http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/rss en 'Miracle' Technology is Available to Save Your Pet, But Can You Afford It? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/february/miracle-technology-available-save-your-pet-but-can-you-af









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Feb 11, 2016 'Miracle' Technology is Available to Save Your Pet, But Can You Afford It? by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDWhen I was in veterinary school, ultrasounds were the Next Big Thing. At the time, very few clinics aside from specialty hospitals had them, and even fewer knew how to use them. My class was the first to be fully trained in ultrasound technique as part of our core curriculum and it was a big deal to be able to tell potential employers we were proficient in such advanced technology.
 
Now, just a short (or at least not ridiculously long) time later, they’re pretty commonplace; rolled out in primary care hospitals for everything from pregnancy detection to getting urine samples. Tech moves quickly, and I never cease to be astounded at how quickly it improves our ability to provide top notch medical care to animals.
 
Just this week I read the story of Ziba, an eight month old Rottie puppy who was taken to my alma mater, UC Davis, after a car accident. A car had basically crushed her face, fracturing both cheekbones, her jaw, and her forehead. That type of injury would normally be considered lethal and, had she lived anywhere but Davis, Ziba would likely have been euthanized.
 
Fortunately for her, the surgeons at Davis are one of only a handful of veterinary hospitals in the world with access to 3D mapping software, which allowed them to plan an extensive reconstruction. Ziba is now Terminator Dog, with a head full of metal—though without a metal detector, you’d never know what she had been through. She looks like a perfectly happy, normal pup from the outside, and like a robot from the scans.
 
I am so happy to see our gains in advanced technique continue unabated in veterinary medicine, though I often wonder how this is going to play out for the average owner. Our ability to provide amazing medicine often outstrips our clients' ability to pay the bill, and it hurts to see people who know that treatments exist for their beloved pets but are simply out of their financial reach.
 
I don’t know what Ziba’s final bill after multiple surgeries finally amounted to, but I’m sure it’s not cheap. It is not too uncommon to hear of bills over $40,000 and even higher for very involved cases. I know I couldn’t foot that kind of expense, nor could most people I know. I am thrilled to know that patients like Ziba have options out there that wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago, that veterinary medicine continues to offer the most cutting edge options out there, but I hope we also continue to explore ways to make basic care more accessible.
 
Every time I hear a story like this, I hope it is also followed by a note about who paid for it. My husband and I have a savings account now for our pets that we pay into monthly; most recently it covered Brody’s ear surgery. Many people are enrolling their pets in insurance programs to help in the case of catastrophic illness. It’s not nearly as exciting to speak about, but when it comes down to the average person, it’s the most likely way to save a life down the road.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
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Keeping Handicapped Pets Mobile
 
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The Dog Who Helped Teach Me to Be a Doctor http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/february/dog-who-helped-teach-me-be-doctor-33513
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H3N2 Dog Flu Spreading Rapidly http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/february/h3n2-dog-flu-spreading-rapidly-33512









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Feb 08, 2016 H3N2 Dog Flu Spreading Rapidly by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDOn an almost weekly basis, it seems as if I’ve been seeing reports of the “new” form of dog flu (H3N2) causing illness in parts of the country that were previously unaffected. There are a couple of reasons why H3N2 is spreading more rapidly than the “old” form of dog flu (H3N8), but first some background.
 
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association:
 
The canine H3N2 strain… emerged in Asia in 2006-2007 among dogs suffering from respiratory disease. This strain in Asia likely arose through the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus – possibly from among viruses circulating in live bird markets – to dogs. The new canine virus spread widely among dogs in South Korea and in several regions of China, and caused an outbreak of respiratory disease among dogs in Thailand in 2012. In 2015, a canine H3N2 that was genetically almost identical (99% identical) to the Asian strain was detected in the United States. Although rumors have circulated that the virus was introduced to the U.S. through dogs rescued and imported from Asia, there is no evidence to confirm these rumors. [National Public Radio reports “The virus apparently was brought into the country through O'Hare International Airport by an infected dog from South Korea.]
 
Zoeitis, the maker of one of the two canine H3N2 vaccines that are currently available under conditional licensure, describes the spread of dog flu this way:
 
In the contiguous United States from 2006 to 2014 [8 years], CIV [canine influenza virus] H3N8 was reported in 36 states. In the short period from March 2, 2015, to September 31, 2015 [7 months], CIV H3N2 was found in 25 states.
 
I believe the count must be up to at least 27 by now since the recent reports I’ve been seeing of dogs infected in Montana and Washington State are not included in the Zoeitis data.
 
Why is H3N2 dog flu spreading so quickly in the United States? Two factors are primarily responsible.
 
First of all, the H3N2 form of dog flu has been present in the U.S. for less than a year, so the great majority of dogs have no immunity to it. Preventative vaccination is now available through veterinarians, but the inoculations are only given to dogs considered to be at significant risk for contracting the disease. This would include individuals who live in H3N2 hotspots and/or those who board, attend doggy daycare facilities, show, etc.
 
Secondly, dogs who are infected with H3N2 flu can shed the virus and infect other dogs for a longer period of time than do those who contract the H3N8 form of the disease. Veterinarians have traditionally recommended isolating dogs with an infectious respiratory disease for two weeks to limit its spread. With H3N2 dog flu, it appears that a three week quarantine is more appropriate.
 
Even though the new form of dog flu is spreading rapidly, the decision of whether or not to vaccinate should be made on a case by case basis. Most dogs develop a mild form of the disease and recover over the course of a couple of weeks. Some cases, however, progress to pneumonia and may prove fatal. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if vaccination is in your dog’s best interests.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
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Human-Grade Diets Are Better for Cancer Patients Than Feed-Grade Diets - Here's Why http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/patrick-mahaney/2016/february/human-grade-diets-are-better-cancer-patients-feed-gr







The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Feb 05, 2016 Human-Grade Diets Are Better for Cancer Patients Than Feed-Grade Diets - Here's Why by Dr. Patrick Mahaney








Save to mypetMDWhat to feed a pet with cancer is a question capable of producing a variety of answers depending on the perspective of the person answering the query and one’s training and experience—even amongst veterinarians.
 
Since my dog Cardiff has endured four bouts of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and two occurrences of T-Cell Lymphoma in his ten years of life, I’ve had to delve into the feeding options that will not only nourish his tissues but also permit him to tolerate medications used to help control his ailments.
 
In this multi-part series, I’m going to share some perspective on feeding pets that I’ve learned from my years of veterinary practice, continuing education, and from my personal experience managing diseases that are typically fatal in my own pet.
 
Human-Grade Versus Feed-Grade Pet Foods
 

 
You may not realize it, but you may be feeding your pet meals and treats made with ingredients that have been deemed unfit for human consumption.
 
The majority of commercially available pet diets and treats are formulated with ingredients that are considered feed-grade instead of human-grade. Unfortunately for our pets, feed-grade ingredients have the potential to cause a variety of ailments on both short and long-term bases.
 
Feed-grade ingredients are lower quality than their human-grade counterparts and have higher allowable levels of a variety of toxins, including mold-based mycotoxin. Additionally, feed-grade ingredients are more likely to contain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical agents that can sicken your canine or feline companion.
 
What are Mycotoxins?
 
Mycotoxins are produced by mold. Mold is another term for a fungal organism or fungi. Fungi also include mushrooms, yeast, and Dermatophytes (Ringworm). Fungi aren’t inherently bad, but they can cause serious toxicity in the body when consumed or when they enter through other orifices (nose, mouth, skin, etc.).
 
Mycotoxins, including aflatoxin, vomitoxin, and others, damage the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract, and weaken the immune system. Mycotoxins are also carcinogenic (cancer-causing), which should get owners thinking about the role pet foods and treats containing feed-grade ingredients may have contributed in the development of their pet’s cancer.
 
Moldy grains are the primary source of mycoxotins in pet foods and treats, but proteins and fats also foster mold growth. Mold thrives when the appropriate environmental conditions of moisture, darkness, and warmth occur. Your pet’s dry or canned food can harbor mycotoxins, or mycotoxins can be produced by mold that flourishes in the bowl, trashcan, soil, or other household locations.
 
Since grains are often the culprit for mycotoxin contamination of pet foods, I feel the movement for commercially available foods to be grain-free is a good thing. I’m not against pets eating human-grade, whole grains as part of their diets, as long as they don’t make up the majority of a meal’s portion and as long as the type of grains are rotated.
 
Can My Pet’s Food Be Contaminated by Waste Products and Chemicals?
 
Yes, your pet’s food or treats can contain waste products from other animals or insects and various chemicals.
 
According to FDA Compliance Policy CPG Sec. 675.100: Diversion of Contaminated Food for Animal Use, the FDA “does not object to the diversion to animal feed of human food adulterated with rodent, roach, or bird excreta.”
 
Excreta includes feces and urine, which can contain a variety of harmful components like pathogenic (harmful) bacteria (Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli), parasites, viruses, or other noxious substances.
 
The pet eating the contaminated food isn’t the only one in the household at risk. Other pets or humans in the house can also be affected by components of animal and insect excreta, especially pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella. Juvenile, geriatric, and sick pets and people are most at risk of suffering toxic reactions to pathogenic organisms.
 
Additionally, CPG Sec. 675.200: Diversion of Adulterated Food to Acceptable Animal Feed Use, states that the Center for Veterinary Medicine, HFV-230, “will consider the requests for diversion of food considered adulterated for human use in all situations where the diverted food will be acceptable for its intended animal food use. Such situations may include:
 
a. Pesticide contamination in excess of the permitted tolerance or action level.
b. Pesticide contamination where the pesticide involved is unapproved for use on a food or feed commodity.
c. Contamination by industrial chemicals.
d. Contamination by natural toxicants.
e. Contamination by filth.
f. Microbiological contamination.
g. Over tolerance or unpermitted drug residues."
 
Filth is one of my favorite terms for the all encompassing image it lends to any substances it is describing. Yet, I certainly don’t want Cardiff’s or my patients’ foods or treats containing filth of any kind.
 
Both raw and cooked foods can contain pathogenic bacteria, mycotoxins, and other harmful substances, so I recommend that owners frequently reference the FDA’s Recalls & Withdrawals page to see if their pet’s food or treats has been recalled and why. Susan Thixton’s Truth About Pet Food is another great resource for recalls and sometimes yields shocking information about the pet food industry. Sign up for e-mail delivery of Thixton’s blog to have important notifications delivered directly to your inbox.
 
Are Human-Grade Foods Regulated Differently from Feed-Grade Foods?
 

 
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claim that a product is "human-grade" or "human-quality" if the product is technically "edible" for people, in legally defined terms.
 
Human-grade pet food must be produced under 21 CFR 110 Good Manufacturing Practices and must also be manufactured, packed, transported and held in accordance with federal regulations for human food.
 
“Regular” pet food is classified as “feed-grade,” which has been deemed unfit for human consumption as a result of the ingredients it contains, or because of the facility or manner in which it has been produced.
 
Even if a pet food company uses some human-grade ingredients, the company cannot legally call itself a human-grade pet food brand if their product isn’t made in a human food production facility.
 
Few companies actually use human-grade ingredients in their pet foods and treats, and being able to state so on the label requires extremely strict production quality control standards.
 
The Honest Kitchen is one such company that goes above and beyond the measures taken by the majority of manufacturers of edible products for pets. As a result of the company’s standards and the synergy we have about feeding principles, I’ve forged a professional partnership with The Honest Kitchen as a veterinary consultant to promote the concept of feeding our pets human-grade foods.
 
In the interest of full disclosure, The Honest Kitchen did not compensate me to write this article.
 
Home-prepared foods will almost certainly have human-grade ingredients, as I can’t fathom how an owner would be able to source feed-grade ingredients to then prepare in their own home for their cat or dog’s meals.
 
Cardiff eats Honest Kitchen foods and treats as part of his daily caloric intake. He also eats Lucky Dog Cuisine and snacks of cooked meats, cooked and fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits that I prepare for myself and my spouse.
 
It’s crucial that owners scrutinize the ingredients in pet foods and treats and choose human-grade over feed-grade. This perspective should be applied to all life stages in order to help prevent toxicity and disease from occurring instead of only deciding to feed a pet a human-grade diet once a serious disease like cancer has been diagnosed.
 
 

Dr. Patrick Mahaney
 
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Cases of Dog Flu Reported to Be on the Rise, and All Dogs Are at Risk http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/february/cases-dog-flu-reported-be-rise-and-all-dogs-are-risk-3350









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Feb 04, 2016 Cases of Dog Flu Reported to Be on the Rise, and All Dogs Are at Risk by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDIt’s flu time; for us and, increasingly, for our dogs. While the Zika virus is all over the news—and rightfully so, as it has terrifying consequences for pregnant women in mosquito endemic areas—canine influenza is also on the rise.
 
So how worried should you be, exactly? Like all complicated, messy things in life, the answer is a definitive and concise: it depends.
 
Let’s sort out a few components of the disease and what health officers are monitoring.
 
How sick does it make dogs?
 
The vast majority of affected dogs experience mild respiratory symptoms: a cough lasting 10-21 days, nasal discharge, and mild fever. More severely affected dogs can develop signs of pneumonia.
 
How contagious is it?
 
Canine influenza is very contagious. Virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected and 80% develop clinical signs of illness. The other 20%, while asymptomatic, may still spread the virus to other dogs. Unlike human influenza, canine influenza doesn’t have a clear “season” and can occur year-round.
 
Should my dog get the flu vaccine?
 
The current canine influenza vaccine protects against the H3N8 strain, which has been present in the United States since 2004. A different strain of canine influenza, H3N2, is responsible for many of the outbreaks in the news and was first diagnosed in the United States in March 2015. It is unknown if the H3N8 vaccine protects against the H3N2 strain.
 
In November of 2015, the USDA granted conditional licenses to two pharmaceutical companies to market a vaccine for H3N2. In both cases, the vaccine is intended not to prevent infection, but to reduce the severity of the symptoms and the spread of the disease. Whether or not you get the vaccine is a decision you should make in partnership with your veterinarian, taking into consideration the risk of your dogs being exposed.
 
How is dog influenza diagnosed?
 
Canine influenza cannot be diagnosed based on clinical signs alone as it mimics so many other respiratory illnesses. Veterinarians can diagnose canine influenza through a variety of tests, including blood tests and nasal swabs.
 
How is dog flu treated?
 
There is no one definitive treatment for influenza. Treatment is limited to supportive care: fluids when indicated, anti-inflammatory medications for fever, and antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections.
 
Can people or non-canine pets get the dog flu?
 
Currently, this virus is not shown to spread to other species.
 
The concern for any influenza virus is the rapid evolution of viral strains. While the flu is not contagious to people now, that doesn’t mean it will not be in the future. H3N8 itself originated as an equine virus that adapted into a canine specific influenza; a scary but, thankfully, rare event. This, more than anything else, is why the CDC is so interested in this illness.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
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Brain Tumors in Cats and Dogs Often the Most Challenging of Cancers http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/february/brain-tumors-cats-and-dogs-often-most-challenging-cancers-









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Feb 03, 2016 Brain Tumors in Cats and Dogs Often the Most Challenging of Cancers by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDOne of the less common cancers I’m asked to consult on are brain tumors. Though such tumors occur with fair frequency in both cats and dogs, optimal diagnostic and treatment plans are not well established. Thus brain tumors are considered a challenging disease for both veterinary neurologists and oncologists.
 
Brain tumors are either primary or secondary, with about equal chance of either of them being the diagnosis. Primary brain tumors originate from cells normally found within the brain tissue itself, or the thin membranes lining its surface. The most common primary tumors are meningiomas, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, choroid plexus tumours, central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, glioblastoma, histiocytic sarcomas, and ependymomas.
 
Secondary brain tumors occur when either a primary tumor located elsewhere in the body spreads to the brain (a process known as metastasis) or extends into the brain via invasion from adjacent tissue (e.g., bones of the skull, nasal cavity, eye, etc.).
 
Brain tumors occur most often in older pets, with the median age of affected dogs and cats being 9 and 11 years, respectively. Certain breeds show a predisposition for developing primary brain tumors: Boxers, Golden retrievers, and domestic shorthair cats are at increased risk.
 
Brain tumors that originate from the membranes covering the brain (known as meningiomas) occur more often in dolichocephalic breeds—those with long heads and noses—such as Collies. Conversely, brachycephalic breeds, with their short-nosed, flat-faced appearance, are more likely to develop gliomas, which are tumors of the interstitial tissue of the central nervous system.
 
The most common clinical sign of a brain tumor in dogs is seizures. Cats are more likely to show a sudden onset of aggression. Other signs suggestive of a brain tumor include behavioral changes, altered consciousness, hypersensitivity to pain or touch in the neck area, vision problems, propulsive circling motions, uncoordinated movement, and a “drunken,” unsteady gait. Non-specific signs such as loss of appetite, lethargy, and inappropriate urination are also seen.
 
There are several recommended staging tests for pets suspected to have brain tumors. These tests are designed to examine for widespread disease in the body, are considered part of a general health screen, and can establish baseline information with which we can compare to in the future.
 
Staging tests include complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, thoracic radiographs, and abdominal ultrasonography. These tests are used rule out an extracranial primary tumor that has metastasized to the brain, or the possibility of another primary tumor located in a distant site. These tests provide owners with peace of mind for moving forward with advanced imaging (MRI/CT) of their pets’ brains. In approximately 8% of cases, results from such tests will ultimately lead to a change in the anticipated diagnostic and treatment plan.
 
When a brain tumor is suspected, and staging tests are considered clear, the recommended next test is typically magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The exception would be cases where a pituitary tumor is suspected, as these tumors are better visualized using CT scan.
 
The only way to definitively diagnose a brain tumor and determine its exact tissue of origin would be through biopsy. While it is ideal to have a diagnosis before proceeding with therapy, veterinarians often recommend treatment based on a presumptive diagnosis from the imaging characteristics of an intracranial mass This is due to the increased risk associated with the procedure and the negative impact the clinical signs seen in affected patients has on their overall quality of life.
 
There are three primary treatment options for dogs that have been diagnosed with brain tumors: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The objectives of such therapies are to or reduce the size of the tumor and to control secondary effects, such as fluid build-up in the brain. Surgery may be used to completely or partially remove tumors, while radiation therapy and chemotherapy may help shrink tumors or reduce the chance of regrowth following surgery. Medications are also often prescribed to manage the side effects of brain tumors, such as seizures.
 
The prognosis for dogs with brain tumors is considered guarded to fair. Survival times of 2-4 months are expected with supportive care alone, 6-12 months with surgery alone, 7-24 months with radiation therapy alone, 6 months to 3 years with surgery combined with radiation therapy, and 7-11 months with chemotherapy alone.
 
As is typical for many aspects of veterinary oncology, accurate prognostic information for cats with brain tumors is lacking.
 
If your veterinarian suspects your pet has a brain tumor, please consider seeking a consult with a board certified veterinary neurologist or oncologist in your area to understand your options for both diagnosis and treatment.
 
You can find more information at the website for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/february/brain-tumors-cats-and-dogs-often-most-challenging-cancers-#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33506 at http://www.petmd.com
Chaining Dogs — Is It Ever Justified? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/february/chaining-dogs-it-ever-justified-33494









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Feb 01, 2016 Chaining Dogs — Is It Ever Justified? by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDWe had an interesting case here in Colorado a while back. A family had moved into a new home and their pit bull named Bolt was chained outdoors. A neighbor became concerned because temperatures had dropped and Bolt was heard barking during the night. After calls to the local Humane Society and law enforcement didn’t change the situation (investigations revealed no laws were being broken), the situation gained a lot of attention on social media.
 
Thankfully, the story has a happy ending. According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, “a ‘generous donor’ provided a 200-square-foot dog run, a new doghouse, bed, a thick mat, and several toys. A local contractor donated time to build the fenced-in area.”
 
All this got me to thinking, how big of a problem is dog chaining in the U.S.? An Animal Welfare Institute report reveals just how bad the situation can be.
 
Across the United States, millions of dogs endure their entire lives confined outdoors by chains affixed to collars and staked to the ground or a fixed object. This is called "chaining" or "tethering." Typically, the animals are denied socialization with people and other animals and even basic veterinary care.
 
The short radius afforded them by their chains limits the dogs to a small area of hard packed earth (or mud) and an accumulation of their own feces. The dogs can become entangled in the chains or the chains can get hung up in trees or other obstacles. Because of neglect, the collars around the dogs' necks can cause irritation and rub the flesh raw. With many of the animals chained as puppies, as the dogs grow, their collars become imbedded in the poor animals' necks.
 
In general, some shelter is mandated, but it is often times inadequate and the animals are still subjected to weather extremes - heat, bitter cold, rain or snow. The dogs are denied love and attention from people, and this lack of socialization causes some - who would not otherwise be a threat - to become aggressive and attack and bite people, particularly children. Some children have even been killed.
 
Currently, over one hundred communities in more than thirty states have passed laws restricting or banning the practice.
 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the following statement in the July 2, 1996 Federal Register: "Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog's movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog's shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog's movement and potentially causing injury."
 
In 1997, the USDA issued a final rule that entities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act [this does not include pet owners] could no longer keep dogs continuously chained, "The dog-tethering rule is designed to prevent the practice of permanently tethering dogs and not allowing them proper exercise as specified under the Animal Welfare Act."
 
For more information on this topic, please visit Unchain Your Dog.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/february/chaining-dogs-it-ever-justified-33494#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33494 at http://www.petmd.com
Shaming Animal ‘Abusers’ on the Internet – More Harm Than Good? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/shaming-animal-abusers-internet-more-harm-good-33466









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 28, 2016 Shaming Animal ‘Abusers’ on the Internet – More Harm Than Good? by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDI am really glad there was no internet around when I was in high school and college. I’m pretty sure I did and said some pretty dopey things, as most people do on occasion, but they came and went, and I corrected them and went on to become, by most accounts, a normal responsible adult.
 
But things are different now, with camera phones in every pocket and the potential for the entire world to see your every move. Internet justice is swift for those who do wrong, and in some cases, it’s never ending. The internet is forever, after all.
 
The people being vilified are not innocent. They have done or said things that vary from offensive to mean to dangerous or just plain dumb, but once the image goes viral, it takes over that person’s life. The random strangers who pile on may be righteously angry, but in their thirst for vengeance many of them state quite clearly that they are happy for someone’s life to be ruined.
 
It’s hard not to be upset when you see some of the things out there —the endangered animals being hunted for sport, the crude and crass rants — and while I certainly understand the angry responses of the internet justice patrol, I do sometimes worry that pitchforks and torches have now become the default response to anything we don’t like.
 
On occasion, amidst the deliberately stupid and willfully cruel, you see someone who genuinely is acting out of ignorance. The cases I am thinking of most commonly involve a nervous-looking dog and a gurgling toddler sticking its face into the dog’s muzzle.
 
Perhaps there is an opportunity in there to help the person holding the camera — and others — to learn a really important lesson, but it’s going to get lost in the 5,000 iterations of “stupid,” “idiot,” “dum-dum” responses. Who wouldn’t shut down in the face of that?
 
This is exactly why the dogpile, public-shaming aspect of the internet worries me. Aside from fulfilling the commenter’s desire to be part of the response, I don’t think it’s especially constructive, and it causes some real missed opportunities to turn a poor choice into a proactive educational moment. In many cases, it has a ripple effect on the blameless co-workers, family members, and work life of the person involved. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and at the end of the day I really don’t find that it leaves the world a better place than it was before.
 
So that’s why you won’t find me on Facebook fanning the flames of righteous anger against the admittedly clueless general population. After all, it’s an election year; we have plenty of politicians — who actually like that kind of attention — to yell at and about instead.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
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ziggy1210 Doesn't do any good 01/27/2016 09:02pm I don't think it does any good other than "getting it off your chest". The offending party is unlikely to even read it so why waste energy? That energy can be put in better use in educating people rather than condemning their behaviour, Just my opinion and not a spelling mistake I'm Canadian - lol. Reply to this comment Report abuse 7
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/shaming-animal-abusers-internet-more-harm-good-33466#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33466 at http://www.petmd.com
Is ‘It can’t hurt to try it’ a Valid Medical Treatment? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/it-cant-hurt-try-it-valid-medical-treatment-33467









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 27, 2016 Is ‘It can’t hurt to try it’ a Valid Medical Treatment? by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDThere are many gray areas in veterinary cancer care. Rarely am I certain that a particular treatment option or surgical strategy or chemotherapy protocol is “the absolute best” plan of action for any given patient.
 
My uncertainty stems not from a lack of knowledge or experience; it arises from a dearth of evidence based information to guide my decision making process.
 
Practicing evidence based medicine means I would conscientiously explore only the current best proof in making decisions about the care of my patients. This requires scouring research summaries and scrutinizing details contained within the reports to define the applicability of such work to the specific pet presented to me in the exam room.
 
As an example, evidence based tells me that the optimal treatment plan for a dog diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma is a multidrug chemotherapy protocol administered over a six month period. This combines the lowest chance of side effects with the longest anticipated survival time. Similarly, research tells me the patient’s prognosis without treatment is only 2-3 months.
 
These statistics are based off of data accrued during studies designed specifically to look at the outcome of many dogs diagnosed with lymphoma treated in a similar fashion, allowing conclusions to be drawn that are applicable to a wider subset of patients.
 
The contrary of evidence based medicine is incorporating the idea that “anything that could help, and doesn’t hurt” is a valid option for a patient’s treatment regimen. This approach relies not on factual information but on “soft findings,” such as personal experience, anecdotes, or even ambiguous best guesses.
 
There are several flaws with this latter approach to practicing medicine, namely the assumption of a failure to cause harm. Even when there is a lack of a positive response to therapy, this doesn’t imply an absence of a potentially negative outcome.
 
Owners frequently approach me with questions about untested remedies they’ve read about on the internet or that were suggested by a caring friend, relative, breeder, therapist, etc. While some of these purportedly “harmless” options are likely to be truly harmless, my concern is that the negative effects of others are potentially vastly underestimated.
 
For example, owners inquiring about feeding their dogs Gatorade when they are feeling ill are unlikely to harm their pets by doing so. I inform them that the small volume of fluid they are able to feed to their pet orally will not provide enough glucose (sugar) and electrolytes to reverse acute dehydration, but as long as there’s no artificial xylitol sweetener in the product, the chance of causing harm is minimal. I can’t think of a specific study proving my assumption, but I’m comfortable with my conclusion nonetheless.
 
The bigger problems are those seemingly innocuous therapies where evidence based information in scarce but questionable enough to raise concern for a detrimental effect. Consider the supposed benefits of antioxidant supplements for dogs and cats.  
 
Research supports the concept that antioxidants are able to protect cells from free-radical damage — in test tubes and living animals. However, opposing research has shown that antioxidants can potentially increase risk for disease (e.g., cancer), as well as counteract the beneficial effects of treatments such as chemotherapy.  
 
It’s surprisingly difficult for a doctor to know how to keep the evidence-based medicine in check and ensure that the optimal standard of care is offered for their patients. I may not always be able to use research based information to make decisions about my patients’ care, but I also am wary of accepting an option simply because “it couldn't hurt.”
 
I spend a lot of time researching options, hitting walls, and being frustrated in the lack of confirmative data to guide the decision making process.  This process allows me to maintain the greatest responsibility I have to my patients: to “first, do no harm.”
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile

 
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/it-cant-hurt-try-it-valid-medical-treatment-33467#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 27 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33467 at http://www.petmd.com
Underreported Cases of Canine Brucellosis Leading to Spread of Disease http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/january/canine-brucellosis-dangerous-dogs-and-people-33405









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 25, 2016 Underreported Cases of Canine Brucellosis Leading to Spread of Disease by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDAre you a dog breeder? If so, you should be familiar with the canine disease brucellosis, and you should be doing everything in your power to prevent its spread. New dog owners should also be aware of the basics of this disease because it can sicken both dogs and the people who come in contact with them.
 
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has put together a new document called Best Practices for Brucella canis Prevention and Control in Dog Breeding Facilities. Here are some highlights.
 
Canine Brucellosis, caused by Brucella canis, is a significant reproductive disease of dogs. It is caused by an intracellular bacterium and often found in breeding kennels throughout the United States. B. canis is a zoonotic organism that can infect humans…. The symptoms… in humans… are frequently non-specific, and may include one or more of the following: fever (often periodic and nocturnal), fatigue, headache, weakness, malaise, chills, sweats, weight loss, hepatomegaly [enlarged liver], splenomegaly [enlarged spleen], and lymphadenopathy [enlarged lymph nodes].
 
There is much confusion about the disease among kennel operators and veterinarians alike. [Canine brucellosis,] while historically thought of as a disease that causes abortions, has many clinical signs that are often misinterpreted. These include but are not limited to early abortions, testicular swelling, uveitis [inflamed eyes] and spinal arthritis. The disease often exhibits no clinical signs that are obvious to the owner or veterinarian….
 
Natural transmission of canine brucellosis can occur by several routes. B. canis organisms are shed in the highest numbers in aborted material and vaginal discharge. Infected females transmit canine brucellosis during estrus, at breeding, or after abortion through oronasal contact of vaginal discharges and aborted materials. Shedding of B. canis may occur for up to six weeks after an abortion. Semen, seminal fluid and urine from infected males have also been documented as sources of infection…. Both males and females may shed the organism in the urine for at least three months after becoming infected. The organism can also be present in blood, milk, saliva, nasal and ocular secretions, and in the feces.
 
It is possible for infected females to raise infected puppies that can enter consumer markets. A 2011 survey of State Public Health Veterinarians reported that B. canis infection is a reportable disease in at least 28 states. Because the disease is reportable in many states there is a small but important “underground” that tries to avert the reporting and thus serves as a continuum for the disease.
 
Additionally, it is important to emphasize that in dogs it is not a curable disease, which means that carrier animals MUST be removed from the breeding population in a kennel situation [and should not be rehomed]. Attempts at treatment have been very disappointing with relapses commonly occurring. Attempted treatment can mask diagnostic testing and has been shown to be yet another important contributing factor in the spread of the disease.

 
For more details, I refer you to the entire report. It contains excellent information on cleaning and disinfection, the importance of wearing disposable gloves during breeding and whelping, diagnostic procedures, and how to screen and quarantine new dogs before they enter a breeding program.
 
If you are considering buying a puppy from a breeder, make sure you ask them about their brucellosis control measures and ask to see the results of Brucella canis testing on both the mother and father of your potential new canine family member.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates 
 
 
Related
 
Miscarriage Due to Bacterial Infection (Brucellosis) in Dogs
 
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Natural Approaches for Treating Cancer in Pets - Chinese Medicine and Whole Foods for Energy http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/patrick-mahaney/2016/january/natural-approaches-treating-cancer-pets-chinese-medicine-33404









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 22, 2016 Natural Approaches for Treating Cancer in Pets - Chinese Medicine and Whole Foods for Energy by Dr. Patrick Mahaney








Save to mypetMDWhen treating my dog Cardiff’s cancer and addressing his day-to-day wellness, I take a multimodal approach where I combine different perspectives in veterinary medicine.
 
My primary perspective is Western (conventional), as I have always been fascinated by what are perceived to be miracles occurring through the use of common treatments like medications and surgery. As I believe the body can also be gently persuaded to improve itself when unwell, I also follow an Eastern perspective (complementary and alternative, or CAM).
 
Part of my CAM approach includes the use of “food energies” to manage or prevent disease. This perspective wasn’t taught to me in my years of veterinary school at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; I learned it during my Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) training with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS).
 
Although I’ve always followed a whole food diet for myself and have witnessed most humans and companion canines and felines being generally healthier while eating non-processed foods, I never considered the effect food energy has on the body until my IVAS training. Now I actively incorporate food energy principles into my veterinary practice and as part of Cardiff’s cancer treatment.
 
Chinese Medicine Food Energy for Cancer Patients
 
According to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) theory, cancer is a disease of excess (cells dividing rapidly) and yang (masculine, uplifting energy), which creates heat (inflammation) that occurs from an internal source (abnormal cellular genetic material).
 
Food energies can be used to calm down the heat and inflammation created by cancer’s out-of-control cellular division. For my patients, I focus on feeding protein, vegetable, and grain sources that are known to have a cooling (Yin) effect, or those that are neutral (neither heating nor cooling) in their energetics.
 
I don’t suggest kibble based diets (commercially-available dry pet food) for my canine and feline patients, even if they don’t have cancer. Kibble is made by extrusion, which is the process of taking a moist, paste-like mixture and cooking it with high-heat (over 425 F), which denatures proteins and deactivates enzymes that are vital to the digestive process. As a result, kibble is radically different from the format in which nature intends for dogs and cats to eat.
 
From the TCVM perspective, kibble adds more heat (Yang) to the body, as digestive juices and pancreatic enzymes must be secreted to moisturize the dry nuggets so they can be broken down and digested.
 
Moist foods are inherently better for the body (any body) as they do not require as much of the body’s moisture to facilitate digestion.
 
However, I don’t recommending feeding even moistened kibble for my patients, as the format is still inherently Yang due to the extrusion process. Plus, the addition of water to kibble can promote the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, etc.) and the production of mold-based toxins (aflatoxin, vomitoxin, etc.) that could be present in an “unlucky” bag of kibble.
 
Cooling, Neutral, and Warming Food Sources, According to TCVM
 
One of the simplest ways to understand TCVM food energies is to consider how your body responds to eating certain foods. Ginger and cayenne pepper have a warming effect that causes you to vasodilate (the blood vessels open up), which leads to you feeling flush and your nose (and possibly eyes) running. Cucumber and high-moisture vegetables have a cooling effect that helps to reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of those dark, under-eye circles.
 
When it comes to deciding the ingredients in our pets’ daily meals, we want to primarily focus on the cooling, neutral, and warming qualities of proteins, vegetables, grains, and fruits.
 
Cooling food sources include:
 
Protein
Turkey, duck, goose, quail, rabbit, fish (salmon, tuna, other), yogurt, and others. Some Chinese medicine charts include turkey as a heating protein source. The chart I was taught to use from the Chi Institute considers turkey to be cooling.
 
Vegetables
Spinach, broccoli, mushroom, cucumber, celery, and others.
 
Grains
Barley, wheat and wheat bran, buckwheat, wild rice, and others.
 
Fruits
Apple, banana, melon, watermelon, cantaloupe, blackberry, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, pear, and others.
           
Neutral food sources neither create heating nor cooling effects, are appropriate for cancer patients, and include:
 
Protein
Beef, pork, chicken eggs, beef liver, pork liver, and others.
 
Vegetables
Cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, green bean, peas, potato (Russet white, etc.), and others.
 
Grains
Corn, white and brown rice, rye, and others.
 
Warming food sources have the potential to create heat inside in the body and include:
 
Protein
Chicken, lamb, venison, and others. Of course, I’d prefer my patients to eat a freshly cooked piece of chicken instead of a fish-based kibble, despite the potential for chicken to have a warming effect.
 
Vegetables
Sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, and others. Although these veggies are considered warming, I still suggest feeding them to my cancer patients due to their high nutrient, fiber, and anti-oxidant qualities.
 
Grains
Oats, sorghum, and others.
 
Other basic tips on TCVM food energies according to the Chi Institute are:
 
“Fast growing food (lettuce) tends to be cooler than a plant that takes longer to grow (root vegetables)”
 
“Foods with higher water content tend to be cooling”
 
“Longer and slower cooking methods (roast or stew) produce more warming effects than quicker methods”
 
How Can You Incorporate TCVM Food Energy Principles Into Your Pet’s Diet?
 
Before embarking on using cooling, neutral, or warming food energies into your pet’s diet, consult with a veterinarian who has been schooled in TCVM. One can be found via the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association (AHVMA) or IVAS.
 
For Cardiff, my main approach is to have his food be moist, human-grade (that’s a whole other topic I’ll cover in 2016), cooked, and primarily include cooling to neutral food energies. Yet, if he’s interested in sharing some of my organic, freshly-cooked lamb chop because it’s one of the foods that appeals to him post-chemotherapy, I’m certainly going to offer him a warming protein source instead of focusing on what’s exclusively cooling or neutral.
 
The key is practicing moderation and having diversity in the nutrients that make up the ingredients in our pets’ meals.
 
 

Dr. Patrick Mahaney
 
 
Image: Yin Yang Dog and Cat
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/patrick-mahaney/2016/january/natural-approaches-treating-cancer-pets-chinese-medicine-33404#comments holistic nutrients nutrition TheDailyVet Fri, 22 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33404 at http://www.petmd.com
Why Vets Lose Clients, and What We Can Do To Change It http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/why-vets-lose-clients-and-what-we-can-do-change-it-33396









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 21, 2016 Why Vets Lose Clients, and What We Can Do To Change It by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDThis week, I sent someone a flower arrangement. I looked up a suitable one online, pressed “order,” and somewhere a little form popped up in a local affiliate shop with the address for delivery and, one would assume, the instructions for the requested arrangement.
 
Yesterday I received a thank-you text from the recipient, along with a photo of some flowers which, while all right I suppose, were nothing like what I had ordered. Basically it was some flowers stuffed in a vase which, while technically fulfilling the basics of the order and not terrible in and of itself, was completely underwhelming and was a major disappointment.
 
Had I known the florist reserved the right to provide a cut rate, sloppy version of what I had requested, I could have made the choice to research other florists and found one with better reviews and happy customers (lesson learned). If the poor service came along with a discounted price tag, that would be one thing, but I was charged top notch prices. Now I’m stuck dealing with customer service and they are probably going to lose money on the transaction, and neither of us is happy. 
 
I think there’s a lot veterinarians can take from that. How many times do we lose clients because we’ve failed to live up to their expectations? We fulfill the basics of the appointment: the doctor comes in, performs an exam, and provides a medical service. So what’s the problem?
 
The client experience encompasses so much more than getting from point a to point b, which, while that is the general purpose of the interaction, is only a part of it. Maybe the receptionist was cold, or called the dog a “he” instead of a “she.” Perhaps there was a long wait in the lobby, or the cost was more than the client expected. All of these things can sink a visit.
 
Most of the time these problems can be anticipated and avoided with the simple act of better communication: Instructing the front desk staff on expectations for a friendly reception, letting clients know when emergencies are going to cause a delay and offering them a drop off or the opportunity to reschedule, providing a written estimate before providing any services. Managing a client’s expectations goes a long way toward avoiding disappointment down the road.
 
Smart veterinarians are starting to recognize that the quality of the client experience encompasses so much more than just the quality of the medicine provided. From the ability to schedule appointments online to fear-free providers who go out of their way to make pets comfortable in a scary environment, there are so many clinics out there going out of their way to provide a client-centered service, why waste time with those places that don’t care?
 
What are some of your most impressive (or disappointing) veterinary service experiences? Would managing expectations have helped at all?
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
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TheOldBroad Expectations 01/21/2016 06:09pm While I've never been disappointed with my current vet, I can sure identify with your flower-ordering disappointment.

I wired flowers to a funeral several states away. I can only assume that the florist assumed I'd never know the difference. However, I went to the funeral and the flowers weren't at all what I ordered.

Another example is when I received a notification that a delivery attempt was made. Imagine my frustration when I had to drive a long, long way to pick them up myself. It was mostly plants so I asked the gal if any were poisonous to cats. She told me I had to look it up myself. (I don't know plants so looking them up was beyond my comprehension.) I took a picture of the arrangement and sent it with a "Thank You" text. I could hear my friend's head explode from many states away. She said she had an extended conversation with the florist about greenery and ordered white roses only. No greenery. That's not at all what I got. I think the florist didn't think my friend would ever find out.

I've learned to look up a local florist on the web and call them directly. For some reason, that seems to encourage pride in a local establishment and you get what you ordered. Reply to this comment Report abuse 6 papoodles 01/29/2016 08:35am I have switched vets because of rude front staff experience...this was a single vet practice, with an office manager who had been with the vet for many years, so he was probably used to her brusque behavior- I didn't have to put up with it and left- and before leaving I told him my reasons, but it seems that he needed her more than he needed clients. Too bad, because I did like him as did my 4 dogs..
My present practice has multiple vets working and a lovely front staff... Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 Catladykaren Vet disappointment 01/29/2016 10:07am I've been going to the same vet for 12 years because I liked him and he is the only cat only practice in my area. This is crucial because my cats and I are not comfortable around dogs. Too often these dogs are not restrained in any way and there seems to be no enforcement of safety rules. My vet is anti vax which I appreciate due to health risks associated with over vaccination. But, even though I visit multiple times a year he doesn't know my name or my cats' names and doesn't bother to take good notes on lifestyle information. All he has to do is glance over the file to be reminded of these things but he doesn't take the time. I appreciate that he does not push for tests or automatically prescribe meds for every health concern, but he treats me as though I am a hypochondriac about my cats. He also neglected to send a condolence card for my cat that was euthanized. Now all of these things are minor compared to the greatest betrayal of misdiagnosis. He took one Xray of my soulcat who had labored breathing and said she had a diaphragmatic hernia and likely had only months to live. I was told there was nothing I could do and took her home to watch her die. I still had to take her in for regular depo shots for allergies and after months passed, my questions were met with speculation of luck. She was guessed to be 11 and had suffered no trauma, so congenital was oddly suspected. Finally after 10 months I asked the covering vet for another Xray. She said it wasn't a hernia at all, instead it was a mass. I was referred to the specialty clinic and after two months of more misdiagnoses I lost the love of my life to probable Thymic Carcinoma. Oddly enough I received I condolence card for her even though she did not die under their care. But at no time has he addressed his grievous error or amended the chart notes. I don't have the nerve to confront him but feel that he failed us monumentally. But because there are no other cat only clinics, I still bring my cats there. Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 KLND Staff Turnover 01/29/2016 01:45pm What is a reasonable amount of staff turnover? My dog sees the owner of a small practice and has received excellent care over the past 12 years. However, I've lost count of the other vets and vet techs that have come and gone over the years. Some were not surprising departures, but others seemed to be excellent. Are the underpaid or overworked, or not treated well, or fired for minor issues? Is the owner just not treating his staff well? I know some of the former staff are working in other local vet practices, so it's not that they moved away or left the profession. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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When Your Pet's Cancer Tests Prove Nothing, What Then? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/when-your-pets-cancer-tests-prove-nothing-what-then-33395











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TheOldBroad Pets 01/21/2016 05:58pm And how many times do you get questionable replies when you ask how Fluffy/Fido is doing? Do you have to ask pointed questions to get the information you need? Reply to this comment Report abuse 3 Catladykaren No Answers 01/29/2016 10:23am Perhaps the biggest mistake I've made is to have faith in and expectation of veterinary medicine to always help my cats. I now know that tests for cats are not definitive and treatments options are disappointing. So much is still not known about health conditions, causes or how to test for it. After a devastating experience of one misdiagnosis after another, I learned the true nature of vet med. Had I been simply informed that its a crapshoot and diagnoses and prognoses were based on educated best guesses, I would not harbor such resentment and distrust toward the industry. I was naive in believing that we could heal a cat with modern advances in medicine. We have a long way to go. I wish I had known, it would have saved me from so much heartbreak and grief. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/when-your-pets-cancer-tests-prove-nothing-what-then-33395#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33395 at http://www.petmd.com
Declaw Kills Kitten… And the Reason is Even Worse Than You Think http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/january/declaw-kills-kitten-reason-even-worse-than-you-think-33391









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 18, 2016 Declaw Kills Kitten… And the Reason is Even Worse Than You Think by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDHave you heard about the man and woman who have been charged with felony animal cruelty because of what they did to a kitten name Toby? To quote the Miami Herald:
 
When Carmenza Piedrahita wanted to declaw her kitten Toby, Miami-Dade prosecutors say, she didn’t go to a licensed veterinarian.
Instead, she turned to an elderly Miami man [Geronimo Gonzalez] who along with another man performed an illegal do-it-yourself declawing of the cat, police said. Toby fell ill. For two weeks, he lingered in pain and dehydration, vomiting a green substance, the exposed bones on his front paws infected and swollen.
 
Piedrahita finally took Toby to a Miami animal clinic, where he died.

 
Disgusting! I hope Piedrahita, Gonzalez, and the unnamed man all receive the maximum sentences possible under the law.
 
This story reaffirms my belief that declaws performed by compassionate and well-trained veterinarians must always remain available as an option of last resort for owners.
 
Don’t get me wrong, declaws are potentially inhumane. The surgery essentially involves the amputation of every one of a cat’s fingers at the first knuckle (the one just under your nail if you’re looking at your own hands). Therefore, cats should not be declawed until all other reasonable options, like the following, have been pursued.
 

Prevent access to the areas where your cat has been inappropriately scratching. Close doors or consider placing a ScatMat (a pad that delivers a small electric zap when stepped on) in front of your couch corner, molding, etc. If you can’t keep your cat away, cover the specific areas with double sided tape or aluminum foil to make them less attractive.


Provide multiple scratching posts made from different materials (carpet, corrugated cardboard, wood, rope-covered, etc.) to determine which type your cat likes best. Try different orientations since some cats like to scratch on horizontal surfaces and others prefer vertical.


Trim your cat’s nails regularly. A nail trimmer with sharp blades is essential. Praise and reward your cat when he or she is cooperative.


Rubbery nail covers work for some cats but have to be replaced on a regular basis.

 
But what’s an owner to do if none of this works? Is it reasonable to ask someone to simply put up with a cat’s destructive behavior? I don’t think so, since the chances of that individual cat remaining a welcome and cherished household member are negligible at best. It is in these cases that declaws are a viable option.
 
I have declawed cats. Because I perform nerve blocks, provide aggressive oral or injectable pain relief, prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, and insist on several days of post-operative hospitalization, I have seen how comfortable cats can be after a “good” declaw. (One memorable patient started batting around toys as soon as she woke up from anesthesia). I am afraid that if we make obtaining a quality declaw surgery harder or even impossible by banning the procedure, cases like Toby’s could become more frequent.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
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TheOldBroad Declaw - Ack! 01/21/2016 06:01pm I cannot imagine having a cat declawed by a non-veterinarian.

Actually, I cannot imagine have a cat declawed.

I never had a problem until the last three came into the family. They were not interested in scratching posts. Double sided tape they found, could be rolled into a ball and batted around.

Yes, I just live with it. Reply to this comment Report abuse 28 mnicols Legal animal abuse 01/22/2016 11:48am This is disturbing. With that kind of logic you might as well say "let's make every possible crime of animal abuse legal, JUST IN CASE someone does it a lot worse if there are no legal ways to amputate their pet".
Declawing is UNNECESSARY and does NOT benefit the CAT. Even aside from all the immediate and lifelong pain a cat will suffer from being amputated for human convenience, that first statement alone should be enough to ban this disgusting excuse for revenue for vet clinics. If a surgical procedure harms a creature and does not benefit it in any way... it is wrong. Declawing is simply cruel and wrong and should never ever have been invented in the first place. Reply to this comment Report abuse 29 Jdrose199@comcast.net 01/29/2016 08:25am You are so right how would some one like this done to them Why Why put them thru this. I work for a rescue we just had some one throw a fit because they wanted a cat and right up front said they would declaw it as their furniture was more important well we did not adopt to them so I am sure they went else where and will put some poor cat thru this with out even trying to see how it goes first. Sad. Some cats never bother you furniture and some do. Its the nature of cats. Reply to this comment Report abuse 9 DiAnPe DECLAWING 01/29/2016 08:29am Please, please, please never declaw a cat! Imagine cutting off the tips of all of your fingers and toes! Even after it heals, there is still discomfort. Every time the cats takes a step, it feels an odd sensation . It also leaves the cat with no means of defense should it sneak out the door. There are so many alternatives. Declawing is cruel. We have 8 rescued cats and none of them are declawed. We have scratching posts and if one goes for the furniture, we use double sided tape. There are also sprays and soft paws that can be used. Please don't declaw your cat and don't EVER lets someone that is not a veterinarian do any surgical procedure on you pets. Reply to this comment Report abuse 15 xenatherottie Soft Paws 01/29/2016 10:01am I had a cat named Dutchess that used to claw everything but not the towers. Soft Paws worked great once you figured out how much glue was too much. She looked adorable with the pink nail caps. They fall off once the cat's nail sheds. The nails have the get trimmed before they get capped again. Was considering de-clawing (cause a friend did it to his cat) but after some research decided that it wasn't for me or my cat. Reply to this comment Report abuse 5 Mojosmom Declawing must be banned 01/29/2016 11:56am Doing any veterinarian procedure without being a vet is inhumane & illegal. Declawing must be made illegal period! Very reason for declawing made by vets has been debunked. They are declawing for money & not honoring their oath or caring about the wellbeing of cats. Declawing serves no purpose other than to make money, there are alternatives. Declawing is inhumane, leaving a cat both physically & mentally in lifetime agony, it dose not keep a cat in its home. Declawing must be banned! Reply to this comment Report abuse 9 gden20@msn.com No Declaw in USA 01/29/2016 12:38pm It is time to end this barbaric practice. Other countries prohibit declaw and it is well past time for the USA to do so. Even done by a vet under the best circumstances, this horrible procedure will leave cats with serious consequences that worsen as the cat ages. There are alternatives, feline enrichment, multiple scratching posts with different surfaces and configurations, and rubber tipped Soft Paws. We rescued two cats that had been declawed by the previous owner 12 years ago, and they both have always had a different gait than our other cats, and have always had very sensitive paws. Just as debarking, docking tails and ears in dogs is cruel torture, so is declaw. Reply to this comment Report abuse 9 karenita No declawing please 01/29/2016 03:09pm I decided when I wanted a cat or two that I wouldn't have anything nice. So now I don't have anything nice, except for my two cats. Reply to this comment Report abuse 8 ReeWolf DECLAWED 01/29/2016 10:57pm [b][i]My BF's cat came to him and his brother via a rescue. This cat had been declawed and to this day wont go near an open door, can't be around other animals as its always in fear, (can't protect himself). And is in pain when he steps. If he jumps from couch to floor and misses his pillow stepper he winces... you can see his pain when he steps, gingerly across the floor.
Boomer doesn't do anything at all but lay around about 20 hours a day, only walking to his food/water, his litter box which pains him even thou they use a gentle litter. And they are always having to rub something into his paws ot relieve the pain.
ALL THIS Because some jerk thought his new furniture was more important and when they moved they left Boomer in the back yard with no way to get out opr to safety.
PLEASE I IMPLORE YOU ALL, DO NOT DECLAW!!!!![/i][/b] Reply to this comment Report abuse 7
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/january/declaw-kills-kitten-reason-even-worse-than-you-think-33391#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33391 at http://www.petmd.com
Chemotherapy for Pets – The Fine Line Between Poison and Medicine http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/chemotherapy-pets-fine-line-between-poison-and-medicine-3-33389









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 15, 2016 Chemotherapy for Pets – The Fine Line Between Poison and Medicine by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDThere’s a specific routine we follow for each pet arriving for a chemotherapy appointment. Owners arrive and are greeted by a technician, who will ask several questions about how their pet is doing and if any complications from a previous treatment arose.
 
If all is “status quo,” the patient will be taken to our treatment area, where their vital parameters (temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body weight) will be recorded and the required blood samples will be drawn and run in our laboratory.
 
I then perform a full physical exam and make sure there are no contraindications to treatment (i.e., health related reasons to withhold treatment).
 
The oncology technician will retrieve the lab results, examining the printout for any sign that the blood machines are having a meltdown, and if necessary, make blood smears for me to interpret in conjunction with the automated results.
 
I review the results, then write out the prescription for the chemotherapy drug, including all associated calculations, determining the amount of drug in both milligrams and milliliters where applicable, and reiterating the route of administration (e.g., intravenous, subcutaneous, orally). Every calculation is then double checked by the technician responsible for administering the dosage.
 
The patient’s body weight, drug, dosage, and amount, as well as results of their lab-work, are manually entered on their “chemotherapy flowsheet,” a tangible record of all prior treatments.
 
Current dosages are back-checked to that patient’s previous dosages, where applicable. For example, we cross reference their current weight to be sure it is within their previous weights, that it was recorded in the correct units (kilograms versus pounds), and that the dose of chemotherapy is similar to what it was at a previous visit.
 
This painstaking attention to detail may seem ridiculously tedious. Why is the process of administering a medication so involved—especially when that patient has received the same drug numerous times before? What is the point behind the orderly procession of events we prescribe?
 
The answer lies in what is known as the narrow therapeutic index of chemotherapy drugs.
 
Therapeutic index refers to a comparison of the amount of a drug necessary to cause a beneficial effect and the amount causing toxicity.
 
Paracelsus, a 16th century philosopher, stated, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” This is frequently paraphrased to, "the dose makes the poison" (Latin: sola dosis facit venenum), an excellent summary of the basis of therapeutic index.
 
Every prescription medication has a therapeutic index. A dose below the lowest margin of this index will result in a lack of effectiveness. A dose above the highest margin can lead to side effects. In the most extreme cases, the side effects can equal death. Dosages within the therapeutic index will be effective for treating the condition in question, but will remain non-toxic for the patient’s healthy cells.
 
Some prescriptions have a wide therapeutic index, and veterinarians have a good deal of “wiggle room” in what can be dispensed based on a given patient’s size.
 
For example, the same exact dosage of an antibiotic can be equally therapeutic for a 30lb dog as for a 50lb dog. Similarly, a 50lb dog can be prescribed 2-3 tablets of a particular pain medication to be given every 8-12 hours. The wide therapeutic index of those drugs allows for such variations.
 
Chemotherapy drugs, on the other hand, have little to no safety margin and a very narrow therapeutic index. This means the dosage of a chemotherapy drug necessary to cause an anti-cancer effect is very similar to that which causes adverse effects.
 
Therefore a slight error in calculation leading to even a minuscule overdose of drug can lead to catastrophic effects for that patient. In those cases, the patient’s healthy tissues will be exposed to levels of drug that can be at best moderately damaging or permanently affected, and at worst cause a fatal reaction.
 
We might be able to cure more cancers in pets if we could give them higher dosages of chemotherapy, but we would also bring those animals to the brink of death before any potential success. This is neither an ethically or financially feasible option in veterinary medicine. We also would have a much higher death rate from treatment, losing large numbers of patients to complications from treatment rather than disease.
 
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that at least part of my anxiety about dosing chemotherapy arises from my Type A personality. I’m known for calculating and re-calculating doses several times before giving a thumbs up on the prescription (and even continuing to recheck calculations as the drug is being given). My paranoia stems from knowing all the things that can go wrong when the therapeutic index is breached. However, it’s certainly fueled by a tiny bit of compulsion as well, as I tend to be more obsessive about such details than my colleagues.
 
With proper and meticulous attention to detail, I’m ensuring that the therapeutic index of chemotherapy drugs I prescribe isn’t breached and errors are avoided.
 
Although it’s certainly monotonous to perform so many extra steps for every appointment, the process is integral to guaranteeing my patients are treated with the same standard of care I would expect for myself.
 
The dose certainly makes the poison, but there’s no poisoning allowed on my watch.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
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TheOldBroad Chemo 01/21/2016 05:54pm I'm grateful that doctors are as meticulous as you are.

I have two currently on chemo and, from time to time, their white counts fall below what the doctor thinks is best. It's my understanding that the chemo can suppress the bone marrow and chemo would be contraindicated at that time.

My Josie even had such a low count at one point that the doctor put her on prophylactic antibiotics.

Happily, they both rebounded when the "wait time" between treatments was increased. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/chemotherapy-pets-fine-line-between-poison-and-medicine-3-33389#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 15 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33389 at http://www.petmd.com
Remembering David Bowie, Cat Guy Extraordinaire http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/remembering-david-bowie-cat-guy-extraordinaire-33388









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 14, 2016 Remembering David Bowie, Cat Guy Extraordinaire by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDWhen I first read the news of David Bowie’s death, my first thought was of sadness for the Goblin King. I’m a child of the 80s. The whole space alien stuff was just a bit before my time, though as the tributes came pouring in, I realized just how widespread his musical influence truly is. Today, however, I want to honor him for recognizing a different, oft-forgotten segment of the population.
 
In 1982 he penned the now infamous song “Cat People,” for a movie of the same name. It’s weird. It’s intense. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about. In short, it’s perfect for its subject matter.
 
Of course, David Bowie is the perfect representative for cat people everywhere—you can’t picture him fly fishing with a Labrador by his side, can you? He wasn’t a people pleaser—while he certainly made people very happy with his work, he wasn’t doing it for them; he simply had to express who he was.
 
Sometimes the world sighed in amazement, and other times in complete befuddlement. He was fine with it either way.
 
When I first saw Labyrinth in 1986, I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to think of the tall guy running around with the anemone hair and tights, alternating between yelling at Muppets and turning into an owl. In retrospect, it’s a brilliantly weird performance.
 
This is why we need cat people in the world. I can’t see Blake Shelton or some other archetypal dog person agreeing to such a performance.
 
Watching him sing “Peace on Earth” with a slightly bewildered-looking Bing Crosby is one of the highlights of my holiday season. Legend has it that Bowie walked into the studio the morning of the taping and, when handed “The Little Drummer Boy” to sing, did what all good cats do: he knocked it off the table with a “nope, hate it, not doing it.” The producers frantically wrote a new song and the duet you see was the result of less than an hour’s rehearsal with two musical legends.
 
Cat people know what they want, and, clearly, they’re usually right.
 
This week the world mourns the loss of a great musician, but he was so much more than that. He was a brilliant artist, an inspiration to all the creative types fighting to be who they want to be and not what they thought the world expected of them, and by all accounts a genuinely kind and gracious person.
 
RIP, original Cat Guy. Heaven just got a little weirder and a whole lot cooler.
 

 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: Keith Kissel / Flickr
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TheOldBroad Hmmmmm 01/14/2016 06:11pm While David Bowie was after my time (Yes, I'm THAT old!), gotta admit that I love the portrait of him and his cat. Reply to this comment Report abuse 7 DiAnPe Missing Bowie 01/22/2016 09:01am I have been a big Bowie fan from day one. I am heartbroken over his loss. He will be missed. I love the last line of this article.

"RIP, original Cat Guy. Heaven just got a little weirder and a whole lot cooler."

Yes indeed. Reply to this comment Report abuse 11 marcybronfman BYE BYE Bowie 01/22/2016 09:24am I was never a BIG FAN of David Bowie but I DO like his music. I was in high school when the Beatles made their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. I liked their music and their long hair didn't bother me. I was sad when I heard about David Bowie's death. Reply to this comment Report abuse 5
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/remembering-david-bowie-cat-guy-extraordinaire-33388#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 14 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33388 at http://www.petmd.com
Helping Animals, Pets, and People in Need http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/january/helping-animals-pets-and-people-need-33386









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 11, 2016 Helping Animals, Pets, and People in Need by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDThe New Year should bring some good news, don’t you think? 
 
2015 was tough on a worthy Colorado non-profit, Pets Forever. Budget cuts at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences caused the nonprofit to lose a major source of funding. Without an infusion of cash, their days were numbered.
 
I’ve had the opportunity to see the good that Pets Forever volunteers do through my work as a veterinarian. Pets Forever is a program “designed to help low-income elderly and disabled Larimer County residents maintain ownership of their pets for as long as possible, and to improve the health and well-being of these pets and owners by providing needed help and resources.” Pets Forever’s primary focus is to provide direct services to clients and their pets, including:

In-home animal care (e.g., dog walking, brushing, feces removal, litter box cleaning, etc.)
Companion dog walking (walking with pet and owner)
Transportation of animals to/from vet or groomer
Home delivery of pet food and supplies


Pets Forever also provides limited financial support for veterinary care (including spay/neuter procedures) and animal supplies. They also state that their program “serves as a safety net for many of our most vulnerable community members because the majority of our clients are homebound. Pets Forever volunteers have literally saved lives by being there in time to make the necessary 911 calls.”
 
The nonprofit recently turned to the crowd-sourcing site LoveAnimals.org to raise money. As of 1/5/2015 they have collected over $17,000, which is 343% of their $5000 goal! As fantastic as this is, Pets Forever’s annual operating budget is in the neighborhood of $125,000, so more financial help would certainly be appreciated. With this relatively small amount of money, Pets Forever serves around 150 clients in Larimer County, Colorado.
 
Have you heard of LoveAnimals.org? I hadn’t until I learned of the hardships that Pets Forever was facing. According to their website:
 
LoveAnimals.org is a nonprofit crowdfunding website that helps animal charities connect with donors to raise money for critically needed projects… Nonprofits across America post projects in need of funding on our site, and you can donate any amount to the project that most inspires you. When a project reaches its funding goal, we transfer the money which the non-profit uses to complete the project. You'll get photos of the project taking place and insight into how every dollar was spent.
 
LoveAnimals.org helps fund projects of all sizes—everything from the veterinary care an individual animal desperately needs to furnishing a new surgery suite at a spay/neuter clinic. Most projects currently posted on the site deal with the needs of pets, but wild animal, farm animal, and aquatic animal projects are also available.
 
Take a look at this video for more insight into how the process works and consider giving to a cause that you see as vital. If you need a little convincing as to the good that even small donations can do, check out Nubbins story. It’ll make you smile.
 
 
Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Sources
Pets Forever sees fundraising success. Kevin Duggan. Fort Collins Coloradoan. Accessed 1/5/2016.
Pets Forever
LoveAnimals.org
 
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TheOldBroad P.A.W.S. 01/11/2016 06:49pm Reminds me of the first time I learned of P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support). It is a non-profit where volunteers care for the pets of people with A.I.D.S. This way, even when they get really, really ill, they don't have to give up their pets. Kudos to all who volunteer to help the animals. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2016/january/helping-animals-pets-and-people-need-33386#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:00:00 +0000 33386 at http://www.petmd.com
Supplements Used to Treat Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/patrick-mahaney/2016/january/supplements-used-treat-symptoms-cancer-dogs-33385









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 08, 2016 Supplements Used to Treat Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs by Dr. Patrick Mahaney








Save to mypetMDNow that you’ve read The Integrative Approach to Canine Cancer Treatment, you have a better understanding of why I choose to integrate multiple veterinary medical treatment perspectives in managing Cardiff’s T-Cell Lymphoma.
 
I’m now going to get into more specifics of the nutraceuticals (supplements), herbs, and foods that are part of Cardiff’s integrative health care plan. This article will cover nutraceuticals.
 
Nutraceuticals for Cancer Treatment
 
Nutraceuticals are food derived substances with medicinal benefits. Dietary supplements are commonly consider to be nutraceuticals.
 
Full Disclosure: How Did I Come to Use These Products?  
 
I’ve used some of the below products for years; for Cardiff (as he runs the gamut of sick to healthy and vice versa) and for both ill and healthy patients. Others, like the Canine Matrix products, are new to my nutraceutical arsenal and were recently introduced to me by Terry Simons of the Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research (CLEAR) Foundation.
 
I work as a veterinary consultant for both The Honest Kitchen (Pro Bloom) and Chuck Latham Associates, Inc. (ActivPhy), as my perspective as an integrative practitioner has synergy with the products made by these companies.
 
Editor's note: petMD does not endorse any of the products listed here. The use of supplements and other holistic treatments for pet health is a personal decision that should be made by owners in collaboration with their veterinarians.
 
Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom
 
Pro Bloom is a dehydrated, goat milk-based probiotic and digestive enzyme product that has helped jump start Cardiff’s digestive tract during his post-surgical recovery and chemotherapy and Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) treatments.
 
Probiotics are essential to maintain normal digestive tract function and competitively inhibit pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and viruses from taking up residence in the small and large intestines. Digestive enzymes help break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and can be useful when the pancreas isn’t keeping up with its secretory responsibilities.
 
As a powder, ProBloom can be mixed into moist food or given as a tasty and health-yielding beverage to drink. I’ve had to syringe-feed Pro Bloom to Cardiff, which he readily accepts.
 
One of my clients who use Pro Bloom for her three pugs and one terrier mix loves the ritual of making “puppy lattes” for her pooches, and they benefit from the dose of probiotics and digestive enzymes.
 
Rx Vitamins for Pets — Nutrigest
 
Nutrigest is a probiotic, anti-inflammatory, and intestinal cell supporting supplement. Besides having millions of diverse species of probiotics, Nutrigest contains many ingredients that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive tract, including ginger root extract, Aloe extract, DGL (deglycerrhized licorice), Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia repens), glucosamine (N-acetyl D form), and others.
 
I like to have more than one option for getting probiotics into Cardiff, which is why he gets both Nutrigest and Pro Bloom.
 
Nutrigest comes in both a capsule and powdered form, so there are multiple ways to get the product into your pet in need of digestive tract support.
 
Rx Vitamins for Pets — Amino B-Plex
 
Amino B-Plex is a B Vitamin complex, amino acid, and iron product that s many benefits for any canine or feline body afflicted by disease or illness. B Vitamins are important for immune system and digestive tract function. Amino Acids are the basic building blocks of proteins, which form muscle and other body tissues.
 
With cancer there can be a muscle-wasting effect that leads to weight loss and overall weakness. Iron is a key component of hemoglobin, which binds to and transports oxygen around the body. Cancer and chemotherapy can contribute to anemia, so giving an iron supplement to cancer and other chronic disease patients can help combat anemia.
 
Amino B-Plex has an appealing flavor and comes as a liquid that mixes well into moist food, or it can be given by mouth.
 
Rx Vitamins for Pets — Glucamune
 
Glucamune has three primary ingredients that work synergistically: Astragalus root concentrate has digestive and immune system supporting effects, licorice root concentrate helps improve the effects of the other components and supports the mucus layer lining the intestines, and  β (1-3),(1-6)-D-Glucan WGP increases levels of an immune system protein called Interleukin-2 (IL-2), which helps regular white blood cell function.
 
Glucamune is a capsule that can be given whole or opened and mixed into moist food.
 
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
 
Rich in EPA and DHA, Nordic Naturals’ omega-3 fatty acid product provides the basic building blocks of cell walls and other body tissues. Omega-3 fatty acids also have a natural anti-inflammatory effect, help prevent wasting associated with cancer (cachexia), and promote improved immune system health.
 
Besides the super-purity of Nordic Naturals’ product, I give it to Cardiff and recommend it for my patients as it is low in flavor and odor.
 
Omega-3 Pet’s 2 oz. bottle comes with a helpful “eye dropper-type” dispenser that makes it easy to get the product into your pet’s food without leaving your fingers smelling fishy.
 
ActivPhy
 
Besides having had cancer and immune-mediated disease (four episodes of IMHA in 10 years of life), Cardiff also has arthritis. His toes are the primary places affected by osteoarthritis (where the joint surfaces becomes irregular), and flare ups of inflammation affect his ability to walk comfortably. So, my goal is to prevent him from having joint pain, and giving an oral joint-support nutraceutical like ActivPhy is a crucial component of Cardiff’s multi-modal pain management plan.
 
ActivPhy contains a blue green algae-derived ingredient called Phycocyanin, which has been shown to naturally reduce the COX-2 enzyme associated with canine arthritis. It also contains turmeric, an herb known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, along with a potent anti-oxidant combination to help reduce cellular damage in all body systems.
 
As a moist chew, ActivPhy can be crumbled into food or given as a treat. It even makes a great, healthier version of a conventional “pill pocket or paste.”
 
Canine Matrix MRM Recovery and Turkey Tail
 
Both of these products are composed of mushrooms grown on organic oats. I first started Cardiff on MRM Recovery as he was nearly finished healing from his July 2015 surgery and was just starting chemotherapy.
 
The blend of four mushrooms in MRM (including Reishi and King Trumpet) is packed with L-Ergotheionine, which is touted to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. I then added Turkey Tail, which is anti-oxidant rich and helps support an immune system stressed by chemotherapy, surgery, or cancer, all of which Cardiff is having or has had in the past few months.
 
MRM Recovery and Turkey tail are tasteless powders that are simple to mix into moist food.
 
*
 
Pending Cardiff’s particular needs in the face of taking chemotherapy on an ongoing basis or the potential for him to come out of remission, his nutraceutical plan may change to suit those needs.
 
Stay tuned for Cardiff’s next chapter, where I cover the nutritional aspects of his care, including Chinese medicine food energies and whole food diets.
 
 
Dr. Patrick Mahaney
 
 
Image: Syringe feeding Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom to Cardiff during his most-recent IMHA episode in October 2014.
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TheOldBroad Cardiff 01/08/2016 08:20pm Cardiff was certainly lucky when he got you for a dad. I suspect a lot of folks would have given up after a couple of episodes of IMHA.

I love reading about the science behind what you're giving him. Fingers crossed that he does well.

Editor: The image note indicates a picture of Cardiff getting Pro Bloom. I feel sure that the picture isn't Cardiff. You might want to check that out. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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Want to Be Happy? Think Like a Dog http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2016/january/want-be-happy-think-dog-33382









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 07, 2016 Want to Be Happy? Think Like a Dog by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDI’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions, as they always seem to be a bit of a reach; a goal you never really have any intent on keeping but give it a go for old times’ sake. Drop 10 pounds. Run a marathon. Get through War and Peace. So I don’t do them.
 
But this year is different in that I really do want to make some changes—not because it’s the new year and not because it’s a traditional thing to do, but because it just feels like the right thing to do, a subtle course correction for 2016.
 
2015 was marked by highs and lows for me, an emotionally turbulent year that I managed only by keeping my eye on those around me who were still grounded. I consider my dog a key player on that team. He was happy and joyful when I needed a smile, soft when I needed a pillow, and there when I needed someone to lay on who wouldn’t try to fix anything. Pets are great at that. They know how to live balanced lives, happy with what they have and happy to have more when it comes, and happy to have less if it doesn’t.
 
So my resolution, if you can call it that, is simply to be more like my dog; less focused on changing what is around me and more on accepting what is already there. I believe the word I’ve heard a lot lately is balance, and I’m finally starting to understand what it truly means.
 
It means I’m going to spend less time arguing with people on the internet giving terrible advice and simply focus on those who want to listen.
 
I’m going to eat carbs sometimes (often, even) and not feel guilty about it. And so will my dog. And corn. We are going to eat corn and we will like it.
 
When we go on a hike, which may be less than I want to but more than I need to, I’ll be focusing on looking around instead of looking through my camera phone for the best Instagram picture. I will focus less on covering distance and more on stopping to let Brody smell interesting things.
 
I’m not going to keep him out of puddles. He’s washable.
 
I’m going to let my pets get on the bed sometimes, because someday they won’t be there to shoo off and I know I will miss it terribly.
 
Some years your world expands and other times it contracts, like a living being all on its own. This year I’m allowing my life to exhale and sink in; I’m going to worry less and cuddle more, criticize less and praise often.
 
It will be a good year.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
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TheOldBroad Missing Them 01/07/2016 06:24pm "I’m going to let my pets get on the bed sometimes, because someday they won’t be there to shoo off and I know I will miss it terribly."

I totally understand that (although I don't know how you can sleep without a pet in the bed).

When my Winston and Darlene (both RIP) were young, they would gallop throughout the house. I wished and wished they'd stop. Of course, as they aged and got sick, they did stop. And I wished and wished they still wanted to gallop throughout the house. I still miss them terribly. Reply to this comment Report abuse 10 LadyJ1225 Happiness is ... 01/15/2016 09:25am I have said this for quite a while now, I try to be more like my dogs. They are always happy with who they are and what they have, they live in the moment and cherish everything and everyone. We could all learn to be better people by modeling ourselves after our dogs. Great read, I will be sharing this. Reply to this comment Report abuse 7
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What Your Vet Really Means by “The Back” http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2016/january/what-your-vet-really-means-back-33381









The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. < Previous Post Next Post > Jan 06, 2016 What Your Vet Really Means by “The Back” by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDYou’ve arrived for your appointment with your veterinarian and you’re nervous as to how the visit will go. Your dog started vomiting last night, and is unusually quiet at home. You know he needs to be seen by a doctor, but are worried about his anxiety level as he isn’t a huge fan of visiting the vet. His constant nervous whining and pacing in the waiting room is contributing to your already escalating stress level.
 
Your anxiety is eased a bit as you are greeted enthusiastically by the receptionist, who knows you and your pet by name. The recognition provides some degree of comfort, and you start to feel a bit better.
 
You’re brought into an exam room, where a veterinary technician asks a few basic questions on the reason for your visit. You answer as best as you can, all the while conscious of your dog’s mounting tension.
 
Soon after, your veterinarian enters the room, and performs an exam and discusses your dog’s signs. They recommend several blood tests and radiographs (x-rays) to help determine the cause of your pet’s signs.
 
Just as you’re starting to relax, the doctor confidently states they are going to take your dog to the back, and you can go back to the waiting room while the tests are run.
 
You immediately relapse into a tense and agitated state.
 
“What exactly does my vet mean by ‘the back’?”
 
Nearly every owner has heard the phrase “the back” mentioned at some point during their pet’s healthcare, but few understand what actually transpires in that particular geographical region of the hospital. Experience tells me owners perceive “the back” as a remarkably mysterious and feared area of the veterinary hospital.
 
Have you ever asked, “why does my veterinarian need to take my pet ‘to the back?’” Do you wonder what going to “the back” even means? Is “the back” a mythical place where medicinal wonders are performed, or a torture chamber of laboratory experimentation?
 
I can appreciate how stressful if can be to have your pet taken away for exams, blood draws, or treatments. It’s normal to wonder what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ and why you can’t be with your pet during these procedures.
 
I’m here to assure you that “the back” is not a scary place at all. And to help you understand why veterinarians recommend moving your pet to a different area in order to accomplish these aforementioned tasks.
 
Typically, “the back” simply refers to a portion of the hospital designed for treatments and procedures. As an example, “the back” of my hospital consists of a large room with multiple exam tables and several additional pieces of equipment, which makes it superior to the smaller exam rooms for performing routine tasks.
 
This area also has a series of computers I use to input physical exam findings and lab work results at the same time I’m performing these tests. This helps save time and contributes to increased efficiency and productivity on my part.
 
The back tends to be a place to find additional staff members available to hold onto a leash or run a sample or fill out a form. For me, simply having someone who helps to ensure Fido isn’t going to up and walk away from me during an exam helps smooth an appointment over. (Veterinarian confession #1: most pet owners are really bad at restraining their animals at the vet’s office.)
 
The back is often a bustling location in a vet hospital, but when necessary, can also be transformed into one of the quietest areas. It’s an excellent place to listen for heart murmurs or abnormal breath sounds without worrying whether an owner will try to talk or ask questions during the procedure. (Veterinarian confession #2: when I’m wearing a stethoscope, I can’t hear anything you’re saying because those tiny ear pieces block out all external noises!)
 
Some pets are actually calmer when they are away from their owners, which makes it easier to perform exams or draw blood or administer a treatment. This allows the veterinarian to accomplish tasks more efficiently and safely, reducing stress for the pets.
 
With respect to the specifics of veterinary oncology, some doctors allow owners to be present during chemo treatments, even going as far as to permit them to restrain their pets for treatment. Our current hospital policy dictates that owners are not permitted to be present during chemotherapy treatments to reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure to drugs. However, I’m opening myself up to the idea of allowing owners to observe treatments so they are able to see firsthand how easy the process is for their pets.
 
You should be assured that your pet is getting excellent care when he or she is out of your sight. If you would prefer exams to be performed in your presence, you should ask your veterinarian if this is possible. If you are curious as to where exams and treatments are performed, ask the staff if it would be possible to show you around. Following these simple suggestions means you will never have to worry about what’s happening in “the back” anymore!
 
 
Dr. Joanne Intile
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TheOldBroad The Back 01/07/2016 06:19pm At my regular vet, most times I am allowed to accompany my critter to "the back." I watch ultrasounds, blood draws, blood pressure, etc.

However, I've had a couple of kitties that act up if they can see me (I already know I cannot restrain my own animal - anyone else I can hold securely, but not my own. I know that!). I either hide behind the tech or the critter is whisked to "the back."

I'm OK with that since I completely trust everyone at the clinic, but it makes me uneasy when I'm not familiar with the doctor or techs.

I'm not going to pass out with a jugular blood draw or whatever needs to happen and I sure wish I'd be allowed to accompany my kitty when visiting the specialty clinic. Alas, they have rules that forbid it. So, to have a specialist see/treat my kitty, I must relinquish the "accompaniment." Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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