Case #1. Brutus is a four (4) year old mixed breed dog who was up to date on all his required vaccines and was generally in good health. He was seen with complaints of a sudden onset of lameness of the front right leg and loss of appetite. Upon physical examination, at his home in Westport, Massachusetts, he had pain and generalized swelling on the right front leg and a temperature of 103.4 (normal = 100- 102.5). The rest of the physical exam was normal although Brutus was clearly not himself. I drew some blood and did a test called "4 Idexx", which tests for canine heartworm and three (3) other tickborn diseases, including Lyme's disease. Brutus's blood tested positive for Lyme's disease.

Brutus was put on an antibiotic, doxycycline, for three (3) weeks and anti-inflammatory medication for a few days. Within 48 hours, he was feeling much better, his temperature was back to normal, and he was eating like a champ.

Case #2. Sophie is an eight (8) year old spayed female tabby cat whose owner was concerned that she had started to drink a lot of water and urinating unusually often. Sophie hates going to the Vet and "freaks" when she gets in her carrier to get into the car.

Her regular vet gave her my name and suggested that maybe she could be seen on a home visit. When I first saw Sophie, I was impressed by her size. She was an indoor cat, who had access to dry food all day long. She weighed an hefty 17 lbs.

Sophie was a friendly cat who let me examine her without a commotion. I noticed that she had cataracts when I examined her eyes. Her breath had a distinctly unpleasant odor. Her heart and lungs sounded normal, and her abdomen was difficult to examine as she was so heavy. Sophie's temperature was normal. I explained to the owner that we needed to take blood to determine what her problem was and since I suspected diabetes mellitus. Next, I took blood and did an immediate test to check her glucose, which was a very high 462 (normal range is 63-132g/dl).

With those rapid results, I sent other blood samples out to the laboratory to verify the test and to check for any other abnormalities. The laboratory confirmed my diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.

I made arrangements for Sophie to spend a few days in an animal hospital in order to get her started on her insulin regime and get her regulated so that she can be given twice daily shots by her owner. Sophie continues to do well after two (2) years of treatments. I see her on regularly scheduled home visits to check her glucose. Her owner has become very adept at monitoring her.

Case #3. Tortie is a male adult box turtle who was found on the road in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Her new owner noticed that she was thin, had her eyes shut and seemed to be congested. I was called to go and see her when her owners were told, by a friend, that I had a special interest in reptiles.

When I first saw Tortie, she was listless, her eyes were closed and there was discharge coming from her nose. I put her in water and saw that the body lilted to one side, which is a crude test for testing for pneumonia. The film over her eyes indicated a vitamin deficiency due to poor malnutrition. I gave the turtle a one time shot of vitamins A & D and I started her on an antibiotic called baytril. I next showed the owner how to give shots to a turtle at home. I explained that all shots have to be given in the front part of the body because reptiles have a unique type of circulation which makes it toxic to give shots in the hind end.

I also instructed the owner on box turtle nutrition. Box turtles are omnivores. (This is in contrast to many other types of turtles and tortoises that are herbivores). Cat food happens to be a perfectly balanced diet for box turtles. They can have other treats like strawberries or good quality lettuce, but moist cat food the basic diet.

The owner was given instruction on keeping Tortie warm during her convalescence and how to set up her habitat. Tortie has been given to a wild life preserve where she lives now happily.

©2012-19 East Bay Vet Services | Louise E. Wechsler, VMD | P.O. Box 584, Little Compton, RI 02837 | 401-635- 2700