A few years ago, the New Delhi metallobetalactamase-1 (NDM-1) antibiotic resistance gene attracted a lot of attention. This resistance gene can be found in (and passed between) a variety of bacteria, and bacteria possessing this gene are resistant to a wide range of drugs. A drug of last resort for those infections is colistin (a… read more
When the Patient is Our Own
Veterinary technicians are blessed with pets that, like any other pet owners, may have major medical issues. Not only do we have healthy pets, but also we’re more likely than the general public to take home the three-legged dog the owners no longer wanted, to work with a cat’s diabetes or to, nurse a tiny… 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
Skunky McSkunkface: Skunk Spray Can be Lethal
Everyone knows about the hazards that skunk spray poses to your nostrils: a drive on a warm summer day is often ruined for a few minutes as you pass through a cloud left behind by some poor run-down skunk. For them, it’s a defense mechanism that is evolutionarily derived from those pesky glands that frame… read more
Double Handling Under the Microscope as KC Considers Sweeping Changes for GSDs
CHANGES to the German Shepherd’s Standard, a review of its high-profile breed veterinary check and measures to stop the practice of double handling are being considered by the Kennel Club. The KC’s ‘GSD review group’ – formed swiftly after Crufts when the GSD best of breed was heavily criticised for her movement and hyperactivity, is… read more
Confused by Veterinary Oncology Terminology? Let Me Help You Figure it Out!
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are confusing topics. When complicated terminology is combined with the anxiety associated with a diagnosis of cancer, it’s easy to understand how things become blurry. Further complicating things are those veterinarians who cross specialties. How can an owner keep be expected to keep it all straight? Chemotherapy is defined as the… read more
Out of the Mouths of Animals…
Dogs and cats are frequently diagnosed with tumors of the oral cavity. This diverse group of cancers includes growths along the gingiva (gum), lips, tongue, tonsils, the bones and cartilage of the upper and lower jaws, and the structural components holding the teeth in place. The most common oral tumors in dogs are melanoma, squamous… read more
The Infinite Sadness of HappyTail
The name sounds like it could be a children’s book or the first installment of a Disney franchise – Happytail. Little anthropomorphic creatures cavorting gleefully in some wooded glade somewhere while they sing about the virtues of modesty, proper dental hygiene or hard work. But fairy tale full of wide-eyed childhood wonder it’s not. It’s… read more
Do You and Your Dog Have Similar Personalities?
Research has shown that owners often choose dogs that look similar to them. Data also suggests that the dogs we choose to share our life with tend to have similar personalities. One study asked owners to rank themselves and their dogs in five personality traits – neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness. Owners ranked themselves and… read more
There’s a Test For That Tick! But Is There a Need?
Some diagnostic tests that are available are more of a situation of a test looking for a market rather than filling a clinical need for additional information. That complicates matters since providing new information isn’t necessarily useful if we don’t know what to do with it. In some situations, it can even lead to bad… read more