Playing Fast and Loose with Euthanasia

Old wise dog face, in car

Bone Cancer and Bone Heads Irma is a lively senior Golden Retriever patient of mine, suffering from bone cancer on her left upper arm. She lived a healthy life before this, so I only got to meet her after this calamity called osteosarcoma was diagnosed in October 2014. Irma’s one of those dogs who’s friendly to anyone she meets, who knows no strangers. Her face turned white when she was only four years old, and now there’s a whole lot of white hairs mingled into her coat at age 12. Luckily for Irma, she didn’t experience too much conventional medicine, though she did have some vaccinations up until age eight. More telling, when I asked Mike about the possibility of any injury earlier in life was this: “When she was a young pup, she fearlessly leapt off an 8 foot ledge, surprising the friend who took her for a walk. She limped for a bit after that, and that limp reminded me of … [Read more...]

Rabies Titer Gone? Research: Protection is Not!

Damn. Great news, thanks researchers!

New Study Says More Than It Lets On I stumbled on some very hot news in the research world the other day. Hot, because it affects how you think about rabies vaccinations, a sore spot for many of you. The lead author is Michael Moore, D.V.M, Ph.D. who heads the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. This is the lab that runs rabies titers for probably all of North America, and maybe beyond. If you ask your local vet for a rabies titer (and don’t get a quizzical look, “Titer??”), or you ask Dr. Jean Dodds to do it, this is where your animal’s blood gets sent. As a quick review, a titer is a measure of the antibodies in the blood. Antibodies can come from exposure to disease (like Ida, my dog patient fighting Lymes) or from vaccinations. I’ve warned about over interpreting the latter results, which could result in revaccinating your animal unnecessarily. It's important … [Read more...]