Puppy Up Golf

We all know the famous line from Apocalypse Now, “Charlie don’t surf”, but there’s a lesser known one from my travels, “Pet parents don’t golf”.  
Never understood why really since alot of public courses let you take your companion with you. That’s actually how Malcolm, my first great Pyrenees, and I became eternal mates.  Golf.  

That’s him with Murphy’s mum at the Alsatian golf club. He rode shotgun in the cart, never barked in my backswing, and gave me, ahem, a mulligan here and there.  What more could you ask of a mate?  
Well, he did have a bit of difficulty with yardages.  And squirrels. 
I’ve always wanted to promote golf as another way to spend more time with your companion and coming up in August, we’re hosting the first annual ‘Puppy Up and Putt it In’ golf tournament in San Antonio, TX.  
It’s hosted at the beautiful JW Marriott TPC Canyons Course and the proceeds from the event go to funding comparative oncology research and education and awareness about cancer in dogs.  
Come out and play 18 with us for the cause and to learn more about how you can participate as an individual golfer or sponsor, download the PDF or please contact lorraine.rose@marriott.com 

And yes’m we keep the tradition alive.  That’s Indiana Jones at a golf course in Atlanta GA.  The question I get most about this pic – was he putting for par?  
That and is Hudsy giving him a read on the break?  
Puppy Up and Putt It In.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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Grief is a hot potato

Ever since I started this blog, and even moreso since writing All Dogs Go to Kevin, people write to tell me about their pets who are no longer with them.

They used to apologize for writing, or say they weren’t even sure why they were telling me about their pet, but most people don’t do that anymore. I think they know that they don’t need to explain.

As followers of the blog know, I love birthdays. Birthdays are fun, and I love love love that my birthday coincides with National Dog Day. I always celebrate. This year, though, I could barely be bothered. It was so bad that I got a card in the mail last week from a relative and it took me a full minute to figure out why, exactly, she was sending me one. It was more than not feeling like celebrating, it was as if my brain consciously turned it off.

Part of me wondered if it was because I was finally getting sick of getting older, if my rotten back and increasing-in-number doctor’s appointments were finally clueing me in that birthdays stink. I went about my routine for the day, ran some errands, and came home to scrounge up something to eat for lunch.

And then I understood.

I have never in my life spent my birthday day by myself. Mom never would have let that happen. With the kids in school and my husband at work, it would have been inconceivable to her that I would eat lunch by myself, and we would go out. Always. Today, however, I was alone, and in that moment all the little sadnesses that piled up just felt like more than I was ready to hold.

So when people asked me how my birthday was, I said, “meh,” because it was true, and then I said, “I really miss my mom.” It probably was not the answer they were expecting or really knew what to do with, but it was honest and I had to say it.

2008/03/12 Hot Potato by Jason Taellious under Creative Commons license

2008/03/12 Hot Potato by Jason Taellious under Creative Commons license

Because grief is like a hot potato burning in your hands. If you don’t toss it up in the air to give your hands a break every once in a while, they get burned, and then you drop it and then have to pick it up with blistered fingers. The need to let go of what you are holding onto, for just a second, is all that lets you continue to carry it around.

So when people write, I get it, I really do. Because while many people look at someone walking down the street tossing a hot potato in the air like they’re nuts, wondering why they can’t just put it down, I just nod. It is too terrible and precious to throw away; all you can do is wait for it to cool down. It will.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest halted due to cyber-bullying: Finalists to be honored collectively

Reported in AVMF NEWS, the following was announced:

“America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest Halted Due to Cyber-Bullying – Finalists to be Honored Collectively”

“The 2015 America’s Favorite Veterinarian Contest has been halted, and we have declared all 20 finalists “America’s Favorite Veterinarians” following a vicious cyber-bullying attack which disrupted and contaminated the final election process. Activists opposed to cat declawing “hijacked” the contest, resorting to cyber-bullying the majority of the contest finalists. The attacks were reprehensible and undeserved, and have undermined the spirit of the competition and caused the contestants undue harm. Read the press release for more information.

“We thank you for your interest in the contest, and we are truly sorry for what has happened. Our contestants deserve the utmost respect for what they do every day as veterinarians. We ask that those who are bullying these contestants immediately stop. Please join us in honoring these veterinarians with the respect they deserve.”

Lori , I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC

2015 National Pet Sitting Business of the Year Recipient, NAPPS

2015 Best Pet Sitter & Dog Walker Burlington County, Winner of Best of Burlington County Times

www.IveGotTheScoop.net 


PetsitUSA Blog

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Titoo

This adorable Jack Russell puppy is called Titoo. He lives in Gorbio village.
RIVIERA DOGS

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Before and After – Part 2

This one also just needed some minor adjustments.  Take a little off the top (so he isn’t quite so entered in the image!), remove the flower in front – too distracting, take the blade of grass on the left side of his face out and blur the areas of grass that are in focus on the sides of the image.  I’m not sure if I agree with the crop (I find it feels squishy if the dog’s head doesn’t have breathing room) but I definitely agree with everything else!

Before:

After:

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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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…



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DogTipper

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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…



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DogTipper

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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

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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.

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

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

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

FullSizeRender

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

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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!)

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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.

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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?

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

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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

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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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