Run Oskee, Run!

Run Oskee, Run!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey Time!!

Gobble Gobble!!!

November can be such a pretty time of year and is the kick off to the season of good food and family fun. It can also be a time where we see an increase in emergencies with our furry little friends. Most of the time an emergency arises when the pet eats something they are not use to or should be eating. The following are some tips on how to keep your furry family member out of the ER this holiday season.

Number 1: Make No Bones About It!!
Weather you have ham, beef or the all famous Thanksgiving Trukey for dinner, meat bones can cause serious illness to your pet. These bones, raw or cooked, can splinter and cause damage to the stomach and intestines. Make sure all bones are secured in the treat where your pet cannot get into them!
Number 2: Pet's Are Not for Stuffing!
While they will give you those cute puppy dog eyes, stay away from feeding your pet food they are not use to. Too many fatty, unfamiliar, seasoned foods can cause many illnesses in your pet like pancreatitis, gastritis and/or enteritis. The illnesses can cause your pet to experience vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and they can become dehydrated. These illnesses are painful and can be fatal.
Number 3: Fudge, Cakes, and Pies...Oh My!
Many desserts during the holidays are made with ingredients that may be toxic to your pet. These ingredients can include Chocolate and raisins. Be sure to keep all desserts out of reach from your pet.
Number 4: The nose will get the best of them!
Speaking from experience, be sure to keep the trash secured and closed away from your pet. Even if they are not usually dumpster divers, the yummy smells and new foods can draw them into the trash., not only making a mess in the middle of dinner but also exposing them to those unwanted foods described above! (believe me, I've been there!)   
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Doc E

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cats, Claws and Controversy!

Traditionally,an onychectomy, or declawing  has been a standard among feline owners wanting to keep their kitties inside. It is thought by a lot of our feline pet parents that declawing is just something you do, like spaying or vaccinating. However, in the veterinary and animal welfare world there is much more controversy than some might know. There are groups and even countries that are strongly against declawing and even have laws against such a practice. Myself and my colleagues try to follow the guidelines set forth by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as close as we can. Below are the links to each website for information. 

For the AVMA go to

For the AAFP go to

Pro declawers usually do so to avoid the destruction of furniture or carpet. There also may be medical reasons, like the owner is immuno-compromised or older and cat scratches could cause wounds and infections they may have difficulty healing from. Other owners are not fully aware of the procedure and the complications and healing time that goes along with it. 

People who are against declawing say that cats are born with claws so they should keep them. Technically the surgery is not difficult to perform but complications can occur with declawing. When declawing you actually remove the first bone of each digit. Its like cutting off the tip of your finger. There are several different techniques used and different veterinarians prefer different techniques. Personally, I like to declaw by disarticulating the bones using a laser. The surgical laser helps to prevent severe bleeding. I then use tissue glue to close the incision and bandage the feet. Bandages are removed the next day. All declaw cats are sent home wearing an e-collar and a special litter called Yesterday's News that will not stick to their feet. Recovery from declawing can take weeks to months. Cats put most of their weight on their paw pads. When declawing it can be difficult to avoid cutting the paw pads which can cause your cat pain for months! Infection is also a concern when declawing along with bleeding and prolonged incision healing. If you are considering declawing you should talk with your veterinarian about which method they are going to use and what complications you should expect. 

Some ways to avoid declawing are by training your cat the use a scratching post. I would have a tall vertical and horizontal scratching post available for your cat to use. If making one yourself try to avoid materials that are already in your house. For example do not use extra carpet you have laying around that is the same carpet in your living room. Using treats and cat nip on and around the scratching posts can be helpful in training your cat to use them. If your cat is clawing at furniture or the carpet you must be careful when disciplining them. Cats will associate the discipline with you and not the unwanted behavior. They will learn to avoid you when sitting on the couch or scratching the carpet but it will not actually fix the behavior. They will even learn to scratch only when you are not around. 

An example of a cat post that has different heights of vertical posts and horizontal posts.

There are also silicone nail covers (see picture below) that can be glued over you cat's nails. I have seen these used rarely, not because they are ineffective but because of maintenance. They must be reapplied almost monthly as they do wear off, but they sure do look cute! ;-) 

Some animal behaviorist have started recommending Feliway to prevent cats from scratching in unwanted places. Feliway is a pheromone that can be sprayed on furniture. The idea behind this is that cats will not mark, or want to scratch where previous cats have been.  Cats will smell the pheromone (Feliway) and ideally would not want to scratch in that area. I have not personally used Feliway in that way but I can see the logic behind it and would be willing to try this method.

This article is meant to educate cat owners on the surgical procedure of declawing, why there is controversy and ways you can avoid declawing. At Greenhaven Animal Clinic and Best Friends Animal Hospital we do declaw but we do try and have these conversations with owners as well. When I have an owner come in with a kitten I try to educate them on both sides of declawing. Scratching for cats is a natural behavior and they instinctively will try to sharpen their claws. I try to work with owners and help them find ways around declawing. This procedure, like any surgery, is painful and will cause your kitty discomfort. With that said, I personally, would never want a cat to be relinquished or worse, euthanized, just because it has claws. Sometimes declawing is necessary and sometimes it is not. You need to have these conversations with you veterinarian to know what is best for your furry family member and you. 

If you have any questions or further concerns please do not hesitate to ask!

Thanks for reading!
Doc E

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and Best Friend's Website!

Monday, October 26, 2015

My two kids!

Kaleb at the pumpkin patch. The cat, Smokey, kept his interest way more than the big, Orange pumpkins!

Interupting Oskee's nap!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Whats, Whens, and Whys of Wellness Vaccines and Preventions of all Kinds

I would say that the majority of my appointments in a day are spent with healthy pets for wellness exams, vaccines and talking about how to prevent nasty diseases.  Knock on wood, its stays this way. I mean, I am happy to be here for our furry friends during a health crisis but I would prefer all of my patients to be healthy all of the time!!

Because this is such a big part of our practice I thought it would be nice to explain our wellness plans and why we vaccinate and prevent the things we do. Wellness visits can encompass quite a lot but almost always include an exam and vaccines. During an exam the doctor will check your pet over from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Even just looking at the pet will provide us with a lot of information on how your pet is doing. We count the physical exam as the most important part of our wellness visit. As my professor once said, "if you don't look, you wont find it."

Also during your visit, your pet may be due for vaccines and a heartworm check. Heartworm checks are done yearly. The check requires just a little bit of blood drawn by one of our certified veterinary technicians or vet assistants. The test takes 8 minutes to run. Most of the time we have those results before the exam is even done. The particular heartworm test we run not only checks for heartworms but also scans your pet for three tick born diseases, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Lyme disease. (Stay tooned for a future blog about heartworm disease.) If the test is positive we will go over the proper treatment depending on the disease. If negative, your pet will go home with heartworm, flea and tick prevention to keep them safe from the parasites and the diseases they carry.

There are a fair number of diseases we can vaccinate for and it can be confusing to know which ones your pet needs and which ones they do not need. Our core vaccines, meaning the vaccines every pet should receive, are what we call rabies, distemper, lepto and lyme. The distemper vaccine can be combined with the lepto vaccine or the two can be on their own. The distemper vaccine not only protects your pet from the distemper virus but also protects against parvovirus, parainfluenza virus, and adenovirus.

As puppies, patients get a series of 3 boosters of the distemper vaccine, ideally starting between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Before 6 weeks of age puppies cannot mount the proper immune response to the vaccine and after 8 weeks of age you risk the puppy being expose to the diseases we are trying to vaccinate against. Their boosters are given about 3-4 weeks apart. The lyme vaccine is given twice as puppies usually with their 2nd and 3rd distemper vaccine and rabies is given around 16 weeks of age. Vaccines are then boostered yearly once the puppies series is done.
This is an example of one of our Vaccines.

Heartworm, flea and tick prevention is started at their first puppy visit and is given monthly there after. At 6 months of age we can run a heartworm test for the first time and if negative, an injectable heartworm prevention can be given every 6 months.

Nexgard is used to prevent fleas and ticks. It looks and tastes like a treat!!

Proheart is a 6 month injection given to protect your pet from heartworm disease!

Some of the elective vaccines owners can choose for their pet are bordatella and canine influenza. Most boarding and grooming facilities will require dogs to be vaccinated for bordatella. Canine influenza is not one of our core vaccines but there was an outbreak of this disease in Chicago earlier this year. If you are interested in this vaccine or suspect that your pet may be at risk please feel free to discuss this with us or your veterinarian.

Our goal for preventative wellness is to prevent rather than treat illnesses. It is so important for pets to have regular 6 month exams and a good vaccine history. One successful example of this is parvo virus. Puppies and adult dogs vaccinated for parvovirus are much more protected and almost never become ill from this nasty virus. So many times I have seen puppies and dogs suffer from parvo which is so easily prevented with vaccines given properly.

I hope this gives you some insight into your furry friend's health!

Thanks for reading!
Doc E

Monday, September 21, 2015

Its a Case of the Worms! Ugh, Yuck!!!

As veterinarians we deal with worms on a daily basis, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms...the list goes on! But how do these worms affect your furry family member on a daily basis?

Intestinal parasites are found in the environment and can be passed to your pet in multiple ways but most of the time it happens through ingesting a parasite during their infective stage. They can cause an array of medical problems including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, hemorrhage into the bowel, anemia, and intestinal blockages just to name a few. This is why we recommend yearly testing of stool samples. Most of the stools we run are sent to an outside lab and we get the results the next morning. When running a fecal we are not actually looking for the worm itself but the eggs shed by the worms. Sometimes, you may see the actual worm in a stool sample from your pet. We can sometimes distinguish which worm is which by looking at it. If they look like spaghetti, its a roundworm, if they look like little grains of rice, its a tapeworm. However, it is still best that we run a fecal, just in case your pet is infested with multiple types of intestinal parasites, especially the ones we cannot see grossly.

For the most part, intestinal parasites can be easily treated with a short course of oral dewormer. If your pet is positive on a yearly fecal check the doctor will prescribe the proper dewormer to remove those intestinal parasites from your pet. It is important to treat your pets when found infected because these parasite eggs can be transmitted to humans, most commonly children.

Intestinal parasites are a very common finding in veterinary medicine and if not treated can post a serious threat to your pet's health. It is often something that is overlook or thought of as no big deal, but I have personally seen dogs and cats with life threatening illnesses due to parasites.

Thanks for reading!
Have a Happy Worm Free Day!!

Doc E

Friday, August 28, 2015


Last Friday was a little slow, at least until 4:30 PM, when three emergencies came in. We were all eager to get out on time but could not help but feel compassion towards our three sickly patients. 

One of our patients was a tiny 10 week old calico kitten a nice couple had found in a ditch just hours before. They knew something was wrong with her eye so they brought her straight in. Upon examining the tiny kitten it was clear she had a severe eye injury  and her eye would need to be removed. The couple who had found here were unable to keep her. This poor thing was without a home but as friendly as could be, even with her injury. 

I knew most shelters were overflowing with cats needing good homes. While we did check with a few shelters, no one could house another kitten, let alone one with an injury. I had a sneaking suspicion that one of our receptionist, Jessica, would be interested in her so I sent her a picture. The poor kitten just looked pitiful in the picture. Her ears were dropping, you could obviously see her injury and she just looked so sad. The sad little kitten eyes must have worked because Jessica fell in love with her!

Over the next few days we cleaned the little kitten up. Applied flea treatment and dewormed her. She had a great personality and purred so loud you could hear her across the room!. The only thing missing was a name. I knew Jessica wanted a name that ended in "I" (no pun intended) and most likely needed to represent her perfect imperfection. After googling 1 eyed animal names (Thanks TJ!!), Winki was a perfect fit!!

When Monday came it was finally time for Winki's surgery to remove her eye. Jessica was there and documented the whole thing with pictures. She even kept Winki's eye lens...

Surgery and recovery went well and I am happy to announce that Winki is now settling in to her new home! She is adjusting well and getting to know her big sister Peggi!!! (Which she is also named for her perfect imperfection, she has a peg leg! hehe) 

I can't say thank you enough top Jessica for rescuing and injured little kitty. It is stories like these that make late nights on Fridays all worth it!

Thanks for reading!!
Doc E

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I have the BEST! job!!

I truly love my job. Yes, there are days I don't want to get out of bed, and there are nights I just don't want to go on another call but there are the days that make me smile from ear to ear and remind me why I chose this profession. Those are the days you live for and look forward to, and those are the days that keep you going and keep looking forward to the next adventure!

Well for me, I had one of those days last Friday. It started out a little nerve racking and busy but for the most part it was going smoothly. I had walked up front for just a brief moment when one of the receptionist kindly let me know that one of our clients was on their way with a cow calving. Now, most calvings are no big deal. You may have to work at it a little but generally the calf comes out the back end eventually. I was told the cow had arrived and when I went to the back the vet tech had the cow in the chute and ready to go. I had my coveralls and boots on, I sleeved both arms and lubed up. Immediately I could feel the feet. The calf was coming backwards and he (I did not know at this moment the calf in fact was a he, that info came later) seemed a little twisted but I could feel him try to kick my hand away as I grabbed his feet. I wasn't sure he would fit through the pelvis, the feet seemed a little big, but I thought I would give it a shot. I mean, no doctor wants to jump straight into a C-section! I was able to secure the chains (When I say chains it sounds so harsh, but generally if you position them correctly, chains are very easy on the calf's legs and do not cause any harm) to the calf's feet easily. I then attached the chains to the come along (a device to help slowly pulled the calf out when arm strength just isn't enough) and we started to crank. The feet started to emerge from the backside but I quickly realized this wasn't working. There was no way this calf was going to fit through his mama's pelvis. The cow would deliver via cesarean.

I asked the tech to release the come along to loosen the line attached to the calf's legs. I could hear her trying to get the come along to release but nothing was happening. When I looked back I could tell there was a problem! We COULDN'T get it released! Quickly panic starts to set in as we cannot release the line connected to the calf's legs!!! I didn't know how much time we had before we lost the calf! I tried to help, the farmer tried to help...but still no release! I started to run up the the front to see if someone up there could get this thing to release! I stepped out of the chute running! Some of the lube I had put on my sleeves earlier had fallen on the concrete making it extremely slippery. The Lube in combination with my no traction rubber boots caused me to go heals over on the the hard concrete as I tried running to the front for help! With a few curse words I popped right up and continued running to the front as everyone watching me gasped, too stunned to laugh or say anything. If it had not been such a serious moment I'm sure everyone would have had a good laugh (as I am now as I recall the events of this day...hehe).  But anyway...After what seemed like an eternity, I finally decided to release the cows head...she would back up and we could remove the chains from the come along. Oh GOOD! The cow was free and the tension was released on the calf! Now the work really began. 

You may or may not know, but c-sections on cows are performed standing, well for the most part. You can do them on their back or laying down on their side but I prefer it when they are standing. For the most part they do quite well. You shave their side from ribs to hooks (The boney part of their pelvis that sticks out.) Lidocaine is injected into the skin and muscle for pain control, the surgical area is scrubbed and an incision is made!   

The cow was doing great as I made my incision. Once into to abdomen I could feel the calf inside the uterus. At this point I could appreciate just how big of a calf we were dealing with I knew this was going to be an uphill battle. Arm deep inside the cow, I could feel the front legs of the calf...all the way on the other side of the cow. As I tried to grab the feet and pull them toward my incision the cow decided to push. With that push, a large portion of her rumen (the largest part of the cow's stomach) popped out of my incision. I quickly tried to push it back through the incision but she kept pushing. I was using my whole body to keep the innards in while trying to get the calf out. I asked Dr. Bill to quickly give an epidural. I was thinking that the epidural would help stop the severity of the contractions, which it did...a little. I continued to try get the calf in a good position to make an incision into the uterus. Dr. Bill sleeved up and tried to move the calf, but it was hopeless. The only solution now was to make an incision into the uterus blindly. (Side note: one of the instruments we use to make and incision in the uterus is a letter opener. Yes, like the plastic ones you can almost always get from a grain elevator. I used one that was actually shaped like and ear of corn.  They are usually sharp,(usually, but have an extra just incase) and the way they are designed protects the calf and the organs on the outside of the uterus).

Once the incision was made I could locate and put chains on the front legs. Well, As I start to remove the calf from the abdomen her rumen and intestines started to come out. What made it worse was that the cow started to lay down. Dr. Bill, Sherri (the vet tech) and multiple assistants tried to keep her standing, as I frantically tried to replace the abdominal organs and keep everything clean. But as much as we tried the cow went down in a not so graceful fashion. I had to regroup. As Dr. Bill held her Rumen I was Able to guide the calf's head and legs out as the many assistants pulled the calf out of the abdomen! Finally we delivered a LARGE, red and white  ALIVEcalf!! I was so happy the calf was alive but I had other problems! The rumen and some intestine were still outside the body. As I put everything back inside we washed everything off with distilled water. We needed to flushed the abdomen before starting to stitch everything back together, so Dr. Bill handed the vet tech a 5 gallon bottle of five star water and we started flushing the abdomen. Once things were as clean as I could get them I started sewing everything up. Thankfully from this point on everything went smoothly. While I closed the incision the vet tech gave additional painmeds, IV fluids and antibiotics to mama as baby tried to get use to his(at this point we knew it was a boy) new world. The calf was trying to stand before it left and Mama got up and walked onto the trailer just fine! I talked with the Owner's son a few days later and he reported mama and baby were doing well.

Throughout this whole process Dr. Bill was reliving some of his most memorable C-sections, of course he said to me, "You have it much better than I did. Most of mine were done in out in a muddy field or pasture with only a garden hose to clean them up." I relish days like this! This was not scheduled appointment and our clients with appointments graciously waited as we finished this emergency.  While it was very stressful in the moment and there a millions things going through your mind, nothing can beat the feeling of a live calf and cow going home to the farm! Not every surgery turns out this way and not every c-sections leaves you with such a great feeling. But, when one of those days comes along, it just makes me say...I have the BEST Job!~

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed doing this C-section. 

A special thanks to Dr. Bill, Sherri, McKayla, Sinclair, Holly, Courtney and all of the onlookers for your help and support!

Until next time,
Doc E

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fighting Blastos!

This post was written last week, but better late than never!

I had realized this morning that I had not written in quite a while so, I sat down to start and nothing came. The good thing about my job is that you never know what will walk through the door and sure enough an idea for a blog post walked in first thing this morning. 

The day after a holiday is always busy, especially when the holiday is on a Monday. Over the years we have learned to expect these busy times and schedule accordingly. We had many calls, from my cat is lethargic to my dog is vomiting, even a ferret with a wounded ear. There was one call that seemed fairly routine...a smaller cattle dog had been seen Friday for limping, today she is no better and her left eye is hazed over. The owner just wanted her looked over. When I read the appointment, I immediately had a sneaking suspicion of what this particular furry friend was fighting. On presentation she was happy and alert. She was a timid girl but only wanted to give kisses as I examined her. Her left eye was definitely hazy and the whites of her eyes were red and inflamed. She was also limping on her right front and her carpus (Wrist in human terms) seemed swollen. I went over my findings with the her owner and we agreed upon more diagnostics. Along with my assistants we were able to shoot and x-ray of her chest, get a urine sample and drain a small amount of fluid from her front leg. When looking at the fluid under the microscope I could seem some dark purple organisms, some of which were budding from each other.  I knew right away my suspicion was right! This little girl is fighting Blastomycosis. More commonly called Blasto, is a fungal organism which most commonly affects bone , eyes, lungs, lymph nodes and skin .  I sent off a test to confirm the diagnosis and ultimately she went home on antifungal medication. 

I hope this little girl does just fine but she has an uphill battle ahead of her. Unfortunately there is nothing we have that prevents this nasty fungal disease. These organisms are out in the environment. Not every dog exposed will get the disease and severity can differ between patients. I would never encourage owners to keep their pets inside just on the chance that they may contract this fungal disease, but it is something that we at least on a yearly basis. I hope this post can shed light on a disease we as veterinarians see but is not as widely know with owners.

Over that course of the next several weeks/ months we will keep in close contact with the owner and how our furry little friend is doing. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Tail End of a Pekin

Going through veterinary school, I (along many of my colleagues and classmates) had a very idealistic view of what our future career would have in store.  We would balance home life and work equally, emergencies would be full of quick fixes and happy endings and you would be fully prepared for every call with no surprises! Well...I can tell you reality is much different. Which leads me to my story of the Jumbo Pekin Duck named Twizzler :)!!

Our on call schedule is a week at a time, and it was my last night on call before handing the torch once again to my colleague. My husband and I were debating over who would give our son a bath when the phone rang. Greenhaven has an answering service that takes our emergency calls when they come in and will then call the appropriate doctor on call. I pick up the phone and the voice on the other end said "Hello, doctor? This is the answering service. We have a client on the phone calling to say her duck is lethargic." Immediately I thought I had heard wrong and repeated "I'm sorry what do they have, A DUCK!?" "Yes, Doctor that is correct, a duck," replied the girl. "oh, ok, well can you patch me through please?"

As the phone was ringing through to the client, I was still thinking I had the wrong animal. Am I really being called for a duck emergency? I didn't know Greenhaven even treated ducks! Sure enough, it was in fact a duck emergency! After talking with the owner, It was clear Twizzler was in distress and the owners would really appreciate it if someone could meet them at the clinic. 

On my way to clinic I was racking my brain for any information I had learned in school about ducks. I couldn't even remember having a lecture on duck medicine! While slightly panicking over what I could and could not give a duck, I called Dr. George for advice which he so graciously gave over the phone. 

On arrival Twizzler seemed pretty alert but she was having difficulty standing and seemed to have some difficulty breathing. After talking with the owners they had giving me a full history. About 2 weeks previous, they had noticed her limping but she seemed ok and they had not seen her lay and egg this week but sometimes she skips weeks. Their ducks are not just run of the mill farm ducks. They have a very nice habitat with a kiddy pool and the owners keep a keen eye on them! On physical exam, I could not feel any broken bones or abscesses but she did appear to be quite warm. I had given her a few medications for pain and we did give some fluids under the skin but nothing appeared to relax her. I suggested we take a radiograph just to make sure she was not egg bound.

Well the picture shows it! A very large, catawampus placed egg trying to come out! The other abnormality seen is the fracture to her left femur, which I think contributed to the egg bound dilemma in the first place. After explaining what was going on to the owner and showing them the x-ray, I needed to get the egg out!

I tried manual extraction, (hopefully this is self explanatory, I really don't want to have to go into details.) with no luck. I gave her calcium and I tried using warm water and fluid bags to help the muscles contract. That didn't work. After spend a considerable amount of time in the tail end of the pekin, I was running out of options and it was clear Twizzler was becoming more and more distressed. I reached out to an exotics friend of mine who suggested anesthetizing her to help her relax to extract the egg. After thanking her for the advice, I once again talked with the owners. I explained the risks of anesthesia and the fact that at this point Twizzler had a guarded prognosis but ultimately we needed to get the egg out. The owners agreed and to the surgery room we went!

Once relax, I once again tried to manually extract the egg. Finally! After just a few tries, my finger touched the lethargy shell. Moving the tissue folds over the egg it was so close! I inserted a needle through the shell as one of the owners gladly helped draw out some of the contents collapsing the shell slightly. Once slightly collapsed the egg was able to be removed!! Finally! Yes!! We did it! The egg is out, What a relief!! We turned off the gas and started to recover Twizzler. Once with it, (or mostly with it), Twizzler almost immediately started acting normally again!. the next 24-48 hours would be crucial but Twizzler seemed to be on the right track.

Being a doctor of veterinary medicine, you career, patients, and situations will never happen in the idealistic way you might have once thought. But I think that is one of the perks of the job! Never did I think I would be called to do an emergency egg extraction on a duck named Twizzler...but I wouldn't have it any other way. Plus, what a great tale (or should I say "tail",) it is to tell!

Thanks again to Dr. George, Dr. Hughes (the exotic vet friend of mine), Kaitlyn and Julie for all of your help. And Thanks to Twizzler for being ever so patient as I worked at your tail end!

Love always!
Doc E

Monday, May 11, 2015

Good Morning/Afternoon

I hope you all are having a good start to your Monday. I know we are busy, busy, busy with appointments this morning!! As the Dr. on call weekend I can say it was fairly slow...but I'm sure I will get my fair share of calls the next time around. That's how it seems to work anyway. One weekend you may be slow and the next time its your turn you may be begging for just 20 minutes to eat dinner with the family. Overall its not bad. The feeling you get when you can send an dog/cat/cow/pig or any other creature home after such a scary event is such a good feeling and make missing dinner worth it!

Lets hope the rest of the week goes smoothly!!

Doc E

Friday, May 8, 2015


Happy Friday!

An adorable black kitty was my first patient today. He was friendly, lovey and had a really unique personality. His Owner's were concerned because he has had a draining wound for quite some time now. He is an indoor/outdoor kitty and right after the accident he seem to be a little more lethargic than normal. After a few days he returned to his normal self but his wound is taking quite a while to heal. When he came in the wound looked like a bite wound and we treated him accordingly.

This is a very common occurrence in our practice. While I do think the wound, itself, is important enough to take care of, I really want to talk about the importance of testing and vaccinating for FeLV and FIV, especially in those kitties around other cats.  Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are two viruses which can be deadly to our furry little feline friends. These viruses can be transmitted through grooming, sharing water bowls and ultimately BITE wounds. If a cat has contracted one of these viruses it can be asymptomatic and clinically indistinguishable for years until they become very ill. Cats most at risk are outdoor or part of multi cat households.

So what do we do...knowing your cats risk factor, testing and vaccinating are the most important tools in prevention and treatment. We recommend testing your cat yearly for FeLV and FIV, and vaccinating for FeLV yearly. (The test we use in our clinic will not only detect FeLV and FIV but also detects feline heartworm disease as well. Stay tuned, we will have a whole other blog post for feline heartworm disease.) The test requires a few drops of blood and we can have results in about 10 minutes. Once negative, your cat can be vaccinated for FeLV. Unfortunately, the vaccine for FIV is not proven to work 100% of the time and is not recommended as a core vaccine through the American Association of Feline practitioners. 

Both of these viruses can have a wide array of symptoms. These viruses weaken your cat's ability to fight off infections and the secondary infections are what usually brings that patient into the hospital. If your kitty does come up positive, it is not completely a death sentence like once thought.  Once a cat shows positive we will just need to manage their health a little differently than a negative kitty. The other important thing to note is that anytime your bring a new cat into your family it is a good idea that they have a negative FeLV/FIV test on file before introducing them to your other kitty's. This can help prevent the spread of these diseases to your already negative cats!

I know I have only briefly gone over the two diseases and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. I hope you were able to learn something!

Thanks again for reading!!!

Doc E!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

About Me

Hello Readers!

So excited to start blogging about the Wonderful profession that is Veterinary Medicine! While things in work and life can get busy (especially with a 1 year old son) I will try to regularly write articles about life as a veterinarian. These posts I hope will allow you to enjoy following the "tail" of life as a mixed practice veterinarian, make you laugh, and maybe even learn a thing or two about the importance of various aspects of veterinary care! I have enjoyed the ups and downs of my journey so far and am excited to start to share the journey with all of you!

Sincerely yours!

Doc E