A woman named Alice recently sent an email via my website asking me for guidance. Her veterinarian had recommended dental cleaning for her seven-year-old Shiba Inu (an adorable breed) named Posey. While Alice was in agreement that the dental cleaning was truly warranted, she was terribly worried about Posey undergoing general anesthesia. Posey had no significant risks for anesthesia, but Alice was influenced by the painful loss of her last dog who died unexpectedly under anesthesia. Her email was sent to solicit my advice on how to proceed.
I certainly understood Alice’s concerns- who wouldn’t feel the same way? I responded to her email by encouraging her to read the chapter in Speaking for Spot called “Important Questions to Ask Your Vet….and How to Ask Them.” Specifically I referred her to the list of nine questions she would find within the chapter pertaining to general anesthesia such as:
-How can we be certain my dog is a good candidate for anesthesia?
-Will an intravenous (IV) catheter be placed prior to anesthesia?
-What anesthetic monitoring equipment will be used?
Alice responded a few days later. The tone of her email had changed entirely- she sounded profoundly upbeat. She had asked her veterinarian all nine questions from the book. As a result, she felt empowered and had tremendous confidence moving forward with Posey’s dental work. Two weeks later I heard from Alice again. Posey’s dental work was completed and everything proceeded without a hitch (and Posey’s breath was vastly improved). What a fabulous gift such feedback is for me! It makes all that effort that went into Speaking for Spot feel incredibly worthwhile. Thank you Alice!
Wishing you and your four-legged family members good health,
Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross