Archive for the ‘Puppies’ Category

How to Trick a Tick

March 25, 2009

How to Trick a Tick

 

I recently learned a fabulous new trick from Jessica, a nurse at my hospital.  I was in our treatment room preparing to remove a tick from the base of my dog’s ear.  Lucky dogs, Nellie and Quinn got to tag along with my husband and me on a recent horse camping trip. Quinnie, the more adventurous of the two returned home with a tick.  When nurse Jessica observed me in the treatment room with thumb forceps in hand (my tick removal instrument of choice), she asked, “Would you like me to show you how to spin a tick?”  I’d never heard of such a thing, but I offered forth the mighty Quinn and invited her to demonstrate.

 

Here is what Jessica did.  She placed her index finger on the tick and then rotated her finger counter clockwise in small steady circles.  I liken it to using your index finger to perform light pressure circles on the end of your nose.  Low and behold, within approximately 20 seconds the tick, completely in tact, detached itself from Quinn (my boy thought he was receiving a massage).  After performing this magic, Jessica assured me with utter confidence that it “works every time.”

 

I was thrilled by what I saw.  Not only had this “old dog” learned a new trick, I was delighted by the prospect of employing a tick removal technique that is comfortable for the patient and avoids leaving tick mouthparts behind (a source of chronic irritation for the patient).  The next time you discover a tick on your dog or cat, I encourage you to don a plastic glove (prevents tick-borne infectious diseases from entering your body via a skin crack or abrasion) and try this “spin the tick” method.  Please let me know if it works for you.  By the way, spinning clockwise or counter clockwise should do the trick!

 

 

Quinn (left) and Nellie (right).  Photo by Susannah Kay

 

 

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.

Wishing you and your dog good health,

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

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?story Id=102105836

Advertisements

Magic!

March 17, 2009

Magic was an incredibly smart and affectionate Rottweiler mix lovingly cared for by Matt, Shannon and their two children.  Her final years were a challenge because of diabetes and blindness.  When the quality of Magic’s life dramatically diminished and there was no hope for improvement, Matt and Shannon opted for euthanasia. Magic passed away peacefully at my hospital while lying on her favorite blue and white checkered blanket, surrounded by her doting human family members. 

 

That was just a few months ago.  When I’ve spoken with Matt and Shannon since, it has been clear that Magic’s absence has created a huge void. They and their children are all experiencing and working through their grief a little bit differently. Not surprisingly they’ve had some debates about when to consider adopting another dog.  The kids are clearly ready- Matt and Shannon haven’t been so sure, that is until they received my email about two abandoned Rottweiler mamas and their 15 mixed breed puppies (see previous blog posts at http://www.speakingforspot.com), The photos that accompanied my description of the dogs were utterly compelling to them. Not only did the appearance of the mother remind them of their Magic, the blanket she and her pups were lying on happened to be the exact same blue and white checkered blanket they’d left at my hospital with their beloved girl (keep in mind, we have literally hundreds of blankets to choose from in our hospital)!

 

Needless to say, a quick family conference determined that a puppy visit was in order.  Now Matt, Shannon, and their kids have only a few more weeks to wait before Charlie- a plump little female with German Shepherd type markings- becomes part of their family.   What a lucky puppy!

 

Some refer to such interesting life events as synchronicity.  Deepak Chopra would likely refer to this story as a “divine coincidence.”  I prefer to think of it as Magic!

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

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.  
 

Wishing you and your dog good health,

 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Look for us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/speakingforspot

 

Victims Come in All Sizes

February 20, 2009

As I was hanging out in the midst of our busy hospital treatment room during emergency hours a few of nights ago I was impressed at how much was going on all at once. On one treatment table was a pregnant Chihuahua experiencing difficulty passing her pups. On another table was a thirteen-year-old dog in a state of shock after trauma inflicted by other dogs in the neighborhood. An anesthetized kitty with a urinary tract blockage was being tended to on a third table. Things got even busier when a receptionist entered the treatment room with two stray Rottweilers in tow. The woman who dropped them off said she found them in a local shopping center parking lot. Both Rotties were gorgeous with wonderfully sweet dispositions – their little stub-tailed hind ends wiggled frantically in response to our attention. Additionally, it was apparent that both dogs were profoundly pregnant.

We hoped these two girls just happened to have busted out of their yard- perhaps a gate had been left open. We envisioned an anxious family frantic to find their pregnant dogs. Our optimism quickly dissipated as we discovered no collars, no identification microchips, and no one searching to reclaim their lost dogs in spite of our efforts to let every local shelter, pound, and veterinary hospital know about our new charges. Looking back, it seemed a bit suspicious that the woman who dropped them off happened to have a crate in the back of her truck large enough to hold two large dogs.

We turned one of our visiting rooms into a whelping pen and over the course of three hours our two strays morphed into twelve as one of the dogs delivered 10 beautiful, healthy pups. Some of them looked like “mom”, others revealed that “dad” was something other than a Rottweiler. Mama was a natural- licking and cleaning- doing everything just right, including letting complete strangers cut umbilical cords, inspect puppies, change bedding, and take her out for potty breaks while telling her what a perfect princess she was. Thus far, mama number two has not yet whelped.

I find myself longing to know the names of these two dogs (thinking they would enjoy hearing them) and wondering if they are missing their favorite humans. Clearly, both had been well socialized and cared for with sleek shiny hair coats and substantial body weights. And why were they given up? Were all of these dogs simply victims of tough economic times? Perhaps the prospects of finding homes for so many nonpurebred pups was daunting. The good news is that these mothers found their way to a “birthing center” where they and their pups would be well cared for.

While we are awaiting the arrival of litter number two, plans are in the works to place moms and pups with one or two Rottweiler rescue organizations. The big-hearted people who run such rescue organizations (some are breed-specific, others are not) are intent on making sure that needy dogs get second chances. If interested in an adult Rottweiler (who will need to be spayed) or mixed breed pup, feel free to contact me via my website – www.speakingforspot.com.

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.

Wishing you and your dog good health,

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

Nellie and Quinn

December 14, 2008

We lost both of our elderly dogs within close succession within the past 18 months. My husband and I experienced “doglessness“ for the first time in thirty years, that is until a sweet little “Jack Russell something or other” showed up at my hospital. A good samaritan brought her in after finding her wandering the streets of a neighboring town. She was an introverted little wreck of a dog- emaciated with horrible skin disease, and in fulminant heat. X-rays revealed that someone had good aim when they shot at her with a BB gun. There was just something about her eyes that made it clear she and I needed each other.

Since then, our Nellie has evolved into a perky, svelte little girl- loving and adored by the entire family (including the cats). She has learned to trust and is beginning to play with other dogs. Nellie is our very first small dog and we’ve discovered that such little canines are downright handy! So easy to bathe and a cinch to travel with! No she’s not much of a watchdog, but fortunately where we live, there’s not much need for that. Admittedly, we were a bit put out with our girl when we returned home one evening to find Nellie pretending to be asleep on our bed while a raccoon was dining at the cat food bowl, having found entry into our house via the dog door!

Approximately a week ago, we decided we were ready once again to become a two-dog household. Our 16-year-old daughter was overjoyed and spent an entire day on line looking for the dog with just the right description. Well, she managed to find him! He is a 3-month-old pup that was retrieved from the opposite of a “no kill” shelter in Bakersfield, California. A rescue organization called The Dog Spot consists of a core of dedicated volunteers who retrieve dogs from overcrowded California shelters and then foster them until suitable homes can be found. They concentrate on retrieving older adult dogs that are unlikely to be adopted. Apparently, on this last trip, they simply couldn’t resist a particular batch of pups (our new dog was among them) that were first in line to be euthanized. Some of the dogs The Dog Spot heroes retrieve are physically and/or emotionally damaged. Nonetheless they receive all the medical care and emotional support their dear bodies and minds are longing for. Kudos to this wonderful organization!

I consider myself quite talented at being able to glance at a mutt and, within seconds have a pretty darned good idea of who the parents were. With our new little fella I haven’t a clue! He’s been with us for three days and I’ve already talked myself in and out of a Corgi, Sheltie, Papillon, Cavalier, Basenji, and Chihuahua. I think we’re going to have to watch him figure out his body a little bit before I make my final guess. Who knows, maybe we’ll even wind up doing some genetic testing! I’m not sure how this little gem of a dog wound up at a shelter, but I do have the sense he’s been treated with kindness. We’ve decided to call him Quinn.