Posts By Leah Bertagnolli

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Medical Questions to Ask a Prospective Pet Sitter

If you’re like me, the most stressful part of preparing to go out of town is feeling reassured that the animals left behind will be well cared for. I prefer to have my menagerie cared for in their own surroundings by a professional pet sitter, or at the pet sitter’s home (emphasis here on “home”… read more

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A Gift for You from Dr. Nancy Kay D.V.M.

I am sitting at the keyboard, thinking about the Holidays and the many things for which I am grateful. It just so happens that our relationship (yep, the one between you and me) is on my gratitude list! Your ongoing readership feeds my love of writing, and, for this, I am truly appreciative. My gift to… read more

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New Help for Dogs With Megaesophagus

There’s some exciting, hot-off-the-press news for dogs with megaesophagus. Researchers at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine have new insights about this frustrating and often devastating disease. What is megaesophagus? The term megaesophagus refers to weakness, dilation, and decreased motility of the esophagus, the muscular tube that normally propels food, water, and saliva… read more

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Lick Granulomas: An Annoying Little Problem That is Difficult To Solve

If you’ve no idea what a lick granuloma is, count your blessings! What a nuisance they can be. The official name for this disease is acral lick dermatitis. “Acral” refers to an extremity (leg) and “dermatitis” means inflammation of the skin. The “lick” is thrown in because incessant licking behavior is what causes the problem…. read more

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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