or upside-down is kind of handy.

"Through complex interactions [with other parts of the nervous system], the vestibular system allows dogs to maintain normal positioning of their eyes, body, and limbs with respect to their heads. Anything that causes damage – temporary or permanent – to either part of the vestibular system may cause balance issues, as well as abnormal head and eye movements." ~Dr. Christopher Byers

While your dog might suffer from what it's called idiopathic vestibular disease, meaning with no cause anybody can figure, there are other things that can be behind it. And those are not as benign.

Some potential issues that affect the vestibular system include middle or inner ear infections, toxicity, trauma, tumors, or hypothyroidism. All these ought to be confirmed or ruled out before the assumption of idiopathic vestibular disease.

Read Dr. Byer's article to learn what happens when this system fails, why, and how it can be treated.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Drunken Gait
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Head Tilt
Idiopathic Vestibular Disease: Phoenix's Story


Should You Enroll Your Pet in a Clinical Trial?

petMD

Would I enroll my dog in a clinical trial? There is only one answer to that - it depends. Have I exhausted all conventional options? Are there no good conventional options? How promising are the results?

There are benefits and risks to every decision we make for our dogs. Under the right circumstances, a clinical trial can be the absolute best thing to try to help my dog.

Some clinical trials not only offer promising veterinary treatments and interventions unavailable in the mainstream, but also extensive diagnostic testing without charge and other benefits.

There is only one thing I truly detest about clinical trials of any kind--control groups. In such trial, your dog might be getting the treatment or might just be getting a placebo. Frankly, how many of the trials are treating a new disease where nobody knows the outcome? And if the outcome of conventional treatment and not treatment is already known, why deprive some of the dogs in the trial of the promising treatment just to gain repetitive data? Can't they just look that up elsewhere? That part I really don't like.

Other than that, I am open to considering this depending on the circumstances.

To learn more about clinical trials, what is good and bad about them, read petMD's article.


4 Tips to Help Your Dog Reach Its Weight Loss Goals

Dr. Andy Roark/Cone of Shame




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