Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Your Dog's Health

Taking a good care of our dogs is not an easy task. We face many responsibilities. There are many decisions to make. What to feed the dog. How to train the dog. How to keep the dog healthy.

What if the dog gets sick?

You'd think that if you take your dog to a vet do what they tell you that is all that's to it. But unfortunately, not really.

First of all, which veterinarian?

As with anything else, not all veterinarians were created equal. We learned it the hard way, and our dog has suffered for a long time because of lack of expertise/dedication on our vets' part, and our naive approach.

Ever since she came to us Jasmine suffered with bad poop and diarrhea

We were at the vets at least once a month for a long time. After many stool samples and a number of antibiotic treatments we still had gotten nowhere. We were told that Jasmine simply had sensitive digestive tract and that's just the way it was. She was put on veterinary diet food. We did feed it to her, though it wasn't making a difference.

When Jasmine injured her knee, a TPLO surgery was suggested. 

We didn't like the idea of such an invasive approach at all and started researching other options. One option that we found quite hopeful was stem cell regenerative therapy. When we brought it up to our vet at the time, not only didn't he know anything about it, but he dismissed it without even considering it. So we went on a quest to find a vet who is certified to do this procedure and might have some experience with it.

It turned out that vets who have actually done this procedure were hard to come by--it is still quite new approach. However, we did find a vet within a reasonable distance who was certified for it and was willing to spend the time talking to me about our situation and the therapy. In fact, he spent 45 minutes with me on the phone.

When we decided we were going to explore this route, we booked a consultation with him.

As we brought our girl in, he started looking at her shoulders, at her mouth--it was a knee injury consultation! But he's explaining how one thing would have been affected by another, and that he wants to fix the WHOLE dog. Wow, we were amazed.

From there it was a very long journey. But during that journey her bad poop finally got explained also. 

It turned out that Jasmine most likely was born with inherited food allergy, which over time resulted in quite a serious IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) condition, because it was  never addressed. And yes, the diet food she was put on did contain some of the ingredients she was allergic to. Had this issue been addressed at the beginning, I believe that many of her other health problems could have been avoided.

And we did like our previous vet. 

We thought he was a good vet. Maybe he was, and maybe just good sometimes doesn't cut it. Our present vet isn't just good, he is amazing, and we are very thankful to have found him.

To close this post, here is the moral of the story:

1. Do not dismiss or accept your dog's symptoms. If something isn't right--it isn't right. It needs to be figured out and fixed.

2. Take the time to find the amazing vet for your dog. You and your dog deserve it.

Choosing the right veterinarian is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. Sadly, it is also one of the hardest.

Related articles:
Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire!
Does Your Vet Listen To You?
Help! My Dog Is Purple!
Veterinary Drive-Thru: Coming Soon To A Veterinary Hospital Near You!
A Praise To Our Dog House DVM
A Word On Pain


  1. Absolutely!!! I'd like to hope that people pose questions to their own physicians if they're not quite understanding what's happening, and just the same I hope people would ask many questions of their veterinarians too! You wouldn't go into a treatment or surgery for yourself blindly, and I hope you'd feel the same about your pets! You never know, as an animal liver, it's likely you could run into a similar situation in the future with a different pet. Wouldn't you like to have an idea of what's happening?

  2. The thing is that people sometimes trust their vets blindly. We did too ... until we learned otherwise.

    Sadly they are NOT all created equally.