Spring is around the corner, and that is great news! We have already started planning some of our flower and vegetable gardens for the clinic. We all feel that it can’t come soon enough (by the way, that means Easter is here – please avoid buying an Easter Lily if you have cats). The first big piece of news is that we finally got this website up. The second piece of news is that we replaced our in house blood chemistry and complete blood count analyzers, and also bought a second dental machine. The thought of equipment failure during the middle of a dental has always bothered me. It is always safe to have a backup. We are doing some upgrades to the building, but our real dream is an ultrasound machine. That is a future purchase. Some of you may have noted some phone trouble in the last few months when calling the clinic. We got a new, professional phone system recently, and all I can say is, you would never expect that a phone system could be difficult to operate. If we dropped any of your calls, I apologize. I think we have it mostly ironed out now.
Bethany is in the last year of her training to become a certified technician. Even more impressive is that this will be her second degree, along with her Bachelors of Science. It has been a difficult task as she has been working full time with us and also took on many additional responsibilities at the clinic, as well as continuing her pursuits in the horse world. She will join Corinne as our second certified technician. I may be counting my chickens before the eggs hatch, but I have every faith in her. We will keep you posted on that as well. Continuing education opportunities are starting to flood in. Exciting stuff. We will keep you updated as to the CE that our staff attends. I think it is important, as meetings are how most veterinarians and technicians keep current with their knowledge.
Tracy and her husband Jason lost their family dog, Jack this last summer. He was elderly and had heart disease. Carrie, Ryan, Beth, and I all have elderly pets as well. They have special needs as they age. We have talked about the fact that it helps us understand what our clients can go through even more. Speaking of which, I had a client in several months ago, and she mentioned how she had just gone through the horrible process of dealing with a mite infestation in her chickens. Of course, I was sympathetic to what she had gone through, but I told her I had never dealt with any diseases in my own chicken flock. This month I realized that you should never congratulate yourself on how good of a job you are doing. Especially if you are just plain lucky. Yes, I discovered that at least one of my chickens has mites! You are often reminded by life to be a little more humble.
New drugs I like are Bravecto, which is an oral 3 month flea and tick preventative. I haven’t seen much in the way of reactions to it. It has been very popular and the most I have seen is one upset stomach. Also, there are two less chances of forgetting to use it, as most topicals are monthly. It is great for dogs who swim frequently as well, and for parents who have voiced concern at using a topical with young children around. I also like Cytopoint, which is the newest drug out for environmental allergies. It reduces the reaction to allergens without suppressing the immune system (which is how corticosteroids and Apoquel work – even though both of these drugs are very effective). Also, it is in injectable form and can last for a number of weeks. I am also excited about a diet called y/d, as I am using it in my own cat and she is doing phenomenal since being on it. She actually looks really good. It is a diet that treats hyperthyroidism very effectively. This is one of the most common diseases in older cats. It is also pretty nice because it is a good diet for chronic kidney disease, which is the most common disease of older cats.
We had some interesting surgeries recently. One was a cat named Sailor who had a cancer called a sarcoma. This is basically a tumor of connective tissues. This firm and very large tumor encompassed much of one of the rear legs from the ankle to the knee, and was ready to ulcerate in one large area. Originally I had told the owner it wasn’t operable, but the owner did not want amputation. We decided to try to remove the worst area to buy her some time with her owners, but once in surgery decided to go for the entire tumor in order to have it heal properly. It was a little nerve wracking but very satisfying to close it up and see what looks like a normal leg again (I say looks like because that tumor will eventually grow back). It is nice to think that she will have some more time with her owners. The other was a dog with a very large bladder stone. It was so large you could see it poking against the abdominal wall, and when removed, there was another piece in the bladder that had been visible on radiograph, and you could see where it had fractured off the large stone. This kind of stone is more commonly seen in female dogs and forms secondary to chronic, untreated bladder infections.
That is the clinic news as of now. We will keep you updated with any future news.