Aminocaproic Acid (Amicar™)
Due to their unusual physiology, greyhounds (and some of their sighthound cousins) can suffer from delayed post-operative bleeding. This can be catastrophic as the bleeding may not start for 24-48 hours after the surgery, long after you’ve brought your fur kid home from the vet. The bleeding can happen with a relatively “simple” surgery, like a tooth extraction, or something far more complex like a spay/neuter or a leg amputation. Aminocaproic acid (brand name: Amicar™) being administered for five days starting the morning of the procedure has been proven to reduce or even prevent this kind of potentially life-threatening condition. We offer our members a full course of carboplatin free, up to twice per year per member and recommend Amatheon Pharmaceuticals as an inexpensive source for this lifesaving drug, but any compounding pharmacy can make aminocaproic acid.
CBS NEWS March 12, 2017, 9:51 AM
On The Horizon: How dogs may help fight bone cancer
A multitude of potential advances are ON THE HORIZON in the field of cancer research, as reported by Susan Spencer:
Meet Zoe. She’s eight years old, full of heart, and these days, does pretty well on only three legs. Yeah, that’s a good girl!
Veterinarians, and dogs like Zoe, team up with cancer doctors in the field of comparative oncology to find a cure for osteosarcoma.
Doctors had to amputate one of Zoe’s front legs last fall when she was diagnosed with life-threatening bone cancer.
“Dogs get cancer,” said Dr. Cheryl London. “It’s the most common reason for a dog to die.”
Today Zoe and fellow Great Dane Murphy are part of a new study which may help people as much as their dogs.
It’s the pet project of veterinarian Cheryl London, a research professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and Dr. Katie Janeway, at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer Center.
“We are trying to understand cancers in dogs and develop new treatments, and then apply those to humans,” Dr. London said.
This growing field is called comparative oncology -- veterinarians teaming up with cancer doctors to find a cure.
“It puts the whole idea of dog being man’s best friend in a completely new light!” said Spencer.
“Nobody would think of them as volunteers in a clinical trial of a new drug that could someday save your life.”
And may save theirs.
Oncologist Janeway treats the same type of bone cancer in children that London treats in dogs: Osteosarcoma.
“It’s been three or four decades since we’ve had a new approach in osteosarcoma that’s worked,” Dr. Janeway said.
“How is this any better than using the traditional model, of the mouse in the lab?” asked Spencer.
“Mice don’t have an immune history like you and I do,” Dr. London replied. “Because they’re kept in cages, and they’re isolated. Dogs get exposed to many different antigens.”
And osteosarcoma, in kids and dogs, is astonishingly similar.
And the ultimate goal here? “Very promising new drugs for osteosarcoma,” said Dr. Janeway.
With any luck, a new drug might even come in Zoe’s lifetime. If not, well, it’ll still have her paw prints all over it.
It Only Takes One Mosquito Bite, Even Indoor Pets are at Risk
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month and SPCA Florida is addressing the top 3 myths surrounding this potentially fatal, but preventable disease.
So what is a heartworm? It’s a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream in order to get to the vessels of the lungs and the heart chamber. It takes about six months after the initial infection for this to occur and the heartworms cause damage to arteries and vital organs along the way. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years. Symptoms of heartworm infestation can include labored breathing, coughing, vomiting, weight loss and listlessness, and fatigue after only moderate exercise. However, some dogs exhibit no symptoms at all until late stages of infection. Heartworm disease is serious and can be fatal.
Myth 1: My pets stay indoors so they’re not at risk.
Who hasn’t had a mosquito buzzing around inside before? It only takes one mosquito bite for your pet to get heartworms. Even strictly indoor cats are at risk. Heartworm infestation can happen to any dog (as well as cats and some wild animals), but since mosquitoes are their carriers, dogs who live in hot, humid regions—conditions in which mosquitoes thrive—are at the greatest risk. The disease has been seen in all 50 states, but is most common in or on the East Coast, southern United States and Mississippi River Valley.
Myth 2: I give my pet a monthly preventative, so he or she doesn’t need to be tested yearly.
Actually, the majority of medications and manufacturers require a yearly test. Heartworm disease is diagnosed by a veterinarian-administered blood test. All dogs should be routinely screened with a blood test for heartworm either annually in spring, at the start of mosquito season, or before being placed on a new prescription for a heartworm preventive.
Myth 3: My Pomeranian, with a thick coat, is not at a great risk of getting heartworms.
All animals are at risk for contracting heartworms, including dogs, cats, and other wild animals, no matter the thickness of their coat.
How do I ensure my pet doesn’t get them?
The good news in this situation is that heartworms are easily prevented with inexpensive, chewable pills that are available with a prescription from a veterinarian. Pills are usually administered monthly and can be given to dogs under 6 months of age without a blood test, but older animals must be screened for the disease prior to starting medication. There are also topical products available that can be applied to the skin.
What happens if my pet has heartworms?
If you suspect that your animal may be exhibiting signs associated with the symptoms of heartworms, take them to a veterinarian for a thorough examination. If your pet is diagnosed with heartworms, the only FDA approved treatment is a series of injections into the dogs’ muscle. The cure has a high success rate, but usually requires hospitalization; an intense process with cage rest and leash walks. After treatment, your animal will be placed on a preventative medication to reduce the risk of infection.
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