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Cats that tend to be more playful and easygoing around children and are more tolerant of children's behavior. If the American Wirehair is well socialized as a kitten, he should be happy to meet and interact with your guests.
You may hear that the American Wirehair coat is hypoallergenic because of its texture, but that is not correct. The American Wirehair is well suited to any home with people who will love him and give his unusual coat a weekly combing. This cata€™s coat may look high-maintenance, but it requires almost no brushing or combing except during the spring, when old growth sheds. The American Wirehair is closely related to the American Shorthair and the two breeds are frequently crossed.
The American Wirehair is the product of a spontaneous natural mutation, a not uncommon occurrence in the world of cats. The cats were most similar in type to the American Shorthair, and that breed was used to further develop the American Wirehair.
The affectionate and friendly American Wirehair is adaptable to the needs of his family, making him a potentially excellent companion for everyone from singles to seniors. American Wirehairs are good at entertaining themselves, but they also appreciate interactive play that involves a€?huntinga€? the lure at the end of a fishing-pole toy, batting at a big peacock feather or figuring out how to release treats from a puzzle toy.
Since they are social cats, American Wirehairs may also enjoy the company of other animals, including dogs. All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit diseases.
The American Wirehair is generally healthy, but because he can be crossed with the American Shorthair,  he may develop some of the problems that affect that breed, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Remember that after youa€™ve taken a new kitten into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity.
You want your American Wirehair to be happy and healthy, so do your homework before you bring him home. A reputable breeder will abide by a code of ethics that prohibits sales to pet stores and wholesalers and outlines the breedera€™s responsibilities to their cats and to buyers.
Lots of reputable breeders have websites, so how can you tell whoa€™s good and whoa€™s not?
Whether youa€™re planning to get your feline friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, dona€™t forget that old adage a€?let the buyer bewarea€?.
Before you decide to buy a kitten, consider whether an adult American Wirehair may better suit your lifestyle. Regardless of how you acquire your American Wirehair, make sure that you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group. Once youa€™ve found a good American Wirehair match, take your kitten or adult to a veterinarian as soon as possible to detect problems quickly, as well as set up a preventative regimen to help prevent future health issues.
Known as the gentleman of the Terrier group, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has a self-confident attitude. The patient always has 2 problems: the original problem and the fear that the problem cannot be solved. More and more health care professionals err on the side of caution when it comes to making professional judgment calls. If you want a better job, you have to tell yourself a better story about the job you currently have.
Many students are under the impression that retail pharmacy does not "count" as health care. This is for Kindle, but you can read it on any device that has the kindle reader app installed.
In response to my recent blog post comparing surgery of canine cruciate ligament disease to treatment with a brace (orthosis), I received several excellent comments, one of which I want to be sure you have the opportunity to read. The comment contains detailed information about orthoses (knee braces), how they work, how they are fitted, and when they should be considered.
Thanks for posting this well written piece featuring the first real published information about the use of stifle orthosis (knee brace) for conservative treatment of the ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in dogs.
If the orthotic measurements and fittings are done by a more experienced and trained rehabilitation professional, the outcome is usually better. A custom medical device usually does require acclimation and adjustment for both the dog and the caregiver who must learn to don the device correctly. Here are some more considerations written by OrthoPets for individuals thinking about a stifle orthotic solution as an alternative to surgery for the dog.
Injury to the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL, also called the ACL) is the most common orthopedic injury in the dog.
Stabilization is recommended for best short and long-term function, quality of life, and comfort. The Role of Rehabilitation: Whether your dog undergoes surgical or orthosis stabilization for a torn cranial cruciate ligament, and whether or not surgery is required for a torn medial meniscus, it will take time to recover to full, comfortable function. If your dog tears a cruciate ligament, will you consider a brace rather than surgery as a first treatment?
I was intrigued by the results of a recently published study in which the researchers focused on cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) in dogs. The cranial cruciate ligament is vital for maintaining stability within the knee joint (stifle). As far back as I can remember, surgical repair has been the primary recommendation veterinarians make for treatment of CCLD in medium and large sized dogs.
The recommendation for nonsurgical management (restricted activity, a knee brace, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, the tincture of time) is usually reserved for smaller dogs with the thinking that, the lighter the load carried by the knee, the less there is a need to restore “perfect” function.
Of the many types of surgeries used to repair torn cruciate ligaments, the TPLO has long been regarded as a gold standard. With the recent rise in access to canine rehabilitation therapy (the equivalent of physical therapy in the world of human medicine), the use of custom fit orthoses (braces) to treat dogs with CCLD has grown in popularity. Of the 1,022 surveys distributed, 309 were completed- 203 from the orthosis group and 76 from the TPLO group.
The factors that most influenced the decision to treat with an orthosis rather than surgery were cost, convenience, and personal preference.
The proportion of respondents who reported that their dog’s treatment outcome was excellent, very good, or good was higher (98%) within the TPLO group compared to the orthosis group (86%).
Forty-six percent of respondents in the orthosis group reported that medical attention was required for skin problems caused by the brace. Overall satisfaction ratings were pretty much identical with 85-90% of respondents from both groups reporting that, given the chance, they would choose the same treatment again. I was surprised that, despite the fact that reports of a normal gait (no lameness) and ratings of outcomes were significantly lower in the orthosis treated group, these respondents reported a high level of satisfaction and willingness to make the same choice all over again. I was surprised that, in spite of the very high complication rate associated with orthosis treatment (46%), respondents reported a high level of satisfaction with this treatment plan and a willingness to make the same choice again.
Prior to reading this study, I would have assumed that nonsurgical treatment for CCLD would have resulted in lower customer satisfaction. So, how is all of this information relevant to dog lovers and the veterinarians who advise them?
Despite the sentiment that surgery is the best treatment choice for CCLD, in many cases, this option simply isn’t feasible. More than two hands are needed to count the number of diseases that can affect the canine liver. As mentioned in the first portion of this article, blood from the abdominal organs flows into the liver via the portal vein before returning to the heart. Most liver shunts arise during fetal development and are congenital abnormalities (birth defects). Shunts can also develop in response to liver disease severe enough to markedly increase pressure within the portal vein.
Given that the liver is the garbage disposal of the body, it’s no wonder that it’s often the first organ to take a hit when a dog eats or is exposed to something toxic.
This refers to inflammation within the liver as well as the biliary vessels that transport bile to the gall bladder. Copper metabolism abnormalities result in excess accumulation of copper within the liver cells. This refers to the accumulation of globules (vacuoles) of water or fat within the liver cells.
Several types of cancerous growths originate within the liver, the most common of which include lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell cancer, histiocytic sarcoma, and adenocarcinoma. Treatment plans for dogs with liver disease vary a great deal depending upon the type and severity of the disease diagnosed. With so many different types of liver diseases in dogs, the prognosis truly runs the gamut. The liver is an amazingly complex organ and is responsible for multiple functions in the body, all of which are vital for good health.
The liver happens to be remarkably resilient and, to a great extent, can regenerate and restore itself following damage. Before blood from the abdominal organs travels back to the heart, it must first pass through the liver via a large vessel called the portal vein.
In addition to its role as the “garbage disposal” of the body, the liver also acts as a manufacturing plant, producing substances such as proteins, fatty acids, glucose, cholesterol, and blood clotting factors. The liver serves as a storage unit for several essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and glycogen, an important source of energy release during exercise. There is no classic combination of symptoms that alerts one to the diagnosis of liver disease. Blood clotting factors are also made within the liver, and abnormally prolonged blood clotting times are consistent with liver dysfunction. Stay tuned for Liver Disease: Part II to learn about the causes and treatment of liver disease. Of the many things that influence your pet’s health, body weight and condition are at the top of the list. During your pet’s annual physical examination, your veterinarian will ideally evaluate his or her Body Condition Score or (BCS).
If your pet’s BCS doesn’t fall within these ideal zones, your veterinarian will collaborate with you to formulate a plan that modifies your pet’s diet and exercise program with the goal of achieving a healthier body condition score. Perhaps you know a little bit about antibody titers (aka, vaccine titers, vaccine serology, and titer testing), but find the topic to be confusing.
Until relatively recently, antibody titer testing was quite pricey and involved sending the dog’s blood sample to a specialty laboratory. Our immune systems have the amazing ability to recognize and then get rid of things that should not be in our bodies, such as bacteria and viruses. All that is required to run an antibody titer is a blood sample, something that is quick and easy to collect from most dogs.
Antibody titers assess the concentration of disease-specific antibodies within the bloodstream. Current in-hospital test kits allow determination of antibody titers against canine distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus.
In theory, antibody titer testing provides a “yes” or “no” answer as to whether or not the animal has adequate immune protection against a particular disease. On the color scale there is a gray zone that can be difficult to interpret as positive or negative.
Likewise, if the antibody concentration is interpreted as inadequate, it’s possible that cell mediated immunity is adequate enough to deliver immune protection. It’s natural to view vaccinating as simply a “routine procedure.” Not so much, however, if your dog happens to be one who suffers an adverse vaccine reaction. I encourage you to include antibody titers as part of your vaccination discussion with your veterinarian.
Puppies: After completion of the puppy vaccination series at 14-16 weeks of age, an antibody titer can be used to verify that adequate protection has been achieved. Dogs with prior adverse vaccine reactions: Whenever a dog has had an adverse reaction to a vaccine, there’s always the potential for a repeat performance. Dogs with immunological disease: It is usually recommended that dogs with a history of autoimmune disease (immune mediated disease) receive as few vaccinations as possible.
Dogs who are sick: A vaccination may be the very last thing that a chronically or seriously ill dog needs. Veterinarian insistent on annual vaccinations: Unfortunately, even more than a decade after learning that core vaccinations provide a minimum of three years of protection, some veterinarians continue to insist on revaccinating each and every year. If your veterinarian is opposed to vaccine serology or, worse yet, he or she is hell-bent on vaccinating your adult dog for distemper, adenovirus, and parvovirus once a year, you’ve got some decision-making to do. If you and your dog really like this veterinarian, I suggest having conversation about vaccination schedules and serology. If you choose to find a more progressive veterinarian to help care for your beloved dog (and I heartily encourage you to do so), request an interview during which you can determine the prospective vet’s philosophy concerning vaccines and antibody testing.
Generations of veterinarians in the United States have been taught to recommend neutering for dogs between four to six months of age, and certainly before their first birthday. Medical records from 1170 neutered and intact (not neutered) purebred German Shepherds were retrospectively evaluated throughout the first eight years of the dogs’ lives. Joint diseases: The incidence of one or more joint disorders was significantly higher in male shepherds castrated before one year of age (21% of dogs) compared to the intact male population (7% of dogs).
Cancer: Mammary cancer (breast cancer) was diagnosed in 4% of intact female shepherds compared with an incidence of less than 1% in dogs spayed before one year of age. The increased incidence of joint disease in early-neutered German Shepherds resembles data collected on Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Vizslas. The increase in mammary cancer in intact females in this study aligns with other research results. I can think of multiple occasions throughout my professional career when new information has prompted me to question what I’d been taught to be the “norm” in veterinary practice.
Is it reasonable to extrapolate the results from any of this breed-specific research to your dog? I present all of the information above with the caveat (and my strong personal belief) that prevention of unplanned litters of puppies should trump all other considerations.
The text accompanying the photo was a plea for help in the way of “Can anyone tell me what is wrong with my dog?” The FB poster indicated that her vet had already examined her dog a few times, but there was still no diagnosis. I don’t usually get involved in requests for a “photo diagnosis.” A single photo can usually translate into a dozen or more diagnoses. I posted a comment letting the FB poster know that her dog likely had tetanus and was in need of intensive therapy.


Tetanus is caused by Clostridium tetani, a soil bacterium that can enter the bloodstream via a wound, most commonly on the foot or in the mouth. The clostridial organism produces a toxin called tetanospasmin that binds to nerve cells and interferes with the function of a particular neurotransmitter (a chemical released from a nerve cell that transmits an impulse) responsible for inhibiting muscle contractions.
With time, symptoms become more generalized throughout the body ultimately resulting in a spastic paralysis- the dog is unable to move at all because of muscle rigidity.
Clostridium tetani is an anaerobic bacterial organism, meaning that it thrives in environments devoid of oxygen.
Dogs with tetanus are usually super-sensitive to stimuli, and sights and sounds can intensify muscle contractions.
The prognosis for tetanus is good, assuming the dog receives early intervention and aggressive treatment.
Dogs are not routinely vaccinated against tetanus because they are so much less susceptible to this disease than are other species such as horses, livestock and people. With this coat, brushing or combing can damage it, so unless he is shedding heavily, leave it alone. This six to 11-pound cat can be a good choice for families with older children who will treat him respectfully, but younger children and toddlers should be supervised so they dona€™t manhandle him. Allergies are not caused by a particular coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that are shed by all cats (and people, for that matter).
Keep him indoors to protect him from cars, diseases spread by other cats and attacks from other animals. Theya€™re smart, trainable, and willing to learn things a€” like using a scratching post in place of your couch. Any breeder who claims that her breed has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed. Keeping an American Wirehair at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to protect his overall health. For reputable breeder recommendations, check out these websites: Cat Fanciers Association, Fanciers Breed Referral List, and The International Cat Association. Choose a breeder who has performed the health certifications necessary to screen out genetic health problems to the extent that is possible, as well as one who raises kittens in the home. Red flags include kittens always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any kitten, and the ability to pay online with a credit card.
Disreputable breeders and unhealthy catteries can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. American Wirehairs are uncommon and most breeders have waiting lists a€” even for pet-quality kittens. Kittens are loads of fun, but theya€™re also a lot of work and can be destructive until they reach the more sedate adult years.
Pedigreed American Wirehairs arena€™t usually found in shelters, but their domestic shorthair cousins are readily available.
In states with a€?pet lemon laws,a€? confirm that you and the person you get the cat from both understand your rights and recourses. The ever-increasing challenges and pressures faced by pharmacists sparked him to become certified in leadership speaking and training by 2 separate organizations, The John C. Strubel’s comment provide insights from her own experience, she also included material written by the folks at OrthoPets whose vision is, “to improve our patient’s quality of life through innovative prosthetic and orthotic solutions.” Before writing this, I spent some time on this company’s Facebook page. I am a veterinarian certified in canine rehabilitation, and I work very closely with OrthoPets. Also, in my experience, the level of skill and knowledge of orthotics manufacturers vary widely.
Stabilization is traditionally done surgically, either with a joint realignment surgery (TPLO or TTA) or with a pseudo-ligament surgically placed outside the joint (tight rope or lateral suture). An orthosis is considered a “durable medical device.” This means that proper use is necessary to meet therapeutic goals and to ensure its safe application over the lifetime of your dog. Specifically, they evaluated owner satisfaction with outcomes of two very different treatment options, one involving surgery and the other using a custom fitted brace (orthosis).
Tearing of this ligament is ridiculously common, particularly in medium and large sized dogs. It results in a sudden onset of lameness with the dog often unwilling to bear any weight on the affected leg.
For medium and larger sized dogs nonsurgical management is typically the “go to” when there are extenuating circumstances such as financial constraints, anesthesia risks, advanced age, concurrent diseases, opposition to surgery, or an inability to successfully manage post-operative care.
The questions were developed to evaluate their overall satisfaction with treatment outcomes. This surgery has an excellent track record for restoring normal function and minimizing development of arthritic changes within the knee. The operation is quite pricey, particularly for dogs who end up tearing ligaments in both knees (happens approximately 50% of the time). There were no significant differences between body weight, size, and age of dogs between the two groups.
Amongst the TPLO respondents, veterinarian recommendation was stated to be the most influential factor.
The percentage of respondents who reported that their dogs had either mild or no lameness following treatment was also higher in the TPLO group (98%) than in the orthosis group (88%). This study is one of the first providing well-researched data pertaining to a nonsurgical treatment option. It makes a strong case for veterinarians spending time in the exam room discussing all CCLD treatment options with their clients rather than focusing solely on surgery. Kudos to the researchers involved in this study for choosing to evaluate a nonsurgical alternative. This amazing, multitasking organ performs a vast array of functions essential for survival. Shunting is the term used when blood bypasses the liver and flows directly to the heart by way of other blood vessels (shunts). Surgery is the treatment of choice for dogs with single congenital shunts, and is often curative. The classic example is the toxicity caused by ingestion of poisonous mushrooms, an all too common cause of life-ending liver failure.
A liver biopsy reveals chronic smoldering inflammation without an identifiable infectious agent.
Infections can arise from gut bacteria (remember, all blood coming from the intestines passes through the liver before returning to the heart) or from a systemic bacterial infection such as leptospirosis. Cholangiohepatitis is usually a result of a bacterial infection, and the treatment consists of antibiotics, medications to hasten bile flow and supportive care. Not only does this disrupt normal liver function, it can incite chronic inflammation that may ultimately result in liver failure. The liver can also develop metastases caused by spread of the cancer from another site in the body. The classic example is the vacuolar hepathopathy caused by cortisone (see above), whether given orally, via injection, or even topically (applied to the eyes, ears, or skin).
On ultrasound the liver looks like a small cluster of grapes rather than a normal sized, smooth surfaced organ.
Whenever possible, a liver biopsy should be collected in order to provide a clear-cut diagnosis. For this reason, it is wise to consider enlisting help from a specialist in internal medicine (or surgeon if shunt surgery is required). The prognosis for canine liver disease varies from good to poor, and is not always predictable. Additionally, because the liver contains multiple lobes, significant disease in only one or two of them doesn’t typically impair liver function. Once within the liver, hepatocytes (liver cells) detoxify the blood, removing any undesirable substances such as toxins or bacteria. These essential products are released from the liver into the bloodstream for use throughout the body. The liver also produces bile (bilirubin) and stores it within the gallbladder so it is ready for release into the small intestine when needed for fat digestion.
While the first stage confirms that a liver abnormality is present, this testing doesn’t hone in on the clear-cut cause of the problem. The chemistry profile measures ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase), enzymes contained within the liver cells. The chemistry profile also measures albumin, glucose, urea, and cholesterol all of which are manufactured within the liver. Just as is true for us, obesity predisposes our dogs and cats to a variety of health disorders such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This is a visual and hands-on way of determining if your dog or cat is carrying the right amount of body fat and muscle.
They all produce the same results, namely a more accurate assessment of an animal’s body condition. On the scale that runs from one to nine, a body condition score of one applies to an extremely emaciated dog.
There are two major defense strategies by which the immune system operates, and both are involved in preventing diseases such as canine distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and rabies. These protein molecules act as efficient foot soldiers within the bloodstream that attack and defend against the “bad guys.” When we measure antibody titers, we assess this component of the immune system. As the name implies, specific cells within the body (phagocytes and lymphocytes) are activated to capture the “bad guys.” These cells also release substances that trigger ongoing immune system activity. Assessment of rabies-specific antibodies is also available but, because everything to do with rabies is government-regulated, this testing is performed only within specialized laboratories. This introduces an element of subjectivity on the part of the person interpreting the results. Some adverse reactions occur immediately following the injection, others not until days or even weeks later. He’d received a distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus vaccination two weeks prior and was suffering from a horrific vaccine reaction. For more than a decade now, we’ve known with certainty that distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus vaccinations provide protection to adult dogs for a minimum of three years, emphasis on the word “minimum.” In fact, for some dogs, immune protection extends well beyond three years, and may even be life long.
If not, revaccination for distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus at 18-20 weeks of age is indicated. Because the dog’s immune system has been triggered in the past to attack the body’s own cells, the very last thing the dog needs is a vaccination that will, with certainty, trigger the immune system. Conversely, if the dog’s immune system function is depressed, the vaccine may be truly important. Do you subject your dog to unnecessary vaccinations (and the risks associated with them), or do you find yourself a new veterinarian, one who isn’t operating in the “stone age”? Discussing all of this with your veterinarian is a perfectly reasonable expectation, and your input is an invaluable part of the decision-making process. Relatively recent research has revealed compelling negative implications of such “early neutering” in Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Vizslas, and Rottweilers.
The records were investigated for the incidence of joint disorders (hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cruciate ligament disease), various types of cancer (osteosarcoma, lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell cancer, mammary cancer), and urinary incontinence.
Females spayed before one year of age also had an increased incidence of joint disease (16%) compared to their intact counterparts (5%).
No significant differences in the incidence of the other cancer types studied were discovered when intact and neutered shepherds were compared. The theory behind this association relates to closure of growth plates, the regions within bones that promote lengthening. Interestingly, the effect of early neutering on the incidences of the other cancers studied vary significantly compared to what has been learned about the impact of early neutering in Golden Retrievers, Vizslas, and Rottweilers.
All of the research to date pertaining to the impacts of early neutering has caused me, and hopefully plenty of other veterinarians, to question the standard recommendation to neuter dogs before one year of age.
I don’t know the answer to this question, but do encourage you to discuss it with your veterinarian before your dog is automatically neutered prior to his or her first birthday.
He’s a super lovable, kind of goofy, large, mixed-breed dog who wasn’t neutered prior to his adoption from a shelter (surprising given that most shelters insist on this). If a dog cannot be responsibly supervised, neutering before the onset of sexual maturity is a clear first choice. Even with baytril (an antibiotic) and pain medication on board, her dog was steadily getting worse.
I encouraged her to seek help ASAP, ideally by way of an emergency hospital, or veterinary specialist such as an internist or criticalist. Puppies can develop tetanus because they chew on sticks and other soil-contaminated goodies, and they have open wounds in their gums created by the loss of baby teeth.
Without appropriate treatment, death occurs due to paralysis of the muscles responsible for breathing. Rather, the diagnosis is made based on symptoms and the history of a wound that allowed the clostridial organism to gain entry into the bloodstream. Penicillin-related drugs work well against the clostridial organism and, at least initially, they are typically administered intravenously. For this reason, these dogs are often sedated and kept in a dark quiet room during the recovery period. As with most diseases, the earlier the diagnosis is made and treatment started, the better the prognosis. This being said, it does make sense to thoroughly clean even minor wounds, particularly those on the feet. His favorite hobby is bird-watching from a sunny windowsill, and his hunting ability will stand you in good stead if insects enter the house. There is no scientific evidence that any breed or cross breed is more or less allergenic than any other cat. The American Shorthair has a hard coat, while the American Wirehair has a hard, dense, springy coat with twisted down, awn and guard hairs.
Just make sure children treat him with the gentle respect he deserves.Some American Wirehairs are lap cats and some arena€™t, but all are happy to spend time with you. Perhaps their best attribute is patience, which no doubt contributes to their success as hunters. Run, dona€™t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
Regular bathing helps to remove dead hair, however, as well as a greasy feel that the coat sometimes develops.
Kittens who are isolated can become fearful and skittish and may be difficult to socialize later in life.


Therea€™s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure youa€™ll never purchase a sick kitten, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. If you want a particular pattern or color, ita€™s not uncommon to have to wait six months or more for a kitten to become available. If youa€™re interested in acquiring an older cat, ask breeders about purchasing a retired show or breeding cat who needs a new home. If youa€™d prefer to have a pedigreed cat, contact local shelters, peruse the listings on Petfinder or ask breeders if they know of any American Wirehairs in need of a new home.
Ilana Strubel, a veterinarian who is certified in the fields of integrative veterinary physical rehabilitation, veterinary orthotics and prosthetics consultations, chiropractic, acupressure, nutrition, and animal behavior. Together, as a team, we select who would be a good candidate for a stifle orthosis, and make very careful measurements to design custom stifle orthotics (as well as many other types of veterinary orthotic and prosthetics).
These procedures are considered the standard of care, in general. In the past 10 years, the use of custom orthosis (brace) has become available as an alternative to surgery when surgery is not appropriate for any reason. Every effort is made to accurately fit the device and 2 complimentary adjustments are included in order to meet the requirements for an appropriate fit.
During the first few months of fitting, your rehabilitation veterinary team with the help of your OrthoPets-trained veterinary case manager will work with you, coaching with regard to device use and rehabilitation. It takes a lot of time and many tens of thousands of dollars to perform a controlled clinical trial to compare a new therapy to the standard therapies in common use.
More and more, we are learning that neutering before one year of age predisposes to cruciate ligament disease, at least in some breeds. TPLO post-operative care is laborious involving a lengthy period of confinement and controlled activity for the dog. By comparison, only 4% of respondents from the TPLO group reported complications requiring medical attention.
My notion is that the high level of satisfaction within the orthosis group was related to good communication between veterinarians and clients about realistic expectations.
Background information about these functions along with the symptoms and diagnostic testing associated with liver disease, are all found in the first portion of this article. Maltese, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Dachshunds, Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers are at the top of the list in terms of frequency. For dogs with multiple and more complex shunts, medical therapy is the treatment of choice and often provides significant benefit in the short term. Copper storage disease has been identified as an inherited abnormality in Bedlington Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, Skye Terriers, and West Highland White Terriers.
In most cases, a drug-induced hepatopathy is reversible when the causative drug is discontinued.
Cirrhosis is the end result of a chronic insult (inflammation, toxicity, infection) to the liver cells. In fact, two dogs with the exact same disease and treatment can have completely different outcomes. This detoxification process is the reason a dog can recover from “food poisoning” after dining on a rotten carcass.
All it says is that some type of liver disease is.  The second stage of testing is used to confirm the exact type of liver disease present. Elevations of these two enzymes indicate that at least some of the liver cells are “unhappy,” enough so that they are leaking excess ALT and AST into the bloodstream. Decreased amounts of these four substances in the bloodstream are indicators that liver function is impaired. Assessment of BCS, in conjunction with body weight measurement, helps determine if your pet is too heavy, to lean, or just right. The scoring systems of the two most commonly used scales range from one to five and from one to nine. The topic is somewhat complicated, and recommendations as to how to use antibody titers vary widely. It can be performed right in the veterinary hospital with results provided during the course of an office visit. The function of this portion of the immune system can be measured, but only in highly specialized laboratories. Additionally, vaccinating against rabies is required by law- antibody test results are unlikely to “excuse” a dog from having to be revaccinated at officially designated intervals. Therefore, one cannot be 100% certain that complete immune protection is present, even if testing documents an adequate antibody level. Vaccine reaction symptoms vary from mild to severe, and, on rare occasion, they can be life threatening. The vaccine triggered Henry’s immune system to attack and destroy his own platelets- blood cells necessary for normal blood clotting. It makes sense then to consider antibody titers in lieu of automatically revaccinating every three years. Or, you may opt to forego antibody titers and simply revaccinate your dog every three years.
Remind him or her that veterinarians who are vaccinated for rabies protection are not automatically revaccinated.
Recently published research out of the University of California, Davis explored the impacts of early neutering on the incidence of joint diseases, various cancers, and urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage) in this breed.
Of all the joint disorders the incidence of cruciate ligament disease increased the most in proportion to early neutering. When reproductive hormones arrive on the scene (puberty), they signal the growth plates to close, and lengthening of bones ceases. In these breeds, early neutering is associated with dramatic increases in multiple types of cancer. And, I knew that, without appropriate treatment administered just as soon as possible, this dog would be doomed. I asked if the dog had a recent wound that would have allowed the tetanus organism to gain entry.
This classic facial appearance (the one that prompted me to respond to the FB post) is referred to as risus sardonicus.
For this reason, it is important to treat the wound (if one is found) where the bacteria gained entry. If the dog is unable to eat because of “lock jaw”, nutrition is provided by way of a feeding tube. Silly me, I failed to note the woman’s name and, because we are not FB “friends”, I am at a loss as to how to find her again.
Some people with allergies may react less severely to particular cats, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that her cats are hypoallergenic. She named him Council Rock Farm Adam of Hi-Fi and bred him to a neighboring cat that may also have carried the gene for wiry hair.
If you introduce bathing to the American Wirehair when he is a kitten and make it a pleasant experience, he's likely to be more accepting of it. And dona€™t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization, or other reliable source for healthy kittens. Many breeders won't release kittens to new homes until theya€™re between 12 and 16 weeks of age.
Sometimes breeders like to place cats in pet homes once their show or breeding careers are over. These reasons may include other health issues, unacceptable surgical or anesthesia risk, advanced age, and financial constraints, among others. The orthosis stabilizes the stifle from the outside only when ON, while surgery does so from the inside permanently. As such, there is limited published data directly comparing use of a stifle orthosis to surgical stabilization for CCL injury in the dog. This association has been clearly documented in Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Vizslas, and German Shepherds.
None of the important products manufactured within the liver (protein, blood clotting factors, glucose, cholesterol, etc.) can be distributed into the bloodstream for transport throughout the body. Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and protecting the health of the hepatocytes (liver cells). Infectious hepatitis is treated with antibiotics and supportive care such as intravenous fluids and medications to support the health of liver cells. Vacuolar hepatopathy is a typical response to excess cortisone in the body, either by way of Cushing’s Disease or treatment with cortisone-containing medications.
These are the dogs who will be first in line if ever canine liver transplants become available. Believe it or not, some dogs with significant liver disease demonstrate no overt abnormalities whatsoever (one of the many reasons routine canine senior citizen blood screening is a really good idea). A liver biopsy is often needed to make this distinction although, on occasion, the ultrasound alone is confirmatory.
If your dog or cat falls outside of the BCS “comfort zone” I encourage you to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Given this ease, accessibility, and affordability, it makes really good sense to figure out if antibody testing is a good choice for your dog. When a dog is neutered prior to the onset of puberty, the growth plates don’t receive this signal and the bones continue to lengthen. These differences are fascinating and underscore the value of performing breed-specific research. My thinking was that neutering later rather than earlier might prevent future joint maladies. For those of you who use FB, when I describe the vegetative trance one can enter while scrolling through a FB news feed, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
This involves debridement- opening the wound and removing as much infected tissue as possible. Males tend to have a laidback personality, while females are more likely to be involved in supervising household goings-on. The only other care he needs is weekly nail trimming, regular teeth brushing with a vet-approved pet toothpaste, and occasional ear cleaning with cotton balls and ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet. Put at least as much effort into researching your kitten as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance.
Importantly, your dog is much more active at home than at the veterinary clinic. Increased activity and activity intensity can expose fit issues requiring further adjustment. At these appointments your doctor will thoroughly assess your dog’s orthopedic condition and evaluate the condition and fit of the device.
The middle or medial meniscus is most commonly injured, and this may occur at the time of the initial cranial cruciate injury or any time later due to too much activity on an unstable joint. As the industry leader using our unique, anatomically aligned, and mechanically sound custom design, OrthoPets provides stifle orthoses for nearly 1,000 dogs per year.
Secondly, there isn’t an opportunity for substances such as vitamins and minerals to be delivered to the liver for storage. For example, without a visual and hands-on determination of BCS, it would be impossible to know if a 70-pound Collie was under or overweight. Though we tried to stop the bleeding with transfusions and medications, we lost the battle, and poor Henry passed away. It is theorized that this excess lengthening disrupts normal joint alignment that, in turn, causes joint disorders later in life. My son’s last dog, a fabulous Hurricane Katrina rescue named Tipper, experienced torn cruciate ligaments in both knees! This is the state I was in when I happened to scroll past a photo of a Labrador’ish-looking dog whose facial expression appeared pretty much just like the dog pictured here.
A second breeding established that the gene for a wire coat was dominant, and consultation with British cat geneticists, who examined hair samples from the cats, determined that they were unrelated to the Cornish or Devon Rex breeds. American Wirehairs that will be bred should be screened for HCM, and cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs.
The device is not used at night and your dog must not be allowed to move about at night (jump on or off bed, wander the house, go outside through a dog door, etc.).
Additional adjustments, if needed, are most commonly required in the first few months and as time goes on (see importance of follow-up #4).
A torn meniscus is very painful and if not treated it will cause continued lameness despite stabilizing the joint with surgery or an orthosis.
Finally, orthopedic injury leads to compensatory abnormal movement and associated muscle strain and weakness. This level of experience allows us to carefully select the patients best suited for a stifle orthosis, design appropriate rehabilitation protocols for best success, and troubleshoot interesting individual patient challenges.
It’s potential risks and benefits must be carefully evaluated before proceeding, particularly with dogs whose health is significantly compromised. Please follow all instructions with regard to monitoring the leg and contact your rehabilitation veterinarian promptly if you have concerns.
If adjustments are required, it will be necessary to ship the device to OrthoPets with a turnaround time of 1-3 business days excluding shipping time. The best way to ensure the highest level of success is to follow recommended rehabilitation schedule and techniques. This is not a substitute for clinical data, but is referred to as empirical (or experiential) data. Substances normally removed by the liver accumulate in the bloodstream and cause the neurological symptoms commonly associated with liver shunts.
Unfortunately, measurements of these two enzymes are often referred to as “liver function tests,’ a term that I believe to be very misleading. Each patient’s condition and abilities are unique and, as such, an individualized rehabilitation program is needed. A torn medial meniscus is diagnosed either at surgery, by MRI (rarely), ultrasound where available, or based on clinical judgment with or without use of an orthosis. It is important to work with a certified canine rehabilitation therapist (CCRT) who will custom design your dog’s physical therapy program.
OrthoPets continues to work closely with university professionals at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop studies to prove and improve the use of orthotic devices in animals. If your veterinarian suspects a meniscus tear please see our handout on options available for your dog.



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