May 28, 2010
Over at the Embrace Pet Community blog, Lea recently posted about going online to save some money for her flea and tick preventative medication for Lyger.
It was so easy to squeeze out the most benefit from her wellness budget by shopping online (muchos dollares saved there) and by using the Embrace wellness plan (spreads the cost out over the year and saved $21!).
I like this bit best though :) :
And, since I use Embrace's Wellness Rewards program, to cover Lyger's checkups, vaccines, and preventative meds (even meds bought online) I'll be reimbursed $200 for today's costs!
Check out the rest here: Saving money on flea and tick medication
May 27, 2010
Here's an interesting question that came in to my post on toe amputation surgery:
My retired racing Greyhound, now 11+ years old has had terrible corns for the past six years. There is one corn on the left front, one on the left rear and one on the front right. All are on the third toe. Several years ago he had surgery on the front toe to cut out the corn. The corn came back. He has had the corns hulled several times but they always come back. I've used duct tape, hydrating, paw wax and filing the corn. All it seems to do is remove the hard callous. The corn always comes back. The left rear corn is the smallest (on the surface) but causes him the most trouble. He can barely walk and when he does it is with a limp and for a limited distance. I would really like to give him some comfort in his old age and am thinking of either having the left rear corn surgically removed, again or, having the third toe amputated. If he has the toe amputated, should the amputation go back as far as possible and, will it put undue pressure on his other toes on the left foot or even the right foot?
Answer from Dr. Riggs:
Corns or keratomas are common in Greyhounds. There are two schools of thoughts about how they get them. One theory is from trauma from sand or other foreign material from the track. The other is thought to occur from a papilloma virus, similar to one that can cause warts in dogs. They have isolated some papilloma viruses from these but not all, so we don't know if there is a cause and effect.
Regardless of the cause, the treatment is to to core these out surgically. There are various methods, from using a biopsy punch to using a dental elevator or scalpel. The problem with these is up to 40% can reoccur. The key is deep surgical removal to get the entire corn.
As far as amputation of the toe, that is used as last resort, but dogs compensate very well normally when a single toe is removed. Usually the toe is removed at the level of the next joint.
Ask your vet about what is appropriate. He/she will be able to help you determine the best treatment for your dog. Every case is different.
other posts by Dr Riggs
Toe Amputations for Cats and Dogs
Ask Laura: the impact of toe amputation surgery
Ask Laura: dog weight bearing toe amputation appropriate or not?
Ask Laura: infected ingrown toe nail on cat
Ask Laura: to amputate or not to amputate the cat's toe, that is the question
Corns on a greyhound's toe: Dr Riggs discusses
May 25, 2010
Late last year, there were a series of questions posed by Sharon, whose cat Henry had just died of a saddle thrombus unexpectedly. I thought the information was useful and interesting enough to separate it out in it's own post so that no-one misses it.
Question from Sharon:
My beloved cat Henry died unexpectedly 9/21/09. I woke up to his loud cries and leapt to his side. Within a minute he was gone. I think back to a month ago when one morning Henry couldn't stand up and his back right leg was weak. I took him to the vet that morning and he got better within a day. The vet did an x ray of his leg and only saw what looked like a touch of arthritis in his knee. He gave me some pain medicine and we went home. Henry got better immediately. Now I wonder if he actually had a mild attack of ATE, which was followed by a total clot that ended his sweet life. Does anyone have an idea?
Answer from Dr Carleton:
May 24, 2010
We recently had a comment on a previous post about the stents used in repairing tracheal collapse (Repairing a tracheal collapse in dogs
) so I asked Dr Jeff Solomon of Infiniti Medical
about these stents and what they are used for and this was his response.
There seems to be a bit of confusion here regarding tracheal stents… There are two very different types of stents used to tracheal collapse.
The plastic type referred to above are more commonly known as “tracheal rings”. These are secured to the trachea by means of an open surgical procedure that exposes the cervical trachea (the portion of the trachea in the neck). An experienced surgeon performs this procedure. A potential complication is laryngeal paralysis
due to the proximity of the recurrent laryngeal nerve
to the portion of the trachea that is exposed. Because of the need to expose the trachea, this treatment is limited to collapse of the cervical trachea and cannot be performed for collapse that extends into the trachea after it enters the chest (thoracic trachea). Since this is an open surgical procedure, it can be risky in dogs with severe respiratory or concomitant cardiac disease.
The second type of stent is made of a shape memory alloy (metal) called nitinol. These stents are similar to the ones used in humans with the exception that they have been specifically engineered to treat tracheal collapse in dogs. These stents work by providing additional support from within
the trachea. Therefore surgery is not necessary. Instead, the stents are loaded onto a delivery system that is advanced into the trachea under x-ray or bronochoscopic visualization. Once the stent is in the correct location, it is deployed and the delivery system is removed. The entire procedure can be performed in a matter of minutes. Because the stent is placed from inside, the region of the trachea inside the chest can be treated in addition to the cervical region.
Because this is a minimally invasive procedure
, it can be performed on animals with advanced disease more easily and complications related to the procedure are less common. There is no surgery required and therefore an internist or surgeon can perform this procedure. Although these stents are more expensive than the simple plastic ones, their ease of use and simplicity may reduce the overall cost of care. The development of this simple and elegant procedure has dramatically expanded the availability of treatment options for dogs suffering from tracheal collapse.
Thank you to Dr Solomon for clearing that up. If you have other questions about tracheal stents or the non-invasive procedures, let me know and I'll have him post some more information.
Related Posts:Collapsing Trachea in a dogRepairing a tracheal collapse in dogs Treating tracheal collapse in dogs - Dr Chick Weisse Non-invasive veterinary surgery
Stents used in treating collapsing trachea in dogs
May 19, 2010
The Fresh Air fund asked me to let you know they are in need of host families with pets for this summer -that could be you!
Host families are volunteers like you who open their hearts and homes to children from NY City to give a fresh air experience to disadvantaged children from the inner-city. Some of these kids have never experienced the joy of pets in the home :(
The time commitment is just for a couple of weeks in the summer and makes such a big inpact on young lives to see a life they can only imagine from tv. Amazingly, more than 65% of all Fresh Air children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.
Just a thought to consider as the summer approaches.