Sunday, December 2, 2007

5 Things to Try..Veterinarian Recommended!

1. I despise flea collars. I think they smell bad and I don't think they work particularly well, so I don't spend any time recommending clients use them on their pets for flea protection. I think there are plenty of other products that are much more effective for this. HOWEVER, I do have a use for them if you have one...stick it in your vacuum cleaner bag or canister. I wouldn't say I have any scientific evidence to prove it, but my guess would be that dust mites won't survive very well in close quarters with one of those. Also, if you have cats, only use a collar labelled as safe for cats.

2. If you ever plan on trying nail trims at home, get yourself some of this FIRST. It's a heck of a lot easier having it on hand in case you nick a nail too short and it's bleeding all over creation. It may be a bit messy, but it works a helluva lot better than bars of soap or corn starch or flour or whatever other crazy thing we've jammed on bleeding dog nails in an effort to MAKE IT STOP. If you cut a nail too short, pour out a little pile and gently press the bleeding end of the nail into it. You can also try pinching a bunch of it between your fingers and pressing it onto the end of the nail.

3. Frozen treats for dogs: I haven't met too many dogs that don't seem to LOVE those frozen treats for dogs in the ice cream section of the grocery store. I got a couple of them one time YEARS ago and my dog was acting like she was ADDICTED to them. But her frozen treat habit started getting a little expensive, so I started making them. There's a bunch of weird recipes available, but I don't think you have to get that fancy. Just find some cheap little plastic cups (or use paper cups if your dog is a chewer...DON'T let your dog chew up a plastic cup and eat plastic!). Toss a can of your dogs food, some water, and a scoop or two of peanut butter into a blender and mix well. You can also flavor it up with different things: carrots, a tiny bit of cheese, a few greens beans...just try to keep it healthy. Pour into the cups. Freeze. Voila! And this will make WAY more than four servings.
Bonus: This can work for dogs on prescription diets, too- just eliminate the peanut butter or other additives. Only use your dogs prescription diet. Most of the prescription diets come in both canned and dry form. If your pet is on a dry form, ask your veterinarian if there is a canned version available.
If you're interested in a specific recipe for your dog, tell me about your dog and I'll see what I can do!

4. If your dog or cat has ANY neurotic tendencies (thunderstorms, pukes in the car, poops in your shoes...) I recommend giving Dog Appeasing Pheromone or Feliway a try. They both come in spray and diffuser forms. It's not a drug and while it may not help at all...I've had lots of success with it "taking the edge off" of thunderstorm phobias and the like. Just google it and read about it if you've got a pet with any kind of anxiety issues.

5. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Please.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

5 Reasons I Love My Job

1. Well, the puppies and the kittens! Duh!

2. I (almost) always have at least ONE thing in common with anyone I see at work: We both want what's best for their pet. I may not like every single client that I see, but I always like working to make their pet better. Human doctors don't have that luxury...can you imagine having to make someone you couldn't stand FEEL BETTER? Ugh.

3. The diversity of pet owners is never boring. It's always entertaining to see the stereotypical little old lady and her five cats, the family of four with the goofy Golden Retriever, or the retired police officer with his German Shepherd. But even more amusing are the odd match-ups of the Big Biker Dude with his Pomeranian or the prissy 100 lb. Diva with a slobbering 200 lb. Great Dane.

4. The diversity of PETS is never boring either. Some of the purebreds, both of the canine and feline variety, are just downright bizarre. Sometimes I get excited about an appointment just because I get to see a unusual breed of dog or cat!

5. It's a pretty awesome feeling to work very hard to figure out what is wrong with an animal, start treating it, and watch it get better. Sometimes it feels like I've just pulled off a really kick-ass magic that even makes ME go "holy shit! It worked!" Don't get me wrong, I mean, I know that if I've diagnosed something appropriately, it certainly SHOULD work. But it's still amazing to me to watch it happen. I don't know... maybe when I'm a crusty old veteran of veterinary medicine I won't feel that way about it anymore. I hope I still do, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

5 Ways to Annoy Your Veterinarian

1. Bring your pet in because "he's just not himself." After I do a physical exam on your pet, be sure to decline any sort of diagnostic tests I suggest. I am only suggesting these tests to charge you more money, not to get any sort of idea of what is ailing your pet. Also decline any sort of treatment, no matter how conservative. Again, I am only trying to get more of your money. If I am not going to be allowed to figure out what is wrong with Fluffy nor am I going to be allowed to treat Fluffy, then WHY, exactly, are you here?

2. Be sure to complete a few visits following the suggestions in #1. Then make oodles of snide comments about how you should have a "wing named after me at this clinic" because of how much money you've spent with us.

3. Tell me all about how Fluffy is a member of your family. You would do anything for Fluffy. Then, when Fluffy is very sick, tell me how you just don't have that kind of money to spend on a dog. Be sure to shed a little tear while you tell me this. Then tuck your cell phone back into your Gucci handbag. Hurry out the door because you are late for your spa appointment to have your lovely highlighted hair and your perfectly manicured nails touched up. Drive away in your new Mercedes.

4. Tell me that you think it's stupid to do anything I suggest to keep your pet healthy because it's "just a dog" or "just a cat". Um, I'm a veterinarian, you ass. Clearly, I don't feel like pets are "just" anything.

5. Refuse my advice over that of a pet store clerk, a friend of a friend, your neighbor three doors down, someone who breeds the same kind of dog, etc...not that they can't be sources of good advice, but why would you come see me if you are already sold on their advice?