Put the Pen to the Paper

August 9, 2008, 5:06 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

:Wild eyed
May 25, 2008, 1:06 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

Dr. Steve Roberts puts an ointment into the eye of Beau as veterinary technician Michele Lohry steadies the dog Monday at the Animal Eye Center in Loveland. Dr. Roberts began using a new technique of implanting a small device into the eyes of animals to help them with glaucoma. Reporter-Herald/Christopher Stark

Wild eyed
Loveland animal ophthalmologist has treated everything from rhinos to Fidos

Just after Christmas, Chloe’s eye pressure reached a dangerous level when her glaucoma was no longer being controlled by eye drops.


Luckily for the Jack Russell terrier, she had three advantages that helped her save her sight: a local animal eye specialist, an experimental treatment and a doting owner.

Lynn Kelly, the dog’s owner, sought treatment for Chloe at the Animal Eye Center in Loveland, which is owned by veterinarian and animal ophthalmologist Steve Roberts.

Roberts opened the center in 1998 in Fort Collins, and moved to the Loveland location, 215 W. 67th Court, in 2000.

Most recently, Roberts is the primary investigator for a trial animal glaucoma implant, which he used to treat Chloe.

She was the third dog to receive the treatment, which allowed her to maintain vision in her left eye.

“At the Animal Eye Center, with all the staff and Dr. Roberts in particular, there was compassion and knowledge,” Kelly said. “A lot of thought went into the best way to treat Chloe.”

The implant, called the ClarifEye, was developed by Craig Woods’ company TR BioSurvical in Prescott, Ariz.

Roberts’ Practice

At his clinic, Roberts, along with another animal ophthalmologist, Holly Hamilton, diagnoses and treats eye disorders and performs state-of-the-art surgeries.

Roberts was an assistant and associate professor of ophthalmology at North Carolina State University and Colorado State University.

When he worked in North Carolina, he treated “difficult to handle” zoo animals, such as rhinos, walruses and woolly monkeys.

Now he still treats large animals such as horses and bulls, as well as birds and exotic mammals, Roberts said.

While he is not in a formal educational setting any longer, he still treats his patients’ owners like tuition-paying students.

“They hired me, and I need to give them an education,” Roberts said.


His specialty needs a population of about 1 million people to sustain it, so Roberts serves clients in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, New Mexico and Idaho, he said.

There are other animal ophthalmologists in Denver, but for Northern Colorado, “I’m it,” Roberts said.

He estimates he’s served about 20,000 clients and 27,000 animals in 10 years.

Treating animals’ eyes can be difficult, because unlike humans, animals cannot voice their discomfort, which can lead to late diagnoses.

“We are not so good at reading nonverbal clues,” Roberts said. “We get so wrapped up in our own world.”

By the time many pet owners realize their animals are having vision problems, the issue is already severe.

“There is a narrow window to help them,” Roberts said.

Canine Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, typically caused by increased pressure on the eye.

There are about 40 breeds of dogs that are prone to glaucoma, Roberts said.

Unlike most human cures, which are developed on animals first, animal glaucoma treatments have evolved from human cures, Roberts said.

Most treatment devices on the market have “pretty much failed to control glaucoma,” and still result in the eye being removed. However, the ClarifEye has appeared to be very functional, said Woods, who developed the implant.

The ClarifEye, which is shaped like a milk bottle and made of silicon beads, is surgically inserted into a dog’s eye to drain excess fluid so the eye maintains appropriate pressure, Woods said.



It is in limited trials, and Roberts is pioneering the technique on the implant, Woods said. He hopes the implant will be launched under limited conditions next year.

Kelly wanted Chloe, who was already blind in her right eye, to have the surgery, because “she didn’t have anything to lose,” she said.

Chloe was a good candidate for the trial treatment, because the veterinarians could study the implant’s effects on a totally blind eye and a semi-healthy eye.

After surgery, Chloe has maintained vision in her left eye, and relieved the pressure from the right eye.

“Chloe is making wonderful progress, far better than we initially anticipated,” Woods said.

Before Chloe had the surgery, Kelly was administering expensive eyedrops twice a day that cost $80 for a tiny bottle, Kelly said.

Now, Chloe takes a diluted version of the drops just once a day Kelly said.

Kelly estimates she has spent about $2,000 on all of Chloe’s treatments and surgery, but Roberts and Woods have “bent over backwards” trying to help her save money.

“Most people wouldn’t have done this for their dogs, but they are my family” Kelly said. “I didn’t think twice about it. I feel good that (Chloe’s) data from the study will help other dogs in the future.”


Marisa Beahm can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 531, or mbeahm@reporter-herald.com.


Signs a pet needs an eye exam
• Thick discharge has been present on the eyelids for several days• The eye appears cloudy• Eye pain is present, there is squinting, rubbing at face area, tear spillage on the face

• White portion of eye is bloodshot

• Vision seems decreased

Source: Animal Eye Center

:Physical therapy for dogs prone to luxating patellas
March 11, 2008, 12:21 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy, :Veterinary Care

Special care for the dog with knee problems:  All puppies’ knees are evaluated prior to placement, including a grading of each patella. Your Gompa Lhasa Apso may be prone to luxating patellas. A great deal of increased strength and comfort can be obtained through appropriate exercise.   Marty Peace, Physical Therapist with Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (Englewood, Colorado), makes the following recommendations for dogs with luxating patellas (knee problems):·         Regular daily walks of 10-15 minutes, or more than that if the dog can tolerate greater length.  Two short walks may be better than one long one if the dog gets sore; if your dog limps, you’ve overdone it.  A steady, maintained walk on the leash (rather than run and stop, run and stop) is excellent therapy because the dog makes use of all four legs symmetrically.·         Going up steps strengthens the quadriceps. Walking uphill and walking on uneven terrain (off the sidewalk) are also good strengtheners.·         Standing on the back feet and “dancing” 5-10 steps for 10-30 seconds, two times a day, helps considerably.·         Going over small obstacles and walking in figure eights or through cones or weave poles will help build strength and flexibility.·         Swimming in a deep tub or Jacuzzi (moderate the temperature to mid-80s) strengthens the muscles without the strain of bearing weight; start with 5 minutes with a goal of 30 minutes.·         Massaging the front of the thigh or holding above the knee and stretching a leg back can help relieve discomfort. How do you know if your dog has a knee problem?  A veterinarian can make the diagnosis, but you may see signs on your own, such as an odd “skip” in the dog’s gait, or “bunny-hopping” to protect the loose knee joint.  The dog may be carrying up to 90% of its weight on the front legs instead of an appropriate 60-70% of its weight on the back legs. In severe cases where the dog is in continual pain, surgery may be warranted. Take care if you know or suspect your dog has knee problems, but if your dog is asymptomatic, don’t limit activity, since exercise is good at warding off problems.  Keeping your dog on the lean side is a good idea, since excess body weight stresses the joints, and it’s also a good idea to give your dog glucosamine supplements to support joint health.

:Raisin The Alarm by Laurinda Morrise, DVM
March 2, 2008, 6:31 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever se en at MedVet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1AM on Wednesday but the owner didn’t call my emergency service until 7AM.
I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn’t seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at MedVet, an d the doctor there was like me – had heard something about it, but…. Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 1/2 times maintainance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.
The dog’s BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine! over 5 ( 1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a liter of fluids. At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to MedVet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care. He started vomiting again overnight at MedVet and his renal values have continued to incr ease daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medications and they still couldn’t control his vomiting.

Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to

This is a very sad case – great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk. Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic. Many people I know give their dog’s grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler’s. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , Ohio

This article was found and confirmed at http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/raisins.asp

:Tango’s Episode
March 2, 2008, 4:14 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

On Friday February 22, 2008 Tango was neutered. I checked his incision each morning. Healing appeared normal. The following Friday morning, he was very irritated, wanting to sit on his rear end. All functions – drinking, eating, defecating, urinating – were normal. I put an Elizabethan collar on him, cold-compressed and smeared Calendula gel. He was with me all day for repeated treatment. There was a pinpoint drainage area that appeared to be the end of the suture line. Sutures were underground, dissolvable. I squeezed several drops of serum looking crap from the pinpoint. The following morning, the area, including the scrotum was swollen and red. I figured he was having an allergic reaction to the sutures, but not knowing what medication to use, off to see Doug we went.

Temp – 102. My diagnosis was correct. Doug said this happens about 4 times a year, even though he uses ‘non-reactive’ suture material. He injected Tango with a long acting prednisone – Depo-Medrol – 20mg (G) and prescribed a week’s worth of Cephalexin – 250mg – bid.


METHYLPREDNISOLONE (Depo-Medrol®, Solu-Medrol®) is a corticosteroid (glucocorticoid). The ready-prepared suspension is for relief of swelling, inflammation, redness, itching, and allergic skin conditions.

How? Scientists don’t understand completely yet. But they believe that corticosteroids work by blocking certain cells and chemicals your body makes when a joint becomes inflamed. Blocking these cells and chemicals can reduce inflammation.


Generic Name: cephalexin (sef a LEX in)
Brand Names:
Biocef, Keflex, Keftab, Panixine, Zartan

Cephalexin is in a group of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics. Cephalexin fights bacteria in the body.

:Sadie’s yeast infection..how we overcame Malassezia Pachydermatitis by Katy Widger
March 1, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

First Symptoms:

When Sadie first came to us in early November 2007, we noticed that she was “itchy” but attributed it to her move from humid Minnesota to very dry New Mexico.  I bathed her with “dry skin” shampoo and conditioner, but the itching continued.

By December 21, I noticed that the fringes of her ear leathers were encrusted with yellowish, flake-like scabs that came off when I scratched them, but did not bleed like a true scab covering a wound. She was, by this time, scratching her ear leathers and ear canals furiously. She was also biting her toenails and licking her feet, symptoms I recognized as  auto-immune reactions which can be caused by recent rabies vaccination, and she had one in October.  I started her on an immune-boosting supplement called Transfer Factor.

I began looking for a cause online, and found a condition called vasculitis which seemed to fit the symptoms and also commonly follows rabies vaccination.

I won’t define it here, but it seemed a likely candidate and requires veterinary attention, so I made an appointment with the vet, for Jan.8, first opportunity after her holiday vacation.

I bathed her on Dec. 22, paying close attention to her ear leathers, but was careful to keep water out of her ear canals. This did not help.  Several days later, her ears were much  worse. By the time I got her to the vet, her little ears were inflamed, the skin thickened and a deep burgundy red.  They were encrusted with  beige-golden colored flakes, especially around the fringes of her ear leathers and in the little pocket flaps on the outside edges of her ears. She was scratching so furiously that she had created secondary injury and  was clearly miserable.

Holistic vet treated her with acupressure, homeopathics for vaccine and anesthesia  remedy and gave me Chinese herbs to begin cleansing her liver and gallbladder.  I left with dietary instructions which included continuing the raw protein diet (Primal raw meatloaf, green tripe, fermented veggies, raw goat milk kefir and raw goat milk cheese) she was already eating. No carbs or sugars allowed. (I had been feeding her eggs, but had discontinued them earlier, as a possible allergen.) 

She gave me very little advice concerning treatment of her ears, and in fact, what she did tell me to do didn’t help at all, so I embarked on my own treatment.  (She advised gently wiping her ears off with a mild solution of baking soda and water, but it was obviously painful to Sadie, so I only did it once.) Her initial treatment was good for holistic care, but I would have certainly appreciated better advice and treatment of the ear infection, which was, by then, a primary concern.

Conferring with Julie Timbers and Debby Rothman, I finally concluded that she was suffering from the overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia Pachydermatitis.  The vet probably knew this, but didn’t bother to tell me about it.  She did confirm that Sadie was definitely not suffering from any type of mange mite infestation.

Read more..

:Science of Vaccine Damage by Catherine O’Driscoll
March 1, 2008, 7:36 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care

Science of Vaccine Damage

Structure of the Eye
March 1, 2008, 7:34 pm
Filed under: :Anatomy, :Veterinary Care

Structure of the Eye

:Mountain West Dog Fanciers..A Guide to all things “DOG”
February 25, 2008, 12:26 am
Filed under: :Grooming, :Training, :Veterinary Care, :Websites


:Blind Dog Info
February 24, 2008, 5:53 pm
Filed under: :Veterinary Care, :Websites

Blind Dog Info