Mountain biking is a lot like veterinary medicine

When I first began practice as a veterinarian, it took all of about three months before I got tossed out on my own. This was not by choice, mind you. My clinic had opened up a satellite office and sent my ‘mentor’ over to staff the place, leaving me at the main clinic with a couple other part time vets. To be frank, I was glad to have a break from the guy. He was a nightmare. Within one week the entire staff at the new clinic threatened mutiny if they were forced to work with the vet in question one more day, so off I went to be a solo practitioner, an agreement that, had I known what I was getting myself into, I would never have agreed to.

Trial by fire: a tale as old as time. And the outcome is usually the same no matter what, a sort of horrified bemusement in retrospect, the realization that That Never Should Have Happened, and a great relief that you survived. Or in this case, my patients. My patients all survived.

Granted, I have a bad habit of rushing into things by myself without the benefit of guidance, mentorship, or advice. That’s how I would up in vet school in the first place, and that worked out ok. That’s how I ended up hiking to a 14K foot peak in Africa with a group of strangers and 0 camping experience. I’ve decided that being the overly cautious risk aversive type that I am, when faced with adequate information, the only way to take a chance in life is to go in with inadequate information- I call it the “too stupid to know better” approach- and hope for the best.

I realize that this often results in people dying. But for now, it’s working for me.

 It was in this spirit that I decided to take my new mountain bike out for a spin yesterday. I needed the exercise. We live in an area with a nice bike trail loop. I’ve done spin classes for a while. How hard could it be?

As I circled the driveway six or seven times with my shiny new wheels practicing gear changes, it occurred to me that there was a good chance I would end up pushing my bike back home with either a flat tire or a broken ankle, but it was a risk I was willing to take, because I’m not quite sure who would have the patience to walk a novice through bicycling in the first place.

I learned many things out on the trail this sunny morning.

 

  1. “Steep” is relative. When pedaling is involved, “gentle incline” = steep.
  2. Taking Brody along in our current condition would be a suicide mission.
  3. I am so glad no one was following me with a cameraphone. Because that scene was ugly.

I spent a good amount of time huffing, puffing, cursing, and screaming at branches I mistook for rattlesnakes as I skidded by them. By some miracle I emerged, dusty and unscathed, 50 minutes later having covered probably a mile or so of San Diego’s finest amateur trails.

I spoke about my misadventures with a friend today, whose husband is into mountain biking. She told me he bought her a $ 1500 bike and took her to a flat lake area, where he proceeded to chastise her bad form for so long he eventually left her behind as she sat on the curb, crying. She hasn’t ridden it since. That is a perfect analogy for many of my colleagues who have since left the veterinary profession, convinced of their insurmountable inadequacy. Sometimes it’s better to muddle through as you go without the benefit of knowing how badly you are doing.

So far I’ve done a ridiculous amount of things the wrong way- raising kids, writing about vet life even though vets aren’t supposed to blog (“Conventional Wisdom 2008” in action), mixing white wine with red meat, you name it, I’ve messed it up. That being said, constructing life without an instruction manual has been immensely rewarding for me, so I guess I’ll just keep on soldiering on and seeing what happens. Though I do suspect I would benefit from a tire repair kit somewhere along the way.

 

 

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

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Some cool Topical images:

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Topical

Image by Nottingham Vet School
frontline combo

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Topical

Image by Nottingham Vet School

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Dog skin problems: Two common symptoms of dog skin problems

Dog skin problems: Two common symptoms of dog skin problems

 

dog skin problemWhen your dog has a skin problem, it is very important to treat it immediately.  Ignoring dog skin problems can cause harmful and painful damage to your dog from scratching and biting.  Also, overlooking symptoms of dog skin problems can aggravate the condition and can result in infection to you and other members of your household.

 

The two most common symptoms of dog skin problems are scratching and reddening of the skin.  Below is a more detailed description of each symptom of dog skin problems, its possible causes, treatments, and when it is necessary to call your vet.

 

Scratching – This is a very common symptom of various types of dog skin problems.  Once you noticed your dog experiencing frequent scratching on a particular area of his body, figure out what is causing that area to itch.  Things to look for are parasites which could be fleas, mites, or lice.  Also look to see if you can find bacterial sores.  Bacterial sores are small infected spots that are scaly red inflamed areas.

 

Four possible causes of this dog skin problem are: ear disease, parasite infestation, contact dermatitis which is indicated by redness on the stomach, and impacted anal sacs which is indicated by dog licking sores at the base of his tail.

 

The way to treat this type of dog skin problem is to direct the type of treatment to the specific cause.  If the dog skin problem is due to parasite infestation, use an antiparasitic bath.  With bacterial sores, wash the infected area with an antibacterial wash.  For a more widespread bacterial sores, ear problems or impacted anal sacs, you need to see your vet for a more serious treatment.

 

If the dog skin problem is due to contact dermatitis, cut off access to possible causes such as nylon carpet, floor disinfectants, or car seat covers.  Consult your vet is home treatment fails to work.  If the skin is broken, chewed, or feels sticky, consult your vet as soon as convenient.

 

Reddened skin – This symptom of dog skin problem may be noticeable even before the dog skin problem becomes fully established.  Four possible causes of this issue are: allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, fleas, and anything that causes itching such as lice, ringworm, or bacterial sores.

 

When treating this symptom of dog skin problem, apply calamine lotion if the redness is only in a particular area.  If the problem is more widespread, use a lanolin baby shampoo to wash out any potential irritants and to cool the skin.  Apply flea spray once the dog is dry.  If the problem persists after 24 hours, consult the vet.

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#AmazingPetExpo, Houston, TX, April 13, 2013

The largest city in the Lone Star state welcomes dog devotees and fans of felines to a Texas-size celebration of our furry, finned and feathered friends. Celebrity Spotting Doggedly devoted reality…



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DogTipper

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Why Dogs Fight

Cesar brings you into the editing room for a unique look at how he reads a dog’s energy and body language.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

In part 2, it’s off to the Ka Faroshi bird market, where rival teams prep their fighting quails for the next morning’s match. Part 3/3 is live on http://VICE…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Eagle Trains Citizens For Airborne Dude Alert

True American Dog

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Update: Doubling my sister’s sales

Dang, I forgot to note the total sales at the end of the month!!

But those evite Christmas cards definitely worked because three of Val’s customers who haven’t ordered since 2007 got online within a day of opening the card and ordered.

And then I’m helping another one of my friends and HER customers did the same thing, got online and ordered after getting their cards.

And somewhere, we’ve picked up four new customers for her and one new customer for me in the week since Christmas. That’s five customers in a week, that’s excellent! I would say these come from the articles that I wrote between Christmas and New Year’s. Need to definitely write some more!
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Work could update Lyme disease prevention tips

Work could update Lyme disease prevention tips
BRAINTREE — Jacqueline Flynn knew she was on to something, when, one by one, the ticks began to die. The science sleuth had been holed up in front of a clothes dryer for hours, watching and waiting as small mesh bags full of blacklegged deer ticks
Read more on Boston Globe

ZANDI: The Unemployment Rate Will Tick Higher, And The Sequester Will Stall
I expect payroll employment increased by 175K in March, and unemployment to tick higher to 7.8 percent. Hours worked should remain unchanged. The March job gain is consistent with growth experienced over the past year. … “Job gains were a bit stronger
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Boy Gets Rare Tick Infection from Blood Transfusion
Ehrlichiosis can go undetected because routine tests don't look for it, and many people do not realize they were bitten by a tick. In this case, which occurred during the summer of 2011, the boy's condition deteriorated over the course of 10 days until
Read more on Yahoo! News

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The Westie and the Bichon

This is a similar photo to the one I put on Monte Carlo Daily Photo today.  This adorable Westie and Bichon are on the terrace of a bar/restaurant in the beautiful medieval village of Eze, which is along the coast between Monaco and Nice. I don’t know the names of the dogs as I didn’t chat to the owners on this occasion.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Barbara Craftz Prepares Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

True American Dog

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