Mite M – Twijfel

Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Are Rawhide Bones Good For Dogs?

Rawhide bones are natural chew toys that most dogs like to gnaw on. Most vets agree that rawhide bones are good for a dog and have several benefits, but you need to be aware that there are also some health risks.

The rough surfaces of rawhide bones make them an almost irresistible treat for a dog to chew on and your dog can stay busy gnawing away at the bone for hours on end.

Most rawhide bones are good for your dog’s dental health. An added benefit may be that they can help in preventing a dog from chewing on your furniture and shoes.

If you’ve given your dog a rawhide bone or are considering buying one, you should be aware that these bones can also be bad for your dog. Larger pieces of rawhide bones can choke your dog by blocking its respiratory passageway. If your dog breaks off small chunks that can be swallowed, it could result in stomach problems or blockages of the dog’s intestinal tract which often requires surgery to remove.

Some dogs also develop allergic reactions to rawhide bones. Mere contact with the rawhide can irritate the skin of some dogs and requires treatment with medications. Rawhide bones that are sold in grocery stores usually have rough surfaces that can cause fractures of a dog’s teeth, or in severe cases could cause a fracture of the jaw bone. If splinters from the rawhide bone are swallowed without being properly chewed, they can puncture several of a dog’s organs.

If your dog is allergic to beef, don’t buy rawhide bones made from cattle. Instead, try one made from the skin of other animals like pigs.

Rawhide bones can also cause bacterial infections like salmonella because the rawhide that has been used to manufacture the bone may carry bacteria from the pig or cow it was made from. Luckily, most of these types of bacteria do not cause intestinal distress in a dog because the gastric acids in its system neutralizes the bacteria upon reaching the stomach.

Only you can decide if rawhide bones are good for your dog. You might choose to give your dog safer chew toys or treats in place of a rawhide bone. If one of your dog’s favorite pleasures is chewing on one of these bones, just be sure you buy the right sized bone to prevent your dog from choking, fracturing its teeth, or developing an intestinal blockage.

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I think I need to break up with Disneyland and its 999 Happy Haunts

I spend a lot of time thinking about customer service, and how we as veterinarians are sometimes so focused on being amazing clinicians we neglect to remember the fact that we are in a customer service industry. You can be the most astute diagnostician in the universe, but if your front desk staff or technician (or you!) is  rude, ambivalent or just generally unpleasant, it ruins the whole client experience. It doesn’t take much to be minimally pleasant, but I’m amazed how uncommon that has become.

I’ve always held Disneyland to be the ultimate in the customer service experience. I remember going as a kid and being followed around the park by chipper young men in starched white uniforms, cheerily scooping up the popcorn we were dripping behind us. “Have a magical day!” they’d wink, and we did. The haunted mansion staff got really into being creepy. My friend, who worked there in high school and college, was taken to task for wearing non regulation pink lipstick. The Disneyland Experience was no joke. Yes, we knew it was fake and those cheery people went home and were crabby humans just like everyone else, but we all appreciated the artifice of good cheer.

I know things have changed a bit. Disney has gotten a little more corporate, the college aged employees too stuck in hipster mode to bring themselves to actually act like they’re happy, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten until this past week.

My aunt and uncle were visiting from Massachusetts, and my aunt decided she would like to enjoy Disneyland with my kids- who were on Spring Break. My aunt has MS and uses a wheelchair, which as she reminded me allows you some measure of benefit in the form of getting to enter the rides through the exits, thus a shorter line. The kids were happy to hear this.

Now I know Disneyland and I have had our moments in the past- the Splash Mountain debacle, for one, and a heartbreaking encounter with an accordion playing D-list celebrity I used to be a fan of, but still, I figured how could they screw this one up? All you have to do is make some reasonable accommodation for a disabled guest, blah blah Magic of Disney etc, right?

Yeah. It seems somewhere along the way they have forgotten some of Business Tactics 101, applicable to any place hoping to retain customers, be it your friendly local DVM or a once well regarded amusement park.

1. Staff appropriately.

Part of the problem was that we went during spring break, and I know this. That being said, I had to push my aunt hither and fro round each and every ride looking for some guidance as to where one might enter as it seemed like no one was actually working the line. We wandered through Indiana Jones’ exit line for 5 minutes before finding a line of wheelchairs 30 deep marinating in the shadows, staffed by an ambivalent kid in khakis who was not, I suspect, as into archaeology as he should be pretending to be.

2. Anticipate problems.

See someone trying to get through your front door with a huge crate as big as they are? You open the door for them. Same goes for someone trying to back a wheelchair onto a train platform before the door slams shut on someone’s neuropathic feet. Theoretically. It’s the little things, right?

3. Keep track of your clients.

I  heard horror stories of a physician going home for the day, leaving an increasingly agitated client in an exam room who never got past the nurse. I think it’s reasonable for the person in charge of traffic flow to be keeping an eye on things to make sure no one gets left behind.

Which brings me to my most egregious Disney misadventure to date.

“Actually, we have 999 happy haunts residing here but, there’s always room for 1000. Any volunteers, hmmm?”

Anyone who has been on the haunted mansion is familiar with the ride itself: you step onto a moving conveyor belt and run into a little whirl-a-gig buggy thing, ride around for a while getting spooked, and then extricate yourself from said buggy back onto a moving platform. All fine and dandy for those without mobility issues, but it gets dicier when you’re moving slowly.

Doom buggy, as apropos a title as any.

I entered the ride first, with my kids. My mother and aunt got on the buggy behind us, after asking the person running the line to slow it down so she could get on. This is SOP in these cases.

On the other end, I got off with the kids and they started up the one way escalator off the ride. I heard my mother behind me, saying, “Stop! STOP!” in louder and louder degrees of panic. Apparently, in a cost cutting measure they got rid of whoever normally stands at the far end to make sure people get off ok, and there was just one girl at the near end of the ride who couldn’t hear my mother yelling as there was a horde of 30 people pushing off past her. None of whom, by the way, seemed alarmed by my mother’s distress.

My children, sensing a disturbance and me pausing at the bottom of the escalator, were valiantly attempting to rush back down to me, only to be pushed up by people telling them not to goof off. I turned and saw only the sad sight of my aunt’s hand hanging out the side, waving sadly to us as she disappeared into a dark tunnel to join the 999 Happy Haunts in parts heretofore unseen.

I went up the escalator after my kids. A few minutes later, my mother appeared, sans aunt.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“They don’t know,” my mother responded, which seemed like a bizarre thing for them to have told her. I mean, she’s on a fixed belt and can’t walk, so one might think she would be easy to find. “They said she’ll probably pop up at the entrance.”

Probably. Else they found their thousandth happy haunt.

I went to the entrance, which is an entirely different area, to see if she might arrive there. No one knew where she was there either. My mother, having exited the turnstyle, couldn’t go back down to the exit to wait for her there. Eventually my aunt texted me: “Going through again.”

She did indeed make it back to the entrance, shocking the hell out of the people about to get in the cart with her. The person there stopped the ride and asked her off, but seeing as though her family and her wheelchair were now at the exit, she demurred. Eventually, she arrived back at the egress and had to pick her way, slowly and gingerly, up to the exit turnstyle where my son was frantically holding on to her chair. I had to explain to my kids why I was laughing so hard while we rolled right on out the park and back to our car, pooped.

“Because your auntie is a cool lady,” I said, marvelling. And she is.

On the bus ride back to the parking lot- which was incidentally the best ride of the day- we were helped by an old-timer named Clarence. “You don’t say,” he said, when we told him of our misadventures. “I’ve never heard that one before. Losing a lady on a ride.” He could barely kneel himself, but he helped me maneuver her chair down the bus ramp.

It’s the little things that stick with us in customer service. But all’s well that ends well; at least we got her back. :)

 

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Spanish Flea (1967)_HQ

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Spanish Flea (16th February 1967)
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Food Allergies and Wheat Glutens in Food, Treats, Chews,and Pill Pockets

     National Geographic had a short blurb in the latest issue about the increasing incidence of celiac disease in humans. This disease has increased by 400% in the last few years. If case you’re not familiar with the medical term, Celiac disease is the collection of the many medical symptoms of allergies to the glutens present in grains. Celiac disease occurs when a sensitive person eats food made with wheat, barley, or rye. These three grains contain the highest amount of the troublesome indigestible protein. This protein is not broken down into amino acids, so it looks like more like a bacterial or viral invader. As the bigger gluten molecules float down and are absorbed through the bowel wall, the sensitive person’s immune system may attack and cause inflammation, diarrhea, and pain. The gluten allergy may also cause other medical issues as well as painful muscles and joints. Sometimes these medical problems may look like there is another cause when the inflammation is due to the gluten allergy.

When gluten is attacked, the immune army of cells and chemicals inflame the bowel walls, organs, and other tissues. Filtering organs like the liver or the membranes of the joints are commonly affected as they trap the toxic products of the chemical battle. Inflamed tissues hurt and don’t work as well as healthy tissues.  Inflammation and swelling of those tissues cause discomfort and pain. That is how a food ingredient causes medical symptoms.

 What does this have to do with dogs?

Gluten is cheap filler you will find on the label of many commercial foods, prescription diets, biscuits, dental chews, and treats.  Gluten sensitive dogs will react to the gluten by itching, shaking their head, scooting, having diarrhea or blood in the stool( , and having red gooey ears that never seem to clear up. Seizures may even be caused by gluten containing treats or chews. Avoiding these “toxic treats” may help clear up itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bowel problems, and even seizures.

Purebreds prone to urinary tract issues like infections, crystals, and stones are often sensitive to glutens. If the prescription diet, geared for urinary issues, inflames the skin, ears, bowels, or causes seizures, that isn’t much help!

You have to read the labels of everything that your pet chews on or eats to help with medical issues due to food allergies. Make sure you are not “treating” your pet with gluten filled treats or chews. Gluten filled pill pockets are even sold. Beware of giving your pet a dose of the food ingredient that is making them sick!

  Learn to feed like I do. Slow cooked meat and veggies, hypoallergenic commercial canned food, raw food, and healthy human food.Better ingredients and less allergens may make your dog and cat look and feel better!!

Check out Dog Dish Diet to learn more about better ingredients, obesity, and allergies. Check out Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet to learn how to slow-cook food for your dog and cat. Click on the title you are interested in and read more about them. Email me if you have questions drgreg@dogdishdiet.com

 


Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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In Memoriam

In the spirit of Easter, I’ve made some pretty special memorials for the lost companions of the friends the fuzzybutts have made on our travels.  Some big, others small.  Some living and organic, others static but eternal but I’ve always tried to do something singularly unique each time.

But the one I completed last week, I am particularly proud of.  A friend of mine collects sea glass in memory of Max, her Golden Retriever, and she kept the shards in various vases and jars.

I had this idea to suspend them in a false window that I designed and built so that the afternoon sun would illuminate the sea glass and she could add to it everytime as she scoured the rocky shoreline of Narragansett Bay, searching for her long lost memory of him.
2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Cool Tick images

Some cool Tick images:

Ticked Off Trannies protesters 2 Shankbone 2010 NYC
Tick

Image by david_shankbone
Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives Shankbone blog post.

(About David Shankbone)

Ticked Off Trannies with Knives Cast Shot
Tick

Image by david_shankbone
Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives Shankbone blog post.

(About David Shankbone)

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Death Match: Social Media vs. Rotary

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking at the AAHA National Convention as a part of the BlogPaws veterinary social media track. In a fit of what I can only imagine was perhaps a hypothermia-induced lapse in judgment, Bill Schroeder invited me to co-present for the day.

Bill Schroeder, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, that one person, Tom Collins, Dr. Lorie Huston, Kate Benjamin (courtesy Dr. Patrick Mahaney)

For those of you who don’t know, Bill helms In Touch Vet, a veterinary marketing company that works with 8,000 vet clinics across the country with website design and social media. And I, well, I manage one site, which is slightly less impressive, really. He’s spoken all over the world. I’ve spoken all over the midwest. I’m not entirely sure what he was thinking, but I didn’t want to correct his mistake, so I accepted his offer. And this is why:

Five years ago, there were about three veterinarians on the web. I attended a social media lecture at Western States and they held it in the basement, on Saturday night in Vegas, where a woman with no veterinary experience whatsoever got up in front of the bored looking crowd of 10 and attempted to explain what a “Facebook” was. Now, things have changed. I see more vets trying to get on board. I say “trying” because this is what tends to happen:

1. They attend a lecture, think to themselves, yup, I should do this.

2. Log onto Facebook, become immediately overwhelmed.

3. Back to work / consider asking receptionist to share some pics from George Takei’s page, or worse, post some dull news brief from an academic journal.

End experiment.

Done right, social media is fun, and engaging. I wouldn’t be here all this time later if I didn’t think that were the case (because trust me, I’m sure not making a living off writing on this site.) We’re lucky, as vets: we don’t need 20,000 fans or fans in Dubai or strangers we’ve never met, though I like all of those things; we just need a small and loyal group who support what we do. Being here makes me a better vet because it forces me to concentrate on my communication.

So I got up there with Bill, and he said all sorts of profound things and told some great jokes and showed some compelling slides. I watched. I said a few things, the most profound of which was probably my comparison of Twitter to a one-night stand (it’s not about long term relationships there, and that’s OK), but the one thing that struck me more than anything was: wow, we’re all still pretty far behind the eight ball as a profession. That, and the fact that I should wear lower heels when speaking.

The Fallacy of That One Vet From Michigan

Let me share with you something someone said after one session: a veterinarian, and I won’t guess his age because, well, I never do that anymore, came up to us and said: “yeah, this is great and all, and I’m sure where you are in San Diego everyone’s all into this social media thing (I can’t recall if he used air quotes or not), but I don’t need this where I am.”

So we asked where he practiced, and he said, “Michigan.” Then he said, “Only 2% of my clients use social media. I know this. We have data.” I wasn’t thinking of calling him a liar, since we are an honest profession of course, so I believed him. But then he said this: “So I just think maybe we need to focus on our traditional methods of new client recruitment. Like going to Rotary Club.”

Now look. I like Rotary Club. My father in law is a past president of a well renowned local chapter and the members are amazing. But I think even he would agree, that as a sole way of looking for new faces to come in the door, maybe it is a somewhat limiting strategy.

Social Media: Old People Like Me Use It Too

Then I really pondered what he was saying. Only 2% of his current base uses social media. Who are these people, 98% of whom eschew online interaction? Other than the local Rotarians, I mean. We know, generally speaking, that 67% of US adults are active on social media. According to pingdom, half of all social media users are 25-44, with another 20% 45-54. That’s plenty of middle aged people with pets, I think. More than half are women, who, at least in my practice, show up in the waiting area more than half the time. That works out well.

So I ask myself, does this person live in a small town of Luddites who eschew all forms of web based communication out of a sense of nostalgia? Is there really some place in this country so far off the national average outside of Amish country? Or is he simply handing over, to the clinic down the street, this huge chunk of potential clients who aren’t even aware his clinic exists because they don’t go to Rotary meetings?

Maybe it’s a San Diego thing, but I really can’t comprehend a town where more pet owners  attend Rotary than go on Facebook, or yelp, or any of the other places we now go to find recommendations for businesses. Perhaps, like the good men and women of the Old Mission Rotary, they do both.

I sense from many veterinarians the feeling that the internet, and social media in particular, is overrun with 14 year olds who go onto reddit, post a few LULZ and then get on with their day, none of which involves being the primary caretaker for animals. If that were the case, I would have abandoned ship long ago.

I, however, have spent the last half decade getting to know all of you, and I’m pretty sure that none of us are shopping in Forever 21. I think we’re all pretty solidly Ideal Veterinarian Client Demographic: educated, emotionally vested in our animals, and committed to their well being.

Social media: it’s not just for college kids and Beliebers.

And that connection I share with you all, that sustains me in my moments when I questioned my sanity going into the profession in the first place, is why I wanted to speak at AAHA.

I thought it went well, at least until I saw the first group picture.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Today’s Hoda Kotb Adopts A Rescue Puppy

A rescue puppy is looking forward to a bright tomorrow thanks to his new pet parent, Today co-host Hoda Kotb. After meeting 10 potential tail-wagging chums (all from PAWS Chicago and other rescue…



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DogTipper

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Cool Lice images

A few nice Lice images I found:

Bark lice on tree
Lice

Image by Bessu
Mesopsocus immatures, Nopporo Forest, Hokkaido

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