What your vets have been up to….

The doctors at Anchor Animal Hospital frequently attend national conferences to learn the most up to date medical information and bring the latest medical and surgical techniques back to Anchor Animal Hospital. Drs. Katherine and Gerald Pietsch attended the Annual Penn Conference presented by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The conference was held in Philadelphia, Pa. on March 12 &13, 2009.

Meetings at the conference included:

Tick borne diseases: Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia are all diseases have arrived in this area of the country. We are even seeing dogs infected with combinations of these bacteria.

Leptospirosis: A bacterial infection which seems to be resurging throughout the nation. The source of infection is water contaminated with urine from an infected animal, including rats, mice, raccoons, deer, cattle, etc. In dogs, Leptospirosis can produce liver or kidney failure. This is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can infect people as well. While frequently these infections can be treated left untreated they can be fatal.

Lyme nephritis: Lyme nephritis is a potentially fatal kidney disease resulting from infection with the Lyme causing bacteria. The incidence of Lyme nephritis among Lyme infected dogs is low, but when it occurs, it can be devastating. Interestingly, the incidence of Lyme nephritis is higher in retriever breeds.

Rabbit anesthesia: Please do not withhold food prior to anesthesia in rabbits. We wish to have the patient start eating again within hours of awakening. Medications for relief of anxiety and pain both pre-operatively and post-operatively were discussed.

Spay/neuters of rabbits: The recommendation is to spay or neuter rabbits between 3 and 6 months of age. Studies have shown that 80% of non-spayed rabbits will have significant medical problems later in life. Neutered male rabbits can have viable sperm in their reproductive system for up 28 after surgery. Therefore, don’t put a neutered male rabbit with an intact doe until 28 days after his surgery.

Dysphagia (difficulty eating and swallowing): The speaker discussed causes and diagnosis of dysphagia.

Feline chronic pain: Cats suffer more chronic pain than previously believed. Usually the pain is related to age, weight, and arthritis but it can be difficult to recognize. Watch for reduced jumping height or unwillingness to jump. Pain treatment in cats includes loss of weight, nutraceuticals, special diets, environmental modification, and in some cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Multi-modal pain control in dogs: The most effective strategies for the treatment of pain in dogs are frequently multimodal. Attacking pain at several different points simultaneously is often much more effective than any one method alone. Weight control, nutraceuticals, and various classes of medications are all effective in dogs and can be used in various combinations.

Intraoperative analgesia: A number of medications and techniques are available to enhance the pain control provided by the primary anesthetic agent.