Random.org has selected lucky number FOUR! Kellee, I will get your info after the blogathon and Dr. Kay will send you the book directly!
I know this is the giveaway a lot of you have been waiting for- an autographed copy of Dr. Nancy Kay’s Speaking for Spot!
Speaking for Spot was a labor of love for Dr. Nancy Kay, fueled by her passion to teach people how to be effective medical advocates for their four-legged best friends. With warmth, candor, and humor cultivated over 20-plus years of working with dogs and their human companions Dr. Kay provides an insider’s guide to navigating the potentially overwhelming, confusing, and expensive world of veterinary medicine. The result is everything you need to know in one fabulous, fully illustrated book. Speaking for Spot is the consummate guide on how to be your best friend’s medical advocate!
If you don’t want to take the chance of not winning, you can always buy a copy for yourself, for your friends, for your mom. Remember if you go through this link Dr. Kay will donate $5 of the purchase price to Bradyn!
Since this is a book about how to advocate for your pets, let’s have this be the topic of discussion for comments:
Tell me about a remarkable experience (good or bad) with a veterinarian, and what made it that way. I always learn a lot from these stories.
Each comment is one entry.
Abby's Mom says
When my rabbit, Flopsey, developed a fibrosarcoma in his paw my veterinarian devoted lots of time and patience to my frequent questions and phone calls. While I was only in high school at the time, he always treated me with respect and helped me to give Flopsey the best quality of life possible for his last few weeks. While it was a hard decision to make I trusted him completely when he suggested it was time to say goodbye to Flopsey.
Christine Ewalt says
I really wish I had this book a couple years ago. Our cat was already FIV positive and was sick that the emergency vet was not very kind or compassionate at all. She just wanted to put all kinds of money into our cat, while my daughter (this was her very first pet all her own) sat there in tears because she knew how sick our cat really was. I know that we need to advocate for our pets, but I really wish that it was never about the $$$$$ and more about exactly what is best for the animal no matter what.
My old vet took care of BJ, a super sweet German Shepherd Dog who died in October 2005. He ended up with vestibular disease (made worse by his degenerative myelopathy) and was at the vet for two weeks. I would visit him twice a day to help feed him. They moved him into the treatment area (in a corner by the ICU) because he did better with people around. But since he was large, he laid on the floor. The vet suggested I buy an inflatable matress to make him more comfortable. It was hilarious because all the ICU dogs were surrounding him in their cages and staring and whining while I would come for an hour or more to pet him. Here BJ was getting love and living the high life on a cushion, outside of a cage, and they were stuck inside. It got depressing though because dogs would come in sick, get better, go home, and BJ was still there. However, he eventually, with the techs help, began walking well enough to come home! He lived another 2 months before he died at home one Saturday morning. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Grady and his staff for the love and care they showed my sweet BJ.
Annette Frey says
Our vet is amazing. He doesn’t always have all the answers and we don’t always agree on every single thing, but he always is open to discussion and gives the time necessary for us to make informed decisions as a team, that we are both comfortable with.
He saved Lambchop’s life on many occasions, from the first time we came in, late one evening in an emergency when Lamby was rapidly declining with Ehrliciosis, to seeing us and diagnosing a full-on Addison’s crash on a Sunday (missing his son’s soccer game), to pulling him out of the grips of RMSF with severe thrombocytopenia on another occasion – making the right decision to change abx from the awful ER we had to pull him out of from the night before.
At the same time, he has come to accept our different feeding decisions (raw) and has since even asked us to talk to other clients who want to go that route.
A great relationship with your vet is so infinitely important! I tried switching with Starlet, to a vet we could walk to (since he’s a very expensive cab ride uptown and back) and since she had no problems but the office just didn’t meet the standards we are so used to with our amazing vet’s amazing techs, etc. So back I went with Starr for her yearly checkups and I am very happy for it. You know that feeling when what you’re doing is comfortable and feels just right? That’s our vet!
The first pet my husband and I had “together” was a little brown rat name Loki. He was an amazing animal and quickly worked his way into our hearts. One day Loki’s breathing became labored and I quickly began calling vets to have him seen. Sadly, the first few calls I made the doctors didn’t see pocket pets, one call I made the receptionist out right laughed at me for wanting to bring my rat to the vet. I was in tears by this point. Finally I called a clinic just a few miles from my house and they told me to bring him in right away. The vet I saw was just out of school, but she was wonderful! Not only did she examine my rat, but she was a wealth of information on diet, husbandry, and care. She was gentle and caring with Loki and treated him like the beloved family member that he was. I went home that day with some medication that quickly improved Loki’s condition and a very strong desire to help others the way she helped me. Loki’s story became part of my personal statement for my admition to vet school where I’m now almost midway through my second year. I am so very thankful to my darling rat Loki and the wonderful vet who helped us both.
Having heard Dr. Kay speak, I can only say, “This is an awesome giveaway, and a great book!”
Annette Frey says
Conversely to my awesome vet, the traveling vet who did the CCL surgery on Lambchop should be ashamed on himself and turn his license in – to practice veterinary medicaine AND to the human race. He put Lambchop on Deramaxx while he was on greatly increased doses on prednisone for surgery and post-op (for his AD, up to 20mg from 1.25mg) and then when he put him into renal failure NEVER even had the decency to return a phone call to discuss or even acknowledge us!
Our awesome veterinary experience was recent, when my kitty started acupuncture for her arthritis. I’m one of those pet owners that asks a lot of questions. I had been asking our regular vet questions about cat food – is what I’m feeding good, okay, does it provide the best nutrition or just average nutrition?
We went for our first acupuncture session, which was very helpful and quite fascinating (we’ve since had 6 total). While the session was underway, New Kitty Doctor asked all kinds of questions: what does kitty eat? what does kitty like? what have kitty’s health issues been over the years? All the questions I had wished my regular vet would ask! I really appreciated the whole-pet approach when we were there for specialized services – acupuncture for arthritis. Now, New Kitty Doctor is our regular vet 🙂
I have 2 – both good (at least considering the situations).
My parents and I lost our family dog and my mom’s heart dog, Bella, to liver failure in April of 2009. Our vet, both for my parent’s animals and mine, helped my mother and Bella through the illness with wonderful care and attentiveness. When it came time to say goodbye, he came to the house with one of his vet techs. While the experience was still harder than I can describe, giving Bella and her people the opportunity to say good bye in the warmth of our home was more than we could ask for or expect.
When I choose a new vet for my animals last month, it was especially difficult because of how much I loved our current vet. I’m recently married, and relocated across town, 45 minutes away from the current vet. The benefits just didn’t outweigh the stress our kitties would experience when driving that length to visit the place they hate the most. So I looked around the interwebs, talked to some folks, and choose a new vet. She met one of our kitties for an annual exam and then helped us through a subsequent fever of unknown origin. It was overall a positive experience. I felt hopeful that we made a good decision. Last weekend cinched it for me. Our dog, Gus, has been going through some separation anxiety and has taken it out on the door to his crate and his teeth. I brought him in, expecting that extractions were in our future. She was thorough and kind, knowledgeable and sweet to Gus. What won me over was that we spent the entire exam sitting on the linoleum floor with Gus – me, the vet tech, our new vet, and our 70 lb, goofy and timid dog. Even after she was finished with the physical exam and had drawn his blood, we carried on our discussion of Gus sitting cross-legged on the floor. She was even wearing nice slacks.
I guess these examples illustrate that it’s the big things and the little things that count. We notice both, but what we notice most is someone else with the capability to care for our animals as much as we do.
When we were fostering our dog Bama that we got from the pound we had to take him to the vet to be neutered. We used a vet that the pound worked with that we hadn’t been to before. We were already getting attached to Bama anyway and when we got to the vet the minute we walked in the receptionists were so nice and friendly to us and Bama. The vet tech that we talked to was so understanding and promised that they would take good care of him. And they did. They told us exactly what to do for him when we took him home and phoned the next day to see how he was doing.
Two Little Cavaliers says
Davinia was viciously attacked last year I rushed her to the Emergency vet thinking she would even make it there. From the moment we arrived the doctor did everything he could to make her comfortable and help her survive. He did everything on her terms he waited for her to become as stable as possible before performing surgery. He painstakingly checked every organ for tears and wounds and did what he had to do to help her.
When her body said it could not take anymore surgery he rushed her to X-ray to make sure they had a clear picture of all of her bones and put her back in the warming and oxygen kennel to wake up. At each step of the process he explained what he needed to do in order to help her. In the middle of surgery he allowed certain parties to suit up in order to take pictures of her condition.
Without the surgeon that was on duty that night I really don’t think she would have survived.
When he was off and the other doctors where on duty I would hear from the nurses and receptionist that he called the ER as often as I did to check on her condition. When she was taken outside to potty and I witnessed her first steps and tail wag he was crying tears right along with me.
Here is a link to part of her story http://twolittlecavaliers.blogspot.com/2010/06/davinias-story-6-months-to-day.html
Kellee K says
Our vet Dr. Atkinson @ Turquoise Animal Hopsital in Pacific Beach (San Diego) is great. He has been with us (me, hubby and our 2 dogs) through so much: Trivial and not so trivial. After we started seeing him for our dogs care–we saw him in TV commercials. Turns out he is a local comercial actor in San Diego too lol. My Corgi Dylan has had the wierdest things happen to him. And he is how shall we say a flatulent dog. Not the smelly kind but the audible kind. One time my neighbor’s son thought it would be fun to see Dylan chase a super ball (very small rubber bouncy ball). Normally no problem. But this ball, Dylan promptly caught in his mouth, and swallowed, indignantly like “look what I can do”.
We took him to see Dr.A and he said to wait a week, see if it passed and if not bring him back in and he’d “go in and get it” whatever that meant , Gr8!
So a week passed and many empty poo bags later we take Dylan into see Dr. A.
So Dr. A is doing a regular check up before he decides the next course of action and Dylan decides to cut the loudest most audible (for lack of a better word) fart. Dr. Atkinson doesnt skip a beat and looks straight at us and says “I wanna party with that dog” like they were frat brothers. LOL We all cracked up and it put us all at ease because the decision was to put Dylan under anesthesia (always scary) and scope that super ball out of him.
It took sveral tries with a few different size tools he told us but we have the super ball framed now as a prize for our efforts and Dylan is now 9 1/2 and a happy camper. Who knows what obstruction it would have caused later. We were so worried but Dr. A and his staff put us all at ease and treated us like Gold. We’ll never forget it.
Dorothy Baxter says
When my cocker spaniel Sunshine was diagnosed with lymphoma my vet supported my decision to consult an oncologist and cooperated fully with tests and treatments that could be done locally so I did not have to drive an hour and a half just for blood work. Sunshine was able to have 2 more years with minimum side effects. After losing her second remission my local vet supported my decision and Sunshine’s to stop aggressive treatment (much to the horror of the oncologist who felt risking the side effects of internal bleeding was acceptable) and did what she could to keep Sunshine comfortable for an additional 2 good months and then supported my decision to relieve her suffering. She was aware that I was working with an animal communicator to make the best decision I could for my beloved Sunshine and regardless of what her personal beliefs might have been she supported me every step of the way. I am grateful to the wonderful cancer specialists who gave me an additional 2 years but am even more grateful to her regular vet who provided ongoing support and help in making that final decision to not let my baby suffer. In contrast her sister died last February at nearly 17 years of age and that same vet clinic supported my decision to keep her comfortable in her senior years and provided needed care to enable her to pass quietly at home on her own terms. I appreciated that my vet was willing to explain all available options and then able to fully support the choices that I made.
Our vet is open to going over different treatments & what would be the preferable treatment in his mind. He is always open to discussing things & hearing your thoughts. He is not money minded like a previous vet. He wants to do what is good for the animal. We trust him with our cats & dogs.
When it was our cat Putt-Putt’s time to go because of kidney failure he gently led me to go ahead with the decision letting me know it was the right time. It is so hard to let go of a loved ‘friend’ & he made me feel I had made the right decison at the right time since fluids, etc. were not working anymore & he was going down fairly rapidly. I appreciate the support in that tough time.
All of my experiences with my vet have been remarkable.My vet, who is also my boss, is the only person that I would trust my dogs with. She is right there for me whenever I have a question or concern about one of them, which is almost everyday. Although we sometimes agree to disagree on some topics she still respects my decisions on my pets. She takes time out of her busy day to research one of the crazy things that I have asked her, and even will do this on her days off. She doesn’t make any money off of my pets, she just truely loves her job
Here’s my worst, and something that taught me so much about how I advocate for my animals care since.
Precious our 10 year old Yorkie was diagnosed with atrioventricular heart block. Which can be repaired with a pacemaker. We started at our regular vet who sent us to the local specialty clinic who doesn’t have a cardiologist but once a month, we happened to arrive on the day the cardiologist is there. She recommended we drive Precious to her clinic 60 miles away and she would put in the pacemaker the next day.
We arrived as surgery was supposed to end the next day only to sit in the lobby for 2 hours before anyone told us what was happening. The doctor came out and said “We are in trouble”, my wife started balling as the doc explained that she couldn’t get the pacemaker to work. She suggested we drive Precious another 60 miles to a teaching hospital where they could fix the problem. We insisted that someone come with us, the doc said she had to get home to her kids so sent a tech with us. During the ride Precious’ heart stopped several times and she had to be given medication.
Upon arrival at the teaching hospital we were met by an intern who advised us that Precious would be managed by medication overnight and they would do surgery in the morning. We drove the 120 miles back home arriving at 2am, and received a phone call at 4am that Precious was dead.
The first vet simply failed to properly execute the surgery, the second hospital failed to give Precious the care she needed immediately. The second hospital was great about admitting this after the fact and we are still regular visitors there and fans of what they do.
I now always insist that whoever is needed be called in to provide the care that my animals need, whether its noon or 2am. Therefore I have the home and cell numbers of most of the vets we use on speedial.
Part of Precious legacy is the superb care that our dogs have received since, and that her big brother Freddie is 15 and still going strong thanks to the world of veterinary care Precious’ death introduced us to. We miss you little girl.
We unfortunately had a bad experience, but I think you also learn from those. I took our rottweiler Liam to the vet, we adopted him from our local humane society and he was 4 years old and 122 pounds. He was not eating very good the first couple of weeks and we where worried about him so I took him to the vet. The vet was very scared of him, asked me if me and my fiance had kids and when I said No, he was like Good, and you should not have kids while you have this dog. I am not a dog person and he is a big dog so i was very bummed out when he was saying all this. But really after leaving the vet office I realized he was just a biased person and I dismissed his comments. Our rottweiler is a big teddy bear and people actually better watch out more for our dachshund Moxie!
Parker is a German Shepherd & Husky mix who came to us through the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA in 2004. He had been neglected terribly by his previous owners – locked in a crate in their backyard for most of three years and starved half to death. He escaped this crate in 2004 and was hit by a car, only to be put back in the crate for 4 more days until the owners finally decided to bring him to the shelter to be put down (“for making too much noise”).
He was in terrible shape – malnourished, emaciated, and a mangled back leg (plus gangrene) from the accident. The veterinary staff at the SPCA were able to keep him alive, much to their surprise and then fundraised for his leg amputation surgery.
He came home with us a week and a half later, three-legged and scared out of his mind. When we were signing the adoption papers, the veterinary staff were paged and everyone came running to say goodbye to their miracle dog. There were so many tears; mixed emotions, of course. They were sad to say goodbye, but happy to see him go to a good forever home.
We took him home with us, started him on a premium dog food, and a training program. 6 years later, he is still a favourite at the Vet and is now a decoy dog during my training classes and occasionally does therapy work when he has time. (He has a busy schedule, you know…)
The Vets that took care of him at the SPCA said that in the beginning it was highly unlikely that he would survive even until the surgery but they worked day and night to keep him alive and help him thrive.
I cannot imagine life without this dog as he has changed not only my life but so many others with his inspiring story. None of this would have been possible if the Vets at the SPCA had given up on him. They persevered and I have spent the last 6 years madly in love with this gentle giant with three legs and a big heart.
Here’s to another 6+ years with Parker.