Archive for August, 2009

Back By Popular Demand- Dr. Nancy Kay on Fresh Air with Terry Gross!

August 30, 2009

“A Veterinarian Advises How to Speak for Spot”

Monday, August 31, 2009

This week will be “Animal Week” on the popular NPR show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  The lead interview will feature Dr. Nancy Kay and her book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.  This interview originally aired in March and earned the #1 spot on NPR’s “most recommended” list.

Dr. Kay’s interview will be broadcast on August 31st by your local NPR station and streamed via the NPR website (http://freshair.npr.org).  In the future you can readily access the interview as a Fresh Air archived podcast and via ITunes. 

Visit http://www.npr.org/audiohelp/progstream.html to access links for each of these options. 

Please feel free to share this information with friends and relatives along with any organizations devoted to the well being of animals.

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.

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

AKC Genome Barks

August 28, 2009

The AKC Canine Health Foundation has released it’s newest podcast.

AKC Canine Health Foundation News Alert

American Kennel Club and AKC Canine Health Foundation Release Podcast about the Similarities between Human and Canine Disease [Thursday, August 27, 2009]

The American Kennel Club and the AKC Canine Health Foundation are pleased to debut the next podcast in the Genome Barks series.

This week, the Genome Barks podcast series welcomes Dr. Simon Gregory, a human cancer researcher at Duke University. Dr. Gregory is working with Dr. Matthew Breen, a canine cancer researcher at North Carolina State University, on brain tumors. This podcast discusses the similarities between human and canine disease.

The Genome Barks podcast series features lectures from the highly successful AKC-CHF Breeders Symposia and provides responsible breeders and pet owners an inside look at the work being done by the AKC and the AKC Canine Health
Foundation.

New podcasts are released every two weeks and can be accessed from either the American Kennel Club website at http://www.akc.org or the AKC Canine Health Foundation website at www.akcchf.org – click on “Podcasts.” They are also available on Apple’s iTunesR or directly at www.genomebarks.com

Clubs are encouraged to add the Genome Barks Podcast link to their home pages.

AKC Canine Health Foundation
http://www.akcchf.org

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members much good health!

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

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

If I Were a Philadelphia Eagles Fan…..

August 18, 2009

Michael Vick’s reentry into professional football, the latest update in his life story, has me wondering how I would feel if I happened to be an ardent Philadelphia Eagle fan. Honestly, I’m not altogether sure. Would I believe that everyone is deserving of a second chance? Would I boycott the games, or choose to watch but cheer every time Michael Vick fumbled the ball or threw an interception? Would I hate Michael Vick for his heinous actions, or could I muster up compassion for a guy whose upbringing allowed him to think that treating living creatures in such a horrifying fashion was perfectly okay?

As a resident of California with no real interest in professional football, I’m thankful that I don’t have to decide how to support my home team. However, as someone who devotes a significant portion of her life to the wellbeing of animals, I certainly feel conflicted. Here is my strategy. I’m going to try to temper any outrage and anger with hope for the goodness that might arise from the Michael Vick saga. Yes, I do believe there is some potential for some sweetness in this sour situation. Dog fighting has made it to center stage in terms of media attention. This increased awareness will hopefully be accompanied by greater action to vilify and stop such ugly exploitation of animals. Vick now has phenomenal opportunities to utilize his celebrity stature for the benefit of animals. I hope he will become a sincere (I’ll settle simply for believable) high profile champion of organizations, activities, and legislation that support the welfare of animals. Michael Vick cannot undo what’s been done, but he certainly holds much positive potential in his hands, above and beyond merely a football. Michael Vick now has the opportunity to change his legacy. For the sake of animals everywhere, I hope he does exactly that.

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members much good health!

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

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

If I Were a Philadelphia Eagles Fan…..

August 18, 2009

Michael Vick’s reentry into professional football, the latest update in his life story, has me wondering how I would feel if I happened to be an ardent Philadelphia Eagle fan. Honestly, I’m not altogether sure. Would I believe that everyone is deserving of a second chance? Would I boycott the games, or choose to watch but cheer every time Michael Vick fumbled the ball or threw an interception? Would I hate Michael Vick for his heinous actions, or could I muster up compassion for a guy whose upbringing allowed him to think that treating living creatures in such a horrifying fashion was perfectly okay?

As a resident of California with no real interest in professional football, I’m thankful that I don’t have to decide how to support my home team. However, as someone who devotes a significant portion of her life to the wellbeing of animals, I certainly feel conflicted. Here is my strategy. I’m going to try to temper any outrage and anger with hope for the goodness that might arise from the Michael Vick saga. Yes, I do believe there is some potential for some sweetness in this sour situation. Dog fighting has made it to center stage in terms of media attention. This increased awareness will hopefully be accompanied by greater action to vilify and stop such ugly exploitation of animals. Vick now has phenomenal opportunities to utilize his celebrity stature for the benefit of animals. I hope he will become a sincere (I’ll settle simply for believable) high profile champion of organizations, activities, and legislation that support the welfare of animals. Michael Vick cannot undo what’s been done, but he certainly holds much positive potential in his hands, above and beyond merely a football. Michael Vick now has the opportunity to change his legacy. For the sake of animals everywhere, I hope he does exactly that.

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members much good health!

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

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Veterinary Care Links and Resources for You and Your Four-Legged Family Members

August 15, 2009

Some new educational links and resources have just been added to my website! I invite you to visit www.speakingforspot.com and take advantage of all that is there. In addition to the “Advocacy Aids” (free downloadable health care forms for your dog or cat), you will now find resources and links about all of the following:

1. Behavior & Training
2. Canine Disease Registries
3. Deciding Whether Veterinary Pet Insurance is Right for You
4. Disaster Preparedness
5. Disease-Specific Information
6. Paying for Veterinary Care
7. Pet Loss and Grief
8. Symptom-Specific Information
9. Veterinary References
10. Veterinary Specialty Organizations
11. What to Do When the Diagnosis is Cancer

All of this new material can be found on our “For Dog Lovers” pages. It has been designed to supplement the tools and information found in Speaking for Spot, and will be updated on a regular basis to keep you informed about advances in veterinary medicine. I hope you will find it useful and welcome your feedback. Please let me know what you think and advise me of any additions or changes that would make you happy.

Please feel free to link to our website and share the information with your animal-loving friends and relatives.

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members much good health!

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

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Follow our Blog on Networked Blogs

August 13, 2009

A “First” in Veterinary Medicine

August 10, 2009

Diagnosing and treating canine and feline cancer is part of the daily routine for most veterinary specialists.  In fact, I’ve guesstimated that 75 percent of the patients I care for have cancer. Depending on which source you read (and believe) as many as 50 percent of our companion animals will develop cancer at some point during their lives.  Depressing stuff, I know, but perhaps this is why I’m particularly excited about a new drug called Palladia, recently introduced by Pfizer Animal Health. 

Palladia (toceranib phosphate) is the very first drug ever developed specifically for the treatment of cancer in dogs.  We are using it to treat a common type of canine cancer called mast cell disease.  Mast cells normally function in the body as part of the immune system.  In fact, they are the cells primarily responsible for producing allergic reactions.  Just as with other types of tumors, mast cell cancer develops when these cells proliferate in an unregulated fashion. Palladia is being used to treat dogs with mast cell tumors within the skin (where they most commonly arise) that cannot be cured surgically.  The drug works directly at the level of the cancer cell and interferes with blood flow to the tumor. 

Palladia is an exciting, new treatment option for dogs with mast cell tumors.  I’m pleased that, for the first time, an effective cancer-fighting medication has been developed specifically for the veterinary profession. Please let me know if your dog happens to have mast cell cancer.  I will be happy to provide you with more details about treatment options.

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged best friend good health! 

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. 

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross –

Givin’ it Up For Spot

August 9, 2009

A recent issue of the journal called Tobacco Control reported that approximately 28 percent of cigarette smokers would try to quit if they knew that secondhand smoke might endanger their pets.  Among the authors of this article is the late Ronald Davis, MD, who championed the One Health Initiative when he was president of the American Medical Association. (One Health Initiative is a movement to forge co-equal, all-inclusive collaborations between physicians, veterinarians, and other scientific-health related disciplines.)

The researchers conducted an online survey of 3,293 adults who lived with pets.  Approximately 21 percent were smokers and 27 percent lived with a smoker.  When informed of the dangers of secondhand smoke to their pets, a percentage of respondents indicated that, not only would they try to quit, they would try to convince other smokers in the household to quit smoking indoors or quit smoking altogether. The researchers concluded that educational campaigns about the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure to pets would convince some people to quit smoking, or at least make their homes smoke free. 

This is great news, from both the human-health and the pet-health perspectives. We know that cigarette smoke can cause bronchitis in dogs and asthma in cats.  Additionally, just as in people, cigarette smoke can cause cancer.  Whenever I examine a cat or dog with symptoms referable to asthma or bronchitis, I always ask if anyone in the household is a smoker.  Sometimes I don’t even have to ask the question because my patient’s hair coat reeks of cigarette smoke!

Do any of your friends or relatives smoke around their four-legged family members?  If so, talk to them about the dangers of second hand smoke.  The data from Tobacco Control suggests that approximately 28 percent of them will change their habits based on your conversation!  Please let me hear from you after you’ve had a chance to conduct your own research.

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged best friend a most enjoyable and safe summer! 

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. 

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross –

Africa!

August 4, 2009

My husband, children, and I just returned from a sojourn in Africa, enjoying the diverse landscapes and cultures of Kenya. Africa is a dream come true for most veterinarians- my husband and I are no exceptions!  Observing the magnificence of the animals and their behaviors was every bit as amazing as we thought it would be.  Some of it was challenging for me to watch- cheetah cubs “playing” several minutes with a gazelle fawn before mama cheetah closed in for the kill; a young wildebeest with a newly broken leg sustained during the chaos of the Great Migration river crossing.  I saw enough mating lions to last me a lifetime and could have spent days rather than hours watching baboon and Vervet monkey antics.   

© Susannah Kay 2009

© Susannah Kay 2009

I expected the animals to be captivating.  What I did not expect was that the cultural aspects of the trip would “wow” me so profoundly. We had the privilege of living within a Masai community, meeting the families, learning their customs, and exchanging ideas. We thoroughly enjoyed the small island of Lamu, a Muslim community that has maintained traditional Swahili customs and lifestyle.  Lamu is devoid of cars- one travels on foot or via boat or donkey, and the mosque provides a 5:30 wake-up call to prayer every morning.  We survived the hustle and bustle, insane traffic, and congestion of Nairobi.  The peaceful tranquility of Mt. Kenya was captivating.  We visited four primary schools during our travels.  At each one the children were exceptionally well behaved and were learning sophisticated concepts in extremely primitive classrooms- often three to four children sharing one textbook, in a structure that people in my part of the world would not consider using as a barn.  They were enthralled with visitors from the “land of Barack Obama,” and many asked that we tell him, “hello” when we returned to our country.  By the way, the children were learning English in all of the schools we visited in Kenya. We visited a school for children with disabilities- a rare find in Africa where people with disabilities are often hidden from view.  Everywhere we traveled in Kenya, we were met with genuine hospitality, openness, and curiosity.  

© Susannah Kay 2009

© Susannah Kay 2009

I hope you enjoy the attached photos taken by my daughter, Susannah (www.skphotography.micksluck.com). 

© Susannah Kay 2009

© Susannah Kay 2009

 

© Susannah Kay 2009

© Susannah Kay 2009

 

© Susannah Kay 2009

© Susannah Kay 2009

Have you ever been to Kenya?  If so, I hope you will share some of your own stories!

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged best friend a most enjoyable and safe summer!

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

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross –