Denise Mankin, DVM, was on duty late one night in a Des Moines, Iowa, emergency veterinary clinic when Yeller, a Labrador Retriever, was rushed in sporting a fresh wound to his back. Yeller had been shot after escaping from his rural home. After stabilizing Yeller with IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medications, Mankin opened up the dog's abdomen to find blood filling his abdominal cavity. A bullet had perforated Yeller's small intestine in five different locations, and two of the sites were hemorrhaging profusely. Within moments, his blood pressure plummeted. As Mankin worked desperately to tie off the blood supply to his damaged bowel, Yeller went into cardiac arrest. Cardiac drugs restored Yeller's heart beat, and donor blood, having been warmed for transfusion, was pumped into him.
A training friend suggested that I read Low Stress Handling, Restraint, and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats, by applied animal behaviorist Sophia Yin, DVM, MS. As an owner whose dogs have taken their fair share of visits to vet clinics, I really liked what I read. Dr. Yin's text takes a critical look at how our pets are often handled in veterinary clinics and it's not pretty, as you may have seen yourself. Fortunately, she also offers common sense advice on approaching veterinary care so as to make it as stress-free as possible for our pets. Popular myths abound that force is needed to get animals to behave. Instead, Dr. Yin focuses on how to modify behavior quickly in a veterinary setting using a systematic and positive approach. Her methods involve classical conditioning to change the pet's emotional state; setting up the veterinary environment to ensure the pet's comfort; teaching us how to handle animals with appropriate, rather than stronger, restraint; and how to behave around animals so as to avoid creating problems.
Randy Boucher of Philadelphia took his new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy on her first veterinary visit armed with a binder full of diet and vaccine recommendations from his holistically oriented breeder.
In the past decade, the veterinary profession’s overall attitude toward vaccination has evolved to a point that can be tentatively termed progressive. In 2002, the American Veterinary Medical Association issued a policy statement that urged veterinarians to “customize” vaccine protocols for individual patients, since there is “inadequate data to scientifically determine a single best protocol” for initial or repeat vaccinations. A year later, the prestigious American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) released its landmark canine vaccination guidelines, which were updated in 2006.
Oh, the smell! Anyone who's ever been in the same room when a frightened dog blows" her anal glands or a veterinarian manually expresses them will never forget the malodorous experience. It's wise for dog owners to be aware of the problems that can arise with these glands
Have you ever known exactly what your dog wanted or needed by simply looking into his or her sweet brown eyes? Most of us have experienced this with our dogs. An owner’s insight regarding whether a dog would rather play tug or eat an early dinner may seem relatively unimportant in the greater scheme of things. But for many of us who have a close relationship with our dogs, we may have experienced that intuition on a much deeper level.
Every day the already dazzling array of options for caring for your dog grows even more. There are myriad modalities in the realm of holistic care, including complementary and alternative options, as well as conventional veterinary medicine, with its low- and high-tech diagnostic and treatment procedures. Which way do you go when your dog has a health concern?
as it is expressed here) and hemoglobin (HGB) indicate a mild anemia. Based on this
Why a blood test is an integral part of your dog’s requisite annual wellness exam, and how to get the most out of the blood chemistry test results. Most of the dog’s organ systems can be targeted by one chemical analysis or another, and with proper interpretation of one (or a combination of) these analyses, I can, at least in part, assess the dog’s current health/disease status. From this interpretation then, we can often derive a treatment regime, whether it is based on Western or alternative medicines. Isn’t science wonderful?
It’s not uncommon for animals to show signs of stress or trauma at the veterinarian’s office. These kinds of reactions at a veterinary hospital can become a conditioned response. Housecalls, then, offer a particularly desirable option for those who wish to limit their dog’s exposure to infectious agents, such as guardians who practice natural rearing methods and either don’t use vaccinations at all or limit their use significantly (particularly for well-puppy exams), or people whose dogs have a compromised immune system.
Let’s face it: Most dogs aren’t crazy about going to the vet. And why should they be? After all, vet visits are stressful at best. They often mean a new environment, slippery floors, and even more slippery exam tables. Vet offices are full of funny smells, scary sounds, strange people, and unknown animals. Plus, the poking and prodding they are subjected to can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. It may be overwhelming for even the most easygoing dog.
In every issue, Whole Dog Journal encourages its readers to “consult a holistic veterinarian.” But how do concerned dog owners find a holistic practitioner, and how do they assess that candidate’s qualifications? The answer to the first question is easy: You find a holistic veterinarian by contacting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association; the contact numbers are listed in "Resources" every month. The answer to the next question is difficult; my complete answer could fill an entire issue! But with just a few pages to speak my piece, I’ll give you my pared-down opinion on how to evaluate a practitioner’s ability to practice quality holistic medicine.