Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Secret #47

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"I know you mean well when you vigorously lather your dog with shampoo and then vigorously rub him dry with the towel, but that can jam hairs under the skin like little splinters and cause horrible infections that are very painful. It's especially a problem for short coated dogs like Weimereiners, Boston Terriers, Pugs, labs and Boxers."

Aaallll righty, then. I can honestly say I've never seen a skin infection that I could attribute to overzealous drying. I'm not sure what this tech was seeing, but I find the connection between toweling dry and skin infections to be a slim possibility.

What I do see, everyday, are skin infections secondary to allergic irritation of the skin, and subsequent scratching and biting by the patient. So go ahead and bathe your dog when needed without fear.

Enjoy your pets!

Secret #49- here, kitty, kitty

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"Take your cat to the vet in a plastic cat carrier with a removable top, and have your vet remove the lid for the exam. Your pet will feel more secure and be less likely to fight or try to flee."

These carriers are great! Many cats prefer to be examined sitting in the bottom half, it does feel secure and maybe smells more like home. Add a spritz of Feliway to help calm nerves, and we're golden.

Enjoy your pets!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Secret #48- the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"If the plaque sprays and dental water additives really worked, none of us would be telling you to brush your pet's teeth."

Amen. The sprays might make the tartar flake off easier- and that is a good thing, but nothing beats the mechanical removal of plaque, i.e. brushing. Daily brushing is best, though I tell folks it does not have to be very formal- wiping the outsides of the tooth surfaces with a towel can work fine.

Also- pretty much every dog is going to need a proper, vet-done dental cleaning under general anesthetic at some point in his or her life. Non-anaesthetic scaling of teeth doe not compare, and does not replace the ability to carefully examine each tooth, radiograph if needed, and perform extractions when needed on a compliant (asleep) patient.

Enjoy your pets!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Where were you?"

Tuesday, September 11. 2001.

I was at work. It was a typical Tuesday. Not too many appointments were scheduled.

When a client at the front desk told us she heard on the radio that an airplane had hit one of the Twin Towers and maybe the Pentagon, we thought it was a radio morning show prank. Then another person came in and told us the tower was burning.

We turned on the television- at that time we had a TV in each of the exam rooms. We got reasonable reception just in time to see the second tower hit. Then we watched them burn, and finally watched them fall.

I remember an overwhelming need to know where all my loved ones were. I needed to know they were all safe. It was hard to believe the world kept turning.

I remember being amazed that the towers held as long as they did, that so many had time to evacuate. That the death toll wasn't higher. Images of people helping others as they fled.

I remember images of people in the Middle East dancing in the street in celebration. I remember feeling rage- cold rage over that.

I tracked planes in the sky and had nightmares for years. I have friends who joined the military to do something in support of the country.

On this anniversary, I hope that we will remember the sorrow, temper the rage, and work toward the tolerance that would make acts like this unthinkable. I, myself, cannot forgive those involved. I just don't have it in me to this day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Secret #46- I'll call it a LASER

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"Want to exercise your cat without getting of the couch? Get one of those little laser beams."

Laser lights are great for cats- they love to chase the red "bugs" around the room. Catnip toys are also good, classic toys for cats. There are many great toy options to let cats practice their hunting skills- and this helps keep them happy and mentally sharp.

Enjoy your pets.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Secret #44- whisper me this

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"Yes, dog whisperer Cesar Milan has turned some aggressive dogs around, but-please-don't train your dog that way. Using aggressive tactics can cause serious behavior problems and may not be effective."

Vets have been complaining about Mr. Milan's training tactics for years. He tends to use aggressive techniques that are largely considered outdated, and frequently dangerous. There are many  more really good trainers who use positive reinforcement for as good or better results. For great information, check out Dr. Sophia Yin, a veterinary behaviorist, who not only consults as a vet and has written professional texts, but who has published some really helpful books for pet owners, as well.

Enjoy your pets!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Secret #43- one for you, one for me

My comments on Reader's Digest article "50 Secrets Your Vet Won't Tell You"

"Don't ever share your medicines with your pets unless your vet says it's OK. One Tylenol will likely kill a cat."

There are a few over the counter medications that are safe and effective for your pets. But nothing should ever be given without consulting your vet!

I spoke with someone recently who nearly lost her dog after giving Aleve over several days. The dog's pain was gone, but she required a blood transfusion after ulcerating her intestines.

Tylenol kills cats. Period. Doses of medications we might tell you are OK, like aspirin or benadryl, might be different from what you would think. Herbals need to be used with caution, too. Ask us. Really. We want you to have good information. We want you to...

Enjoy your pets!