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All pet owners can agree that losing a pet can be very traumatizing. Most pet lovers will go to great lengths to protect their animals. They usually turn to pet collars, ID tags, and other outward forms of identification. Unfortunately, these methods are not always foolproof. The truth is that if it can come off, it can get lost. Many animals end up lost because their IDs fell off. There is only one truly effective way to keep your pet safe, and this is through the use of a microchip.
I’ve always had an interest in surgery and have always sought continuing education on that subject, especially with orthopedics. At the Animal Hospital of Salinas, Dr. Max Kennedy was able to perform simple fracture repairs prior to his retirement, and he left behind all of his equipment when he left. So when I heard about the NAVC Institute taking place in Orlando, FL, I jumped on the opportunity to take an intensive, 5-day course on fracture repair.
Even as a veterinarian who knows the risks associated with heartworm, I think it is easy to become complacent. We see so many negative tests that it can come as a shock when one comes back positive. That’s what recently happened in our clinic and it had us all revisiting the subject of heartworm disease and how to prevent it.
You may remember that eight months ago I was told that my dog, Spudge, could die at any minute. In addition to sending me into a tailspin of grief, it also prompted me to look into ways I could hold on to his memory. I already knew about several options: making a paw print to put in a frame or hang as a decoration, keeping some fur, garden statues or grave markers, cremation urns, and donations in your pet’s name. Once, when I was in Vet School, I even researched taxidermy and freeze-drying a pet as options for a woman to whom I had spoken while staffing the Pet Loss Support Hotline.
How do you know when it’s time? That is a question I get a lot when pet owners are faced with an aging or perhaps terminally ill pet. I have a fairly standard set of criteria: when he stops eating, becomes less interactive, and/or when he can no longer do the things that give their life joy. Sometimes I say, “When the bad days outnumber the good days.”
Rachel and I recently attended our 10-year Vet School Reunion at UC Davis! Wow, has it really been 10 years already? When we graduated, we were fresh-faced and full of energy, ready to go out there and make a difference. Aside from our families meeting for the first time (which is a story unto itself), our transition from school to our first jobs was relatively smooth. Little did we know how much more learning there was to do in the “real world.” But that’s a future blog post.