Posts Tagged ‘Medical Advocacy’

A Gift From Alice!

June 16, 2009

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

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot
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A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com

A Delightful Coincidence

May 30, 2009

Seung will be entering his last year of veterinary school at Colorado State University.  On top of his busy academic load, he manages to work part time as a technician at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency Clinic. As a way of figuring out which area of specialization to pursue following graduation he decided to experience an externship in a large emergency/specialty hospital.  His wife Stephanie heard my NPR interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross and suggested that Seung consider my hospital.  Being the good husband that he is, he did exactly that- an externship was arranged.  Imagine his surprise (and mine) when Seung learned that one of his coworkers at the Emergency Clinic is none other than my 22-year-old son, Jacob!  Seung has stayed in our home and worked at my hospital this week.  He’s an exceptional student who is going to go far in the veterinary profession, and we’ve enjoyed his company enormously.  What a delightful coincidence! 

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://www.twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Nancy-Kay/105415179814?ref=share

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – 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

Traveling with Spot

May 23, 2009

Speaking for Spot has taken me on quite a journey!  My book has opened doors to many fabulous invitations and opportunities. Here are a couple of examples.  Three weeks ago I was honored to give the keynote address at the Bergin University of Canine Studies commencement ceremony.  Located in Santa Rosa, California, this organization’s stated mission is advancement of the human-canine partnership through research and education.  Bergin University is the home of the Assistance Dog Institute in which dogs are trained for a variety of service jobs.  At the graduation ceremony I attended, three dogs began a lifetime of assistance work and companionship for three individuals with physical disabilities.  A fourth dog joined a family to assist with the needs of an autistic child.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!  In the course of my speech I discussed how my work and the work of Assistance Dog Institute both advance the human animal bond- we simply approach it from different angles.  While they train dogs to become advocates for their humans, I train humans to become advocates for their dogs. 

This past weekend, I paid a visit to the Argus Institute in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.  The mission of the Argus Institute is to strengthen veterinarian-client-patient communication and support relationships between people and their companion animals.  Not only do they provide a tremendous support system for people experiencing grief about the loss or illness of a beloved pet, they also provide a comprehensive curriculum on client communication for Colorado State University veterinary students.  Believe it or not, most vet schools provide no formal training in client communication.  I was tremendously impressed by what I saw and learned at the Argus Institute and was privileged to provide a lecture while there on the topic of “How Veterinary Clients’ Expectations Are Changing.” 

I invite you to learn more about these two wonderful organizations by visiting www.assistancedog.org and www.argusinstitute.colostate.edu

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 – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Nancy-Kay/105415179814?ref=share 

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – 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

Speaking for Spot is published!

September 24, 2008

Dear Reader,

 

If a piece of your heart belongs to a dog, you’ll want to read SPEAKING FOR SPOT: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.

 

I am a huge believer in the value of medical advocacy. It ensures our active participation and results in educated decision-making. These days, we humans wouldn’t dream of silently sitting by while the doctor scribbles a prescription and shows us the door—we ask questions, get second opinions, and compare treatment options.

 

Doesn’t your dog deserve the same careful attention to his medical care?

 

SPEAKING FOR SPOT will take you from vet-shy to advocacy pro: Vaccinations? Medication? Surgery? Anesthesia? Second opinions? Pet insurance? It’s in there! Find advice for choosing the ideal veterinarian, paying for diagnostics and treatment, and making tough decisions about cancer and euthanasia. Plus, I’ve provided handy lists of common symptoms and diseases, along with the questions you should ask about them.

 

Visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from the book, and enter to win one of five free autographed books and a personal phone consultation to discuss ways to advocate for your dog’s health care needs.

 

Wishing you and your dog good health,

 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine