By Beth Guerra, DVM Reposted Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Quite a few years ago, I evaluated a one-year-old Schnauzer for an acute onset of vomiting and diarrhea. He had no known medical problems and had not eaten anything unusual that could have caused his symptoms. The owner allowed me to do a complete workup, including x-rays and bloodwork. There were very few abnormalities except for a very low white blood cell count, which can indicate overwhelming infection or inadequate bone marrow response to infection. I was wracking my brains for a cause that would also explain his symptoms, when I noted in the chart that the owner had acquired him as a very young puppy and that he was not yet neutered. When I asked why she had not neutered him, she said he had never visited a veterinarian. That set off a bell in my head, and I questioned her about vaccine status. She reported he had never had any vaccines or boosters and that the breeder did not mention that he was given any before she acquired him. I immediately set up a parvo test, and it was a strong positive.
I have been practicing veterinary medicine for nearly fifteen years, and I am constantly amazed by the types of objects that dogs and cats will ingest. Sometimes it is playful puppy behavior (rocks), sometimes a cat just can’t resist shiny ribbon, sometimes it is accidental (ice cream covered spoon). It seems that nearly 50% of the cases I see in one week are intestinal foreign bodies, and most of those necessitate surgical intervention.
As pet owners, we always strive to provide the absolute best for our animals. Very recently, there has been a lot of conversation about what we should be feeding our pets. Raw-food diets, grain-free diets and home-cooked diets are all gaining popularity. It is true that many common pet illnesses such as food allergies, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal disease can be well managed with diet. However, as Maddie’s case will explain, it is very important to consult your veterinarian before feeding a home-cooked diet in order to avoid serious complications.
Last year, we added intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) to our Renton hospital. This therapy, adapted from human medicine and using the same instrumentation, can give pets with failing kidneys a chance at recovery. The goal is to use the machine in the place of a kidney to keep the pet feeling healthier while the underlying disease is treated.
All too often, veterinarians assess pets that have been bitten by other animals. The most common scenario is bitewounds sustained from another dog, and if the victim is a small dog or cat, the consequences can be dire. Dogs of all breeds possess a powerful bite, and often what is seen on the outside is just the tip of the iceberg.
By Beth Davidow, DVM DACVECC March 18, 2015
Last month, I attended the Society of Critical Care Medicine Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona (www.sccm.org). This meeting is attended by thousands of the top doctors who run ICUs across the country. For over a decade, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (www.acvecc.org) has a run a meeting in combination with this larger human conference. By attending this meeting, I can learn some of the newest things in the veterinary field but also take advantage of the much larger research budget and community that is generating information about best practices in the human field. I think we often forget that dogs, cats and humans are all mammals and that many of the concepts and treatments cross species barriers.
By Jason Spina, DVM, DACVS February 23, 2015
Pets are an integral part to many households in the US. In 2012, it was estimated that 62% of American households included at least one pet and this number has likely grown.
The New Year is fast approaching, and with it comes the inevitable resolutions. While you are making your own list, consider making one for your pet as well. Whether it’s as simple as learning to trim your pets nails, or focusing on finally getting that extra weight off your beloved companion, remember that you are your pet’s advocate and change starts with you.
Brianna Backlund, DVM, DACVIM and C. Alan Schreiner, DVM DACVIM
Monday, November 24, 2014
As the holiday season approaches, thoughts of pumpkin pies, gingerbread houses and sugar plum fairies occupy a lot of our free time. I’ve heard many people joke about going into a diabetic coma after taking in too much sugar. You may not realize that, although it’s not quite as straightforward as that, our canine and feline family members too can have serious consequences from an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
It’s that time of year when all of us start seeing more mushrooms around. The combination of sun, rain, and increased organic material on the ground is perfect for fungal growth. Mushroom hunters love the Pacific Northwest but the conditions that make for amazing edible chanterelles, also lead to more of the poisonous variety as well. Often the poisonous ones are nondescript and can resemble edible varieties. The Washington Poison Center just put out a seasonal alert for people and our dogs also need to watch what they eat. http://www.wapc.org/mushrooms-seasonal-health-alert