Happy #NationalDogDay (and an early start to our own celebration!)

Happy National Dog Day! Although our own dogs would say that EVERY day is dog day (and your dog probably agrees!), this day celebrates the special love we have for our dogs. Not only is today…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Faithfully Yours, A Book Trailer that Will Make You Smile!

OK, we all need a little smile after our busy Mondays, right? Take a moment to enjoy this beautiful book trailer for Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Bond Between Us and the Animals We Love. This new…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Backyard Snapshots

We brought Lacey home yesterday after her operation on Monday.  We don’t really have much news yet.

Due to the location of the tumour, there was no way we could get clean margins (which is usually the goal of any tumour removal) without taking her entire leg.  We still might need to do that, but it will depend on the grade of the tumour.  Unfortunately you can’t determine the grade of the tumour without removing it, and there was no point in removing it without taking as much as we could. If it is a low grade, it will hopefully be “good enough”, at least for now.  But because of the location, it means they had to do a skin graft to seal up the area, which made things a little more complicated.  They took skin from her thigh and grafted it to her foot and leg.  She’s gonna have a pretty hairy section if all goes well!  :)

They also took the nearest lymph node to determine if it had spread.  The node was definitely bigger than usual but that could have just been because it was working overtime to combat the tumour OR it could mean it’s spread.

We should have results in a couple of days – hopefully by the end of the week.  The only decision we’ve actually made is that if it is a high grade, and hasn’t already spread, we’ll take her leg. I was really tempted to do it this time to save her a potential 2nd surgery but they really didn’t want to do that if it was a grade 1 tumour.  Apparently for dogs that get Mast Cell Tumours repeatedly, they are usually all the same grade. As her first one was a grade 1 tumour we have high hopes that this one will be the same.

We haven’t really figured out what we’ll do if it has spread and we don’t really know all our options yet either.  We are taking it one step at a time.

She’s already feeling quite a bit better.  Yesterday she wasn’t barking at anyone but today she not only barked at people in the park, but she picked up her favourite toy too.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lend me your ear

Get it? Because we’re short one over here.

Warning: Blood ahead.

When it comes to my dog, I am just as nuts as any other client. I can’t think logically, I panic, I just gnaw on my fingernails and try to figure out what’s the best thing to do. For this reason, I had no interest in doing Brody’s surgery whatsoever and instead entailed the services of my friend, board certified veterinary surgeon Dr. Tracy Frey of Soft Surg and the lovely staff at Animal Urgent Care, who took amazing care of us both.

I would like to state for the record that even though Pet Doctor Barbie occasionally runs into situations similar to my own in my posts, I am not her, much as I wish I could be. I’m not that cool. Dr. Frey, though, may actually be the living embodiment of Pet Doctor Barbie in flesh and blood, just with more appropriate clothes.

croppedtracy2

And when I say that, I mean it as the greatest of compliments: a beautiful and accomplished woman who kicks ass in a tough field while unapologetically maintaining her sense of self and style (it can be done!) Pouf, her amazing and adorable Pomeranian who needs to have her own Instagram account stat, also accompanied her to the surgery.

5

Before: when he has no idea what he is in for.

4

Right after induction, shaving up his ear and discovering just how pale he is under all that fur.

3

Getting a 3-dimensional field sterile in multiple planes takes some derring-do.

FullSizeRender

The surgery instrument wrap is, of course, also pink.

8

And we’re off! First stop: hunting for lymph nodes. These will be removed and sent to pathology to check for evidence of metastasis. (say no! It has to be no!)

7

Planning out the incision. We needed to get 3 cm past the edge of the prior biopsy in order to maximize chances of complete excision.

Click here to view the embedded video.

6

Eew! This was stuck in a bag and is currently being examined in a lab in Sorrento Valley. Kind of makes those pig’s ear treats a little less appealing, no?

13

Blood and stuff. This is why I prefer internal medicine and dermatology.

14

A hemostat works to clamp down on one of the major blood vessels of the ear while Dr. Frey plans a closure. One of the benefits of working with a board certified surgeon, in addition to their technical expertise in surgical technique itself, is the cosmetic outcome. Cartilage can do weird bendy things (have you ever seen a botched ear crop?) so we spent a little time discussing the possible looks for Brody’s ear nubbin:

-teeny tiny pittie point

-flat space

-rounded nubbin

12

We went for the third option. Being a surgeon’s work the incision line is so precise you can barely tell it’s there.

11

Then we spray painted him silver so he could look like a cyborg! Just kidding. That is collodial silver spray and it is actually medicinal in nature.

19

He woke up super fast. Groggy, but good. I sat in the cage the whole time <3

18

Post op warm compresses and lovin’ at home.

FullSizeRender

Every time I look at him I think of this scene from Harry Potter:

VoldemortQuirell

So I’ll be happy when his hair grows back. Until then he is simply “The Dog Who Lived.”

And guess what! Our neighbors brought toys and love and this is him yesterday.

betterboy

Dr. Frey was right! He did just fine.

So now, I wait for the various parts of Brody scattered around the country to be analyzed, and we’ll go from there. So far, so good.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dear Pet Owners: Stop saying your pet doesn’t hurt!

If I had a nickel for every time a person said, “Oh, my dog isn’t hurting, I can tell because he doesn’t cry” I would have a nice little nest egg by now. It makes me nuts, because it’s not true, and pets suffer for it.

Maybe people will take it better from this older, distinguished-looking actor in a lab coat.

Maybe people will take it better from this older, distinguished-looking actor in a lab coat.

Have you ever been sore, or had a headache, or tweaked your knee? Did you cry every time you moved? Probably not. Acute pain, the type you get when you stub your toe on the doorjamb or slice your finger cutting lemons, is sharp enough that you might cry out “Oh !@$ @$ !# that hurts!” And the people around you react with sympathy and bandaids.

But chronic pain, that dull, throbbing, always-there ache of osteoarthritis or bulging discs, doesn’t usually manifest with vocalizations. If you’ve ever spent time walking around a senior citizen center, you’ll notice two things:

  • they walk very slowly, probably because many of them are nursing sore bodies;
  • they don’t spend a lot of time screaming.

So what does pain look like?

The descriptors people most commonly give for a pet in pain are not ‘loud’ but this: tired, mopey, crabby, tired, ‘old’, cranky, fine.

Dogs with rotting teeth are in pain. They may not yelp when they eat, but they sure do eat less, or eat slowly. Most people don’t even notice this until after the problem is fixed, when all of a sudden their pet has a voracious appetite.

Cats with arthritis in their spine are in pain. They may not yelp when they walk around, but they move gingerly. When their pain is treated, they start jumping back on counters again.

 

pets manifest pain through behavior, not noise. Some pets don’t manifest it at all.

The rule of thumb for pain management specialists is Assume Pain, meaning, if a pet is likely to have a painful condition, go ahead and treat for it even if they aren’t obviously in pain.

If you’re a veterinary professional, stop making pain medications optional for painful procedures. That implies pain control isn’t just as vital as every other aspect of your medical management.

Dogs in pain do not act like an Excedrin commercial

Dogs in pain do not act like an Excedrin commercial

The safety issue: Which is worse? Pain meds or pain itself?

Now that we are all in agreement that painful conditions are often underdiagnosed, we come to the next problem: many people are under the mistaken belief that most pain medications are so dangerous it’s better not to try them at all. Veterinary NSAIDs, the most commonly prescribed class of pain medications, are also the most indicted as a Bad Thing.

Yes, NSAIDs can have side effects. All drugs do. Some of them are severe. It is incumbent on veterinarians to ensure owners are aware of that potential and educate owners as to safe administration. They are not an appropriate choice for all pets. However, this can be mitigated:

  •  If owners are aware of the potential side effects and discontinue the medication if any symptoms arise, the chances of long term problems are usually minimal. In my own experience, the vast majority of patients have an excellent experience with NSAIDs* when given as directed. Most of the adverse events are related to people who either wait too long to report side effects, give more than the prescribed dosage, or refuse the recommended monitoring. In other words, most are avoidable.
  • There are other drugs out there besides NSAIDs. Tramadol, gabapentin, Adequan, just to name a few. We can also use adjunct treatments like acupuncture, laser, and physical therapy. The more combining of medications you do across categories, the less you need of any one and the better the overall pain control. This is called multimodal pain management, and it’s the best way to deal with chronic pain.
  • Those cheaper, OTC remedies you read about on the internet (aspirin, Advil, Tylenol)- you know, the ‘good old days’ approach- are not only less effective, but more dangerous. The worst pain medication reactions I’ve treated have all been to OTC human meds. And a reminder: one teeny Tylenol will kill your cat.
  • When it comes to the pain of joint disease, the best treatment/prevention is free: keep your pet at a healthy weight.

Educated owners make good decisions. We all want that.

Pain can be managed, even in very senior and frail patients. And yes, even in cats. We just need to acknowledge that it’s there first. Don’t wait for your pet to tell you- he can’t talk, but we can see it nonetheless.

*This message has not been brought to you by a sponsored shill.

 

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SuperBrode is back- but now he’s BIONIC!

Our hero SuperBrode has been enjoying the relative peace and quiet of Muttropolis, lounging in semi-retirement.

However, evil was afoot! The Malevolent Mast Cell Maniac was on the loose, wreaking havoc on SuperBrode and the good citizens of Muttropolis!

When we last left our hero, he was recovering from their last vicious battle…

18

SuperBrode survived, but it cost him dearly. Or should I say….D’Early?

Nonetheless, he was well on the road to recovery-

betterboy

aloha1

Something seemed….different. Without his Super Fluffy Ears of Wonder working in concert, he felt a little deflated. Or just cold, maybe. So he put his sidekick Tenacious V to work on a Super Secret Project. He thought it was just a hat, but she had other ideas.

PicMonkey Collage

When he put it on, his Super Senses were heightened! Treats were falling from the sky!

aloha3

And even crazier than that, his Bionic Ear seemed to lend certain…powers.

aloha4

Can it be? Does his Hawaiian ear actually bring to others the spirit of…

aloha

He certainly seems to be spreading sunshine wherever he goes.

Tenacious V has built a prototype hat with interchangeable Bionic Ears. Who knows what the future will bring for Bionic Brode?

aloha5

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

DR. NICHOLAS DODMAN: FELINE NON-RECOGNITION AGGRESSION

101118_4177_dodman154.jpgI have already addressed inter-cat territorial aggression and feline redirected aggression in earlier blogs. Another type of aggression that cats can express is referred to as non-recognition aggression.

What happens in non-recognition aggression (so-called) is that a cat returning from a veterinarian’s office is attacked by another resident cat with whom it was formerly friendly. No one knows what the trigger for non-recognition aggression is, though it has been suggested that it is something odd about the appearance or smell of the returning cat — who may be mistakenly perceived as foreign by the incumbent.

One of the first cases I saw involved a cat who was savagely attacked by its housemate when it was brought home after being sedated and then bathed at the local vet’s office.

As soon as the carrier was opened on returning home, the stay-at-home cat launched itself at its housemate in a fierce attack. The man of the house tried to break up the fight but became subjected to ferocious redirected aggression as the cat turned its ire on to him!

The man fled upstairs and locked himself in the bathroom for his own protection as the cat threw itself at the door practically rattling the hinges and remained dangerous for hours. Eventually things settled down and the man, very cautiously, came downstairs.

The two cats were isolated from each other and were successfully reintroduced a few days later.

The bottom line is that if you have a cat that has, in the past, attacked another cat returning from the vet’s office, you must expect it to happen again and take necessary measures to prevent future catastrophes’.

Prevention of this troubling condition is better than cure, as this condition does tend to recur with each veterinary visit.

Click here to read the complete article.

Halo

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

BOGO Sale on Our Black Cat Bracelet!

Around our house, black cats are pretty popular! Our cats Inca and Lucky are big buddies with both Tiki… …and Irie… Monday marks Black Cat Appreciation Day, a time to recognize the…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Funny: Handling Stress

Great advice as you start your weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Light pole nearly kills a man in San Francisco — dogs get blamed.

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment