Every few months the nice people who produce Compendium — the veterinary periodical for the practical-minded — put out a list of their ten most popular articles in an effort to pique veterinary interest in their past exploits. Meanwhile, I see it as a great way to show you what your vet’s probably been reading … and learning.

We read all those basic veterinary science journals because we must, but most veterinarians prefer to see the information distilled into something they can actually employ in their practice … today. Hence the kinds of articles you’ll see listed and summarized below (by Compendium):


Clinical Snapshot: Abdominal Distention in a Dog

A 13-year-old, male, neutered golden retriever mix presented with a distended, painful abdomen. The dog had a 2-day history of lethargy and had vomited once the evening before evaluation. Abdominal radiography revealed severe pneumoperitoneum.

*Dr. K’s note: This is probably popular because it’s a cool case. We love cool cases with odd presentations and lots to puzzle out — especially if we get to play the voyeur.


Surgical Sponges in Small Animal Surgery

Sponges have many uses in veterinary practice, particularly in the operative arena. However, sponge retention is a risk whenever sponges are used during surgery. This article reviews proper uses of sponges, complications of sponge retention, and techniques to avoid retained sponges.

*Dr. K’s note: It’s never happened to me. But it happens every day in some vet practice somewhere, and the possibility of maiming animals in an attempt to help them scares the bejeezus out of me. I think this one was popular because most veterinarians trip like I do.


Canine Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Canine brachycephalic airway syndrome is a progressive disease that affects many brachycephalic dogs.

*Dr. K’s note: I believe veterinarians are starting to wake up to the animal welfare issues surrounding this über-common disease that’s practically inherent to short-headed breeds of dogs.


Clinical Snapshot: Progressive Diarrhea in a Dog

A 1-year-old spayed pug presented with progressive diarrhea of approximately six weeks’ duration that was nonresponsive to antibiotic therapy.

*Dr. K’s note: SO common. And those one or two cases that dog you every year? We can relate. Another case where being a fly on the wall is sheer bliss.


Lung Lobe Torsion

Lung lobe torsion is a rare, life-threatening disorder in small animals. Patients may present in an acute respiratory crisis; however, more subtle clinical signs have also been reported. Learn about the clinical signs, diagnostic approach, and treatment of this condition in dogs and cats.

*Dr. K’s note: Another voyeur’s guilty pleasure.


Liver Enzyme Elevations in Dogs

Increased liver enzyme activities are common findings with several diseases. In this article, Drs. Alvarez and Whittemore describe the different patterns of liver enzyme elevations and how they can be used in conjunction with signalment and clinical status as part of a systematic diagnostic workup.

*Dr. K’s note: Ultra-practical. In fact, I’ll be hitting this one soon and you’ll likely be treated to the fruits of my (hopefully) newfound knowledge.


Canine Anterior Uveitis

Several local and systemic diseases can cause canine anterior uveitis, and because inappropriate therapy may result in loss of vision, an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause is essential. This article reviews the pathophysiology, most common causes, and therapeutic options for anterior uveitis.

*Dr. K’s note: Almost all busy practicing veterinarians can say they’ve seen a couple of cases of uveitis within the past year. For me, I’ve seen lots in FIV-positive cats recently. And because so many of these latter patients come off the streets, the ophthalmologist typically isn’t a viable option ($$$). Another article I’ll be consuming.


Case Report: Surgical Reconstruction of Canine Footpads Burned by Drain Cleaner

A German shepherd presented with severe chemical burns to all four feet. Read how a combination of therapies led to a successful outcome in this rare case.

*Dr. K’s note: Here’s a super-neat case with a happy ending. What’s not to love? For my part, pad burns are a pet peeve. I’ll be digesting this one soon, too.


Equine Recurrent Uveitis

Equine recurrent uveitis is a cyclical disease that often leads to high management costs and unfavorable results, such as blindness. Research has improved understanding of the roles of various etiologies, as well as genetics, in the pathogenesis of this disease.

*Dr. K’s note: This one must be a biggie in the equine world.


Surgical Views - Suspensory Ligament Rupture Technique During Ovariohysterectomy in Small Animals

Learn the authors' techniques for disruption of the suspensory ligament during ovariohysterectomy in dogs and cats. Photographs clearly show the surgical anatomy of both species, the proper and improper approaches to disruption, and a practice technique.

*Dr. K’s note: It’s the bane of the newbie small animal veterinarian: How to rupture a suspensory ligament during a spay without exsanguinating your patient? Honestly, it’s not usually so dire as all that, but that doesn’t keep us from stressing…


As with the last time I offered you this top ten, now it’s your turn to comment on what veterinarians are studying, whether you think it apropos, and/or what you wish vets — old and young, small animal or otherwise — were learning. (Keep it clinical for the purposes of this post.)

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: Praktische Naturheilkunde (1906) by Quasimondo

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