Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Help! My Dog Is Purple!

We never thought much about how to choose the right veterinarian. We always trusted that they are all equally good. They all went to school, right? It seemed to have been working for us for years.

Until experience taught us otherwise.

I now believe that one of the important signs of a good veterinarian is attention to symptoms, however vague and seemingly minor they might be. Acknowledging a symptom, and following through, can mean the difference between your dog living a healthy and happy life, or living a life of suffering.

What if your dog suddenly turned purple? 

Nobody could overlook that. And you would insist on getting it figured out.

But what if the symptom is more subtle than that?

Since she was a puppy, Jasmine was suffering from a mild, but consistent diarrhea. We kept taking her to the vet month after month. No viable diagnosis was ever made. Several veterinarians, a number of antibiotic treatments, prescription diet foods and couple years later we finally accepted that that's the way it is and nothing can be done about it.

When Jasmine turned five and a half years she was diagnosed with a partial ACL tear. We didn't really like the idea of putting her through the TPLO surgery, so we were researching other options. During our research we found out about stem cell regenerative therapy and we wanted to see whether that could be an option for us.

When we tried talking about this to our vet at the time, he clearly never heard of it, but immediately dismissed the whole idea. Because we still felt that it was worth of looking into, we looked up veterinarians certified for the procedure in our area, and started calling around.

And that's how we found our new vet. 

He spent a long time on the phone with me, discussing the options and we booked an appointment for a consultation.

It is a long story, which I covered in an earlier article.

The reason I am mentioning it here is that it was this veterinarian, who also discovered that Jasmine is suffering from a type of irritable bowel syndrome, and that she likely has been suffering from it since she was a puppy.

How about that?

He also discovered that the reason for that are food allergies. We did a blood test, changed her diet accordingly, and guess what? No more diarrhea.

She's been suffering with this for five and a half years, despite of our frequent vet visits!

And quite likely her many other health issues stemmed from that. Wouldn't it be nice if her problem was diagnosed at the beginning?

A symptom should never be dismissed. 

If there is a symptom, there is a reason for it. It is just a question of figuring it out.

When I was in the dog park the other day, there was a female Doberman. I noticed that her rectum was completely white. I asked the owners whether they noticed that. They did notice that and took her to their veterinarian.

They were told that it was nothing.

Well, I believe that a rectum should be pink??? When it is consistently white, something is going on that shouldn't. White rectum can be caused by mucus secretion from the large intestine. Large intestine will produce mucus in order to protect itself from something. Something that shouldn't be there.

Sadly, I know a number of people whose dogs are suffering from all kinds of undiagnosed and untreated conditions. 

Make sure that your dog is not one of them. Choose your veterinarian carefully and keep them on their toes.

It is your dog's health.

Related articles:
Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire!
Does Your Vet Listen To You?
It's Your Dog's Health!

Veterinary Drive-Thru: Coming Soon To A Veterinary Hospital Near You!
A Praise To Our Dog House DVM
A Word On Pain


  1. great blog- I think you should actually interview your veterinarian, you want to end up with a good collaborative relationship and to make sure that you are both on the same page as far as the concerns and care of your pet

  2. Yes, definitely. But we didn't know that then. We know that now though. I believe to be really able to assess your veterinarian you also need to know a thing or two. That's why I started this blog in the first place. To get people to get educated.

  3. Excellent post and great advice. I am EXTREMELY picky about the vet(s) I take my dogs to and it has paid off multiple times.