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Opium is the product of condensation of the lactiferous juice coming from the capsules of Papaver somniferum (Figures 1a and 1b). Opiates are substances whose chemical analgesic properties have been known for a long time. The first undisputed reference to opium has been found in the writings of Theophrastus (Fig. 2) in the third century BC, in which the author named opium meconion (µὴκωνίὸν...
The vestibular apparatus is the most important apparatus for maintaining the body’s equilibrium, a function which it achieves by integrating information from the visual system with that from the general proprioceptive system. The vestibular apparatus plays a fundamental role in maintaining proper posture and co-ordinating eye movements as a function of the position and movements of the head.
Feline infectious anaemia was described for the first time in 1942. For a long time, the causal agent went by the name of Haemobartonella felis, although based on molecular studies using PCR it has now been reclassified by the name Mycoplasma haemofelis. In fact, it cannot be considered as a single agent but rather as a group of infectious agents known as haemotropic mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas), a...
Angiostrongylus vasorum, commonly known as the French heartworm, is a metastrongylid nematode that causes canine cardiopulmonary angiostrongylosis. The parasite, in its adult stage, localises to the right ventricle and pulmonary artery of the definitive host (dog, fox and occasionally wolf, coyote and ferret) causing clinical pictures of variable severity, but often fatal. The biological life...
Ivermectin, a mixture between 22,23-dihydro-avermectin B1a (≥ 80%) and B1b (≤ 20%), is produced by an actinomycete (Streptomyces avermitilis). Structurally, it is a disaccharide macrocyclic lactone, chemically related to milbemycin (Fig. 1). Ivermectin is active against nematodes and arthropods.   MECHANISM OF ACTION Ivermectin activates the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor causing...
Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) or chronic degenerative mitral valve disease is the most common acquired cardiovascular disease in the dog. Characterized by progressive myxomatous degeneration of the leaflets and chordae tendineae of the mitral valve, it causes thickening of the leaflets with consequent regurgitation of blood back through the valve. The valve most frequently affected by...
Normal gait  in the dog and cat depends on the functional integrity of the cerebral cortex, the brainstem, cerebellum, spinal cord (ascending and descending pathways), peripheral nerves (sensory and motor), neuromuscular junctions and muscles. A voluntary movement is initiated by nerve impulses generated in the cerebral cortex or brainstem. The cerebellum co-ordinates these voluntary movements...

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