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Exciting New Technologies at the Veterinary Clinic

Reviewed by Missy Beall, DVM, PhD on Thursday, October 16, 2014
Posted October 16, 2014 in A Vet's Life

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com).

AJ Debiasse, a technician in Stroudsburg, PA, contributed to this article.

The level of medical and surgical care we can provide pets is exceptional. In many cases, it is as advanced as the care provided to humans. Cataract surgery, total hip replacement and MRIs are performed by specialists routinely. We can safely anesthetize extremely sick pets, reconstruct shattered bones and perform root canals. We can control complicated hormonal diseases, use radiation therapy/chemotherapy to fight cancer and change the behavior of the most aggressive pets. Yet our limits are constantly pushed by medical progress and loving pet owners. Hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a novel drug, a new surgery or an improved protocol. Here’s a list of just a few veterinary industry advancements that excite me the most:

Happy dog at the vetDialysis
Cats and dogs with kidney failure can benefit from dialysis, just like humans. A sophisticated machine literally filters the blood and removes toxins. In some cases, this is a temporary treatment until a kidney transplant can be performed.

Titanium prosthetics
Although pets typically do very well after amputation, some surgeons try to save the leg in some specific cases. They use titanium prostheses that the bone actually grows into.

Titanium supported windpipes
Some small dogs struggle to breathe because of a collapsing trachea, where the windpipe becomes very narrow (especially during excitement). The newest advancement in this field is a tracheal stent, which is a sophisticated titanium device placed inside the windpipe.

Diet-based therapies
Pet food companies have a number of diets that can actually treat a disease or at least manage it, including arthritis, liver disease and skin allergies. One diet can be used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats, a disease where the thyroid becomes overactive, and several diets literally change the pet’s genes to help him lose weight or slow down cartilage damage.

Telemedicine
Thanks to sophisticated Internet connections, vets with the right equipment can now send X-ray, ultrasound, ECG or MRI studies to a specialist located several states away. This is called telemedicine, which allows obtaining a second opinion without the specialist being physically present. Within hours, a written report is sent back by the specialist.

Stem cell therapy
Stem

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com, and follow him at www.facebook.com/DrZeltzman.

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.