Author: Dr. Vidt

Symmetric Dimethylarginine (SDMA)

SDMA Symmetric dimethylarginine is a new renal biomarker which can detect kidney disease when approximately 40% function has been compromised. SDMA is released into the circulation during protein degradation. Because it is almost exclusively eliminated via renal filtration it is a good estimate of GFR. SDMA is specific for kidney function. It is not impacted by extrarenal factors like BUN and creatinine. SDMA is an early indicator of kidney disease – it is not increased in animals with other various diseases. It is not dependent on the dog’s lean muscle mass. SDMA should be evaluated with other kidney tests such as BUN, creatinine, urinalysis,...

Untitled-1

“3L” Disease in Chinese Shar-Pei

Shar-Pei are the only breed I associate with this condition and it is often confused with Swollen hock syndrome which occurs in conjunction with Familial Shar-Pei Fever (FSF). 3L disease is unilateral or bi-lateral NON-PAINFUL swelling of the ankle joint in the absence of a fever. In the past this swelling has been termed “socks”. I believe there are two main causes behind this condition, both centering on hyaluronan production in the tarsus and/or metatarsus (the anatomical region below the stifle or knee and above the rear foot). I believe three mechanisms are involved (1) increased production of LMW- HA,...

Nail Trimming

Equipment needed: Nail trimmers and Kwik-Stop® Dog’s nails or claws are meant to be long. In wild canids they are used as tools for digging, ripping, gripping and fighting. In the domesticated dog these functions are no longer useful and long nails lead to problems such as damaging the home environment, causing injury to people, broken nails resulting in bleeding and trouble walking on hard surfaces. When a dog’s nails become too long they interfere with the dog’s gait and as the nails continue to grow, walking will become awkward and painful. In severe cases a dog’s nails can curl...

GIVING MEDICATIONS TO DOGS

All the medications you have been given for your dog are important. Be sure you understand how to give each one. If questions arise once you get home, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. First, check the label of your medication(s) for specifics such as whether it should be refrigerated and whether it should be given before or after meals, etc. It is important that you understand when to give your pet its medication. In addition to oral instructions given to you by your veterinarian, written instructions may accompany each medication. Unless otherwise instructed by you vet, start the...

Ear Care – My opinion

Once a Shar-Pei has an ear problem it will always have ear problems. You will not cure the problem, you will only control it through routine ear maintenance. The primary problem with ear cleaning in the Shar-Pei breed centers around inadequate training and lack of control of the dog. If the dog will not let you clean the ears you will not be able to treat the ears. The training process begins in puppyhood and involves discipline and positive reinforcement methods which are beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that you should train you dog as...

Dietary Protein

Much progress has been made in clinical nutrition in the past decade especially in the area of nutrition in the kidney failure patient. This is still an area of controversy between clinicians and nutritionists, but research is providing more insight concerning the role of dietary protein in the management of the kidney failure patient. What I hope to do here is provide a digest of this current state of affairs and let you make your own decisions. There is a link between dietary protein levels and the clinical signs of kidney failure. Once dogs have developed signs of uremia such...

Diet and Your Shar-Pei

The proper diet is very important for the life and health of your Shar-Pei. Most pets become overweight and inactive if they are allowed to choose their own diet. A fat dog is not a healthy dog and will have a greatly decreased lifespan. RECOMMENDATIONS: Puppy diets with or without water are best until the pup is 4-6 months old. Stick with brand name diets such as Iams, Purina, Pedigree and others. Currently I like the puppy diets for large breed puppies made by Eukanuba® (Iams) and Purina. These diets help to maintain a slower growth rate. Don’t feed according...

Bathing

Bathing your puppy or adult dog can prove to be a challenge. There are many questions, techniques and opinions floating around when discussing bathing a dog. Here are some tips for bath time. How often your pet will need a bath depends on the breed and what type of activities the dog is involved in. It’s best to bathe your dog only when your dog is really dirty. Usually when that “doggy smell” starts, it’s time for a bath. Often local cleaning of mud and/or dirt can be done with water – rinsing the feet with a hose or a...

The Answer Continued

Way back in 1983 we first started recognizing episodic fevers in Shar-Pei often associated with a swollen, painful hock joint. Later on it was observed that an early-onset kidney failure occurred in many of these dogs as well. I remember many individuals, including myself, remarking that this has to be associated with the wrinkles in some way and now we know it does. An important article was recently published in March, 2011, entitled “A Novel Unstable Duplication Upstream of HAS2 Predisposes to a Breed-Defining Skin Phenotype and a Periodic Fever Syndrome in Chinese Shar-Pei Dogs”, Mia Olsson et al. It...

Veterinary Pet Health Insurance

With the popularity of veterinary pet health insurance increasing and receiving more press I thought I should make a few comments: I don’t have any particular company or plan that I recommend at this time. Bear in mind that all plans currently reimburse the owner — you are initially responsible for the veterinary care costs. This is unlike the human health care insurance system. I recommend that pet owners set up an HAS or Healthcare Savings Account for their pets. This is simply a savings account that you periodically put money into on a regular basis for those emergency pet...