Q: What is the most common procedure for dogs?
A: Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). This procedure is used to treat cranial cruciate ligament injuries in dogs. The canine CrCl is analogous to the human ACL. Even though the canine and human knee joints have similar anatomy, dogs rarely athletically tear their CrCl. More commonly, dogs degenerate their CrCl over a period of months, often having clinical signs of lameness and discomfort that come and go with activity. TPLO surgery eliminates the need for the CrCl by changing the tibial angle. Therefore dogs cannot re-tear the ligament. Dogs typically spend one night in the hospital and walk out the next day; usually already using their leg. It usually takes 6 to 10 weeks for this procedure to heal. Most dogs are expected to make a full recovery and get back to hunting, fetching, chasing a ball, or lounging on the couch.
Jonathan Suber, DVM, DAC
Capital Animal Hospital
Q: Why are chiropractors essential providers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Chiropractic doctors focus on factors that promote overall health and wellness. In addition to helping reduce musculoskeletal pain and discomfort, chiropractic adjustments help ensure your VSspine is healthy and aligned, allowing your nervous and immune systems to function at their best. Also consider resources to help you make food and supplement choices to strengthen your immune functions and boost your energy, so that you are healthier and less susceptible to disease and illness. Helping you resolve pain, move easier, reduce stress, and strengthen your nervous system are factors that make chiropractic essential for you and your family. Support your natural innate immune and nervous systems to be the best they can be!
Shelly Jones, DC
Chiropractic Wellness Center, Inc.
Q: Is it okay for me to skip my annual routine eye exam because of coronavirus?
A: It is important that patients keep their routine comprehensive eye exams during this time. Even if you think you have perfect vision, an annual eye exam is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and wellness. Comprehensive eye exams check for serious vision-threatening eye problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic eye disease and expose other serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. In the early stages, diabetic eye disease and glaucoma have no discernible symptoms. People typically only recognize something is wrong after they have sustained permanent vision loss from these diseases, and by that time, preventing additional vision loss can be very difficult. Staying proactive with your eye health by having routine eye exams will help you maintain a lifetime of healthy vision. When scheduling your eye exam, ask your provider if they are following the CDC coronavirus guidelines to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
H. Holland Crosswell III, M.D.
Columbia Eye Clinic
Q: Do dogs and cats get Alzheimer’s disease?
A: Aging of the canine and feline brain can result in decline in cognitive function. While there are some differences, the effect on memory and behavior changes are similar to Alzheimer’s disease. This is increasingly more common as dogs and cats are having better and longer lives with improvements in medicine and nutrition. More than 50 percent of dogs and cats greater than 15 years of age have one or more signs of cognitive dysfunction. Signs can include changes in sleep and wake cycles, memory deficits, decreased social contact, confusion, loss of house training, anxiety, changes in activity, and/or aggression. Other diseases (metabolic problems, brain tumors, strokes, and others) can look similar, so it is important to have a thorough examination. Further testing may be recommended. Diet, supplements, and/or medications can be discussed to improve quality of life in pets with cognitive dysfunction.
Kendra Bohn, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Q: Are virtual (telehealth) visits appropriate for orthopaedic diagnosis and treatment?
A: Absolutely! Telehealth visits can be used for orthopaedic visits, and they are especially well-suited for pre-operative and post-operative appointments. During a virtual pre-operative visit, an orthopedist can discuss your X-ray or MRI results and recommend surgery if needed. An orthopedist may also meet with you virtually for a post-operative visit to examine your incision and check your range of motion. Telehealth visits are becoming increasingly common among orthopaedic providers given the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s quite possible virtual visits will stay in orthopaedics even after the pandemic. Patients and providers alike seem to enjoy them. Not to mention they are incredibly convenient for you as the patient because you can go to your appointment without having to leave work or home!
Bradley S. Aspey, MD
Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery
Q: Why are kidney stones more common in the summer months?
A: The South is referred to as the kidney stone belt. And our love for sweet tea on a hot summer day is the perfect recipe for developing stones. Dehydration from hot weather and over-exertion can contribute to a higher incidence of kidney stones during summer months. A low-fluid intake and a diet of refined sugars and caffeine are also associated with kidney stones. Once you’ve had a stone, you have a 50 percent chance of developing another one within the next five years. Common symptoms include sudden and severe pain in the back, side, abdomen, groin, or genitals; nausea and vomiting; blood in the urine; and, frequent and/or painful urination. A non-contrasted CT abdomen and pelvis is the preferred imaging study to determine the presence and size of kidney and/or ureter stones. You can reduce your likelihood of developing a kidney stone by drinking extra water and increasing your consumption of citrus drinks, like lemonade and orange juice. Also limit animal proteins and refined sugars and stay active!
Zachary M. Kilpatrick, M.D.