Category: General (page 2 of 11)

A Season to Give

from Pinterest

from Pinterest

It’s that magical time of the year…the winter holiday season!  Yes, we’ve made it through Black Friday & Cyber Monday to now be staring down Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Festivus in the coming weeks.  It’s a time for family, food, seasonal music, and more.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes that whole gift giving thing really can get in the way of enjoying the season.  What do you get that person that has everything or won’t like what you get them anyway??  Are you baffled?

Does this person love animals?  If so, you’re in luck!  I’ve got a few ideas for you.

  • Get them a gift certificate to spend at their own veterinarian.  Help that college student of yours get their pet spayed or neutered.

  • Help support a local animal charity or rescue group that they believe in.

  • Check out my friend Edie’s the Pug’s 2016 holiday gift guide to find something for them or their pets.

Back to that donation idea…  How about helping animals get a new start in life?  Many people would like to see those less fortunate or animals in need get something than just adding something to their house that might collect dust.  Specifically, I’m talking about the Ontario SPCA’s Paws & Give campaign.  Many people may see the OSPCA as just having a shelter nearby with animals to adopt but in actuality, there’s so much more.  While the shelter and adoption programs are one of the most obvious facets of their operations, there are the details that go into that department.  Health care is the obvious component to address pressing medical concerns, vaccinations, and spay/neuter surgeries.  While animals are waiting for their fur-ever homes, some of them benefit from environmental enrichment (come on, who doesn’t love toys?) or may need more personal behavioral rehabilitation.  And it’s not just cats & dogs….don’t forget the horses, bunnies, pigs, and more!

OSPCA Paws & Give - Rocky

OSPCA Paws & Give – Rocky

Giving a gift on behalf of someone is nice and they get a card or certificate to know of your generosity.  But sometimes you also want more, especially for the friends or kids in your life.  That’s where the holiday cards (which are really cute!), the Second Chances calendar, or one of the plush toys comes in.  Admittedly, the toys are cute and based off of actual animals rescued by the OSPCA.  Think of it as giving two gifts for the price of one.

The holidays are a time to come together.  Whether you are near or far from your family, don’t let distance dampen your season of cheer.  For those with pets or who love animals, don’t forget a small gift for the furry family members or those looking for homes!  I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Disclosure:  I was sent a Second Chances calendar (mine was even autographed by a few of the animals!) & an Advent calendar when asked to write a post discussing the OSPCA’s Paws & Give campaign.

Stay tuned for more and check me out on Instagram @drryanllera and as always on Facebook & Twitter!

Vet Techs – My Heroes

vet techs heroes superheroes

from Retroland.com

Everybody needs a hero.  For the kids of the world, it might be one of the Avengers, an athlete, or a beloved book character (Harry Potter anyone?).  For the adults, maybe it’s a friend, the President, or your parents.  As a veterinarian, most people would think that my hero would be James Herriot.  While he holds a special place in many people’s hearts, he’s not the first person I think of first when I choose my veterinary hero.  In actuality, I can’t pick just one person.  I have to admit I go with a collective.

The ones I look up to and admire are veterinary technicians.  Many pet owners and the general public don’t realize the full extent of what they do. It’s all the little things (and big ones) that they do that makes me appreciate and respect them.  While often times it’s the veterinarian that gets the credit for helping our animal patients, it’s really a team effort but the technicians are the ones doing a large portion of the work.

multiple Pinterest boards

multiple Pinterest boards

Vet techs aren’t just awesome at cuddling puppies & kittens, though it is a perk of the job sometimes!  They can often be found restraining an animal for a catheter, collecting blood or urine samples, and recovering a patient from anesthesia.  They get exposed to radiation for x-rays though we make it as safe as possible.  Oftentimes they are the first ones to note a problem or pain in a patient when it is brought back for triage during an emergency while the doctor is being tracked down.  And they’re amazing mathematicians being precise so as to avoid accidental over dosages with medications.  There’s so many other facets to the job as well.

To put it bluntly, I can’t live without my veterinary technicians! They have been a mainstay in my life for the past 18 years.  From John at Shores Animal Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, then Dalila my right arm & the rockstar night crew at Hollywood Animal Hospital, and to my current crew of Jackie, Kayla, Melissa, Sarah, & Emily at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic (and everyone in between), they have all taught me so much that has made be a better veterinarian AND a better person.  These are the heroes of veterinary medicine and they deserve respect, admiration, and appreciation.  If you know a veterinary technician, consider yourself a lucky person and be sure to thank them.  Who is your hero?

Dear veterinary technicians,

Keep being awesome.  And thank you for doing what you do!

Sincerely,

Dr. Llera

4 More Veterinary Visit Tips

Admit it, taking your pet to the veterinarian is probably not one of your favorite things to do.  Obviously, there are those times when your fur-baby is sick and that’s understandable you’re dreading the visit especially when the outcome is unknown.  Maybe it’s the cost of things that is frustrating.  Perhaps it’s the time you spend there or the interaction with the clinic staff that have you dreading the visit.  Fear not!  You can help make those trips to your veterinary clinic be more productive, safer, and efficient so we can cooperatively get your pet treated and make the experience less exasperating.  Think of these tips as some of the secrets we think but don’t say out loud.

broken leg puppyIf the presenting complaint is pain, we have to localize the pain – I know what you may be thinking…why do you have to make my pet hurt during the exam?  Yes, it’s true that during an exam we may palpate an area and it may hurt, but we have to know what is ailing your pet.  Afterwards (and before any x-rays), we’ll be more than happy to give your pet pain medication or a sedative to help them relax.  If we can’t find the painful area, then a diagnosis may escape us and your pet might not get the proper treatment.

from Trupanion.com

from Trupanion.com

Why can’t we complete our exam? – One of the things I find to take the most time (thus extending a visit length) is not being able to adequately complete our exam.  Why is this?  Two things….chairs & leashes.  Unfortunately, many pets are still afraid of the veterinary clinic.  When this happens, they tend to climb into a small or covered space in hopes of not being noticed or to make themselves more difficult to be touched.  This often means climbing under a chair.  I don’t mind helping coax Fluffy or Spot (with bribery from treats) out from under a chair but we may feel awkward if you are still sitting on said chair….let’s call it a personal space bubble that we don’t want to pop.

This is where you can help and where the leash comes into play (for dogs at least).  Drop the leash, hold the collar or place your hands on your pet.  Leashes also create prime tripping hazards with a big, happy dog.  If your pet holds still, we can do our jobs better and give you better service.  If a staff member is able to help in an exam room (not always possible), please trust them to handle your baby as if he or she were their own.

aggressive dogNot every pet who comes to the vet clinic is happy or a sweetheart – Admittedly, I will give every patient the benefit of the doubt if they seem leary or if they snap, we will likely want to put a muzzle on them.  I’ve heard people say that veterinarians should not be afraid of animals.  The truth is, we respect them and know what some of them can do.  I’ve known too many colleagues who have been unable to continue working like their accustomed due to a nasty animal related injury.  Animals are also perceptive and if they sense they the staff is uneasy, it may send the wrong signals of being dominant.  Simply put, if your pet has a history of misbehaving, allow us to take proper safety precautions so that nobody gets hurt.  Alternatively, for routine visits, we can often prescribe something ahead of time to help take the edge off and make your pet more relaxed so that their visit may not be such a bad experience.  Many veterinarians are become FearFree certified.

from justcuteanimals.com

from justcuteanimals.com

All we all need is just a little patience – Time spent at the vet clinic can be discouraging.  Whether it is before or after your appointment may make it more so.  A veterinary visit is compromised of multiple parts and interactions, from the client services up front to the veterinary technician to veterinarian and back up to client services.  Wow!  That can be a long time depending on the reason for the visit.  If you show up early, we can make sure your contact info is up to date so that further follow up can be done once you are done with the appointment.  And if we’re able to, we’ll see you early to give you some extra time or try to get you home just a little bit earlier.  On the same token, walking into the clinic with a true emergency (hit by car, active bleeding, trouble breathing, seizuring to name a few) is understandable but we ask that you at least call us before hand so we can prepare and if needed, we can notify our scheduled appointments and give them a chance to reschedule.  If you’re walking in and it’s not an emergency, we will do our best to squeeze you in but there may also be the need to schedule you for a later appointment.

So there you have it…a few more tips to try and help ease the trip to the vet clinic.  A few more tips you say??  Yes, check out part 1 of tips for your vet clinic visit!  And please keep in mind that we are always trying our best for all of our patients so let’s all be courteous to our fellow pet lovers and the clinic staff!  If there’s another piece of advice you have, please share with us in the comments!  Thank you!

Disclaimer:  All blog posts may contain opinions which do not reflect those of my current or any former employers.

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