Pet Connection: Advances make life better for you, pet

02/05/2013 12:00 AM

02/04/2013 4:00 PM

Every year, I go to as many veterinary conferences as I can. I have always loved to learn and I need to stay on the cutting edge for my work in the media.

Last year, several veterinary products caught my attention. They'll be worth watching as they roll into veterinary practices this year. In random order:

Zeuterin: A few years ago, I made the decision to return to practice. I missed it, so now I see pets and their people at two north Idaho veterinary hospitals whenever I can.

Recently, I was able to participate in the staff training for a product that will revolutionize the way we neuter dogs. Zeuterin is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved nonsurgical product injected directly into the testicles. It's fast, it's easy on everyone and it has already proved its value in neutering overpopulations of dogs in Third World countries and in the abandoned area around the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan (ArkSciences.com).

Kerdog by SophiaDog: I first saw this product last summer at the American Veterinary Medical Association's annual conference. It had quite the buzz, and with good reason.

It's a wheeled cart for dogs that does more than support an animal undergoing rehabilitation. The product has pedals for the rear paws that teach the animal to use its legs while strengthening the muscles. Eventually, the pedals are removed and the dog walks with support from the cart, and then on his own (SophiaDog.com).

OraStrip Quick Check: Your veterinarian can tell in minutes if your dog has periodontal disease with OraStrip Quick Check, a diagnostic strip that tests a pet's saliva and color when active disease is present. Treatment options can then be explored in time to reduce the suffering caused by this painful and harmful condition (Orastrip.com).

IDEXX VetConnect Plus: I love my tablet computer, and I love seeing all the ways we're starting to use these in veterinary medicine. With this system from IDEXX, my patients' laboratory reports show an easy-to-read interactive format and can be viewed on a desktop, laptop or tablet computer. They're all in one place and I can use my tablet to go over the cloud-based results with the pet's owner. The company says that more than 3,000 veterinary practices in the United States are using the system since it was launched in July (IDEXX. com/vetconnectplus).

Royal Canin Veterinary Diets' CALM: With proven links between illness and behavior problems to the increased levels of stress caused by anxiety, there's a need for food to soothe anxious pets.

New from Royal Canin Veterinary Diets is CALM, the first product of its kind, available through veterinarians. CALM includes three proven ingredients to relieve stress and anxiety without the use of medication (Royalcanin.us/calm).

These are the five products that really caught my attention last year, but I easily could have listed a couple of dozen more. Changes and innovations are a constant in medicine, which is yet another reason to work with your veterinarian to stay on top of pet-care breakthroughs. Your pet will benefit, and so will you.

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