Dr. Jeff Vidt Blog

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...

VACCINOLOGY

The subject of vaccines and vaccination protocols has become a hot topic in dog circles over recent years. Concerns have been raised about the increased incidence of immune-mediated diseases such as thromobytopenia (low platelet counts), hemolytic anemia (immune-mediated red blood cell destruction), immune-mediated arthritis and immune mediated skin disease as well as allergic vaccine reactions, seizures and other problems possibly related to vaccination. This discussion will provide some insight into the controversy and hopefully provide a rational approach to vaccination. The first point that must be made is that the vaccines available today are very effective. Since the advent of...

Urinalysis

The main information to evaluate on the urinalysis is the urine specific gravity and the urine protein. The specific gravity is a crude measure of kidney function. I recommend taking up the dog’s water after 9PM in the evening and then getting a urine sample first thing in the morning. By doing this we are testing the kidneys ability to concentrate the urine. In the early stages of kidney failure the kidneys lose the ability to concentrate urine. This happens when about 75-80% of the kidney is non-functional. Blood changes occur when about 85-95% of the kidney tissue is not...

T.R.A.P.S.

TRAPS stands for Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Periodic Syndrome. It is a rare disorder characterized by prolonged episodes of periodic fever and skin changes (in humans) manifested as erythematous macules, patches and edematous dermal plaques. The skin changes may last anywhere from 4-21 days. There are numerous other systemic signs and symptoms associated with the syndrome including conjunctivitis, periorbital edema, abdominal pain, myalgia, arthralgia, pleuritic chest pain, sterile peritonitis and headache. Amyloidosis can occur in this syndrome. The dermatologic lesions are characterized by a perivascular dermal infiltrate of lymphocytes and monocytes. In the past the syndrome has been known as...

Tight Lip Syndrome

Shar-Pei pups often have a condition called “tight lip syndrome” in which the lower lip pushes against the lower incisor (front) teeth or may even extend to cover those teeth. It is felt by some practitioners that the soft tissue of the lower lip impedes the growth of the lower jaw (mandible) resulting in an underbite. I don’t think that happens as I don’t believe soft tissue can impede bone growth but the lip pressure does cause the lower incisor teeth to angle back towards the mouth and it appears the bite is off. Rarely (I’ve not seen a case)...

Tick-borne Disease

Ticks can carry a number of organisms which can cause disease in dogs and people. Generally the organisms develop in the tick and are transmitted in the saliva as the tick feeds. There are six major groups of diseases we will briefly look at. Borreliosis (Lyme Disease) The infectious agent is a spirochete (motile bacteria), Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried by the deer tick, Ixodes spp. The white-footed mouse is the main reservoir for the spirochete and the host for the nymphal and larval forms of the tick. White-tailed deer are the definitive host with dogs and people being exposed...