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Treatment

  • Pain research has advanced suggesting that a more appropriate choice for managing the chronic pain of OA is multi-modal therapy. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are just one of the options leveraged for multi-modal OA management. These include joint supplements, nutraceuticals, nutrition, adjunctive medicines, physical medicine, and changes to the home environment. Every multi-modal treatment plan is tailored to meet the needs of the individual patient and then adjusted as treatment progresses. Once a full multi-modal pain management plan is in place, your veterinarian may be able to lower the dose of NSAID to minimize the risk of an adverse event, and to reserve a full therapeutic dose for any acute inflammatory pain event.

  • Many herding breeds (most commonly Collies and Australian Shepherds) have a mutation at the MDR1 gene that makes them more sensitive to the negative effects of certain medications. These drugs include several antiparasitic agents (when given at high doses), the antidiarrheal agent loperamide (Imodium®), and several anticancer drugs. The effects of the mutation vary in severity, depending on whether the dog carries one or two copies of the mutation. There is a cheek swab or a commercially-available test that assesses blood samples for the presence of the MDR1 mutation.

  • Most cats instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism which can make detecting pain in cats a challenge. Although the signs may be subtle, careful observation of a cat’s everyday behaviors will often reveal pain when it is present. These signs may include changes in behavior, mobility, elimination, and grooming habits. Common pain medications include NSAIDs and opioids. Your veterinarian will choose the appropriate drugs based on your cat's specific needs.

  • Many dogs will instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism which in the past, led well-meaning experts to presume that dogs did not feel pain the same way humans do. Although the signs may be subtle, careful observation of a dog’s everyday behaviors will often reveal pain when it is present. These signs may include changes in behavior, mobility, and appetite. Common pain medications include NSAIDs, opioids, and other therapeutics. Your veterinarian will choose the appropriate drugs based on your dog’s specific needs.

  • Penetrating wounds such as sticks, arrows, or gunshots can be life-threatening though the outer appearance of a wound may not seem as severe. Take immediate steps to calm your pet, stabilize any foreign body that is present, and get your pet to your veterinarian. Surgery may be necessary after your pet is stabilized.

  • The definition of a pneumothorax is an accumulation of air outside the lungs, but inside the chest wall. The air outside the lung prevents the lungs from inflating normally, and can lead to lung collapse. There are several variations of pneumothorax.

  • After arriving at home, you should keep your cat warm and comfortable by providing a soft clean bed, ideally in a quiet and draft-free room at a comfortable room temperature. Your cat should remain indoors. For most procedures, your cat's activity should be restricted for one full week after surgery. Some cats experience nausea after general anesthesia, so dividing meals into smaller portions may decrease the risk of nausea and vomiting.

  • Pyelonephritis is an upper urinary tract infection involving the kidneys and ureters. Many cats have no clinical signs when they have pyelonephritis, although they may have signs of lower urinary tract disease. Pyelonephritis is usually caused by a bacterial infection that moves up the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidneys. Cats with sudden pyelonephritis do well and return to normal health unless concurrent complications exist.

  • Radiation therapy is the medical use of high dose radiation to destroy cancer cells by damaging the cells’ DNA to interfere with cell replication and kill them. It may be used on its own or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, or to reduce the size of very large tumors prior to surgery. There are several radiation protocols used in veterinary medicine. Your veterinary oncologist will choose the therapy most appropriate for your pet’s individual situation.

  • Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids are a valuable class of medications. They are commonly used to treat mild inflammatory conditions and/or to suppress the inflammation associated with an allergic response. When administered in high doses, they act as immunosuppressant drugs meaning they suppress or prevent an immune response. Corticosteroids have both short-term and long-term side effects including increased drinking/eating and increased risk of infections. Corticosteroids can be life-saving medications and improve the quality of life for many cats.