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TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR VETERINARIAN

Interview your vet. Veterinarians are as varied as all humankind. Find out who you are dealing with today! This medically educated human being is evaluating your precious companion and you are entitled to the best advice they can give. Remember, the vet does not make your animal get better, the vital force and innate healing ability of the incredible body is responsible. You are paying for advice and medications that have the potential to nudge the body toward healing, or to cause a negative effect.

1) What kind of animals do you have? Everyone likes others who care about them! Try to find a common bond with your vet. Are they a cat person or a dog person? Where did they attend veterinary college? If they do not have any pets or express a dislike of animals, you might run the other way!

2) How is my pet’s weight? Sometimes vets neglect to cover nutrition fully and give the owner specific information. Unfortunately, nobody can tell you how many cups of food to give, because sizes and metabolic rated vary so much among animals. “Look down on your pet” that is, look from above and see if there is a waistline between the rib cage and the hips. Loss of waist line, usually means weight creeping up! Ask specifically what type of food is recommended, where to find it, recipes for home-made diets, whether cooked or raw. Ask if any supplements would help, such as coenzyme Q-10 for a dog with heart problems, or probiotics for cats with kidney failure.

3) What do you feed your animals? How much does your vet walk the talk? If a homemade diet for a large breed dog is recommended, ask your vet if they have cooked for their dog and ask where to find the ingredients for the diet. For example, exactly where can you buy bone meal in my town?

4) What vaccines do you consider to be “core vaccines” (strongly recommended) and which are optional? Consider your pet’s risk of contracting this disease and compare this with the possible risk or side effect of the vaccine being recommended.

5) What treatment plan would you pursue for your pet if he or she was given this particular diagnosis?

6) What is the minimal vaccination schedule recommended for an animal in my situation?

7) Do you know any specialists who could give me a second opinion on this? Such as veterinarians certified in acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic care?

8) How do I know if my animal is in pain?

9) Would you write down some of the information you just told me? Sometimes we go on about subjects too quickly, assuming a client will remember everything. Sometimes we use words that are not clear in meaning. Here are two examples, Cage Rest – One owner thought it meant rest in the cage, but she was doing walking exercises with her dog right after spinal surgery. The doctor meant enforced rest in a cage so as to minimize any movement at all after surgery. Leash Walks only means put the pet on a leash to go out to the bathroom, only. One could take this to mean walking is ok as long as the pet is kept on a leash!

10) What vet would you choose to care for your animals if you were out of town and an emergency arose?

My clients seek honesty, empathy, knowledge, and action. These questions may help you to find out much more about the person who cares for your pet’s health!

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July 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heroes for Heroes

My first real knowledge of service dogs was years ago when I read The Leading Lady: Dinah’s Story by Betty White. What a revelation that was! Today, guide dogs and service dogs have expanded their reach and ability to help so many people in their lives.
My next exposure was by providing veterinary care to a couple of puppy raising families locally. I learned what a task it is to prepare a dog for this type of career! I was invited to Graduation ceremonies at our local service dog school, Saint Francis of Assisi, in Roanoke. There I met recipients of these wonderful dogs and heard their stories first hand. There was hardly a dry eye on the crowd that day except for the dogs who were wondering what the big deal was!
These specially trained dogs assist disabled people in many ways. They help the physically disabled with tasks and provide safety and constant companionship. They do incredible things for children with mental disabilities, by calming with their watchful presence and providing a connection to the outside world that can be found nowhere else. One of the most interesting to me was a fact I heard repeatedly, that the isolation of being bound to a wheelchair is broken by having a dog. People are hesitant to approach or strike up a conversation with someone in a chair, but if a dog is present, their world instantly changes.
I want to share a recent development for service dogs and that is with veterans programs. Veterans returning from war sometimes need physical assistance, but more than anything, the calm constant love of this dog can provide emotional support. Brain injury is much in the news lately, from war and from sports injuries. Service dogs can help with post traumatic stress syndrome, seizure disorders, and depression. Exercise is a real treatment for depression and a dog provides the motivation and reason for getting out and moving. Dogs can detect seizures and erratic behavior before the patient even knows it’s coming. Don’t we witness this ability in our own households?
It is my hope that we will soon be seeing service dogs everywhere they can help, so don’t be surprised to see a dog politely waiting under a table in a restaurant with someone you’d never guess needed a service dog! These dogs are allowed by law to go everywhere their owner goes. And remember to ask before petting a dog that is working. You just may make a new friend in the process!
I just want to say a big thank you to all the puppy raisers, to the dedicated organizations who train dogs to be good citizens, and to our veterans for their service to our country.
The cost of raising a service dog ranges from $10-60,000 so let’s all do our best to support these organizations in any way we can!
http://www.saintfrancisdogs.org/
http://www.vetshelpingheroes.org/
http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment