Editors' Note: The tiniest patients

Nov 01, 2005

Lulu and Chloe
From time to time, staff members at Veterinary Medicine bring their pets to work with them. It's nice to meet a colleague's dog, cat, bird, or, as in one case, Madagascar cockroach. (Well, meeting the hissing cockroach wasn't exactly nice, but it was fascinating.)

Recently on a cold, rainy morning, Angie Seat, our associate art director, found two kittens abandoned under the bushes near her front porch. She brought the kittens to the office with her, in hopes of finding them a home. By the end of the day, the home turned out to be her own since she couldn't bear parting with them. Although Lulu and Chloe had a rough start, with Angie's nurturing and her veterinarian's care, the kittens, now about 10 weeks old, are healthy and thriving.

But, as you know, such is not the case for some puppies and kittens. In this month's symposium, Dr. Joni L. Freshman discusses why neonates up to 9 weeks of age may fail to thrive. She enumerates the many causes of fading puppy and kitten syndrome, whether environmental, genetic, or infectious. These sick puppies and kittens decline rapidly, so you must be able to quickly assess their conditions, treat them, and properly monitor their progress. If you have any questions on how to evaluate or treat fading puppies or kittens (Which antibiotics are safe? How much milk replacer should you give? When and how should you administer a transfusion?), you'll find the answers in these articles. As Dr. Freshman says, her goal in writing these articles was to give you the information you need to confidently examine and treat these tiny patients. And you'll find a helpful handout to give to clients with pregnant bitches or queens. (You can also print out a PDF of this handout on our Web site, http://www.vetmedpub.com/.)

We thank Dr. Freshman for writing this symposium as well as Practitioner Advisory Board member Dr. Corey Entriken for suggesting the topic. By applying this useful advice to your practice, you'll help ensure that more puppies and kittens grow up with healthy futures, like Lulu's and Chloe's.