Sunday, November 16, 2014

HOPE IS MY MOST SENIOR PATIENT




Hope, or Sweet Hope, as her friends call her, is 21 years young!

Hope is a cat and I know her, and her owner, since she was four months old.

Hope’s early life was full of hardship, as she was abandoned as a young kitten by the dumpsters, yet her fate changed as her owner Alice heard her cries for help and took her into her home and into her heart.

Hope and her owner Alice come to see me between once and twice a week for Hope’s feline geriatric healthcare. Hope has, of course, aging related issues, but both Alice and her cope with it as true friends and partners.

Alice is now in her mid eighties, and Hope’s company and Hope’s care occupy her, naturally preoccupy her, but also gives her a purpose in her daily routine, as Hope needs her care and attention more and more.

Recently, Hope has lost her vision almost completely, yet, this event will not interfere in the true friendship between the two, and Alice has made the navigation of Hope’s surrounding much easier, by bringing all the things that she needs—cat box, food and water—close to her comfy cat bed.

As I evaluate Hope’s health, I take into serious consideration her owner’s Alice well being as a senior citizen. Discussing at length with her Hope’s health, and assessing if Hope, inevitable health decline—so far relatively slowly—affects her well being as a person.

So far the benefits of Hope’s presence in Alice’s life outweigh the very understandable sadness that she experiences seeing her age.

I believe that quality of life for both humans and our pets is paramount for all of us. Hope still eats well, and sleeps well, an activity that pussycats love to do… and her presence in Alice’s senior years is beneficial.

In my mind, Veterinary medicine is also the art of understanding the humanity and importance of our bond with our pets.

P.S. Since writing this story Hope has passed away due to old age. Her memory lingers with me forever. 

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate Florida.

© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dr. Ehud Sela, The gentle Vet: The Importance of early diagnosis and screening tests



Just like with us, in Veterinary medicine, early diagnosis and screening tests can save lives.

Often, when symptoms are already present a certain amount of damage has happened, and at times this damage is not reversible and lead to long term consequences.

In my practice I recommend every 6 months some basic and non invasive tests, such as: urine analysis, and complete blood work, that will help us detect signs of possible illness before they become clinically apparent. A urine analysis can detect signs of a urinary infection, renal disease, diabetes, among other serious diseases.

Complete blood work gives us an indication as to how the internal organs are functioning, and at time can help in detecting early signs of certain cancers.

I also often advise screening ultrasounds, as they do not involve radiation, and give us a non invasive visual on the structure of vital internal organs.

In conclusion: Early diagnosis and screening tests are an essential tool in the maintenance of our pets’ health. As, sadly, the life expectancy of our pets—dogs and cats—is much shorter than ours, our pets move quickly from infancy, to adulthood, to middle age, and before we know it they are senior-citizen-pets. 

The more we know about their health, and the earlier we know it, can keep them with us alive and happy for as long as possible. 

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.


954-972-5900

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dr. Ehud Sela, The Gentle Vet: Successful Tumor freezing of large Skin Tumors (tags) in older patients.

Cryosurgery Equipment

Cryosurgery: Tumor freezing, is a valuable tool in treating skin tumors in many patients, and especially in older patients, or higher risk patients for general anesthesia.

Two dogs were treated as an outpatient for two large ulcerated skin tags. The procedure was done using a combination of Cryo-spray, and appropriately sized Cryo-chambers that fit the size of the tumor.

The procedure was done in the exam room, with the owner present--a thing that the dogs liked very much, and so did the owners. The procedure involved a few cycles of quick freeze and slow thaw, and involved no discomfort, or a very minimal discomfort for the patients.

Today, seven days post treatment, the tumors have shrunk significantly to the delight of the owners and the dogs.

I frequently use Cryosurgery for skin lesions for patients that general anesthesia is a higher risk, or patients that the tumors can be frozen, and thus avoid the general anesthesia. Of course, not all tumors, or lesion, are amenable to the procedure and an exam of the tumors/lesions is needed to establish if the patient is a candidate.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

954-972-5900

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

GENTLE VET ANIMAL HOSPITAL; DR. EHUD SELA: ANOREXIA IN SICK AND ELDERLY DOGS AND CATS




Anorexia in our sick and, or, older patients is a frequent finding.

These canine and feline patients refuse to eat due to their illness. Among the factors affecting the appetite of these patients are nausea and pain, either chronic or acute.

The lack of appetite has serious negative effects on these dogs and cats, and often affects negatively the human members of the family, as they watch their pets, that always had such good appetite, suddenly refuse to eat.

I often hear from these loving owners that if only their pet would start eating again it will impact them as pet owners so positively, and of course will help their pets.

Besides the importance of an accurate diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, these pets need good in home care. Yes, I do believe, that most pets do better at home than in the hospital settings, and I do believe this applies to us people too. Of course if hospitalization is needed it should be done, but it should be done for the shortest period possible.

In home care is essential as part of the healing, or keeping a good quality of life. Offering different types of food as to entice them eat as often as possible. Bringing the food and water to them if they are to weak or tired to go to the food. Showing love and affection and communicating with them and petting, them often reassures them.

Of course, some conditions can not be helped, but even terminal illness can be handled with dignity and as much as possible pain free and nausea free.

In my practice we use newer generation appetite stimulants and anti nausea agents that often improve greatly the quality of life of these patients. Also judicious use of pain medications is part of the treatment.

In summary: anorexia in sick and, or, elder patients is a problem that needs to be addressed with urgency as a means to improve the quality of life and the outcome of illness of these canine and feline patients.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital,

Margate, Florida

954-972-5900

© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A SHORT STORY ABOUT A CAT NAMED BAXTER




Baxter is a 15 yrs old cat very sweet very friendly, with a few health issues.

Firstly, Baxter is a diabetic. Baxter watches his diet very carefully and his diabetes is due to his genes—the genes we come to this world with, they haunt us, alas. Anyway Baxter handles his diabetes very well and understands that he needs to get insulin injections twice a day to maintain his health.

Over the weekend sweet Baxter developed some serious neurological issues, unrelated to his diabetes. Baxter has dealt with his problem bravely and with a positive spirit, and with the excellent loving care of his owners and best friends, Baxter is walking again, slowly, but steadily improving.

And here are the best news of the day: Baxter is a pacifist and will not hurt a living thing, yet Baxter has a collection of toy mice that he controls and makes sure they are well behaved. Every night about 11 pm, Baxter will carry them in his mouth, bring them to the bedroom and declare in a loud meow that all mice are accounted for and the lights can be turned off and the family can sleep in peace. Baxter stopped doing it the last few nights due to his health problems, but the world can sleep in peace again, last night Baxter has returned to his toy mice duties. Who needs Superman, even more, who needs NATO; we all can sleep in peace as sweet Baxter is guarding the world’s night sleep.

I thought these are very worthy news and need to be shared….

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida

954-972-5900.
© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Dr. Ehud Sela: Balancing Tests' costs with owner's financial ability

At times in my practice I encounter a pet that needs multiple tests and treatments, but his owner, and best friend, has some financial concerns.

The most recent case that comes to my mind is of Joey the sweet geriatric cat. Joey is a 14 years old cat that has been losing weight very fast and has severe intestinal issues, with very loose and explosive stools, and with accidents around the house. Joey is his owner's best friend and companion. Joey's owner is a retired senior citizen with a limited budget.

In this case, instead of doing every possible test in the book, I have concentrated on the most important tests, so Joey can get better, and his owner can keep him and enjoy his company.

Gladly, the tests revealed that Joey doesn't suffer from severe systemic disease, and symptomatic treatment is already helping him.

This case illustrates the importance of balancing good medicine with patient's needs and owner's financial ability.

Joey is the sole companion of his senior citizen owner and has a great importance in her well being as a senior citizen.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida

Phone: 954-972-5900

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Dr. Ehud Sela: The Importance of a good anesthetic protocol.


Good anesthesia is essential in the good outcome of a procedure that requires general anesthesia.

Today we performed a dentistry on a ten years old Dachshund. In my practice a complete physical exam is done by me before premedication with a sedative, and then about 15 minutes later another physical exam is done before the administration of the inducing anesthetic.

Once the induction is achieved, the patient is intubated and inhalation anesthesia begins. In my practice, all of the above are done by me the veterinarian. Monitoring devices are placed on the patient and the veterinary technician starts the dentistry.

I'm there at all times during the procedure monitoring the patient under anesthesia and the dentistry.

When the procedure is completed I extubate the patient and stay with him in the surgical suite until fully awake and all parameters are normal.

Furthermore, my vet tech stays with the patient in recovery observing him until the patient stands up and can walk.

I use very short acting inducing agents so the patient usually is home within an hour of the procedure fully awake and wagging its tail in happiness when the owner picks him up.

In conclusion: attention to details and close monitoring of a patient during anesthesia and during recovery is essential for a good outcome.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

Phone: 954-972-5900 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Dr. Ehud Sela: Osteoarthritis in cats: treatment options.


As cats get older, they too, just like us can suffer from debilitating osteoarthritis.

The symptoms may be vague at times, and at other times they can be specific to the areas affected.

Often these cats are reluctant to jump, have trouble getting into the litter box, thus voiding outside the box, and can exhibit pain with reduced appetite and weight loss.

These cats can and should be helped in order to have a much more comfortable and enjoyable life.

In my office  I use a non painful injection treatment with Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) Solution that often reduces inflammation, pain, and increase mobility and appetite.

I also often prescribe oral medication in conjunction with the injections treatment.

Our Feline friends deserve a long and enjoyable life well into their geriatric age.

Dr Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

Phone: 954-972-5900.

 

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Dr. Ehud Sela: Osteoarthritis in dogs: Treatment options.

Osteoarthritis is a common disease process in aging dogs just like in people.

The disease causes discomfort, pain, and significant reduction in quality of life in our canine friends.

But the good news is that now we can greatly help our furry friends in mitigating and greatly improving their quality of life.

In my practice we use a combined approach: both with an intramuscular injection, and oral medication, thus achieving a synergistic effect.

After a comprehensive physical exam, and blood work, the pet will start on a regimen of twice a week injections with Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG), and, also, a canine approved oral non steroidal anti-inflammatory. The injections will be for a period of four weeks, then they are slowly tapered down.

The response to treatment is usually remarkable, and greatly pleases both dogs and owners.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

Phone: 954-972-5900.