I find it useful (and exceptionally entertaining) to keep up with the average modern veterinarian’s nerdy antics. Which is why I was so intrigued with a recent e-mail that detailed the ten most popular articles in the popular vet publication, Compendium. It’s also why I offer this info to you here. I mean, how else to keep tabs on which subjects are making waves in the veterinary profession?

Not that some of you care, unless they affect your pet directly, but after taking a hard look at the diversity of the topics represented by these ten articles, I can assure you that in the next couple of years at least one of your pets will benefit from your vet’s knowledge of these common small animal veterinary issues.

Furthermore, I strongly believe it adds personal pet owner value to learn which topics are receiving cutting edge attention in vet med ... and why.

To that end, here’s the top-ten from the folks at VetLearn, Compendium’s publisher:

1. Metacarpal and Metatarsal Fractures in Dogs

These foot bone fractures are usually the result of high-energy trauma. They’re exceedingly common. A plethora of treatment options abound (conservative and aggressive, alike), but there’s little evidence to point us in the right direction. Is it any wonder, then, that veterinarians will flock to an article on something as mundane as a fractured foot?

2. Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs

"The number of cases of xylitol toxicosis reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has gone from zero to thousands in less than 10 years. However, many pet owners are still unaware of the dangers of this sugar substitute. Learn about this increasingly common toxicosis."

How can any veterinarian resist this pitch?

3. Canine Anterior Uveitis

Here’s a frustratingly common disease of the eye that seems to have a zillion causes. Because inappropriate treatment of this condition can cause blindness, it’s a big deal in vet circles.

4. Surgical Views — Suspensory Ligament Rupture Technique During Ovariohysterectomy in Small Animals

Whenever veterinarians perform an ovariohysterectomy (OVH) or ovariectomy (OVE) (commonly referred to as a "spay"), we have to either stretch or break a ligament to expose the ovary. It’s considered the most harrowing step in learning how to do this procedure right since here’s where the bulk of the pain and the risk come into play. Hence, why getting the technique down should be so popular.

5. The Emerging Role of Wolbachia Species in Heartworm Disease

"Currently, treatment for heartworm disease is risky in dogs and nonexistent for cats. Data exist to support the potential role of Wolbachia spp in the development of the inflammatory reaction associated with heartworm disease in dogs and cats. This finding may help lead to new therapies for this disease."

Scary. Interesting. Read the whole thing for greater clarity — especially if you live in a heartworm endemic locale.

6. Canine Atopic Dermatitis: What's New?

There’s no secret as to why this one makes the top ten. It probably does every year. The exceedingly common disease of atopic dermatitis (aka, "environmental" or "seasonal" allergies) is enough to make every veterinarian sit up and beg for more info whenever anything "new" is on offer.

7. Giardia Infection in Cats

Giardia infection in cats is a common parasitic problem, primarily for outdoor cats but also for contained porch and patio dwellers. Because its mode of action and epidemiology is confusing, its resilience to treatment is frustrating, and the availability of a should-I-shouldn’t-I vaccine is confounding, veterinarians are understandably attracted to this topic.

8. Feline Focus: ISFM and AAFP Consensus Guidelines on Long-Term Use of NSAIDs in Cats

"Earlier this year, the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) issued the first-ever international consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats. As part of our partnership with AAFP, Compendium is pleased to be able to bring our readers the full guidelines."

Now that’s a big selling point for veterinarians — especially for those of us who are frustrated with the dearth of pain relief drugs available for cats.

9. Canine Influenza

"Canine influenza virus is a newly identified, highly contagious respiratory pathogen of dogs."

It’s a scary disease. So much so that a new vaccine is out. But should we vaccinate? How should we approach this emerging pathogen?

10. Methods of Urolith Removal

Bladder stones or urethral grit, they can seriously gum up the works. And they are so frustrating sometimes (until you’ve spent more than an hour in surgery trying to dislodge just one creepy rock, you have no idea). An article that promises to help out the needy clinician in this regard is a very desirable thing.


Now it’s your turn: What subject do you wish your veterinarian would read up on?

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: "Leave me alone, I'm reading." by Hey Christine