*This summer the Elmsdale Animal Hospital has been focusing on educating people about different endochrine diseases. This effort has been spearheaded by one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians, Jacy McNutt, who as you'll see from this blog, is heavily invested in these particular illnesses. Check out our Facebook Page for more information on endochrine diseases!*
My dog, Tabby has been in my life as long as I can remember! My parents decided to surprise me with a Yorkie puppy when I was 11 years old. Tabby has always been a very active dog and had always been relatively healthy.
It wasn’t until later in November that I saw a major sign telling me that Tabby wasn’t feeling great. While she was sleeping one day I found that she had urinated herself and didn’t seem to notice. At first, I was unsure that the liquid I was seeing was even urine. It was an extremely large amount of fluid and was very pale yellow in color. When I tried to clean it up the fluid was sticky and it smelled different than regular urine… it was sweet smelling.
Dr. Ashton ran some blood work as well and Diabetes Mellitus was confirmed when the glucose levels in her blood were also found to be elevated.
Tabby was in and out of the vet’s office frequently after her diagnosis. She had numerous blood glucose curves performed to ensure she was on the correct dose of insulin. After about 4 months, Tabby’s blood glucose was finally regulated.
A lot of changes needed to be made at home. We had to create new systems and new habits for Tabby (and our family) to adjust to accommodating her insulin injections. Tabby quickly caught on that she got a special treat (a couple cheerios) when she got her insulin injections. She caught on even quicker that she would get extra cheerios if she sat still!
It’s now July 2018, and Tabby is 13 and a half years old! I remember thinking when Tabby was first diagnosed with Diabetes that it was the end of the world. I realized though over time, and as we all adjusted to her new lifestyle, that it definitely was not the end of the world. Working as a RVT I find myself quite grateful that my dog’s disease is something I can manage for her, while Tabby is still able to thrive and enjoy her life!
- Jacy McNutt, RVT
Getting a new pet is a super exciting time! There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a new pet; it should never be done on a whim. The first thing to consider is the type of pet you want. Do you consider yourself a cat person? Dog-parent? Or do you want something that takes up a little less time and energy like a fish or a hamster? You need to take your lifestyle into consideration when deciding what pet is right for you.
Usually, cats and pocket-pets (rodents, fish, etc) require less time and energy then a dog, so if you have a busy lifestyle that takes you away from home often you may want to consider this. The decision doesn’t end with species however; there’s still lots to think about!
Many people think that choosing a breed of dog is just about how they look; big or small, long or short hair, and coat colour. But different breeds have different needs. You should try to find a breed that matches your lifestyle.
Something else to think about when considering a working breed is what behaviours come “pre-programmed”. Great Pyrenees tend to exhibit guarding behaviours and border collies like to chase or “herd” moving objects. Most breeds have unique “quirks” and while these behaviours aren’t necessarily a negative thing, they are something you need to consider when choosing your dog.
Finally, as with everything else, finances have to factor into your decision on a new pet. The initial cost of the pet, whether it is purchasing the pet from a reputable breeder or adopting from a shelter or rescue is only the beginning of your pets’ monetary needs. Good nutrition, veterinary care, training etc all have costs associated with them that need to be budgeted for. In most cases, the larger the dog, the bigger the bills when it comes to food and medications. Pet insurance can help with veterinary care, but prices can vary depending on breed.
No matter which pet you choose, you are committing to caring for that pet throughout their lifetime. What we give them is far outweighed by the unconditional love and devotion we get in return.
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital