http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/rss en Treating UTIs in Dogs Quickly http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/treating-utis-dogs-quickly-32875









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 Jun 29, 2015 Treating UTIs in Dogs Quickly by Dr. Jennifer Coates








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I am fascinated by the similarities and differences between human and veterinary medicine. One instance where the contrast between how vets treat animals and docs treat people came to the forefront when I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). After a brief physical and an examination of a urine sample, my doctor diagnosed me with an uncomplicated UTI.
 
“Uncomplicated” in this situation means that I didn’t have a history of recurrent or relapsing UTIs, and I also don’t have another health problem that might make resolving the infection more difficult than it should be. My doctor prescribed a few days worth of an appropriate antibiotic and told me to call her if I wasn’t feeling better in 24 hours or wasn’t completely back to normal when I ran out of the medication. One dose of the antibiotic and I was well on the road to recovery.
 
The standard of care for uncomplicated UTIs in dogs has traditionally been quite different. In the past, my go-to recommendation (which is fairly typical) involved a 14 day course of an antibiotic called amoxicillin-clavulonic acid given twice daily. This protocol is backed up by years of experience that demonstrates its efficacy.
 
But now, research is providing evidence that we can treat dogs with uncomplicated urinary tract infections more like we treat people suffering from the same condition. A study that compared my twice-a-day for 14 days, amoxicillin-clavulonic acid protocol to a once-a-day for three day regime using high doses of the antibiotic enrofloxacin demonstrated little difference in cure rates between the two groups of test subjects. How cool! Is there an owner out there who wouldn’t rather give three doses of an antibiotic to their dog versus 28 doses, all other things being equal?
 
Now keep in mind that this research only involves uncomplicated urinary tract infections in dogs. The situation is very different in cats. This species rarely develops uncomplicated urinary tract infections, except perhaps late in life. In younger cats, the typical clinical signs of a UTI (straining to urinate, producing small amounts of sometimes discolored urine, and urinary accidents) are almost always due to another urinary disorder, sometimes in conjunction with a secondary bacterial infection. And keep in mind that the high dose, short duration enrofloxacin protocol will not be appropriate for every dog or in every situation, but it is worthy of consideration.
 
Pets should respond very quickly after starting antibiotics for an uncomplicated UTI. If you have any doubts that your dog is getting better, whatever medication has been prescribed, call your veterinarian. He or she will probably recommend testing another urine sample and making a plan based on those results.
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Reference
 
Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of high dose short duration enrofloxacin treatment regimen for uncomplicated urinary tract infections in dogs. Westropp JL, Sykes JE, Irom S, Daniels JB, Smith A, Keil D, Settje T, Wang Y, Chew DJ. J Vet Intern Med. 2012 May-Jun;26(3):506-12. 
 
 
Image: Donna Ellen Coleman / Shutterstock
 
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/treating-utis-dogs-quickly-32875#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32875 at http://www.petmd.com
Feeling Down? Goofy Cat Videos to the Rescue http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/feeling-down-goofy-cat-videos-rescue-32858









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 > Jun 26, 2015 Feeling Down? Goofy Cat Videos to the Rescue by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








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I have spent much of the last two months in a blur, slumped on the couch with my head on Brody’s chest, staring at the ceiling. Stressful times will do that to a person. Though I’m just starting to recalibrate the rhythms of life without one of its key players, I’ve been fortunate enough to have family and pets who are constant and stalwart. Those fortunate enough to be owned by a pet know how that goes.
 
I’ve always felt badly for people who want a pet but for various reasons are unable to have one: perhaps they are allergic, or their spouse has asthma. Maybe they work long hours with lots of travel and are unable to take on the commitment of a day to day pet. I have a lot of respect for people who realize it’s not fair to an animal to take them in when they know it probably won’t work out long term, but I just can’t imagine my life without animals (plural) in it.
 
Those animal lovers who can’t own one, make do. Perhaps they visit friends with pets, or volunteer at the local shelter. The upswing of cat cafes around the country have made it easy to drop in and get a cat fix with your cappuccino, no litter box cleaning required. Hey, it’s better than nothing, right?
 
The effect of intermittent animal interaction is even more pronounced than most of us realized. Heck, it looks like we might not even need to be in the physical presence of an animal to benefit from his or her aura. According to a 7,000 person study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, people who watch cat videos report more positive emotions and energy after taking part, and improved mood.
 
Now I knew that cats and the internet were a big deal, as the record shattering crowds at the inaugural CatCon have proven, but I didn’t realize just how universal an act it was to seek solitude in the glittery bowels of the internet known as crazy cat videos. It starts innocently enough, a short video of a cat smacking a dog on the head set to Lady Gaga music that someone sent to you on Facebook. Then at the end of the video, YouTube serves up a video of cats who look like Game of Thrones characters. Two hours and countless videos later, you realize you haven’t done a single load of laundry and the kids had to eat popcorn for dinner, but at least everyone’s happy.
 
I don’t recommend shirking your daily obligations in the pursuit of addictive pet video viewing behavior, but a little boost here and there seems to be a pretty safe and effective way to get a little lift at the end of a long day. When my family was at our lowest a few weeks ago, my sister pulled up a video of a Cockatiel doing a spot-on imitation of a couple arguing, complete with dirty words, and we laughed so hard we lost track of where the laughing ended and the crying began. Sure beats a lot of other more destructive coping mechanisms, right?
 
So our favorite internet procrastination activity (that you’ll admit to, anyway) is now backed by science: Had a rough day? Kick back, take a deep breath, and google “goofy cat videos.” You’re welcome.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: S.P. / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Cat Videos 06/26/2015 05:41pm I will confess to losing a whole lot of time watching Maru on YouTube (and I'm not one to watch videos on the web. I don't even like it when the news feed article is a video and I skip it.). He's a silly cat that will do anything to get into a box, regardless of the box size. Maru never fails to make me chuckle. Reply to this comment Report abuse
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/feeling-down-goofy-cat-videos-rescue-32858#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32858 at http://www.petmd.com
Why Large Breed Dogs Have Poorer Food Digestion http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/why-large-breed-dogs-have-poorer-food-digestion-32839









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 > Jun 23, 2015 Why Large Breed Dogs Have Poorer Food Digestion by Dr. Ken Tudor








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I have noticed in my 32 years of veterinary practice that large breed dogs, especially German Shepherds, have larger and more frequent watery stools and digestive problems with commercial dog food. Owners and their veterinarians often observe the same problem. As it turns out there are anatomical and physiological reasons for this: The digestive tract of large dogs functions differently than smaller dogs, creating this problem.
 
Veterinary researchers from France presented their findings during a lecture I attended at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana recently.
 
What are These Digestive Differences?
 

The weight of the intestines in large dogs is only 3 percent of their body weight compared to 7 percent in smaller breeds. This means there is less intestinal area for digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the diet.


The time that food spends in the colon is longer for large breed dogs. That means that the colon bacteria have longer to ferment food products. This increases by-products that promote more water in the colon, causing more watery, frequent stools.

 
What Are the Solutions to These Digestive Differences?
 

More non-fermentable fiber in the diet. The guaranteed analysis on the label of dog food lists the total crude fiber, which really is not an indication of the fiber in the diet. Fiber can be divided into two major types. The first is indigestible or digestible fiber. As their names imply, indigestible fiber adds bulk to the diet and stool and passes with the stool. Digestible fiber can be used by the cells of the colon lining and are divided into two classes, fermentable fiber and non-fermentable fiber.

 
Bacteria in the colon use fermentable fiber as food to produce fats and lactic acid, which causes the intestinal contents to react like a sponge and draw water into the colon. By decreasing the amount of fermentable fiber in the diet, there is less water in the colon and large dogs have a more firm, formed stool.
 
Unfortunately, less fermentable fiber in the diet of smaller breed dogs causes constipation and a harder stool because of the anatomical intestinal differences.
 

Increased protein digestibility. Large breed dogs experience poorer stool quality with less digestible protein. This, I think, is an important point, but because the researchers worked for Purina they only compared wheat gluten protein to chicken meal protein. They found improvements in stool quality with the higher digestible wheat gluten, but the water content of the stool for both groups was quite high. I think this is why owners of large breed dogs have varied responses with commercial dog food. Their dogs have a variable response to wheat gluten or chicken meal.

 
Large dogs on homemade diets with highly digestible meat proteins tend to have much better stool quality.
 

Resistant, gelatinized starch improves stool quality in large dogs. The researchers found that the starches in foods that were less fermentable and more highly processed had better stool quality. In order to increase the gelatinization of starch it has to be exposed to extreme increases in temperature during processing. What these researchers found is that if you cook the hell out of the starch in the food, larger breed dogs will make better stool. But the higher temperature also causes more destruction of the nutrients in the food. The stool is more firm but the dog may be malnourished.

 
What is the Take Home?
 

Large dogs have different nutritional needs.

Large dogs need less fermentable fiber in their diet.

Large dogs need more digestible protein in their diet.

Large dogs need less fermentable starch in their diet.

Commercial diets may not be the best solution for large dogs.

 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Best dog photo / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Dogs 06/23/2015 05:42pm Fascinating. Who knew that the size of the dog made a difference in digestion.

Great article and very informative. Thanks! Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 betqpublic list of ingredrdients 06/26/2015 01:22pm interesting article. is a list of less fermentable starches and fiber available as they would appear on a dog food label Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/why-large-breed-dogs-have-poorer-food-digestion-32839#comments balanced diet constipation diarrhea dry food ingredients nutrients nutrition TheDailyVet Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32839 at http://www.petmd.com
How to Understand What Your Vet is Trying to Tell You http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/how-understand-what-your-vet-trying-tell-you-32859
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The Cost of Vet Care http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/cost-vet-care-32837









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 > Jun 22, 2015 The Cost of Vet Care by Dr. Jennifer Coates








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One of the most frequent questions I get from pet owners is, “I just paid (insert dollar figure here) for (insert procedure here) at my veterinarian’s office. Doesn’t that seem like a lot?”
 
The reasons behind the high cost of veterinary visits are numerous. In general, owners are demanding a better standard of care than they used to and this obviously costs more than “old school” veterinary medicine. Also, the expense of a veterinary education (typically eight years of college) has gone through the roof, and doctors have to earn more to pay off what can be a staggering debt after graduation.
 
But owners can do a lot to reduce the chances that they will be faced with an unpleasant financial surprise at the veterinary office. Taking advantage of appropriate preventative care (vaccines, parasite prevention, dental prophylaxes, weight management, etc.) and husbandry (keeping cats inside and leash walking dogs) will eliminate many unwanted veterinary expenses.
 
It also does help to know what injuries and illnesses are likely to occur and how much it costs to treat them. Drawing on their extensive database, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has put together just these sorts of lists.
 




Top 10 Medical Conditions in Dogs
 


Average Cost of Treatment
 





Atopy/allergic skin disease



$189





Outer ear infection



$150





Benign skin mass



$339





Skin infection and/or hotspot



$118





Osteoarthritis



$293





Stomach upset



$268





Dental/gum disease



$298





Intestinal upset



$132





Urinary tract infection/inflammation



$274





Soft tissue trauma



$226




 
 




Top 10 Medical Conditions in Cats
 


Average Cost of Treatment
 





Lower urinary tract disease



$425





Dental/gum disease



$327





Chronic kidney disease



$633





Stomach upset



$328





Hyperthyroidism



$396





Intestinal upset



$185





Diabetes mellitus



$779





Inflammatory bowel disease or acquired lymphangiectasia



$365





Upper respiratory infection



$189





Lymphosarcoma/lymphoma



$1959




 
 




Top 10 Surgical Conditions in Dogs
 


Average Cost of Treatment
 





Benign skin mass



$999





Skin abscess, inflammation, or pressure ulcer



$458





Tooth extraction



$829





Torn cruciate ligament/cartilage



$2667





Malignant skin mass (cancer)



$1434





Cancer of the spleen



$1875





Cancer of the eyelid



$717





Bladder stones



$1231





Cancer of the liver



$8539





Aural hematoma (blood filled ear flap)



$296




 
 




Top 10 Surgical Conditions in Cats
 


Average Cost of Treatment
 





Tooth extraction



$924





Skin abscess, inflammation, or pressure ulcer



$458





Benign skin mass



$291





Bladder stones



$985





Cancer of the abdominal wall



$813





Malignant skin mass (cancer)



$1508





Multiple bite wounds



$266





Cancer of the liver



$779





Cancer of the mouth



$1102





Cancer of the nasal cavity



$927




 
The numbers are good ballpark figures, but remember that every case is unique. To avoid unpleasant surprises, get an estimate of the cost of treatment in advance. If you still end up with questions regarding your bill, ask your veterinarian for an explanation.
 
Pet insurance or a savings account set aside for veterinary care are good ways to make sure you can always meet your pet’s medical needs.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
References
 
Few surprises atop VPI’s Top 10 list. DVM360. June 2015.
 
Top 10 Pet Surgeries. VPI. Accessed 6/16/2015.
 
 
Image: Ivonne Wierink / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Save A Few Bucks 06/22/2015 06:00pm It's infinitely less expensive to catch something early, so it makes more sense to me to take Fluffy/Fido to the doctor as quickly as possible when someone off-kilter is noticed. It's cheaper to do a biopsy when the bump is small than to wait and have Fluffy/Fido end up with a huge mass that requires chemo. Reply to this comment Report abuse
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Pets Promote Stronger Human-to-Human Bonds http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/pets-promote-stronger-human-human-bonds-32827









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 > Jun 16, 2015 Pets Promote Stronger Human-to-Human Bonds by Dr. Ken Tudor








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We all know pets improve the lives and health of their owners. Recent studies have shown the positive affect that pets have on decreasing their owner’s blood pressure, reducing their stress hormones and increasing blood levels of oxytocin, the love hormone. But owning a pet also helps people build stronger relationships among themselves.
 
Recent research from Australia shows that pets act as a “social lubricant” to help knit communities together.
 
Study Findings
 
Professor Lisa Woods and her colleagues from the University of Western Australia’s School of Population Health conducted a telephone survey of 2,500 people in four cities in the U.S. and Australia. The U.S. cities included San Diego, Portland, and Nashville, while the sole Australian city was Perth.
 
Here is a list of their major findings:
 

Second to proximity (being neighbors, children’s school, local streets and parks), people met a person from their neighborhood they previously didn’t know through their pets. The majority of the new relationships were a result of walking a dog, with Perth leading the pack by this method.


More than 50% of those living in San Diego, Nashville, and Perth, and about 48% of those living in Portland reported that they got to know people in their neighborhood as a direct result of their pets.
 
Again walking a dog generated the majority of these new relationships.
 
Here are some comments of those who met people through their pets:
 
“People always stop, complete strangers will stop, and talk to you about your dog and ask you about it. It's funny that it seems to be an ice-breaker, or maybe people with dogs are that particular way” (male, Perth).
 
“I tend to talk to people who I wouldn't normally talk to. Without the dog, I wouldn't speak to them” (male, Portland).



About 25% of pet owners who got to know people in the neighborhood through their pets considered one or more of the people as friends and not just acquaintances.
 
Here are comments about those friendships:
 
“It's made me think that we have a great deal in common. We found that we are like minded about some other things. Having our cats as a point in common has made it easier for us to become friends” (female, Nashville).
 
“I've meet 3 neighbors while we were walking our dogs at the nearby park. Through the dogs we have met some good people, new friends” (male, Portland).
 
“I was just visiting with one of them and we mentioned that we had a rabbit and they had a rabbit too. They became more than just acquaintances” (female, Portland).



42.3% of pet owners received one or more types of social support from someone they met through their pet. In the U.S. 33% (30% in Australia) of those surveyed felt they could ask their new friends for instrumental support (borrowing something, practical help, feeding a pet, or collecting mail while away). 25% of those in all cities felt that they could ask their new friends for appraisal support (advice). And 14-20% (depending on the city) felt they could confide in their new friends about something that was bothering them.


Compared to non-pet owners, pet owners are more likely to meet other people in a neighborhood that they previously did not know.

 
Although dog ownership was the greatest facilitator of new human relationships, the authors point out that any pet can be a catalyst for social interaction:
 
“Pet owners (regardless of the type of pet) seem to find an affinity with other pet owners; they connected through a shared love of animals, with the exchange of pet anecdotes a common ‘ice-breaker.’”
 
 

 
Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Ksenia Raykova / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Critters 06/16/2015 06:14pm "ask their new friends for instrumental support (feeding a pet..."

Of course! All of us animal people know how difficult it is to have someone to watch our pet when we are away. Not to mention, someone who will treat our pet with the same love and respect.

It's funny. Years ago I met a neighbor with a gorgeous, fluffy dog. I petted and kissed the dog. While chatting, I mentioned that I would be more than willing to watch the dog if she ever had to go out of town. She smiled and said it was a Chow and that it would eat me alive if I entered her apartment if she wasn't there.

Thank goodness she never took me up on my offer. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/pets-promote-stronger-human-human-bonds-32827#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 16 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32827 at http://www.petmd.com
What a Complete Blood Count (CBC) Can Tell Us About Your Pet's Health http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/what-complete-blood-count-cbc-can-tell-us-about-your-pets-heal







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 > Jun 16, 2015 What a Complete Blood Count (CBC) Can Tell Us About Your Pet's Health by Dr. Joanne Intile








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We’ve all been there.
 
Staring in anticipation at the sharp and shiny needle, poised above our arm, ready to pierce tender skin and withdraw a sample of our blood for some purpose related to our well being.
 
Bloodwork is a fairly diagnostic test prescribed by doctors. It’s performed to ensure we’re as healthy on the inside as we appear on the outside, or to monitor previously diagnosed medical conditions. The same is true for companion animals, and veterinarians utilize the same tests that are used in people to help us better assess our patients' physical status.
 
The most common blood tests I recommend are a complete blood count (CBC) and a serum chemistry panel. Each test provides me with very different but remarkably complementary information.
 
A CBC measures a patient’s white blood cell count, red blood cell count, platelet count, and usually provides some information regarding the size and/or shape of the red and white blood cells.
 
A chemistry panel provides values related to organ function (e.g., liver and kidney), as well as electrolyte levels and other important enzymes that can be measured in the bloodstream.

I am fortunate to have the option of having lab work performed directly in the hospital where I work. This means results are usually available within a few short minutes of a pet arriving for an appointment, and I can make important decisions regarding their treatment plan right away.
 
In less urgent situations, I can send blood samples to a larger laboratory located off-site and the results are typically available later that same day or the following day.
 
There are actually a "variety" of CBC and chemistry panels I can order, each offering slightly different information depending on what I am looking to measure and what information I am hoping to learn.
 
For example, I can send blood out for a “routine CBC,” or I can order a “CBC with a pathology review.”
 
The former provides strictly numerical values related to the counts of cells in the sample obtained by a diagnostic machine.
 
For the latter, a clinical pathologist will actually evaluate a sample of the blood under a microscope to confirm that the counts provided by the machine are accurate and to also determine if there are any abnormal cells present, damage to the cells consistent with certain toxins or poisons, or even evidence of parasites that can live in the blood stream.
 
I can order a full chemistry panel, which will give me over 25 different values, or I can just order a “renal panel” to tell me information about a pet’s kidneys.
 
Despite the wealth of information bloodwork can tell me, rarely do the results provide information about whether a patient has cancer or if their cancer has spread in their body. This is a difficult point for many owners, who wonder why I want to have bloodwork performed so often when it “doesn’t really tell [me] anything.”
 
I explain to owners that CBC and chemistry panels assure me that my patient’s body is handling the prescribed treatment plan without complication. I would much rather pick up on a mild anemia (lowered red blood cell count) or slightly elevated kidney value that occurs secondary to chemotherapy prior to a pet vomiting uncontrollably from organ failure or collapsing from weakness related to blood loss.
 
Each parameter measured on bloodwork is associated with a particular reference range, which encompasses a series of values between a specified low-end measurement and a high-end measurement. The specifics will vary, but in general, the reference range of any particular value encompasses the average of values obtained from apparently healthy animals, plus or minus some predetermined number of standard deviations.
 
Veterinarians are taught how to interpret lab work very early on in their curriculum. We learn what each of the dozens of abbreviations stand for, which body system or systems they are associated with, and what things we should be thinking about when the values are outside of the “normal” reference range.

What we also learn, in a surprising number of cases, is how to dismiss a value that falls either too low or too high on the scale as something we shouldn’t be concerned about.
 
Is the patient’s albumin level too high? Don’t fret, it just means they are dehydrated.
 
The lipase is low? Meh — that means nothing.
 
Say the cholesterol is 100 units over the high end of normal. Despite how hard your own MD probably comes down on you about your trying to keep your own blood cholesterol levels below a certain value, veterinarians don’t pay too much attention to it in an otherwise happy pet. It probably just means they weren’t fasted before the sample was taken.
 
When I talk to an owner about lab work results, some are happy to hear that my interpretation of things is “normal.” Others pore over each and every detail with the diagnostic acumen of a forensic investigator. They focus so much on the numbers that they miss the bigger picture of what is truly going on with their pet’s health.
 
Labwork is a very important part of my patient’s medical record and I’m happy to spend time explaining this to owners so they feel empowered about their pet’s care. I also want them to understand the limitations of what these tests tell us so that everyone’s expectations are the same. The amount of information garnered from that simple syringe and needle is truly remarkable.
 
In a future article, I will discuss the pros and cons of several commercially available blood tests designed to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Kachalkina Veronika / Shutterstock
 
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DssHolistic Why blood from neck? 06/19/2015 08:39am I have often wondered why they cannot take blood out of the leg all the time and why your pet has to be taken in the back with a blood draw from neck? Reply to this comment Report abuse Dr. Joanne Intile 06/19/2015 12:09pm Hi

Generally speaking, especially when we need more than 1-2mLs of blood, using the jugular vein (neck) provides better and faster blood flow so the blood draw can happen faster and with less stress to the animal. Peripheral veins (e.g. those in the limbs) are smaller diameter and take longer to provide a sample.

Many animals are sensitive about their feet/limbs being touched, so they react more to the restraint needed to get a sample from the leg vs. the neck.

When we have to draw blood from a patient, this requires at least two people: one to restrain the pet in the proper position, and one to draw blood. Most of the time, this is why this isn't done right in the exam room.

Also, thought many owners do not see it, the vast majority of pets behave better and are less apt to resist restraint when they are not with their owners.

Some people are afraid of needles or blood and will react at the site of it, especially around their pets. So this is another reason to draw blood away from the owner. Reply to this comment Report abuse
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/what-complete-blood-count-cbc-can-tell-us-about-your-pets-heal#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 17 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32828 at http://www.petmd.com
Purebreds Are Not So Different From Mutts After All http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/purebreds-are-not-so-different-mutts-after-all-32829









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 > Jun 16, 2015 Purebreds Are Not So Different From Mutts After All by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








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I love mutts. I love purebreds. I love dogs in general, and I think it’s important to understand just how poorly the lines have been drawn between the two. They are more alike than different.
 
All dogs, from teensy teacup Chihuahuas to towering Great Danes, belong to the same species, Canis lupis familiaris, and they can all interbreed (has someone ever bred a Chihuahua stud to a Great Dane bitch? Send me a picture if you’ve seen one). A breed of dog has a consistent set of characteristics of appearance and behavior, as defined by a breed club. It is not a scientific designation.
 
But even these esteemed purebred lines may have once been mutts themselves: Golden retrievers, for example, were originally obtained by crossing spaniel and retriever breeds. Breed the winner of Westminster to the winner of the National Dog show and what do you get? Unless they were the same breed, you get a very expensive mutt.
 
Dogs evolved alongside man, quite literally hanging around the caveman campfire waiting for scraps. In an astonishing example of how selective breeding works, dogs were bred and selected for different characteristics depending on the needs of the men they served: big fluffy Newfoundlands to stomp through the frigid shores of Canada, aloof Lhasa Apsos to sit alongside royalty and keep them entertained, wily Australian shepherds to run alongside herds of livestock and keep them in line.
 
To the breed fancier, the fact that you get predictability in the purebred dog is exactly why they are desirable: a person who wants a Labrador because they enjoy the outdoors is not going to be happy with a bulldog who needs to avoid strenuous exercise. Breeds are predictable, and picking a purebred dog usually gives you a reliable idea of its looks and temperament.
 
Shelter professionals agree that making the proper match between a family and a pet is essential to developing a lifelong bond. While purebred fanciers are looking to breed history for clues as to the dog’s appearance and personality, shelter workers who are placing mutts (or mixed breeds, should you prefer) look to individual dogs for the same information, with very good results.
 
When I was dog hunting the first time, I said I wanted a Golden. I didn’t really know why other than I met one and he was a great dog. I liked big, nice dogs more than I liked Goldens specifically. After a hopeful e-mail from a technician at the vet school, I ended up with a redbone coonhound instead: a big, nice dog who didn’t shed nearly so much as the Golden I did eventually wind up with. I loved them both equally. I fell for the individual as much as I did the breed and both were perfect for my life at the time.
 
There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking particular types of animals — there is such a difference between a Jack Russell and a Belgian Malinois that you’d be nuts not to have some sort of preference, based on your own lifestyle. If you’re set on a particular breed, do your research and make sure your dog comes from a reputable breeder. AKC.org can help you find one, and they often have Meet the Breed events at dog shows where you can interact with many different ones.
 
For those open to either a purebred or a mixed breed, the ASPCA's Meet Your Match program evaluates your interest in specific personality and appearance traits, and then looks to match you with an individual who best fits those characteristics.
 
Different approaches, same end result: a happy family with the dog who’s right for them.
 
No matter which type of dog you prefer, I think we can agree this is what we all want, right?
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
Today's post was originally published on Pet360
 
 
Image: jadimages / Shutterstock
 
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/purebreds-are-not-so-different-mutts-after-all-32829#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32829 at http://www.petmd.com
Contest for Teens Interested in Animal Welfare http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/contest-teens-interested-animal-welfare-32826









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 > Jun 15, 2015 Contest for Teens Interested in Animal Welfare by Dr. Jennifer Coates








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The 2015 A Voice for Animals Contest is now open for submissions. Now in its 26th year, the contest affords teens (ages 14-18) an opportunity to investigate the causes of animal suffering and explore potential solutions. Submissions will be accepted May 15 through August 15, and the winners will be announced no later than November 6, 2015.
 
This year, A Voice for Animals Contest has two entrant categories:

Entrants in the 14-15 year old category are invited to write an essay that addresses either the mistreatment of one animal species or one cause of animal suffering, or the preservation of one species threatened with extinction, occurring anywhere in the world, and potential solutions to the issue.

Entrants in the 16-18 year old category must become involved in a project (new or pre-existing) that addresses either the mistreatment of one animal species or one cause of animal suffering, or the preservation of one species threatened with extinction, occurring anywhere in the world. Students must submit either 1) a written essay with accompanying photos, or 2) an original video.

 
Eligibility
 

Participants must be 14-18 years old and attending middle, or high school (or the equivalent, if not attending school in the United States) or home-schooled on the date the contest opens for entries. No exceptions!

The contest is open to all otherwise eligible students worldwide regardless of nationality, citizenship or country of residence.

 
Submission Format
 
All submissions must be entered using the online form. Essays submitted by any other means (for example, via e-mail or the postal service) will not be accepted.
 
Essay files will be uploaded directly to our website via the entry form. If applicable, video and photographic submissions will require that you provide a URL to your submission. The entry form explains how to obtain, copy and paste the required URL into the entry form.
 
Prizes
 
Prizes totaling $5000 will be awarded to high school students whose entries best promote the humane treatment of animals, including:
 




$750


First Prize (Video by 16-18 year old)




$500


Second Prize (Video by 16-18 year old)




$400


Third Prize (Video by 16-18 year old)




$500


First Prize (Essay/Photographs by 16-18 year old)




$300


Second Prize (Essay/Photographs by 16-18 year old)




$200


Third Prize (Essay/Photographs by 16-18 year old)




$350


First Prize (Essay by 14-15 year old)




$250


Second Prize (Essay by 14-15 year old)




$150


Third Prize (Essay by 14-15 year old)




 
Prizes will also be awarded for submissions demonstrating outstanding active involvement by 15-16 year olds.
 




$500


First Prize (Personal Involvement Project by 15-16 year old)




$400


Second Prize (Personal Involvement Project by 15-16 year old)




$300


Third Prize (Personal Involvement Project by 15-16 year old)




 
 
Contestants are strongly advised to read all of the rules.
 
Help encourage the next generation of animal advocates! Please share this information with interested teens. And check out the Humane Education Network’s website for some inspiring stories about what past winners have done to help animals.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Image: Nate Allred / Shutterstock
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TheOldBroad Contest 06/15/2015 06:08pm What a great way to get young people involved. I hope you post the winners when the time comes. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/contest-teens-interested-animal-welfare-32826#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32826 at http://www.petmd.com
Moving On, But Taking the Happy Memories With Me http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/june/moving-but-taking-happy-memories-me-32821









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 > Jun 11, 2015 Moving On, But Taking the Happy Memories With Me by Dr. Anna O'Brien








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This is my last blog for the Daily Vet. I’ve had a good run here at petMD and have greatly enjoyed retelling adventures and mishaps and educating you all about the ins and outs of the large animal veterinary world.
 
I’ll relate one last story, for old time’s sake. On my last day of my first job after I graduated, my last appointment was a visit to a frequent client who had a small alpaca breeding farm and was on the outskirts of the farthest border of our client radius. Known for being talkative and opinionated, this client was usually entertaining to visit and her alpacas were nice to work with, so it was an enjoyable appointment on which to end my tenure. This was also just days before Halloween and I was proudly wearing jack-o-lantern earrings.
 
After a pleasant and uneventful visit, I finished up and headed back to the office. I had a long drive ahead of me and a lot of things on my mind. I actually had some blood work to drop off at the lab and had to unload paperwork. When I had almost reached the office, which was almost an hour away from the appointment I had left, I received a call from the client. My heart sank at the thought of something going wrong on my last day and me having to make the drive all the way back out there.
 
The call, however, was quite different than what I expected. The client left a lovely message for me saying she hadn’t realized it was my last day and that she would miss me and was sorry I was leaving. Her last words were the most emotional as she related that she didn’t even get a chance to tell me she loved my jack-o-lantern earrings. That’s what kind of person she was. Just great.
 
Now, every year when Halloween comes around and I don my giant pumpkin shaped earrings, I think of this client. I can tell you, dear readers, that now when I re-think of all the stories I’ve shared with you, I’ll remember this blog and the joy I got out of it.
 
Happy trails. 
 
 

Dr. Anna O'Brien
 
 
Image: Ksenia Ragozina / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Sad Goodbye 06/11/2015 05:52pm This is a sad goodbye. You're the only vet I get large animal stories from and I've learned a lot from you.

Good luck with whatever writing you do next! (and if you participate on another blog, could you please let me know?) Reply to this comment Report abuse 4
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/june/moving-but-taking-happy-memories-me-32821#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32821 at http://www.petmd.com
It's Never Too Late to Follow Your Dream http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/its-never-too-late-follow-your-dream-32820







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 > Jun 10, 2015 It's Never Too Late to Follow Your Dream by Dr. Joanne Intile








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“What would you do if you could have any job in the world?”
 
I contemplated the words in my head before uttering them out loud, as I hungrily scooped a large spoonful of homemade chocolate peanut butter ice cream into my mouth.
 
The question was posed on a small plastic card, sticky with the fingerprints of dozens of other ice cream aficionados of years past. Just one of a larger set of equally provocative printed questions piled on the rustic wood tabletop of the quiet but quaint sweet shop.
 
A simple party game designed to stimulate meaningful conversation amongst friends instilled an immediate sense of curiosity in my mind. Without missing a beat, I offered up my answer: “I would be a writer.”
 
Many of my colleagues will tell you that, for as long as they’ve understood what the job entailed, they’ve always known they wanted to be a veterinarian. I’m not sure why the innate compulsion is so prevalent in our profession, but you’ll find it’s a common theme if you start asking around.
 
I suspect it has something to do with being gently encouraged by adults who are less familiar with the specifics of the job, but who find it “adorable” or “noble” that a little person could be motivated to work in such an honorable field.
 
Likewise, with only a few exceptions, people really respond positively when I tell them I am a vet. People who love animals are certainly the most receptive, but even non-pet owners show excitement over me being an animal doctor. There is a near inexplicable fascination with the job. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of romanticism regarding the actualities.
 
As long as I’ve known I wanted to be a veterinarian, and as much as I was always encouraged to do so, I’ve known the path to success would be exceptionally difficult. The same people who cultivated my dreams would be the first to tell me how I would need to study constantly, work endlessly, possess the highest grades, and have the most varied experience, and even then, I would not be guaranteed the chance to prove my intentions. 
 
I knew more about the low acceptance rates, challenging curriculum, and general “scariness” of the idea of putting all my professional eggs in the vet med basket at a time when I should have been encouraged to pursue my aspiration with random abandonment. The pressure was palpable long before I even truly understood what the pressure was really all about.
 
Writing was something I always enjoyed, but never pursued for anything more than hobby. Instead, I toiled away, earning degrees in the sciences, working in veterinary hospitals, performing research, and teaching courses in basic biology; all things I needed to do to make myself an ideal candidate for gaining acceptance to vet school. The time and energy required to complete these tasks came at the expense of my ability to cultivate my creative endeavors.
 
What I find so interesting is that the concept of pursuing a career in writing, like veterinary medicine, is full of an inordinate amount of obstacles. As many times as I was told how difficult my life would be trying to become a vet, it seems, a career as a writer was given even less consideration and presented in an even more negative light.
 
Furthermore, those of us who write are often intensely self-deprecating, lacking the confidence in the strength of our written words. We are often our own worst enemies when it comes to sabotaging our own success. We all may write, but we rarely feel comfortable enough to call ourselves writers.
 
A major difference between veterinary medicine and writing is that achieving a degree and license to practice medicine is a quantitative endeavor, and a person can become a doctor on calculable characteristics alone. It really was true that if I put the hard work in I would achieve what I set out for in a very measurable sense. Yet, I would be hard pressed to define how it is that someone truly “becomes” a writer, as there are no specific defining characteristics of the job.
 
I supposed it wasn’t truly surprising that my knee jerk answer to my adult-life dream job was “writer.” This doesn’t mean I’m not fulfilled working as a veterinary oncologist. It simply means I still possess a restless sense of my own capabilities, especially with regard to what will bring me happiness in the long run.
 
My story also emphasizes how important it is to encourage a dream rather than discourage it. Or maybe even to just let the dream exist without judgment, at least for a little while, in the mind of a child.
 
And that you are “never too old to become what you might have been.”
 
As I placed the card back on top of the pile, I knew in my heart that I am as much a writer as I am a veterinarian. Possibly even more than I have ever given myself credit for in my entire life.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Pushistaja / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Writing 06/10/2015 06:03pm And, as a veterinarian writer, you would probably be surprised at how interesting we lay-people find mundane things. Mundane for you, but pretty interesting for us.

As an aside, a vet friend of mine told me how difficult it is to get into vet school... especially out-of-state. She is from Arizona and graduated from K-State. Kudos to her! Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/its-never-too-late-follow-your-dream-32820#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 10 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32820 at http://www.petmd.com
Protecting Pets in Abusive Human Relationships http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/pets-abusive-human-relationships-32819









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 > Jun 09, 2015 Protecting Pets in Abusive Human Relationships by Dr. Ken Tudor








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Did you know that 1/3 of domestic violence victims delay leaving an abusive relationship due to concern for their pets? Data also shows that 25% of victims return to an abusive relationship to protect the pets retained by the abusive partner.
 
I feel extremely naïve to have only recently learned that pet ownership or abuse of a pet could be effectively used by one individual to continue a harmful or abusive relationship with another individual. An article in the latest Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association discusses some of the problems faced by victims and pets of abuse and highlights federal legislation that might help abuse victims.  
 
The depth of the suffering form abusive situations is not over even if a victim escapes it. This is summed up by the article’s quote from Maya Carless, the executive director of Animals and Society Institute.
 
“I have personally worked with hundreds of victims who escaped abusive situations with little more than the clothes on their backs and their pets in their arms. Not only were they struggling to find safety for their pets, the abusers’ control over their finances left them unable to afford necessary veterinary care for their pets who have been harmed by the abuse.”
 
Legislation for Victims of Abuse
 
“No one should have to make the choice between leaving an abusive situation and ensuring their pet’s safety” says Rep. Katherine Clark of Maryland, co-author of House of Representative Bill 1258. With Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the two congresswomen have drafted the Pet and Women Safety Act or PAWS. The provisions of the legislation will aid both female and male victims of abusive relationships. The specifics of the bill include:
 

Make threatening a pet a stalking-related crime

Provide grant funding to increase the availability of alternate housing for pets of domestic violence victims

Encourage states to provide coverage for pets under protection orders

Require abusers who harm pets to pay veterinary and other expenses incurred as a result of abuse

 
Ms. Carless adds about the legislation:
 
“While many kindhearted veterinarians help greatly by discounting their services, the PAWS Act would provide financial restitution for the costs of veterinary care in these situations, lifting the burden from the veterinary profession and greatly increasing treatment for animal victims of domestic violence.”
 
This is in part why the American Veterinary Medical Association is backing PAWS with its lobby support. As a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, I generally do not support AVMA lobbying efforts because they largely promote economic advantage for the veterinary profession. In this case, I favor their efforts. The article cites the other reasons that the AVMA feels compelled to support the legislation:
           
“The AVMA Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, together with the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee, recommend that the Association support H.R. 1258 because it is consistent with the veterinary efforts to protect the welfare of animals and promote responsible human-animal relationships, including the philosophy in the AVMA Animal Welfare Principles and its resource publication ‘Practical Guidance for the Effective Response by Veterinarians to Suspected Animal Cruelty, Abuse and Neglect.’”
 
This law will certainly not do much to end domestic violence and abuse, but hopefully it provides a back-up plan to encourage victims of these relationships to leave before there is serious injury or emotional trauma.
 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
You can find more information here: Directory of Safe Havens for Animals™ Programs – Shelters that are open to pet owners fleeing domestic violence
 
 
Image: Soloviova Liudmyla / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Abuse 06/09/2015 05:56pm Abuse, whether directed at humans or animals, should not be tolerated. I've always felt it should be a felony in all states.

I really like #4:
Require abusers who harm pets to pay veterinary and other expenses incurred as a result of abuse.

I remember meeting a kitty with a cage card that said that the person picking it up needed to provide identification (so the abuser couldn't send the new girlfriend to pick it up). In very large, underlined letters, it said, "This cat's life depends on this." Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 lerose55 Stamp Out Animal Abuse 06/12/2015 11:57am It comes down to we need stricter laws for animal abusers. Not State Wide but Nationwide. Make them strict enough to make an impression: Below is my example of doing this. We need to contact our Representatives in Congress & your Governor & now FBI Director James B. Comey, Your Governor

1. I think first offense should be 5 yrs. in jail and a Felony charge.
2. Probation x5 yrs & 1000 hr. Community Service
3. Fines to be paid to the local humane society for 5 yrs.
4. Loss of Drivers License for 5 yrs after jail, if younger and no license, then a 5-yr. delay in receiving license.
5. 2nd offense double of 1st offense.

We need to make a lasting impression on these abusers, I would think a National Law will help show the Law, means business. Animal Abuse is running ramped & needs to STOPPED. I am talking any animal abuse farm animals, zoo animals, circus animals, domestic animals, wild animals, homeless animals etc. Severe punishment & fines could make this impression we need. Reply to this comment Report abuse 4 berich1 06/14/2015 10:53am Great suggestions - too bad they probably won't do it! Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/pets-abusive-human-relationships-32819#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 09 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32819 at http://www.petmd.com
Cherry Eye in Dogs http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/cherry-eye-dogs-32818









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 > Jun 08, 2015 Cherry Eye in Dogs by Dr. Jennifer Coates








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Did you know that dogs have six eyelids — three for each eye? Many owners don’t, at least until something goes wrong with one of the third eyelids that are normally hidden from view.
 
First a little anatomy. We are all familiar with a dog’s upper and lower eyelids that function very much like ours. The third eyelids, or nictitating membranes, as they are also called, normally lie underneath the lower lids. When they close and cover the eyes, owners often mistakenly think that their dog’s eyes are rolling back in their head.
 
Third eyelids serves as an extra layer of eye protection for dogs who, at least in the past, spent a lot of time running through brush and grass and digging in the dirt, which can lead to debris in the eyes and wounds to the cornea. Third eyelids sweep dirt and other material off of the surface of the eyes and keep the eyes moist. They also harbor a lot of tissue associated with the immune system and help heal any eye wounds or infections that do develop. When a dog has an injury to the eye, the third eyelid will often be raised to cover it. In these cases, I think of the third eyelid as a natural Band-Aid to the eye.
 
But the condition that most often brings third eyelids to an owner’s attention is cherry eye — more officially known as a third eyelid gland prolapse. The gland in question produces tears and is normally invisible since it is anchored by connective tissue on the inner surface of the third eyelid. When that connective tissue is weaker than normal, the attachments can break down, allowing the gland to slip from behind the third eyelid. It looks like (and is) a lump of pink or red tissue at the inner corner of the dog’s eye. Sometimes a gland will protrude every so often and then go back to its normal position before the final, permanent prolapse occurs.
 
Any dog can develop cherry eye, but is most often seen in Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, and Pekingese. It is thought that a combination of facial anatomy (prominent eyes) and a genetic weakness in the connective tissue that normally holds third eyelids in place is to blame. Often one eye will be affected initially, but with time the other gland will also prolapse.
 
There is no way to prevent cherry eye from developing in at-risk dogs, but thankfully the condition is not too difficult to treat. A veterinarian can perform one of a couple of different surgeries that put the gland back in a more normal position and hold it there. In the past, we used to surgically remove the affected gland, but too often that created another problem, dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), since we were removing the gland that was responsible for approximately one-third of tear production in the affected eye.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Image: Seregraff / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Burmese 06/09/2015 05:52pm I've met several Burmese kitties with cherry eye. Are Burms predisposed to cherry eye or was it that particular bloodline?

Is the treatment the same for cats as it is for dogs? Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 Dr. Jennifer Coates 06/09/2015 09:04pm Yes, flat-faced cats are at increased risk, just like flat-faced dogs. The treatment is the same. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/cherry-eye-dogs-32818#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 08 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32818 at http://www.petmd.com
The Wonderful and Weird World of Animal Racing http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/june/wonderful-and-weird-world-animal-racing-32811









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 > Jun 05, 2015 The Wonderful and Weird World of Animal Racing by Dr. Anna O'Brien








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As we find ourselves smack in the middle of prime horse racing time with the last jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont, bearing down upon us, do you find yourself wondering what other types of races are out there? I can’t be the only one who ponders that. Here are some highlights of races with animals other than horses.
 
Camel Racing
 
It’s no surprise that camel racing is a sport most popular in countries in the Middle East, but it’s also quite popular in Australia. What might be even more surprising is that racing camels on the other side of the globe are often ridden by small remote controlled robots rather than humans. (Children used to be the desired jockeys for camel racing, but with child welfare and trafficking laws, many countries have banned child jockeys.)
 
In the UAE, camel racetracks can be over three miles long. After the camels are released down the track, a set of SUVs drives after them. In these vehicles are the owners of the camels, each car following and watching his particular animal.
 
The United States has a few camel races, mostly for the novelty factor. Virginia City, Nevada, holds a camel and ostrich race every year. In the U.S., adults race the camels — no robots or underage riders here. Camels can reach speeds of up to 40 mph and their running gait is not very easy to sit on, so it takes skill or sometimes just dumb luck to stay on.
 
Ostrich Racing
 
Ostriches can be raced either with someone riding on their back or attached to a cart. There are special saddles and even bits and reins for those who choose to mount up, but even trussed up like a horse, an ostrich is notoriously difficult to control. With speeds similar to camels’ and a stride that can cover up to sixteen feet, you better hold on because it’s going to be one wild ride.
 
Sheep Racing
 
This one should really be everyone’s favorite. In a few towns in England (of course this would be in England) once a year a group of sheep is raced down a town lane. Closed to traffic, people gather behind barriers to watch as well tended, well groomed, and impressively athletic ovines leap and gallop and, well, basically frolic down the lane to everyone’s enjoyment. As if this couldn’t get any cuter, the sheep are dressed nicely and sometimes have stuffed jockey dolls attached to their backs. Seriously. I’m starting a petition to get this sport on the books in America. Who’s with me?
 
Hog Racing
 
Runner up in cuteness factor to the sheep races mentioned above has got to be hog races. Usually a short distance, hog races involve young, boisterous pigs wearing colored tops with a number. They careen along a short track to the finish line with no riders and just the crowd to cheer them on. Occasionally a race will involve obstacles such as a water jump! Hog races are usually held at county fairs and involve 4H hogs. Many are held as fundraising events, much like wiener races, which, although may sound related, are actually Dachshund-specific races of oh, 25 feet in length or so, because, you know, short legs.
 
 

Dr. Anna O'Brien
 
Image: Philip Lange / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Enjoyment 06/05/2015 04:53pm My only question is this: are the animals having a good time and enjoying racing?

I've always wondered about the sled dogs in the iditarod. Are they chomping at the bit to race? Or are they being used? Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/june/wonderful-and-weird-world-animal-racing-32811#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 05 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32811 at http://www.petmd.com
Behind Every Good Veterinarian is an Even Better Veterinary Technician http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/behind-every-good-veterinarian-even-better-veterinary-technici









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 > Jun 04, 2015 Behind Every Good Veterinarian is an Even Better Veterinary Technician by Dr. Joanne Intile








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Behind every good veterinarian, there’s an even better veterinary technician.
 
Few veterinarians would disagree with this statement. We know firsthand how hard technicians work and we only barely attempt to understand the struggles they endure on a daily basis.
 
We appreciate how indispensible these individuals are to ensuring that we can do our jobs as efficiently as possible and that our patients receive the maximal standard of care.
 
However, public awareness surrounding the role of a veterinary technician is surprisingly poor. The amount of work they perform is severely underestimated and they are given little respect for their remarkable efforts.
 
Most laypeople understand what a veterinarian does. They know vets are doctors trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases related to animals.
 
Though not everyone understands the educational process behind the degree or the specifics of my job, generally speaking, I don’t have to do too much explaining once I tell people I’m a veterinarian.
 
When discussing the role of veterinary technicians, the remarkable individuals who back me up and work so hard to make my day flow smoothly and efficiently, I find people are much more likely to tilt their head in confusion and misunderstanding.
 
Veterinary technicians are typically likened to registered nurses. Though the comparison isn’t entirely correct, it does provide a partially accurate description of their role in veterinary medicine.
 
Like nurses, veterinary technicians assist doctors in their daily tasks, in order to streamline their schedules and maintain an excellent standard of patient care.
 
Veterinary technicians are trained professional staff members who provide patient monitoring, restraint, surgical and dental anesthetic assistance, perform laboratory analyses, and administer medications and treatments.
 
Veterinary technicians are graduates of specific programs that offer either 2 or 4 year degree granting curriculums in veterinary technology. Upon completion of a formal academic program and/or by taking state-administered certification tests, one can become credentialed as a veterinary technician.

Credentialed veterinary technicians are known by one of three different acronyms, depending on the state where they obtained their licensure:
 
            Registered veterinary technician (RVT)
 
            Certified veterinary technician (CVT)
 
            Licensed veterinary technician (LVT)
 
The exact qualifications and requirements for obtaining the specific certification is designated by the state the technician is licensed in.
 
Further complicating the issue is that some states do not require individuals working in the role of a “veterinary technician” to hold any formal training or advanced degree, while in other states, it is a mandatory process. The lack of consistency in nomenclature certainly doesn't aid in clarifying the already confusing situation.
 
Credentialed veterinary technicians can find themselves legally capable of performing a specific task or tasks in one state, which would be considered illegal for them to perform in another state.
 
Such blurry lines further perpetuate the confusion about the role of the veterinary technician and make describing their specific job requirements and responsibilities difficult.
 
Outlining the expectations and role of a veterinary technician is quite challenging as their day-to-day responsibilities are nothing short of variable and unpredictable.
 
Technicians are the first people who greet our patients when they arrive for their appointments. They obtain the initial history and take the pet’s vital signs. They are responsible for obtaining all lab samples and presenting the results to me before a scheduled treatment.
 
Techs restrain the pets while I perform exams and double check my dosages and prescription plans. They draw up and administer chemotherapy with confidence and expertise to keep themselves and our patients safe. They also are often the ones to discharge the patient following the appointment.
 
Technicians are the frontline for questions from nervous owners, who are often too intimidated to ask me directly. The technicians who work with oncology patients are most often the reassuring face to owners who are in desperate need for consistency.
 
A very exciting aspect of veterinary technology that is becoming increasingly popular is obtaining certification in specific areas, including anesthesia, dentistry, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, cardiology, neurology, oncology, behavior, zoo medicine, equine, surgery, general practice, nutrition, and clinical pathology.
 
To be certified in a specific area of expertise, technicians complete an exceedingly rigorous process of formal education, intense training, hands-on experience, writing case reports, and testing. This is above and beyond the requirements they face in obtaining their general licensure to practice veterinary technology.
 
My job would be impossible without the assistance of the capable and talented veterinary technicians I work with each day. I rely on their ability to communicate with owners, run lab samples, administer chemotherapy treatments, and often to spend the extra time and effort keeping my patients feeling comfortable and loved. Even just attempting to enumerate the daily “tasks” of the technicians I work with is exhausting.
 
Veterinary technology is a physically and technically demanding field that is emotionally charged and poorly financially rewarded. It’s rare to see veterinary technicians who still work the “trenches” over the age of 35. Pay rates are low, and hours are long and often entail nights, weekends, and holidays. Those who do the work are certainly not in it for the money or the glamour. 
 
I’m grateful to have worked alongside some of the most talented and compassionate veterinary technicians in the field. From my early days of assisting in a veterinary hospital during my undergraduate years to the technicians who shaped me during veterinary school, internship, and residency, and to those who have toiled away with me during my professional career. I’ve been privileged to know and learn from the best.
 
If you are considering a career in veterinary technology and live in the United States, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America provides an excellent resource of information regarding educational requirements and opportunities.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Creatista / Shutterstock
 
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mano Behind Every Good Veterin 06/04/2015 11:04am A great article.
http://16aveanimalhospital.ca
Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 TheOldBroad Techs 06/04/2015 06:23pm The techs at the clinic where I am a client are superb! Because I always want blood pressure and bloodwork, they are able to take care of those beforehand so the doctor doesn't get behind.

They are all awesome and I trust them implicitly.

I don't think too many people appreciate how much schooling they have, not to mention the continuing education. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/june/behind-every-good-veterinarian-even-better-veterinary-technici#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 04 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32810 at http://www.petmd.com
Straight from the Headlines: Cat Lick Causes Blindness in Ohio Woman http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/straight-headlines-cat-lick-causes-blindness-ohio-woman-32812









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 > Jun 03, 2015 Straight from the Headlines: Cat Lick Causes Blindness in Ohio Woman by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








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In case you have been letting your cat lick your eyeball lately, here’s a warning: don’t.
 
A woman in Ohio recently lost vision in her left eye after becoming infected with Bartonella henselae, a pathogen that is normally subclinical in cats but can cause a variety of symptoms in humans.
 
Bartonella is a bacterium that is transmitted through the saliva of cats, and can be found on their fur as well as in their mouths. It may also be transmitted by inoculating a person through a scratch, hence its common name “cat scratch fever.” About 40 percent of cats will have Bartonella in their lifetime, and it’s a disease that’s found worldwide.
 
The symptoms of Bartonella infection in humans are fairly diffuse: local swelling at the site of the scratch, lymph node swelling, fever, malaise. Once diagnosed, Bartonella can be treated with antibiotics. In the case of the woman in Ohio, she was diagnosed too late to save her vision, but fortunately that is a very rare presentation of the disease.
 
So how do you protect yourself and your family against this zoonotic disease? Fortunately, simple basic preventive care and hygiene is the most effective way to reduce your risk of exposure.
 

Use flea prevention: the flea is the vector by which cats transmit Bartonella to each other, so regular use of a safe and effective flea medication will reduce your risk of exposure.

Regular hand washing: since the bacterium is spread through saliva, touching any areas of broken skin after petting your cat could put you at risk.

Don’t let your cat lick open wounds or mucous membranes: I can’t imagine people doing this as a matter of course to begin with, but just in case it was something you were considering, I would counsel you not to.

 
Generally speaking, Bartonella is not one of the major zoonotic diseases that make us tremble in our boots. If your cat bites you, get your rear into your doctor ASAP — not because of Bartonella, but because of Pasteurella, another commonly found cat mouth bacterium that causes some terrible local infections in cat bite injuries. Now don’t you feel better?
 
Not to say we all need to isolate ourselves in a bubble and refuse to touch our pets from here on out. I’ve been living and working with cats my whole adult life and the worst I’ve been exposed to from a pet is ringworm when I was pregnant, one of the more common groups to be susceptible to zoonotic disease.
 
So there’s only two take home lessons here. With some basic precautions, there’s no reason you need to fear your pet. Also, if your eye seems wonky, don’t mess around, see a doctor. Happy petting!
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image:  Inga Ivanova / Shutterstock
 
 
Related
 
Pet 'Kisses': Health Hazard or Health Benefit?
 
Reduce the Potential for Zoonotic Disease Transmission
 
Fleas and Your Cat
 
Cat Scratch Disease — What It Means For You And Your Cat
 
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TheOldBroad HHHmmmm. 06/03/2015 06:05pm Do we know how long the woman waited between first onset of symptoms to seeing a doctor?

I suspect this is another one of those headlines that's trying to grab the reader's attention when there really isn't much else to report. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3 srstephanie Transmission by saliva??? 06/05/2015 10:08am Hi Dr Vogelsang,

I first saw the article/news report on this via the AVMA Animal Health SmartBrief, which may also be where you heard about it. The original news story was done by a Toledo TV news station.

Okay ... I'm really confused. Can you cite for me a study that shows that [i]Bartonella henselae[/i] is transmitted to humans via cat SALIVA? Yes, the human physician interviewed by the Toledo news station said that it is transmitted by cat saliva. But human physicians are not always up-to-date on issues involving veterinary medicine and zoonoses.

I asked my friend and mentor, Dr Richard Ford (DACVIM, emeritus at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, infectious disease specialist, known for his expertise in vaccines & vaccination protocols) about this. He is not aware of any new information suggesting [i]Bartonella [/i]is transmitted via saliva. He commented that while one may be infected with [i]Bartonella[/i], it may not necessarily be the cause of something (e.g. blindness). It is difficult to prove cause and effect.

Probably the recognized world authority on [i]Bartonella [/i]is Dr Edward Breitschwerdt at NC State. I don't recall him ever suggesting [i]Bartonella [/i]is transmitted via saliva, though I admit I haven't heard him speak in quite a while. Maybe there is new information? And another respected expert on [i]Bartonella [/i]is Dr Mike Lappin at Colorado State who is one of the co-authors (and the corresponding author) for the AAFP's 2006 Panel Report on [i]Bartonella[/i]. A link to that report can be found on the AAFP website at:
[url=http://www.catvets.com/guidelines/practice-guidelines/bartonella-fuidelines]http://www.catvets.com/guidelines/practice-guidelines/bartonella-fuidelines[/url]

I do remember well a talk on [i]Bordetella [/i]by Dr Lappin (I'm not a vet, but I like to listen to recordings of vet CE conferences ... and I have attended a few with the advocacy of Dr Ford). Dr Lappin emphasized what is also said in the AAFP 2006 Report ... i.e. [i]Bartonella henselae[/i] is transmitted between cats and from cats to people primarily via FLEA FECES (aka flea dirt, flea poop). If you've heard Dr Lappin speak before, I'm sure you can also hear him saying adamantly, "It's the fleas, it's the fleas!, IT'S THE FLEAS!!! ... Don't kill the cat! Kill the FLEAS!!!!"

My understanding is that fleas feed off of [i]Bartonella[/i] infected cats and get the bacterium in their gut. The fleas then poop out the [i]Bartonella[/i] when they hop on other cats. The cats then ingest the infected flea poop when they groom themselves, infecting the cat.

Since cats often scratch when they have fleas ... they can then get infected flea poop under their nails/claws and when they scratch a human, they inoculate the scratch with the infected flea poop ... and that is why it is called "cat scratch disease", even though the real culprits are the fleas (their poop) ... not the cat. The cat just inoculates it.

The AAFP Report mentions one eye disease known to be caused by [i]Bartonella[/i], called Parinaud’s oculoglandular syndrome. The theory is that it gets in the eye by people being around cats with fleas that are infected with [i]Bartonella [/i]... and the people get infected flea poop on their hands and then rub their eye(s) ... thus, "inoculating" their eye with the flea feces. I did some googling on the eye disease and most sites say that it is quite treatable and often clears on its own. Most don't even mention blindness as a consequence of infection ... but it seems to be a rare outcome, more likely in someone who is severely immunocompromised (e.g. AIDS, chemotherapy, etc).

One other known means of transmission is via infected cat BLOOD ... which cats may get under their claws if they scratch themselves to the point of bleeding ... and then inoculate the infected blood into a wound as they would the flea feces.

Since there are some people who have gotten [i]Bartonella [/i]without prior contact with cats ... there is speculation (not proven) that it may also be transmitted via flea poop in the environment or possibly via other arthropods. (cf. Q10 in the AAFP Report, p4 of the Report or p216 of the published version in the AAFP's Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery).

The 2006 AAFP Panel Report on [i]Bartonella [/i]makes ONE comment about saliva ... in the very last section of the report. Out of an over-abundance of caution, while acknowledging that [i]Bartonella [/i]is not known to be transmitted by saliva, they say:

---------------
"While [i]Bartonella spp.[/i] have not been shown to be transmitted by saliva, cats should not be allowed to lick open human wounds."
---------------

I wasn't surprised by the apparent misinformation on a TV news show or from a human physician who is not current on zoonotic diseases ... but I was surprised to see you, a well respected veterinarian, say it as well. So, I'm losing my confidence and am wondering if there is new evidence that Bartonella henselae is transmitted by cat saliva.

Like you, I don't want people panicking over this and more cats ending up at a shelter ... or worse. Unless there is new research that you know of, that I don't (always a real possibility) ... people cannot get Bartonella from cat saliva. I hope that accurate information can be given to the public ... and if I'm wrong, please let me know and share the study that shows it can be transmitted by saliva. I don't want to promote false info either.

Stephanie in Raleigh Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 KLND 06/05/2015 11:03am I had cat scratch fever in my eye. I got it from a monkey on an Amazonian island. The monkey did not scratch me, but ate a banana from my hand. So the transmission could have been through saliva. I then scratched my eye - I think - and transmitted the disease to my eye. I did not lose my vision, but my optomologist was very concerned. It took weeks to get an accurate diagnosis, in part because it takes symptoms some time to show after infection. Also the disease is rare and seen most frequently in children who live with cats. Reply to this comment Report abuse srstephanie 06/05/2015 12:18pm Hi KLMD,

First, I'm glad you recovered without any loss of eye sight. I do have a few questions and would like to know more about what you had.

"Bartonella" is a species with many different types. The most common type that infects cats ... and is known to cause "cat scratch disease in humans" is Bartonella henselae. Cats are considered the primary reservoir hosts for Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae, and probably for Bartonella koehlerae (I'm getting this info from the AAFP Report on Bartonella).

According to the AAFP Report, the majority of people with "cat scratch disease" have been infected with Bartonella henselae or Bartonella quintana. However, while Bartonella henselae is transmitted by cat fleas ... Bartonella quintana is transmitted by lice and cats are not considered an important factor in its transmission to people.

So, my first question to you is what strain of Bartonella did you have? Was it indeed Bartonella henselae ... the type that is most commonly found in cats? Or was it another strain/type of Bartonella ... which may infect monkeys?

I don't know if Bartonella henselae is known to infect monkeys in the Amazon. There is no mention of that in the AAFP Report on Bartonella. In my limited knowledge, I think that with some infections that can infect more than one species ... even when it is the same "bug" ... it may affect each species differently. That may mean different signs/symptoms of infection in the different species ... and, perhaps, may result in a different means of transmission.

My point/question is that even if you were infected with Bartonella henselae from monkey saliva ... it may be that in that SPECIES of monkey, it makes its way to the salivary glands and is present in the saliva. It wouldn't necessarily mean that is true of Bartonella henselae in cats ... which is the subject of the article and this blog.

I have a lot of respect for the veterinary researchers. I haven't looked for supportive studies, but I feel confident that they have looked for Bartonella in the saliva of infected cats. It would make sense to test saliva to find out if it can be transmitted that way. The physician in the news story says that it can be transmitted in the saliva of cats ... but the veterinary researchers and experts who wrote or were sources for the AAFP Bartonella Report have concluded that it is not known to be transmitted in cat saliva.

So, my question is, first ... was it actually Bartonella henselae (the type found in cats, known to cause cat scratch disease) that you had? And, if so, even if it is transmitted in monkey saliva ... is there any scientific evidence that it is transmitted through the saliva of CATS? They are different species and the Bartonella may react and be transmitted differently between the two.

Stephanie in Raleigh Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 KLND 06/05/2015 06:15pm Don't know. It was a deductive diagnosis. A definitive diagnosis would have required a lymph node biopsy, which they felt was too invasive with unnecessary risks. Reply to this comment Report abuse srstephanie 06/05/2015 08:21pm Hi KLMD,

I can understand not wanting to do the needed diagnostics to confirm that you had Bartonella. But, unfortunately for researchers, there is no way to know if you actually had Bartonella ... nor if it was Bartonella henselae, i.e. the same type that is found in cats. And without testing the saliva of the monkey, there is no way to know if it was transmitted via the saliva. It's also possible that, unknowingly, you may have gotten an infected flea feces on your hand (from the monkey or elsewhere) and accidentally inoculated yourself when rubbing your eye.

It's an interesting case, but I don't think scientists would be able to draw any conclusions from it without proper diagnostics and testing. Ultimately, it is good that you recovered and are okay.

Stephanie in Raleigh
Reply to this comment Report abuse MiamiAngel Let's talk RINGWORM!!! 06/12/2015 12:42am Dr. V. Thank you for clarifying this horrid headline. You mentioned ringworm. Im facing that now or think I still am and it's getting worse not better. Desperately need advice!!!

Last year foster kitten tested positive for ringworm. Gave her medication and foster sister. But she had already been exposed to other cats and nested in closet where all of my cats had circulated. All my cats had lesions including myself. Kitten was since adopted and fine. I was instructed to wash all bedding and bathe or lime dip cats once a week. I have 7 pets. there is no way I can physically bathe them once a week with my back. I bathe 2-3 a week. But I have been doing laundry everyday to minimize. But now the itching has escalated to sharp itchiness like needles!! for me and I notice cats itching/scratching even more yet I'm cleaning more. And one of my cats has URI with green eye discharge. I took her in to vet and said it was URI but her bloodwork was normal. Vet said antibiotics wont' help. Yet when I gave her little of Clavamox it was helping. And I've run out. Now the puffy runny eyes has returned and green eye discharge. Poor Geisha is miserable. Its going on 2 months now. Sounds like the herpes virus. Lycene has not helped. Other cats start to sneeze and get congested and then it goes away, then it comes back. No more lesions. but itchiness still there. What is the sharp needle feeling?? PLEASE what should I do??? The vicious cycle is getting worse not better. DESPERATE!!! Reply to this comment Report abuse
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/june/straight-headlines-cat-lick-causes-blindness-ohio-woman-32812#comments cats parasite TheDailyVet Wed, 03 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32812 at http://www.petmd.com
Are the Days of Gluten-free Pet Food Numbered? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/are-days-gluten-free-pet-food-numbered-32806









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 > Jun 02, 2015 Are the Days of Gluten-free Pet Food Numbered? by Dr. Ken Tudor








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Specialty pet foods are the fastest growing segment of the pet food industry. The demand for grain-free, soy-free, wheat-free, and corn-free pet foods is far greater than demand for regular pet foods. Breed specific foods with the same omissions are also selling well. But it appears that pet food consumers are getting wiser about pet food fads.
 
The luster of gluten-free pet foods seems to have dulled for pet owners since its recent blockbuster entrance to the market. It is not clear why pet owners are no longer clamoring for gluten free diets. Speculation is that consumers are realizing that gluten is not a problem for dogs like it is for humans, or they are uncertain what gluten-free means. Both are good reasons not to spend 21% more for these diets.
 
Gluten-Free Pet Food Sales
 
Deena Shanker, a food and consumer goods reporter for Quartz (a digital news outlet), recently posted an article on gluten-free pet food sales. She cites research from data specialists GfK, who reported that sales for gluten-free pet food rose over 88% after its introduction three years ago. Last year sales were still strong and showed almost a 70% increase.
 
This year, however (April 2014-March 2015), sales for gluten-free pet food grew only about 19%. This is still not small potatoes, considering that total pet food sales only increased by 3%. But growth is only a fourth of its meteoric debut. So, why is there this sudden change of heart by consumers?
 
Dogs Don’t Have Gluten Intolerance
 
Gluten-free diets in humans are a response to the often diagnosed celiac disease. About 3 million people in the United States experience severe cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea if they eat products with wheat, barley, or rye gluten. These gluten proteins set off a reaction causing the body’s immune system to attack the cells of the intestinal lining. It is this “autoimmune” response that is responsible for the severe symptoms. If undiagnosed or untreated, the persistent intestinal inflammation inhibits the absorption of important nutrients leading to malnutrition and the development of other conditions like osteoporosis and neurological conditions.
 
Thank goodness this is not the case in pets. With the exception of one particular line of Irish Setters, the microscopic intestinal changes seen in humans with celiac disease has not been documented in pets with intestinal problems. Ms. Shankar quotes Dr. Kathryn Michael, professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School and my fellow colleague on the American Animal Hospital Association task force for pet obesity: “Gluten intolerance as it’s recognized in people is not recognized in companion animals. It doesn’t exist.” This message may be resonating with pet owners.
 
What Does Gluten-free Mean?
 
For human foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established that foods labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 parts per million of wheat, barley, or rye gluten. This is the lowest level that can presently be detected by the analytical methods available and is considered by the U.S. and other countries as a tolerable amount of gluten, even for an afflicted individual.
 
There are no such standards for pet food. None of the pet food regulatory agencies, the Association of Food Control Officials (AAFCO), the FDA or the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) have established any criteria for “gluten-free” pet food. Pet food companies are free to label a food “gluten-free” without any proof that it is indeed gluten-free. The same lack of standards is also true for “grain-free,” “soy-free,” or “corn-free,” but that is the subject for a future post.
 
Perhaps this lack of “truth in advertising” in the pet food industry is not fooling the pet owner, and “gluten-free” is only the first pet food fad to fall casualty to a more informed consumer.
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Andy Dean Photography /  Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Speciality Foods 06/02/2015 09:21am I suspect that humans that stick to a particular diet like to have their pet on the same diet. If they think gluten-free helps them be healthier, they also surely that must also be true for pets.

While I applaud humans that are serious about healthy pets, in my opinion it's also important to recognize that pets have different nutritional needs.

If I were to hazard a guess, gluten-free pet food doesn't gain anything for pets and humans are starting to recognize that. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 Tadish Re: 06/05/2015 06:05pm This comment has been flagged as inappropriate. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/are-days-gluten-free-pet-food-numbered-32806#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32806 at http://www.petmd.com
Deciding to Euthanize – Heartbreaking Even When it's the Right Thing to Do http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/deciding-euthanize-heartbreaking-even-when-its-right-thing-d-32794







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 > Jun 01, 2015 Deciding to Euthanize – Heartbreaking Even When it's the Right Thing to Do by Dr. Jennifer Coates








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I had to euthanize my cat, Victoria, over the weekend. I thought I would share her story as a form of eulogy and to once again illustrate that even when the decision to euthanize is obviously correct, it is never easy.
 
I adopted Vicky in the summer of 1998 at the beginning of my senior year in veterinary school. I was doing a three week rotation at a non-profit veterinary hospital/animal shelter in Washington, D.C. My mentor told me that all I needed to do to pass that rotation was to adopt one of their animals. He was kidding, but nonetheless I left with Vicky, a scrawny, approximately 1-year-old tortoiseshell cat who was recovering from surgery after being rescued off the streets of D.C. She had recently given birth and developed mammary hyperplasia that had resulted in multiple infected wounds along her abdomen.
 
As a former feral cat, Vicky was extremely skittish and shy. She spent her first six months with me living in my closet. As her trust grew, she gradually spent more and more time out in the world with me, my roommates, and all of our animals.
 
Over the years that followed, Vicky moved (among other places) to a 24 acre farm in Virginia, a ranch in Wyoming, and our current house in Colorado. She saw me through the milestones of graduating from veterinary school, getting married, multiple career changes, adding a daughter and son to the family, and the death of many other pets. She came down with hyperthyroidism several years back but responded beautifully to radioactive iodine treatment. As she continued to age, she developed heart disease, kidney disease, and cognitive dysfunction, but still enjoyed a reasonable quality of life up until the very end.
 
On Saturday, I noticed she was keeping more to herself, but in the evening she rallied (an upswing before the final decline is something I’ve frequently observed). On Sunday, though, she became withdrawn, weak, and dehydrated. I had previously decided to honor Victoria’s lifelong abhorrence of being “messed with” and not subject to her to any more diagnostic tests and treatments that could, at the very best, only postpone the inevitable given her age (18) and numerous health problems. She died peacefully on “her” couch while I petted her and reminded her how very much she was loved and would be missed. She is buried under the rose bushes in our backyard.
 
My brain knew that euthanasia was absolutely the right course of action for Victoria given her health, age, and personality, but my heart kept trying to sabotage my decision with “what ifs.” What if I just ran one more panel of blood work? Maybe I’d find something new I could treat. What if I just gave her some fluids? I knew I could make her feel better even though she’d hate the process. Thankfully, my heart didn’t overrule my head, and we did not proceed down a path that would have been more for my benefit than for Vicky’s.
 
In the end, we all have to do what’s best for our beloved pets and not what is easiest for us. I hope that knowing the decision to euthanize is heartbreaking — even when the owner in question is a vet and the pet in question has lived a long and full life — provides some comfort if you find yourself in a similar situation.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Image: fantom_rd / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad Sympathies 06/01/2015 06:07pm My heartfelt sympathies on losing Victoria.

Making the "hard decision" is truly an individual decision. My Sylvia Rose might well have rallied with her failing kidneys, but she really, REALLY hated to be messed with. I thought medicating her and giving her sub-q fluids would make her miserable, so I had to let her go. I was waffling on the decision when she gazed up at me with a definite "Please just let me go" look.

Yes, it is heartbreaking for us, but we have to do what is right for that animal and sometimes just releasing them from the misery is the right thing to do. Reply to this comment Report abuse 8 aletatc hit close to home 06/05/2015 08:41am my Torte'Bella, 15 yr. old tortoiseshell cat, had a squamous cell tumor under her tongue. we fought the good fight, chemotherapy every 3rd day prescribed by the vet. oncologist. it was discovered because she had the worst breath ever. the local vet found her teeth to be falling out and set up an appointment to remove the bad ones. during the operation he found the tumor. she would never let anyone look into her mouth while awake. the biopsy came back and we went to see what could be done. poor baby hated to be messed with - especially getting her temp. taken, so vet visits were not her favourite.the prognosis was not good, the treatment options were very limited. she had her chemo drops for about 2 months when it took a turn for the worse. it had grown sufficiently to make it impossible for her to eat her mushy food. when she didn't eat for 3 days, just sit over her food and look at it, i had to make the decision. she was my only animal, and helped me survive the grief of losing my husband 5 years ago. i will pick up her ashes monday. Reply to this comment Report abuse 5 Toolfxr Something about Merry 06/05/2015 05:56pm Reading your story brought back tears to my eyes. Having had 15 dogs over my lifetime, I know what you went through. A bit more than a year ago I made the decision to put my 14th dog to rest. Merry came to me by way of my step-son. She was a Whippet/Pointer mix that he adopted against our wishes while he attended school in Arizona back in 2001.

His busy schooling and social life left Merry in the HOT summer days mostly alone. He drop her into our laps on Mother's Day in '02. She was a crimp in his social life. We took her in with our already established Staffordshire Terrier. The two looked identical in every way. Merry became mine during our divorce in '08. She traveled with me and Pandora all over the country.

She began going down hill in 2014. She was diagnosed by the family vet as her liver and kidneys were failing. There was nothing to fix her condition. So I took Merry home to live out her days in as much comfort as possible. I attend to her needs every few hours and watered her with cap fulls of water and spoons of baby food until she reached a point where there wasn't any kind of "Quality" of life. I called the vet and made the appointment to put her to rest. She had a great life that few dogs would ever see and live already. I saw in her eyes that she was ready to say good-by. I carried Merry over to Pandora to say good-by. They exchanged kisses with each other. The two were always very close to each other.

At the vets office, I stayed with Merry to watch her leave me. She gave me a kiss good-by as she laid her head down for the final time and closed her eyes. I petted her good-by and tears overwhelmed me as I left the office.

Every so often I pull up the hundreds of pictures of her and remember the fun years that she was with us. It still brings tears to my eyes today, even as I write this. I know that I did the right thing, but it still strings. I know that Pandora misses Merry also. She sleeps in Merry's bed every night, even though she has her own bed.

Pandora and I are searching for a new addition to our pack. We'll know the right one is out there waiting for us.. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/june/deciding-euthanize-heartbreaking-even-when-its-right-thing-d-32794#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 01 Jun 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32794 at http://www.petmd.com
Science Says: Animals Make People Happier http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/may/science-says-animals-make-people-happier-32776









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 > May 29, 2015 Science Says: Animals Make People Happier by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








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Anyone who has met my Golden, Brody, immediately notices one thing: he is a real people pleaser. I mean, even among Goldens, who are known to be friendly and affable, he stands out as a seriously people-loving kind of guy. When we go to the dog park, he does one lap around the place to see who is there and then spends the rest of his time hanging out with the dog owners.
 
When my husband met with the breeder, they explained that this particular line had been selected as much for their temperament as for their looks, and as their way of giving back to the community, one dog from each litter is donated to an organization to be trained as an autism therapy dog.
 
While service dogs for children with autism are now fairly common, at the time it was something I hadn’t heard of before. They explained how the dogs are not only helpful in reducing disruptive behaviors and stress, they often help keep children from wandering away, help them develop emotional skills, and function as a bridge between their person and the often bewildering society surrounding them.
 
People who have service dogs for various purposes — from epilepsy warnings to seeing-eye guides — often report that one of the greatest unintended side effects of a service animal is the fact that they are also a great conversation starter, helping people overcome their hesitation at approaching someone different than they are. Social anxiety, which affects all sorts of people, is a burden keenly experienced by people in the autism community, and an animal often helps reduce those effects in more ways than one.
 
A recent study in the journal Developmental Psychobiology confirmed this additional benefit. While wearing a device to measure anxiety, 38 children with autism and 76 without were given several tasks, such as reading aloud and playing with other children. Then they were given a supervised play session with a guinea pig.
 
Compared to the control group, the children with autism experienced higher levels of anxiety during their tasks, but also experienced significant drops in anxiety during their play session. While studies done in the past have suggested this, as far as I know this is one of the first ones to actually quantify the benefit with physiologic data. 
 
I was surprised that even a relatively low-key animal like a guinea pig could produce such significant results. How much more profound is this anxiety-reducing effect when you have a demonstrative pet and a longstanding family relationship? It must be huge.
 
Few moments make me happier in life than seeing a pet and his or her owner light up in each others’ presence. It might be the first time a study has put a number to how much animals can help people feel happier, but it’s certainly nothing we didn’t already suspect, right?
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: Nina Buday / Shutterstock
 
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TheOldBroad No Surprise 05/29/2015 04:41pm No surprise here. My critters, as well as any critter, make me happy. When I visited California, I could have spent the whole time watching the sea lions.. and all they were doing was sleeping! Reply to this comment Report abuse 3 Beverley@BrilliantFamilyDog So true! 06/16/2015 11:11am So true. I think we're only scratching the surface of what dogs can do for us. And with us. The bond is very strong.


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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/may/science-says-animals-make-people-happier-32776#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 29 May 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32776 at http://www.petmd.com
The Traveling Veterinarian - Music to Get You From Here to There http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/may/traveling-veterinarian-music-get-you-here-there-32775









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TheOldBroad Stuck in the Middle 05/28/2015 06:11pm Was going to suggest you listen to the Beatles recording of "Stuck in the Middle With You," but Googled it and found that you are 100% correct and the Beatles didn't record it. Apparently the vocal sounds very John-ish, but isn't John Lennon.

Still love the song, though. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
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http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/may/traveling-veterinarian-music-get-you-here-there-32775#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 28 May 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32775 at http://www.petmd.com