~ The "Wild About Animals Radio Show" is the REAL stock and bond market. Texas veterinarian Dr Bruce provides and promotes horse sense not nonsense when it comes to events, policies, products, procedures and opportunities affecting animals and the people who care for them. Co-host Emmi provides questions and commentary from the heart of a passionate and compassionate animal owner.
The first of a new year brings fresh resolve, change and inspiration for something new, different and BETTER. One of the things I really like about adding years to my own personal history book is the gain in appreciation I develop for the experiences I have been blessed to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve learned there are no bad experiences…either enjoy and appreciate the experience, or learn from it and avoid repeating the experience in the future. The intent of today’s show was to share some research which evolved from the troubling experience of a dog owner who had the unfortunate experience of having her dog being bitten by a rabid animal combatant. The dog had been previously vaccinated for rabies and so with a booster and at-home observation, chances of survival would be extremely good. Problem was, the dog’s rabies vaccine was due to be boostered ten days prior to presentation. Game changer. Now the dog had to be treated as an unvaccinated dog and the owner was faced with the choice of either euthanizing the dog or paying for six months of monitored confinement. Due to economic constraints, the owner chose plan A, and the dog lost his life. I would imagine that the owner felt terrible in that not only had she had to make the decision to euthanize her dog, but she had to do it as a result of having missed her dog’s rabies BOOSTER by less than two weeks! Serious consequences for a seemingly minor oversight, but that is the protocol set forth in the rabies compendium, presently. However, Michael Moore, DVM and colleagues at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab may have produced some research to change things. Dr Moore decided to investigate how the anamnestic response (the response to a booster vaccine) to a rabies vaccine post exposure differed in dogs and cats who were under a year out from their previous vaccine, and those who were weeks to months overdue for their scheduled booster prior to exposure. What he found may shake up the rabies response protocol, save more dogs and cats from euthanasia, and save pet owners from difficult and unexpected decisions.
Speaking of “shaking up”, we experience an earthquake tremor about ten minutes into the show! I’ve never experienced a tremor before, but it served as a great reminder to me to stay present, enjoy every moment and don’t worry a bit about those things out of your control. Thankfully the earth didn’t split open and I think we all recovered pretty darn quick in the studio. So a little shake, rattle and roll to kick off 2015! I’m ready! Full speed ahead! Happy New Year!
We gathered at my parents’ home for Thanksgiving Day. As we are getting things ready and snacking around, my beautiful and talented baby sister rushes to the TV and. being that we are an historically football watching family, I assumed she was turning over to one of the games. Nope! Wrong! What’s this? The National Dog Show, and we ALL completely shut down, tuned-in and made our picks for Best in Show. I was fascinated that my ultra-busy, high achieving, mother of two teenage girls, MD 40 something sister NEW that the National Dog Show was being televised at prime turkey time Thanksgiving Day. How many other people new that? How many others tuned in? And then, after football, Fox has an animal adoption special Thanksgiving night!
The place and perception of animals in our society is transforming rapidly. As animals emerge from an economic asset to an emotional asset, unique opportunities appear to provide products and services previously unimaginable. How you spend your money on your animals is up to you, at least until the government mandates health care for hamsters, and it’s important YOU be happy with YOUR choices. Opinions are so strong on care and treatment, feeding, training, just every facet of the animal world seems to be one that elicits strong emotions one way or another. I am a scientist, pragmatic and somewhat skeptical. I believe in gathering data as objectively as possible and making decisions, and recommendations, based upon my interpretations of well done research. Drugs and devices get approval or rejection, for the most part, in much the same way, but research is being challenged and augmented by evidence. While reported research can certainly be tainted and far from flawless, it is generally systematically reviewed and critiqued and accepted or rejected by a group of unemotional and critical thinkers. Evidence can be held to the same or similar standards when analyzed with respect to known physical laws and processes which allow for pragmatic critique of the evidence presented. With the plethora of avenues for dissemination of information available today, it becomes even more incumbent upon each of us to take a critical look at reports on materials and methods and use our individual judgement and education in deciding what to employ in our practices and lives.
Much of the same can be said about charitable organizations. It appears to me that the website http://www.give.org does a credible job of presenting information on non-profits in numerous fields, including animal entities. While classified as non-profit, these businesses generate millions of dollars in revenues in many cases and many pay sizable salaries to employees. In my opinion, there is nothing at all wrong with this and many, many non-profit organizations fulfill vital missions of public service and job creation and efficient resource utilization. I was amazed to find several organizations which do NOT appear to be meeting the standards of give.org, but who have names very close to organizations which ARE meting the standards for give.org, and often have a wonderful reputation of service to animal and man. Be careful. Be pragmatic. Do YOUR research. Animals elicit powerful feelings from most of us, and our feelings and thoughts are what bring about our actions and results. As animals are elevated in the thoughts, and media, of our society, there will be those who attempt to prey on emotions for economic gain without production of a valuable product. Fortunately, transparency is becoming more and more demanded by our generous society, and the information is available more and more to help you make wise decisions when it comes to charitable giving.
Blessings and peace to all this holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!
A few weeks ago I did a program with a very good friend and fantastic humorist and colleague Dr Bo Brock in which we discussed the suicide of Robin Williams and the alarming rate of suicide of veterinary professionals relative to that in the general population. This past month, my colleague Dr Patty Khuly authored an article in a publication I received discussing the same topic, and while the holiday season brings fun and joy to many, it also brings heightened stress, depression, and anxiety to others. In one of her final paragraphs, Dr Khuly opines, ” …we should worry more about ensuring that all our colleagues have a nurturing, supportive, and judgment-free profession to work in.”
Profound words of wisdom, especially the final half-dozen words. In a profession where each and every day we as veterinarians are immersed in the beauty of nature, the scent of puppy breath, the elegance of the equine and the wisdom and perseverance of the senior pet, is it this external judgment that creates the vision of hopelessness rather than the appreciation of the environment and opportunities we are blessed to experience? Judgement from colleagues, teachers, employers, owners, family members, spouses and possibly most significantly from ourselves? Without rules, guidelines and standards, any profession would risk becoming a free for all centered on self-interest, losing, eventually, the purpose of service through one’s extensive education and experience which should be the motivation and the character of the profession. That said, I would suggest that the peace of mind so vital to staving off the vulture of depression can be achieved by being true to oneself, over and beyond the pleasing of others, yet with an attitude of service to others and reverence for the standards and rules within which one is expected to perform. This can present a true challenge for those in the service professions in that there can be conflicting thoughts and applications of theories, and the building of one’s clientele, the business to provide for oneself and family, is dependent on “the satisfied client or customer”. But what is the gain to gain the wealth of the world yet lose one’s own self and values? (Someone much wiser and more famous than I has previously pontificated this). While it is established human nature, and I would contend healthy, and debatably even Biblical, to strive for more, to continue to work to get better, to enhance our value and grow our wealth, WHEN WE FAIL TO BE STILL FOR JUST A MOMENT AND BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE HAVE, our focus and perspective are blurred to the point of self compromise either physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially or some combination of these. Our perception of an outcome or influence of events, actions, or situations based upon external expectations can limit us in accepting the actuality of the situation and seeking resolution acceptable to our self, alone, without thought for the judgement of others.
Life is a competitive situation. You are not going to win every game, every argument, every job, every bid, every case, and eventually every ailment, disease or malady. BE GRATEFUL you have the opportunity to compete. BE GRATEFUL you have the ability to grow and learn from the situation, not only about the situation, more importantly about your SELF!
I’ve read several commentaries from frustrated veterinarians, have experienced the feeling myself, frustrated with owners who elect euthanasia over treatment, abandonment over responsibility. I’ve learned to step back and be grateful for the owners who make the choice to be responsible and who allow me to pursue treatment. Rather than fret and stress over the person and animal NOT in the exam room, focus on those that are. Rather than stress over the equipment I don’t have, be grateful for that which I DO have. I look at my business management and ask MYSELF if I am doing everything I can to make treatment options as available and affordable as possible. Frankly, I became involved in a networking business because it provided an extremely simple way to allow people to earn more money if they wanted to be able to afford to care for their animals (drbruce.vemma.com- drink your product, get two other people to do the same, repeat, get paid on everything that everyone else drinks, How simple is that?). Am I the only one that walks into a hospital that looks like a 5 star luxury resort and question THAT as why healthcare costs are where they are? ( I digress) But that was someone’s choice, not mine. I can only control my thoughts, my feelings, and my choices. As can you. And when I accept that reality, I CAN do my part in creating a nurturing, supportive, and judgement-free world in which to live and work.
There is not a day I awake that I am not thankful for my health, the ability and opportunity to work in the service of my fellow-man and animal, and for living in what is still the greatest country in the world. What do you have that you are most thankful for this season and what advice do you have for listeners who may be seeing the cloud rather than the silver lining this time of year? Happy holidays, and THANKS for stopping by!
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is certainly no laughing matter and the first cases to receive publicity outside of Africa have created a media frenzy, and a twist applicable to animal owners’ interests have emerged with dogs in Dallas and Spain being potentially exposed and raising concerns from animal owners. What if I told you that there is a disease endemic in North Texas (as well as other parts of the country and the world) , a viral disease, almost 100% fatality rate in any species, affects humans, dog bites in Asia and Africa cause tens of THOUSANDS of deaths in Asia and Africa every year, and millions more deaths are prevented each year through post exposure vaccination? The disease affects wild animals as well as domestic farm animals and is transmitted by infected animals biting or contaminating open areas or mucous membranes with saliva. Make Ebola sound a little less threatening? Our old nemesis RABIES has been amongst us and it will be interesting to see if Ebola or rabies claims more lives this year. Remember, you can protect both you and your animals by vaccinating your animals every one to three years, depending on laws and species, and the vaccine remains extremely effective in maintaining the safety of both our animal and human population. Most everyone has learned to recognize the likely rabid animal and what to do to protect one’s self and others from a threat. I have all the confidence in the world that between our modern medical technology and information dissemination technologies, Ebola will be another manageable threat to humanity that we learn to live with and overcome. Below are my notes from the show and what research has been accumulated on Ebola in animals during its tenure in Africa, Thanks for stopping by!
Dev Biol (Basel). 2013;135:211-8. doi: 10.1159/000178495. Epub 2013 May 14.
Review of Ebola virus infections in domestic animals.
Weingartl HM1, Nfon C, Kobinger G.
Ebola viruses (EBOV; genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae) cause often fatal, hemorrhagic fever in several species of simian primates including human. While fruit bats are considered a natural reservoir, the involvement of other species in the EBOV transmission cycle is unclear, especially for domesticated animals. Dogs and pigs are so far the only domestic animals identified as species that can be infected with EBOV. In 2009 Reston-EBOV was the first EBOV reported to infect swine with indicated transmission to humans; and a survey in Gabon found over 30% seroprevalence for EBOV in dogs during the Ebola outbreak in 2001-2002. While infections in dogs appear to be asymptomatic, pigs experimentally infected with EBOV can develop clinical disease, depending on the virus species and possibly the age of the infected animals. In the experimental settings, pigs can transmit Zaire-Ebola virus to naive pigs and macaques; however, their role during Ebola outbreaks in Africa needs to be clarified. Attempts at virus and antibody detection require as a prerequisite validation of viral RNA and antibody detection methods especially for pigs, as well as the development of a sampling strategy. Significant issues about disease development remain to be resolved for EBOV. Evaluation of current human vaccine candidates or development of veterinary vaccines de novo for EBOV might need to be considered, especially if pigs or dogs are implicated in the transmission of an African species of EBOV to humans
Emerg Health Threats J. 2012;5. doi: 10.3402/ehtj.v5i0.9134. Epub 2012 Apr 30.
Dead or alive: animal sampling during Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in humans.
Olson SH1, Reed P, Cameron KN, Ssebide BJ, Johnson CK, Morse SS, Karesh WB, Mazet JA, Joly DO.
There are currently no widely accepted animal surveillance guidelines for human Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreak investigations to identify potential sources of Ebolavirus (EBOV) spillover into humans and other animals. Animal field surveillance during and following an outbreak has several purposes, from helping identify the specific animal source of a human case to guiding control activities by describing the spatial and temporal distribution of wild circulating EBOV, informing public health efforts, and contributing to broader EHF research questions. Since 1976, researchers have sampled over 10,000 individual vertebrates from areas associated with human EHF outbreaks and tested for EBOV or antibodies. Using field surveillance data associated with EHF outbreaks, this review provides guidance on animal sampling for resource-limited outbreak situations, target species, and in some cases which diagnostics should be prioritized to rapidly assess the presence of EBOV in animal reservoirs. In brief, EBOV detection was 32.7% (18/55) for carcasses (animals found dead) and 0.2% (13/5309) for live captured animals. Our review indicates that for the purposes of identifying potential sources of transmission from animals to humans and isolating suspected virus in an animal in outbreak situations, (1) surveillance of free-ranging non-human primate mortality and morbidity should be a priority, (2) any wildlife morbidity or mortality events should be investigated and may hold the most promise for locating virus or viral genome sequences, (3) surveillance of some bat species is worthwhile to isolate and detect evidence of exposure, and (4) morbidity, mortality, and serology studies of domestic animals should prioritize dogs and pigs and include testing for virus and previous exposure.
Domestic animal sampling
Efforts targeting domestic animals (cow, goat, sheep, pig, and dog) represented 0.9% (114/13,404) of all samples in the collection (Appendix C). With the exception of one goat carcass, all were live samples, and all samples tested negative for EBOV (Appendix A, B, and C). Only dog samples were tested for EBOV antibody, which was detected at 26.3% (21/80) prevalence. Conversely, the overall antibody detection prevalence was 2.0% (159/7,960) for wild species (Appendix A). The 80 dog (Canis lupus familiaris) samples were collected during two sampling efforts associated with human outbreaks in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1979–1980 and Gabon 2001–2002 (Appendix A). The 12 pig (Sus scrofa) samples tested were collected during the DRC Yambuku 1976 and DRC Kikwit 1995 human outbreaks (Appendix B).
Non-human primate susceptibility to EBOV was evident in the scientific literature. EBOV belongs to the same virus family as Marburgvirus, and a Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak had been linked to green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) 9 years prior to the first recognized EHF outbreak in Yambuku, DRC (22). However, it was not until the early nineties that evidence again hinted that non-human primates provided a transmission link between the sylvatic cycle of the virus and human outbreaks. Late in 1989 outbreaks of REBOV, at that time a new strain of EBOV, occurred in non-human primate quarantine centers in the United States, putatively killing monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) imported from the Philippines and causing seroconversion but no disease in humans who handled the monkeys (23–25). In November 1994 a natural outbreak of EHF occurred in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire, and a researcher who necropsied an ape carcass became infected with another new subtype of EBOV, Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus (CIEBOV) (26). Around that same time in Gabon a set of three human EHF outbreaks began that coincided with deaths of non-human primates. The index human cases of the last outbreak in Gabon, in the spring of 1996, had a history of butchering chimpanzees. A chimpanzee carcass found near the hunting grounds of an index case tested positive for EBOV by an immunohistochemical skin biopsy (27).
Many dog owners feel like their pets are like their children — and your brain seems to think so, too. In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital investigated differences in brain activity when women volunteers viewed pictures of their dogs, their children, and unfamiliar dogs and children. What they found suggests that the bond between human and pup tugs at some of the same heartstrings — or rather, brainstrings — as the bond between mother and child.
The MGH team analyzed functional MRI data for 14 women, each with at least one child between two and 10 years old and a pet dog that had been owned for at least two years. In the course of the experiment, the women were shown a series of photographs: of their child, of their dog, and of unfamiliar dogs and children. The MRI machine paints a portrait of the participants’ brain activity while viewing the images, by detecting changes in blood flow and oxygen levels in different brain structures.
(More from World Science Festival: Amid Ebola panic, remember the sad sagas of Patient Zeroes past)
The MRI data showed “substantial overlap in brain activation patterns in regions involved in reward, emotion, and affiliation elicited by images of both a mother’s own child and dog,” the authors wrote. But there were some key differences: Photos of a woman’s own child elicited a response in a brain region called the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, linked to bond formation; photographs of a beloved dog did not provoke a response there. But pictures of a woman’s own dog sparked greater activity in the fusiform gyrus, a brain structure involved in facial recognition, than even pictures of a person’s own child. The researchers think this might stem from the fact that with dogs, people rely much more on visual cues than the verbal communication they have with children.
“These results demonstrate that the mother-child and mother-dog bond share aspects of emotional experience and patterns of brain function, but there are also brain-behavior differences that may reflect the distinct evolutionary underpinning of these relationships,” the authors wrote.
(More from World Science Festival: Check out this surprisingly good predictor of impending death)
So, basically: Your brain’s bond with your dog is somewhat similar to your bond with your child, but not exactly the same.
Other scientists have explored the human-dog relationship from the canine point of view. Neurobiologists in Budapest used brain scanners to investigate how dogs detect emotions in both human and dog vocalizations (training the canines to get in the MRI scanner and hold still was a job in and of itself); they discovered that there are, indeed dog brain regions that light up preferentially when hearing human or dog emotional cues. And a group of veterinary scientists from Viennafound that dogs, like young children, are much more eager to explore new environments with their caregiver around — something that in child psychology is called the “secure base effect.”
(More from World Science Festival: Science at the Climate March)
The MGH team notes that their latest study is just a small sample; it remains to be seen if the same brain activity patterns they saw in this group of dog owners would show up in women without children, women with adopted children, men, or in cat owners — although in this last case, the scientific literature suggests that affection might be a one-way street.
Table: Categories of contact and recommended post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Categories of contact with suspect rabid animal Post-exposure prophylaxis measures
Category I – touching or feeding animals, licks on intact skin None
Category II – nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding Immediate vaccination and local treatment of the wound
Category III – single or multiple transdermal bites or scratches, licks on broken skin; contamination of mucous membrane with saliva from licks, contacts with bats. Immediate vaccination and administration of rabies immunoglobulin; local treatment of the wound
All category II and III exposures assessed as carrying a risk of developing rabies require PEP. This risk is increased if:
• the biting mammal is a known rabies reservoir or vector species;
• the animal looks sick or has an abnormal behaviour;
• a wound or mucous membrane was contaminated by the animal’s saliva;
• the bite was unprovoked; and
• the animal has not been vaccinated.
In developing countries, the vaccination status of the suspected animal alone should not be considered when deciding whether to initiate prophylaxis or not.
Local treatment of the wound
Removing the rabies virus at the site of the infection by chemical or physical means is an effective means of protection. Therefore, prompt local treatment of all bite wounds and scratches that may be contaminated with rabies virus is important. Recommended first-aid procedures include immediate and thorough flushing and washing of the wound for a minimum of 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone iodine or other substances that kill the rabies virus.
No tests are available to diagnose rabies infection in humans before the onset of clinical disease, and unless the rabies-specific signs of hydrophobia or aerophobia are present, the clinical diagnosis may be difficult. Human rabies can be confirmedintra-vitam and post mortem by various diagnostic techniques aimed at detecting whole virus, viral antigens or nucleic acids in infected tissues (brain, skin, urine or saliva).
People are usually infected following a deep bite or scratch by an infected animal. Dogs are the main host and transmitter of rabies. They are the source of infection in all human rabies deaths annually in Asia and Africa.
Bats are the source of most human rabies deaths in the Americas. Bat rabies has also recently emerged as a public health threat in Australia and western Europe. Human deaths following exposure to foxes, raccoons, skunks, jackals, mongooses and other wild carnivore host species are very rare.
Transmission can also occur when infectious material – usually saliva – comes into direct contact with human mucosa or fresh skin wounds. Human-to-human transmission by bite is theoretically possible but has never been confirmed.
Rarely, rabies may be contracted by inhalation of virus-containing aerosol or via transplantation of an infected organ. Ingestion of raw meat or other tissues from animals infected with rabies is not a source of human infection.
• Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories.
• Infection causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
• 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age.
• Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths.
• Immediate wound cleansing and immunization within a few hours after contact with a suspect rabid animal can prevent the onset of rabies and death.
• Every year, more than 15 million people worldwide receive a post-exposure vaccination to prevent the disease – this is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of rabies deaths annually
situation in Liberia is scary, and might be spiralling out of control.
Ebola cases in West Africa
The total number of cases is rising at an exponential rate. As of 14 September, the doubling time is 16 days in Guinea, 24 days in Liberia and 30 days in Sierra Leone .
Ebola cases in West Africa (Data: WHO / Chart CC BY 4.0: JV Chamary / Source: http://onforb.es/1sCVxE1)
In epidemiology, the speed at which an infectious agent spreads is measured by its reproductive number, ‘R’ – the average number of new cases created by infectious individuals exposed to a susceptible population. When R is greater than 1, the chain of transmission is sustained as each primary case produces at least one secondary case.
At the start of an outbreak, the rate is called ‘R0′ (the basic reproductive number). R0 indicates whether or not a contagious disease has the potential to become an epidemic. Populations can evolve natural immunity or gain artificial protection through health interventions like vaccination, reducing the proportion of susceptible people, so the reproductive number for later periods of time is ‘Rt’.
R0 was 1.7 to 2 during the initial period of exponential growth in West Africa, while the current Rt is 1.4-1.8 . (Calculations by the WHO Ebola Response Team are roughly in line with estimates by other researchers.) R = 2 doesn’t sound high until you hear that the deadliest pandemic in recorded history, the 1918 Spanish flu, killed up to 100 million people even though the influenza virus had an R of 2.
If public health authorities can lower the reproductive number of Ebola below the critical value of 1, the current epidemic will eventually fizzle-out.
I’m three weeks behind on writing this post because it is hard to get started sharing my thoughts on depression and suicide, especially when my guest for the show , Dr Bo Brock, is such an upbeat, hilarious sharer of stories and wisdom. But then again, that’s why I had him on this show to discuss the apparent suicide of the comedic and entertainment legend, Robin Williams. Who would have thought a person who brought joy to so many in so many ways would choose to end his existence here on planet Earth? Why the heck does a show about animals and health care take on the topics of depression and suicide? Would you believe because the suicide rate in veterinary professionals is over four times greater than that of the general population and over twice that of other medical professionals? So … while many take a look at why apparently brilliant and successful people suffer through depression and may reach a point of self-termination, I wanted to talk to Dr Brock, and expound here, about what keeps people facing similar situations, turmoil, joys, problems and triumphs alive and out of the grips of depression.
This past week, I received a call physically threatening me from a person who our office had sent to a collection agency to attempt to collect a past due account. Now granted, it’s only about 2 years past due, I have seen this person out partying and going to enjoy their hobbies and had asked them to set up a payment plan, I think in general been pretty patient in pursuing compensation for services I had performed at their request. A night or two later, I get a call at about 9:30 pm, Friday night as a matter of fact, from someone needing a test result in order to take a horse to a sale, at 5:30 AM Saturday morning. I had done the labwork 3 weeks prior, but only at the last minute they are able to discover they don’t have it! Add on to that the pharmacy I use to compound some no longer available medicines was unable to get made some medicine for a horse with a nasty, nasty abscessed salivary gland, and perhaps you begin to think you see why veterinarians turn to drugs, alcohol and perhaps even suicide to remove themselves from their situations. Each of the above scenarios is representative of reasons given for veterinary depression and suicide – unappreciative owners and inadequate compensation (especially now coupled with a graduate debt load well into the six figure range), long hours, late nights and interrupted plans, “compassion fatigue”, and then add in readily accessible narcotics and products used to end the lives of our patients on a regular basis and the picture is painted as to how the veterinarian can justify his misery. But why don’t other professions who work long hours, lose cases or clients or patients, or those who work in shelters or butcher shops match the rate of veterinary suicide? And an even bigger question, how do so many AVOID these exit doors and actually ENJOY their work? Here’s what’s worked for me and what I see in others who choose to lead a Great Life!
One of the first things my first employer told me was, “Don’t let practicing veterinary medicine get in the way of helping people and their animals”. WOW! The wisdom in those words have followed me forever! Veterinary colleges, aka “Ivory Towers”, have resources beyond what probably 90 % of private practices ever accumulate and they want to set a standard of care and level of expertise that I would guestimate 80-90% of the public we serve will never need, and an even greater percentage can never afford. After spending four years in the Ivory Tower and seeing some of the miraculous testing, learning, and saving lives that does go on in the hallowed halls, it is challenging to deal with not being able to provide every patient the tee-top diagnostic evaluation and treatment protocol you have been trained to provide. Frustration can set in over not being able to fulfill your own expectations due to someone else’s limitations, not your own. The solution… BE GRATEFUL. Be grateful for every owner and patient that walks through the door each and every day and do your damndest to help them within whatever constraints are placed. REALIZE – the letters behind the name are DVM, not GOD. Realize none of us are perfect, including owners and clients, and in reality, there are human patients and animal patients that lose battles every minute of every day under the care of remarkable people in remarkable places. Realize that you can do good in any situation if you so choose. There are certainly situations where the good is excruciatingly difficult to see, or may not be readily apparent. Yet time is an illusion which once we realize is bounded by only our mental limits becomes insignificant and the good can be seen whenever it is revealed. Ignore the EXPECTATIONS of everyone other than yourself and the owner and patient you are trying to help. What Dr Professorman or Dr Colleague thinks doesn’t matter to the owner and patient asking for YOUR help. Now some of their experience and teachings may be invaluable in helping you solve the problem in front of you, just like a parent’s advice may help you deal with a situation in life, but don’t let them be your judge and jury. Set your own expectations and standards and live YOUR life and run YOUR business in accordance with YOUR values and priorities. You will be compensated accordingly. But what about the guy who threatened me after I did the work and he doesn’t want to pay? I have the satisfaction of knowing I did what I was employed to do, to a level I was satisfied with. I learned never to do business with the sorry SOB again, and he has to live with the collection agency on his phone, or the judicial system, if it comes to that. If he was raised to be a person of any character at all, he lives with the guilt of not paying his debt. If enough people were to choose this path of not paying, yes, I would need to reconsider how to make my living. But I don’t attach myself or my identity or deprecate myself in any way because he chooses to not meet his obligation. I ACCEPT what is. That doesn’t mean I have to be complacent with what is, but we must ACCEPT what is before taking action to bring about change, if necessary. Who would be served by me throwing a fit or beating myself up about medicine I wanted not being available when I want it? Once I accept that it is not ready on MY schedule, I can choose to wait, call another pharmacy, or try another treatment. Other options exist, almost invariably and without exception. We can become upset with ourselves or with others, but only after we accept the current situation can we institute change to address the problem.
Finally, BE TRUTHFUL. Have you ever heard, “The TRUTH shall set you free.”? It’s remarkable the TRUTH in that! Be truthful with your clients, your staff, and most importantly YOURSELF! It would be simple here to say be honest with yourself about your limitations, but the real truth you have to have with yourself is in regard to your potential and capabilities. You can likely solve a whole lot more problems for people by simply THINKING, getting back to fundamentals, and focusing on what you CAN do rather than what you can’t do. Belief in yourself will come with trust in yourself, and trust only can develop through consistent revelation of truth with self. Peace of mind can then exist and allow for free flow of ideas and energy to the benefit of all.
So, there you have it! Being Grateful, Realizing none of us are perfect (and U are one of US!), set your own Expectations, Accept what is (but don’t be complacent!), and be Truthful, with self and others. THAT can make for a GREAT life! Dr Brock shares stories in his book, Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere, which will make you smile, laugh, maybe even shed a tear. He has figured out how to take what he does seriously, but not take himself so seriously. It has led him to a GREAT and admirable life and career and I invite you to visit the Wildaboutanimalsradioshow. Com website and use the link “Bo’s Book” to order a copy. They will also make great gifts. Another book which has helped me deal with adversity is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. I listen to the audiobook repeatedly and learn more each time. NaNu NaNu! Thanks for stopping by. Peace. BE GREAT!!
How many of your lives have played out by the script you wrote as a child? A teenager? A college student? Since yesterday?! I didn’t plan to go to vet school as a kid like many dreamed of doing all their life, I wanted to ranch, if I had a clue at all what I wanted to do. I started out college in the department of chemical engineering at Texas A&M, not necessarily the way to make the GPA needed for vet school over 25 years ago, but it was a broad based education that allowed me to go to med school or law school or do just about anything, supposedly. Well, I did well to listen to those older and wiser than me, namely my parents, and I consistently did my best, worked hard at a number of different things and finally, in the middle of my junior year, I decided to apply to vet school. I got my rejection letter after the first application, not entirely surprising knowing that my overall GPA was on the low end of applicants, but, in the middle of the summer of 1987 I got another letter. I was the fourth alternate on the admission list and at least four people had either failed to complete the admission requirements or opted not to accept the invitation to attend. So, my journey of the past 27 years began that fall as a member of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1991.
Dr Kenita Rogers was one of my teachers in vet school, a very influential one, a brilliant one who had the gifted mix of humor, compassion, talent and genius which made her a fantastic role model. It is ironic that while visiting with her she mentioned the obvious points of a veterinary applicant needing to be strong in the sciences, and work with veterinarians from many backgrounds, but she repeatedly emphasized the importance of a “well-rounded individual”. As our society, and the professions from medicine to law to engineering seem to trend towards and prefer “specialization”, applicants to one of the most highly competitive educational processes are encouraged to be “well-rounded individuals”. This soaked in even further as I listened to Tim Ferris’s podcast “The Tim Ferris Show” on specialization, and how specialization is for insects, not people. Why should someone who just gives shots and checks poop and does c-sections on cows need to be a “well-rounded individual”?
You see, there are two parts to that statement. “Well-rounded” suggests someone with more than just a passing knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. “Well-rounded” allows you to carry on conversation and potentially even contribute when opportunities un-imagined present themselves. “Well-rounded” implies a life balance necessary to cope with challenges which others may see as insurmountable, being not only interesting, but interested. But the word “individual” carries the magic of the descriptive. For it is the collection of individuals, those with independent thought, values, ethics, incentive, and ambition which make an outstanding country, community, profession, business, and even family. Though I am but a neophyte in the field of philosophy (but I continue to pursue “well-roundedness”!), Socrates championed the importance of the individual, while Plato advocated the state’s significance over that of the individual. Today, take a look at the institutions of government and religions who advocate sacrifice of the individual for the benefit of the state? Their contributions to the world are genocide, terror, oppression, whereas individuals in an open society have brought us life, vaccines, works of music and art, ESPN and the iPhone! YOU!!! YOU MATTER! Become the individual, the unique, never duplicated individual put here to contribute in whatever way you see fit and proper on YOUR journey. I’ve heard Jim Rohn say, “Do what you can, and do the best you can.” That’s all I did. That’s all You need to do. But don’t fall into the trap of believing what you can do is all you can do. For over twenty years I had no inkling of applying to vet school, but I was raised to always do my best. I played sports, went to church, did student government, worked several jobs and studied the lives of people whose life looked like what I might want mine to turn out like one day. Has it been a smooth road? Hell no! But good God it’s been a great journey! And this individual ain’t done yet! Embrace your individuality and that of others. Maybe vet school isn’t in your plans, but becoming a “well-rounded INDIVIDUAL” will prepare you to make your contribution to society wherever and however your journey leads. Thanks for stopping by!
So you think you might want to find a job working with animals? Maybe even “grow-up” to work in a zoo, or train dogs, or be a veterinarian?? Today’s show highlights a few entrepreneurial avenues which blended an interest in one industry with an interest in animals to create some really unique products and businesses. The Wild About Animals Radio Show has as one of its missions to inform you about people, products, procedures and events which I have personal experience with directly or through the guest host, but I also hope to inspire you to get “WILD” about creating your own life and economy. I have no experience with and this is not an endorsement of the businesses or products, but there were some new ventures which I would NEVER imagine creating, yet someone did, and they are great ideas which show how passion and thought and seeing a need and meeting it can create a business in the animal industry.
Wanna buy some pre-wash, pre-worn distressed looking jeans? Check out what Zoo Jeans is doing (actually talked about them on 15 July show)! This Japanese firm is using lions and tigers and other big cats in exhibits to distress their denim! The company then apparently donates back part of their sales to the zoo or exhibit, and to the World Wildlife Federation. Would you prefer a house with a mud room for your dog? Maybe an automatic feeder? Builders are now incorporating accommodations for pets into new homes to meet the needs of four legged family members and their owners. Trouble getting that puurrrfect pet pose for Facebook or Instagram? Bark & Co has an app to help you get your dog’s attention to the camera an instant before the shutter opens! Think the attention to dieting and nutrition are limited to targeting the 60-75% of overweight or obese humans? American pet owners spent over $26,000,000,000 ($26 Billion) on pet food with 40 % of that going towards gourmet or specialized dietary items INCLUDING breakfast items, appetizers, and weight loss formulas. With roughly an estimated 140,000,000 dogs and cats, that’s $180/ year/ pet on food, roughly $0.50 per day. Let’s say the sum total AVERAGE of the weight of all domestic dogs and cats is 20 pounds (this is my guesstimate, more cats than dogs in US, cats average 10 pounds, and I imagine the trend is toward smaller rather than larger dogs, but this is just for arguments sake) and an average daily intake of 2% body weight, 0.4 pounds or 6.4 ozs, that’s about $1.25 per pound AVERAGE pet food price people are currently paying. With corn costing $0.10 per pound wholesale and , and beef at roughly $3 per pound wholesale, it would appear the trend is toward higher priced and higher perceived value pet food, and one can only imagine that as the value of pets in families increases, so will the willingness to pay for optimum nutrition and meal experiences. Put that in your abacus and double check me on all of that!! Point being, whether your interest is nutrition, fashion or technology, the opportunity to create YOUR niche in an animal industry is as wide open today as EVER!! You can check out the links to these stories below.
But while you’re running around creating products and services for animals and their owners, DON”T LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR OR OTHER AREA WHERE THEY CAN OVERHEAT!! Here are my notes on what to look for with heatstroke and why you need to follow up with your vet should this be a concern.
Heat stroke – Predispositions – Black dogs, short snouted dogs, heavy weights, esp heavy muscled
a. Signs – Excessive panting, red tongue, pail gums, disoriented, stiff, hot to touch
b. What is going on and what could get going on – DIC – Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
c. Complicated medical problems can ensue as circulation is altered, cells/ tissues are damaged
d. Emergency treatment – Immediate cooling- ice water baths and fans and can progress to ice bath submersion but probably need to be getting to vet once initial cooling accomplished
e. Foot pad cooling – prob not much good in advanced dz due to vasoconstriction.
f. Clotting problems, internal organ problems
g. Follow up for at least a week
Most media will try to convince you what a mess our world and country are today. While I certainly don’t agree with all that is going on in the political environment, we are living in AMAZING AND WILD TIMES!! Gather yourself up and take a step on the journey of a lifetime, and realize, that regardless of where you live or what your area of expertise, you can make a difference in an animal’s life and they can make a difference in YOU! Thanks for stopping by!
Home builder offers pet-specific amenities
In developments from California to Florida, Standard Pacific Homes offers pet owners amenities such as step-in wash stations, automated feeders and toy cabinets for dogs and cats. According to the American Pet Products Association, 68% of Americans have pets, and the market for pet services and goods is worth $55 billion. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (7/16 http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/fUxgCozYBdCHtPhKCidzanCicNNHLa?format=standard
Gourmet trends driving pet food boom
U.S. pet food sales topped $26 billion in 2013, and 40% of that went to premium products, according to Packaged Facts. Other trends in pet food include growing interest in therapeutic foods spurred by issues including pet obesity. Also on the menu are “breakfast” and “appetizer” foods, in demand from owners, who largely see pets as family members. PhysOrg.com (7/21)
BY KARISSA BELLJUL 16, 2014
Taking the perfect dog portrait is harder than you think.
For starters, getting your pooch to look at the camera long enough to get an Instagram-worthy shot can be nearly impossible, particularly if you have an extra rambunctious pup. But pet-centric startup Bark&Co has a new app to help dog lovers in their quest for the perfect canine portrait.
BarkCam is a photo-sharing app that is like a dog version of Instagram.
Dogs in Texas have Chagas disease parasite, study finds
Veterinarian Sarah Hamer and colleagues at Texas A&M University found that 9% of dogs tested in the state carried the Chagas disease parasite. Transmission from dogs to humans is unlikely because the disease can be spread only indirectly, through kissing bugs that must bite the dogs in early stages of the infection. The disease is more common in Latin America, and most people in the U.S. who have the illness likely contracted it in other countries http://vetmed.tamu.edu/faculty/hamer-lab/projects/chagas-disease-eco-epidemiology
A Japanese jeans maker has found a new way of capitalising on zoo animals. Zoo Jeansare producing jeans “designed by dangerous animals”. Denim is wrapped around tyres, which are then thrown to the lions who enjoy ripping and biting at the material. This produces that all-important designer, distressed look.
Rather than simply being a marketing gimic, there is actually value in this from an animal welfare perspective. Involving lions and the zoo’s other large carnivores in the activity is part of what’s called environmental enrichment. This is the provision of stimuli to help improve well-being. It’s a win-win activity for many zoos, who can make alternative profits from their animals, which tend to be used to provide extra facilities for them
Today’s show gets back to some medical education, but also contains a little life philosophy. “You can’t always judge a book by its cover” is a saying most all of us have heard at some time in our life. How things look on the outside may, or may not, be as they seem, and only through thorough, systematic, repetitive evaluation can we often get to the root of our problem, or the problem of our friend, loved one, or even PET! Here are my show notes on Skin Diseases. I hope these give you a little guidance in helping you help your vet help your pet. If I can help you develop a system to look beneath the surface on other issues, or with your animal, please email me at email@example.com. Thanks for stopping by!
Skin Diseases –
Can’t always judge a book by its cover – Same for skin diseases
Multitude of skin manifested disorders
Parasites external and internal
Nutritional Deficiencies or excesses or imbalances
Exposure or contact dermatitis
Auto immune Disorders
Important Tips to Help your vet help your pet
Interesting observation of mine over the past twenty years – MOST of the texts we study in vet school, which describe most of the disease processes, are written by people in academic surroundings. Universities have historically been the place progressed and unresolved disease processes went for further evaluation, or the disease wa allowed to progress to a point of severity that the vet or owner felt the expertise of a university was necessary. NOW, as people have become more closely associated with their animals, we are able to see and intervene much earlier in a disease process which is good in that earlier intervention can lead to better and more rapid resolution, downside is the presentation may not be at a stage typically described in the literature – THIS IS WHY DR GOOGLE STRUGGLES PRACTICING MEDICINE!!!
1. Let’s take specifically this time of year
2. What is the age of the animal?
a. Young animals/ juveniles much more likely to be parasite or genetic or diet
b. Geriatric animals – much more likely to be hormonal, allergic or recurring parasite or atopy or neoplasia
c. Middle aged animals – parasites and allergies
3. Has the animal had a similar problem previously?
4. What , if anything, has changed? Diet, location, travel, additions or subtractions from the home or environment
5. What is the diet and parasite control program currently being used?
6. What is the symmetry of the disorder?
a. Where on the body is the problem your observing located? What are the daily habits of the animal?
b. Is the problem in a focal area or is it generalized? Front or back? Top or bottom? Left and right? What is the symmetry or lack there of?
7. Is the animal “Itchy”? Scratching, biting, rubbing on stuff
8. Is there hair loss? Is there excessive hair?
9. Is the skin or affected area wet or dry?
10. Scaley, crusty, lumpy, bumpy, eroded?
11. Any other animals or people in the environment affected?
What you should expect
1. Almost 20 questions!! But I have already ruled in or ruled out a LOT!! History is ESSENTIAL!!!
2. A general physical exam and overall health assessment
1. Maybe nothing – Fleas and ticks and lice
2. Skin scraping – Mites, fungi, cytologic staining to look at cell types present or gram stain for bacteria
3. Woods Light exam – Ringworm
4. Blood work, fecal exam, heartworm test for a dog
5. Fine needle aspirate
6. Biopsy – culture and microscopic tests
7. Intradermal skin testing for allergies
3. Parasite management
4. Steroids – Gonna talk a lot about this , probably quit here for this week and carry on at a later date
Ck out our website and our FB page wildaboutanimalsradioshow.com, Wild About Animals Radio Show on Facebook
Vemma for people and pets!! The most complete liquid nutritional supplement on the planet! Drbruce.vemma.com
My long time friend Ashley Richardson of McKinney, TX joined me today for what I thought was to be the grand opening day of her DREAM, Castle Creek Pet Resort and Spa. Ashley comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has overcome HUGE hurdles put in place by local government to make her dream a reality, so another month delay is nothing to get this girl down! Her parents operate a very successful pipe and steel company and her brother races Nationwide Series cars and Ashley has developed her passion for dogs (AND she loves her dressage horses, too) into a very successful dog grooming business. Sassy Paws Pet Salon (www.sassypawspetsalon.com) is imaginative and innovative in its approach to meeting the grooming needs of the animal while adding the WILD SIDE of the groomer and owner team through creative clips and colorful “additions” to suit the personalities of both the dog and the owner. During our talk, she gives some great tips on frequency of grooming, whether to shear heavy coated dogs for summer, flea and tick control and heat stroke prevention, as well as talking about how and why she has turned her passion into a very successful business venture. Check out her website and schedule an appointment, and book your pet a stay at the Castle Creek Pet Resort and Spa in McKinney, TX once it opens in a few more weeks!
I follow Ashley on Facebook (you should too! Her pics of her grooming art always brighten my day!) and was very interested to see her post her displeasure with the sport of horse racing after the Kentucky Derby. I really appreciate her concern for the welfare of the horses, and recognize it is a common view shared by many, and a big reason for my doing the show and blog and podcast and all that this involves. Her displeasure arises from the perception that young horses are pushed beyond their limits for the purpose of making money for people, leading to the eventual breakdown and euthanasia of the horse. You can read my comments to her post on her FB page (i will figure out at some time how to link to it or post on the WAARS FB page!), but her concern generated several questions and views which, regardless of how you feel, I ask you to consider in forming your opinion and assessment of horse racing and animal sports in general.
Here is the question I ask in today’s show, ” In the unfortunate event of a horse suffering an irreparable lower leg fracture during a race, would you rather see the horse euthanized immediately, or would you rather see the horse transported, undergo an amputation and later be fitted with a prosthesis, allowing it an opportunity at life, though maybe not an entirely “normal” life?” Would it matter to you if the horse stood at stud (male) or entered a broodmare band (female) to reproduce and potentially generate revenue for the owner, and for the care of the horse? Oh, by the way, amputations and prosthetics for horses are successfully performed in some instances now, though the success rate is certainly not 100%.
I look forward to reading your comments and opinions. I will write a little more as feedback comes through, and remember, there is no right or wrong answer. We all have our own set of beliefs and I hope the discussion can lead all of us to a better understanding of each of us! Have a WILD week!! Thanks for stopping by!
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.~ Arabian Proverb
Farm owner Judy Sirbasku and Manager Shawn Crews were surprised and honored to be the recipients of the 2014 Ambassador Award at this weekend’s Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas!
Horses are also likely to have what science has identified as a “coherent” heart rhythm (heart rate pattern) which explains why we may “feel better” when we are around them. . . .studies have found that a coherent heart pattern or HRV is a robust measure of well-being and consistent with emotional states of calm and joy–that is, we exhibit such patterns when we feel positive emotions.
EPA: Some flea and tick collars pose danger to children
An Environmental Protection Agency report warns that propoxur, a flea-killing chemical in flea collars marketed by Sergeant’s Pet Care Products and Wellmark International, is unsafe for children. However, the products can be distributed until two years from now, and retailers can continue to sell them after that until their stock is gone. Veterinary dermatologist Daniel Morris says there are safer products available and urges owners to consult with their veterinarian to determine the best approach. The Philadelphia Inquirer (4/13)
NYC horse carriage drivers relieved after Mayor de Blasio delays ban
De Blasio admitted he likely won’t get around to his pet project of banning horse-drawn carriages until the end of the year, taking a giant step back from his campaign promise that he would put an end to the iconic industry as soon as he took office. More.
Courtesy of www.nydailynews.com.
Bundy ranch – 2 wrongs don’t make a right! – A commentary on the situation involving free grazing, desert turtles and the invasion by the BLM. I wonder if all this transpires if Mr Bundy would have paid his land use fees? On the other hand, it must not have been important to the US government until Mr Reid decided he needed some land. Two wrongs obviously don’t make a right!