Dr. Robert Franlkin Honored With the CVM Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus Award is given to honor distinguished DVM graduates for veterinary excellence in practice or teaching and research.
Dr. Robert Franklin’s priorities are to provide the best care for his animal patients and clients and to be sensitive to the strong feelings of the human-animal bond. He served for nine years on the board of the Delta Society and under his leadership a capital campaign raised 7.6 million dollars to build the Delta Society headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. The Delta Society now has over 11,000 volunteer pet Partners in 50 states and in 16 countries. Dr Franklin has lectured widely about the compelling research results on how animals impact human health. He has presented lectures on animal welfare and human-animal bond at the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association meetings and helped bridge efforts between the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and the Oregon humane shelter. He has also provided leadership for the development of Hospice guidelines for the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr Franklin received the Veterinary Service Award from Region 6 of the American Animal Association in 1995 and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association Animal welfare award in 2000. He is board certified in internal medicine and currently owns an internal medicine referral practice in Oregon.


The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association honored Dr. Franklin for his service to the veterinary profession at its annual conference in Corvallis last weekend.

Dr. Robert Franklin received the Meritorious Service Award, the Association’s highest honor.
Franklin is board-certified in internal medicine and owns Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Beaverton.
He has served five years on the OVMA’s executive board and one term as president, in 1998.
While Franklin has made numerous contributions to the association, his most significant contributions are in the area of animal welfare. Under his leadership, the organization helped change Oregon law regarding dogs chasing and killing livestock. Such dogs are no longer sentenced to death.
Franklin also brought more OVMA attention and focus on legislation addressing animal abuse and neglect, such as working toward legislation that made it a Class C felony for harming or killing an animal.
He also initiated an independent examination of Keiko, the Orca housed at the Oregon Coast Aquarium who wound up in the heart of a dispute between the whale’s primary veterinarian and aquarium officials.
Franklin has served on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Delta Society and will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine later this year.

From Web MD: https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-falling-down
Little kids love spinning in place until they fall down. But when we’re talking about our dogs, there’s really no good reason for loss of balance.
So why do dogs fall down? Is it possible to treat loss of balance? And when should your canine companion see a vet?

When to See a Vet

Injury, stroke, poisoning, infections can all cause your dog to lose its balance. Because these things can be dangerous or even life-threatening, don’t hesitate to call your vet immediately if your dog is falling down.

Dog Loss of Balance: Common Causes and Treatments

A few of the more common causes of falling down in dogs include:
Vestibular Syndrome. Vestibular syndrome is caused by dysfunction of the inner ear. Because the symptoms occur suddenly, they are sometimes confused with symptoms of stroke. Along with loss of balance and falling over, signs may include head tilt, walking in circles, vomiting, nausea, and flicking of the eyes from side to side.
Treating vestibular syndrome depends on the cause. Many dogs need support for secondary symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Ear Infection. Inner ear infections are a common cause of dogs losing their balance. Other symptoms include head shaking and scratching, eye flicking, walking in circles. Often there may be redness, swelling, discharge, and odor associated with the affected ear.
Left untreated, infections of the external parts of the ear can move deeper, become more serious, and lead to complications like inner ear infection or meningitis. So always have your dog seen by a veterinarian if you suspect an ear infection. Treating ear infections may include a professional cleaning, topical medications, antibiotics, and possibly surgery for chronic or serious infections.
Injury. Injuries such as head trauma or damage to the inner ear can cause dogs to lose their balance. Your dog can’t tell you when it’s in pain, and dogs sometimes mask hurt with behaviors such as wagging their tail. So it’s important to be aware of canine signs of pain. They include slower reflexes, heavy panting, biting or licking the wounded area, anxiety, enlarged pupils, reluctance to lie down, and change in appetite.
Stroke. Strokes in dogs are fairly uncommon. But they do happen. A stroke can be caused by many things, including blood clots, hemorrhage, head trauma, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and even migrating worms. Symptoms of stroke in dogs include loss of balance, head tilt, circling, falling down, and loss of vision.
Treating stroke involves managing the underlying problem and preventing additional strokes. It also includes caring for the aftereffects of a stroke.
Tumors. Brain tumors are common in older dogs. They can also happen in younger dogs, especially boxers and Boston terriers. Brain tumors can lead to a loss of balance as well as a host of other symptoms.
The exact symptoms depend on the tumor and its location. They may include seizures, behavior changes, changes in appetite or thirst, signs of pain, head tilt, swaying, a wide stance, lack of coordination, head tremors, flicking of the eye, and pacing. Treating brain tumors may involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and other care.

Other Reasons for Loss of Balance in Dogs

Any process which causes inflammation of the brain — referred to as encephalitis — may cause a dog to lose its balance. Encephalitis can result from tick-borne diseases, fungal infections, protozoal infections, and many other causes. Other signs include fever and depression.
Your vet can help you and your pet share a long and happy life together. If you have any questions about your dog’s health, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your concerns.

feline hypothyroidismprepared and provided by:
Dr. Robert Franklin, D.V.M.,

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Feline Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disease seen in cats. The cause is excessive thyroid hormone produced most commonly from adenomatous hyperplasia (abnormal increase in the number of normal cells) or adenoma (benign tumor) of the thyroid gland. This will result in a multisystemic disease.

Clinical Signs:

Feline Hyperthyroidism occurs in middle-aged to older cats. The clinical signs can vary from very mild to severe. The most common signs of hyperthyroidism are weight loss with an increased appetite. Other signs include hyperactivity, poor hair coat, excessive drinking and urination, and intermittent vomiting and diarrhea.


The diagnosis is made from blood work measuring thyroxine T4 levels. Often, enlarged glands can be detected during routine physical examination.


There are currently 4 possible treatments for hyperthyroidism.
a) Medical Treatment– consists of the administration of methimazole (Felimazole®) up to three times daily. The drug blocks the secretion of T4 but does not remove the
tumorous thyroid gland. The drug is given for the rest of your cat’s life.
b) Surgery– removes the aected thyroid gland or glands and will cure hyperthyroidism.
c) Low Iodine Diet– Hill’s Prescription y/d. Feeding the y/d diet will help to manage your cat’s hyperthyroidism but will not cure the disease.
d) Radioactive Iodine I-131– will cure hyperthyroidism and is a single, under the skin injection.

Reasons for radioactive iodine therapy:

Medical therapy may not be the best choice for several reasons. Some cats can be extremely dicult to pill. Mild reactions are common, such as vomiting and loss of appetite. Severe adverse reactions can be seen in 5% of cats and include blood or liver problems. Periodic blood testing is necessary to monitor the cat’s condition Surgery is eective but does require anesthesia.
Because many cats with hyperthyroidism have heart problems secondary to their elevated T4 levels, they have a higher anesthetic risk. There is a chance that the parathyroid glands, vital structures associated with thyroid glands, can temporarily be damaged during surgery, resulting in low blood calcium. This is a life-threatening condition that may result in extra hospitalization and cost. Radioactive iodine does not require anesthesia or risk of parathyroid injury. Methimazole is not needed and must be discontinued for at least one week prior to treatment. Your cat will be hospitalized for 4 days after the injection. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. When injected, a large percentage of the I-131 accumulates in the thyroid glands. The rest is excreted in the urine and, to a lesser degree the feces. Once the radioactivity (Iodine 131 ) is taken up by the thyroid gland, gamma and beta rays are released and kill the abnormal thyroid cells, eectively treating the hyperthyroid condition. Iodine 131 is 95% eective in curing hyperthyroidism. In approximately 5% of treated cases, low T4 levels (hypothyroidism) can develop. This is easily controlled with supplementation and may not be permanent.

Responsibilities at home:

Upon discharge from the hospital, your cat will still be minimally radioactive. This level is very low but you still need to exercise a little caution and common sense. The radioactivity in your cat will gradually disappear over the next 2 to 4 weeks. During this time you will need to use flushable litter than can be disposed of via your toilet. You cannot throw the litter out with the
garbage. It is also recommended not to sleep with your cat during this time and to limit close contact (less than 12”) with your cat to one hour per day for the rst 2 weeks and 2 hours per day
for the following 2 weeks. Your cat will need to be conned to your house, garage, or yard during this time.


The amount of radiation in your cat is extremely low. If you were being treated for hyperthyroidism, you would receive up to 10 times the dose your cat receives and still go home on the same day of treatment. The amount of radiation you might receive from your cat would be roughly equivalent to that received when you y roundtrip across the country. You do not need to
worry about exposure to your other pets. It can take from 1 to 12 weeks for the thyroid level to return to normal. Blood work is recommended 4 to 6 weeks after treatment. If the thyroid level is still elevated, repeat blood work is again recommended 12 weeks after treatment. If the thyroid level is still elevated then the treatment is repeated at no charge. Once blood work is normal, only the routine care recommended and provided by your regular veterinarian is necessary.