Veterinary Articles

Genetic Testing in Veterinary Ophthalmology

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by Noelle La Croix, DVM, Dip. ACVO Genetic Testing in Veterinary Ophthalmology As discussed in an earlier article, the selective breeding of the canine has greatly diminished the genetic diversity within each specific breed.  In populations of low genetic diversity, recessive alleles are more likely to pair.  Paired non-lethal recessives often generate phenotypes with decreased biological fitness.  Recessive defective alleles are maintained in heterozygous (carrier) dogs within a population.  Genetic testing can screen for these “hidden” alleles, and reduce the likelihood of breeding animals with defective pairings. Eliminating all the…

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Ocular Herpes in Kittens

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by Noelle La Croix, DVM, Dip. ACVO Ocular Herpes in Kittens The feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) was first isolated in 1958. The virus can replicate within the conjunctival epithelia, upper respiratory tract epithelia, and sensory ganglia. Neuronal infection with FHV-1 establishes lifelong latency with intermittent re-activation and viral shedding. Virus transmission is commonly associated with exposure to acutely infected cats, or recrudescing latently infected cats. Environmental contamination with FHV-1 is not considered a significant route of transmission. The feline herpesvirus can be transmitted via oral, nasal, and/or conjunctival routes. Kittens under…

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A Review of Canine and Feline Oral Tumors

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by Dr. Daniel T. Carmichael (thank you to Jill Costigan for editorial advice) A Review of Canine and Feline Oral Tumors Key Points: There are a variety of neoplastic (cancerous) and non-neoplastic lesions that can be found in the oral cavities of dogs and cats. An accurate diagnosis is required to offer appropriate treatment recommendations Oral biopsy is a procedure that must be performed correctly to obtain an accurate diagnosis Regional lymph node evaluation is an important part of a complete diagnostic workup for oral malignancies The oral cavity is…

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Ophthalmoscopy

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by Noelle La Croix, DVM, Dip. ACVO Ophthalmoscopy To the casual observer a pupil appears black, even though there is a direct transparent pathway from a pupil to a colorful retina.  Ambient light enters an eye through its pupil at a multitude of different angles.  Some of this light is subsequently reflected by the retina, and exits the pupil in assortment of different angles.  The reflected light’s intensity (brightness) is usually below an observer’s threshold for perceiving a clear image of the retina, and this absence of light appears as…

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Blood in the Eye. Part 2. Secondary Systemic Conditions

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by Noelle La Croix, DVM, Dip. ACVO Blood in the Eye.  Part 2.  Secondary Systemic Disease Hyphema is hemorrhage, or bleeding, into the anterior chamber of the eye.  In the last newsletter, I discussed the main primary intraocular conditions (trauma, uveitis, cancer, and retinal detachment) which cause hyphema.  This article will discuss hyphema that arises secondary to systemic disease. The eye is often the first target organ to manifest hemorrhage in cases of systemic vascular or bleeding disorders.  This is due to an extremely high blood flow within the eye…

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Blood in the Eye. Part 1. Primary Intraocular Conditions

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by Noelle La Croix, DVM, Dip. ACVO Blood in the Eye.  Part 1.  Primary Intraocular Conditions Hemorrhage or bleeding into the anterior chamber of the eye is classified as hyphema.  The pathogenesis of hyphema is diverse, but a breakdown of the blood ocular barrier (BOB) and subsequent inflammation (uveitis) is usually involved.  Except in cases of severe intraocular disease, the differential diagnosis of hyphema does not differ from hemorrhage in other parts of the body (e.g.; hemoabdomen, pericardial hemorrhage).  Hyphema can arise secondary to systemic disease, or as a result…

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