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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day- My Mom

Just a quick Memorial Day remembrance and reflection. My mom passed away in 1986 while I was still in Vet School. She didn't live to see me graduate, and I know that would have been a really proud day for her. After all she'd done for me, I would've liked to have given her that day. Almost 25 years later, the acute pain of losing her is long gone, but there is still a dull ache that flares up intermittantly. My dad came to visit this weekend, and I feel lucky to still have him. We all (especially my dad) thought Mom would outlive him, but I'm happy to say he seems as healthy as ever. I guess the moral for me is: Live for today as much as possible. Enjoy the many wonders and blessings of this world, while preparing for the future. For life can be short, so don't miss your opportunities to take what is there for us. But life can also be enduring, so make sure today's actions don't ruin your chance at tomorrow's opportunities.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Terrible Way To Start My Day

I got a call at home early yesterday morning from clients of mine whose dog was in serious distress. In fact, they believed she was dying. I told them I would meet them at the clinic ASAP. By the time I got there, they were already there, and the dog had died on the way. She was a beautiful, young, Golden Retriever, and she lay lifeless in the back seat of the car. She was surrounded by the entire family, all of them with moist, bloodshot eyes. The father told me, "If God created the perfect dog, it would have been this one."

One of my associates had been seeing the dog for a couple of weeks (months?) for mysterious, neurologic symptoms. At first it was believed that her strange behavior was related to her epilepsy, which had been diagnosed a couple of years ago. It could also have been due to the phenobarbital that she was taking for the epilepsy. Her lab tests showed nothing of consequence, and in such a young dog we wanted to believe that it was something simple. But the mom knew better.

She brought the dog to see me (we are friends), and said, "Something is seriously wrong. I can't say what, but she is definitely not right." She mentioned that she seemed to breathe funny. We took a chest Xray and noticed an enlarged heart and some fluid in her chest. We then did a cardiac ultrasound and discovered that her heart sac (pericardium) was full of fluid and compressing the heart so severely that it couldn't beat properly. Unfortunately, that wasn't the worst of it. The source of the fluid was a tumor attached to the heart.

The radiologist placed a catheter through the chest into the pericardial sac and started draining the fluid. The dog actually sighed with relief as the fluid drained out. It was only a matter of minutes until we could see that she was feeling much much better. Unfortunately we knew that it would only be a matter of time until the tumor caused the fluid to return. They took her home, happy to have her back to normal, but with heavy hearts because of the short amount of time she would have left.

They told me yesterday that she was almost completely normal until her symptoms suddenly reoccured the night before. By morning, she was almost gone. By the time she got to my office she was gone. What a terrible way to start my day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My First Blog

Well, there's always got to be a first time, so here it is for my blogging "career." I have read that unless one is some sort of celebrity, the first set of blogs are read by no one! With that in mind, I have nowhere to go but up!

The centerpiece of my professional (and personal) life right now is our brand new hospital. We are starting our fourth week here and the reviews have been very very encouraging! My wife was in charge of the project, and I must say, the beauty of this place is a tribute to her vision. The layout was designed by an award-winning veterinary archetect from Boulder, Colorado. Blueprints were done by a local firm (EWR), and major input was given by all our doctors and staff. So, it is not only beautiful, but functional. Photos are posted on our website, www.horseshoepets.com, and also on our Facebook page. We are having a fun open house event June 6 from 1:00 until 4:00 (wine!) We've invited anyone who's interested to check it out, and even bring their pets if they want.

My wife is now turning her attention to the "old" building which we're converting to an upscale boarding and grooming facility. It should really be something when it's done! More on that later.

OK, I know this has been a pretty boring start, but I wanted to share what's foremost in my mind at the moment. I promise to give more info about pet issues, my personal views, and other related or unrelated stuff as I pick up some followers. I have a lot to talk about, and I promise it will be interesting!