Posts By Leah Bertagnolli


Setting Up a Trust for Your Pet

A dear friend of mine just entered hospice care. After a courageous battle, she is finally surrendering to ovarian cancer. In a conversation shared yesterday, she told me that she wants her beloved horse Partner to go to one of our mutual friends along with her truck and trailer and money to take care of… read more


Tracheal Collapse: A Common Cause of Canine Coughing

“My dog can’t stop coughing, and I’m not getting any sleep!” What veterinarian hasn’t heard this complaint? Many different disorders cause coughing in dogs. One at the top of the list, particularly in smaller breeds, is a disease called tracheal collapse (aka, collapsing trachea). Normal tracheal anatomy and function The trachea is part of the… read more


A Smart Phone Device Records Canine and Feline ECG’s (Electrocardiographs)

A decade or so ago, I never would have dreamed of running an ECG (electrocardiograph) on a dog or cat using my smartphone. When I learned this new technology exists, my response was “ Wow! Really?” A company called AliveCor has produced just such a product. Word on the street is that increasing numbers of… read more

nancy kay dvm

Followup: Canine Cruciate Ligament Disease

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,… read more


Cruciate Ligament Disease: A Comparison of Surgical and Nonsurgical Treatment Outcomes

I was intrigued by the results of a recently published study in which the researchers focused on cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) in dogs. 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). An all too common injury The… read more


Causes and Treatment of Canine Liver Disease (part 2)

I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the liver. This amazing, multitasking organ performs a vast array of functions essential for survival. 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. Below is the rest of the… read more


Liver Disease in Dogs: Part I

The liver is an amazingly complex organ and is responsible for multiple functions in the body, all of which are vital for good health. Such multi-tasking means that there are a number of things that can go awry. It’s not surprising then that canine liver disease is so common. The liver happens to be remarkably… read more


Vaccine Antibody Titers: Are They a Good Choice for Your Dog?

Perhaps you know a little bit about antibody titers (aka, vaccine titers, vaccine serology, and titer testing), but find the topic to be confusing. Rest assured, you are in good company. The topic is somewhat complicated, and recommendations as to how to use antibody titers vary widely. Until relatively recently, antibody titer testing was quite… read more


A Primer on Canine Tetanus

Odds are really good that none of the dogs you’ll ever know will develop tetanus. So, why have I chosen to write about this disease? Blame it on Facebook (FB). 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… read more


Canine Cushing’s Disease

Of the handful of hormonal imbalances dogs develop, Cushing’s Disease is one of the most common. Also called hyperadrenocorticism, dogs with this disease have an overproduction (hyper) of cortisol (corticism) by their adrenal glands (adreno). Cushing’s Disease occurs primarily in middle-aged and older dogs, and, while it can develop in any size or breed, smaller… read more

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