Preface| Volume 51, ISSUE 1, Pxiii-xiv, January 2021

A Much-Needed Update on Digestive Diseases of Cats and Dogs

Published:October 29, 2020DOI:
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      Frédéric P. Gaschen, Dr med vet, Dr habil, Editor
      It has been 10 years already since an issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice was entirely devoted to gastroenterology. Needless to say, the current issue is long overdue. We have learned a lot since 2011 thanks to research performed both in the laboratory setting and on the clinic floor. For instance, our understanding of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome in health and disease has greatly expanded. Also, new technologies, such as pH capsules, have been useful to generate relevant clinical data. Finally, numerous clinical and benchtop studies have been published, for instance, about acute and chronic enteropathies and other common conditions. These advances should help guide our decisions in our daily practice of canine and feline medicine. Therefore, the goal of this issue is to provide the busy clinician with a quick but complete reference on the current knowledge about diagnostic approach and management of a selection of common digestive diseases of cats and dogs.
      Numerous authors from around the world have agreed to share their expertise and wisdom in this issue. They have invested a significant amount of time to provide concise state-of-the-art reviews in their fields of research. And they did it while COVID-19 was forcing everyone to do whatever they do very differently or to stop doing it altogether. I am very grateful to them all for their extraordinary commitment under these exceptional circumstances. Thank you also to Nicole Congleton and the staff at Elsevier for their support and for making sure this project would be completed on time.
      The contents of this issue will appeal to clinicians dealing with cats and dogs with digestive disorders. The reader will find reviews describing clinical presentation, pathogenesis, diagnostic approach, and management for diseases affecting the esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestine. While some articles summarize the current understanding of conditions, such as esophagitis, acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome, and protein-losing enteropathy, other articles explore the relationship between airway and digestive diseases, or the approach and management of GI motility disorders. The optimal use of various ancillary tests in the approach of our GI patients is also discussed. The importance of the GI microbiota in digestive diseases is highlighted in an eye-opening review. The difficulty in differentiating inflammatory from neoplastic infiltration of the feline gut is addressed in another article. Finally, a group of articles focuses on various key aspects in the management of GI patients, such as protection of the gastric mucosa, benefits of diet and nutrition in chronic intestinal diseases, and use of probiotics and fecal microbiota transplantation.
      I hope that the reader will use this newest GI issue again and again as a key resource to guide their decisions for their own patients. Happy reading!