Educational Articles

Treatment

  • Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that focuses on restoring the energy balance in the body to promote healing. The technique requires the insertion of fine needles into the dog’s body at specified points, called acupuncture points, where nerves and blood vessels converge. It is often used to treat dogs with arthritis and joint inflammation and may reduce the amount of medication a dog needs for these conditions. This handout explains how the treatment works and what to expect when your pet sees a veterinary acupuncturist.

  • Allopurinol is an oral medication typically used to prevent uric acid and calcium oxalate stones in dogs. It is also used off-label to treat leishmaniasis and gout in dogs and other species. Side effects are uncommon but may involve stomach upset. Caution must be taken when allopurinol is used in conjunction with certain other medications. It should not be used in pets with liver or kidney dysfunction or in red-tailed hawks.

  • An aortic thromboembolism results when a blood clot is dislodged and travels through the aorta, becoming lodged in a distant location. This causes severely reduced blood flow to the tissues receiving blood from that particular part of the aorta, leading to decreased oxygen in the tissues. Mixed breed cats, Abyssinian, Ragdoll, and Birmans are the most commonly affected. Sudden paralysis and pain, usually in the rear legs, are the most common clinical signs of aortic thromboembolism, although weakness and lameness may be seen. Other signs may include decreased or absent pulses in the femoral arteries of the rear legs, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, vocalization from pain, vomiting, and the nailbeds and footpads may be pale or bluish. Initially, cats may need to be treated as inpatients. Drugs to prevent platelets from clumping together will be prescribed. The expected course of this disorder is days to weeks for full recovery of function to the legs, but the prognosis in general is very poor.

  • Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive therapy that is used to examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions that affect joints. It requires a specialized piece of equipment called an arthroscope which will allow your veterinarian to look inside the joint using a small fiber optic camera that is hooked up to a monitor. It often requires general anesthesia; however, small incisions in the joint allow for a quicker recovery than traditional methods allow. The recovery time will depend on the extent of the injury, but compared to traditional surgery, recovery time is generally much shorter.

  • Atovaquone is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat protozoal infections. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or skin rash. Do not use in pets that are pregnant. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical can be toxic for both cats and dogs.

  • Cefpodoxime is a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat skin infections in dogs. It is also used off-label in cats and to treat other types of infection. It is given orally in tablet or liquid form. Side effects are uncommon. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • Cephalexin (brand names Rilexine®, Keflex®, Vetolexin®) is an oral antibiotic used to treat pyoderma and other bacterial skin infections in dogs and is used off-label in cats to treat pyoderma and other types of skin infections. It is sometimes used off-label to treat urinary tract infections in cats and dogs. Side effects of cephalexin are rare and usually mild.

  • Cetirizine is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat and prevent pruritus (itching) associated with atopic dermatitis, urticaria (hives), and insect bite reactions in cats and dogs. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include vomiting and increased salivation. Do not use it in pets that are allergic to it or hydroxyzine. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • Corneal dystrophy is a term used to describe several conditions that occur in dogs and cause the corneas to become opaque. There are three major categories of corneal dystrophy: epithelial, stromal, and endothelial. Each is named by the anatomic location of the abnormal tissue and opacity.