By Emily Banks Wooten
Dr. Milton D. Thiel, a local veterinarian and Rotarian, recently provided a program for the Rotary Club of Livingston in which he discussed changes at his former clinic as well as new drugs that are available for veterinary issues.
After owning Arena Veterinary Clinic for many years, Thiel sold the practice to Dr. James D. Darden and is now semi-retired.
“There’s been a few changes at Arena Veterinary Clinic since changing ownership. You could say it’s gone into the 21st century,” Thiel said, adding that a lot of things in human medicine have made their way over to veterinary medicine.
Thiel explained how new technology allows the veterinarians to prepare slides to view stool samples and other things and that they can even count the number of parasite eggs.
“It’s in color and pretty amazing,” he said, adding that they can also now do needle aspirates to investigate tumors, lumps and bumps.
“We can now send it over the internet and know within a few hours what it is, whereas previously we had to put it in a box and mail it somewhere and in about 14 days we could find out what it was,” Thiel said.
“Also, with the new lab equipment that Dr. Darden’s brought in, such as digital X-rays, it makes diagnostics a whole lot easier,” Thiel said.
Segueing into the new drugs that are available for veterinary use, Thiel said there is one that has been out for a while called Cytopoint that is a monoclonal antibody. He said there is an enzyme that causes inflammation in dogs and Cytopoint works against the enzyme to neutralize it. He said it is an injection that lasts 4-8 weeks and that it is effective against canine atrophy, but not flea allergies or food allergies.
He said another is Apoquel and that it comes in tablet form and is a synthetic tyrosinase inhibitor. He said it only lasts for 24 hours, so he tells his patients to give it to the pet at night so they both can get some rest from the itching.
Thiel said the newest one is called Solensia, that it is another monoclonal antibody and that it works for osteoarthritis in cats. He said it is a shot that is given once a month and that approximately 77% of cat owners report improvement in their cat’s mobility after the shot. “This is a pretty significant breakthrough. We didn’t have anything for arthritis in cats,” he said.
“Over at Texas A&M there’s a doctor doing some research to figure out how to get the body to treat urinary tract infections. This researcher has found that copper has an adverse effect on bacteria so he’s trying to figure out how to get more copper in the urine,” Thiel said.
“I’ve heard old-timers talk about swallowing pennies, so maybe there’s something to it.”