Sorry, It’s Personal

This issue contains a lot of information that I needed as much as anyone (though I hope it helps you, too!).


Recently, I posted an apology of sorts on the WDJ blog site explaining that, while WDJ isn’t by any stretch just about my dogs, several articles in the June issue actually might be. Which came first? The articles or my doggie disasters? A little of both!

whole dog journal editor nancy kerns

One of our newest contributing authors is a veterinarian who practiced emergency medicine for more than nine years. She’s been the impetus for our recent rash of articles about various ways to prevent canine health emergencies, and how to behave if you, despite your best efforts, end up dealing with one anyway. (Speaking of rashes – perhaps I should ask Dr. Ashe to write about that?)

Shortly after she proposed to write something for us about assessing and treating wounds, my impulsive young dog, Woody, had a run-in (run-through?) with some rusty barbed wire, and ended up with gashes on the bridge of his nose and one foreleg. Mind you, when this happened, he was still sporting staples from his previous fetch-related wounds! And now, rusty wire? Suddenly my mind was racing: Do dogs get tetanus? Do dogs get tetanus shots? Should I go get Woody a tetanus shot?

Then it struck me: I wonder how many others don’t know the answers to these questions? I asked Dr. Ashe to include answers to all these questions in her articles, “How to Treat Dog Wounds“, and “Can Dogs Get Tetanus?“. If you do, you will be treated to a photo of Woody’s latest scar-in-the-making. (He’s going to look like a fighting dog in no time. Oy!)

Another one of our new contributing author/veterinarians, Dr. Kyle Grusling, offered to write about next-step diagnostic tests for dogs. I have to admit that I wanted to read the article she wrote before making an appointment for my 10-year-old dog, Otto, to have some of these very diagnostics – not as a follow-up to earlier tests, but just as an extra precaution for a large, senior dog. If Otto ever gets cancer or some other serious condition, I want to know as early as possible so I can have the best chance of treating and beating anything that ails him.

Finally, after attending the annual conference of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants in Boston in April, where I learned all about Fear Free veterinary practices, I’ve decided I’m not going to have abdominal ultrasounds or abdominal radiographs done on Otto anywhere except a Fear Free veterinary clinic that allows me to be with him, or within his view. One of the last times he was at the vet he got so scared “in the back” that he released his anal glands. I’m just not going to let that happen again. For more information about the practice of taking dogs “in the back” for examination, tests, and treatment at veterinary clinics, read Linda Case’s article, “Veterinary Visits: It’s Important to Be There for Your Dog“.