Archive for April, 2009

Walking to Cure Canine Cancer

April 21, 2009

This past Saturday, I saw four three-legged dogs- each one having lost a limb as part of their treatment for bone cancer. I met another sweetie pie with a shaved patch over one side of his chest. His mom told me this was the site where her pup’s chest cavity was drained of fluid produced by a cancer growing at the base of his heart. Yet another dog I encountered had an orange-sized tumor on the bridge of his nose.

 
Believe it or not, I met none of these dogs in a veterinary hospital setting; rather, we were all gathered in Elk Grove, California, the site of the very first Morris Animal Foundation Walk to Cure Canine Cancer. Morris Animal Foundation has launched an unprecedented $30 million fundraising effort with the following goals in mind:

 
1. Provide new treatments for dogs currently suffering from cancer
2. Establish a high-quality tumor sample bank that can be used by cancer researchers
3. Develop prevention strategies so that cancer might one day be eliminated or, at the very least, drastically reduced in incidence and severity
4. Train new researchers who will work towards discovering preventions, treatments and cures

 
An important part of the fundraising effort will be in the form of “Walks to Cure Canine Cancer.” The Elk Grove Walk raised $17,945! I had the honor of speaking at this fabulous first-of-its-kind event- what a thrill to be part of it all! More than 300 dogs and their humans gathered together in the fight against canine cancer.

 
As unfathomable as it sounds, cancer will be the cause of death in one out of every four of our beloved canine companions. There’s so much we don’t yet know about what causes canine cancer and how best to treat it. I’m thrilled with the Morris Animal Foundation plans. They are an incredibly ethical and effective organization, and I am expecting great things. To learn more about the Morris Animal Canine Cancer Campaign, please visit http://www.curecaninecancer.org/. I encourage you to participate in any way you can.

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836&ps=cprs

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BObama

April 15, 2009

It’s official! The Obama family has adopted a pup named Bo. Every journalist, commentator, and blogger will be looking for a unique angle on this fabulous story. Some will extol the virtues of Portugese Water Dogs compared to other breeds. Others will write about reputable breeders versus puppy mills, mutts versus purebreds, positive versus negative reinforcement training techniques, and even which pair of White House slippers will be the first to fall prey to puppy shenanigans.

Here’s what’s important to me about the “BObama story.” Although they may not know it yet, by saying, “yes” to a family dog, Michelle and Barack Obama will be providing their daughters with a gift of a lifetime! As the mother of three children who grew up with dogs, and as a veterinarian who has enjoyed countless wonderful stories of kids and their dogs, I predict the following for the First Family:

-Bo will be a “keeper of secrets” for Malia and Sasha when they are not sure anyone else can be trusted.

-The girls will turn to Bo for unconditional approval when they are feeling judged by the world around them.

-Bo will be allowed in the girls’ bedrooms when their need for privacy precludes all others from entering.

-During the “turbulent teens,” Bo will be the soft fluffy shoulder of choice for Malia and Sasha to cry on.

-When Mom and Dad are deemed to be utterly embarrassing, Bo will remain in Malia’s and Sasha’s good graces.

-When the girls leave home for college they will miss their mom and dad, but they will pine for Bo.

The President and First Lady are bound to be in store for some “Bo headaches” such as accidental puddles, over exuberance with White House visitors, and the creation of fringe on unfringed area rugs. Such nuisances will pale in comparison with the incredible reward of observing the giving and receiving of unconditional love in one of its purest forms- that which defines the relationship between a child and a dog.

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836

Speaking for Spot Contest Celebrates Be Kind to Animals Week

April 5, 2009

Be Kind to Animals Week has been celebrated every year since 1915. It is a special time for reflection on the role that animals play in our lives, and provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate care for the needs of our animal companions.

I’ve received many wonderfully positive comments in response to my recent Speaking for Spot Blog post called “How to Trick a Tick.” Now, in honor of the upcoming Be Kind to Animals Week, it’s your turn to provide me with your favorite tips and techniques! They can pertain to any aspect of canine health care (medications, grooming, feeding, exercise, safety tips, veterinary care, etc.). Here’s how it will work:

· Submit a tip of 100 words or less to dr.kay@speakingforspot.com on or before May 1, 2009.

· All submissions will be entered into a random drawing for an autographed copy of Speaking for Spot (there will be two winners).

· Two of the top tips will be featured in a future post on the Speaking for Spot blog.

· Winners will be selected and notified between May 3-9, during Be Kind to Animals Week.

If you would like to be added to the Speaking for Spot email list to receive periodic updates and blog posts, please note that in your email.

Thanks for entering and good luck!

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836