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Pet Talk

Dr Ann ChauvetMy dog keeps getting bladder stones. Why?

Bladder stones are very common in dogs. Breeds with an increased incidence include the Miniature Schnauzer, Dalmatian, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, and Bulldog. There are different types of stones; some may be associated with inherited alterations in urate metabolism, others may form due to the diet.  Once diagnosed with bladder stones, your dog’s diet may require some changes; less fat or more acidity. Vitamin C is always helpful, as are cranberry supplements, which help prevent secondary infections. If your dog has stones, a urinalysis will be needed. Depending on a case and stone size, surgery might be necessary.

 What are the signs seen with Parvovirus infection? Can you treat it?

Vomiting and diarrhea, often bloody, are the first signs of parvovirus. Being a virus, you cannot treat it directly. However, this virus just sloughs the lining of the bowel (thus the blood in vomit and feces) and makes the patient very prone to bacterial infection. Along with the shock and blood loss, the patient’s life is at risk with parvovirus infection. We treat the blood loss, the fluid loss and the infection with IV fluids and antibiotics. Most patients recover in 24-72 hours, depending on the severity, but it can be fatal. Parvovirus is a very sturdy virus and can survive in the environment for over a year, so make sure you sterilize and clean thoroughly everywhere that pup has been.

What are the diseases/conditions an Internal Medicine specialist treats that are not commonly treated by a general practice veterinarian? 

Many of the diseases treated by an Internal Medicine doctor are initially managed by general practice veterinarians, but at some point they become too complicated or too ill to manage in a day practice setting. In such situation the specialist’s role is to provide concentrated knowledge in areas of expertise to assess whether there are options for extension of life with good quality. This is particularly important in critical cases such as cancer patients, patients with severe liver, respiratory or kidney disease, or in complicated hormonal diseases (diabetes, steroid or thyroidal illness).

Dr. Chauvet earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon,Canada,and is known internationally for her specialized work in the relatively rare field of veterinary neurology speaking to, training, and consulting with veterinary practices and organizations globally.  If you have a question about your pet, please email your question to criticalvetcare@gmail.com.  Each month, Dr. Chauvet will choose a few questions to share with readers.  She regrets that unpublished questions cannot be answered individually.