Posts Tagged ‘veterinarians’

The Top 15 Blog Posts of 2015

December 30, 2015 11 comments


It’s become an annual tradition for me to end the year by sharing those blog posts I thought were most touching, interesting, or emotionally powerful throughout the past year. This year I have decided not to limit my selection to just blog posts. Among those included in my list are articles, Craigslist postings and other pieces.

The hardest part was whittling down my list. You may not have the same ones on your list, but I hope you will find them worth reading and sharing.

Do you have one that you want to share? Feel free to share!

  1. Heartfelt Open Letter To Dog Owner On Craigslist Moved Me To Tears – This powerful post is actually a posting on Craigslist. It is an adopted dog owner’s letter to the original owner of a stray dog, named Laurel, who showed up outside an animal shelter one day.

  2. Tails: Let’s focus on getting them back home, not adopted. – This piece is a particularly important one to me. Too many lost dogs are ending up in our shelters as strays. We need to do a better job trying to reunite them with their owners.

  3. Rescue Decisions: The Dog, or the Community? – Sara Reusche is an amazing dog trainer and a great writer. Her blogs posts are relevant, thought-provoking and well written. This one is no different. Borderline dogs are something we should all be talking about.

  4. 10 Things To Do If Your Adult Dog Bites – This post was written by my friend, Nancy Freedman-Smith, who is a dog trainer and a wonderful writer. This time of year is particularly hard for dog trainers because it is when people start calling them asking for help after their dog bit a child or adult or another dog over the holidays. This piece may help them as the grapple with what most likely was a preventable situation.

  5. 4 Things Dog Trainers DON’T Do – This is a great piece by Laurie Luck. I first shared this on my Facebook page back in June of this year, but it is worth sharing again. I can vouch for the 4 things on her list.

  6. I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons – This post was penned by Julie LeRoy in place of Cuda the Pit Bull, who passed away earlier this year. I thought it had a powerful message for those of us in animal rescue. it certainly gave me food for thought.

  7. You Can Survive Burnout: How To Regroup When Your Year Really Sucked – This post came in under the wire (it was just written this week), but it was so impactful that it made me want to share it far and wide.  The author is Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. who is a veterinarian I really respect, not only for her brevity and wisdom, but also for her honesty and reflection. She always leaves me thinking.

  8. The Biggest Mistake Pet Owners Make at the End – This is another post penned by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. I shared this on my Facebook page earlier this year and was disappointed to see that many people had not only NOT read it, but left comments that clearly showed they hadn’t read it. We need to stop telling people that our pets will tell us when it is time, because more often than not, they won’t. Please read and share. Another great post is by Jessica Dolce, How to Talk to Your Gynecologist About Euthanasia. Definitely worth the read.

  9. What’s Important to You? – I don’t know about you, but it seems like the pet owner world has become more and more like the mommy wars over the years. What I mean is that just like the competitive mommy world where judgement about how you raise your children is at an all time high, the same is seems to be the case in the dog world. Trainer and writer, Sara Reusche, shares her perspective. I like it.

  10. Training “Calm?” – I love this piece of Denise Fenzi. Training “calm” is not something that is often discussed amongst dog owners, but maybe it should. It could go a long way towards helping the dog/human bond.

  11. Pet Safety: How Safe Are Pet Products? – Blogger Mary Haight’s, piece on pet safety was an eye-opener for me. If you think your pet is safe in a crate, in a car seat or with the toys that you buy, you may want to thin again. Very little safety testing is done on those items that you think will keep your pet safe. If you really want to learn more about the dangers that lie in the pet product industry, listen to her podcast interview with Linsey Wolko, Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Center For Pet Safety.

  12. Comforting an Old Dog – A powerful piece by Shirley Zindler highlights the important role Animal Control Officers have with the animals they capture. Sometimes just being there is the most important part.

  13. Screw Finding Your Passion –  This second to last one has nothing to do with dogs, but has a powerful message nonetheless. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

  14. That thing others are shaming you for? Do it anyway. – Crystal Paine’s post on being your authentic self is one worth reading. If you have ever felt like hiding your true self or worried about criticisms by others about how you look or how you speak or write, then this piece is worth reading.

Vet clinic turns away dying dog

December 27, 2012 31 comments

Veterinarian Examining DogSeattle Dog Spot recently posted a story on their Facebook page (“Auburn Veterinary Hospital refuses to treat dying dog”) that left me shaking my head.

According to Seattle Dog Spot, a vet clinic refused emergency care to a dog that was in anaphylactic shock. after being stung by several bees. The owner, who had rushed his dog to this clinic because it listed itself as an emergency clinic on “prominently posted signs”, was told the vets were “too busy” to care for his dog. Thankfully, the owner was able to get his dog to his own vet and the dog was saved, but I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of the veterinarians and staff when they denied a dying dog care.

It brought to mind an incident that happened at my veterinarian’s office the last time I was there with Jasper.

We had arrived a little early only to be told, apologetically, that our appointment might be delayed because an emergency situation had come up. A family had come in with their seriously ill dog (if memory serves me right, they suspected the dog had ingested antifreeze while he had been lost) and my vet was trying to stabilize him so he could be transported to the University of Minnesota. Of course, I told the staff I could wait. I was more than willing to give her as much time as she needed. This sick dog needed her attention much more urgently than Jasper did.

A few minutes later, I watched as my vet and the staff carried the dog out to the owner’s waiting car to be transported to the U of M. Then, a few minutes later I watched as my vet and the staff rushed the dog back in the clinic when the dog crashed. I waited as they worked to save his life, but it was not to be. Thankfully, his owners were able to be at his side as he passed.

As I sat there in the office, I could not help but shed a tear for the owners, their dog, and my vet. How awful it must have felt to lose this dog after despite every attempt to save him. How sad it must have been to look into his owner’s eyes and say “I am so sorry.”

Reading the story from the Seattle Dog Spot, made me realize how much I really value my vet and her staff. I already know what awesome people they are, they provide such gentle care to my three fearful dogs, but what this story made me realize is how really fortunate I am to have a vet and staff who puts the dogs’ care first. Was it an inconvenience to me to have to wait while my vet tried to save another dog’s life. NO WAY. Instead, it was an affirmation that she is EXACTLY the kind of vet I would want for my dogs.

I can’t help but wonder how the clients of the Auburn Veterinary Hospital clinic feel today knowing their vet clinic turned away a dog in distress because they were “too busy.”

I am so thankful they are not my vet.

Dogs and Rabies Vaccinations – Lies, Lies and More Lies

March 6, 2012 37 comments

A little late-night note: I want to make clear that this rant has very little to do with most honest and caring veterinarians, nor does it have anything to do with my own veterinarian, whom I adore. This is regarding one particular veterinarian clinic in Minnesota that sponsored a vaccination clinic and misrepresented the Rabies vaccine dosage both on their forms and in their reminder notice (see below). I apologize to any veterinarians this offended, but I would hope that you would recognize someone who is at the very least confusing people, and at the most, deceiving them.

A couple of days I ago I received an email that got me hopping mad… all over again. Here is a copy of the email.

You might think that a reminder notice would be a pretty innocuous thing to be mad about. But, it’s not the reminder notice itself that pisses me off. It’s the fact that it contains an outright lie that it is designed to misinform pet owners and will lead to many dogs to be over-vaccinated for no good reason (unless money is at play here?). Do you see the lie yet? I’ll give you a hint, it’s in the orange print. Not yet?

It’s the “2 Year Adult Rabies” description. It doesn’t exist. There is no 2 Year Rabies vaccine. It only comes in 1 Year and 3 Year doses (and most vets have gone to administering the 3 Year vaccine). This is why I am so mad. It’s a deception that most dog owners don’t even know about.

I wrote about this issue last year after viewing a local television news station’s investigation of veterinarians telling people to re-vaccinate their pets sooner than they needed to and for lying to pet owners about the 2 Year Rabies vaccine. I was so surprised to discover that the vet clinic that had held the vaccination clinic I attended had done the very same thing. Their form doesn’t list a 1 Year or 3 Year vaccination. They only mention options of 1 Year or 2 Year vaccinations, even though the 2 Year doesn’t exist. You can read my post in this and view the news report here.

Daisy and Jasper were vaccinated last year with a 3 Year Rabies vaccination, and yet, 1 year later the vet clinic wants to re-vaccinate my dogs – 2 years earlier than necessary! Of all the vaccines dogs get the Rabies vaccine is the one that is the hardest on dogs, but here is a vet clinic encouraging unsuspecting dog owners to re-up their vaccination 2 years early. Do you see anything wrong with that? I do.

More and more vets are learning that we are over-vaccinating our pets and that we may actually be causing more medical issues for them rather than less. Links are being made between the Rabies vaccine and canine auto-immune disorders and canine cancer (I included much of this information in my post from July). So there is reason for pet owners to be cautious (and for me to be mad when a vet clinic knowingly deceives the public).

I’ll be writing that vet clinic today to share my concerns with them, but I suspect they will not change their approach. So I warn all you dog owners out there to be informed. Because in the end, it’s your pet’s life that is at stake.

Why Vets Are Getting Away With Murder?
Rabies Challenge Fund
The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects

Investigative Report Asks: Are some vets lying about rabies vaccinations?

July 30, 2011 25 comments

I’m confused. I really am.

Recently, I watched a Fox 9 News investigation into how some veterinarians are telling people they need to get their pet re-vaccinated for rabies every two years. This might not sound strange until you realize that there are only two vaccinations available to vets – a one-year and a three-year. There is no two-year vaccine. So why the confusion? Why would vets recommend that people get their dogs vaccinated every two years instead of every three?

You can see the full report here:

Investigators: Vets, Vaccines and Vagaries:

I know many veterinarians and have found all of them to be amazing people. They dedicate their lives to loving and caring for our pets. They are there with us in our last moments with our beloved pets. They feel our pain when it’s time to say goodbye, but they experience it on a daily basis. Dr Shawn Finch, DVM, is a great example of an amazing vet. She wrote about the tough part of being a vet over at Life With Dogs. Dr. Lorie Huston is another amazing vet. She spends her time educating folks on a whole variety of pet health issues on a daily basis at her blog The Pet Health Care Gazette. I would gladly lump my vet into the same category as these two amazing women. So, I don’t believe that vets are inherently trying to deceive us.That’s why I am so confused. Why would some vets choose to over-vaccinate a pet? Is it a drug company recommendation? Or, is it something else?

I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t making a mountain out of a molehill, so I went searching for more information on the rabies vaccine. This interview conducted by Dr. Karen Becker with Dr. Ronald Schultz, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, is quite interesting. Dr. Schultz explains that there is a lot of confusion about how long the rabies vaccination lasts because no one has ever really done a study to find out how it lasts. Why? Because a study like that is expensive and takes a lot of time. But I also wanted to know what is the difference between the one-year and three-year vaccine? Here is Dr. Schultz’s response.

Well, most of them are the same. They’re the same product, it’s just that when the studies are done, they did a one-year study, and when the product worked, they had a one-year license. They had a group of dogs that they waited two more years for the three years to come up and that same product became a three-year product. Except there may be some that are a
bit different — some actually may have more adjuvant in them if they are a three-year product. There are some differences.

He also said:

Every one of the major veterinary manufacturers of vaccines has done a three-year minimum duration of immunity study with their core vaccines, and they have all demonstrated their products provide a minimum of three-year duration of immunity. That should say something to every veterinarian that’s out there. That’s wondering “Can I really go three years?” for every dog owner that’s out there. The answer is yes.

Here is the full interview:

So if the vaccine really is good for three years, is it just a lack of knowledge about the latest research? Is it a matter of being over-cautious?

Last year, I had Daisy and Jasper vaccinated at a vaccination clinic held at a local rescue organizations’ headquarters. I never bothered to look at the official paperwork until now. Guess what? The paperwork doesn’t even mention a three-year vaccine. It only has spots for a one-year and two-year vaccination. So what gives? What is this all about? Can anyone tell me why some vets are telling people to vaccinate their pets every two years when it’s not needed?

Update: Many thanks to Dr. Lorie Huston for taking on this topic in her blog post, How Often Does Your Pet Need to Vaccinated for Rabies? It answers a lot of my questions and maybe yours as well.

Additional Info:
Rabies Vaccination Laws by State
Rabid Cats and Dogs Reported in the United States during 2009
Rabid Dogs Reported in the United States during 2009
STATE Rabies Laws

When a vet visit goes badly…

June 5, 2011 39 comments

Recently, my brother called me quite upset. It seems he had just taken his dog, Dozer, to the vet to get a check up. His experience had left him extremely upset, mad, and feeling quite guilty.

I was more than a bit surprised by his experience because our dogs happen to go to the very same veterinary clinic. In fact, I chose this clinic BECAUSE of how well they cared for his last dog, Remy. They were great with my last dog, Aspen, and have been absolutely phenomenal with Daisy and Jasper. Listening to my brother’s story left me sad and very disappointed.

As the owner of a fearful dog, I know how stressful a vet visit can be. Knowing that Daisy’s vet and her staff are experienced in handling fearful dogs made all the difference for me. In Dozer’s case, he saw a new vet and a new staff person. I wasn’t there so I can only relate his experience through his eyes, but from what I can gather, there was a lot of man-handling (it took several staff to hold him down to draw blood) and the use of a muzzle. While Daisy likely would have just shut down in this situation, Dozer reacted by biting – thus the muzzle.

My first response after speaking with my brother was to contact my friend, Debbie Jacobs, over at and share his story. I asked her to please continue to spread her knowledge of how to work with and approach fearful dogs with dog owners and trainers, but to also share it with veterinarians. I suspect that many veterinarians are taught the medicine side of vet care, but perhaps not as much the animal behavior side – something that is so badly needed.

Thankfully, Debbie responded pretty quickly. It turns out that has already begun to connect with veterinarians. She is sharing her book with them and offering to meet with them individually to help them better understand how to handle fearful dogs. Just like many vets, Debbie wants to make the visit to the vet clinic as stress-free as possible.

Debbie also shared with me that Dr. Sophia Yin, animal behaviorist and veterinarian, has some great information for owners and veterinarians on her website. As luck would have it, a dog training friend of mine shared a wonderful post on this topic just today. It is here – I highly encourage people to read it and then pass it on to their veterinarian and other dog owners.

My brother still feels guilty for letting the vet and her staff do all that they did to Dozer and is looking for a new vet. I can only hope that his and Dozer’s experience hasn’t left a lasting impression that will haunt them both on future vet visits.

Wednesday Winner: Keller Lake Animal Hospital

May 6, 2009 Leave a comment

This week I’m giving a shout out to my dogs’ veterinary clinic, Keller Lake Animal Hospital in Maplewood, Minnesota.

The vets, Dr. Lillie, Dr. DeWoskin and Dr. Benson are some of the nicest and most dedicated people I know. They have been there for me and my dogs Aspen and Daisy, and now for my new dog, Jasper (one of the Shelties mentioned in a previous post). I’ve always felt like they listened to me, sought to understand and cared about my dogs like they were their own.

And, THE STAFF! What can I say about the awesome staff? Angie, Heather, Kim, Stephanie, Katie and Vicky are so wonderful with Daisy. They have always treated her with gentle hands and loving hearts, and they always greet her with a smile and a treat (okay – a few treats) to help her feel more comfortable (something she really needed when she first came to live with me). They are some really awesome people and dedicated to helping animals to the Nth degree.

So this week’s Wednesday Winner is a personal one: Keller Lake Animal Hospital. Check them out!

Pet Taxis – Fido hails a cab

April 16, 2009 1 comment

j0213529I was sitting at a coffee shop talking to a friend about social networking a few weeks ago. While we were talking, a friend of hers called on her cell phone. During their quick conversation, she began laughing and said to me, “My friend is in downtown Manhattan and just saw a Pet Taxi go by.” I am sure it must have caught her off-guard. Pet Taxi? Seriously? Who knew?

Actually, pet taxi’s are becoming much more common than you think. In fact, many pet sitters now offer this as a service to their clients. In big cities, like New York, you are more likely to see them everywhere. Pet Taxis can also be found in other countries.

Need to take your dog to the groomer but can’t take the time off work? Have an emergency medical issue with your pet but unable to get your pet there? A pet taxi is the perfect solution, especially if you already are working with a pet sitter. They provide a great service for busy people with busy lives. And, it’s affordable too!

Here’s a few links to information about pet taxis. Check them out.
Pampered Puppy: “Taking the High Road”
ASPCA: “Pet Taxis in New York City”
Sittercity: “Petsitting definitions: From Pet Taxis to Doggy Hotels”