Archive for the ‘Room for Improvement’ Category

How can you tell if a dog is a fighter or just got in a fight? It can be a dangerous undertaking for all involved. Part II

November 14th, 2010

Now back to inner city rescues and practices:

In an inner city practice or rescue, it is often hard to tell which pit bulls were attacked in a fighting ring and which were attacked by accident.  I mean, a lot of these fighters are not pros.  Many of them adopt these dogs and don’t pay thousands for pedigree fighters.  Others just “adopt” them or steal them off the streets or from families.  And it is only fair to report if you have absolutely enough evidence to do so.

Cute Pit Bull Terrier

Here are the signs I looked for:

The People:

  1. Tried to pay cash in the room and didn’t want a record of it
  2. Arrives with a large group of friends
  3. Asked for extra pain meds, antibiotics, vitamins, supply catalogs, extra bandages, ointment, etc.
  4. Catch them going through the drawers Read the rest of this entry »

How can you tell if a dog is a fighter or just got in a fight? It can be a dangerous undertaking for all involved. Part I of II

November 14th, 2010

Reporting dog fighting can be really confusing and dangerous for an inner city vet.  Here is an article about how I handled it in inner city Philadelphia.

Dog fighting is a felony in all fifty States and veterinarians are mandated reporters of animal cruelty in many States and provided immunity for good faith reporting in other states.  But these laws are constantly changing.  All I knew was that when I was practicing in center city Philadelphia, I was not practicing in a State where I was protected or immune from civil action if I reported in error.  Not to mention, I practiced in a very dangerous neighborhood at the time, and was often terrified to do the right thing- but I did anyway. It was complicated in practice and at the shelter where I volunteered occasionally.

Dog fight

Inner city pit bulls were the main dogs that presented as the biters or bitten.  They fought with other dogs because they were not trained to do so.  For two years I had fighting dogs popping out of my exam rooms and survived it with the help of a skilled staff, muzzles, and patience.  Of course pit bulls, if properly trained like any dogs, can be great family dogs.  They can be sweet, loyal, and fun.  It’s just that the majority of bite wounds and dog attacks I saw in the poor part of center city Philadelphia were untrained pit bulls.  It was a fact.

Most of the dogs I suspected to be fighters were pit bulls, Chow Chows, Boxers, and hybrids.

Uneducated poor pet owners that shouldn’t be pet owners owned the majority of the mean pit bulls I saw.   Believe it or not, it was not uncommon for there to be accidental dog fights fights in the parking lot.  There was even an attack in a car out front.

More to follow…

Dr. Jed

Dr. Jed Schaible Signature

Dr. Jed Schaible VMD

This post is part of the 2010 Blogathon Fund Raising Charity Initiative.

VetLIVE is trying to raise money for National Mill Dog Rescue. National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) has saved over 3828 dogs and counting. At National Mill Dog Rescue, “It’s all about the dogs.” NMDR has pledged to put an end to the cruelty and evil of the commercial breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy mills. Through educating the public and through the use of their 500 volunteers, NMDR is on the cutting edge of saving mill pets and helping improve the industry. NMDR is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Please simply press the “Donate” button below to contribute. All size donations are accepted!

Hour One

November 13th, 2010

Help us Help The Puppies!

When we decided to do a 24 hour blogathon, it was a bit of a spontaneous decision. Now the time has arrived, November 13, 2010, and we’re not quite sure what we have gotten ourselves into.

In an effort to raise money to for National Mill Dog Rescue, we, He and She Schaible will be blogging once an hour from 11:00 am EST November 13, 2010 until 11:00 am EST November 14, 2010.

How it works: 24 blog posts for your information & entertainment delivered here on our blog. Note the DONATE button on the right, or at the bottom. You give, we collect.  $1, $5, every little bit counts! Want to donate more? Donate $10 or more and have your name (and location if you wish) featured on our site!

With so much animosity, debate, and horror circulating the news about puppy mills right now, we wondered what we could do to help. Dr. Laci used to work on Capitol Hill, and we wondered if we could use any political connections to reach out to our Congressmen so vehemently determined to allow the unregulated breeding mills to go on.  But  Dr. Laci knew what it was like to work on Capitol Hill and knew that would be futile.surgical instruments

Short of taking a mobile surgical unit out to Lancaster and spaying and neutered their breeding dogs, which I’m pretty sure is illegal and impossible as we don’t have a mobile unit, we felt strapped as to how we could help. We see so many puppy mill dogs here Read the rest of this entry »

Local Airport Chooses Spay / Neuter for Feral Cats

November 9th, 2010

A Win-Win Victory in our own Backyard!

Sunbathing tuxedo stray kitten, stray cat, stray kitten, black and white kittenDoesn’t it feel good when your community makes an improvement or does something that you feel is ethical and a step in the right direction? Well, Dr. Jed and I have that feel good feeling right now!

Our local airport, Lehigh Valley International Airport, has been dealing with feral cat issues. While I don’t know if I have ever seen stray dogs in our town, we do have lots of feral cats here, some scary enough to intimidate two vets.

Faced with the real problem of what to do with these cats that were causing ugly and sad situations when they would crawl into an engine at night to stay warm, the airport announced they were considering solutions, including euthanasia.

What a great reminder that speaking up for your beliefs does make a difference. Local victories are the best!

Usually when a corporation, public figure, or business admit to considering something that is less than favorable in the public eye, usually their decision has already been made, and they are gauging the public reaction.

The animal lovers of the Lehigh Valley did speak up, and loudly. And I am pleased to share the news that the airport has officially just announced that they will be trapping, neutering, and releasing on a farm! Read the rest of this entry »

Victory in Missouri! Online Vets Celebrate

November 5th, 2010

The Next Step in Ending Puppy Mills

24/7 vet advice | Champagne GlassesIt was not the landslide victory you and I think it should have been, but Missouri’s Proposition B did pass! Woo hoo! The victory is ours!

While it is wonderful and remarkably encouraging that this bill did indeed pass in the puppy mill capitol of the U.S., it was a narrow pass–barely over 51% overall pass, and more than 100 of the state’s 114 counties were against it. Thank God for urban living.

We have barely had time to recover for our champagne headaches in celebration for the bill’s pass, and already the haters are threatening, saying they are formulating plans to repeal the bill, or dilute it at best.

Who are these people?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dog Health Problems | My Puppy Mill Plea

October 13th, 2010

Puppy Mill Dog Health Problems | boxer puppy with cleft palate | puppy mill puppy

Boxer Puppy Suffering From a Cleft Lip

As a veterinarian near Amish country PA, how can I better spread the word?

There are parts of the profession I have learned to accept, even though I disagree, but this one never gets any easier. It’s the family that comes in with a new puppy that they’ve just purchased from, guess where, a puppy mill.

Did you know that when the horrors of puppy mills made it to mainstream media, the sale of dogs from puppy mills actually increased because people wanted to rescue them? This just further encourages the industry, and is not the answer!

Unfortunately, we live very near Lancaster PA. When friends and family come to visit, they often want to take a day trip to see the picturesque barns and wooden fences of Amish country. But I refuse to accompany them; I know that inside those picturesque barns are thousands of crowded puppies matted in their own feces and urine, living in a squalor of filth. I will have nothing to do that could in any way be in support of their puppy mill practices.

Being so close to puppy mill country, I get to be “the bad guy” time and time again. Actually, as a veterinarian, I took an oath which requires me to educate these wide-eyed new puppy parents on all the genetic disorders that their newest family addition has. It is not an easy thing to do, to walk the line of educating them without offending them. I do believe some of these pet parents didn’t realize their mistake.

Read the rest of this entry »

Responsible Pet Ownership: It Takes More than Love – Online Vet, Dr. Laci, Tells a Story

October 9th, 2010

Online Vet | sleeping dog yellow lab

Last night while my husband and I were at dinner, I received an e-mail message from a stranger over facebook. She claimed she saw in my profile that I was a veterinarian and wanted to ask me a question about her dog’s ears.

As it turned out, she described  symptoms of a horrible ear infection (otitis externa, as we call it in the biz).  The symptoms were classic and severe: itchy, swollen, painful ears, profuse brown/black discharge, shaking the dog’s head, screaming when they were touched, and when she tried to clean his ears, they bled due to the severe inflammation.

Read the rest of this entry »