Dr. Jeff Vidt Blog

Thoughts on Picking a Vet

Being a good vet involves a balance between the following skills: People skills Caring/compassion for animals – animal skills Medical skills Philosophy of practice. It’s difficult to find someone with all the necessary talents. At any given time the same vet may fail in one of these skill areas. Is the owner willing to stay with the same vet for the long haul or bail out based on one mistake or bad encounter? I continue to be amazed at how many people jump from vet to vet or see multiple vets. It’s very hard to get to know an owner...

Temperament

The Chinese Shar-Pei was bred as a guard dog- this makes them very territorial. They are very protective of their home and family. This makes them an excellent house dog, but can present some problems when strangers enter the home. While it is desirable to have a dog that protects the home, it is risky to have a dog that is too protective. Here are some suggestions: When people come over to the house have the dog crated – this avoids any confrontations. Otherwise, have the dog on a leash and slip collar. Have your guests ignore the dog for...

Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD)

Sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARD) is a retinal disease seen in Shar-Pei as well as other breeds of dogs. Remember the retina is the photoreceptor layer of the eye which is responsible for converting visual images to electrical signals. These signals are transmitted to the brain where the image is processed. This condition leads to a very sudden onset of blindness which occurs over a period of a few days to several weeks. The retina is normal when viewed with an ophthalmoscope, but there is a loss of photoreceptor activity as evidenced by a diminished electroretinogram (ERG). The ERG is...

Skin Disease – Causes:

Parasitic skin disease – caused by mites, fleas, lice, chiggers, etc. Bacterial skin disease – probably one of the most common casues and often a secondary factor as well. Fungal skin disease – ringworm Viral skin disease Skin disease due to physical factors – Sun burn, trauma, burns, self-inflicted injury, bite wounds, etc. Allergic skin disease – allergic inhalant dermatitis, flea bite hypersensitivity, food allergy, contact allergy, etc. Immune-mediated skin disease Endocrine skin disease – Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, ovarian imbalance, etc. Toxic skin disease – Drug reaction, Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome, other. Skin disease due to systemic disease – Hepatocutaneous...

Shampoo Therapy

Shampoo therapy is often used in conjunction with medical therapy for various types of skin disorders including ectoparasites (mange, lice, fleas), allergic skin disease, bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), fungal skin problems (ringworm, Malassezia dermatitis), and other disorders such as seborrhea, dry skin,, etc. When used correctly shampoos can be used to prevent secondary skin problems, control odor and contribute to the comfort and cleanliness of the patient. Bathing also rehydrates the skin and contributes to better overall skin health. The skin consists of layers of cells on top of each other and there is a cycle of cell migration from...

SEPARATION ANXIETY

      Separation anxiety is just one of a wide variety of behavior disorders which can affect dogs in general. These include obsessive-compulsive disorders, various phobias, panic attacks, ect. These disorders are probably not new conditions, but therapy, behavior modification techniques, and training methods to treat them. Separation anxiety appears to one of the most common behavior disorders that veterinarians encounter. Symptoms of separation anxiety commonly occur in the owners absence and include:     Elimination- urinating and/or defecating indoors when owner is gone. Destruction- chewing woodwork, furniture, carpeting, ect, when the owner is not in the house. This also includes...

Selective IgA Deficiency in the Chinese Shar-Pei

Immunoglobulins are a group of serum proteins found in the blood and are commonly known as “antibodies”. There are five major classes of immunoglobulins called IgM, IgG, IgA, IgE and IgD. IgG and IgM are the immunoglobulins associated with responses to infectious agents, foreign proteins and protective antibodies. IgE is an immunoglobulin associated with allergic responses and IgD appears to be associated with skin allergic responses. IgA is the major immunoglobulin in the external secretions of the dog and is found in the saliva, tears, and mucous secretions . It is of critical importance in protecting the intestinal, respiratory, urinary,...

Seizures (Epilepsy)

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by recurring seizures. Seizures, fits and convulsions are synonyms which are used interchangeably to describe the manifestations of abnormal brain activity, usually involving a generalized motor component. A convulsion is used to describe seizures with a generalized motor component. Seizures can be confused with fainting episodes (syncope); narcolepsy which is a disorder characterized by sudden recurring attacks of sleep, collapsing episodes, activated sleep in young dogs, acute vestibular syndrome in older dogs (“stroke”), etc. A seizure is really abnormal electrical activity in one area of the brain (a focus) which can affect...

Odor in Shar-Pei

Odor in SP can often be isolated to one of several areas: Mouth odor — usually due to dental problems, lip fold infections, chin infection, mouth tumors. Bad breath can also occur with kidney failure (uremic poisoning), dehydration, oral injuries, oral foreign objects or be diet related. Ear problems –yeast infections, bacterial infections, food and hay fever- type allergies. Eyes — associated with increased drainage due to entropion, mucopurulent discharge seen in keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“dry eye”), glaucoma, rubbing and itching the eyes related to allergic disease (hay fever, food) and increased tearing with prolapsed gland of the third eyelid (“cherry...

Primary Immunodeficiency in Chinese Shar-Pei

In 1995 a primary immunodeficiency syndrome was described in Chinese Shar-Pei dogs1. This was a multiple immunodeficiency involving antibody – and cell-mediated responses in a group of 10 Chinese Shar-Pei dogs. Abnormally low levels of serum IgM and IgA were observed in most of the cases and low levels of IgG in fewer cases. Clinical presentations involved several organ systems and was associated with recurrent infections and malignancy. The dogs were presented with recurrent bouts of inflammatory disease and exhibited gastrointestinal, respiratory and cutaneous signs. The mean age at time of clinical onset was 3 years. Two of the four...