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Tooth resorption in dogs and cats

Tooth resorption is the progressive destruction of the calcified substance of permanent teeth by clastic cells. It can be extremely painful and is one of the most common oral diseases seen in cats. It is also frequently found in dogs.

Water, water everywhere: Fluid choices in the hospitalized patient

Fluid therapy is a crucial part of the treatment of patients in the emergency room and the critical care unit. Though it has great ability to help our patients, like any medical intervention, it has the potential to do harm as well. Having a greater understanding of the fluid balance within the body, the effect of different disease states on this fluid balance, and the fluid choices available for treating our patients is vital to maximizing patient benefit, while minimizing side effects of therapy.

Canine cognitive dysfunction

With advances in veterinary medicine, we are more and more commonly seeing our pets living to a greater age than has been reported historically. Current estimates in the companion animal population indicate that there are more than 50 million senior and geriatric dogs over the age of 7 years. As such, advanced age in our pets and their associated illnesses have become a very important aspect in who and what we treat in our roles as general practitioners and specialists, alike.

The clot thickens: Thromboembolic disease in dogs and cats

Nicole Barrella, DVM Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, Woburn, MA Posted on 2016-10-18 Hemostasis The cell-based model of coagulation describes the three distinct, overlapping phases leading to clot formation as a result of platelet interaction with tissue factor (TF). The first phase, initiation, occurs when a TF-bearing cell, such as a sub-endothelial cell, is exposed to […]

From Stage 0 to 3: Injectable Induction Agents – New and Old

General anesthesia provides us with unconciousness, amnesia, analgesia, muscle relaxation, and the ability to perform various procedures in our veterinary patients. The use of injectable anesthetic agents allows us to get our patients from premeded-awake to surgical plane of anesthesia, while minimizing the use of inhalant anesthesia and its associated cardiovascular and respiratory depression. This article discusses the more common induction single and combo agents.

My dog hasn’t pooped since discharge! (5 min ago)

Studies in human medicine over the past 30-40 years have shown consistent poor recall of medical information, with between 40-80% of all medical information being immediately forgotten. In fact, 48% of information that is “remembered” is either imagined or misconstrued. This article provides an overview of medical information recall studies.

Old school and new school in airway management

Stephen Cital RVT, SRA, RLAT United Veterinary Specialty and Emergency, Oakland Zoo, San Francisco Zoo Posted on 2016-09-22   It feels like every year we are bombarded with new products that will “revolutionize” the way we practice medicine. A product called the V-gel® caught my eye as an exotics and anesthesia guy back in 2014. […]

Wakin’ up is hard to do

The risk for anesthesia-related complications or death does not end when the vaporizer dial is turned off. In fact, it can be argued that the greatest risk occurs during the recovery period. Equal vigilance is required during anesthetic recovery.

Medical evaluation of congenital hepatic disease in dogs

The two most common types of congenital hepatic disease include portosystemic vascular anomalies (PSVA) and microvascular dysplasia (MVD, now technically termed portal vein hypoplasia without a macroscopic anomaly). The clinical course and treatment options differ depending on the underlying disease, and an accurate diagnosis is essential for future management and prognosis.

Dental radiography: A fresh look

Intraoral radiology is an essential tool in the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. It is perhaps the tool that separates mere “cleaning and pulling” from more comprehensive veterinary dentistry.

Laryngeal paralysis: The inspiration and the aspiration

Laryngeal paralysis is one of the more common upper respiratory emergencies seen in our aging canine population. It is frequently diagnosed in the spring to summer time as the weather begins to warm and we are more active with our canine companions.

Canine lymphoma

Lymphoma is one of the most commonly encountered canine cancers, and it is seen frequently in clinical practice. Lymphoma arises from neoplastic lymphocytes. Typically it is first recognized in lymphoid organs (lymph nodes, liver, spleen, bone marrow); however, it can be seen in any location in the body.

Rattlesnake bites

Summer is at full steam, birds are chirping, stir crazy dog-owners and their trusty companions are hitting the trail and basking in the glorious Colorado sun; however, they have company out there on those rocky foothills trails.

Pointers for the neurological examination of “back dogs”

It is common for dogs to be presented to their veterinarian for being “down” in the hind end, but it’s not always a spinal cord disorder. This post provides some tips for differentiating patients with spinal cord disease from other disorders, including non-neurological disease.

Tips for digital & teleradiology

With more and more veterinary practices transitioning to digital radiography, teleradiology consultations are on the rise. Ease of digital image transmission/submission, and quick turn-around times have greatly facilitated this trend in veterinary medicine. This article provides some tricks and tips that will help you get the most out of your teleradiology interpretations with fewer calls, emails, and repeat radiographs to follow up your interpretations.

Pemphigus foliaceus

Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is one of the most common autoimmune skin diseases in the dog and cat. This article discusses diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Pain management in exotic species

In the past, pain management among all veterinary species was overlooked or thought unnecessary. It was thought that the presence of pain and associated sedentary behavior would deter the patient from paying attention to the surgical site. Or, even worse, that some species do not feel pain. We now know that this is a myth. This article discusses basic analgesia in exotic animal species.

Exotic animal fluid therapy

As exotic animals become increasingly popular, owners expect increasingly advanced treatment options for their unique pet. This article provide a brief overview of fluid therapy in exotics.

Seizure & anticonvulsant FAQ

Management of seizures is an art. There is no “correct way” to treat seizures, and neurologists frequently have differences of opinion regarding anticonvulsants. The goals of this article are to answer many of the frequently asked questions about seizure treatment in dogs and cats and to provide information regarding the more commonly used anticonvulsants.

Taking indirect blood pressures

Appropriate systemic arterial blood pressure is vital for survival in any species. In practice, we are faced with many reasons and conditions to obtain and interpret a patient’s blood pressure, such as anesthesia, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. This post provides tips to ensure accurate BP measurement.

Practical ophthalmic drug use

Ophthalmic drugs can be confusing, (and difficult to spell!), in terms of their use and when to use which one. The goal of this article is to make practical recommendations for a selection of ophthalmic drugs used for common conditions.

Thoracic CT: More than just a pretty picture

Computed tomography (CT) is routinely used in human medicine to examine pulmonary, tracheobronchial and mediastinal abnormalities, and is the standard screening test for pulmonary metastasis. CT is more sensitive and accurate than radiography for detecting interstitial disease and pulmonary nodules even in the presence of pleural effusion. This article discusses thoracic CT in veterinary patients.

Diagnosis and treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS; “dry eye”) is one of the most common ophthalmic diseases affecting pet dogs. Despite its prevalence, it is underdiagnosed and therefore often not treated. My goal in writing this article is to encourage veterinarians to perform a Schirmer tear test regularly as part of a complete ophthalmic examination. Once a diagnosis of dry eye is established, treatment can be tailored to the individual patient’s needs.

Calcium oxalate urolithiasis

Urolithiasis refers to the formation of stones anywhere within the upper and lower urinary tracts. It is a common problem among both canine and feline patients in veterinary medicine and one of the most common causes of lower urinary tract signs.

Exotic animal blood transfusions: An overview

Blood transfusions are an ever-growing therapy in small animal practice. Transfusions offer patients a lifesaving option by giving us time to treat the underlying disease or correct hemodynamic imbalances. However, did you know you could use most of the same methods used in cats and dog blood transfusions in other species?

Current diagnostic approaches to chronic diarrhea (Part II)

In last week’s article, we discussed current diagnostic approaches to chronic diarrhea. In this newsletter we will discuss several different steps in treating chronic diarrhea, especially when diagnostics such as biopsies, either via surgery or endoscopy, are not possible due to the status of the patient.

Every patient, every time: Basic nursing assessments for hospitalized patients for the veterinary technician and assistant

At my practice we are growing and constantly have new people join our team. With every new person we do our best to instill a certain authority they have with the patients they are asked to watch during admission or shift change. Below is our hospital’s patient assessment checklist we emphasize during training. Each hospital should have something similar to help ensure patient safety and healing, while allowing the veterinary nurse to really take some ownership.