Posts Tagged ‘hearfelt’

Best Dog for Family

September 17th, 2011

Ask a vet about which dog to adopt

It’s hard to believe it was almost a decade ago she came into my life. I lost my dog Bentley in my second year of vet school who was still practically a puppy. He was two, but if any of your have giant breed dogs, you know that two is nowhere near adulthood for the large canines of the world. While I did adopt Bentley when he was a puppy, I had honestly had enough puppy-hood to last me for a couple years. After all, I was single, living alone, and in vet school, which basically meant I was an endangered servant and was ready for a dog that needed a little less intense training and supervision.

Ask a vet about it.  The next time you are thinking of bringing a new pet into your home, consider which pet needs your love and home the most.  You won’t regret it.

I decided to adopt an adult dog. While I wanted to stick with a Great Pyrenees, as I had fallen in love with the breed, this time I decided I wanted to adopt a more needy dog, as it’s pretty much a guarantee that adorable bundles of white fluff with pink tongues and kitty-cat like ears on top will have a waiting list for perspective parents.

best dog for family, what kind of dog should i adopt, vet adviceI found Madison actually right off of Petfinder’s website. Madison was a young adult Great Pyr, but she definitely qualified as a special needs girl. She had a horrific case of scabies when I adopted her, along with Ehrlichiosis and heartworm disease. Basically she was doomed, which is why I thought that I would be her perfect parent, as I was a vet student who would make sure that she received the best medical care and I was able to do this more affordable, as I had endless free vet advice.

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Pet Adoption Virtually Unleashed!

March 9th, 2011

ask the vet a question, dog health
On March 15, 2011, pet adoption is taking over the internet! Well, not really, but has started some pawesome momentum in celebration of their 15 year anniversary and all things pet adoption of course!

The day will be devoted to promoting pet adoption and helping homeless pets, and Dr. Jed and I are thrilled to participate.

As vets who have spent countless hours working with shelter pets, this truly is a cause we are behind 100%.

As every fun internet day should be, there will be prizes, contests, happy pet adoption stories, and furry features galore!

Stay tuned, as VetLIVE will very soon be launching a great deal you don’t want to miss out on in honor of the event and giving away approximately $140 worth of our ask a vet services in the form of second opinions!

Remember, adopt, don’t buy!

Palliative Treatment, II

January 27th, 2011

Madison’s Story

Continued from Part 1.

There was really no time for the shock of diagnosing Madison with terminal bone cancer to wear off. It was time to act as her veterinarian and guardian.

sick dog, how to tell if my dog is sick, ask a vet, online vet

First things first.

Amputation is currently a strong option for bone cancer, that is if the patient is a candidate for this major surgery. Most dogs function well as tripods, but there is a small group that are ill-suited for this category. Among those are pets whose joint problems are severe enough that dividing up the animal’s weight from four limbs to three puts too much added pressure on the remaining limbs. Some examples are dogs with hip dysplasia, or other causes of bone pain. Luckily, there is a mock test that gives you a rough idea of how your pet will fare sans one limb.

It was test time.

The hospital staff helped me wrap Madi’s cancerous leg up with gauze and vet wrap and gently secure it to her trunk. This is something best done by your vet, as the affected leg is very painful and wrapping in general can carry some risks, such as decreasing circulation if applied too tightly.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of canine bone cancer.  It affects an estimated 8,000 dogs a year, but is rare in cats.  In 90% of the cases, cancer is already in the lungs by the time of diagnosis.

She managed to hobble around the hospital for a couple laps but then she was flat out. I unwrapped her, and allowed her to walk as normal, but now she was so painful she was limping now on her other front limb. Dr. Jed and I looked at each other, not wanting to be the first person to say it. This meant her elbow dysplasia was too painful.

Amputation was not an option.

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January 13th, 2011

ask a vet, online vet, ask the vet, dog health adviceBy Judy Nelson

Today we are very happy to have a post from Judy Nelson of the popular Facebook group PetPeople share with us a cute story through the mind of her dogs.

Everybody’s story counts!

Mom had received an invitation to begin blogging again, promising to think about it, with the intention of taking action—which is really all it takes! Having ‘put it to bed’, she could feel the ideas begin growing from that little seed…

Then on January 9, Mom finally brought herself to put ‘our’ Christmas tree away as she was watching the CBS Sunday News program. All of us are so pleased that she ‘listened to us’ and decorated her home with mementos of us to comfort her through the holiday season, “especially since I just left 5 months ago and she isn’t ready for another pet just yet,” Black Jack pipes in.

She was still pondering what she could blog about when she heard author David Sadaris say on the TV that people don’t want to hear about themselves, but rather prefer feeling they are being entertained through stories about animals!

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The Dog who ate a glass ornament

December 24th, 2010
ask a vet, at home pet remedy, vet 24/7I love “eves.” I like birthday eves, anniversary eves, New Years Eve, and my favorite is Christmas Even. In honor of Christmas Eve, I want to share a cute pet story to remind everyone to keep their pets safe so we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

It was several years ago and it was Christmas Eve. I was working at the hospital when a frantic pet owner brought in Charlie, her rather portly golden retriever.

Luckily, his pet parent had given us a call on her way into the hospital, and in doing so, had given me some time to do a bit of veterinary research for something I had never seen (it was my first Christmas as a veterinarian after all).

Charlie had eaten a glass tree ornament.

There are many times the diagnostic tests that a vet recommends are so confusing that the pet owner needs a background in medicine to understand it’s purpose.  This was not one of those times.

The solution?

The super-fancy and medical treatment for having eaten a broken Christmas ornament?

ask a vet, dog health problems, 24/7 vetCotton balls covered in peanut butter.

Feeding Charlie lots of cotton balls covered in peanut butter. As many as he would willingly eat. His nonselective palate this time was both a blessing and a curse, as Charlie would eat most anything, from cotton balls to glass ornaments. Read the rest of this entry »

Palliative Treatments: Is it Ethical to Treat if there is no Cure in Sight?

November 30th, 2010

ask a vet, ask a vet online, talk with a vetOur Plight Down a Dismal Road

Palliative treatments are those treatments that are aimed at not curing the disease, but increasing the patient’s comfort. It is an area of some controversy, as some people don’t believe it is right to put an animal through procedures–be they surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, the list goes on–if there is no way the animal will be cured of the disease in the end.

Whether the reasons be financial, ethical, compassion, or personal, many people feel passionately about their stance. People say that veterinary medicine is rapidly evolving, and that the “younger generation vets” are more pro-treatment and active to find a diagnosis; I would have to agree, and say that I typically fall into that stereotype. I for the most part believe this is a positive step for veterinary medicine. Mostly.

Even how you & your vet reach a diagnosis should customized.  We went against the text-book medicine route, as we felt it was pointless, and would only cause her pain.

It was a personal experience, the loss of our first pet as adults, that truly opened my eyes and made me realize it truly is a personal decision, one that must be customized by every pet owner, pet, and vet. I wish Dr. Jed and I had not gone through the story that follows in a multi-part post, but am grateful for the lessons it taught us.

It was the evening of October 27, 2008. Dr. Jed and I were newlyweds, and he was back in school full-time studying for his MBA and working as a business consultant, while part-time still “vetting;” I had taken over the hospital. He had just returned home from night school when Madison, our beloved Great Pyr limped. Just a little bit, but with two vets as parents watching over our four-legged children like hawks, not much gets past us medically.

We immediately did a lameness exam on the kitchen floor, and Dr. Jed found a slight swelling towards the end of her radius, one of the bones in her front leg. Read the rest of this entry »

Giving Thanks: If I hadn’t become a veterinarian

November 25th, 2010

thanksgiving dinnerLife constantly makes us question “what if.” If I hadn’t become a vet, where would I be and what would I be doing? A science teacher motivating high school students, or at least attempting to? A travel book writer backpacking across the globe for Frommer’s? A pediatrician calming the nerves of nervous parents? On this day of remembering thanks, I pause to contemplate how becoming a veterinarian has positively shaped my life.

If I hadn’t become a veterinarian, I (likely) would not have been able to take my dog with me to work everyday. This brings me so much joy and comfort, and it is her favorite too. Whenever there is a sad situation or a difficult client, puppy hugs and tail wags are my ultimate comfort.

I wanted to be a veterinarian for longer than I can remember, and I am grateful I had the support–and patience–of my parents, especially when I continuously brought home new strays.

If I wasn’t a vet, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and ins and outs of how to effectively and affordable navigate the corridors of the University healthcare system when Madison was diagnosed with cancer. We are all entitled to our own opinions of course, but Dr. Jed and I chose the course of a single-agent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I know that some people may think this was extreme, but it what we felt was right for Madison, and above all, I am grateful we had the veterinary knowledge to watch for signs of her decline and decreased quality of life.  We stopped the aggressive treatment pretty early in the plan, but I know we did everything to keep her happy and healthy as long as she was meant to be here with us.  For us, it was right.  Everyone has to find their own pet health-care plan that they are comfortable with.

shar pei puppies

Say goodbye to bad days when these guys give you kisses!

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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 »