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Wellness: Healthy Living
Second Opinion: Barbecue Blues
… and how to avoid them
In my line of work as a veterinary surgeon, I don’t need a weatherman to tell me that summer has officially arrived. One glance at our list of ER admissions is all it takes. Outdoor parties and barbecues are perfect opportunities for flirty, furry, four-legged socialites to work the crowd and make new friends. The downside is that dogs’ curiosity, their heightened sense of smell and their gift...
Wellness: Health Care
Power of Canine Determination
Back from the Brink
The first time I saw Mugsy, he was under anesthesia, prepped for surgery; huge patches of skin over his legs, chest and flanks were beginning to slough and surgical intervention was required. “Is that what I think it is?” I asked Dr. Khorzad, the ER attending in charge of the case. “Yep. Necrotizing fasciitis,” she replied, avoiding the more sensational and fear-mongering synonym: “flesh-eating...
Wellness: Health Care
What makes a good vet?
It’s about time.
Every so often after an exhaustive consultation, I am the lucky recipient of a peculiar compliment: “I wish you were my doctor!” When I was a young veterinarian, I was thrilled to be held in higher esteem than my colleagues in human medicine. Now, years later, I see the sleight of hand in a trick that flatters my profession at the expense of another. It’s all about time. Time is critical to...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Seniors Dogs & Humans
Companionship Through the Ages
Whether his correspondence comes via snail mail or email, Duncan, my father, closes it with love, and always includes the names of his dogs sending love my way. When I was younger, this sentimental touch made me laugh and sometimes embarrassed me. But over time, I came to appreciate this sign-off—an endearing reminder that a family is always the sum of its individual members, be they human or...
Wellness: Health Care
Second Opinion: Degenerative Myelopathy
A Vet’s Perspective
Like so many of life’s firsts, first dogs have a special place in our hearts. Patch, the handsome and powerful German Shepherd of my youth, was no exception. I was a teenager when Patch’s healthy body began to deteriorate. At the time, I resigned myself to our family vet’s opinion that my 13-year-old dog was suffering from the chronic effects of hip dysplasia. However, with hindsight (and a...
Wellness: Health Care
Spaying Alternatives
A Kinder Cut? Advances in spay procedures
Advances in spay procedures
As a colleague of mine once said, “a spay is a procedure routinely performed, but it is not a routine procedure.” In the U.S., “spay” refers to the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. In Europe, however, removal of just the ovaries (ovariectomy) appears to be the most popular sterilization technique. Why are my European colleagues doing things differently, and is there evidence to suggest...
Wellness: Health Care
Second Opinion: Magic Act
A Vet’s Perspective
Magic Act: Second Opinion
Every day in veterinary emergency rooms across the country, shocked, distraught and overwhelmed dog owners face tough decisions. In addition to medical complexities and ambiguities, they deal with guilt, fear, grief and, sadly, money. But for Kathy Noons and her seven-year-old Boston Terrier, Tessie, it was all about hope. Although Ms. Noons had asked her dog-walker to keep Tessie leashed, the...
Wellness: Health Care
Joint Relief
Second Opinion
rouxby.com
I consider myself to be an optimist, a “glass-half-full” veterinarian. So why was I so worried about Zeus, a four-year-old Great Dane mix? “He’s been lame for a couple of months,” said Jeff. “And he’s very active,” added Jeff ’s girlfriend, Adrian. “We run six miles, five times a week, and go to the dog park for an hour or so every evening.” Zeus had been referred to me for a torn cruciate...
Wellness: Health Care
Pain Relief for Dogs
Treating chronic pain in dogs.
Chocolate Lab
I see it all the time. it might be a yellow Lab cursed with crunchy, stiff elbows; a Rottweiler with knees that refuse to bend; or a German Shepherd who circles forever before daring to lie down. Degenerative arthritis in our canine companions is a common, debilitating and frustrating problem, especially for older dogs. Though some dog owners opt for surgical solutions like joint replacement,...
Wellness: Health Care
Learning Curve
Second Opinion
Australian Shepherd named Cyrus
As an englishman, I’m used to fielding questions about my homeland, but earlier this year, my jaw dropped when a patient asked me, “Who’s Kate Middleton?” It amazed me that anyone could be unaware of the future king of England’s bride. I couldn’t help thinking, How did you manage to avoid this story? Where have you been hiding? Little did I know that my next patient, a three-year-old Australian...

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