Current Concepts

Demodicosis is a common disease that affects dogs globally. Despite being a commonly encountered disease, treatment can still pose a challenge for a variety of reasons: 1) demodicosis is often complicated by concurrent secondary infections which can delay or impede resolution of clinical signs; 2) other dermatologic diseases often mimic demodicosis, for example dermatophytosis; 3) the number one cause of treatment failure seen in secondary referral practice is inadequate length of treatment; and 4) systemic diseases or other causes of immunosuppression can play a role in the development of adult-onset demodicosis which also need to be addressed in order to achieve cure.  Continue reading

Current Concepts

Obesity:

Obesity is one of the most common health problems affecting pets, with up to 59% of dogs and cats being overweight. Body condition scoring (BCS) should be performed on every patient and only be used to assess body fat, while muscle condition scoring should be used to quantify muscle wasting (for example, an obese pet, which would be a BCS 9 on a 9 point scale, could also have severe muscle wasting). Obesity has been associated with numerous diseases, including pancreatitis, osteoarthritis, dermatologic disease, diabetes, certain types of neoplasia, and respiratory tract disease. In addition, one major study showed mild to moderately (BCS 6-7/9) overweight dogs had shorter median lifespans than their leaner counterparts (BCS 4-5/9). Obesity is more easily prevented than treated and the veterinarian plays an important role in educating clients before a pet becomes obese. Continue reading

Current Concepts

Veterinary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established and highly valued tool for the evaluation of neurologic disease in dogs and cats due to its unrivaled ability to distinguish normal and abnormal soft tissues (known as tissue contrast). However, this same exquisite sensitivity of MRI for detecting lesions in the brain and spinal cord can be of great benefit when evaluating other organ systems and diseases. Continue reading

Current Concepts

Nutrition is often overlooked in patients that present for wellness visits; however, it is important to collect a thorough nutritional history for all new and continuing patients, both sick and well, and update this history regularly. healthy lab photoA few short minutes spent on nutrition for every patient can result in better preventative care for well animals and improved outcomes for ill and hospitalized patients. Continue reading