Top 10 reasons for Vet visits

from VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance)

Top Dog Conditions

1. Skin Allergies

2. Ear Infection

3. Non-cancerous Skin Mass

4. Skin Infection

5. Arthritis

6. Upset Stomach/Vomiting

7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea

8. Periodontitis/Dental Disease

9. Bladder or Urinary Tract Disease

10. Soft Tissue Trauma (Bruise or Contusion)

Pet Collars containing Pesticide withdrawn

EPA: Companies Agree to Stop Selling Pet Collars Containing Pesticide to Protect Children
Related Information
3/28/14: Propoxur Cancellation Order
3/14/14 Press Release: EPA, Sergeant’s Pet Care and Wellmark International Reach Agreement to Cancel Potentially Harmful Insecticide Products
Reduce Your Child’s Chances of Pesticide Poisoning, Protecting Pets from Fleas and Ticks
EPA’s Registration Review of Propoxur fleacollar

Under a voluntary agreement, Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. and Wellmark International have agreed to stop producing pet collars containing the pesticide propoxur. This decision was reached as a result of discussions about how to reduce children’s exposure to propoxur in pet collars.
The companies have agreed not to distribute these products after April 1, 2016. The remaining products will go through the channels of trade until the existing stock of pet collars has been sold.
If you purchased a propoxur pet collar, read the label carefully and follow all directions on the label to protect your family and pets from exposure. Pesticides on your pets can be transferred to your children. Do not allow children to play with the collar and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling it.

Countering the Caregiver Placebo Effect

Countering the Caregiver Placebo Effect
03.12.2014 | Tracey Peake

How do you know that your pet is benefiting from its pain medication? A new clinical trial design could help overcome pet owners’ unconscious observation bias and determine whether the drugs they test are effective.

When animals are recruited for clinical trials, particularly for pain medications, researchers must rely on owner observation to determine whether the medication is working. Sounds simple enough, but as it turns out, human and animal behavior can affect the results.

All clinical trials have a “control” – often a set of participants that receive a placebo in place of the medication. In human trials researchers have long struggled with the placebo effect – the psychological impact that the patient’s belief in the treatment can have on his or her condition. To get around this, researchers put a lot of effort into developing tools sensitive enough to distinguish between the placebo effect and the medication’s ”real” effect.

“In veterinary medicine, we’re one step removed from the patient, and so we run into what we call the ‘caregiver placebo effect,’ which is how we refer to a number of factors that result in unconscious influence on owners’ responses,” says Margaret Gruen, NC State veterinary clinician and researcher. “Merely observing behavior can change it, and any changes in daily routine, like administering medication, will affect the way you relate to that animal and change its behavior.” This makes controlling for the placebo effect more difficult, and even the most sensitive detection techniques still have trouble distinguishing between the real and the placebo effect.

Take cats for example. Inscrutable at the best of times, they are also notorious for their reluctance to take medication. So if your cat is participating in a clinical trial for pain medication, both your relationship to the animal and its behavior are going to undergo some pretty significant changes once you start administering medication. And these changes will occur whether or not your pet likes the medication or placebo. That, coupled with your optimism about what the results may be and the fact that you’re now closely scrutinizing the cat’s every move, can change your responses. “We cannot get away from this,” says Dr. Gruen, “so we need to find a way around it.”

To do so, Gruen and lead researcher Duncan Lascelles tested a low dose of a drug commonly used for pain management in cats with degenerative joint disease. They started by giving all of the trial participants an initial two-week placebo to get the animals used to taking the medication. The owners were aware that they were giving placebo during this period. This was followed by a three-week trial, with half of the participants receiving the drug and half receiving placebo, without the owners knowing which was which. Finally, there was a three-week “blinded placebo washout,” in which all of the participants were again taking a placebo, but the owners weren’t aware of the change.

“The final three-week period is where we were able to get real results about the usefulness of the medication,” Gruen says. “During the three week medication trial, all of the owners indicated that their pets improved, which is due to the caregiver placebo effect. But during the washout phase, owners of the cats who had been receiving the medication in the first phase said that their pet’s signs of pain were returning, while the owners of cats who had received placebo in the first phase did not notice any change.

“So we were able to circumvent the placebo effect and determine that this medication is effective in cats with degenerative joint disease,” Gruen continues. “We understand that this approach will need further investigation, but we believe this design may be useful both in veterinary studies and in human studies where the placebo effect is particularly strong.”

Gruen and Lascelles published their new trial design and results in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Approval for insulin automatic pen injectable for dogs

FDA Approves First Insulin Product for Use with Automatic Injection Pen in Cats and Dogs
Approval provides consumers with additional option for insulin delivery

March 19, 2014

Media Inquiries: Megan Bensette, 240-506-6818
Consumer Inquiries: 240-276-9300,

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the first approval of an insulin for use in cats and dogs via an automatic injection pen. Vetsulin, a porcine insulin, may now be used with the VetPen automatic injection pen. The approval provides consumers with the option of using Vetsulin with the refillable VetPen, which automatically measures out the prescribed insulin dose.

In 2011, Vetsulin was taken off the market due to manufacturing concerns. The product was reintroduced to the market in 2013 and FDA continues to monitor its use.

Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. The most common side effect experienced with Vetsulin is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Vetsulin is manufactured by Intervet, Inc. For questions on how to obtain Vetsulin, please contact Merck Animal Health Customer Service at 1-800-521-5767.

CSU Veterinarians Seek Big Dogs to Undergo Stomach Surgery and Digestive Evaluation

FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University veterinarians want to learn about stomach function in large-breed dogs that have undergone laparoscopic gastropexy, a minimally invasive surgery in which the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall to prevent dangerous bloating.

To investigate, a veterinary team is launching a clinical study in big dogs – those weighing more than 80 pounds.

Gastric dilatation volvulus, when the stomach flips and expands, is both potentially fatal and fairly common in large-breed dogs, said Dr. Eric Monnet, a veterinarian in Soft Tissue Surgery Service at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Continue reading CSU Veterinarians Seek Big Dogs to Undergo Stomach Surgery and Digestive Evaluation

Population structure and genetic differentiation of livestock guard dog breeds

Population structure and genetic differentiation of livestock guard dog breeds from the Western Balkans
E. Ceh,P. Dovc*
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics

Livestock guard dog (LGD) breeds from the Western Balkans are a good example of how complex genetic diversity pattern observed in dog breeds has been shaped by transition in dog breeding practices. Despite their common geographical origin and relatively recent formal recognition as separate breeds, the Karst Shepherd, Sarplaninac and Tornjak show distinct population dynamics, assessed by pedigree, microsatellite and mtDNA data. We genotyped 493 dogs belonging to five dog breeds using a set of 18 microsatellite markers and sequenced mtDNA from 94 dogs from these breeds. Different demographic histories of the Karst Shepherd and Tornjak breeds are reflected in the pedigree data with the former breed having more unbalanced contributions of major ancestors and a realized effective population size of less than 20 animals. The highest allelic richness was found in Sarplaninac (5.94), followed by Tornjak (5.72), whereas Karst Shepherd dogs exhibited the lowest allelic richness (3.33). Similarly, the highest mtDNA haplotype diversity was found in Sarplaninac, followed by Tornjak and Karst Shepherd, where only one haplotype was found. Based on FST differentiation values and high percentages of animals correctly assigned, all breeds can be considered genetically distinct. However, using microsatellite data, common ancestry between the Karst Shepherd and Sarplaninac could not be reconstructed, despite pedigree and mtDNA evidence of their historical admixture. Using neighbour-joining, STRUCTURE or DAPC methods, Sarplaninac and Caucasian Shepherd breeds could not be separated and additionally showed close proximity in the NeighborNet tree. STRUCTURE analysis of the Tornjak breed demonstrated substructuring, which needs further investigation. Altogether, results of this study show that the official separation of these dog breeds strongly affected the resolution of genetic differentiation and thus suggest that the relationships between breeds are not only determined by breed relatedness, but in small populations even more importantly by stochastic effects.
Read the full article :
Article first published online: 8 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1111/jbg.12077