Short Takes July 2023


Veterinarians Can Now Become Board-Certified in Shelter Medicine

As of this year, a veterinary specialty in shelter medicine is fully recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. A veterinarian who is board-certified in shelter medicine must complete a residency that typically lasts 3 years (or work directly in shelter medicine for 6 years). She or he must also submit a credentials packet that includes multiple case reports and research papers and then sit for a qualifying exam.

Areas in which a board-certified shelter medicine vet must have advanced understanding include shelter design; infectious diseases (animals housed together in large facilities are at risk for passing contagious diseases to each other); population management for companion animals; and animal behavior. That’s a critical aspect of shelter medicine since many dogs that come into shelters have been mistreated or neglected and have behavioral issues as a result.

Board certification in shelter medicine is the latest veterinary specialty to receive full approval. There are more than 40 recognized specialties, including dermatology and ophthalmology.

Treating Your Dog’s Motion Sickness
Just Got Cheaper

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Some dogs become very nauseated during car rides and need relief.

Cerenia, a prescription drug approved to control nausea and vomiting in dogs in 2007, has just been approved by the FDA as a generic medication. The generic form of the drug, Maropitant Citrate, has the same active ingredient as the name brand, and it contains no inactive ingredients that could affect the active ingredient’s bioavailability.

The FDA warns that people handling, administering, or exposed to Maropitant Citrate may have allergic skin reactions if they get the product on their skin. People administering the product should wash their hands with soap and water afterwards. Maropitant Citrate may also cause eye irritation if the product gets in the eye. In the case of accidental eye exposure, people should flush their eyes with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention.

Harnesses Over Collars

Many dogs are walked on a leash attached to a collar, but a collar is best used only for holding tags, says Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic. People should attach the leash to a well-fitted harness instead, she says. In addition to providing excellent control, a harness protects the neck.

Pulling on a leash attached to a collar around the neck — either by you or the dog — creates a risk to sensitive tissue in that area of a dog’s body, along with a risk to the throat. A neck collar may prove particularly dangerous for brachycephalic dogs by impairing their breathing. It could also aggravate cases of collapsing trachea in small dogs.

© dairycooil | Bigstock

Some dogs become very nauseated during car rides and need relief.


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