Category: General (page 1 of 12)

Wide World of Dog Sports

dog sports

Photo by Lindy Martin Photography

You and your dog have a unique bond, perhaps one only you share.  Long gone however are the days of just simple walks and feeding being the only way to bond with your canine companion.  Now there is so much more to do than 40 years ago when “man’s best friend” simply relied on having a place to call home and a family to love them.  Yes, dog sports!  It’s time to unleash the inner athlete in your dog, bond with them in ways you never imagined, and help them live happier, healthier lives.

Agility

No doubt you’ve seen or heard of agility in some form; there’s countless videos on the internet including chicken agility.  For dogs, agility is a fun interactive sport for a dog and their handler.  Agility can help your dog out by staying fit to help keep that excess weight off and you can even participate in the winter as there are often indoor classes or trials in many areas.  Additionally, it helps your dog learn to focus their attention on what they’re being told the next obstacle is.  Different obstacles or games can teach your dog patience, how to take commands from a distance, and coordination.  Your dog can start training before they reach adulthood with the only restriction on the jumping as a Continue reading

A Promise to Patients

My New Promise to Patients

I graduated from veterinary school in 2006.  Wow – that wasn’t that long ago, or was it?  It’s only been 12 years but since then veterinary medicine has changed.  Medically, we have made more advances to provide better top-notch care.  However, socially and perception-wise, veterinary medicine has been tarnished due to the evolution of the internet and social media.  It has driven a number of my colleagues out of the profession, into a depressive state, or in the worst cases – suicide.  I’m doing fine and am constantly evolving to provide the best care that I can.  As a result, this is my promise to patients: Continue reading

The Harsh Reality of Vet Med

As I look back over the past few months, I am reminded of so many happy, successful moments that involved my patients and their families.  From giving good news that a tumor was benign, to helping a lost pet get back home due to the simple power of a microchip, and treating a little miracle kitty who ate a string and lost 70% of her intestine getting to go home and live a happy life.  These are the moments and the days I treasure and live for in my career as a veterinarian.

But sadly, the job isn’t always puppies and kittens or success stories.  It’s challenging at times to not become emotionally invested in our patients especially the ones we see fairly often if they have a current illness or chronic health problem.  Some of these patients are ones we can be completely confounded by.  Understandably, a pet not getting well is taxing on their family but it has a similar yet less devastating effect on the veterinary team.

Sometimes we will recommend you visit a specialist due to procedures being beyond the skills of a general practitioner.  Face it, there’s just some things they don’t teach you in the 4 years of veterinary school.  Other times, it’s the value of that specialized second opinion and a lot of the time they can help.

For Better or Worse

We (the vet team) try our best; nobody is perfect.  Some patients will keep us awake at night as we mull over what we should do next or contemplate the impending surgery the next day.  In the worst of cases after a few months or longer of dealing with a chronic illness, all we can do is help ease them of their suffering.  It’s in these moments that we realize it’s not possible to fix every problem or save every patient, no matter how hard we try.

This was the case with Maggie.  A very sweet dog, with an even sweeter owner.  Maggie was adopted with known problems that her family diligently addressed and more so if new ones appeared.  Maggie was a patient of mine for almost 3 years and her skin was the biggest issue that nobody was ever able to figure out.  This past fall Maggie developed cancer and combined with her other issues, it was time to say goodbye.  I hated that we couldn’t help her.

harsh reality of vet med

One of my last visits with Maggie

And so it goes, we have to pick up the pieces because there are more pets that need help.  In all this though, we take the experience and information we learned from one pet and, perhaps years later, remember the lessons they taught us to hopefully help another.

Disclaimer: Blog posts may contain some opinions which are my own and may not reflect those of any current or former employers. 

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