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Ziva - April 2017

Posted 2:19 PM by

Ziva

 

Ziva is a 5 year old, spayed, German Shepherd that has been a patient at Post Pet Hospital since she was 9 weeks old. On September 9, 2016, Ziva had an appointment for her annual exam, vaccines and heartworm test. This is when we discovered that Ziva was heartworm positive. Heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries. In advanced cases, this may lead to coughing or hacking with heavy infestations of heartworms. Symptoms can range from fatigue while exercising to difficulty breathing to weight loss to dark urine caused by urinary protein loss in severe cases. When there are adult male and female heartworms, they reproduce and create microfilariae. Microfilariae are then transmitted from dog to dog through a mosquito.

Soon after Ziva’s diagnosis, we took radiographs and did bloodwork to stage the heartworm disease and make sure there weren’t any underlying problems that would complicate heartworm treatment. Bloodwork revealed an elevated white blood cell count which indicates infection, but the liver and kidneys were functioning well. Radiographs showed that the pulmonary vessels were prominent and right sided cardiomegaly, or enlargement of the right side of the heart. There were also densities noted in the lung field from the heartworm infection. Dr. Grosser prescribed steroids and antibiotics to help with the inflammation and infection.

To treat heartworm disease, we use a product containing melarsomine dihydrochloride, commonly known as Immiticide. It is an injectable solution that is given intramuscularly to the dog in the lumbar region of the back and administered in 3 stages. Before we want to start the injections to kill off the adult worms, we want to start the patient on a monthly heartworm preventative under supervision to kill the baby worms. Once the patient has successfully started the prevention without any adverse reactions, we can then continue the process of treating the adult worms.

The first injection was given the same day Ziva underwent her blood screening and x-rays. An extra dose of steroids was given to help combat any inflammation caused by the presence of the worms. Thirty days later, Dr. Grosser administered a back to back dose of Immiticide 24 hours apart. Doing the injections in 3 stages kills the worms gradually making it less risky for embolism or shock. It is very important to keep the dog calm during treatment. Overexertion increases heart rate and oxygen demand which, in turn, may cause an embolism or a blockage of an artery from the heartworm congestion. These injections can be very painful and swelling can occur. Ziva exhibited both pain and swelling which was relieved some with the use of steroids. Six months after the last injection, on April 17, 2017 Ziva returned for her follow-up heartworm test and the results were negative.

Heartworm treatment is very costly, painful, and often times, easily preventable with a monthly heartworm preventative. It can either be a once a month chewable or topical application but it must be purchased from a veterinarian or with a prescription. 

 

  
 

 

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Elvis - March 2017

Posted 3:53 PM by

Elvis

             

  Elvis is a 10 year old Boston Terrier that presented to Post Pet Hospital on March 7th, 2017 when Dr. Grosser diagnosed Elvis with a corneal ulcer on his right eye and glaucoma. He prescribed eye drops to help with inflammation, corneal repair, infection, and to decrease his eye pressures.

  Ten days later, Elvis was seen at the emergency clinic because his eye seemed worse. He was shaking, throwing his head to the left, and falling down sometimes. They determined that he had a mild ear infection in his left ear. They dispensed medications to help with the pain. That night, Elvis ran into something and injured his eye. Dr. Grosser saw Elvis the following morning, March 18th, and determined that the eyeball had ruptured and needed to be removed so he performed an enucleation that day. There was no way to save his vision in that eye and this would also eliminate the persistent pain Elvis was experiencing.  Just five days later, we were able to decrease his pain medications because he was doing so well. He had stopped the head shaking and was no longer falling over.

  Two weeks after the enucleation, we removed his sutures and Elvis had adjusted well to losing his eye. Elvis is currently still on medication to control glaucoma in his left eye. He is also completely blind due to the cataract in his remaining left eye.

 Corneal ulcers, glaucoma, and eyeball injuries can be very painful. Elvis was trying to “throw himself” away from the pain in his right eye, hence the jerking his head to the left. This resulted in the loss of balance and falling over. Removing the source of his pain (the eye) allowed him to enjoy his life again. Dogs adapt well to blindness. Pain, on the other hand, is a different matter.


 

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Archie - September 2016

Posted 1:07 PM by

Archie

   Meet Archie (Archimedus), a Goldendoodle puppy. His family has waited many years to adopt a new puppy and Archie was the lucky pup!

 

  He first visted us at 9 weeks old and then again at 12 weeks old for puppy boosters. He is a bright, healthy puppy and has already doubled his weight.

 

  We would like to congratulate his family on their new family member and we look forward to many years of caring for Archie!!

 

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Tater - August 2016

Posted 12:23 PM by


   Meet Tater!  He is a ten-year-old Miniature Dachshund.   We first met Tater as a puppy when his owners brought him in for his first puppy visit at 12 weeks of age and 5.1 pounds

 Tater has been a relatively healthy young man besides his back “flaring up” in 2013 and a dental cleaning with extractions in 2014.  In 2013 Tater was not himself and was crying when his owners picked him up. Dr. Grosser radiographed Tater’s back and discovered narrowed disc spaces and an arthritic back.  Tater was put on pain medication and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory along with a stool softener to help with constipation due to back pain.

We have controlled Tater’s back pain for the past few years up until this month; Tater was brought in because he was having trouble standing up and had not urinated for 24 hours.  We emptied Tater’s bladder via urinary catheter and referred him to the VCA Specialty Center for consultation and possible surgery.

Upon referral the specialists discussed intervertebral disc herniation, but had not ruled out vascular, inflammatory/infectious or neoplastic lesions.  The specialists discussed surgical intervention vs. conservative management. The plan was to recheck in 24 hours and proceed with imaging and possible surgery.

Within 24 hours Tater was slightly worse, bordering on non-ambulatory because he was falling after a few steps.  They proceeded with an MRI and it showed moderate compression at the level of L2-3.  Tater was taken to surgery and a left sided hemilaminectomy was performed.

 Tater has been recovering well, he’s been on strict cage rest.  The owners are doing range of motion exercises daily with Tater.  Two weeks post op Tater came in for a nail trim at Post Pet Hospital and to strut down the hall to show off for Dr. Grosser. 

 

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Kittens - July 2016

Posted 11:54 AM by

 

Cuterebrosis in Cats:

Cats become infected with a botfly larva when they come into contact with a blade of grass that has a botfly maggot on it. The movement of the cat against the blade of grass stimulates the maggot to crawl onto the cat. The maggot then crawls around on the cat until it finds an orifice in which to enter. 

In the northern U.S. the disease is seasonal, with most cases occurring in late summer and early fall when the adult flies are active. Seasonality is less determined in areas with warmer temperatures, where flies are active through longer periods of the year. 

Symptoms and Types:

Cuterebra infection may be detectable by warbles below the surface of the skin, or your cat may show signs associated with the larvae migrating within their tissues. Symptoms can include respiratory signs, neurological signs, opthalmic (eye) lesions, or the aforementioned maggots under the skin. 

 Causes:

The most likely place for your pet to acquire this parasite is in an environment where the botfly flourishes: grassy areas where there are adequate populations of rodents and rabbits. But, even pets without access to the outdoors, such as newborn kittens, can be infected from larvae brought home on the mother's fur. 

 Diagnosis:

Your veterinarian will want to consider the following conditions before positive diagnosis of a cuterebra infection is made. Respiratory symptoms will be evaluated for allergies, and for other possible parasites, like lungworms or other migrating worms that use the respiratory tract as a passage. Conditions that might produce similar neurological symptoms, but are of graver consequence, will need to be ruled out before treatment is given for a cuterebra infection. These conditions include rabies, distemper, and heart worms. If your cat has lesions on the eye, there may be a more serious parasitic larval infestation, one that can lead to permanent blindness, that also needs to be ruled out. 

The clearest indication of a cuterebra infection is, of course, a warble under the skin, in which case your veterinarian will be able to quickly determine whether it is the botfly. 

Treatment:

If the maggot is at the end of its migratory stage and has settled into a spot on the body, such as under the skin, eyes, or nose, your veterinarian will be able to remove it safely. Manifestations of lung migration may be alleviated by corticosteroids. If the parasite has led to irreversible neurological damage the prognosis will be poor and euthanasia may be the only option. 

Your veterinarian will probably prescribe a broad-spectrum anti-parasite medication, which should kill maggots still in the migrating stage. A corticosteroid treatment will be given before administering the medication. The anti-parasite medication can be administered either to alleviate the signs caused by maggots suspected of migrating in the lungs, or to kill larvae in other tissues, including the central nervous system. 

Prevention:

There does not seem to be any prolonged immunity to infestation; an animal can develop skin lesions due to botfly infestation for several years in a row. Application of monthly heartworm preventives, flea development control products, or topical flea and tick treatments may either prevent the maggots from developing in the dog or cat, or may kill the maggots before they have time to gain access to an orifice for entry.

Post Pet Hospital Patients:

We have had two kittens recently that have been brought in with cuterebra infestations.  The first kitten was a stray being fostered by an employee. Dr. Grosser recommended and we treated with anesthesia a surgical intervention, wound flushing, drain placement, antibiotics and pain medication.  The next kitten was a barn kitten and cost was a concern so we removed the warble without anesthesia, flushed the wound and sent him home on antibiotics.  Both kittens are doing well since their treatment. 

                                               
                     Odie during surgery                                                          Odie during surgery

 

                                                  
                                    Odie healed                                                             Sherbert healed

 

                                                           
                                                                                       Sherbert

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