Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thinking Outside The Box: Solutions Tailored To Your Dog's Needs

Looks like the boils, altered mental status, and heart failure were caused by renal cell carcinoma. I need your signature to start treating it with malaria.
Gregory House, MD

Getting the right diagnosis is a crucial step but the work doesn't end there.

Once you know what's wrong with your dog, you still need to decide on the treatment. Yes, you might have been presented with one treatment option only. That, however, doesn't mean there is only one option.

Moulin Rouge Doxies

When Jasmine was diagnosed with torn ACL, the only option presented to us was TPLO surgery!

Well, guess what? There are enough options to treat torn cruciate ligament out there to make your head spin!

That's not to say that the one option you were given isn't the best one for you dog. But how would you know for sure without considering them all?

Remember, getting a second opinion doesn't apply only to diagnostics but to treatment options also!

While a run-of-the-mill treatment solution can often work, it is not always the case.

The problem with cookie-cutter solutions is that each dog is an individual with individual problems and needs.

The best treatment is such that considers your dog's individual needs.

The first time our vet was faced with the need for a unique solution to a common problem was when we brought in JD with ringworm infection.

He was going to write up a standard prescription. 

While doing that he mentioned that JD will have to wear the elizabethan collar until the treatment was over.

Wait a minute. This was just shortly after Jasmine's first knee surgery and she was quite vulnerable to set backs! And I remembered what a disaster it was when JD had to wear the collar after he got neutered. He was a clumsy danger to himself and everybody around him.

Mixing that with Jasmine's post op didn't seem like a good idea to me.

I still remember how momentary irritation swept over the vet's face. 

He was trying to hide it and I didn't hold it against him. What was important was what he did. We could clearly see him thinking.

He then came up with an alternate solution that did not require the e-collar!

Yes, it was pain in the back side, and the treatment took longer. But it worked and Jasmine's knee was safe!

He [our vet] since got used to the fact that with Jasmine every solution has to be custom. After examining her, he would sit down deep in thought: “I know what I would normally do—now I have to figure out what I'm going to do considering it's Jasmine.”

Jasmine's vet is very smart and sometimes I think he enjoys the challenge.

He had custom designed his first lift exam tables. For his new place he had now designed custom sound-proof kennels for the sick ward. And he always makes the treatment work for his patients.

When one of Jasmine's incisions wasn't healing well, he came up with the idea of using Preparation H

That's right, the hemorrhoid ointment! Did it ever work! It seems it works better for this than for its original purpose!

This year has been quite wet and Jasmine's feet seemed to want to keep breaking out with infections.

What are we using? Epi-Otic!

Yup, the ear cleanser! And it's working beautifully! Since we started using it, even the cracks Jasmine had on he pads disappeared.

Jasmine's care is custom tailored to her, starting from her custom home-cooked diet and hand-picked supplements, to treatment of any problem that she faces.

The biggest leap of faith for her vet was when we wanted to include the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in our arsenal.

He squirmed a bit at first.

But because the patient's interest is his main priority, and conventional treatments failed to address the problem, he agreed to trying it.

Jasmine's TCVM vet was quite surprised to find out that her regular vet was cool with that. “He knows you're here?” he asked, surprised, when we came for the first consultation.

Yes, of course he did, we wouldn't want to do anything without his blessing. 

We love and respect him too much to go behind his back. And the fact that we didn't have to [go behind his back] only proves that the respect we have for him is well deserved.

Over time, all kinds of things got mixed into the pot that is Jasmine's medical care.

Latest science, unorthodox ideas, and alternative treatments. 

The result? Jasmine is going to be 8 years old and nobody would guess that.


We drive our dogs around in custom cars, dress them up with custom accessories … and yet we are quick to settle for cookie-cutter medical solutions.

Your dog has arthritis? Here are some NSAIDs.

While NSAIDs can be a fine solution for many dogs, there are other options out there that can work just as well and that are safer.

Whatever treatment option you go with, do make sure that it is the best solution for you and your dog. There are options!

It's your dog's health,
Jana

Related articles:
Bulging Disc and The Importance Of A Second Opinion
A Word On Second Opinions
Trust Your Gut! The Story Of Blind Maximus
Finding Dr. Wonderful And Your Mutt's Mayo Clinic: Getting Started
Making Tough Medical Decisions For Your Dog
It's Your Dog's Health
Does Your Vet Listen To You?
Help! My Dog Is Purple!
Veterinary Drive-Thru: Coming Soon To A Veterinary Hospital Near You!

4 comments

  1. Treatment is all about options. You and Jasmine are good examples of that Jana. To me, treatment is not easy but you sit down with a proper diagnosis and discuss the options and with each option the risks and benefits and costs. There are usually plenty of options....and I long ago gave up trying to second-guess what people wanted to do! It is not my place to do that and if anything is arrogant to start pushing treatments on intelligent people who can make their own minds up.

    Most vets are getting better at that. Certainly in Australia, it is a part of our duty of care to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Chris, thank you so much for reading and commenting!

    Yes, I think the Australian vets seem to be ahead of the game on this. Up here I don't even think the vets second-guess what the owner might want, they just give you the one option they deem to be the right one.

    I'm not saying that they cannot recommend what they feel it the best thing to do. But many of them just DO things, and don't even comment on what they're doing and why.

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  3. Preparation H for wound treatment? I did NOT know that :O Does it work by reducing inflammation? Does it work by drying out the wound? Definitely an interesting application for a bum cream!

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  4. Yeah, who would have thunk, right?

    It encourages healing, fast, kinda has to considering what it's originally meant for. :-)

    Preparation H contains as its primary ingredient shark liver oil, to which it attributes most of its qualities. It's supposed to fight infections, inflammations and heal wounds.

    It certainly worked for Jasmine's incision site. Our vet says it works better for that than for its original purpose.

    ReplyDelete

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