Blog

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis in Dogs

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA) is a relatively easy disease to understand, but what causes it can be confusing and affects the selection of treatment options. What is IMPA? Immune-mediated (aka autoimmune) conditions occur when the immune system is overactive and attacks the body in various ways. Hyperactive may be a more appropriate term because one part…

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Cancer Immunotherapy for Dogs

In my article about allergen-specific immunotherapies, I talked whereby the goal is for the body to reach a higher level of tolerance to an offending environmental agent such as pollen. On the other side, cancer immunotherapies are more about destroying. Immuno-oncology research has focused around training the body to find and fight cancer cells or…

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Hairballs: Chronic Conditions and Prevention

Pet caregivers seem to have become accustomed to thinking that hairballs are the status quo for cats. It is true that many cats spend several hours per day grooming themselves and that can lead to a build-up of indigestible keratin (the insoluble protein in hair).  Veterinarians may only become concerned when the situation is a…

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Purebred Vs. Mixed Breed Dog Health

In June 2013, the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association published a study called “Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995–2010)” that was compiled by The University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (UC Davis). The researchers searched all of UC Davis’ medical records for confirmed diagnoses of inheritable diseases…

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The Plague Is Still Around

Simply saying “the bubonic plague” brings visions of squalor, dirt, millions of rats scurrying about, and people falling over and dying in the middle of the street during the mid-14th century. Indeed, Europe’s population was decimated and approximately 50 million people died during that time.  Nowadays, we think the horror is over and shudder at…

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Trap-Neuter-Return Programs of Feral Cats

The basic premise of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs is to trap feral cats, check their health, neuter/spay, vaccinate, evaluate potential for domestication or release back into wild colonies. A slight nip off the tip of the ear distinguishes these cats from others. If the cat is not well enough to be released, he receives further medical…

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A Survey of Canine Immunity to, and Vaccines for, Newer Flu Viruses

The 1918 influenza pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide and killed potentially 20 million people. In the United States, approximately 675,000 deaths were attributed to this particular virus, which originated in Europe and was carried throughout the world by troops returning home after World War I. It is important to remember that medical…

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