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Pharmacists play a prominent role in animal healthcare

Photo: Flickr user Robe, CC,

While pharmacists are well known for helping people with their medications, it’s often overlooked that they play a primary role in animal healthcare. While veterinarians prescribe animal medications, pharmacists have had an increased role in preparing and dispensing them.

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How to prepare your cat for a trip to the vet

Photo Credit: Erin McHenry

Like many pets, cats need regular examinations to maintain a good weight, test for parasites and infectious diseases, look for dental problems and to receive vaccines.

Veterinarians can often detect conditions before they become significant, painful and costly, but unfortunately, many cats go unchecked. This Saturday is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, and the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center is encouraging cat owners to take their cats to the vet so they can live long and healthy lives.

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UMN Expert: Rethinking chronic kidney disease care through improved electronic health records

Photo: CC, NEC Corporation of America

Chronic kidney disease affects more than 20 million Americans, but primary care providers often miss the condition, because it tends to be asymptomatic and is associated with other important comorbidities, or chronic conditions.

Utilizing electronic health records (EHR) could help identify chronic kidney disease (CKD) sooner, and identify ways to better manage the condition, says University of Minnesota faculty member and researchers with the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP). Researchers gave recommendations to apply that concept in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology today.

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Improving Care for Peripheral Artery Disease in Rural Minnesota

Peripheral artery disease is a chronic condition causing blockages in the arteries that feed the legs. This deprives leg muscles of oxygen and often causes debilitating pain. People with the disease are at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes and amputations. The pain sensation gets worse with walking, which then limits patients’ ability and desire to be active. Approximately 20 percent of Americans over 70 have the disease.

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U of M expert: The importance of contact lens care

Roosh, CC, changes made,

Everyone skimps on hygiene now and then – contact lenses included. People are too lazy to buy new contact solution, too busy to clean them properly or too forgetful to take them out before bed.

But each time these cleaning steps are skipped or forgotten, it exposes eyes to bacteria that could lead to keratitis, the inflammation of the cornea.

The cornea is the eye’s clear, dome-shaped, outermost layer, which protects the eyes and acts as the primary focusing power in vision. It’s also one of the most sensitive parts of the body, said Sara Downes, O.D., an instructor of ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota and provider at the Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic.

“The main risk factor for keratitis is wearing contact lenses and having poor contact lens hygiene,” Downes said.

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What happens to a rehabilitated eagle after release?

The Jackson Bay female is released in Hastings, Minnesota in July 2014.

Each year in September, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota releases a small number of rehabilitated birds back to the wild at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota. While a few thousand spectators come out to observe the release and see education birds including bald eagles, great horned owls and kestrels up-close, it’s not often that the audience gets to learn what happens in the days, weeks and months following.

Did the bird make it? Did it fall prey to another urban landscape challenge such as a chimney, window or methane burner? Or is the bird we saw fly free in good health, hunting and soaring over the plains?

For one bird released in July, there was a rare opportunity to find out.

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