Thursday, May 26, 2016

COOPER THE GENTLE GIANT




This morning I examined Cooper a ninety pounds doggy, with blue eyes, and such a tender and loving personality.

Cooper had strong back pain—as he loves to play and wrestle with his canine brothers at home.

Cooper is not aware of his size and power, and he is afraid of so many things in life; that’s why I call him the Gentle Giant. 

Cooper doesn’t like the exam table—although we have a nicely padded table that is also a scale and is at ground level and can be raised. Yet Cooper morally objects to stepping on it.

So I examined Cooper on the floor, sat near him with my veterinary assistant, of course with his owner—mother—present.

Cooper doesn’t like his paws touched. He thinks that when his paws are touched it means a nail trim. He doesn’t like nail trimming as he thinks that pedicure and manicure are way overrated.

Never the less, with gentle voice, gentle persuasion and the assistance of tasty but healthy treats, I was able to collect a blood sample and Cooper didn’t feel a thing: he was too busy savoring the treats.

Blood work was normal, so I started Cooper on medication for his pain and inflammation.

I advised Cooper that he must take it easy for the coming weeks, so he doesn’t aggravate his back pain. Cooper barked and nodded and said he will give it serious consideration.

His mom told me that she will make sure that he takes it easy.

This is the story of Cooper, the blue eyed Gentle Giant.

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Margate, Fl 33063

Phone: 954-972-5900

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

WHAT PROPER HEALTH CARE IN VETERINARY MEDICINE SHOULD CONSIST OF?



What proper health care in veterinary medicine should consist of? Seems like a simple rhetorical question, doesn’t it? Of course, you would say, and me too: good and loving and caring health care; first and utmost.
Sadly, as over the years big nationwide corporations infiltrated the profession, the answer is far from obvious for these companies. For example: look at Banfield Pet Hospitals. Do scratch the surface of your internet search engines a little deeper and search under law suits.
It seems that financial gains come first! Like so called wellness plans with so much fine print and such difficult escape clauses that would make even a lawyer blush—and I do have great respect for the law professionals, the majority does their job diligently and ethically.
Examples in my profession that disappoint me, to say the least:

I) Why to perform a nail trim, or advise a nail trim on every or most patients? If it's needed, yes, of course, but if it's not truly needed, and in some cases, in stressed pets, it can be harmful. Why to do it?

The answer, sadly, to the above question is financial gains. Let's do some simple numbers here: if the national company makes a 1000 nail trims per week--a not far fetched number-- at a minimal cost of $10.00 per nail trim, that comes to $10,000.00 per week. Multiple by the number of weeks in a year: 52 weeks, that comes to $520,000.00 per year, just for nail trims. But I believe that the numbers are significantly higher than that. 

II) Why does a sick pet need to be vaccinated? Why does a pet need all vaccines available regardless of health status and regardless of the pet’s life style? The answer, sadly, is financial again.
III) Why do simple procedures such as vaccines or blood draw need to be done away from the owner? What is there to hide? I actually find that pets are so much more comfortable with their owners present.
IV) Why to have incentive programs that reward the selling of products and expensive diagnostic tests? The answer is, sadly, financial gain. A reward should be given for excellent care that makes a pet feel better. That’s it!
Veterinarians should have only one guideline and goal: make the patients feel better, help and improve the bond of pets and people, and comfort and help at times of severe illness that cannot be helped.
Trust is the key word. Trust in our true love as veterinarians for pets and their wellbeing.
And if we do offer wellness preventive plans—as I do and believe in—make them transparent, make them a good value—and value that goes beyond monetary value—make them flexible, make them common sense and not a contract replete with smoking mirrors.
Dr. Ehud Sela-The Gentle Vet
Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Margate Florida
Phone: 954-972-5900.

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

THE PROBLEM WITH VETERINARY WELLNESS PLANS THAT FAIL TO DELIVER WHAT THEY PROMISE





In my practice I strongly believe in the great value of a true wellness plan for our pets as a great tool for early diagnosis and treatment.

My concern is of wellness plans offered to the public by a major national veterinary company, like Banfield Pet Hospitals, that as an underlying current—but a potent and motivating current—intend to tie the person into the contract for the full length of the contract and with heavy financial costs associated with early termination. The inducing factor of these plans is a convenient—so to speak—monthly payment, but, of course, and here I’m more than sarcastic, a nice down payment to join a plan.

As a matter of principal, and as matter of our liberty as consumers, all plans and programs joined should be fully transparent, and the cost of cancellation cannot be punitive, but instead, just and fair.

In addition the plans should list specifically what tests are included and not just generally speaking about diagnostic blood tests or fecal tests. There are various levels of blood tests and fecal tests available and the consumer should know exactly, and by a specific name what they are.

Furthermore, there should be no ambiguity as to the terms used and what they mean. An example, from a pamphlet from Banfield Pet hospitals: using the luring term unlimited office visits, and in the same time, a few lines further down using the limiting term comprehensive physical exam (2x/year). I believe the problem here is clear: what does an office visit include if not an exam? Does it include a non complete exam, thus providing poor health care? Or does the national veterinary company offering such services intends for this so called office visit to be an occasion for a social visit with tea/coffee and some biscuits? But, sarcasm aside, we as consumers should always safeguard our freedom to choose, or change or cancel at a reasonable cost and not a punitive cost.

We should ask ourselves if the wellness plans offered to us have the health of our loved pets as their first priority, or the bottom line, is the company’s financial bottom line, disguised and sweetened so we don’t see it for what it is!

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

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. 

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.