I have had a rather steady two weeks at work. However, my weekends have been rather interesting. Last weekend I threw Alana (my colleague at work) an 80’s dress up farewell party. She is off to the UK in February and I will miss her heaps.
We have a great vet working relationship and have also become close friends.
She plans to torture me with her travel adventures and I hope to exploit her for free accommodation if I decide on a UK holiday trip. The 80’s theme party was inspired by me joking about how big my hair gets if I brush it. And voilà , here I am posing with my hubby ‘Wally’ & thankfully my hair appears contained in this picture:
It has also been stinking hot here and that explains the rather cruisy work schedule. I think everyone is trying to keep cool and keeping their pets out of the heat. However, whenever I run out to do some grocery shopping, I am often shocked to see many people happily walking around with their pooches at around mid day (peak heat). I know the owners have good intentions and want to spend quality time with their dogs. Unfortunately, they seem oblivious to the fact that their pet is actually suffering in silence.
These dogs are often lagging behind the owner and appear like they are cooking and in a bit of discomfort.
Their poor paws must be aching and throbbing from each step they take on the burning surface beneath them. Have you ever tried to walk bare foot on the side-walk between 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. during the summer heat? I implore all pet owners to rethink taking their dogs out when it’s very hot unless they are heading to the lake or beach or park. Geriatric patients especially ones with medical conditions like heart or liver disease won’t cope with the heat. It is best to keep them indoors with a fan or air conditioner switched on.
Unfortunately I had to put down one of my favourite patients ‘Castro’ ,a 12-year-old labrador, with heart failure because he was suffering from heat stroke. Boy did he love his liver treats.
He would hobble around on his stiff hind legs quite happily just to get closer to the liver treat jar.
Rest in peace my handsome boy…
Last week, I was very lucky to meet George, 19-year-old Burmese cat, that presented to me for weight loss and intermittent vomiting.
Yup you heard me 19 years old!
His owner had already resigned herself for the worst possible news purely based on his age. George was so vocal and his coat was so smooth and soft. He was an absolute smooch.
I proceeded with my full examination and found that he was in great nick for his age. However, I did discover he had a very smelly breath due to a few rotten teeth. His owner then informed me that he had had a few dentals in his time and barely has any teeth left. I could see the owner was still very tense and waiting to hear what my recommendations were going to be. I smiled at her and said:
‘I am successfully managing a 21-year-old feisty kitty cat with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and so I am more than happy to give George a good go”.
I told her I am fully aware he is quite old and he may be suffering from a serious condition. However, I only base that kind of decision on the quality of life of my patient, my examination and workup. At that stage, the owner was quite relived and keen to take me up on my recommendations of blood work and admitting George into the hospital to get him started on iv fluids to correct his mild dehydration. The blood test was to rule in/out kidney failure or hyperthyroidism to help me decide what was best for Georgy. His blood results showed very mild kidney issues and his thyroid levels were normal.
I was blown away with his good results in light of his age and quickly informed his owner. I then had to get the owner’s consent to go ahead with a general anaesthetic and dental. She knew well the risks involved but wanted to give ‘George’ the best quality of life while he was still plunking along. ‘George’ was initially not too pleased to be kept hostage in a cage.
He kept yowling for attention and as soon as he got it, he was utterly contented.
He made an excellent recovery after his dental. I called his owner a few days after ‘George’ was discharged and she was ecstatic to share the news of him thriving after his dental and not having vomited once. It was such a relief to hear that.
For all you pet lovers who have been advised that your pet is too old to undergo a general anaesthetic. I recommend you take your pet to another vet for a second opinion.
Can you imagine having a rotting and aching tooth or even set of teeth in your mouth? It is not only very painful but also will lead to bacteraemia (bacteria overload) that will spread through you pets’ blood stream leading to heart and kidney disease. Yes older pets undergoing a general anaesthetic have higher risks but it is definitely worth it. I find that many of my clients that have given me the okay to do a dental on their aged pets are always very thankful. They call to tell me they see a huge difference in their pet afterwards: more active, better appetite and simply their beloved pet is so much happier. So please don’t ignore your pet’s dental needs!!!
I better quit babbling. I have another very intersting case to discuss with you next week. So tune in to my post on ‘Sky’, the 3 month old adorable kitten with a prolpased eye:
- Thirsty Kitty Cat (rayyathevet.com)