Sophie was a happy and healthy 4-year-old Great Pyrenees until she began urinating blood in December of 2019. She was initially seen by her family veterinarian, where several tests were performed to rule out more common causes of bloody urine such as a clotting disorder, urinary tract infection and urinary stones. When an obvious cause was not found, she was referred to the Internal Medicine department at Canada West Veterinary Specialists.
Sophie had a CT scan and cystoscopy (scoping of the urinary system) performed and was diagnosed with a rare condition called “Idiopathic Renal Hematuria” (IRH). IRH occurs when a blood vessel in one or both kidneys begins to bleed for no identifiable reason. Over time, this can lead to anemia requiring blood transfusions or obstructions from blood clots. Because these complications can be life-threatening, treatment is generally recommended. Historically, removal of the affected kidney was used to treat … Continue reading
We know that it is a very stressful time for you and your pets. There is a lot of information being shared online that may be causing you fear how COVID-19 may affect your furry family members. We appreciate that it can be difficult to know which sources of information to trust and would like to provide you with the resources you need to stay current. It is important to recognize that this is still an evolving area with many unknowns and so definitive statements about COVID-19 and pets are lacking. Recommendations may change as we continue to reassess the evidence. The following is the most up-to-date information currently available. It is a compilation of data from online resources that continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 and its impact on pets. Links to these resources are provided at the end of the article.
Origins of COVID-19
The exact source … Continue reading
This winter has been warmer than previous years, but the deep freeze is now upon us!! Antifreeze is a necessity at this time of year, but it is important to remember to protect our pets and wildlife from exposure to this deadly toxin.
Ethylene glycol affects the nervous system and causes severe injury to the kidneys. It only takes a small amount to be fatal and the initial signs can be as subtle as looking a bit wobbly, and can be easily missed. Because people may not know their pets have licked antifreeze, they miss these early signs. Pets die every year because by the time they look really sick it is too late to save them. If you suspect your pet may have ingested antifreeze, this is one of the few situations when it is a good idea to go directly to an emergency vet hospital, as they will … Continue reading
“Stella Beans”, a sweet and wiggly middle aged kitty, presented to the CWVS Oncology service in February 2019 for evaluation of a mass on the left side of her chest wall. Her family veterinarian suspected a feline injection site sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that can develop in cats at the site of a previous injection such as a vaccine or a microchip. A CT scan was performed to determine the extent of the mass. The external portion of the mass was just the “tip of the iceberg” as the internal portion of the mass extended into both the abdomen and chest and was resting against her lungs and liver. A needle core biopsy was performed and confirmed the suspected diagnosis of an injection site sarcoma.
Stella then had surgery to remove the mass where Dr. King removed a portion of the left chest wall including ribs 9 – … Continue reading
Ruckus is a 9-year-old tabby cat who was referred to the Emergency and Critical Care Department for severely increased kidney enzymes due to a left ureteral obstruction. Ruckus had a blocked ureter, which is a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, because of a stone which caused his kidneys to not function properly, potentially causing irreversible damage. The most common cause of ureteral obstruction in cats is due to calculi which cannot be medically dissolved. The clinical signs can be non-specific and a general unwell feeling which can include lethargy, vomiting and/or decreased appetite.
Ruckus had to undergo two sessions of hemodialysis to decrease and normalize his kidney parameters before he was stable enough to go to surgery (along with having a blood transfusion and further supportive care). Hemodialysis acts as treatment to take over the excretory part of the kidney function. It can be helpful … Continue reading
October is Registered Veterinary Technicians month, a time of year when the veterinary community recognizes Veterinary Technicians and their contributions and commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care. This is a valuable time to acknowledge our hard working support staff and to help you learn more about the important role Vet Techs play in veterinary medicine.
Vet Techs are important members of the veterinary health team providing technical support for all aspects of patient care. There are only two accredited programs in BC (19 in Canada), which provide intensive study of the skills and knowledge to work competently as a Vet Tech. These include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, clinical techniques, pharmacology, anesthesiology, surgical and medical nursing, radiology and clinical pathology education.
After graduation, it is important for Vet Techs to maintain certification and registration by successfully completing a national exam and participating in continuing education in the latest medical advances and … Continue reading