6. September 2011
Allergies, whether they are due to fleas, food, or environmental agents, are caused by the immune system overreacting, NOT a weakened immune system, a common client misconception. Studies have shown that animals with flea allergic dermatitis cannot be desensitized for fleas, so the only treatment is avoidance. The same is true of animals with food allergies.
How do I perform a proper food trial?
Currently, there's no accurate blood or skin test that can diagnose whether a pet has a food allergy. The only way a veterinarian can make a diagnosis is to change the pet's food to an appropriate elimination food-trial diet for eight to 12 weeks. This is done by feeding an elimination diet containing an unusual protein and carbohydrate source that the pet hasn't been exposed to, or by feeding a diet in which the proteins are hydrolyzed (made smaller) so the immune system won't recognize them. During this eight- to 12-week period, the food-trial diet must be fed without the addition of table scraps, treats, or chewable supplements, including flavored heartworm preventives. The only way to successfully perform a food trial is for clients to be strict about what the pet is allowed to eat.
The reason the trial must last so long is that some pets won't show improvement until up to three months after being off their original food. It is always recommended to gradually switch to the new diet during a three- to five-day period. Fresh water should never be withheld and always available free choice. The veterinarian in charge of the case will determine if treats are allowed and, if so, which ones.
1. September 2011
National Report — A Seattle company is working on the development of a “pot patch” for pain control in dogs, cats and horses that could be rolled out to the market by the end of the year.
While it’s reported that medical marijuana use in people has gained in popularity in last few years, a veterinary pain management expert says transdermal use of marijuana could have a place in a veterinarian’s armamentarium.
The patent rights for the marijuana patch were obtained in February by Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems (MMDS) of Seattle. The product will be marketed under the name Tetracan, according to the company, for transcutaneous delivery of medical marijuana to humans and animals.
11. August 2011
"Bella" has been the most popular pet name for the last two years running, but pet owners are still coming up with creative, quirky names for their best friend companions. Check out this year's fourth annual list of weirdest pet names, courtesy of VPI. VPI employees picked the top 10 dog names and top 10 weirdest cat names from more than 485,000 insured pets.