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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Beautiful artwork...

This vet also loves art and paints (see some of paintings on this blog).
Steven Nederveen is a wonderfully talented artist. His work is quite unique in the subject and media he uses. I first saw his work at Nuit Blanche last year at Engine Gallery (here you'll get great service, unlike many other places, see one of the previous posts) on Queen West, and immediately fell for it. He captures a certain peaceful aesthetic that transcends all of his pieces. I simply love this art. Here is one of my favourite pieces:

This piece is 48 by 48 inches. Gorgeous... the actual piece is even more impressive.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rare case

Last week, just before we closed, I saw a Leonberger (large dog) who wasn't doing so well. He had difficulty breathing, especially on inspiration. This led me to believe there was a problem either in his nasal cavities (such as a tumour) or something obstructing his larynx. I sent the dog to the local emergency clinic where he was observed until a specialist could examine him. It turns out the dog had laryngeal paralysis, a disorder where there is loss of innervation to the muscles of the larynx (the voicebox) preventing it from properly opening and closing. This condition is typically seen in older large-breed dogs and can be associated with hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone), myasthenia gravis (a relatively rare neuro-muscular disorder), and other rare diseases. Most often, however, no underlying disease is found.
It turns out that this dog also had very subtle neurological problems with his limbs. A neurologist examined him and determined that he had a polyneuropathy (nerve disease) that had already been documented in other Leonbergers. It is presumed that this is an inherited disease (carried on the X chromosome). While laryngeal paralysis is not an uncommon diagnosis, I had never seen the constellation of signs seen in Leonbergers.
I'm glad I referred this case.

A Leonberger: stunning dog.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Customer service or lack thereof

Most of us who work have to deal with clients or customers to varying degrees. I have to deal with clients every day. I like to treat them in the exact manner in which I would want to be treated. Unless a client tells me to go fudge myself, I will offer the best service that I can. It's simple.
I don't see this as a trend in Toronto. In fact, in cases where I receive excellent customer service, I will go out of my way to let them know just how great the service is. That's usually how awed I am when this occurs.
In my experience, Toronto restaurants are notoriously terrible for customer service. Extra tomatoes? That'll be $1.00 extra. Diner coffee: $2:50. Refill? Add a buck. Share a breakfast? Well, we'll have to charge you for that, too. I won't say where but let's just say that I'll never step foot again in a certain Queen Street East breakfast joint. They can just fudge themselves (but I'm sure they'll charge for it).
Please: think about the customers!

Please note that this is a fictitious event. The customer service represented in this photo does not occur.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Teaching children to hate

This post has nothing to do with being a vet, but rather a human being. Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV regularly airs a children's show urging young Palestinians to hate Israel, incite violence against it, and participate in the "resistance," a sick euphemism for terror against Israel. A giant rodent looking like a twisted version of Mickey Mouse, with a voice more irritating and disturbing than having an ice pick jammed into your ear, urges children on the air to fight the "Zionist enemy until Jerusalem and all the world is liberated from the murderers." Hmmmm.... teaching kids to blow themselves up to kill innocent people in order to make peace with their neighbours ..... and Israelis are the murderers? Nice try, Hamas.
Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said the character represented a "mistaken approach" to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. Now that Hamas is caught with its hand in the cookie jar, it is suddenly embarrassed. Again, nice try, Hamas. This very indoctrination undermines their attempt in achieving their ultimate goal. The bridge between the two sides is forcibly widened.
Why doesn't this annoying giant rodent promote peace and friendship with the Israelis? Why not show the similarities between Israeli and Palestinian children? Why not have both Israeli and Palestinian children on the show together?
Even the lefty peaceniks will have trouble with this one.

What happened to Romper Room?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pyelonephritis: kidney infection

I saw a cat that came in with a fever and a painful abdomen. While collecting her urine and blood for some lab tests, I noted her urine was quite opaque. It's not rocket science: I thought she'd have pus in her urine. Her labwork came back with classic abnormalities for pyelonephritis: elevated white blood cell count (with the type of cell typically indicative of bacterial infection), mildly elevated urea, with pus and bacteria in the urine. In an earlier post, I discuss a case of pyelonephritis and prosatitis in a dog.
Where does the infection come from? The infection can start off in the bladder and ascend up to the kidneys, or it can arrive at the kidneys via the bloodstream from various sources: a bite, severe periodontal disease, etc, etc.
Treatment involves up to 6-8 weeks of antibiotics and in this case, hospitalization and iv fluids for at least a few days.
This kitty is responding well.