Category: Advice & Stories (page 2 of 20)

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!

Pets and Ibuprofen Don’t Mix

Otis ibuprofen toxicityThe following is a true story (used with permission) of how easily accessible medications, like ibuprofen, can be harmful to your pet.

Meet Otis.  His story is one that challenges the old adage about curiosity and cats, but he is a curious dog.  Don’t worry, he’s fine now; but he almost wasn’t.  While his person was sleeping one day, Otis took the opportunity to sample some medications that were accidentally within his reach.  Nobody knows his motivation but it’s a good thing his family noticed.  The culprit in this case was ibuprofen.  Yes, many people’s favorite, useful, pain relieving medication really is bad for your pets.

The first sign of trouble was the medication actually being found.  The liquid filled capsules were strewn about on the floor and with no one home other than Otis and his person, it was easy to figure out who the chew marks belonged to.  At this point, many people might be thinking “okay, no big deal.”  And then the vomiting started, which is the first sign of a toxicity issue.  Otis couldn’t hold anything down and the more he threw up, the worse his dehydration got.

otis-blood-resultsBecause ibuprofen toxicity can actually cause kidney failure along with the intestinal upset, his owner brought him to me to check some blood tests and what we found was consistent with ibuprofen ingestion as his kidney values were mildly elevated above normal.  Otis was admitted to the hospital and we started him on intravenous fluids to essentially help dilute the drug in his blood stream and preserve blood flow and pressure supplying the kidneys.  Without this treatment, Otis would surely become more ill.  In addition to the IV fluids, I started him on some medications to help gastrointestinal tract due to the ulcerations that can develop.

During his first couple of days, Otis started to show improvement.  He was happy, eating well, and most importantly – not vomiting!  But when we checked his kidney values, they had gotten slightly worse.  After talking with his family and agreeing that he was clinically stable, we felt it was best that he stay on his IV fluids for a couple more days.  Checking Otis’ kidney values daily for the next few days we noted that they returned to normal with the additional treatment.  After five days in hospital, Otis finally got to go home!

Otis taught us all a valuable lesson; one that he was fortunate to recover from.  While he got into ibuprofen accidentally, many people will try to self medicate their pets with over the counter medications that may not be safe.  This can inadvertently lead to permanent damage, or worse.  Please, for the safety of your pets, don’t rely on Dr. Google or your neighbor to prescribe something for your pets if they become ill; talk to your veterinarian.  Has your pet ever gotten into over the counter medications??

Otis ibuprofen going home

Otis got to go home!

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

Thanks for reading and don’t forget you can subscribe on the right side to get new posts directly to your email!  And I’m now on Instagram @drryanllera and as always on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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, Mandy, & Melissa 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.  Who is your hero?

Dear veterinary technicians,

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

Sincerely,

Dr. Llera

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