Alfaxalone is a neurosteroid anesthetic agent used clinically to induce general anesthesia in a variety of species including dogs and cats. Although alfaxalone is classified as a steroid, it has not been shown to have glucocorticoid or mineralocorticoid activity. Like many other intravenous hypnotic agents, including propofol, etomidate, and thiopental, alfaxalone produces it's sedative effect through interaction with the GABA A  receptor. Older formulations of the drug (e.g. Saffan®) caused histamine release and other adverse reactions due to the use of a castor oil surfactant (Cremophor EL) to solubilize the alfaxalone. New formulations solubilized in 2-hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin (Alfaxan®) do not have that effect and have been approved in the US for intravenous use in dogs and cats. Alfaxan® comes as a clear, preservative- free 1% solution (10 mg/ml) and is currently scheduled as a class IV controlled substance.

A Case Study: Chylous Abdominal Effusion in a Cat
Signalment: 9-year-old male neutered domestic shorthair cat
History: Presented to the Emergency Service as a transfer from his primary veterinarian for further evaluation of abdominal distention. The patient's abdomen had become distended over the past several days. He was still acting normally with no vomiting, diarrhea, or change in appetite or labored breathing. He is indoors only. He was adopted as a kitten, only animal in the household, no travel history, and up to date on vaccinations.
Physical Exam Findings: Markedly distended, tense, abdomen with palpable fluid wave. 

Rib Chondrosarcoma
An approximately 9-year-old FS Beagle presented to her primary veterinarian for evaluation of a mass on her thoracic wall. The owner first noticed it a few days prior to the appointment. On physical examination, the patient was noted to have a hard lump on the right lateral ventral thorax near the axilla that measured approximately 1.5cms in diameter. Orthogonal view thoracic radiographs were performed and per the medical records the mass was soft tissue opacity and could only be identified on the ventrodorsal view. A fine needle aspirate of the mass was performed and cytology revealed a mesenchymal neoplasm with matrix......

Your Dog Remembers Even More about What You Do Than You Think
Ruby flew down the hall, careened around the corner, and stopped just briefly to jump on me before charging off again. His pointy ears and tail bobbed and wagged in rhythm as he ran laps around the house. I had just come through the door on my first trip home from college and it was the best  welcome-home  I could ask for. Ruby's exuberance over seeing me again, after our months apart, is a favorite memory from my college days.

Remembering my reunion with Ruby is an example of an episodic memory - recalling an experience. Such autobiographical memories - tied to specific places, times, and emotions - are integral to our lives as humans.

AAHA, hospice association release end-of-life care guidelines
The American Animal Hospital Association and the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care have released guidelines on end-of-life care for pets.
End-of-life care and decision-making "embody the critical final stage in a pet's life and are as important and meaningful as the sum of the clinical care provided for all prior life stages," according to the abstract for the 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines.

Pet Points: New advances in cancer treatment for pets
Few veterinary disciplines have changed as much as oncology. As pets live longer, often into their mid- to late teens, cancer has become the leading cause of death. But that is not all bad news.
Many veterinary practitioners no longer think of cancer as a life-threatening crisis. It's more of a treatable disease, the way we look at heart failure, liver problems or severe arthritis. Treatment for cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Pet owners often ask why we see so many cases of cancer. Much of the answer lies in the fact that we take better care of our pets, and they are living longer.

CE in the CITY- Focus on: Dermatology
            Date: Sunday April 2, 2017
            Location: WHYY Studios, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA
            Credits: 5 hours RACE CE
            RSVP:  https://ceinthecity2017.eventbrite.com

Lehigh Valley Spring Symposium
            Date: Sunday April 30, 2017
            Location: Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center 
            Credits: Pending 4 hours CE- PVMA
            RSVP:   https://lehighvalleyveterinarysymposium.eventbrite.com


PVMA District 8 Meeting: Minimally Invasive Surgery with Hope VS
          Date: Thursday April 27, 2017
          Location: TBD, Reading, PA 
          Credits: Pending 1.0-1.5 hrs CE- PVMA
          RSVP: Stay Tuned!  

Veterinary Sports Medicine Symposium
Keynote:  Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR- Cornell University
           Date: Sunday August 27, 2017
           Location: TBD Wilmington, DE
           Credits: Pending 4-5 CE credits
           RSVP: https://hopevssportsmedicine.eventbrite.com

Veterinary Surgical Oncology Symposium
Keynote: Sarah Boston, DVM, DACVS
           Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
           Location: Normandy Farms, Blue Bell, PA
           Credits: Pending 4-5 CE credits
           RSVP:   https://hopevssurgicaloncology.eventbrite.com