http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/rss en The Myth of the 'First Ingredient' on the Pet Food Label http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/myth-first-ingredient-pet-food-label-32595









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 Mar 31, 2015 The Myth of the 'First Ingredient' on the Pet Food Label by Dr. Ken Tudor








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_809218');
Pet parents want the best food possible for their fur kids. We try to make the best possible choices by carefully reading the pet food labels and using tools believed to help accurately decipher the label contents. Unfortunately, what seems to be fact often isn’t.
 
As pointed out in last week’s post, the definition of “meat” for pet food makers is very different than what is commonly thought of as meat. This is because the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has carefully defined meat for pet food makers. AAFCO also sets the standards for all other claims on pet food labels, including the pet food ingredients. But AAFCO’s rules for the ingredient list have led to the popular belief that the first ingredient listed in pet food is the major component of the food.
 
Again, perception is not fact.
 
The First Ingredient Rule
 
AAFCO mandates that ingredients must be listed in order of their weight contribution to the pet food. The first ingredient should represent the largest ingredient by weight.
 
Most food makers list a meat as their first ingredient, so pet owners have come to believe that meat is the largest ingredient in their pet’s food. Not so fast.
 
AAFCO allows meat to include its water weight! For meat, that is about 70-80 percent of its weight. If the water, which provides no nutritional value to the food, is subtracted, then the first ingredient is not the largest protein source in the food. The second and third proteins are probably the largest ingredients.
 
We have no way of knowing the weight contribution of the first ingredient because AAFCO does not require the actual weights or percentage of weights for each ingredient.
 
Here is an example of an actual pet food ingredient list for “Real Duck + Sweet Potato” dog food:
 
Deboned duck, turkey meal, salmon meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), sweet potato….

 
The main proteins in this pet food are turkey meal and salmon meal, not duck. Minus its water weight, we have no way of knowing how much real duck is actually contributing to this food, but it is not the primary protein or ingredient.
 
Here is another real example of a “Prairie” puppy food:
 
Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas, potatoes…

 
Remember the prairie bison in this case contains water, so the primary proteins in this food come from lamb meal, egg products, peas, and pea protein. We have no idea how much bison protein is really in the food, and clearly most of the protein does not come from the prairie.
 
So what are we pet parents to do to ensure we provide our pets the best food possible? Unfortunately, the choice to feed commercially made pet food will always compromise quality regardless of what we would desperately like to believe about our chosen brand. This is true from the cheapest dry food available at discount retailers to the pricier, raw, frozen loafs in boutique pet stores. Pet food affordability relies on using the parts of meat that cannot be marketed to humans.
 
There is a growing trend of specialized “kitchens” that make and sell pet food made with USDA restaurant grade ingredients. Whole Foods actually stocks one of these products. But presently, most are geared for lower manufacturing volume, geographically limited in distribution and priced for more affluent customers.
 
Making your own homemade is more affordable than the specialty kitchen sources because you are taking out the labor costs for production and eliminating the mark-up on the ingredients. Homemade can actually be as affordable as premium wet pet food if you shop carefully and take advantage of sales. And most importantly, you control the quality and safety of the diet.
 
Unfortunately, making homemade pet food does not fit everybody’s lifestyle. Also, homemade diets that are not properly supplemented can be more unhealthy and dangerous than commercial pet food.
 
I wish the pet food industry were more transparent so it would not be so darn difficult to research our pet’s food. It is hard to make decisions with limited information. I hope these posts have helped clear some of the air.
 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Hannamariah / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Illuminating! 03/31/2015 06:02pm This post was very illuminating. I, for one, didn't realize that water weight was included in the protein.

I may have to make a trip to Whole Foods.

Thank you so much! Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/myth-first-ingredient-pet-food-label-32595#comments ingredients nutrition TheDailyVet Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32595 at http://www.petmd.com
The Science of Dog Behavior http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/science-dog-behavior-32593









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 > Mar 30, 2015 The Science of Dog Behavior by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_530829');
Is your dog a part of the C-BARQ (Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire) data set? C-BARQ was developed by researchers at the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania to “provide dog owners and professionals with standardized evaluations of canine temperament and behavior.” The questionnaire consists of 101 questions about the way in which dogs over the age of six months respond to “common events, situations, and stimuli in their environment.”
 
The survey begins by collecting some basic information about your dog’s breed, sex, age, origin, spay/neuter status, etc., and then moves on to the behavioral assessment, which is divided into seven sections:

Training and obedience
Aggression
Fear and anxiety
Separation-related behavior
Excitability
Attachment and attention-seeking
Miscellaneous (e.g., pulling on the leash, eating feces, and escaping)

 
The program uses the data entered to calculate a number of “behavior subscale scores, each of which corresponds to a particular characteristic of your dog.” With more than 80,000 entries, C-BARQ is now starting to yield some fascinating results. Here’s just a sample:
 
One published paper asked whether “behavioral qualities such as aggressiveness, trainability, and fearfulness” had any influence on the popularity of a breed. The answer is “no.” In fact, the researchers found that a breed’s popularity seemed to have no correlation at all with its health, longevity, or behavior, with the exception “that more popular breeds tend to suffer from more inherited disorders.” This led the authors to conclude that “dog breed popularity has been primarily determined by fashion rather than function.”
 
Another study explored whether a dog’s “behavioral characteristics predict the quality of the relationship between dogs and their owners.” In this case, the answer is “yes.” The authors concluded that “the strength of owner attachment to dogs related to several dog behavioral characteristics. Regardless of gender, age class, or race/ethnicity, owners reported stronger attachment for dogs that scored high on trainability and separation problems. These findings indicate that individuals are most likely to benefit from interacting with dogs that are well-behaved and show high affinity for human social contact.”
 
Researchers have also found that a shortened version of the C-BARQ taken by owners relinquishing their dogs to a shelter correlated well with the behaviors observed by shelter staff and future owners and could predict which dogs would eventually be adopted or euthanized.
 
Want to know more about what the C-BARQ is telling us about dog behavior? Take a look at this video, and then contribute to science by taking the questionnaire yourself.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
 
Resources
 
Fashion vs. function in cultural evolution: the case of dog breed popularity. Ghirlanda S, Acerbi A, Herzog H, Serpell JA. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 11;8(9):e74770. 
 
Do Dog Behavioral Characteristics Predict the Quality of the Relationship between Dogs and Their Owners? Hoffman CL, Chen P, Serpell JA, Jacobson KC.
 
Evaluation of a behavioral assessment tool for dogs relinquished to shelters. Duffy DL, Kruger KA, Serpell JA. Prev Vet Med. 2014 Dec 1;117(3-4):601-9.
 
 
Image: Maggie 1 / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Relationships 03/30/2015 06:51pm “behavioral characteristics predict the quality of the relationship between dogs and their owners.”

I think that's true not only of pets, but of human friendships. Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/science-dog-behavior-32593#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32593 at http://www.petmd.com
Are Wearable Tech Devices for Pets Worth It? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/are-wearable-tech-devices-pets-worth-it-32574









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 > Mar 27, 2015 Are Wearable Tech Devices for Pets Worth It? by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_295596');
Over the past year, I’ve found myself overwhelmed by multitudes of wearable tech and how they might apply to veterinary medicine. It all started with my husband, who works in the tech industry, and his obsession with his Fitbit.
 
“I’ve walked eight miles today,” he’ll tell me. I nod. “That’s five more than your dad.”
 
“OK,” I say, and go back to my book.
 
“I woke up ten times last night,” he says. I shrug.
 
“You should get one,” he tells me, and I ask him why I would want to know how many times I woke up. He has no answer. He bought me one for Christmas because he was sure I just needed to own one to fall in love with it, and I wore it until the initial charge wore off and then forgot to recharge it. So take my opinion of this stuff with a grain of salt.
 
My first experience with wearable tech for dogs came from one of the first GPS monitors that came on the market. I was part of a focus group where we were presented with an early version and asked what we thought of it. While the various people in the focus group oohed and aahed over the things it could do, I had only one comment:
 
“It’s ugly. It looks like a shock collar.”
 
They didn’t like my response, but they don’t know the market like I do. The people who come into my clinic, for the most part, don’t care about bells and whistles when it comes to dog paraphernalia — they care about how something looks. I know this because I feel the same way. No one’s going to risk putting something that looks like a shock collar on their dog and going to the park to be judged.
 
Sure enough, the product showed up on the market a year later, now available in a series of palatable pastels.
 
The next focus group I was a part of asked me what I thought of a spiffy new feature that allowed people to track how active their pet was during the day.
 
“Nice,” I said. “But people aren’t going to use it.”
 
“But it’s such valuable information!” they said, and they weren’t wrong. “It will help pets lose weight!”
 
And I laughed, because they’ve just hit on how Weight Watchers manages to stay in business year after year.
 
“People might use it for a month,” I said. “But they’re not going to log in to check their pet’s calorie burn every day. They don’t even do that for themselves.”
 
Regardless of my luddite opinions, technology marches on. Now you can track your dog with your phone, view them at home from your iPad, and even monitor their resting heart rate while you’re on a business trip. I am still waiting on the must-have device.
 
My husband was, of course, very impressed with all of them. “So what happens,” he asks, “when you put a tracker on the pet and they find out their pet needs to be more active? They’re grateful, right?”
 
“Actually,” I said, “they just turn off the tracker.” I speak from experience.
 
I do think these devices have a place, either as a novelty or in specific applications; recovery from surgery, for example, or for tracking working dogs. I am sure there will be some highly motivated owners who do wonderful things with these devices.
 
But the average person out there, like me, may not be quite there yet in terms of being sold on doggie tech, despite what excited engineers promised at the Consumer Electronics Show. If you give me one that speaks like Dug from Up, I’m there. In the meantime, I’m keeping the dog offline.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: Aleksey Klints / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Tech 03/27/2015 06:27pm Unless one has a critter that is an Escape Artist, I really can't see a need for tracking devices. Obviously if Fido or Fluffy is a Door Dasher, first you train them NOT to do that. If training fails, a tracker might be the answer, especially in the case of cats. Many dogs will come when called. However, cats will sit under the shrubs watching their human search endlessly. A really good tracker would certainly help at that point.

I've wondered about the monthly fee. Is it cost prohibitive?

(And, no, I don't care how active my cats are during the day. I've always suspected they simply sleep.) Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/are-wearable-tech-devices-pets-worth-it-32574#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32574 at http://www.petmd.com
Won't You Be My Neighbor? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/wont-you-be-my-neighbor-32583


]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/wont-you-be-my-neighbor-32583#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32583 at http://www.petmd.com
What Does it Mean When Your Doctor Makes 'Rounds'? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/what-does-it-mean-when-your-doctor-makes-rounds-32573









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 > Mar 25, 2015 What Does it Mean When Your Doctor Makes 'Rounds'? by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_564253');
Medicine is full of peculiar terminology; the language spoken by doctors is unfamiliar to non-medically trained individuals. Even those of us entrenched in the healthcare field become bogged down by confusing acronyms, four and five syllable words, and bizarre pronunciations.
 
Earlier this week I found myself contemplating an example of “curious medical lingo”. While standing in my everyday position in the ICU amongst my peers, listening to the emergency doctor discuss details about each of the hospitalized patients, I suddenly questioned, “Why do doctors call this process we are participating in ‘rounds’?”
 
Doctors participate in a variety of rounds on a routine basis, including bedside (“cageside” for veterinarians) rounds such as those listed above, morbidity and mortality rounds, grand rounds, teaching rounds, journal club rounds, tumor board rounds, and research rounds.
 
You may have called your veterinarian to ask a quick question and been told; “The doctor can’t speak with you now. She’s in rounds.”
 
If you're a fan of medical drama television shows, you’ve probably heard one of the main characters barking out the order; “We’re rounding in five minutes!”
 
Rounds can be lengthy or terse, boring or captivating, have an audience of one or thousands. But the word “rounds” doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what truly transpires during these happenings.
 
Rounds do not typically occur in the actual shape of a circle. While “rounding,” no one is generally contorting themselves into orb-shaped structures. And when we are in rounds we are not entertaining ourselves with a myriad of curved spheres.
 
So where did the expression “rounds” arise, as it relates to medicine? 
 
Legend tells us the term was first coined in 1889 in the hallowed hallways of the medical school of Johns Hopkins University. Sir William Osler, a preeminent clinician and teacher who was also the first Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Hopkins, is credited with introducing the concept of rounds to his students.
 
Prior to Osler’s tenure, the typical medical school curriculum consisted primarily of only instructive courses. Students merely observed senior physicians, who themselves were tasked with performing all examinations, diagnostic tests, and therapeutic procedures on patients. Time spent with actual “hands-on” learning was minimal to none. 
 
Osler’s philosophy towards medical school education contradicted the established status quo. He insisted students could only accurately learn the art of human interrogation and examination by being the ones who actually spoke with and examined the patients themselves.
 
Osler told his students, "Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis," emphasizing the importance of obtaining a thorough history as it relates to diagnostic acumen. Osler’s words were powerfully echoed over 110 years later by my favorite veterinary school professor, who taught me that “90% of the diagnoses you will make will be achieved based on your ability to talk to an owner and perform a comprehensive physical exam.”
 
The contribution to medical education Osler was proudest of was his creation of clinical clerkships. Here, the third and fourth year students worked directly alongside him in the hospital, simultaneously examining admitted patients in small groups.
 
The hallways of the medical school at Johns Hopkins were circular shaped. So while doctors-in-training were participating in Osler’s daily didactic endeavors, they needed to physically walk along the circumference of the circle in order to stop at each patient’s bed and perform their evaluations. Hence, the birth of the term “rounds” as it relates to medicine.
 
Rounds are an excellent way for doctors to disseminate knowledge to one another. However, inherent to the verbal flow of information is a considerable flaw, which is most pronounced during shift changes among attending doctors who are caring for the same patient.
 
Whenever one doctor rounds with the doctor taking over the care of that patient, there is as equal an opportunity for teaching and learning as there is the chance for information to be relayed incorrectly or lost in the shuffle.
 
The good news is that mistakes are rare. The bad news is that mistakes, though rare, can be quite impacting for patient care. All it takes is omitting a key lab report finding, inaccurately recalling a patient’s vital signs, or forgetting to relay that an owner is expecting a call that evening with an update to create a severe complication. Rounds are the ultimate test of communication skill and thoroughness for most doctors.
 
Though the shapes of the ICU where patients are kept vary, and the layouts of our lecture halls and tables that we sit at for our meetings change, the fundamental philosophies of medical rounds vary little from institution to institution.
 
Rounds are an integral part of my day and beyond. Rounds are how I disseminate information to my fellow doctors, technicians, and house officers. And rounds are a constant reminder that I must be completely up to date on not only my own patients but also all of those in the hospital where I work, in order to provide the highest quality of care.
 
And after writing this article I know a little more about a pretty interesting guy named Dr. Osler, who not only impacted human medicine but, obviously, veterinary medicine as well.
 
He’s someone I’d love to have had the chance to round with myself.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Language! 03/27/2015 06:17pm I love hearing the origin of words and phrases.

What a fun post! Thank you. Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/what-does-it-mean-when-your-doctor-makes-rounds-32573#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32573 at http://www.petmd.com
What You Need to Know About the Protein in Your Pet’s Food http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/what-you-need-know-about-protein-your-pets-food-32572









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 > Mar 24, 2015 What You Need to Know About the Protein in Your Pet’s Food by Dr. Ken Tudor








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_437699');
Your pet food does not contain the meat that you think it does. And it does not contain the amount of meat you think it does. That is because the official definition of “meat” for pet food is different from your perception of “meat.”
 
The “first ingredient” rule for judging pet food ingredients is misleading and not an accurate measure of the amount of “meat” in your pet’s food. It is no wonder that so many pet owners hop from food to food trying to find one that will agree with their pet’s digestion.
 
What is the Meat in Pet Food?
 
In order to make pet food affordable, pet food makers use meat scraps for protein, no matter what the brand or advertising claims. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) designates what can be used based on their definition of meat for various livestock species. The definitions are as follows:
 
Hoof Stock (beef, pork, lamb, bison, etc.)
Striated muscle but can include tongue, esophagus, diaphragm, heart and nerves, vessels, and tissue associated with those organs.

 
In other words, the by-products of the chest, exclusive of the lungs, are considered hoofed meat. Striated muscle that has been USDA inspected and deemed “unfit for human consumption” can also be used as meat in pet food. This is typically what pet food makers are really saying when they advertise their meat as “USDA Inspected.”
 
Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.)
Flesh and skin with or without bone, excluding the head, feet and entrails.

 
This is actually describing what is left after the breast, thigh, and leg meat have been removed. Deboned poultry is the same tissue without the bone.
 
Fish
Entire fish or flesh after the fillets have been removed.

 
Fish meat, then, is head, skin, scales, fins, skeleton, and entrails.
 
So what to do all of these proteins have in common and what impact does that have on your pet? They all contain connective protein. Connective proteins are ligaments, tendons or non-meat structural proteins. The gristle that you almost choked on while eating your last steak is connective protein. Connective protein is not as digestible as meat protein. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of the protein in pet food is indigestible.
 
This protein sits in the colon ready to be evacuated in the poop. However, the “bad” bacteria of the colon can use the indigestible protein for food. The increased population of these bacteria can cause intestinal gas, bloating, farting, and diarrhea.
 
With all food makers using the same type of ingredients, it is no wonder so many pet owners find that changing food doesn’t help, or only gives short term relief.
 
Under the cover of AAFCO’s classification of these products as “meat,” pets are not getting chicken breast, salmon fillets, or leg of lamb in their food. Advertising claims and the use of words without legal meaning, like “human grade,” does not change reality.
 
Next post: Exposing the myth of the “First Ingredient” Rule and exploring what alternatives pet parents have for feeding their pets.
 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  10
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
Bliss Grey I no longer trust AAFCO 03/27/2015 08:00am It is obvious from the AAFCO's definition of the word meat, that this organization's main concern is not consumer protection. By consumer protection I am referring to both pets and the people who purchase the connective tissue labeled as meat. The requirements for the labeling of pet food appears to be purposely misleading. I have emailed two companies that I purchase pet food from, asking them if they include the breast, thigh, and leg meat in their poultry products. I am wondering what my alternatives are if they do not. Reply to this comment Report abuse 10 commonsense 03/29/2015 12:44am Your brand could still tell you they use that meat you prefer, even though it is the left-over that is mechanically separated from the bones. It is still all nutritious, plus, it recycles the left-overs from our food production. What would happen to the millions of tons of leftovers we leave behind? Pets don't have the "icky factor" we do.
The FDA's CVM arm regulates pet food under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, requiring the food be safe and truthfully labeled. If the nutritional adequacy statement includes "complete and balanced", the food has to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles, which are based on recommendations of the National Research Council, which are based on pets' nutritional needs, using purified diets.
AAFCO is made up of "local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies."
IMO...if you still feel "icky" I would consult a nutritionist, and make your own. Reply to this comment Report abuse Bliss Grey 03/29/2015 07:51am There is nothing "icky" about ligaments, tendons, or non-meat structural proteins. They are just body parts of animals. This isn't about someone being grossed out by body parts, in the wild our pets would eat these body parts and the stomach contents of the animals they would kill. This is about becoming aware of the AAFCO definition of meat. Reply to this comment Report abuse commonsense 03/30/2015 12:07am I don't think they are icky, either, for animals to eat. People eat tongue. I don't.
Supposedly, the new FSMA rules will clarify ingredients. Reply to this comment Report abuse JOLLYJIM MISLEADING INFO ??? 03/27/2015 10:35am I disagree with the 1st two paragraphs somewhat. Maybe most cheaper brands do that, but I found the can food (Merrick) I feed my girls have huge chunks of meat from beef, buffalo and deer in them depending on which can food I feed them at each meal. Now the other brand I feed them (EVO) is a paste, so I would guess that statement would be correct because it is a slightly cheaper brand of food. As to the dry food, that's anybody's guess what's in it, that's why I mix 3 different types together; two expensive brands and one slightly cheaper. The reason I alternate different cans of food and mix different types of dry is because I don't think any one brand completely meets a balanced diet, just like in human foods. Reply to this comment Report abuse 6 DebsSweet Really? 03/27/2015 04:55pm I wonder if some business or entity has checked every single dog food on the market? Unless they have, we really don't know which pet food companies use 'hoof stock' or which ones use 'real' meat. I am not in this industry but feel it might be an injustice to companies who do a better job providing pet nutrition. I have never felt it was a good thing to 'generalize'. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 commonsense 03/29/2015 02:13am Hoof stock simply means it comes from hoofed animals, as opposed to say, chickens.
Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 TheOldBroad Human Grade 03/27/2015 06:08pm Dr. Tudor,

Do you think we can safely assume that pet foods that advertise "human grade" is safer for our pets? Reply to this comment Report abuse Dr. Ken Tudor 03/27/2015 06:52pm "Human Grade" has no legal definition so there are no standards that a food must meet to separate it from other products.

This article was not about safety. What it's about is that in order to make pet food as affordable as it is, companies must use parts of the carcass that can't be sold for human consumption. As I pointed out "Meat" for pet food is defined differently to allow the inclusion of these scrap cuts in pet food without disclosure of their true nature. There is no way to feed a pet leg-of- lamb, top sirloin, pork tenderloin, salmon fillet or chicken breast at the prices pet owners expect for pet food. Companies must use the protein scraps or real meat that has been deemed unfit for human consumption.

More and more specialty "kitchens" are offering pet food using USDA restaurant quality ingredients. Whole foods is actually caring one of these lines. As you can imagine, they are expensive. The other alternative, of course, is homemade. Again that is also more expensive than commercial pet food and can be very pricey if owners choose organic, free-range and GMO free. It is also a substantial time commitment.

Feeding commercial pet food is always a compromise, price and convenience over quality. That is why I wrote the article. Owners often hop from food to food trying to find one that will work for their pet. I am offering information to explain why that may not solve their problem, no matter how expensive the commercial food and the company claims. If you can sell a cut of meat to a human for $2 or more per pound, it ain't going into commercial pet food. Reply to this comment Report abuse 6 Bliss Grey 03/29/2015 07:37am I really appreciate your clarification of the AAFCO definition of meat, in your article. The only other articles that I have read that even touches on this, is surprisingly, the company that I purchase my pet food from. I am looking forward to reading your next article about first ingredient, and alternatives. I suspect it's a choice, good nutrition or vet bills. Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/what-you-need-know-about-protein-your-pets-food-32572#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 24 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32572 at http://www.petmd.com
Planning for Your Pet's Preventive Care Exam http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/planning-your-pets-preventive-care-exam-32544







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 > Mar 23, 2015 Planning for Your Pet's Preventive Care Exam by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_212924');
Spring is a busy time for veterinarians. For the large animal folks out there, spring means calving/lambing/foaling season (take a look at Dr. O'Brien’s related and hilarious post if you haven’t already).
 
In small animal medicine, the winter season is usually pretty slow. More time indoors means fewer accidents and illnesses for our pets, but in the springtime all that changes. The kittens start arriving too, and even though dogs don’t have a seasonal aspect to their reproductive cycles, people seem more in the mood to add a puppy to the family this time of year.
 
Preventive medicine gets a boost in the spring too. Owners start thinking more about heartworms, fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites, even though many of these parasites actually pose a year-round risk. In small animal medicine, we don’t plan vaccinations according to the seasons (although this reminds me that my horse is due for his spring vaccines), but all those new puppies and kittens are getting started on their protocols right about now.
 
Let me give you an idea about what veterinarians are trying to assess during an appointment that focuses on preventive care.
 
The first part of a wellness visit is a health evaluation. This includes a thorough history including information about a pet’s breed, age, lifestyle, behavior, and diet; a comprehensive physical exam; and measuring some basic parameter like weight, temperature, and pulse and respiration rates. All of the information gathered during this part of the visit is initially used to assess whether a pet might actually be sick rather than well, which changes the entire nature of the appointment.
 
For example, if I note that your cat has lost a little weight, and in following that up with you, you say, "Yeah, now that you mention it, she has been eating more than normal," we will be spending the rest of the appointment discussing the need to test for hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and other diseases rather than what vaccinations she should get.
 
But, assuming that your pet gets a clean (or at least not too dirty) bill of health, the rest of the wellness visit deals almost exclusively with preventive care, which can be divided into several categories:

Diagnostics (e.g., heartworm testing, FELV/FIV testing, fecal examinations, etc.)
Parasite control (heartworms, external parasites, and intestinal parasites)
Vaccination
 Identification (e.g., microchips)
Reproductive counseling (e.g., spay/neuter)
A plan for follow-up and the next routinely scheduled visit

 
Your veterinarian determines what is appropriate for your pet in each of these categories based on what was revealed during the health evaluation part of the appointment. The doctor should go over his or her recommendations with you and explain the reasoning behind each decision, but this is the time for you to bring up any questions or concerns that you don’t feel have been adequately addressed. As is true in all aspects of veterinary medicine, two-way communication between the doctor and owner is essential to success.
 
Adult pets should see a veterinarian at least annually (in some cases semi-annually is better) for an assessment of their preventive care needs. Puppies and kittens need more frequent visits — usually every 3-4 weeks until they are about four months old. If it’s been too long since your dog, cat, cockatiel, ferret, chinchilla, gecko…  whatever, has been in for a check-up, let the onset of spring be the kick in the pants you need to make the appointment.
 
 
 
Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
Today's post was originally published in March of 2012.
 
 
Image: Stepan Kapl / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Preventative Checkups 03/27/2015 06:04pm Because my kitties get a full exam every 3rd month, my vet, being the astute practitioner he is, noticed that one was very slowly losing weight. Further testing (which included endoscopy) found that she has lymphocytic lymphoma. :-(

The good news is that he found it really early and she's already on the appropriate medications. Fingers crossed that this has extended her lifespan with a good quality of life. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/planning-your-pets-preventive-care-exam-32544#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32544 at http://www.petmd.com
Listen With Your Eyes to Tell if Your Pet is in Pain http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/listen-your-eyes-tell-if-your-pet-pain-32570
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/listen-your-eyes-tell-if-your-pet-pain-32570#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32570 at http://www.petmd.com
Honey is Great For Wound Care... But Which Honey? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/honey-great-wound-care-but-which-honey-32571









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 > Mar 19, 2015 Honey is Great For Wound Care... But Which Honey? by Dr. Anna O'Brien








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_504469');
A recent study from researchers at the University of Glasgow demonstrated that various types of honey have antimicrobial action and were effective in inhibiting growth of bacteria commonly found in equine leg wounds. Honey as an antiseptic agent isn’t a new thing, but has long been thought to be limited to only a certain type of honey, specifically manuka honey. Manuka honey is made by honeybees pollinating the manuka tree, which grows in New Zealand and certain parts of Australia.
 
I have personally never used medical-grade honey for wound care and although I find it interesting, I am cautious to mention it to clients. The reason behind my cautiousness is this same University of Glasgow study also looked at commercially available honey — the type you can buy at the grocery store. When cultured for bacterial growth, 18 out of the 29 different types of honey grew bacteria or fungi, meaning they were contaminated. Now, this isn’t to scare people away from eating honey. If you cultured any amount of produce from your local grocery store, you’re bound to grow some stuff and it doesn’t bother you to eat it. But then again, you’re not rubbing an apple or lettuce on an open wound.
 
My point here is that care needs to be taken when advising folks on proper veterinary care. It’s not enough to mention in passing that yes, honey has been shown to have antimicrobial action, because sometimes people hear things incorrectly and instead think that honey should be slathered on a wound, end of story. And I don’t want that to happen.
 
Instead, what I do want to happen is to have an engaging dialogue with clients on the option of using medical-grade honey (medical-grade has been sterilized to eliminate contaminating bacteria/fungi) on a wound. When I’m dressing an uncomplicated wound — meaning one that is superficial, not large, doesn’t involve bone, joint, or soft tissue exposure — I’ll often reach for a jar of antibiotic ointment prior to wrapping the wound in protective gauze while we wait for scar tissue to repair the damage.
 
Another interesting finding from the Glasgow study was that some of the honeys they tested were effective against the dreaded MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This is especially neat for those wound cases that aren’t healing because of resistant bacterial infections.
 
After reading this study, I admit I’m now curious to try honey on my next wound case, if appropriate. Turns out veterinarians can actually order the stuff through medical suppliers, so it seems easy to get. I feel like maybe for me, honey has now stepped out of the realm of “all natural whack-job crack-pot therapy” into legitimate science. It’s just that I could see myself sneaking into my honey stash when I’m hard up for something sweet to eat when out on the road. It would probably look pretty unprofessional if I showed up to a farm with honey smeared all over my face, like some grotesque human version of Pooh Bear. But what if I offered to share?
 
 

Dr. Anna O'Brien
 
Today's post was originally published in February 2014.
 
References
 
Scottish heather honey is best for beating bacteria. University of Glasgow. Horizons, Autumn 2013
 
The antimicrobial activity of honey against common equine wound bacterial isolates. R. Carnwatha, E.M. Grahamb, K. Reynoldsb, P.J. Pollocka. The Veterinary Journal. 2014 Jan 199;1:110–114.
 
 
Image: Mi Ha / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  2
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Dr. Chris Pet Vet 03/19/2015 06:13pm I admit to watching Saturday morning children's shows that are about animals. One of my favorites is "Dr. Chris Pet Vet". If I remember correctly, he used medical-grade honey on one of his patients.

My concern is that people will watch the TV show and it didn't stress MEDICAL GRADE honey. No telling how many people will try to avoid taking Fluffy or Fido to the doctor and use honey from the grocery store and the pet will get much worse. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3 Voodoo 03/20/2015 01:07pm I used honey once, on a big rottie who had a massive third degree burn on her back. There were financial constraints that made skin grafts out of the question, so we rolled the dice and did honey bandages as it was the most cost effective option and recommended by one of the surgeons we consulted.

It worked like a charm. I sent a silent thank you to my old world grandmother who did such things when we were kids. The entire staff was shocked at how well the wound healed. Of course, this wasn't a do-it-yourself thing and there was still lots of sedation and debriding involved, but as a medical adjunct- I was impressed! Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/honey-great-wound-care-but-which-honey-32571#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32571 at http://www.petmd.com
Have You Eaten Your Frog Today? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/art-procrastination-and-eating-frogs-32567









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 > Mar 18, 2015 Have You Eaten Your Frog Today? by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_822999');
On the art of procrastination, Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
 
Fortunately, Mr. Twain wasn’t actually asking you to make a slimy, green amphibian the staple source of protein for your most important meal of the day. His take-home message was much less literal and, happily, much less nauseating in its significance.
 
He’s suggesting that if you are able to complete the most overwhelming, difficult, and repulsive task on your to-do list at the inception of your day, all of your other designated assignments will seem much less daunting in comparison.
 
I’m generally a very productive person at work. I can juggle an overbooked appointment schedule with a myriad of meetings (some pre-planned, others impromptu), all while taking and/or returning multiple phone calls, e-mails, text messages, etc.
 
In between appointments, you’ll find me completing writing assignments, working on continuing education lectures, and reading articles on current studies in veterinary oncology. There’s always a topic to research, a blog to write, or a case to catch up on.

Despite my endless capacity for multi-tasking and my passion for writing, and re-writing, and re-re-writing my list of daily tasks I want to accomplish, I'll admit a big secret:
 
I’m really, really bad at eating the frog.
 
Invariably, the task I deem to be the most challenging, demanding, and time-consuming chore on my extensive list of planned daily activities will be the one I put off the longest to complete.
 
Rather than getting down to business and forcing myself to eat the frog, I’ll add on additional assignments, obligations, and chores to be able to justify pushing the one thing I don’t want to do off for as long as possible.
 
I will become unexplainably lost within a textbook for hours, I will pre-write discharges for cases set up with appointments three days from that moment, I will clean and reorganize my desk over and over again, and, on occasion, I will become entrapped in the vortex of viral videos depicting cats knocking things off tables.
 
My frog varies with the day. Sometimes it’s putting off writing a lengthy summary for a complicated case. Other days it’s working on rounds presentations for the hospital staff. But typically, the most repellent frog-eating duty I face is setting aside the time to call an owner and deliver bad news.
 
People assume veterinary oncologists give owners devastating news on a routine basis. Cancer is a term that conjures up nothing less than the bleakest of skies and the most dubious of horizons. These misconceptions mean it’s actually never easy for me to tell strangers what I do for a living.
 
Most individuals are genuinely surprised when I inform them that my job is far less dramatic than what they expect. In fact, I’m far more often the hero rather than the villain. My emphasis is on the fact that I’m the one who often imparts hope to owners who have already been given the devastating news of their pet’s diagnosis by a different doctor.

There are times, however, when I am the person responsible for disclosing unfortunate news. Sometimes this relates to confirming a suspected diagnosis of cancer in a pet referred for further diagnostics. Other times, I’m there to inform them that their beloved pet’s disease has spread within their body, and that our carefully planned and executed treatment plan was unsuccessful in controlling disease. And in others, I’m calling to tell an owner there’s simply nothing more we can do.
 
Our nature as doctors is to impart healing to our patients. We never wish to be the bearer of anything other than stellar examination and laboratory results and proverbial clean bills of health. Doing so is akin to our admitting defeat.
 
We chose this path because we love science, medicine, and maintaining and restoring health. Along with those positive attributes comes the great responsibility of disseminating information, both the good and the bad.

In some instances, I put off eating the “bad news” frog because I want to be sure I have set aside an adequate amount of time to have the difficult talk with the owners. Those discussions shouldn’t be pinched in between appointments when my mind is preoccupied with dozens of other things.
 
In others cases, I’m too attached to the pet or the owners (often both) and worry I won’t be as objective in my delivery as I should be and my bias will influence my speech.
 
I stall on eating the frog because I know it will be hard and uncomfortable for me. I know it will take time and there will be questions and I won’t be able to read facial expressions or know what is being comprehended.
 
Most significant is I know that when I eat that frog, I know I am likely to cause another person to feel pain. No matter how temporary, it is not in my nature as a doctor to wish to willingly and purposefully make another person (or animal) hurt.
 
My complex emotional state boils down to a very primitive survival skill tactic: I don’t want to deal with eating the frog because it’s difficult.
 
Mr. Twain’s words are certainly insightful, and I’m not here to argue against the concept that attacking formidable obstacles makes us stronger individuals and gives us perspective to understand that a lot of times the “big things” are just small things with more elaborate surface structure.
 
But I think there’s something to be said about ensuring you’re good and hungry before sitting down to eat the frog.
 
It’s not something you want to face on a full or queasy stomach. Otherwise, you might not be able to finish the task to the best of your abilities.
 
And no one else wants to deal with your leftover frog when they have their own to savor themselves.
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Bad News 03/18/2015 05:55pm Don't you think that part of the procrastination regarding being the bearer of bad tidings stems from the fact that you don't know how the recipient is going to react? It must be close to impossible to "practice" relaying bad news because the client may be anything from stoic to dissolving into tears - and in both cases, likely won't truly hear everything you have to say. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/art-procrastination-and-eating-frogs-32567#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32567 at http://www.petmd.com
Mom Transmits ‘Bad’ Bacteria Along with the Good to Her Young http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/mothers-may-be-infecting-their-young-gut-bacteria-32566









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 > Mar 17, 2015 Mom Transmits ‘Bad’ Bacteria Along with the Good to Her Young by Dr. Ken Tudor








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_197564');
The lining of the intestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, is actually outside of the body! Is this true? Yes, think of the digestive tract as a hose extending from the mouth to the anus. Everything inside the hose is actually outside of the body. That is why it is dirty.
 
Every inch of the digestive tract is teaming with bacteria from the outside world. If this were not true we wouldn’t have to wash our hands after clearing something from our mouth or wiping our bottom. If those bacteria were actually inside the body we would have been a dead-end species very early on, or more immediately, would now be dead. But as I have posted here before, gut bacteria is important and it is the balance of gut bacteria that determines whether we are healthy or diseased both inside the body and in the intestinal tract.
 
Recent research in mice suggests that inflammatory bowel diseases may be caused by mothers infecting their young with certain bacteria from mom’s own gut.
 
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
 
Inflammatory bowel diseases cause inflammation and swelling of the lining of the stomach and intestines that interferes with normal gut functions. Pets stricken with these conditions have chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea, depending on whether the condition is worse in the lining of the stomach and upper intestines (vomiting) or the lower intestines and colon (diarrhea).
 
Pets affected throughout the intestinal tract experience both chronic vomiting and diarrhea. Often these pets lose significant weight and are generally unhealthy by the time they are diagnosed.
 
The cause of these has always been thought to be an over-reaction of an animal’s own immune system that was inherited genetically, or the result of a chronic immune response to disease or other immune stimulation. The result is a constant rejection of a pet’s own intestinal lining by its immune system, causing the inflammation.
 
This new study in Nature suggests that these conditions may be caused by a lack of a protective class of antibodies due to a particular gut bacteria that mom gives her young during birth, nursing, grooming, and licking the young to clean them after fecal and urinary elimination.
 
Antibody Deficiency
 
Inflammatory bowel diseases in humans, like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic diarrhea, have been associated with a deficiency of immunoglobulin A or IgA.
 
IgA is a class of antibodies known as “surface antibodies.” They are the first line of defense where the outside world meets the body. IgA is plentiful in the mouth, nose, eyes, ears, gut, anus, penis, and vulva to protect the body from bacterial invasion. According to this study, a particular gut bacteria called Sutterella transferred from mom to her offspring inhibits the production of IgA in the intestines and is responsible for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases.
 
Make no mistake, moms, human and animal also seed their young with “good” bacteria during the birthing, nursing, grooming, and elimination hygiene activities. This study highlights how intricate the balance of the gut micro-environment really is and how “bad” bacteria from mom can also affect the health of her young.
 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Rosa Jay / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Bacteria 03/17/2015 05:31pm If we know what is lacking, why is it that we can't supplement the gut with pills containing the lacking bacteria? Reply to this comment Report abuse 1
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/mothers-may-be-infecting-their-young-gut-bacteria-32566#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:00:00 +0000 32566 at http://www.petmd.com
Free Eye Exams for Service Animals Through May http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/free-eye-exams-service-animals-through-march-32549
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/free-eye-exams-service-animals-through-march-32549#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32549 at http://www.petmd.com
Finding the Joy in a Pet’s Death http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/finding-joy-pets-death-32548









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 > Mar 13, 2015 Finding the Joy in a Pet’s Death by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_730326');
Now that I’ve been blogging here at petMD for a few weeks and I’ve warmed you up with such fluffy fare as measles outbreaks and lawsuits, I thought I could begin diving into the REAL serious stuff. Like, deadly serious stuff.
 
Death is one of my favorite topics. It’s true.
 
I never thought I would say that. Like many people who go into veterinary medicine, I thought I could handle just about every aspect of the work except the euthanasia part.
 
I’ve worked in general practice and I’ve worked in emergency, staving off death for as long as I could. And now look at me. I’m a hospice practitioner.
 
Death, its approach, and its aftermath are now the main part of what I do for a living, and weird as it to say, I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled. Before you write me off as a completely morbid weirdo, let me explain.
 
I’ve always been a little phobic of nursing homes. The smell, the sadness, and the loneliness always bothered me, and during the times I volunteered there in college I thought to myself that I would do all I could to keep my family out of them.
 
My grandfather Pepe felt the same way. When he got lung cancer, he decided he wanted to die at home. The family was nervous. No one had been through death before; everyone they knew had died in a nursing home or hospital.
 
It makes sense, considering that is how 80 percent of seniors in the U.S. pass away. We don’t know what death looks like, and that is a frightening thing.
 
I never met Pepe’s doctor, but I got to know his nurse very well. She was our lifeline, our educator, the one who talked us through morphine dosages, the increasing amounts of sleep, the shutdown of a body at the end of its life. Knowing what was coming made it so much less scary.
 
In the last couple of days, ten of my family members (including me) stood around his bed and took turns holding his hand  while snow fluttered down outside.
 
Three days later, we celebrated a somber Thanksgiving, strangely grateful for the timing that allowed the family to celebrate together for the first time in almost two decades. And that is what we remember most. It was lovely.
 
When you eliminate fear, you are able to focus on the life in front of you — giving thanks for it, celebrating memories, and just being there letting the one who is dying know they are loved.
 
In standard Western medical culture, death is seen not as a natural part of life, but as a failure. We try to cure it, whatever it is, and we fight up till the bitter end. Hospice, in both humans and animals, attempts to stop this approach when a cure is no longer possible and focus on the comfort of the patient and the preparation for the family. That is a huge change for patients, and for many doctors.
 
Hospice is not “giving up” on the patient. It can be very aggressive in terms of the level of nursing care, pain medication, and symptom management. Some studies of veterinary patients have indicated that our ability to control symptoms in dying pets is so good in hospice that they actually live longer than pets who don’t go into hospice.
 
We are in a unique position in veterinary medicine in that we can control the exact time and place of a pet’s death through our ability to perform euthanasia. I think of it much like a labor induction during birth — a medical intervention in an inevitable process. It allows people to prepare for the event.
 
Much like the angel hospice nurse with my grandfather, I strive to help families understand what is going to happen. I encourage children to be involved if the parents wish it. Learning from a young age that death is a sad but inevitable process that you can get through with your loving family by your side is HUGE.
 
Pets teach us so much; how to live and, just as importantly, how to die. It is one of their greatest gifts to us — to see a peaceful death firsthand, to know that our presence during that transition can be a beautiful thing. It is such an honor to guide families through the process.
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: Sealander / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  2
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Death 03/14/2015 02:05pm I do not believe our pets fear death. Quite honestly, I think I've had a few that gave me "the look" asking me to let them go. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2 KLND Palliative care 03/15/2015 10:24pm Yours is a noble profession.
My mother's palliative care doctor was by far the best of her many specialists. She didn't really have a specific illness. She just wore out.
From what I learned from my mother's experience, I know that I will seek palliative care, and hospice if needed, for my dog. It would be inhuman to do any less. Reply to this comment Report abuse 3
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/finding-joy-pets-death-32548#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32548 at http://www.petmd.com
Does Size Matter? Not to This Vet http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/does-size-matter-not-vet-32551









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 > Mar 12, 2015 Does Size Matter? Not to This Vet by Dr. Anna O'Brien








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_695706');
For many would-be veterinarians, excuses to not work on large animals tend to fall in the size category. I mean, after all, they are LARGE animals. If a Poodle steps you on, you don’t think twice. But if a Holstein steps on you? Something’s getting squished. 
 
Likewise, if a kitten or a cockatiel poops on you, people think it’s cute. Pooped on by a Thoroughbred? Not so cute. Believe me.
 
For me, the size issue gets personal. Countless times, clients make the comment that goes something to the tune of, “Oh, you’re so small! How do you manage with all these big animals?” Or better yet, from some of the ol’ farm hands who have been around the silo a few times: “How does a little girl like you work with these animals?” 
 
First things first: I’m not small, or little, or tiny. Most anyone compared to a one thousand pound Angus bull is small, little, and even tiny. I prefer to think of myself as slightly vertically challenged… although 5 feet 4 inches is still considered normal, right? And secondly: “Little girl”? Who are you calling little girl?
 
Personal issues aside, there are two answers to this common size-disparity question. Firstly, have no fear, they do actually teach us how to handle large animals in vet school. Secondly, drugs. That’s right, good old-fashioned pharmaceutical intervention works wonders. 
 
Before the real advent of our modern tranquilizers over the past twenty years, large animal medicine was a bit of a circus. Placing nasogastric tubes down completely conscious horses’ noses or suturing up an eyelid laceration would be virtually impossible, not to mention dangerous, for me to do without the proper sedative. However, a little xylaxine, detomidine, or acepromazine (all common equine tranquilizers) and voilà! Stand back, sir, I have veterinary medicine to do. 
 
It’s also an awesomely convenient fact that the creation of better, safer, more effective sedatives and pain medications has evolved simultaneously with better, more effective diagnostic tools that require the animals to be very quiet and still in the presence of these big, expensive hospital tools. 
 
The funniest and most counterintuitive thing about this size debate is that sometimes it’s the smallest of my large patients that cause me the most grief. For example, large draft horses like the Clydesdales (the ones everyone recognizes for pulling the Anheuser-Busch wagons) are known for their calm, docile natures. Ponies on the other hand? Mad, I tell you! To add fuel to the fire, the sweeter sounding the pony’s name is, the more crazy the animal is. Cases in point: Sugar, Sweetie and Twinkle are all Shetland ponies that have had very strong opinions regarding vaccines and other such veterinary nonsense.
 
I’ll leave you with Large Animal Vet Med Axiom #1: A draft horse called Thunder is a guaranteed sweetheart. A Shetland pony named Candy, on the other hand?  You’d better run in the other direction.
 
 

Dr. Anna O’Brien
 
 
Image: Rita Kochmarjova / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  0
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook

var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/does-size-matter-not-vet-32551#comments TheDailyVet Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32551 at http://www.petmd.com
Treating Pet’s Cancer with Herbal Supplements – Buyer Beware http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/treating-pets-cancer-herbal-supplements-%E2%80%93-buyer-beware-32547









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 > Mar 11, 2015 Treating Pet’s Cancer with Herbal Supplements – Buyer Beware by Dr. Joanne Intile








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_577027');
Many owners administer herbal supplements to their pets with cancer with the hope that these alternative therapies will afford their pet a therapeutic edge in fighting the disease.
 
The amount of information suggesting the beneficial effects of various herbs, anti-oxidants, “immune boosting treatments,” and dietary supplements is astounding. The appeal of using a substance that is “natural” and “non-toxic” to disease is inarguably real.
 
What most owners fail to recognize is that herbal medications are not subject to the same regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that prescription drugs are. Owners are also unaware that carefully worded claims to efficacy are not backed up by scientific research in the vast majority of cases, despite the plethora of supportive material listed on product inserts or on websites.
 
Legally, herbal supplements are considered “foods” and not “drugs.” Therefore, the FDA has minimal regulatory role over their production and advertising.
 
The FDA acts to ensure that there are no overtly misleading claims made by the manufacturer, and also mandates that it is illegal for a product sold as a dietary supplement to be promoted on its label, or in any of its labeling material, as a “treatment, prevention, or cure for a specific disease or condition.”
 
Dietary supplements do not need approval from the FDA before they are marketed. Except in the case of a new dietary ingredient, where pre-market review for safety data and other information is required by law, a firm does not have to provide the FDA with the evidence it relies on to substantiate safety or effectiveness before or after it markets its products.
 
A recent investigation was conducted by the New York State Attorney General’s office examining the integrity of various herbal supplements via DNA analysis of their ingredients. Results astonishingly showed that 4 out of 5 herbal products were found to contain none of the herbs listed on the ingredient label.
 
From the press release from the New York State Attorney General’s office:
 
Overall, just 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels — with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material.
 
… 35% of the product tests identified DNA barcodes from plant species not listed on the labels, representing contaminants and fillers. A large number of the tests did not reveal any DNA from a botanical substance of any kind. Some of the contaminants identified include rice, beans, pine, citrus, asparagus, primrose, wheat, houseplant, wild carrot, and others. In many cases, unlisted contaminants were the only plant material found in the product samples.


Though the results of the investigation are concerning, one could argue a lack of accuracy in product integrity would do little harm other than waste the buyer’s money.  As a veterinarian, what I worry about is whether what’s actually present in the supplement could be detrimental to my patient’s health.
 
Could these non-listed ingredients cause a severe allergic reaction in an animal? Could these additional ingredients interact negatively with a previously prescribed conventional treatment? Are they really safe?
 
I’m not arguing against using natural substances to treat disease. In fact, one of the most common chemotherapy drugs I prescribe is vincristine, a drug derived from the periwinkle plant. Aspirin was originally produced from salicylate containing plants such as the willow tree. And on a personal account, ginger is a definite anti-nausea remedy for my own occasionally sour stomach.

But I also know that many natural substances can be extremely toxic for pets. There are many species of poisonous wild mushrooms; botulin toxin (aka “Botox”) is natural, but can be deadly for animals; and yes, even the vincristine I prescribe routinely to my patients can be deadly if proper dosing is not maintained.
 
I’m concerned that owners are wasting their money on supplements touted as cure-alls for their pets. I worry that these substances could actually be causing harm to my patients because of unknown ingredients that interact negatively with prescribed medications or with that animal’s particular physiological constitution. And I have concerns that the average consumer isn’t aware of the lack of regulation of these substances, which is the impetus for writing this article. 
 
Be sure to speak directly with your veterinarian in reference to your questions about supplements and their potential role in your pet’s healthcare. And be sure to let your pet’s doctor know about any supplements, vitamins, and other over the counter remedies you may be administering to your pet. An open dialogue is essential for making the best decisions about your furry companion’s well being.
 
To learn more, visit the American Cancer Society’s information page on supplements: Dietary Supplements: What is Safe?
 
 

Dr. Joanne Intile
 
 
Image: Javier Brosch / Shutterstock
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  3
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Agree! 03/11/2015 05:57pm "Overall, just 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels — with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material."

I don't know if the news article(s) I saw were from the NY AG, but I'm familiar with the fact that many "vitamins" and supplements don't contain any of what is on the label.

I think there was also something about something-or-another on the label saying that the product had been certified to contain what is advertised. Reply to this comment Report abuse faultroy On The Other Hand... 03/13/2015 07:19pm Call Us contrarians, but I'm not sure the Vet is the best person to ask about what is in the best interests of animals from an alternative treatment perspective, unless your vet has a practice in which he or she uses alternative medicine as part of their treatments.

I had a dog that had a Cruciate injury, which I had operated on. The Surgeon warned me in the majority of the cases, the other leg becomes injured as well.

Sure enough, he developed a problem on the other leg, which I treated with alternative medicine. The results were spectacular.

So good in fact that the Vet started recommending the protocol to his other patients with similar problems.

Had I listened to the Vet, I would have been out another couple of thousand dollars.

It should also be noted that we as a nation have invested over 1 trillion dollars in Cancer Research and have very little to show for the money.

I would rather seek European and other legitimate remedies than to believe what the American Cancer Society has to say.

In the end, call me skeptical.

The issue of having diluted supplements is a logistical one that has more to do with the USDA and the FDA.

It has nothing to do with whether or not supplements and alternative medications are viable and efficacious.

What is sad is that we even have to discuss the subject on this level.

As far as I am concerned, the FDA is a partisan rogue organization in complete need of a make over.

My advice to people with pets having these issues is to seek out a vet that has a practice in alternative therapies if possible. Furthermore do most of your research from overseas Euro sites, particularly in Germany where alternative protocols as not stifled by politics and cronyism as is here in the USA. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1 mgrosjean Very Misleading Article 03/18/2015 03:52pm First of all, pet supplements are always regulated by the FDA, so insinuating that they are not is misleading.

Second, health supplements with herbal ingredients are sometimes regulated as food and sometimes not - most often not - but they are always regulated by the FDA.

Third, there is plenty of scientific evidence that herbs work help with the treatment of various health conditions, including cancer, but of course most of it was conducted in terms of human health. As every veterinarian knows, a nutrient that proves beneficial to treating a human health issue will almost always be beneficial for pets.

Lastly, the New York attorney general is not exactly the world's leading authority on supplement quality, and as anyone familiar with politics knows almost anything anyone in that office does is politically motivated. In the case of this supposed "study", a DNA barcoding test is not fit for the purpose of analyzing herbal supplement quality due to the fact that botanical extracts are highly unlikely to have intact DNA, and therefore their DNA will of course not be found. The fact that the attorney general's office refuses to release the data from their "study" is another sure sign that this is not real science.

If you want to know more about the quality and effectiveness of supplements for your pets, go here: http://nasc.cc/faqs/ This is an organization dedicated to ensuring the quality of pet supplements, of which we my company is a member. Better to listen to them, not the author of this article who is clearly uninformed.

Marty Grosjean
President
Only Natural Pet

Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/treating-pets-cancer-herbal-supplements-%E2%80%93-buyer-beware-32547#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32547 at http://www.petmd.com
Using Scorpion Venom to Prolong Pets' Lives http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/using-scorpion-venom-prolong-pets-lives-32545







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 > Mar 10, 2015 Using Scorpion Venom to Prolong Pets' Lives by Dr. Ken Tudor








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_375368');
The sting of a scorpion can be very painful to a dog or cat. It can make them quite ill, sometimes resulting in death.
 
I remember a cat that took two weeks to fully recover after I treated it for a scorpion sting. So needless to say, your pet would probably not consider scorpions a friend. But in fact, the most venomous scorpion known to man may be the best friend to pets with certain types of cancer.
 
The venom of the “deathstalker” scorpion of North Africa and the Middle East contains a molecule that has helped prolong the life of dogs with cancer.
 
Three dogs, named Whiskey, Hot Rod, and Browning, developed malignant tumors and their owners elected to enroll them in a clinical treatment trial at Washington State University Veterinary School.
 
Along with 25 other patients, Whiskey, Hot Rod, and Browning were given intravenous injections of a chemical from the deathstalker’s venom prior to surgery. The venomous chemical “paints” cancer cells so the cells will fluoresce, making them easier to distinguish from normal cells. This gives veterinary surgeons the advantage of knowing the exact limits of the cancer and ensures removal of all cancer cells during surgery.
 
This is far superior to the present method of “taking wide margins” and hoping cancer cells did not get left behind to seed a new tumor or metastasize to other parts of the body.
 
Says the developer of “tumor paint”:
 
“I predict that in a decade or so, surgeons will look back and say ‘I can’t believe we used to remove tumors by only using our eyes, fingers, and experience’ … those hidden deposits of 200 or so cancer cells? They won’t go undetected.”
 
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Jim Olson actually developed and patented “tumor paint” for use in humans. He reengineered the molecule in the venom so it would only latch on and identify cancer cells without causing the clinical symptoms associated with a scorpion sting. He uses the technique at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to help people, but he says it is also a way to help the pets they love.
 
“Many animal tumors resemble those that arise in humans, so it only makes sense for the two groups to reap the benefits that tumor paint can provide during cancer surgery. As WSU uses the technology to help dogs, the dogs provide information that’s applicable to human cancer.”
 
Dr. Olson contacted Dr. William Darnell, professor and chairman of the veterinary clinical sciences program at WSU, to encourage the trials that helped Whiskey, Hot Rod, and Browning. Dr. Darnell was so pleased with the results of the first clinical trial in dogs that they are introducing a second phase that will include feline patients as well.
 
As I posted in December in Using Viruses to Treat Cancer in Pets, new technology is revolutionizing how we treat the ailments of humans and pets.
 
Having been born just before the first use of penicillin in the early fifties, I have had the opportunity to watch medicine change through the decades. I have seen diseases like polio — which crippled or put my grammar school friends in iron lungs — virtually eliminated, along with measles, whooping cough, and other serious diseases.
 
But most importantly, I have been witness to the change in treatment and attitude toward the most feared disease of my generation: CANCER.
 
I lost my grandfather to cancer at a very impressionable time in my youth. The fear that the diagnosis of cancer always meant death has troubled not only me but most of my family, as I am sure it troubles you and yours, for decades. But the technologies that I have been posting about change the equation.
 
The myriad of treatment options will eventually put cancer in the same category with diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases. We will have options to manage cancer like we do other chronic diseases so that life can be extended with quality.
 
 
 

Dr. Ken Tudor
 
 
Image: Andre Coetzer / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Painting Cancer Cells 03/10/2015 05:48pm Now if they could just figure out a way to have that venom paint kill the cancer cells. (Can that be far behind?) Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/march/using-scorpion-venom-prolong-pets-lives-32545#comments TheDailyVet Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32545 at http://www.petmd.com
Have You Considered Guinea Pigs? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/have-you-considered-guinea-pigs-32543









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 > Mar 09, 2015 Have You Considered Guinea Pigs? by Dr. Jennifer Coates








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_299214');
Full disclosure: I don’t have a lot of experience with guinea pigs, but have always found the ones that I’ve met to be charming. My family isn’t in the market for a new pet at the moment, but if yours is, consider celebrating Adopt a Guinea Pig month.
 
Guinea pigs are a type of rodent. Their average lifespan is around six years, although some can live significantly longer. Don’t get a guinea pig on a whim (even during Adopt a Guinea Pig Month) because you will be responsible for his or her care for quite a long time.
 
Caring for guinea pigs is not difficult, and they do make good pets for children as long as an adult is willing to oversee the relationship. Most guinea pigs are not "biters" but anything is possible if they are handled roughly or become scared.
 
The basics of caring for a guinea pig include:
 

A roomy cage. Many people prefer enclosures with solid sides because guinea pigs tend to kick out their food and bedding. The down side to these types of cages is that airflow is restricted, so keeping the cage scrupulously clean is very important to prevent ammonia and odors from building up inside.


Bedding. Pine chips or shredded paper work well. Guinea pigs use their bedding both as a bathroom and as a soft place to sleep.


A water bottle. Non drips types will keep the bedding from getting soaked.


Food. The majority of a guinea pig’s diet should consist of grass hay supplemented with about ½ cup of primarily dark leafy greens with smaller amounts of other fruits and vegetables to provide vitamin C and other important nutrients. Guinea pig pellets can be fed in small amounts.


An untreated wooden block to satisfy the guinea pig’s desire to chew and help it wear down its teeth that grow continuously.


A way to safely let your guinea pig out of its enclosure for some exercise and a change of scenery. Large, ventilated rolling balls are good as long as you keep them away from stairs and direct sunshine. A well-fitting harness and leash will allow the two of you to head outside when the weather is nice. Some people will even pig-proof an extra room in the house.


Veterinary care. Yes, you need a veterinarian for your guinea pig, and not just for when he or she gets sick. They don’t require vaccines, but the preventive care is still very important. Schedule wellness visits at least annually so your veterinarian can perform a physical and oral exam (dental problems are very common in guinea pigs) and discuss husbandry. Select a doctor who is comfortable with and knowledgeable about guinea pigs even if it means that you have two vets to care for your herd.

 
Guinea pigs are very social. Most individual guinea pigs want and need a lot of "together time" with their owners. If you think this might be an issue, consider adopting two guinea pigs, or perhaps skipping Adopt a Guinea Pig Month and waiting until Adopt a Goldfish month comes around.
 
 

Dr. Jennifer Coates
 
Today's post was originally published in March of 2012. 
 
 
Image: VikaRayu / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Guinea pigs 03/09/2015 06:04pm Can guinea pigs be neutered? If not, is there any danger in adopting two males? Is there a possibility of fighting and possible injury? Reply to this comment Report abuse 5
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/dr-coates/2015/march/have-you-considered-guinea-pigs-32543#comments TheDailyVet Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32543 at http://www.petmd.com
Pet Lawsuits and Internet News — Whom Can You Trust? http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/pet-lawsuits-and-internet-news-%E2%80%94-whom-can-you-trust-32541









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 > Mar 06, 2015 Pet Lawsuits and Internet News — Whom Can You Trust? by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_460936');
When I was in high school, I was a major journalism nerd. I know, shocking. Think Andrea from 90210, except I was never Brandon’s friend because I was too busy in the newspaper room writing yet another article that would get me pulled into the principal’s office. Because I’ve always been a troublemaker too.
 
Anyway, one of the big lessons I learned there (aside from the fact that the administration does not like exposés on their salaries) was that a good journalist treasures facts. The crazy, sensationalistic stuff got put on page 5, the home of our editorial page. After all, this was a high school newspaper we were running, not a tabloid.
 
Fast forward a good many years and you arrive in the new millennium and the advent of social media. Blogs were a new creature none of us knew what to do with — after all, there’s no law that says you need an editorial review process to hit publish on Wordpress.
 
So before we knew it, everyone who had something to say, true or not, had an infinite audience in front of them. And when that happened, an ugly truth The National Enquirer has known for years came to light:
 
People don’t care about the truth; they care about a titillating headline.
 
That was fine back when there was a clear delineation in the marketplace between newspapers and tabloids. People knew that if the front page of Star mentioned Queen Elizabeth’s alien abduction they could just laugh it off, but if you saw the same headline in The New York Times it was time to panic.
 
For a while, online media was able to hold onto that tenuous differentiation between truth and speculation. One could assume that a news media outlet would attempt some form of corroboration before hitting publish on a post the same way they would perform due diligence in print. So if one found a strange bit of information on a random blog, you could at least confirm it from a trusted news site.
 
Sadly, those days seem to be dwindling. In the Wild West of the Internet, where page-views rule supreme, struggling online newspapers now have to compete with freewheeling individuals who can print just about whatever they want with little repercussion; and the freewheelers are winning.
 
In a desperate bid to keep up, it seems even one well-respected bastion of journalism is now looking to reddit just to figure out what to put on their front page (I'm looking at you, CNN).
 
Why does this matter? Because when you logged into Facebook this week, you might have seen 15 or 20 versions of the latest viral hysteria, the whole “Class action lawsuit alleges Beneful is killing dogs.”
 
This is true; someone did file a lawsuit. People file lawsuits all the time. There is very little barrier to do so and that in and of itself is not news. Call me when you win.
 
This matters because lazy media outlets are just rehashing what they read on the Examiner and reporting the filing of a lawsuit as if it means something, when in truth there is way too little evidence to determine if it’s going to go anywhere, and what little evidence does exist suggests it’s very likely going to get thrown out.
 
The media nowadays is interested not in facts but in clicks, and in that respect this story is a slam dunk.
 
It matters because it drives a further disconnect and distrust between people and companies, and causes them a great deal of distress they didn’t need.
 
It matters because the Internet is getting louder and louder and increasingly difficult to comprehend. If we were at a party, the Internet is 1 a.m. at the bar, when everyone is drunkenly slurring and yelling over the music. That’s not where you want to get your information, right?
 
It’s funny how we’ve almost come full circle now, where we’re realizing we’re in over our heads when it comes to trying to make sense of an overwhelming barrage of information and misinformation.
 
And like that late night call to dear old dad for a safe ride home, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your old-school, luddite, boring, non-controversial, friendly, local veterinarian to help you understand just what the heck is going on. They’ll make you feel better, promise.
 
Veterinarians don’t care about page-clicks; they care about you and your pet.
 
I hope that as these current trends of media hysteria continue, perhaps clients will regress to the point of once again coming to the most trustworthy source of accurate information when it comes to pets’ health: their vet. 
 
 

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang
 
 
Image: Odor Zsolt / Shutterstock
 
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Headlines 03/06/2015 05:39pm I also am frustrated with headlines that don't truly reflect the "news" article.

My biggest fear is that some will see just the headline and make decisions using that as a basis. Reply to this comment Report abuse 2
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jvogelsang/2015/march/pet-lawsuits-and-internet-news-%E2%80%94-whom-can-you-trust-32541#comments TheDailyVet Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32541 at http://www.petmd.com
When Pregnancy is Toxic http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/when-pregnancy-toxic-32540









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 > Mar 05, 2015 When Pregnancy is Toxic by Dr. Anna O'Brien








Save to mypetMDADVERTISEMENT






LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_581959');
Pregnancy ain’t no joke, folks. It’s tough. Just imagine what a female’s body is asked to do: carry around a fetus (or two, or three, depending on what species of farm animal you are) for months at time while it gets bigger and demands increasing nutrients and space. Not only are you expected to maintain this baby, but you are also expected to maintain yourself. I just don’t know how mothers do it.
 
For any pregnancy, no matter what species you are, there are risks. But some pregnancy-related issues are commonly seen on the farm. Today I’d like to tell you about a condition in small ruminants called pregnancy toxemia, also known as twin-lamb disease, for reasons that will soon become evident.
 
As a fetus grows, it requires more energy from the mother. If the mother is stressed, sick, or too thin, she isn’t able to provide nutrients to the fetus the “normal” way, which is via blood glucose. Instead, her metabolism goes into overdrive. The liver kicks in and begins making ketones as a back-up supply of energy. This condition is called ketosis. This may sound familiar to some of you, as this can also occur in unregulated diabetics.
 
Ketosis over a period of time is not good for an animal. Pregnant ewes or does that become ketotic become very sick quickly. They stop eating, which only makes the condition worse, and they become weak. If left untreated, they will die.
 
Treatment is force-feeding propylene glycol, which is an immediate source of sugar for metabolism. IV fluid administration of dextrose solution can also be done, as well as helping with dehydration. B vitamins are sometimes given as an appetite stimulant and yogurt is fed to help maintain digestive flora and provide protein. If these more conservative treatments don’t get the ewe or doe up and eating again within 24 hours or so, more aggressive options should be considered.
 
Since the growing fetus is the initiating cause of the metabolic imbalance in the first place, the lambs or kids should be delivered. Pregnancy toxemia occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy, when the greatest growth spurt of the fetus(es) occurs. This is helpful in that you can induce labor (or perform a C-section) that sometimes results in live young that aren’t premature. Other times, however, you have to weigh your decision: Will the young be too premature to survive? Can the mother wait a few more days to allow for a little more fetal maturation? Sometimes these are very tough questions to answer and treatment options feel more like a gamble. Unfortunately, there are times when you lose both the mother and the babies.
 
Preventing pregnancy toxemia is a far better option than trying to treat it when it occurs. For larger farms, dividing the herd or flock into which mothers are expecting singles versus twins and triplets is recommended, since the mothers carrying more than one fetus require far more feed during the last trimester. Ensuring enough high quality feed intake during this last part of the pregnancy really is key for preventing this condition.
 
Other prevention tips include avoiding stress for expecting mothers. This means providing adequate shelter if the weather is nasty and not transporting the animals when they are heavily pregnant. Keeping those expectant mothers safe and sound is key to a successful birthing season.
 
 

Dr. Anna O’Brien
 
 
Image: Emily Goodwin / Shutterstock
< Previous Post Next Post >








Save to mypetMD


Comments  1
Leave Comment
register   |   Login   |   Connect with Facebook
TheOldBroad Advice 03/05/2015 05:45pm Sounds like good advice for critters as well as humans! Reply to this comment Report abuse
var _CI = _CI || {};
(function() {
var script = document.createElement('script');
ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
_CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1;
document.write('');
script.type = 'text/javascript';
script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/32045?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter;
script.async = true;
ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref);
})();

#_ci_widget_div_32045{width:auto;max-width:500px;clear:both!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td img{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;height:auto;width:100%!important;background-color: #F5F5F5;border: 1px solid #DDD;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover img{opacity:.8;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table{height:auto;width:100%;border-spacing:0;margin:15px 0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr{clear:both;height:auto;overflow:hidden;width:100%;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td{display:inline-block;margin-left:2%;width:23.2%!important;min-height:200px;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:first-child{margin:0;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div{-webkit-transition:all .2s ease;transition:all .2s ease;border:none;margin-top:10px!important;max-height:48px!important;text-align:left;width:100%!important;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td > div a{-webkit-transition:color linear .05s;transition:color linear .05s;color:#0071a5!important;font-family:PragmaticaCond-Book,sans-serif;font-size:16px!important;font-weight:500;line-height:21px;text-decoration:none;}
#_ci_widget_div_32045 table tr td:hover > div a{color:#171717!important;}
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/aobriendvm/2015/march/when-pregnancy-toxic-32540#comments TheDailyVet Sun, 15 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32540 at http://www.petmd.com
The Secret Lives of Veterinary Doctors http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/secret-lives-veterinary-doctors-32539
]]>
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/drjintile/2015/march/secret-lives-veterinary-doctors-32539#comments TheDailyVet Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:00:00 +0000 32539 at http://www.petmd.com