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                    [post_date] => 2018-03-21 09:40:23
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-21 13:40:23
                    [post_content] => It can be very scary to watch a pet having a seizure. Many pet owners worry that their pet might be in pain or are suffering during a seizure. However, neither is the case, and we frequently suffer more than they do, as long as the seizures are short and infrequent. This article provides basic information about seizures and epilepsy in dogs and cats. Please see your primary care veterinarian or a veterinary neurologist for additional information.

Epilepsy is the most common neurologic disorder of dogs and cats and is defined as any condition that causes recurring seizures. Epilepsy is not one single disease. Any patient with recurring seizures has a form of epilepsy. When most people think of “epilepsy,” they are usually thinking of Idiopathic Epilepsy (“primary epilepsy”), a condition that likely has a genetic/hereditary cause and is common in humans, dogs, and cats. No test proves the patient has Idiopathic Epilepsy; it is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning we presume the patient has this condition after ruling out other possible causes. No medication or treatment cures Idiopathic Epilepsy, but many patients can be successfully managed long-term with anticonvulsants. Symptomatic (secondary) epilepsy is due to an underlying identifiable disorder, such as a brain tumor, inflammation or infection in the brain, or low blood sugar from an insulin-secreting tumor. There are many treatment options for these patients as well.


  KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:


What Are Seizures?

[caption id="attachment_9820" align="alignright" width="159"]EEG Electroencephalogram (EEG) obtained from a patient having a generalized seizure. [click to enlarge][/caption] A seizure is a transient, self-limiting physical manifestation of chaotic electrical activity in the brain. Our brain cells communicate with each other via excitatory and inhibitory electrical and chemical signals. When one area of the brain starts to become too excited, surrounding areas try to quiet the overexcited region. With a seizure, however, the overactive area of the brain either overrides this negative feedback or the negative feedback doesn’t occur. Each region of the brain controls a different area of the body, so the outward appearance of a seizure depends on the region of the brain that is overly active.

What Do Seizures Look Like?

Seizures can look anything...it depends on what area of the brain is overactive. If the electrical activity stays in one region of the brain, only a portion of the body will be affected, such as focal facial seizures. Many people know of or have seen a classic “grand mal” type of seizure. This is a type of generalized seizure where the excessive electrical activity occurs on both sides of the brain, so both sides of the body are affected. With this type of seizure, the patient loses consciousness, falls over to size and has stiff or paddling limbs. Some patients will have the mouth wide open or make jaw chomping motions. Drooling, urination, defecation may occur. The patient may stop breathing temporarily or have bluish discoloration of the gums, but this usually doesn’t cause any serious problems. Patients may make noise or vocalize during a seizure, but this is not due to pain. Sometimes, the seizure will start as a focal seizure involving only one portion of the body but then generalize to involve the entire body.

Phases Of Seizures

There are commonly three phases of a seizure: Prodrome: The prodrome is a long-term (hours to days) indication of an impending seizure. A prodrome is not observed or recognized by most owners. Clinical signs of a prodrome include restlessness, vocalizing, clinginess, or hiding.

What Do I Do When My Pet is Having a Seizure?

First of all, DON’T PANIC! Yes, that’s easier said than done! However, it is very uncommon for a pet to die during or directly because of a seizure. They are usually short and stop by themselves, lasting about 2-3 minutes on average. You don’t need to do anything other than keep your pet safe. Pull her away from the top of the stairs if needed so she doesn’t fall down the stairs, or pull her away from furniture if she is hitting the furniture. Do not try to pull the tongue out thinking that she may “swallow” the tongue. This doesn’t happen, and you’re likely to be bitten, which can cause serious injury and possibly put you in the hospital. Do not try to cuddle or hold your pet. Dogs and cats are sometimes aggressive during or after a seizure, and you could be injured. Let them be. This usually resolves on its own.

When Are Seizures an Emergency?

There are two situations that require immediate emergency treatment. The first is any active seizure (ictus) lasting longer than five minutes. This is called status epilepticus. We start to worry about irreversible brain changes when the active seizure phase lasts longer than 30 minutes. The second emergency situation is cluster seizures, in which there are 3 or more seizures in a 24-hour period. These can become life-threatening because they can progress into status epilepticus.

Seizure Logbook

We recommend that you keep a logbook documenting all of your pet’s seizures, including time of day, duration, any potential triggers, what the seizure looked like, etc. Bring the logbook with you to your veterinary appointment. With everyone’s busy schedules these days, it is very difficult to remember the details of the seizures with any accuracy. The logbook greatly assists the veterinarian with decision-making regarding recommended tests and medications.

When Should I Seek Veterinary Care?

You should see a veterinarian after your pet’s first-ever seizure. Your veterinarian will ask you about any potential toxin exposure and likely recommend blood tests to rule out diseases outside the brain that can trigger seizures. This usually involves a complete blood count, biochemical profile, and bile acids (liver function) test. The blood tests also provide a baseline before starting medications. Additional blood tests (e.g., lead level) may be recommended depending on your pet’s history.

What Other Tests Are Performed?

Your veterinarian will make additional recommendations based on a variety of factors, including your pet’s age, breed, medical history, and neurologic exam findings. Ideally, MRI and sometimes other tests would be performed on every dog or cat with seizures, but these are not always necessary and, in veterinary medicine, we have to weigh the benefits to risk ratio of anesthesia/MRI/spinal tap vs. the associated costs of the procedures. Additional tests are usually recommended when the patient is less than one year of age, older than 5-6 years of age, if there are any abnormalities noted between seizures at home or on neurologic exam, or if the seizures are difficult to control. Dogs in the 1-5 year age range may have

When Do I Start Anticonvulsants and How Effective Are They?

There’s no 100% correct answer as to when to start anti-seizure medications. In general, most neurologists recommend starting an anticonvulsant if there is more than one seizure every 3-6 months or if there is an underlying progressive disorder. We also start anticonvulsants immediately in any patient that has status epilepticus or cluster seizures from the beginning. There are many medication options available that are very safe if used and monitored appropriately. Approximately 75-80% of dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy can be controlled with one or two anticonvulsants. By “controlled” we mean no more than one seizure every 2-3 months or so. It’s possible that the seizures stop entirely with medication(s), but many patients continue to have seizures from time to time. Our goal is to give your pet the best quality of life by reducing the seizure frequency/duration/severity as much as possible while minimizing side effects of medications. The degree of improvement for other seizure disorders depends on the underlying cause and success of treatment.

What About CBD Oil / Medical Marijuana?

There is a difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that is thought to alleviate pain and to help control seizures. There is a great deal of anecdotal information suggesting that CBD may help patients with seizures. Recent studies in human medicine have shown improvement in seizure control with a few very specific epilepsy disorders. At this time, veterinarians cannot make any accurate statements about CBD because there are no peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled studies in dogs and cats to determine the correct dosing, potential adverse effects, or effectiveness of CBD oil for epileptic dogs and cats. One study from the 1980s showed that CBD has very limited absorption from the GI tract into the bloodstream in dogs, so it might not even reach high enough concentrations in the brain to be effective. Since marijuana is a federally-registered schedule I controlled substance in the USA, veterinarians are unable to prescribe medical marijuana to pets. In states where marijuana has been legalized, veterinarians are either prohibited from prescribing it, or the law is unclear. Regardless, THC, the compound in marijuana that causes the high, is toxic to animals so please DO NOT give your pet marijuana in any form.

Are There Other Alternative Treatments?

A recent study found improvement in seizure control when feeding dogs a diet with increased content of medium chain triglycerides. However, there is conflicting data or limited peer-reviewed studies examining the effectiveness of other therapies. Most reports are just anecdotal accounts of treatment success, so be very skeptical about exaggerated claims of success and consult with your veterinarian before trying anything you read about online.   We understand seeing your pet have a seizure is scary and heartbreaking. Remember we are here for both you and your pet should you need us. Mass Vet Neurology Service Mass Vet Emergency number: 781-932-5802 [post_title] => Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => epilepsy-in-dogs-and-cats [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-21 11:46:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-21 15:46:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9809 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9796 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-03-06 12:27:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-06 17:27:03 [post_content] =>

acvo eye exam event 2018_Artboard 1

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will host its annual public service event providing free eye exams for service animals in May 2018. Drs. Nick CassotisNancy CottrillRuth Marrion, and Alison Clode along with over 250 ACVO board certified veterinary ophthalmologists across America and Canada will donate their services to provide complimentary screening eye examinations to active Service Animals. The Service Animal’s owner/agent will incur no cost for these services. It is anticipated that through these efforts service animal health can be improved and potential disease averted for thousands of working dogs. shutterstock_127990031 Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the annual ACVO/STOKESRx National Service Animal Eye Exam Event in the month of May, to screen service animals who dedicate their lives to serving the public. This is a national event. Please share this important information with your service animal clients, friends and family. Qualification information and registration available at: www.ACVOEyeExam.org Registration is open April 1st- 30th, 2018 Free Eye Exams for Service Animals take place, by appointment, in May 2018

Steps to take:

Click to Register

Qualifying:

For more information on whether your service animal qualifies, please take a look a the the ACVO Eye Exam website. The ACVO National Service Animal Eye Exam event will provide a free screening-wellness eye exam to Service Animals including those provide the following services: guide, hearing assistance, drug detection, police/military, search and rescue, therapy, and those assisting people with disabilities other than blindness. All animals must be formally trained, certified, currently working service animals or formally trained therapy animals with active registration. Those currently enrolled in a formal service animal training program may qualify, but is based upon clinic availability.

Registration and Appointments:

Special Note:

  [post_title] => 2018 Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 2018-free-eye-exams-for-service-dogs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-19 15:32:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-19 19:32:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9796 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9773 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-02-20 14:44:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-20 19:44:31 [post_content] => Say “Cheese!” Many of our furry friends don’t just share our homes with us; they also sleep with us, curl up on the sofa with us, and give us kisses when we return home.  This is lovely . . . unless your pet has a mouth that looks like this: Picture1 Now when they try to snuggle up to you and try to lick your face, you may cringe in horror because their breath smells like something rotten.  We call this, “Garbage mouth.”

Why Does it Smell So Terrible?

Dental disease is the most common chronic disease in our dog and cat patients.  It is often silent and most animals suffer without complaint.  The outward signs of dental disease can range from obvious issues like reluctance to eat dry food, pawing at the mouth, or drooling to more subtle changes such as hiding, decreased playfulness, or weight loss. Interestingly, the diseases that dogs and cats get are often different.

Canine Dental Disease

Dogs classically develop periodontal disease from the accumulation of dental calculus, as pictured above.  Food, bacteria, and other debris accumulate on the surface of the teeth, gradually hardening into a cement-like material over time.  This causes irritation to the gums (gingivitis), which in turn leads to gingival recession and bone loss.  By the time dogs show up at our hospital with mouths like the dog pictured above, they often have such severe disease that many of their teeth are loose and must be extracted surgically.

Feline Dental Disease

Cats, on the other hand, are less commonly affected by periodontal disease from calculus.  Instead, they get a variety of cat-specific disease such as resorptive lesions and stomatitis.  In these diseases, the teeth and/or gums are painful and inflamed.  Cats with these issues often show up with bright red gums or even teeth that are partly eaten away as shown below. Untitled-1-01  

What can be done in the face of so much dental disease?

Here are a few simple things that you can do to help keep your furry friend’s teeth and gums healthy.  Here’s to a lifetime of (non-stinky) kisses! If in doubt, have your veterinarian perform a thorough oral exam.  Although some pets may get lucky with excellent oral health, most pets do require dental cleanings under anesthesia periodically, sometimes starting as early as 1 year of age (usually breed specific).  Having your pet's teeth checked at their annual exam, and doing dental cleanings early enough, before serious disease and issues arise, can actually keep your pet in better health for their lives. [post_title] => Common Dental Diseases in Dogs and Cats [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => common-dental-diseases-in-dogs-and-cats [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-19 15:31:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-19 19:31:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9773 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9756 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-02-20 13:36:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-20 18:36:38 [post_content] => Outdoor adventures don’t have to stop when the cold weather and first snowfall come around. During the winter months, I trade in my sneakers for boots and ice cleats, throw on my base layers, waterproof pants and gloves, and head out with my dog to enjoy the day. Finding new ways to enjoy the cold with my dog has helped make the winters fly by, and has even given me a new appreciation for the season. Just like with any hiking adventure, there are some concerns you particularly want to pay attention to in the winter.

Your Dog

Before you run out the door it is important to know whether your dog will enjoy a long winter hike. Some dogs just do not tolerate the snow and cold and might need to stay home where they feel comfortable. You know your dog best and probably already know the answer to this question. Even if your dog loves the outdoors, keep an eye on them for signs of fatigue, injury and thirst; if you do this anyway all year round, keep up the good work!

TemperaturesScreen Shot 2018-02-15 at 4.44.17 PM

Temperatures can fluctuate from below zero, to a northeast-heatwave of 50 degrees. It is important to monitor the temperatures outside, including the peak of any elevation you may hike to. The Mountain Forecast site is a great resource to track these temperatures and customize your trip based on the information. No matter how bundled up you may be, exposure should still be limited for dogs on those bitter days.

Gear

For You:

As mentioned above, safety for yourself should also be a priority. If you are hiking to any elevation or even just on a hilly trail, I strongly recommend having a pair of ice cleats. This will prevent you from falling, and improve your confidence when walking the trails. These are the ones I use, but there are so many to choose from, so find a pair that works for you. IMG_0425 Snowshoes are another fun way to get out and enjoy the winter. You can get an inexpensive pair online and I have even seen some recreational ones available at grocery stores. Layers are key! Wearing base layers and waterproof pants (snow or rain pants) will help protect your body. The warmer you are, the more fun you will have! Always carry your cellphone in case of emergency. There are also apps that can pin your parked car location in case you get lost on the trails.

For Your Dog:

There are many options for winter jackets and boots for dogs. If the terrain is icy, and you plan to be out for a while, boots should be used. Take a look at our previous post on outdoor gear for dogs. IMG_0424 A Sturdy harness or collar and leash should always be packed. If you are at an off-leash park, having these items on hand for any scenario that may occur is important. Always have a blanket, towel, or both in your car in case of emergency. First aid kits are essential for both you and your dog. Take a look at our checklist to create your own pet first aid kit. And last, but certainly not least, you should always carry poop bags and water!   So what are you waiting for?! Let's Go! Get out there and enjoy the winter! Share your adventure photos with us on Instagram @ethosvethealth, use #ethosvethealth. Find us on other social media channels here. IMG_0473 [post_title] => Winter Hiking With Your Dog [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => winter-hiking-with-your-dog [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-10 14:14:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-10 18:14:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9756 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9746 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-02-14 09:29:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-14 14:29:37 [post_content] => Xylitol was discovered in the late 19th century and has become widely used as an artificial sweetener. It is made through the processing of polymers that are harvested from hardwood and corncobs. The benefits of xylitol are that is has 2/3 the calories of traditional sugar and has virtually no aftertaste. It also induces very little insulin release and doesn’t require insulin for its uptake into cells, making it a preferred sugar substitute for individuals with diabetes.

What Foods Can You Find It In?

Xylitol is most commonly found in sugar-free chewing gums. It is also found in many food products, especially those labeled as “low-carb," and most recently in a few peanut butter brands. Furthermore, xylitol is a common sweetener used in many over-the-counter and prescription medications. It is not required to be listed as an active ingredient, so it may not always be apparent that it is in the product. Even though xylitol has been shown to be safe for both human and cat consumption, it has severe toxic effects in dogs.Almond-Butter-Teddy With its inclusion in many food products and its high palatability, accidental xylitol ingestion in dogs is a common occurrence. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reported over 15,000 calls to their center regarding xylitol exposure in 2016. The toxic potential of xylitol in dogs is so high that it only requires a small amount (sometimes as little as a partial stick of gum) before toxic effects are noted.

Symptoms

Once ingested, the absorption of xylitol is rapid and causes a severe increase in insulin levels. This can occur as soon as 20 minutes following ingestion and can be maximized by 60 minutes. This severe increase in insulin results in a marked decrease in the blood sugar. Symptoms that can be seen when this occurs include: Even though these symptoms can develop rapidly, it is possible for some dogs to have the effects delayed by 12 hours or more. There is also a small population of dogs that don’t experience any of these symptoms. In addition to having this effect on blood sugar levels, xylitol is also highly toxic to the liver. Liver damage starts developing as soon as one hour following ingestion. Symptoms of liver damage often aren’t apparent until the damage and associated dysfunction are severe, which may not be for up to 72 hours after the xylitol was consumed. This is important to note as dogs that don’t display the symptoms of low blood sugar may not be taken immediately to the veterinarian, resulting in a missed opportunity to intervene and prevent further liver damage from occurring. Once significant liver damage has developed the chances of survival are very low.

Treatment

In the event of an intoxication, vomiting should be induced immediately. This can be done at home using 3% hydrogen peroxide. Administer 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds by mouth, with a maximum dose of 9 teaspoons per dog. Always call your veterinarian or emergency facility to confirm dosage and let them know what is going on.  The pet can be walked around to encourage vomiting. If vomiting does not occur after 5-10 minutes, then the dose may be repeated a single time. Caution does need to be used when using hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting as it can cause ulceration of the stomach. If you do not have means to induce vomiting at home, then seek immediate veterinary attention so that vomiting can be promptly induced. IMG_0735 Admission to a 24-hour emergency hospital is recommended following xylitol exposure (even if you induce vomiting at home). The treatments that will be provided include IV fluids to help remove xylitol from the circulation, liver protectant medications, and IV sugar supplementation to treat low blood sugar if present. Activated charcoal is often given orally as this will reduce the absorption potential for any xylitol that may be remaining within the gastrointestinal tract. If severe liver damage has developed, then more intensive treatment options would need to be instituted. While in the hospital blood work is performed frequently to monitor the blood sugar, liver values, and other values that can become abnormal with developing liver failure.

Prognosis

The prognosis following xylitol exposure is good in most dogs when veterinary attention is quickly sought. This good prognosis includes dogs that experience low blood sugar events or have developed mild elevations in their liver values. Dogs with more significant liver value elevations or fulminant liver failure have more guarded to poor prognoses. It is important for dog owners to be aware of this common toxic risk to their pets and to have the knowledge of what to do in the event that an exposure occurs. [post_title] => Xylitol – A Common Food Additive with Severe Toxic Effects in Dogs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => xylitol-a-common-food-additive-with-severe-toxic-effects-in-dogs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-14 09:42:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-14 14:42:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9746 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9634 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-01-10 16:38:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-10 21:38:21 [post_content] => With record-breaking low temperatures this winter, the weather outside is frightful and it is especially important to keep our pets warm and cozy. While many may scoff at the idea of putting clothes on animals, it can be a very important safety preventive to avoid hypothermia or even frostbite. It is a normal part of our own routine to put on a winter jacket, boots, and gloves before braving the cold, and it can become normal for your canine companion too. Even indoor cats can benefit from some extra warmth to stay snug during the cold weather months. Here are a few ideas to keep your pets toasty warm and safe this winter:

 1. Dog Coats

A coat is a must-have basic for most dogs when they go outside in the winter, whether it be for playtime in the snow or for a quick bathroom run. Even for the fluffiest of dogs, it is a good idea to have an extra layer of insulation to ensure minimal exposure to freezing temperatures. You can find dog coats in a wide variety of colors, materials, shapes and sizes and styles. Dog coats can be utilitarian – warm and waterproof – they can show off your pup’s fabulous fashionista sense of style and glamor with hoods, fur trimmings and bling. Jester picluka      

 

2. Dog Booties

No matter how hardy your dog is, their paws need protection against snow, ice, road salt, and de-icers. There are boots specially made for dogs with grips for traction, water-resistant material, and flexibility so they can walk naturally. With a little bit of training in the house, like Jester… …your dog will soon be a pro like Luka:

3. Heated Bedding for Cold Pets

A pet-heating pad, heated pet bed, or a heated blanket, there are even self-heating beds for cats (and small dogs) are a great way to keep your cat warm inside on cold days, or help your dog fall into a deep, restorative sleep on cold nights. Heated gear made specifically for pets ensures that they warm up to the perfect temperature and can be therapeutic for joints and arthritis. Lily the fifteen-year-old kitty says her heated blanket is purrfect! IMG_8898          

4. Scarf

A dog scarf is a stylish way to keep your pooch looking and feeling cozy in the cold. It can be an extra layer of warmth and comfort and also a source of security for anxiety. The best part about dog scarves is that you can just repurpose one of your old fleece or infinity scarves into a scarf for your dog, like Miley: IMG_8889              

 5. Sweater

A pet sweater is another way to keep your dog or cat warm indoors or outdoors. Buying a larger size and a soft material like cotton, fleece, or wool is important to prevent breathing restriction or itchiness. They’re cute, warm, and you can even get your pets in the holiday spirit like Brady and Floyd: IMG_6714             For the safety of your pets, it is best to keep dogs and cats indoors as much as possible when the temperature falls below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are taking them out for a walk or hike, dress them warmly and monitor them for signs of illness (excessive shaking, shallow breathing, muscle stiffness, anything out of the ordinary). And if you need us, we will be here.   [post_title] => Sweater Weather: 5 Ways to Keep Your Pets Warm This Winter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sweater-weather-5-ways-to-keep-your-pets-safe-and-warm-this-winter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-10 16:38:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-10 21:38:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9634 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9622 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2018-01-03 13:44:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-03 18:44:23 [post_content] =>

This article was published in JAVMA

January 1, 2018, Vol. 252, No. 1, Pages 75-83 Authors: Debra C. Sellon DVM, PhD, Katherine Martucci, DVM; John R. Wenz, DVM, MS; Denis J. Marcellin-Little, DEDV; Michelle Powers, DVM, MS; Kimberley L. Cullen, PhD Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164. (Sellon, Martucci, Wenz); Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607. (Marcellin-Little); Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, 20 Cabot Rd, Woburn, MA 01801. (Powers); Institute for Work and Health, 481 University Ave, Ste 800, Toronto, ON M5G 2E9 Canada. (Cullen) OBJECTIVE To identify potential risk factors for digit injuries in dogs training and competing in agility events. DESIGN Internet-based, retrospective, cross-sectional survey. ANIMALS 1,081 dogs training or competing in agility events. PROCEDURES Data were collected for eligible animals via retrospective surveys distributed electronically to handlers of dogs participating in agility-related activities. Variables evaluated included demographic (handlers) and signalment (dogs) information, physical characteristics of dogs, and injury characteristics. A separate survey of dogs competing in similar agility-related activities but without digit injuries was also administered. Multivariable logistic regression was used to develop a model for assessment of risk factors. RESULTS Data were collected from 207 agility dogs with digit injuries and 874 agility dogs without digit injuries. Factors associated with significantly increased odds of injury included Border Collie breed (OR, 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 to 3.3), long nails (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.5), absence of front dewclaws (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6), and greater weight-to-height ratio (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.0). Odds of injury decreased with increasing age of the dog (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results should be cautiously interpreted because of potential respondent and recall bias and lack of review of medical records. Nevertheless, results suggested that retaining healthy dewclaws, maintaining lean body mass, and trimming nails short for training and competition may decrease the likelihood of digit injuries. Research to investigate training practices, obstacle construction specifcations, and surface considerations for dogs competing in agility activities is indicated.

The complete article is available to JAVMA subscribers here [post_title] => A survey of risk factors for digit injuries among dogs training and competing in agility events [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-survey-of-risk-factors-for-digit-injuries-among-dogs-training-and-competing-in-agility-events [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-10 14:17:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-10 18:17:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9622 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9609 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-01-02 08:44:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-02 13:44:27 [post_content] => Dr. Gervais from Boston West removed a foreign body out of a patient's cornea. A small piece of plant material got into Maisey's eye over the holidays. She was taken to the hospital where Dr. Gervais performed  a conjunctival flap to aid in the healing. WARNING: there is a close-up photo of Maisey's eye that may be graphic for some.  Click here to go  back to Boston West's Facebook Page.  IMG_2220 IMG_2221                 [caption id="attachment_9612" align="alignleft" width="224"]IMG_2222 Foreign body: a small piece of plant material[/caption]                   IMG_2223                       Click here to go  back to Boston West's Facebook Page. [post_title] => Boston West: Foreign Body in Patient's Cornea [Photos] [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => boston-west-foreign-body-in-patients-cornea-photos [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-02 08:44:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-02 13:44:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9609 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9584 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2017-12-21 10:23:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-21 15:23:52 [post_content] => If you are anything like me, and you love snacking, you might be trying to find healthier ways to snack. Coincidentally enough, my dogs also love snacks. As a dog mom, I want what is best for them, and that includes what they eat. I started to realize that all these cookies and biscuits are probably not the best way to show love to my pup. I started doing some research about healthy alternatives for dogs and was amazed what a little creativity and minimal effort can do! I have tried many different recipes, here are a few of my favorites:  

Pumpkin PopsScreen-Shot-2013-07-16-at-9.51.52-AM-300x185

This is one of my favorite and probably one of the easiest recipes you will find. Grab some ice trays, or buy some new ones in fun shapes, and spoon the pumpkin into the trays. Store remaining pumpkin in the fridge, for another day. Freeze for at least 2 hours and watch your pup’s eyes light up! You can also mix in yogurt, peanut butter, or banana for a new spin on this treat. Be careful not to purchase pumpkin pie filling in a can, it is full of sugar.

Frozen Dogurt320x480

Another easy treat to whip together! Mix the yogurt and berries in a bowl and then spoon the mixture into ice trays (or some small paper cups). Freeze for at least two hours and share! You can substitute any fruit. Diced apples, pears or baby carrots work too if that’s what you have on hand.

Sweet Potato ChewsUnknown

Cut the sweet potato length wise into strips no thicker than ¼ inch. Place the strips on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees. If your pup likes more chew to his potato, add another half hour to cooking time.

Mini Snowman Nosescarrots-for-dogs-main

Most dogs love carrots. Having a bag of carrots on hand is a great way to shower your pup with crunchy, sweet, healthy treats.
We would love to hear about recipes you have tried for your pup! Share them with us on our social media channels. Remember to always consult your regular veterinarian before feeding your pet a new treat if your pet has any medical concerns, or allergies.  

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Healthy Weight: Reasons to keep your pet in shape Healthy Activities & Exercises for Obese Pets   [post_title] => Easy Homemade Healthy Dog Treats [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => easy-homemade-healthy-dog-treats [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-19 15:32:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-19 19:32:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9584 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9525 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2017-12-16 14:10:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-16 19:10:23 [post_content] => I don’t know about you guys, but my favorite ones to shop for on my (exceedingly long) Christmas list are my pets. My fur kids are what make my life merry and bright all year round, and they deserve to be spoiled rotten come the holidays – and they certainly are! I love the new, interactive, and adorable pet-related items and watching their curiosity turn to excitement when they get their presents on Christmas morning is priceless. Some of these are classics, while others are brand spanking new; here are my top 10 pet gifts for 2017:

#1: Matching Dog/Human Pajamas

I’m pretty sure this is a new thing this year, and all I can say is, "what took so long!?" I’ll take four please. Where you can find it: fabdog.com [caption id="attachment_9527" align="alignleft" width="226"]Image from: fabdog.com Image from: fabdog.com[/caption]                

#2: Peek and Play Cat Toy Box

Full disclosure: I bought this one for my Floyd this year. Though I haven’t given it to him yet, I have a good feeling about it. If your cat enjoys hiding their toys and treasures (aka all my missing bobby pins) in random places, you’ll understand. Where you can find it: chewy.com [caption id="attachment_9533" align="alignleft" width="220"]Image from: Heavy.com Image from: Heavy.com[/caption]          

#3: Supplements

When my little 'ole Casey was still with us, joint supplements were a stocking stuffer must-have for his old, arthritic doggie joints. You could even throw in a box of Heartgard or flea & tick medication. Pricey, but practical. Where you can find it: your local Petco/Petsmart, veterinary offices, or online pet pharmacies [caption id="attachment_9537" align="alignleft" width="221"]Image from: chewy.com Image from: chewy.com[/caption]            

#4: That Squeaker Toy

This is a staple item for my pup Brady. Not any one in particular, but the more squeakers the better. Like this one that has sixteen squeakers! Grab your ear plugs. (Be sure to monitor your pup during play time in case any squeaker gets free. Dispose of the toy and parts once your dog wins the battle.) Where you can find them: any pet store or pet aisle virtually anywhere. This one is on chewy.com [caption id="attachment_9542" align="alignleft" width="209"]Image from: chewy.com Image from: chewy.com[/caption]              

#5: A Box

I dedicate this one to all the minimalist cats who just need a nice box to keep them happy. Sleeping, playing, scratching; they may just live in it. Where to find one: if you’re an online shopper, you’re all set.        

#6: Holiday Cookies

Honestly, a little package of holiday dog or cat treats are adorable and look good enough for humans to eat! Your pet is bound to love this great treat. Where you can find them: pet stores or online. These are from Petsmart: [caption id="attachment_9554" align="alignleft" width="187"]Image from: petsmart.com Image from: petsmart.com[/caption]              

#7: Bed, Blanket, and Pillow Gift Set

I buy these for Brady every year because they’re just so darn cute and cozy. They are washable, but he’s a good boy and he deserves an annual upgrade every December. Where you can find it: petsmart.com [caption id="attachment_9547" align="alignleft" width="193"]Image from: petsmart.com Image from: petsmart.com[/caption]              

#8: Turbo Scratcher

The name says it all. I got one for Floyd last year and he went bananas, and a year later he still has a blast. Although, the ball goes off the rails and disappears every now and then. This marks the start of a new game: ball hunter! Where you can find it: chewy.com [caption id="attachment_9553" align="alignleft" width="232"]Image from: chewy.com Image from: chewy.com[/caption]            

#9: Chuckit! Launcher

My lazy, couch potato of a dog wouldn’t be interested in this one, but I’ve seen some pretty happy dogs (and owners) on beaches and in parks using this nifty tool. It’s a win-win: pet owners can throw the ball further without dislocating their shoulders, and dogs get to run much further to get the ball – we all know a tired pup is a good pup, so win-win! Where you can find it: Petco, Petsmart, or chewy.com [caption id="attachment_9561" align="alignleft" width="190"]Image from: petco.com Image from: petco.com[/caption]              

#10: Hide a Squirrel Puzzle Dog Toy

This one was recommended by a coworker who claims her dog LOVES it. There’s even different themes, from squirrels in a tree (like this one) to peas in a pod! Puzzle toys are great for keeping dogs busy and entertained, but he/she may require assistance once all of the squirrels have successfully been removed and a refill is in order. Where you can find it: chewy.com [caption id="attachment_9563" align="alignleft" width="208"]Image from: chewy.com Image from: chewy.com[/caption]                   And there you have it! Of course, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before giving your pet any new treats, supplements, or toys that you’re unsure of. And lastly, have fun! There’s plenty of cool, wacky, and adorable pet products out there to choose from. What will your pet find under the tree this Christmas?             [post_title] => Santa Paws: My 2017 Holiday Pet Gift Guide [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => santa-paws-my-2017-holiday-pet-gift-guide [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-16 14:10:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-16 19:10:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9525 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9809 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-03-21 09:40:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-21 13:40:23 [post_content] => It can be very scary to watch a pet having a seizure. Many pet owners worry that their pet might be in pain or are suffering during a seizure. However, neither is the case, and we frequently suffer more than they do, as long as the seizures are short and infrequent. This article provides basic information about seizures and epilepsy in dogs and cats. Please see your primary care veterinarian or a veterinary neurologist for additional information. Epilepsy is the most common neurologic disorder of dogs and cats and is defined as any condition that causes recurring seizures. Epilepsy is not one single disease. Any patient with recurring seizures has a form of epilepsy. When most people think of “epilepsy,” they are usually thinking of Idiopathic Epilepsy (“primary epilepsy”), a condition that likely has a genetic/hereditary cause and is common in humans, dogs, and cats. No test proves the patient has Idiopathic Epilepsy; it is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning we presume the patient has this condition after ruling out other possible causes. No medication or treatment cures Idiopathic Epilepsy, but many patients can be successfully managed long-term with anticonvulsants. Symptomatic (secondary) epilepsy is due to an underlying identifiable disorder, such as a brain tumor, inflammation or infection in the brain, or low blood sugar from an insulin-secreting tumor. There are many treatment options for these patients as well.

  KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:


What Are Seizures?

[caption id="attachment_9820" align="alignright" width="159"]EEG Electroencephalogram (EEG) obtained from a patient having a generalized seizure. [click to enlarge][/caption] A seizure is a transient, self-limiting physical manifestation of chaotic electrical activity in the brain. Our brain cells communicate with each other via excitatory and inhibitory electrical and chemical signals. When one area of the brain starts to become too excited, surrounding areas try to quiet the overexcited region. With a seizure, however, the overactive area of the brain either overrides this negative feedback or the negative feedback doesn’t occur. Each region of the brain controls a different area of the body, so the outward appearance of a seizure depends on the region of the brain that is overly active.

What Do Seizures Look Like?

Seizures can look anything...it depends on what area of the brain is overactive. If the electrical activity stays in one region of the brain, only a portion of the body will be affected, such as focal facial seizures. Many people know of or have seen a classic “grand mal” type of seizure. This is a type of generalized seizure where the excessive electrical activity occurs on both sides of the brain, so both sides of the body are affected. With this type of seizure, the patient loses consciousness, falls over to size and has stiff or paddling limbs. Some patients will have the mouth wide open or make jaw chomping motions. Drooling, urination, defecation may occur. The patient may stop breathing temporarily or have bluish discoloration of the gums, but this usually doesn’t cause any serious problems. Patients may make noise or vocalize during a seizure, but this is not due to pain. Sometimes, the seizure will start as a focal seizure involving only one portion of the body but then generalize to involve the entire body.

Phases Of Seizures

There are commonly three phases of a seizure: Prodrome: The prodrome is a long-term (hours to days) indication of an impending seizure. A prodrome is not observed or recognized by most owners. Clinical signs of a prodrome include restlessness, vocalizing, clinginess, or hiding.

What Do I Do When My Pet is Having a Seizure?

First of all, DON’T PANIC! Yes, that’s easier said than done! However, it is very uncommon for a pet to die during or directly because of a seizure. They are usually short and stop by themselves, lasting about 2-3 minutes on average. You don’t need to do anything other than keep your pet safe. Pull her away from the top of the stairs if needed so she doesn’t fall down the stairs, or pull her away from furniture if she is hitting the furniture. Do not try to pull the tongue out thinking that she may “swallow” the tongue. This doesn’t happen, and you’re likely to be bitten, which can cause serious injury and possibly put you in the hospital. Do not try to cuddle or hold your pet. Dogs and cats are sometimes aggressive during or after a seizure, and you could be injured. Let them be. This usually resolves on its own.

When Are Seizures an Emergency?

There are two situations that require immediate emergency treatment. The first is any active seizure (ictus) lasting longer than five minutes. This is called status epilepticus. We start to worry about irreversible brain changes when the active seizure phase lasts longer than 30 minutes. The second emergency situation is cluster seizures, in which there are 3 or more seizures in a 24-hour period. These can become life-threatening because they can progress into status epilepticus.

Seizure Logbook

We recommend that you keep a logbook documenting all of your pet’s seizures, including time of day, duration, any potential triggers, what the seizure looked like, etc. Bring the logbook with you to your veterinary appointment. With everyone’s busy schedules these days, it is very difficult to remember the details of the seizures with any accuracy. The logbook greatly assists the veterinarian with decision-making regarding recommended tests and medications.

When Should I Seek Veterinary Care?

You should see a veterinarian after your pet’s first-ever seizure. Your veterinarian will ask you about any potential toxin exposure and likely recommend blood tests to rule out diseases outside the brain that can trigger seizures. This usually involves a complete blood count, biochemical profile, and bile acids (liver function) test. The blood tests also provide a baseline before starting medications. Additional blood tests (e.g., lead level) may be recommended depending on your pet’s history.

What Other Tests Are Performed?

Your veterinarian will make additional recommendations based on a variety of factors, including your pet’s age, breed, medical history, and neurologic exam findings. Ideally, MRI and sometimes other tests would be performed on every dog or cat with seizures, but these are not always necessary and, in veterinary medicine, we have to weigh the benefits to risk ratio of anesthesia/MRI/spinal tap vs. the associated costs of the procedures. Additional tests are usually recommended when the patient is less than one year of age, older than 5-6 years of age, if there are any abnormalities noted between seizures at home or on neurologic exam, or if the seizures are difficult to control. Dogs in the 1-5 year age range may have

When Do I Start Anticonvulsants and How Effective Are They?

There’s no 100% correct answer as to when to start anti-seizure medications. In general, most neurologists recommend starting an anticonvulsant if there is more than one seizure every 3-6 months or if there is an underlying progressive disorder. We also start anticonvulsants immediately in any patient that has status epilepticus or cluster seizures from the beginning. There are many medication options available that are very safe if used and monitored appropriately. Approximately 75-80% of dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy can be controlled with one or two anticonvulsants. By “controlled” we mean no more than one seizure every 2-3 months or so. It’s possible that the seizures stop entirely with medication(s), but many patients continue to have seizures from time to time. Our goal is to give your pet the best quality of life by reducing the seizure frequency/duration/severity as much as possible while minimizing side effects of medications. The degree of improvement for other seizure disorders depends on the underlying cause and success of treatment.

What About CBD Oil / Medical Marijuana?

There is a difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that is thought to alleviate pain and to help control seizures. There is a great deal of anecdotal information suggesting that CBD may help patients with seizures. Recent studies in human medicine have shown improvement in seizure control with a few very specific epilepsy disorders. At this time, veterinarians cannot make any accurate statements about CBD because there are no peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled studies in dogs and cats to determine the correct dosing, potential adverse effects, or effectiveness of CBD oil for epileptic dogs and cats. One study from the 1980s showed that CBD has very limited absorption from the GI tract into the bloodstream in dogs, so it might not even reach high enough concentrations in the brain to be effective. Since marijuana is a federally-registered schedule I controlled substance in the USA, veterinarians are unable to prescribe medical marijuana to pets. In states where marijuana has been legalized, veterinarians are either prohibited from prescribing it, or the law is unclear. Regardless, THC, the compound in marijuana that causes the high, is toxic to animals so please DO NOT give your pet marijuana in any form.

Are There Other Alternative Treatments?

A recent study found improvement in seizure control when feeding dogs a diet with increased content of medium chain triglycerides. However, there is conflicting data or limited peer-reviewed studies examining the effectiveness of other therapies. Most reports are just anecdotal accounts of treatment success, so be very skeptical about exaggerated claims of success and consult with your veterinarian before trying anything you read about online.   We understand seeing your pet have a seizure is scary and heartbreaking. Remember we are here for both you and your pet should you need us. Mass Vet Neurology Service Mass Vet Emergency number: 781-932-5802 [post_title] => Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => epilepsy-in-dogs-and-cats [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-21 11:46:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-21 15:46:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=9809 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 192 [max_num_pages] => 20 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_404] => [is_comments_popup] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash] => c705482ffbbc342a74d13ded980089e1 [query_vars_changed] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => )