Injuries to bones, ligaments
and joints are common in our canine and feline companions.
These injuries usually occur as a result of genetic predisposition
or trauma. Casts, splints and physical therapy are some
of the therapies used for treat orthopedic injuries. In
many cases, animals need to undergo orthopedic surgery to
correct the problem. Most of the surgical techniques used
in humans are now available for our pets.
Some examples of common canine
orthopedic conditions include cranial cruciate ligament
rupture ("torn acl"), hip dysplasia, and fractures.
Orthopedic problems are less
common in cats than in dogs.
are created by electromagnetic radiation. We use this technology
to image the bones, joints, and soft tissue of the body.
Bones appear white, air and fluid are black, and soft tissue
appear as different shades of gray. In essence, radiographs
are "x-ray vision." Radiographs are an important,
noninvasive method of diagnosing the extent of injuries
to bones, the size of organs, the presence of a mass, stones
in the urinary tract or foreign objects in the intestines.
It allows veterinarians to make decisions regarding the
most appropriate therapy for your pet.
is an imaging modality that utilizes sound waves to produce
images of the internal organs. It is noninvasive and provides
details about the composition of organs. It is also used
as a way to image the heart.
Some allergies are obvious--the
dog that is allergic to a bee sting. In that case, you take
great pains to avoid exposure of your pet to the bee vemon--the
"allergen." If your pet is exposed, he has immediate
signs including facial itching, facial swelling, vomiting
and hives. In this case, your pet needs immediate veterinary
attention. However, there are other, more subtle types of
Dogs and cats can be allergic
to all the same things people have allergies to including
pollen, grass, dust, cedar, (the list is almost endless).
In addition, some animals are allergic to flea saliva or
even food! The signs of these allergies are not always obvious
and include one or many of the following: generalized pruritis
(itchiness), hair loss, rashes, discharge from the eyes,
vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, and chronic ear infections.
There are many steps that
must be taken to discover the underlying allergy. The first
step is for your pet to have a thorough physical exam and
the skin or ears evaluated for infectious organisms that
can exacerbate the allergies. Then, a blood sample can be
taken from your pet and submitted to a laboratory that will
test your pet's blood against the common allergens in this
area of the country. Once all the results are in, you and
your veterinarian can decide on the best therapy for your
Therapies may include the
following: changes in food, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory
drugs, flea prevention, and modifications to your pet's