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2009-07 Newsletter

New Addition To Internal Medicine Team:
Lauren E. Sikorski, DVM

Lauren E. Sikorski, DVM
Lauren E. Sikorski, DVM

The newest member of the internal medicine team at Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists is Lauren Sikorski, DVM.

Dr. Sikorski completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine following completion of her Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship here on Long Island. She graduated salutatorian of her veterinary class at St. George’s University School. Dr. Sikorski is also a graduate of Rollins College where she received a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in Australian and French Studies. She is a candidate to receive board certification from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine with a specialty in Small Animal Internal Medicine.

Her areas of interest include endoscopy and bronchoscopy, diagnostic ultrasound, infectious disease, hematology, hepatology, nephrology, and interventional radiology. Pending publications include “Babesiosis Caused By A Large BabesiaSpecies In Seven Dogs (2005-2008).”

Dr. Sikorski will be available for consultations at the Bohemia location beginning July 27.


You’re Invited: Lecture By Dr. Kramer & Dinner

All veterinarians and their staff are cordially invited to attend a lecture by George A. Kramer, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology), on “Thromboembolic Disease In Cats.”

The lecture by Dr. Kramer will take place on Thursday, July 16 at 8 PM at Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists, 3250 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Bohemia, NY. It will be preceded by dinner at 7 PM. The lecture is worth two CE credits with NYSVMS.

Kindly RSVP by Thursday, July 9 to 631-285-7780.

The evening is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., “the global leader in pet nutrition.”


Clinical Updates & Veterinary News


Dog Flu Hits Philadelphia

Two Philadelphia animal shelters came under quarantine last month due to the deaths of six dogs. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) locked down shelters in the Juniata and Hunting Park sections of Philadelphia “until further notice” after the six dogs died and four more were euthanized. Canine influenza had been suspected and blood samples from the infected dogs were sent to a laboratory for testing.

The dogs exhibited severe symptoms characteristic of the respiratory infection. The symptoms were much like those of influenza affecting humans — cough, runny nose, and fever.

Test results from the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn) confirmed the cause of the deaths as Streptococcus equi, commonly referred to as “strep zoo,” a bacterial infection said to be easily treatable with penicillin.

After implementing treatment protocol at both shelters, the PSPCA reached out to animal shelters “that have experienced similar cases” and it is “consulting with the Penn’s Infection Prevention Practitioner to eliminate the bacteria in the environment,” said Dr. Rachel Lee, director of shelter medicine and chief investigative veterinarian.

Mystery Arises In Cases Of Fanconi-Like Syndrome

A mystery about what’s causing dogs to develop kidney disorders that mimic inherited Fanconi disease has become more complex.

Researchers in Australia who have been studying the association between Fanconi-like syndrome and consumption of chicken jerky made in China have discovered several new cases in pets that have had no access to Chinese-made dried chicken treats.

The common thread in these five or six cases are dental chews — snacks given daily that are designed to clean dogs’ teeth. Although there is no direct evidence that dental chews are the cause of the problem, some of the dogs have been given two types of dental chews, and all have had one brand called Veggie Dents, made by Virbac, according to Dr. Linda Fleeman, a senior lecturer in small animal medicine at the University of Sydney.

The second brand that some of the dogs have had is Greenies, sold by Mars, Inc. “However,” Fleeman noted, “Greenies have been available in Australia for awhile whereas Veggie Dents have only been here since February or March.” Complete story.



University Vet Performs New Surgical Technique
On Dog

Canines with severe joint pain and arthritis may soon get a new leash on life as clinical trials proceed for a new surgical technique.

Veterinarian Steven Budsberg, a professor at the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and William Liska, veterinarian at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, performed Georgia’s first clinical canine knee replacement surgery recently. The dog that underwent the surgery was 12-year-old Sapphire, a black Labrador retriever from Augusta.

Jim Cartee, Sapphire’s owner, said the dog had been plagued with health problems such as hip dysplasia for much of her life, and in the past five years had both of her hips replaced. Cartee said Sapphire blew out both of her anterior cruciate ligaments when she was two. When Sapphire recently blew an ACL for the third time, Cartee said he was “at wit’s end.” Cartee said he decided to go forward with the knee replacement surgery after consulting with Budsberg, who had been Sapphire’s vet for several years.

Liska flew in to assist with the $4,000 procedure, which was performed at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Knee replacement surgery in dogs is similar to the procedure performed in humans,” Liska said. Complete story.



EPA Investigates Hundreds Of Flea, Tick Products

The Environmental Protection Agency is “intensifying its evaluation” of hundreds of spot-on flea and tick products, which contain pesticides and may have accounted for thousands of pet injuries and deaths in the past two years.
A “significant increase” in the number of reports prompted the EPA to investigate the individual commercial products and their major manufacturers, including Hartz Mountain Corp., Central Life Sciences, and Bayer AG, according to EPA spokesman Dale Kemery.

Kemery says the EPA is not targeting specific companies — just the products that may have contributed to the 44,263 incident reports the EPA received in 2008. Approximately 1,200 of those reports accounted for animal deaths. The numbers mark a sharp increase from the approximate 28,000 incidents pet owners reported in 2007.

“There is definitely a concern,” Kemery said. “That’s why we are investigating this. I’m not sure we can say there has been one group of reactions, but there are certain ones that have been most common, like skin problems, and some seizures have also been reported among certain animals. There have been reports of deaths.”Complete story.


QUIZ : What’s Your Diagnosis?

A 5-1/2-month-old male yellow Labrador retriever puppy presented with a one-month history of right forelimb lameness. He came up lame after he tumbled when chasing a ball. The owner reported that he gets better when he is rested for a couple of days, but comes up lame again when the puppy exercises.

On physical exam, the dog was painful on flexion of the right elbow and there also was mild pain on manipulation of the left elbow. Cranial-caudal and lateral radiographs were taken of both elbows by the referring DVM.

Collage of X-Rays
QUESTION: What is your list of differential diagnoses for chronic elbow pain in a large breed growing puppy?
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