Hops Toxicity in Dogs

With the rising popularity of home brewing, hops ingestion and toxicity in dogs is becoming more common in the ER. Ingestion of hops in dogs causes malignant hyperthermia, however the mechanism of action is unknown. The toxic component of the plant is also unknown, but essential oils, resins, phenolic compounds or nitrogenous constituents have been considered. Toxicity can occur from both raw and spent hops. Symptoms of Hops Toxicity in Dogs Body temperature often exceeds 105°F…

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Update on Canine Influenza (H3N2)

There are new outbreaks of the H3N2 strain of influenza occurring in dogs.  This is the mutated strain that was first seen in Asia and not the same as the H3N8 strain that was originally seen in the United States (Florida and Louisiana). With any newer strain, outbreaks will happen in immunologically naive populations which is what has been seen (previously in Houston, Chicago, Atlanta).   We recommend Upper Respiratory PCR testing of any dog with upper…

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) in Dogs and Cats

What is DKA in Dogs and Cats? Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious and life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus that can occur in dogs and cats. DKA is characterized by hyperglycemia, ketonemia, +/- ketonuria, and metabolic acidosis.  Ketone bodies are formed by lipolysis (breakdown) of fat and beta-oxidation when the metabolic demands of the cells are not met by the limited intracellular glucose concentrations.  This provides alternative energy sources for cells, which are most important…

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Diagnosing and Treating Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome in Dogs and Cats

Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome (HHS) is an uncommon form of a diabetic crisis that can occur in dogs and cats that has the following characteristics: Severe hyperglycemia (>600 mg/dl) Minimal to absent ketones Increased serum osmolarity (> 350 mosm/kg – normal ~ 300) Like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), HHS is caused by a lack of insulin with increased counter-regulatory hormones (glucagon, epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone).  Unlike DKA though it is believed that there is not lipolysis so…

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Nutrition for the Critical Dog and Cat

Lack of adequate food intake is a substantial problem in any veterinary intensive care unit (ICU).  This is because the diseases our patients have are often associated with significant anorexia or even an inability to eat.  Additionally, we schedule diagnostics or surgical procedures that lead us to withhold food from our patients.  We are all guilty of writing NPO on a treatment sheet because diagnostics MAY be done that MAY necessitate a fasted patient and…

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