Archive for the ‘Room for Improvement’ Category

What to get your vet for the holidays? An online vet review!

December 19th, 2011

online vet reviews, ask a vet, what to give your vet for christmasPerhaps it has never crossed your mind to get your vet something for the holidays, but there are a number of pet parents that do shower our clinics with tokens of appreciation. (Thanks guys!  You are in the minority and are appreciated!)

It is almost always in the form of desserts. Cookies, brownies, homemade candy…our lunch room overfloweth with endless calories that most of us really don’t need.

Instead, this year if you would like to share the holiday spirit with your vet and their staff, I would encourage you to give something of lasting value that also happens to be free—a positive online vet review.

It’s no secret that angry people are far more likely to go the trouble of ranting online with negative reviews than satisfied customers.  It is no different in the veterinary world.

As a veterinarian, I have received many handwritten cards, letters, and thank you notes from clients over the years; I cherrish and keep every single one. They warm my heart and remind me of why I am in the veterinary profession, which all the thankless irresponsible pet parents our there do a pretty damn good job of sometimes making me forget.

But I am the only one who sees them! Read the rest of this entry »

Why is it hard to talk about fat pets?

November 14th, 2011

angry pet owner, pet owner denying pet's obesityIt’s not just me or Dr. Jed–it’s every vet I know. As soon as we mention that Fido is getting a little thick around the middle, our pet owners who seconds ago loved us now stare at us with hatred and resentment in their eyes!

Why is it so hard to talk to pet owners about keeping their pets a reasonable weight?

From dog to hog, from rabbit to cat,
Most pets I treat are relentlessly fat.

True, I have my clients that are happy to hear this and work towards their pet’s optimum weight, but they are in the minority.  Not sure if your pet is overweight? Ask a vet!

Today, as obesity in people is unanimously recognized as being dangerous for our heart, liver, kidney, joints, why isn’t obesity in pets given that same recognition, that same warning?

fat dog, chihuahua, obese chihuahua, obese dog

This Chihuahua needs more than a StairMaster

Barring medical causes of weight gain and decreased metabolism, pet obesity is something that pet owners actually have control over.  If I had someone determining when and how much I ate, I am sure I would be much more fit than I am.  Why don’t more pet owners realize this?  Food is not love!

I once had a 42 pound dachshund as a patient.  He was so sweet, and I loved his parents, but they wouldn’t do anything about his weight.  His belly dragged the ground.  When he died, he couldn’t even walk.  In the world were we have control over very little, this is something pet owners should take charge of!

If your vet tells you that Fido is overweight, it doesn’t mean you’re doing a bad job!  We usually have at least one pet on a diet.
Is there a better way to approach the topic?  Let us know! This vet needs your input as to what the best “weigh” to talk to pet owners about when Fido the pooch develops, well, more than a pooch.

Dr. Laci

SIGNATURE DVM

Dr. Laci Nash Schaible, DVM


Spay and Neuter Clinic Under Political Attack

July 23rd, 2011
ask a vet

Click picture above to learn more.

While the phrase “spay and neuter your pets” is not new to anyone’s ears, there are still between 4-5 million animals that are euthanized each year across America. That number is down drastically from previous decades, when over 20 million dogs and cats were killed in U.S. Shelters. While countless people help spread this message, it really boils down to pet owners taking their pets to the vet to have the surgeries performed, and having the money to pay the bill.

While it shouldn’t be about politics, sometimes it is. Remind Alabama’s State Board it’s about the animals, and please take a moment to sign the petition and stay up to date HERE.

Low cost spay and neuter clinics have made a world of difference to our nation’s dog and cat overpopulation problem. Many vet hospitals charge an arm and a leg to spay and neuter a pet, and many of us rely on these clinics, especially in today’s economic condition. This is a good thing for people and the pets, right?

Surprisingly enough (and disappointingly) the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is actively trying to shut down local spay/neuter clinics. Their claim? The spay/neuter clinic is in violation of Alabama code because it isn’t owned by a veterinarian. Read the rest of this entry »

Blurring the definition of Pets

June 25th, 2011

Life happens in threes, or so they say, and it certainly has been true in our lives lately. Between a series of family emergencies and last minute flights cross-counntry, this little blog and our Twitter presence have been neglected. Now that things seem to have settled (fingers crossed), I wanted to share something from my recent trip to my mother in Texas.

I have treated tarantulas, hermit crabs, and the occassional chipmunk. I am rather difficult to surprise when it comes to what sick pet will enter the exam room. I was a bit stunned to see a particular animal, actually about a baker’s dozen of them, enclosed in an area no larger than 1 acre while I was on a jog while in the Lone Star State.

online vet

It’s not the craziest pet animal I’ve heard of, but these pet deer looked less than happy.  I asked my mother about it, and she implied that neighbors were very upset about it, including a nearby police officer, but there was apparantly nothing that could legally be done about it. The owners claimed the deer were pets and the legal line was drawn that protected the animals. Read the rest of this entry »

When a cat can’t urinate

January 19th, 2011

How well read are you?ask a vet, cat can't urinate, sick cat, online vet
Today I want to share a special story that happened this week to a colleague and best friend of mine. Sadly, it happens all too often in veterinary medicine.

This past Saturday, an elderly couple took their cat to the vet with the complaint of having trouble urinating. The vet did an analysis of the urine and saw a plethora of crystals and white blood cells. I don’t know if the owners were wearing ear plugs, had their hearing aids turned off, denied all treatment, or if the vet was really that lousy, but the people went home with nothing but antibiotics–which is insane treatment to another vet.

Come Tuesday morning, the concerned couple again called the vet. Their beloved cat was doing worse, had vomiting and diarrhea, still had trouble urinating, and just seemed like a very sick cat.  They were told to bring him back in–for more fees of course. They declined, as they were on a fixed budget.

At 4:30 pm, they showed up at the vet’s office. Granted, they did not have an appointment, so I understand this can be difficult to squeeze them in as a vet, BUT, ethically, you are the active and current doctor overseeing this case which does put an legally arguable responsibility on you to see the pet.

This vet should have been thinking, “oh my goodness, this cat is probably blocked and could be about to die. I need to make this cat my #1 priority!”

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Portly Pets: Obesity Epidemic Reaches Pets

December 20th, 2010

ask a vet, what should my dog eat to lose weight, fat dogAs the holidays are upon us, many of us will find ourselves packing on some extra padding around our midsections as we go back for seconds, thirds, and midnight snacks. Before sharing these multiple meals with your beloved four-legged kiddos, think about this number: about half of the U.S.A.’s dogs and cats are overweight.

The obesity epidemic, especially in America, does not just affect over-fed owners, but now more than ever effects our pets.  The reasons, however,  are the same.

Increased food intake

Unhealthy food choices

Convenient fast food.

As if this weren’t enough to pop the button on our pants, we demand more escalators and moving walkways, thereby become less physically active bordering on lazy.

ask a vet, ask a vet online, is my dog overweight, dog health problemsFollowing hand in hand with our rear ends resting more on the couch, it is likely that your pooch is resting idly as well, either on the sofa with you or at your feet. Our pets suffer the same negative consequences of obesity as people are.

Among the list of diseases that can result from obesity, not just in people, but yes in Fido as well?
ask a vet, ask a vet online, dog health symptoms

Read the rest of this entry »

The Twelve Days of Christmas… with a Puppy

December 8th, 2010

should i buy a puppy for christmas, ask a vet, preparing for a puppy, how to pick a puppyGuestpost By: Jenny Stephens
North Penn Puppy Mill Watch

ask a vet, is my dog sick, sick dog symptoms, my puppy is vomiting

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a little puppy underneath the tree.

ask a vet, my puppy is vomiting, how to tell if my puppy is sickwhat should i feed my dog, ask a vetOn the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, the cost of two cans of quality dog food a day or a $25.00 weekly food bill for the next 15 years.

ask a vet how to train a dog, dog walking problemsshould i take my dog to the vet, ask a vet online, sick dog symptomsOn the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three walks a day or an average of two hours out of every day for the next decade and a half.

how to tell if my dog is sick, ask a vet, talk to a vet On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four paws that need regular nail trims at $15 a pop for the next 15+ years. Read the rest of this entry »

Leak under the Kitchen Sink

December 3rd, 2010

By Jana Radeask a vet a question online, second vet opinion, is my dog sick, symptoms of a sick dog

You find a small puddle under your kitchen sink and because you’re quite sure you didn’t spill anything you call a plumber.

The plumber comes and examines it carefully. “It seems to be a minor leak, might stop on it’s own, why don’t you keep an eye on it for couple weeks and see what happens,” he says.

You pay the plumber and watch it for couple of weeks, wiping up puddles.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

It does not stop, it seems to be getting worse. You call the plumber again.

Why would you let your vet get away with something you wouldn’t tolerate from your plumber?  It’s your pet’s health that is in stake.

He takes a look at it and informs you that you indeed have a leaking pipe. “It’s an old building,” he says, “something like that is to be expected.”

Yes, you know that you’re living in an old building. But you don’t want to spend your days wiping up under your sink.

“Hm, why don’t you put a container underneath it, that should prevent damage from the leak. Call me in couple weeks if this doesn’t help.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Euthanasias Gone Wrong: Just Mistakes or an Indicator of a Nationwide Illness?

November 20th, 2010

target the hero dog euthanized accidentally by US shelter

Hero dog survives war but not U.S. shelter system

You  remember Mia’s story–the Rottweiler who survived euthanasia and was later adopted by another family who is financially capable of seeking medical treatment for her ailments? Happy ending to a shocking mistake, from a real lack-of-class-act veterinarian.

A mere month later, we mourn the loss of Target. Target was a true hero and saved the lives of American soldiers by preventing a suicide bomber access to a large room where soldiers were. She, along with a couple other stray dogs, had befriended the American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and after their act of courage and loyalty proving to be man’s best friend, Target was brought over to the U.S. and adopted by Sergeant Terry Young, one of the soldiers Target helped save.

Target quickly earned a special place in the heart of Young’s family, as well as melted the hearts of many Americans after her appearance on Oprah. Her glory though, was short-lived.

Mass breeding only leads to mass murder. America is all too quick and eager to bring pets into this world, and all too quick to end their lives.

Target escaped from her owners last Friday. Her owners contacted local news channels to alert the public that she was missing. Friday night, Sgt. Young found Target’s picture on the local shelter’s website. He paid the fee via computer to adopt her, and mistakenly assumed the shelter was closed for the weekend.

Monday morning he went to rescue Target from the shelter, only to learn that she had been killed. Mistakenly. Read the rest of this entry »

Why is it hard to talk about fat pets?

November 18th, 2010

angry pet owner, pet owner denying pet's obesityIt’s not just me or Dr. Jed–it’s every vet I know. As soon as we mention that Fido is getting a little thick around the middle, our pet owners who seconds ago loved us now stare at us with hatred and resentment in their eyes!

Why is it so hard to talk to pet owners about keeping their pets a reasonable weight?

From dog to hog, from rabbit to cat,
Most pets I treat are relentlessly fat.

True, I have my clients that are happy to hear this and work towards their pet’s optimum weight, but they are in the minority. Not sure if your pet is overweight? Ask a vet!

Today, as obesity in people is unanimously recognized as being dangerous for our heart, liver, kidney, joints, why isn’t obesity in pets given that same recognition, that same warning? Read more