The Frustrating Vaccine Related Sarcoma
A particularly frustrating tumor-type in feline veterinary oncology is the injection site sarcoma (ISS). Sarcomas are tumors of connective tissue and ISSs are a specific type of sarcoma arising at the site of a previous injection. The most common types of ISS in cats are fibrosarcomas, and the most common injections associated with the development of ISSs are vaccinations.Other types of injections are also associated with tumor development, including microchips and injections of long-acting[Read More]
Pet Memorial and Funeral Ideas
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy.  Dealing with the death of a beloved animal companion is the hardest thing pet parents ever have to do. And although grieving is a natural process, that certainly doesn’t mean it’s easy.One way to attend to grief is to memorialize the life of the pet that has passed. Pet memorials come in many forms, from rituals and funerals to volunteering or donating in your pet’s memory or creating a keepsake out of your pe[Read More]
What Not to Say to Someone Who Lost a Pet (and What to Say Instead)
Pet loss can be a very emotional experience for everyone whose lives the pet touched. Grieving is also highly personal.It’s difficult to know what to say to someone who is grieving, even though you’ve probably experienced grief yourself. Most people are not comfortable with grief in any form, and even when you try to say something comforting, it could come out all wrong.Perhaps you’ve never grieved a pet, or you’re not really a pet person. Whatever the case may be, here are some things you [Read More]
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. The rising cost of pet care is a mounting worry for pet parents and veterinary hospitals alike.Pet payment plans are moving out of favor, and although medical credit cards are becoming more widely available, only people with good credit can qualify.A third option—pet insurance—allows pet parents from all income brackets to provide reasonably priced medical care for their pets. Having pet insurance in place[Read More]
For Pets With Cancer, Some Questions to Ask Your Vet
I spend a great deal of time asking owners questions about their pet.What did you notice about your pet’s behavior that made you bring him to the vet? When did you first notice the mass? Is she vomiting or having diarrhea? What do you know about your pet’s diagnosis?I ask questions to gain a better understanding of the animal’s disease and how afflicted they are by their condition. I want to make sure owners comprehend my recommendations and the options I’m presenting them wi[Read More]
Cerenia® (maropitant citrate)
PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet. [Read More]
Pro- and Prebiotics - What Are They and Are They Safe for Pets?
Probiotics are all the rage. Numerous nutritional supplements, and even foods like yogurt, contain these live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) that can provide health benefits when given to an animal or person. We tend to think of probiotics when considering gastrointestinal health or disease, and they certainly do play an important role in this regard.Take a dog with diarrhea, for example. Whatever the cause — stress, dietary indiscretion, infection, antibiotic therapy, etc. — the di[Read More]
Phenobarbital versus Potassium Bromide
Until recently, I couldn’t point to any research that supported my approach. That changed with the publication of " Comparison of phenobarbital with bromide as a first-choice antiepileptic drug for treatment of epilepsy in dogs " in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association . 46 client-owned dogs that had been diagnosed with epilepsy (an abnormality in the brain’s electrical activity that causes chronic, recurrent seizures) but had essentially never b[Read More]
Potassium Bromide – Not FDA Approved
Traditionally, treatment for idiopathic epilepsy in dogs (and in cats, although the disease is much rarer in this species) involves the use of the medication phenobarbital (PB). If seizure control is not adequate and/or side effects are unacceptable with PB use, the drug potassium bromide (KBr) is added and the PB dose is reduced or eliminated over time. This is such a standard protocol that I had stopped giving much thought to the medications themselves. After all, they’ve been used for [Read More]
5 Dos and Don'ts for Mixing Your Pet's Food
Dr. Ashley GallagherMany of us are vigilant with what type of food our dogs and cats eat, especially if they start to lose interest in their food. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to reinvigorate your pet's eating habits, including mixing pet foods. Before you begin, here are some dos and don'ts for mixing pet foods:[Read More]
PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet. [Read More]
Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension)
PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet. [Read More]
How To Give Pets an Inhaler  
The following may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy.   Inhaled medications have long been used by people to manage certain diseases affecting the lungs. But they’re not limited to our own treatment: They are often used in an off-label capacity (in species for which they are not specifically designed) for treating airway diseases in pets, too. That’s where inhalers for cats and dogs come in.  Dog and cat inhalers can easily access a targeted area in the bod[Read More]
How to Clean a Dog's Ears
Cleaning your dog’s ears is part of their overall health and well-being routine. It may also be required to prevent or treat health issues. However, cleaning your dog’s ears can be challenging, especially if you’ve never cleaned a dog’s ears and are not sure what to expect.  Dogs produce wax in their ears just like humans and usually need periodic cleaning to maintain normal health. Your dog’s ears may also need cleaning if they de[Read More]
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. Figuring out pet insurance can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to what it covers. What is included or excluded in pet insurance? The “right” coverage depends on your individual situation. One of the most basic questions you’ll have to answer as you shop for pet insurance is what your pet needs and whether the policies you’re considering provide that coverage.Making this decision means[Read More]
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. If you’re considering pet insurance , the first question you’re likely to have is whether it’s “worth it,” especially if your pet is healthy and doesn’t see a vet very often.But then again, this is a decision that will affect the well-being of your pet. Before you decide, it’s always a good idea to dig into the data to see if it makes sense to get a pet insurance plan.Here’s some data on the cost of emerg[Read More]
7 Ways to Get Help With Vet Bills
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. If you have been to a veterinarian recently, then you know that veterinary care can be expensive. Most pet parents are shocked when presented with an estimate for vet costs that has a comma in it.Pet dental care can be especially expensive—the cost for dental work can easily exceed a thousand dollars. Another area where vet costs can be a barrier is with long-term medications for chronic conditions li[Read More]
Fats for Dogs
Fat usually gets a bad rap, but it’s actually an important nutrient for dogs. Pet parents need to ensure their dogs get the right amounts and the right types of fat in their diets. This is made easier because, unlike with people, too much “bad fat” in a dog’s diet doesn’t have much of an effect on their cholesterol levels and their risk of heart attack or stroke.Here’s what you should know about the type and amount of fat dogs need.[Read More]
Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids Effectively and Safely
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are very popular nutritional supplements for dogs. They are advertised to help with skin conditions, allergies, kidney function, lymphoma, heart disease, cognitive function, arthritis, and more. Research is spotty but supports their use in some cases. As a result, many veterinarians recommend and owners use omega 3 fatty acids to treat or prevent disease, but do you really know what omega 3 fatty acids are and how to use them safely and effectively?Fatty acids are molecu[Read More]
All Fiber is Not the Same
Dietary fiber can be used to treat a variety of health conditions in dogs including obesity, anal gland impactions, diarrhea, and constipation. But all fiber is not the same, and adding the wrong type to the diet can actually make some problems worse rather than better.Fiber can be divided into two major subcategories: 1. Insoluble Fiber Cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignins are examples of insoluble fiber. They are not digested and pass through the gut essentially unchanged. Insoluble fib[Read More]
Using Injections to Cure an Injection Caused Disease in Cats
Injection site sarcomas (ISSs), as the name implies, are tumors of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that develop in cats secondary to a previous injection. They are most often implicated with vaccinations, however they could develop secondary to any prior injection, including those related to administration of drugs or even microchips.I dislike all forms of cancer, but if I were forced to pick the one I despise the most, ISS would rank among my most loathed. When a pet develops a devastat[Read More]
'Why Do Different Doctors Treat Pet Cancer Differently?' and Other Questions Answered
In matters of pets and cancer, there are certain questions I encounter more frequently than others. Despite the myriad of diagnoses and their associated treatment options I am tasked with explaining, troubled owners have more typical concerns: How did my pet get cancer? Will he or she become sick from treatment? What is my pet’s prognosis?Less common questions arise and are equally as important to address, mainly because they tend to surface after owners have already committed to a treatmen[Read More]
Brain Tumors in Pets
To that end, she has put together some excellent brochures about the conditions that we deal with most commonly, and I thought I’d share some of that information with you over the next couple of months. Here’s the first installment.[Read More]
Brain Tumors in Cats – Not Always a Death Sentence
You brought your cat to the veterinary clinic with vague signs, perhaps some loss of energy and odd behavior. These symptoms weren’t all that concerning, but now you’ve been shocked by the news that your cat likely has a brain tumor. This has to be the end of the road for her, right? Not necessarily.The most common type of brain tumor in cats is a meningioma. One study found that 56 percent of reported brain tumors in cats were meningiomas. Actually, calling the condition a “brain tumor” is[Read More]
Pet Euthanasia: Everything You Need to Know
From the moment you welcome a new pet into your family, a strong bond starts to take root.  And as they get to be senior age, all pet parents wonder, "Will I be able to put my pet down when the time comes?”We fear losing our pets because they mean so much to us. Nevertheless, that time eventually arrives. When it does, many pet parents have questions about the process for pet euthanasia and how to deal with the grief after such a loss.This guide is for pet parents who have alread[Read More]
Bladder Cancer in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment and Life Expectancy
Reviewed and updated for accuracy on August 19, 2019, by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM Bladder cancer in dogs is one of those diseases that doesn’t always give owners a lot of warning that things are about to get really bad. Dogs that are diagnosed with bladder cancer need to be  closely monitored to help them have a good quality of life.The following information is adapted from the materials that Home to Heaven , an in-home animal euthanasia and hospice care practice, sends to the owners[Read More]
How We Talk About Pet Cancer - Words Matter
The vernacular surrounding a diagnosis of cancer is intense: We speak of fighting the disease. Those who endure treatment are survivors and warriors . We battle against it and, ultimately, we dream of a world where cancer is eradicated .I’m a proponent of the concept of a war on cancer. I know we need to be aggressive in order to have any success in beating this disease. I’m happy to be a part of the frontline of defense and I toil hard to treat patients and provide them w[Read More]
Pet Wellness Plans
The following content may contain Chewy links. PetMD is operated by Chewy. Pet insurance is a great way to make sure you can provide veterinary care for your pet if they are diagnosed with an illness or get into an accident. But what about preventive care? Unlike human health insurance, the typical pet insurance policy does not cover wellness and preventive medicine . This means that routine veterinary care, like checkups, screening tests, vaccinations, and parasite control[Read More]
Is a Cancer Specialist Necessary for Your Pet?
The common cancers we see in companion animals (e.g., lymphoma and mast cell tumors) are what I affectionately refer to as the “bread and butter” of a veterinary oncologist’s therapeutic repertoire. There’s a wealth of available information about the ideal ways to treat those diseases and solid information regarding prognosis and outcome for the majority of cases.Despite common things happening commonly, I’ve noticed a peculiar trend over the few years that I’ve been practicing as an oncolo[Read More]
How Do You Answer Your Veterinarian's Questions?
The five crucial components to a veterinary visit include recording a patient's vital signs, taking a complete medical history, performing a comprehensive physical exam, recommending laboratory tests, and discussing the utility of other ancillary studies. You might be surprised to learn that the most useful of those five pieces of the diagnostic puzzle has nothing to do with fancy machines or expensive laboratory tests. Any vet worth their weight in prednisone will tell you it’s the pa[Read More]