DOG HEALTH AND MEDICINE

Recognizing and Treating Dry Eye

Has your dog been squinting more than usual? Is at least one of his eyes red? And is there some mucous discharge from one or both eyes - not the grey, jelly-like ooze that you can easily wipe away but something thicker and perhaps more yellowish as well as harder to remove? If so, get your dog to the veterinarian. Theres a reasonable chance he is not producing enough tears and has a condition called dry eye, known in medical circles as kerato-conjunctivitis sicca. Its a fairly common illness among dogs that can lead to impaired vision if not diagnosed and treated.
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Can Dogs Live Longer? Enter Your Pet in a Study to Find Out

In the largest study to date on aging in dogs, researchers will follow tens of thousands of dogs for 10 years to gather critical information on whether canine life expectancy can be improved. They will also examine whether dogs overall quality of life can be maintained over a longer geriatric stretch. Which dogs will participate? Perhaps yours.
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Dear Doctor: The seizures are increasing

My cock-a-poo beagle mix Lila started having seizures a little before she turned 3. My vet put her on phenobarbital and that helped, but the seizures are now starting to occur more frequently. Should I go back to the doctor to increase the dosage?
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Minimally Invasive Surgery Revolutionizes Veterinary Care

Imagine if the time came that your dog needed an operation, and her recovery took a few hours instead of a few days in the hospital. It would result in her going through a lot less pain and could also mean less cost, since a stay in a veterinary hospital can easily run hundreds of dollars a day.
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In Dogs, Two Types of Lupus

Just like people, dogs can get lupus. Its an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system mistakes the bodys own tissues for foreign invaders and starts attacking and destroying them. Two types of lupus strike our canine pets: systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE). The first is much more devastating, with worse symptoms that can have life-threatening implications. The second is not as dangerous but needs to be brought under control to avoid serious complications down the line.
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Putting an End to the Itching

Sometimes a dogs itchiness becomes so relentless that the incessant scratching, biting, licking, and rubbing in an effort to relieve the problem leads to hair loss, wearing away of the skin, nasty bumps, scaly red spots, crusty areas forming over scabs, and the skins thickening and hardening. In addition, as part of the itch-scratch cycle, the dog will often develop secondary bacterial or yeast infections.
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Swallowing Foreign Objects: Theres Dangerous, And Very Dangerous

Dogs will literally swallow almost anything, says Your Dog editor-in-chief John Berg, DVM. A veterinary surgeon at Tufts Universitys Foster Hospital for Small Animals, he has retrieved from dogs GI tracts such items as pantyhose, golf balls, socks, rocks, underwear, plastic gadgets, and magnets.
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Dear Doctor: Droopy tail

My 9-year old Maltese, Maggie, has had a droopy tail for a few months. She is also very protective of her rear and tail area and yipes occasionally when touched there, or even sometimes when I pick her up. She also suffers from low-grade kidney disease, for which she has been taking benazepril and aluminum hydroxide. Aside from the droopy tail and yiping, her activity level is normal. She still jumps, runs, eats, poops, and urinates fine. Her anal glands were cleared, and she had a rectal exam. My vet felt it may be a nerve issue and prescribed gabapentin. So far, no change. Any thoughts?
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Your Dog As a Blood Donor

If a large dog like a Lab or a golden retriever is rushed to the emergency room after getting hit by a car, he might need four or five units of blood in just a couple of hours. Even a dog who gets heat stroke might need two to four units of plasma (the watery component of blood) before stabilizing. A dog who experiences bleeding complications during an operation is going to need blood, too. Where does all this extra blood come from?
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Dear Doctor: A pill instead of surgery for laryngeal paralysis?

I appreciated your June 2019 article on how to surgically fix the labored breathing that comes with laryngeal paralysis, which affects a significant number of older, larger dogs. But I also heard about a drug to treat the disease and make breathing easier. Can a drug really take the place of an operation?
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Is Your Veterinarian Practicing Narrative Medicine?

If you bring your dog to the veterinarians office because he has started urinating in the house, does the doctor simply perform a clinical exam followed by x-rays and blood work, or does she add in some questions that help her learn the story of the dogs life? For instance, a vet might ask, Has anything changed lately? Have you moved, or has someone moved into or out of your household? Has there been a divorce or some other difficult event? That way, the doctor may find out that the dog is stressed, perhaps because he is sensing your own stress, and that is what is making him urinate indoors.
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Dear Doctor: Supplements for arthritis prevention?

Ive been giving a joint supplement to my 2-year-old Yellow Lab since I brought her home at the age of 8 weeks in order to help prevent problems from hip dysplasia.
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