Insulin is used on and off label and injected under the skin to treat diabetes, ketoacidosis, and high potassium levels. Side effects may include low or high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and skin allergic reactions to the injections. Do not use in pets who are having an episode of low blood sugar levels and do not use pork insulins in pets with a pork allergy. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. All stones form because of disease or inflammation in the bladder. The most common signs of bladder stones in the cat are blood in the urine and straining to urinate. Large stones may act almost like a valve, causing an "on-off" or partial obstruction at the neck of the bladder. In males, small stones become lodged in the urethra and cause an obstruction. X-rays (with or without contrast dyes) or ultrasound may be necessary for diagnosis. The fastest way to remove bladder stones is via a surgical procedure called a cystotomy. Special diets or passing a catheter may be successful for some bladder stones. Your veterinarian will advise you of the best course of action for your cat’s particular situation.
Telehealth is a broad term that refers to the use of telecommunications to provide health-related services. Telehealth services can be delivered by a variety of methods including telephone, text messaging, internet chat, and videoconferencing. Teletriage is the act of performing triage remotely, via telephone or internet and helps determine the urgency of your pet’s medical concern. Telemedicine refers to the practice of medicine at a distance. In the context of veterinary medicine, telemedicine refers to a veterinarian formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet without an in-person examination. Telemedicine is typically only permitted within the context of an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and social/physical distancing requirements however, some federal and local governments have relaxed the requirements surrounding telemedicine.
Mitotane is primarily used to treat Cushing's disease in dogs. It has also been used to treat adrenal gland tumors. Mitotane reduces the amount of cortisone-like hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. These steroids are important for various body functions; however excessive levels of these hormones can cause problems.
Hydroxyurea is given by mouth and is used off label to treat certain cancers in cats and dogs. Common side effects include bone marrow suppression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth and stomach ulcers, loss of toenails and/or hair coat. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, or in pregnant pets unless absolutely necessary. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Cyclophosphamide is given by mouth or injection and is used off label to treat various cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, carcinoma, and sarcoma. Common side effects include hair loss and hair coat changes. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or that cannot be sufficiently monitored during treatment, are pregnant or lactating, have urinary obstruction, infection, bone marrow dysfunction, or have had an episode of blood in the urine that is not associated with a bladder infection. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Chlorambucil is given by mouth and is used off label to treat certain types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Common side effects include fur loss and changes in hair coat, as well as gastrointestinal upset. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it or other alkylating medications, that have bone marrow disease, have an active infection, or that are pregnant or lactating. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Cystine bladder stones appear to be the result of a genetic abnormality that prevents a dog from reabsorbing cystine from the kidneys. While bladder stones in general are somewhat common in dogs, cystine bladder stones are rare. Your veterinarian may be able to palpate the stones or may need to perform imaging studies such as a bladder ultrasound or a contrast radiographic study. There are two primary treatment strategies for treating cystine bladder stones in dogs: urohydropropulsion or surgical removal. Dogs that have developed cystine bladder stones in the past will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Unfortunately, cystine stones have a high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition that results from inadequate insulin or interference of insulin action on the body preventing glucose regulation. This causes a buildup of ketone bodies that, at a high enough level, will cause a metabolic derangement resulting in inability to retain water, weakness, vomiting and weight loss, among other signs. Treatment usually requires intensive hospitalized care including IV fluids, potassium supplementation, short acting insulin injections, and regular monitoring of glucose and electrolytes. In dogs already diagnosed with diabetes, ketoacidosis can often be prevented with regular glucose monitoring performed at home.
When leaving home for vacations, pet owners are confronted with the problem of what to do with their pets. Should they take them along or leave them at home? Reviewing a summary of boarding options and travel guidelines will make the decision easier while safe guarding the well-being of your pet and providing your own peace of mind.