Focus on Companion Animal Gastroenterology | Focus on Companion Animal Gastroenterology | GI microbiome patterns identify IBD in dogs
November 2, 2016
Animal Health SmartBrief Special Report
News for animal health professionals
Focus on Companion Animal Gastroenterology
Last month, Animal Health SmartBrief brought you a Special Report on companion animal gastroenterology featuring a Q&A with a specialist in the field. Below, you'll find a follow-up issue, including results from our reader poll, developments in veterinary gastroenterology and news and resources you can share with pet owners.
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Science and Veterinary Medicine
GI microbiome patterns identify IBD in dogs
Researchers report in Nature Microbiology that gastrointestinal microbiome patterns predict the presence or absence of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs with over 90% accuracy. The technique isn't yet available as a diagnostic tool for veterinarians, and the researchers say the findings can't be readily applied to humans, but the team hopes future studies will shed light on IBD in humans and zoo animals.
ScienceDaily (10/3) 
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Research explores causes, treatment of megaesophagus
University of Missouri veterinarians collaborated with head and neck specialists from the university's medical school to study megaesophagus in dogs and found that some cases may be caused by a lower esophageal sphincter achalasia-like syndrome. The team created trapezoidal kennels that coax dogs into position for upright fluoroscopic imaging, and they found that the LES did not open in some of the dogs, similar to a condition in people that can be treated with Botox injections or balloon dilation. release (10/19) 
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Nutrition and Wellness
Cats with GI symptoms need veterinary care
Any pet with gastrointestinal distress should be seen by a veterinarian, but cats are particularly adept at hiding discomfort, so owners should take any change in behavior or body condition, such as abdominal swelling, seriously, says veterinarian Sina Marsilio. GI changes can signal a variety of problems, from acute issues such as infection by a virus, bacterium or parasite to chronic, including inflammation and malignancy, or even something in another area of the body that has an effect on gastrointestinal function.
The Rock River Times, (Rockford, Ill.) (10/16) 
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Why some dogs eat feces, and what owners can do about it
Many dogs eat their own poop at some point, and 16% do so regularly, possibly in an effort to protect against parasites or for behavioral reasons, but the habit could also indicate a health problem. Owners should have dogs that engage in the stomach-turning habit examined by a veterinarian to rule out illnesses, and they should clean up the mess right away to discourage the behavior.
Nerdist (10/1) 
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Food allergies afflict cats, too
Veterinarian Scott Sandeman writes that food allergies may explain feline skin problems including itchiness around the head and neck and gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or stool changes. Dr. Sandeman says a special diet is usually needed for food-allergic cats because the problem is typically the protein source.
Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) (10/16) 
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Pyloric stenosis could be cause of dog's vomiting
After a dog experienced vomiting for three days, exploratory surgery found a thickened area of his stomach that veterinarian John De Jong says could be pyloric stenosis, which tends to occur in boxers­, Boston terriers, bulldogs, Lhasa apsos, Shih Tzus and Pekingese. Barium studies of the stomach. exploratory surgery and endoscopy are used to identify pyloric stenosis, and surgery can treat the problem, Dr. De Jong writes.
Boston Herald (10/9) 
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Your Take
Which companion animal GI issue is most common in your own practice?
Dietary problems  47.67%
Inflammatory bowel disease  19.19%
Dysbiosis of the bowels  16.28%
Pancreatitis  13.95%
Foreign bodies  2.91%
Resources for Animal Health Professionals
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