Archive for July, 2010

Perianal Fistulas

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

We received a question regarding a very serious health issue effecting a large number of dogs. Perianal Fistulas. Unfortunately, 84% of those dogs are German Shepherds.

Question:

I was sent an email a few weeks back on a product you were selling “SNP-G Wound Dressing Gell with Silver Sol”.

What I am wondering is if you know if it has been used to treat “Perianal Fistulas” in Dogs?

My German Shepherd has them and I have him on Cyclosporine but was wondering about this product when I read the description on it.  I also wrote to Dr. Rustom Roy of Penn State University and he said it could “most probably” work.

I also faxed the information from your site to my vet and her assistant just got back to me and said she has never heard of it so she really couldn’t say much either way about it but that it couldn’t hurt to try it.

Can you share your thoughts on this product and if it could or if you have had others use it for Perianal Fistualas in dogs with success or not?

Thank you for your time.

Response:

Based on the properties of the product it should be pretty effective in this case.  It should be able to help/prevent control infection at the site of the fistula, but it should be applied to a clean, dry area and checked daily for swelling, redness or reactions at the wound site which would prevent continued use.  One potential concern with this type of silver product is skin staining.  It is more common in light skinned animals/humans, but a blueish hue could potentially occur in as short a time as a few weeks of daily use.  This blue staining process seen with silver is due to the silver being absorbed into the skin at the application site and then “tarnishing” over time and is generally irreversible.  With animals, the hair typically covers such blemishes but it should be noted in case it were to occur.

Finally, I would suggest to this client that she let her veterinarian know how often, when and how she is using this product.  First of all it will maintain a good relationship with her veterinarian help to prevent potential drug interactions.  Interactions with this product and other prescribed products are very unlikely, but the veterinarian treating this patient should be able to advise appropriately.

S. Mason, DVM

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Supplements

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Supplements

Sometimes client’s ask about the use of supplements for the health of their pets.  There are a few things about supplements that you should know.

First of all, unlike prescription or over the counter (OTC) drugs, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), supplements, or nutraceuticals, are not regulated in the same way.  Therefore, you need to take extra care when purchasing these products.  Because they are not regulated by the FDA, they are considered food supplements and are not required to contain the amount of product that is listed on the container.  Unless they are made by a reputable drug company, they may not actually contain the amount of the product(s) listed on the package label.

Secondly, because they have not undergone the FDA drug approval process, nutraceuticals are not approved to treat, cure or otherwise be used for a specific disease process.  FDA sends out citation letters to individuals or companies for false advertising when such claims are made because they cannot yet be substantiated.  This is something to be aware of as many nutraceuticals are touted to treat conditions or promote good health.  One way to check if the product is a nutraceutical is to look on the packaging.  If the product is not an FDA approved drug, it should have a notice stating that it is not approved by the FDA.  The notice often reads something like this:

These statements have not been evaluated the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Please be aware that if it is not FDA approved, you do not necessarily know what you are buying.  Because there are so many types of nutraceuticals s available, the time after starting to take one and to notice an effect can vary greatly.  Therefore, I recommend talking to whoever suggested its use before starting it.  You should ask your veterinarian why s/he recommends the supplement and what positive effects you should expect to see within a certain time frame.  You can also talk to a pharmacist about some products before giving it to your pet as they are aware of many OTC products and their benefits mainly for use in humans.  If there are instructions on the package, I suggest following those unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian.

Finally, just because nutraceuticals are not considered medications and they are not regulated the same way as approved therapeutic drugs does not mean that their use cannot have potential side effects.  If you notice unusual behavior or any physical symptoms during the first couple of weeks of using a supplement, please call your veterinarian immediately.

S Mason, DVM

Posted in Pet Supplements | 1 Comment »