Saturday, August 4, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: International Animal Disease Mapping, Different View on Cushing's Disease, and more ...

International Animal Disease Mapping

Dr. Scott Weese/Worms and Germs Blog

Any decision can be only as good as the information available at the time it was made. Making decisions with insufficient information is absolutely frustrating. Having had a wildfire "next to our backyard" for a third week now, the lack of usable information has been incredibly frustrating.

Surely a fire this large does not occupy the space of the little icon
Then I found this map; now I'm getting some useful information

There are bits and pieces, many of which are either obsolete, incomplete, inaccurate, and in some instances, right down wrong. There is no one place that would contain the fire information, efforts to contain it, and evacuation notices etc. There is a bit here, a bit there ... There is an interactive map one can look up status and size of any given wildfire but other than yesterday when it appeared for a day, there is no telling where the fire is, which way it's growing. The map shows a dot where it started and states fact that it's now about a hundred square kilometers. Living as close to it as we do, and having the air filled with smoke, it would be nice to know exactly where and what is burning, wouldn't it?

Disease mapping, provided people participate, is an invaluable tool. The University of Guelph attempted a number of different infectious diseases initiatives in the past--this is their latest. To make this meaningful, it requires crowd-sourced surveillance. Let's see if we can help it off the ground.


The Potentially Deadly Treat You’re Probably Giving Your Dog

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

I find it curious how much most veterinarians are against raw bones while recommending rawhide chews as a healthy and safe substitute. Meanwhile, how safe are those things really?

The last time I decided to give that idea a try was in the effort to help with Cookie's state of the mouth. I tried the fancy, veterinary, dental rawhide chews. Cookie almost choked on it.

A rawhide stick is no more eatable than your shoes. And just as healthy. If you haven't seen Rodney Habib's video, check it out.

I'm not saying there are no risks with giving your dog raw meaty bones to chew on. Yes, a dog could break a tooth, get a chunk stuck, choke on a chunk ... Giving raw meaty bones needs to be done with the regard to your dog's personality and chewing habits. And I never give bones when I cannot supervise. We've had great results with using raw meaty bones.

There are other great alternatives, such as bully sticks which I love BUT a large bully stick lasts Cookie about thirty seconds. She eats some of these things like biscuits. You need to choose an alternative based on your dog.

Read Dr. Mahaney's thoughts on rawhide chews and what he recommends as alternatives.

Dodds Responds to FDA Statement on Canine Heart Disease, Taurine Deficiency, and Potential Dietary Causes

Dr. Jean Dodds

This issue continues to make headlines; everybody is talking and writing about it. Last week we were at Cookie's vet and discussed it as well. She is keeping a cool head about it which is quite refreshing. So far it still seems that legumes are the potential culprit if a diet is indeed the problem. It was nice talking to somebody whose hair is not on fire.

Dr. Dodds also brings a cool voice of reason to the subject. At this point, taurine is not considered to be an essential nutrient that would have to come from food. It still does require its building blocks, though, cysteine and methionine. I see no reason animal-based protein ingredients would not provide what is needed. That might not be true for legumes. Or legumes might contain something that interferes with the process.

Our animal hospital did have one new case of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in a breed that is not predisposed to it, however, they measured taurine levels and they were fine.

Dr. Dodds' article offers a detailed break down of the subject of taurine and DCM in dogs as well as well-reasoned thoughts on the subject.

Cushing's Disease Part I: Explanation and Diagnosis

Dr. Peter Dobias

You absolutely have to read an article that opens up with a question of what your dog's adrenals and a toilet have in common!

There are plenty of articles about this disease. On the surface, it seems straight-forward but is it really?

"The main purpose of this Cushing’s disease series is to clarify some misconceptions about this adrenal gland disease, uncover some lesser known connections in the disease developments and openly communicate the benefits and limitations of both, conventional and holistic approaches to treatment and prevention." ~Dr. Peter Dobias

The first part is dealing with what adrenals do and the potential symptoms and signs that might mean that your dog's adrenal glands are not doing their job.

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