Toby, a beagle from Annapolis, had a second back surgery for a ruptured disc in his back a few months ago.  He was given a poor prognosis from the surgeon because a large clot was found in the area of the disc and because of  the location of the disc rupture.  For the past few months, Toby has been having rehabilitation therapy at Paradise Animal Hospital in Catonsville which has included swim therapy and exercises to help strengthen and loosen his muscles.  He has also had acupuncture to help stimulate the nerves in his hind legs and bladder and to help with the pain immediately following surgery.

Toby can be seen in the video having swim therapy and using a special cart made for paralyzed pets.  He is a happy dog and has defied the odds through hard work and with the help of adjunctive therapies.

We at Mobile Pet Vet are thrilled to see Toby gain international stardom!

http://playrapport.se/#/video/2109411

I am looking forward to incorporating a new treatment modality into my veterinary practice.  I recently completed a veterinary acupuncture certification class and I have already found that looking at cases from both sides (Eastern and Western) requires some flexibility and open-mindedness on my part.  I have spent the last 15 years looking at medical cases the same way.  Treat the problem at hand in an effort to solve the current illness.  This is the way of western medicine.

Eastern medicine tells us to look at the patient overall.  The eastern practitioner will evaluate the patient’s constitution – what is a patient’s innate strengths and weaknesses? The practitioner will ask how is my patient doing overall, how is his or her energy balance?  The questions that I found difficult to answer with western information now seem to tell me more about my patient and his or her constitution.  For example, “why does my cat like to sleep on the radiator all the time?”,  “why does my dog like ice cubes in her water?”, or “why does my dog get skin lesions on certain regions of her body and not others?”.  These were questions that I found didn’t always make sense.  With Eastern medicine, many of these quandaries actually help paint a more elaborate picture of the patient and his or her weaknesses or strengths.  Knowing these strengths and weaknesses, help the integrative practitioner treat the medical problems he or she sees.

I am glad to have both Western and Chinese medicine to help me work with my cases because I am finding if I am looking at all the symptoms and signs that my patients are showing me, I find out more information that helps me treat them overall.  Things that I used to disregard, may actually help me put the pieces of the clinical puzzle together.

I hope that my clients will be open to experiencing this new integrative approach (conventional medicine meets complimentary medicine).  I find the prospect exciting and hope to help more of my patients especially in areas where conventional medicine sometimes fails.  It is in these cases where the opportunity to try something new has the potential for being the most enlightening and exciting.  Take geriatric medicine and pain management, western medicine offers medications to treat pain but what do we do when the pain medication alone isn’t enough?  Currently one option pet owners are faced with is euthanasia.  Acupuncture has had good success with pain management and is an option for these animals and their owners.

A ferret in Oregon has tested positive for the h1n1 virus after apparently getting the virus from his owner.  Ferrets can also contract the seasonal flu from owners so it is not surprising that they can contract the swine flu.  The ferret is recovering from his respiratory symptoms and as of now no one has caught the swine flu from the ferret.  Ferret owners should take care not to expose their pets to the virus, should they be diagnosed with h1n1 or be showing flu like symptoms.

Birds can also contract flu illnesses from their owners but as of now, no bird has been known to contract h1n1.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2009/10/ferret_gets_swine_flu_from_its.html

IMG_0572aDogs have their own strain of influenza called “canine influenza”  this flu differs from the human seasonal flu and h1n1.  The dog flu first started in 2004 in racing greyhounds in Florida.  It has since been found in other states including New York, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.  The canine influenza looks a lot like kennel cough in affected dogs and may include symptoms like coughing, nasal discharge, pneumonia and fever.  Most of the time this flu goes away on its own with time (veterinarians call this a self limiting disease).  In some cases, affected dogs need treatments with antibiotics for secondary infections, fluid therapy and other supportive care measures and in more severe cases possibly even antiviral medications.  Currently there is a vaccine available for canine influenza and it may be recommended for dogs where exposure is likely.  These include, dogs that go to boarding facilities (especially in cases of outbreaks), and for dogs who are exposed to many other dogs in breeding facilities and show rings.  Your veterinarian can tell you if he or she recommends this vaccine for your dog.  Currently, I would only vaccinate high risk dogs for this flu.

You can feel comforted that even if the rest of your family contracts the seasonal or h1n1 flu this season, your dog will be there healthy, happy and waiting for you to recover!

Link to article regarding canine influenza:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/accesforpethealth/archives/181377.asp?from=blog_last3

Link to Syracuse Post article regarding canine influenza:

http://blog.syracuse.com/healthfitness/2009/10/now_is_flu_season_for_people_-.html

Fox 8 Cleveland News clip:

http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-dog-flu-txt,0,2764741.story

IMG_0599According to the CDC, cases of feline rabies were up 12 percent in 2008!  This disease is fatal and preventable through vaccination.  Unfortunately,  over 1/3 of cat owners did not take their pets to a veterinarian in 2006, according to the AVMA statistics (American Veterinary Medical Association).  While I understand that most of our feline friends dislike car rides, find the veterinary office offensive and scary(they allow dogs there), and prefer to remain in the comfort of their own home… there is an option.  Most areas of the country have veterinarians who make house calls.  This is a growing population of veterinarians that want to be able to offer health care to their patients in a less stressful environment.  If more cats were vaccinated against rabies (especially the cats that go outside), this disease would no longer be on the rise!

If you are looking to have a house call veterinary visit but don’t know how to find a veterinarian in your area, you can search the web or even ask your current veterinarian for a recommendation.  It is possible that your veterinarian makes house calls or it is likely that they know someone in your area who does.

By practicing some preventative medicine, our feline family will be protected against this nasty disease!