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AK dog doc

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About AK dog doc

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  • Birthday 01/20/1962

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  1. Thanks, guys! I don't know about I-rod coverage... I'll try (if Tranq isn't available, since I think he does a better job), but it'll depend on available time. We currently have a new-grad Doc, which means there's a certain amount of slack to pick up, so it's hard to say how much time I'll have. Now, everyone cross your fingers that I don't do something stupid, like get pneumonia....!
  2. I think you have to decide on a per-case basis. I think it's much worse to leave a dog loose if it will harm itself (by, say, eating things that might take it to surgery or kill it) than it would be to crate it. I also think that if you have a dog that OTHER dogs might injure (as in Julie's example with the epileptic dog), crating is smarter than taking a chance on coming home to a gruesome disaster. Of 4.5 Bc's I've had (one a BC cross, hence the 0.5) I could leave 3 out without worrying TOO much (although one day I came home and on entering my bedroom wondered how it had managed to snow INSIDE my house... Oh, wait, that's DOWN FROM MY COMFORTER, thank you very much for that $150 replacement cost). Two I would not trust - one, an inveterate ingester of toys, the other an epileptic who has severe pica following her seizures. For like 8 to 10 hours. Non-stop. (This has actually turned out to be an excuse to take her every place I go, because I have to, you know, monitor her for seizures and pica. Really. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) So she is either in my truck, at home with me, at work with me, or (if it's not appropriate to leave her in the truck), at work without me, stashed safely in a run. That mainly only happens if the weather is extreme or I have to be someplace for a long time that she can't go (like a veterinary meeting or something.) Since I am down to one BC right now, that works out fine. When I had more, I generally took them in the truck. I had a capper on the bed and would fill the bed with straw if it was cold (although there is obviously a temperature limit, and once you pass that, dogs stay home.) I could also segregate a dog into the cab if needed. That said, there is one other thing I tried to be aware of: My 0.5 BC and my male BC didn't always get along. Because I had to crate the male to keep him from suicide by ingestion, and he was already jealous of the 0.5 BC, it would have been a Bad Idea to leave the 0.5 BC loose to wander tauntingly back and forth in front of his crate. So if one was crated, they both were, or I excluded the BC cross from the crate area. This was in order to prevent death, destruction, war, devastation and horror (and also incessant cheap shots and sniping), and it worked pretty well. If I had more than one BC right now I'd re-make the decision based on the dogs and dynamics that evolved with those dogs. I don't think crate training is cruel - in fact, it has been a Godsend at times - but I'd just rather have my dog(s) with me. They're social, I'm social, we need our hanging-out and doing-stuff time. But I am responsible for making the decisions to keep them safe, and a crate can be a giant help with that, so long as it is a bedroom, and not a prison.
  3. Not much for bragging huh? LOL

    I can do it for you....

    She is great.

    She is beautiful.

    Shen is smart.

    Shen is funny.

    She is beautiful.

    She is a great writer.

    If I was an dog, (no, not that kind.)I would move to Alaska so she would be my vet.

    Okay, now this is how your profile should read.....

    he he he

    I do the...

  4. It's possible it's cerebellar abiotrophy (a defect of the cerebellum, which controls rate, range and force of motion). However, A) I am NOT a neurologist, but a general practitioner, and B ) without more history and/or workup, I can't even speculate as to whether or not it will get worse. If she was born like that, it may not progress at all. If it's an acquired disorder, it could - or it might be treatable and/or curable. Can you have a neurologist look at her?
  5. No - my boss is, and we can't spare us both. I met Eileen and her husband at Martin's open house (where I found moose #1 for them and a little gang of other people who had never seen a moose.) That one was browsing among the naked birch trees up on a ridge and admittedly didn't look musch like a moose from down at the house. It kind of looked like a big brown rectangle. At first the ghirl from Switzerland looked at me like I was high when I pointed it out and claimed rashly that it was in fact a moose. But eventually it moved and people could see it was browsing. From where I was standing, I took it to be a big bull, but it might have been a huge cow. Still, it was a bit of a distance away, so not as impressive as it might be despite its size. (I had passed another, "better" one on my way to the open house, perfectly posed against blue sky, but hey - a moose is a moose, right?) Moose #2 was in my neighborhood, handily displayed on the corner of my street, up close and personal. She was still there on the way out again, bedded in. I also cannily tracked down Hobo Jim (Alaska's State Balladeer). Hobo's website is rarely updated with his tour information, but he always sings for I-rod, so I knew he'd be here somewhere. He was at the Willow Trading Post, a little dive of a bar with great food and a floor so uneven that you don't have to wait to get drunk to feel like you are. He is SO much fun live. He's an excellent showman, and has tons of little anecdotes and Alaskan and I-rod history that he slips in between songs, so it's quite an education - and very funny. Also, certain of his songs are a) politically incorrect, so perhaps not on any of his CDs, and MUCH more entertaining in person, either from audience particpation or Hobo's antics on stage. I've seen him play so hard that he breaks a guitar string mid-song. Rather than stopping, he keeps singing while he yanks the old string out and puts in a new one (with the audience carrying it when he needs to bend his head away from the mic.) At any rate, Willow is a bit of a trip (as they say) this year: The TP is buried snow about 3/4 of the way up its windows, and the sign that says "Willow: Dog mushing capitol of the world" is only about a foot above the snow (the sign is normal street-sign height). There was moose #3 in the parking lot while we were eating diner, but I could not be torn away from my excellent steak to go look at it. Anyway, Hobo Jim did not disappoint (me, at any rate). He never does. He sang all my favorites except Mackinaw Mush (and may have sung that one, but we had to leave around 10 or 10:30 because Eileen had Iditariding to do, and I had to work the next day.) It was a great evening for me, but you'll have to ask Eileen for her impressions. I don't want to try to tell her stories for her - and I'm sure I couldn't do them justice anyway.
  6. She's not done having it yet! She's flying up the trail all the way to Nome and the finish with my friend Lori (who owns SkyTrekking Alaska). I was able to find her two moose - three, if you count the one in the parking lot at Willow Trading Post - and Hobo Jim. We all should cross our fingers that she gets to see some good Aurora activity so her trip is complete. I'm going to TRY to do I-rod updates in the Coffee Break section - but you'll have to rely on Eileen for the accounting of her own adventures.
  7. Thanks, Julie and Ruth! @Julie: I will tell her that. Right now she thinks her name is "Raven-Raven-butt-needs-shavin'" because we had some unfortunate matting issues (her tail now looks like a comb with half the teeth missing), so she's had a lot of practice with "be-still-GOOD-dog!". Also the ever-popular "get-in-the-back-GOOD-dog!" since it's winter, which, as everyone knows, means COFFEE DRIVE-THROUGH KIOSK SEASON!!! EVERY 40 MINUTES!!! AND GIMME A BISCUIT FOR MY OXIOUS OBNOXIOUS DOG OR I'LL STAB YOU WITH MY STRAW!!! (accompanied by wild-eyed slavering). Raven is fairly certain the way to guarantee the dog-biscuit portion of the program is to lean over my shoulder with her front feet perched on the door at the open window, or possibly to actually attempt to enter the kiosk through ITS open window, all whilst looking freakin' adorable. After all that effort, she'll be excited to get just a plain old "Good dog!" without having to work for it. @Ruth: Many of my patients suffer from an acute version, which consists of just such antics as you describe, usually occurring while I am attempting to listen to their chests with my stethoscope. I hear it can cause headaches, fat lips and black eyes (in the owner, of course). This can also lead to embarrassing questions and remarks (such as: "Well, I know you didn't get that black eye from a man, because you'd be in jail for murder" and "Date with OJ Simpson?") so there should be some sort of insurance compensation you ought to be able to claim from your insurer, IMO. I'd be willing to write you a doctor's note, but those people have NO sense of humor.
  8. This whole thread is cracking me up. I think the "whelping" thing must be a semi-common misconception; we have clients every so often who are sure that "whelping" means "some form of vocalization, regardless of species, and often indicating pain or distress." Sometimes clients come up with misnomers that they don't realize are misnomers: they want to get their dog spaded (spayed); one time their dog had a nostalgic gaze (nystagmus); their dog had leprosy (epilepsy) and Noxema (eczema); their dog is a tomb-lilly (cryptorchid). Other times they've forgotten the word and know it. I had a client once tell me a sheep expert had told her her sheep had some disease... some disease called... called... she exclaims in exasperation: "Oh, drat, I was SURE I'd remember it! It's something like 'oxious naseous'." Er...? I rack my brain. I can think of nothing whatsoever that sounds like oxious naseous - nothing that sounds even close, in fact. But in the weird way of brains (or at least MY brain), words pop into my head. "Actinomyces pyogenes?" I ask her hesitantly, thinking: That is not even CLOSE, you dork, why are you even mentioning it? Imagine my surprise when she goes, "YES! That's it!" It's my favorite disease now. Every diisease that I'm having trouble diagnosing, every nebulopathy and mystery complaint, every obscure disease, is oxious naseous. I should point out that Raven sometimes has a variant known as "oxious obnoxious", characterized by repeated attempts to sit in my lap while I am driving or trying to eat, knit or read. It occasionally causes seizure-like activity - in the owner, mind you, not the dog - in which she slides her muzzle under my chin and then shoves it abruptly upwards, evidently in an attempt to make me pet her - or ditch my truck, whichever. Fortunately it can be cured my means of judicious swearing, although if you laugh while applying this treatment, it inactivates the cure. Maybe I should start working on a vaccine...
  9. Take her in. If it's nothing, you'll rest easy. If it's something, earlier is better for treatment. If cost is a concern, ask about costs before diagnostics. Just my opinion... my medical opinion, in this case.
  10. FWIW - and speaking AS a vet - I'd rather know if there's a problem. For the most part my time is involved with doing patient and client care one-on-one, and I would not know about things that happen at the front desk unless someone tells me. I typically don't charge out my clients - that's the reception staff's job, and I usually have another case I need to get to. I also don't answer the phones very often, so unless someone mentions to me they had a bad experience or noticed a problem, I'm usually not going to know. Even if you decide to change vets, I'd let them now what the issues are. And, if they are responsive, you may not NEED to change vets. JMO.
  11. I don't get it either. It's a HUGE marketing success, really... being able to sell mixed-breed dogs for two or three times what either papered parent would go for. (Although maybe that in itself is a bit of a marketing ploy, as well, in certain hands.) Regardless, I just do not get it how everyone and their brother suddenly could charge these massive fees for what are (however nice the individual dogs may be) basically mutts. Unfortunately there is a major "ka-ching!" factor in these dogs. I had a client a few years ago who had paid over $2000 for a labradoodle. She told me during the exam that she was going to get another one and breed labradoodles. It took me a while to make her understand that if she wanted to breed labradoodles, she needed to get a lab and a poodle; the whole F1 cross and independant assortment of genes thing was a bit over her head. Eventually, however, I got through to her that two F1 crosses when bred together would NOT produce a uniform puppy crop that all resembled the F1's. She was pretty disappointed to hear that. She DID, however, decide not to breed labradoodles, which was the most important part of that communication.
  12. Also on the sam-e, it should be given on an empty stomach and followed with food an hour later (the amino acids in the food aid in the metabolism of it, and the empty stomach increases the chances of it a) exiting the stomach before breaking down, and b ) hitting a more alkaline pH in the stomach than in a fed animal, also in the interest of having the pill exit the stomach before being broken down.) FWIW, I've had pretty good results with that protocol (although I generally use Denemarin, a combined product; Denosyl is the single-product sam-e).... my assessment of efficacy being based on clinical response and repeat bloodwork.
  13. A very small bit. Hormones act in tiny amounts, so it doesn't take much tissue to potentially create an issue. If the remnant is ectopic (as in, was not originally part of the ovary proper, but was instead a little nub of renegade ovarian tissue located elsewhere), it might be tough to find. If it's a little bit remaining on the ovarian stump - well, that's in a known position so there's a reasonably good chance of success there. As for the argyria, a couple of things: One, not all people appear to be equally susceptible to that effect; Two, it may have something to do with the specific product used; and Three, it may be dose- and duration-related, and may or may not involve combination with other products. However, argyria is apparently irreversible, and I personally prefer not to take a chance that I'll spend the rest of my life looking like a 3-day-old corpse (it may not be much of a face, but I like it the color it is now; I'm vain that way). I'd also prefer that I am still able to assess color on my patients' gums, scleras, (etc), so I'd prefer not to have THEM have it, either. Since (at the moment) there do not appear to be good predictors of who will and who won't be affected, I'll pass. That's just me, though. You should of course do as you feel best, and your vet can see your animals and I cannot, so I'm in no way advising you what to do there. I'm merely reporting my results on testing. So far, I've had 100% failure on colloidal silver. I have, however, been able to affect the bacterial lawn with water (in what appears to be a simple matter of dilution). I of course do not know if that was a factor in the cases of which you speak; nor do I know if your vet has run any objective tests to assess efficacy. If you and your vet want to use it, I can't object to that. I'll hold my dissenting opinion in view of MY results with it, but when it comes to what your vet advises you to do or what works in their hands, I have no dog in that fight. Do as you think best. Anne, wiht the amount of pus you're describing, I seriously doubt it's a vaginitis. I don't think that amount of pus would be likely to occur without uterine involvement. JMO, of course.
  14. If it's an open pyo (stump or otherwise) you absolutely can treat it with antibiotics (I'd advise systemic, personally). If you're trying to get through a trial or something like that and it's an open pyo (is showing discharge), then using AB's til you get past your trial (or lambing, or whatever event(s) you need the dog for at the moment) seems quite reasonable, so long as the dog is repsonding. If it IS in fact a pyo and not some other process, then yes, they should be looking for an ovarian remnant. You would definitely expect a recurrence in 6 months or so. Pyometra happens AFTER the dog goes into heat, which requires some remant ovarian tissue, so the next time the dog goes into heat would be the next time you'd expect to see a problem. Recurrence rate on pyometra approaches 100% on the subsequent heat(s) UNLESS the dog is bred and achieves a pregnancy (obviously not going to happen in a spayed bitch). Unfortunately when the pyo signs occur it would generally be too late to do a vaginal cytology or check hormone levels since the estrus would already be over. If you were to note signs of estrus (vulvar enlargement, males being "romantically" interested in her) in about 4 to 5 months from now, you COULD do a cytology then and see if she looks like an estrous bitch. One problem: even if this pyo is open, the next one might be closed, so it might be hard to tell she has it at first; that would mean she'd be at risk of getting pretty sick before you figured out what was happening. I'll have to dissent on the colloidal silver. I know a lot of people believe in it, but - apart from the argyria risk, which is enough to put me off it, regardless - I've twice run tests on it here. I plated out a bacterial lawn, applied colloidal silver, and assessed response. Both times I had ZERO inhibition with it. Zero. Distilled water is as effective. I also did a test once with lavender oil; this was on a really nasty, multi-drug resistant ear infection containing at least three and possibly four different bacterial populations. No antibiotic I tested killed all of the poulations. Some killed nothing, some killed one or two poulations, but nothing killed all of them... except the lavender oil. That wiped out everything - and the incubator smelled really good! (Unfortunately, the dog wouldn't tolerate the lavender oil topically, so it ended up going to surgery anyway.)
  15. Well, I have access to one such professional board. AK is not a big HW area (lowest incidence in the U.S.), so it's less of an issue for us (although I have treated 2 HW positive dogs in the last year, and another doc at our clinic has treated one.) In ALL of the above cases, the infestations occurred in dogs who were NOT on appropriate HW prevantative. One was a stray found by clients who were vacationing in AR; the other two were compliance failures. I don't have followup on all of them as not all of them are my own patients, but where I do have followup, treatment has been effective (as in, patient doing well, with no further evidence of infestation.) There are a couple of threads about "resistance" of heartworms, both to preventatives and to treatment in HW positive dogs... but if you read the threads in question, it is NOT clear that there is resistance actually occurring. There are several issues being brought up, including compliance failures in dosing the prophylactics, differences between various treatment protocols for adult HW, differences in type of testing used to determine if the dog is HW positive, differences in the FDA reporting guidelines since 2003, and the fact that exposure may be significantly different recently than it has been in the past (in part due to the number of hurricanes and the resultant shift in mosquito populations and associated epidemiology.) What that indicates to me - and several of the boarded experts responding to the thread - is that more reporting is going on, which may be part of the PERCEIVED increase in cases; and that patient exposure to HW is different (and increased) in recent years, in effect "overburdening" the meds as normally given in the standard protocol. This is not proof of "superworms" that are resistant to the meds (to prove that, specific studies would have to be done; in one thread on HW, a study was said to be underway at Auburn, but no results were posted, and it will probably be another year before publication). One point to bear in mind: If you have a drug that is 99% effective, there are ALWAYS going to be the 1%-ers who fail the protocol. Even if the drug is STILL 99% effective, if you have higher exposure rates and parasite burdens (because of a change in mosquito population dynamics), there is going to be a larger total # of animals who are not cleared of the entire parasite burden. This has nothing to do with drug resistance. It has to do with parasite burden and exposure. As a BTW, the threads on this subject are from early to mid-2009 or before. I found nothing in 2010. I will not be attending the sympsium in Memphis (I know! Shocking!) - but I'll be interested to see what the final data are when the dust settles.
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