November 02, 2016 Vet Life

Pet News You Should Know: Pimobendan, Screwworms, and the Supreme Court

Pet News You Should Know: Pimobendan, Screwworms, and the Supreme Court

animal medical center nycEPIC Study Results Help Dogs with Heart Disease

A recent online publication in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reports the results of a global study offering hope to dogs with chronic heart valve disease. The EPIC (Evaluation of Pimobendan In Cardiomegaly) study found in dogs with a heart murmur due to mitral valve disease, administration of pimobendan extended the time to development of heart failure by 15 months. Dogs receiving pimobendan also lived longer than dogs treated with the placebo. Results of the study were so strong, the study was terminated early as those involved in the study felt it unethical to continue to withhold pimobendan from the placebo treated dogs. Mitral valve disease commonly affects small bred dogs and is the most common type of heart disease seen in dogs. Pimobendan has been used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure for several years, and it has been proven clinically safe. The results of the EPIC study indicate more dogs than ever before can benefit from daily treatment with pimobendan.

Screwworms Threaten Key Deer

Right now, the Florida Keys are battling screwworms. Screwworms are an immature stage of a fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax. The fly lays eggs in an open wound. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the animal’s tissues and, if untreated, cause death. These parasitic larvae endanger the lives of a protected herd of Florida Key deer. In addition to affecting the Key deer, screwworms can also infect livestock, humans and pets.

This is the first outbreak of screwworms in the United States in about 30 years. The United States Department of Agriculture has responded to the outbreak and released millions of sterile flies to break the reproductive cycle of the screwworm. Wildlife biologists are also capturing and treating sick Key deer and feeding healthy deer bread laced with a long acting paraciticide related to many canine heartworm preventatives, to halt any screwworm infections.
Pets residing in or visiting the Florida Keys could contract a screwworm infestation if they have an open wound. To prevent screwworm infections in your pet, keep them indoors and away from flies if you visit an area where screwworms are known to live. In addition to the Florida Keys, Central and South America have screwworms.

A Dog Has His Day in the Supreme Court

While making dinner the other night, this story about a service dog and the Supreme Court caught my attention, since dogs are not typically litigants in our nation’s highest court. For those of us who are dog lovers, it seems dogs should be welcome everywhere, but Wonder, the Golden Doodle service dog in question, was not allowed to attend school with his child, an elementary school girl with cerebral palsy.

The case alleges a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the local school board denies the claim and believes the family did not exhaust their administrative appeals through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The court will rule on this case some time later in the session, but for me, it was nice to see dogs have their day in the Supreme Court. I hope the ruling will be a positive one for service dogs that are critical to the day-to-day functions of those they support.

Tags: amcny, animal medical center, animals, ann hohenhaus, cardiomegaly, cats, dogs, EPIC, florida keys, heart disease, key deer, pet health, pets, Pimobendan, screwworms, supreme court, veterinary,

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