Chronic Ear Infection in Dogs and Cats

What Is a Chronic Ear Infection?
Ear infections are usually secondary to inflammation of the external ear canals (the tube-shaped part of the ear visible under the ear flap). Inflammation of the canals leads to the reproduction of normal bacteria and yeast that live in the ear to the point where the body is unable to control their numbers (called overgrowth). Other bacteria can also take advantage of the inflammation and unhealthy environment inside the ear to establish infection. The overgrowth of these organisms causes more inflammation. Inflammation of the ear canal causes swelling, making the tube narrower than usual. Inflammation also causes an increase in the production of wax. The ears become very itchy and painful. Severe ear infections can lead to eardrum rupture and middle and inner ear infections. Deep infections can lead to deafness and neurologic signs.
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Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

Feline Leukemia Virus (FLV)

What is feline leukemia virus?
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), a retrovirus, so named because of the way it behaves within infected cells. All retroviruses, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), produce an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, which permits them to insert copies of their own genetic material into that of the cells they have infected. Although related, FeLV and FIV differ in many ways, including their shape: FeLV is more circular while FIV is elongated. The two viruses are also quite different genetically, and their protein consituents are dissimlar in size and composition. Although many of the diseases caused by FeLV and FIV are similar, the specific ways in which they are caused differs.
How common is the infection?
FeLV-infected cats are found worldwide, but the prevalence of infection varies greatly depending on their age, health, environment, and lifestyle. In the United States, approximately 2 to 3% of all cats are infected with FeLV. Rates rise significantly—13% or more—in cats that are ill, very young, or otherwise at high risk of infection.
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Can Dogs Sniff Cancer? - OVSH

How Do Dogs Sniff Out Cancer?

By Dr. Joanne Intile
A curious headline popped up along my Twitter feed the other day: “Could Dogs Sniff Out Thyroid Cancer?” I read the words and paused a few seconds, contemplating taking the bait before opening the link.
Convinced I would be disappointed in what I was about to read, I contemplated how a dog could be able to detect cancer given the complex nature of the disease and how troubling it is to uncover even under the best of circumstances. I figured the title was just a catchy way to drive readers to an advertisement for something completely banal like air fresheners.
One the other hand, what if it were true? What if dogs were really able to pick up on the subtlest of changes in our biochemistry, leading them to distinguish those of us with disease from those without? What if doctors could somehow capitalize on a dog’s powerful sense of smell and bypass the need for invasive diagnostics? How remarkable would that be?
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Brain Tumor Clinical Study for Dogs with Glioma

Toca 511 & Toca FC Gene Transfer with Surgical Resection & Radiation Therapy
pup pictToca 511 is a nonlytic retroviral replicating vector that delivers a Cytosine Deaminase (CD) gene selectively to cancer cells. Toca FC is an extended-release tablet containing the antifungal drug, 5-FC (flucytosine). Toca FC is used in combination with Toca 511 because CD catalyzes the conversion of 5-FC, to the anti-cancer drug, 5-FU (5-fluorouracil).
Toca 511 is administered transcranially directly into the tumor following stereotactic biopsy. 3-6 weeks following Toca 511, surgical resection will be performed with the option for adjuvant radiation therapy.
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Study reveals possible biological trigger for canine bone cancer

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) have identified the biological mechanism that may give some cancer cells the ability to form tumors in dogs.
UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine intern Kathleen Tsimbas checks on Yurtie, a canine cancer patient, in the UW Veterinary Care oncology ward. - See more at: https://ovshosp.com/2015/03/04/study-reveals-possible-biological-trigger-for-canine-bone-cancer/#sthash.ULaDHiqu.dpuf
UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine intern Kathleen Tsimbas checks on Yurtie, a canine cancer patient, in the UW Veterinary Care oncology ward.
Credit: Nik Hawkins/UW-Madison

The recent study uncovered an association between the increased expression of a particular gene in tumor cells and more aggressive behavior in a form of canine bone cancer. It may also have implications for human cancers by detailing a new pathway for tumor formation.
The findings, recently published online in the journalVeterinary and Comparative Oncology, may eventually provide oncologists with another target for therapy and improve outcomes for canine patients with the disease.
The researchers examined cell lines generated from dogs with osteosarcoma, a common bone cancer that also affects people, with the intent of uncovering why only some cells generate tumors. After the dogs underwent tumor-removal surgery at UW Veterinary Care — the SVM’s veterinary medical teaching hospital — cells from the tumors were grown in the lab.
This led to six different cancer cell lines, which were then transplanted into mice. The researchers then looked to see which lines developed tumors and which did not and studied the differences between them.
“We found several hundred genes that expressed differently between the tumor-forming and nontumor-forming cell lines,” says Timothy Stein, an assistant professor of oncology. However, one protein called frizzled-6 was present at levels eight times higher in cells that formed tumors.
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The Immune System's Complicated Relationship with Cancer

The Immune System’s Complicated Relationship with Cancer

By Dr. Joanne Intile
There appears to be an association between the development of cancer and the ability of tumor cells to evade the immune system. A person’s (or a dog’s or cat’s) immune system is on constant surveillance for foreign substances in the body. Whether searching for rogue bacteria, viruses, or cancer cells, our immune cells constantly prowl for anything not considered “self.”
Tumor cells are devilishly and unexplainably clever, developing mysterious capacities to avoid detection by their host’s immune system. In fact, their existence is often predicated on an ability to co-exist alongside the same cells designed to eradicate them.
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dog and cat

Finding the Causes of Cancer in Cats and Dogs

by Dr. Joanne Intile
Hearing the news that your pet has been diagnosed with cancer can be both devastating and terrifying at the same time. It is natural to have many questions about exactly what the diagnosis means, what might happen to your pet as the cancer progresses, and what options you have for treating the disease.
One of the most common questions I am asked by owners during an initial appointment is, “What caused my pet’s cancer?” I can definitely appreciate why this is an important piece of information they would want to understand. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult question to answer accurately, as in nearly all cases cancer is typically caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, many of which may have occurred years before the diagnosis was made. Read more