Archive for April, 2015


Sunday, April 26th, 2015

It has been another hard week at Madison. We said goodbye to some very special animals. Many of them too soon and too suddenly. There has been a lot of talk about Compassion Fatigue around our “water cooler”, which is really a stairway of doughnuts. So I wanted to give some good news updates.

Winnie looking

We saw our sweet garbage can parvo puppy on Saturday. After Dr Rollo gave her a thorough examination he then gave her a clean bill of health and updated her vaccinations. She is settling in with her new family and is enjoying some much deserved happiness.

Winnie treat



Remember tiny little Crash who could not keep her blood sugar up? She is doing great too! I just got news that she is officially in her “awkward phase” 🙂 She is growing up so fast and has been holding her own for a few weeks now.

Crash sleepingCrash Ash



I know that on Monday more puppies and kitties will come through our doors and more old timers will need our help. We will be there with open arms and big smiles.  We will never forget our lost friends, but our hearts are big enough to welcome and celebrate our new friends too!

Critical Care

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

We had a sweet dog that we will call “Eddie” in the hospital this week. Eddie is a little Westie with the misfortune to have several chronic diseases that all compete to be the source of the most pain in his life. Eddie has the great fortune to be extremely well loved and well cared for. He is one of those little dogs who is always in good spirits and even in the middle of a health crisis never seems to be cross.emergency

We have been treating Eddie in the hospital quite a bit over the past few weeks. On Saturday afternoon he had not made the progress that we were hoping to see. He needed intensive care over the weekend. His family felt very strongly that he needed the best care, but were anxious about taking him someplace new. Changing health care providers is scary. Eddie and his family trust us, they know us, they wanted Eddie to stay at Madison. However, they trusted us enough to take our advice and go to a 24 hour care hospital.

I just got off the phone with the veterinarian at the emergency hospital and Eddie is responding well. They are watching him like a hawk and monitoring his several diseases very closely. I feel confident about the care he is receiving and am very thankful that 24 hour emergency veterinary hospitals exist in our area.

I have heard from many people, and have experienced myself, the uncomfortable frustration of having to take your pet to an emergency hospital. They are expensive, they often do not accept payment plans, the staff can be so busy that they do not have time to really talk and bond with the human part of the family. It can seem like they just don’t care.  Let me dispel that myth.  They care.  They care about our pets more than they care about their own sleep.  These places are expensive.  The expense is to assure the best people with top notch knowledge of critical care are available at any time and at a moments notice.  I know that Eddie is being watched around the clock.  His critical care doctor is not sleeping so that his family and I can rest easy.

On Monday we will reassess and probably transfer Eddie back into our care at Madison.  But for this weekend I know that he is in good hands and I am extremely grateful to all of those critical care veterinarians out there who work so hard day and night taking care of our patients and families.  Thank you for all that you do, and I hope that you get some sleep soon!

sleeping westie

New Tricks

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

We have some very special clients at Madison that I would like to publicly praise. I, as stated in a previous blog, will not use their names but their actions deserve to be mentioned and I hope that others will emulate their commendable deeds.

This group of animal lovers adopts older pets.


They know that they will have less time with their new friend. They know that there may be health problems right off the bat. But they also know the calm and rich love that an older pet can bring to the family. Older pets are generally already house trained. They are out of the puppy chewing phase and they already sleep through the night. They may have been given up by a loving families for reasons of unfair circumstance or tragedy may have left them orphaned. Whatever the reason, shelters are full of older dogs and cats who are ready to become a wonderful part of your family.

This sweet dog is Rocky.  Rocky is around 8 years old.  He was recently brought home from a shelter and, as you can see, is as happy as can be!  He is still learning the ropes, but has already bonded with his new mom and they both feel great about their future together!


According to, older pets wait an average of four times longer for adoption than the general adoptable pet population. That is sometimes a year or two in a shelter waiting for a home.

If adopting an older pet is something that your family might be interested in, please contact your local shelter or rescue group.

Second Chances

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Sometimes we get a chance to affect real change for someone.  A man came through the doors of Madison some time ago carrying a puppy.  The puppy was not his and he did not have to help but some people cannot turn a blind eye, this little puppy was very lucky to have been found by such a person.  This puppy had been found in a garbage can.  She was cold and stiff and not responsive.  Her breathing was shallow and slow, but she was breathing!

Dr Rollo and all the Madison staff who were present got to work.  They wrapped the puppy in warm blankets and started IV (intravenous) fluids to bring up her blood pressure.  Blood tests were run to check for disease.  Puppy’s white blood cell count was dangerously low and she was positive for Parvo Virus.

winnie jene

Parvo is a viral disease. It attacks the lining of the small intestines where new intestinal cells are made.  It causes severe diarrhea and vomiting.  It can lead to a dangerous drop in white blood cell count and sepsis (when the blood becomes infected).  Parvo is often deadly and there is no cure.  The treatment for parvo is supportive care.  We support the body systems, prevent secondary bacterial infection/sepsis and wait.  Giving the body time and strength to recover and fight the virus off.  With early and aggressive supportive care we can save between 80-90% of parvo cases we see at Madison.

Parvo is also extremely contagious to dogs.  It is spread through the fecal-oral route.  Yep, when one dog eats stool from an infected dog.  Even if an unprotected dog walks through the poop from an infected dog then licks its paws.  It does not take many viral particles too cause infection, and the virus can remain infectious in the soil from months.  Canine parvovirus is not contagious to humans or cats. Fortunately for most dogs, the Parvo vaccine is one of the best there is.  Puppies receive 3 or 4 doses of vaccine, each three to four weeks apart as part of their puppy booster series.  Then regular boosters as an adult.  This vaccine causes very few side effects and is so effective that we do not see Parvoviral diarrheal disease in vaccinated animals.  This little puppy had obviously never had good veterinary care.

The puppy was taken in and cared for at Madison and named Winnie.  She was given excellent medical care and kept warm, and clean.  It took a few days for her to be able to lift up her head and a few more for her to be able to keep food down.  She was kept at Madison for over a week.  But she has recovered and is now a happy puppy with a good home.

During Winnie’s stay at Madison we had to take many special precautions to keep our other patients safe.  She was held in our special isolation unit.  Anyone who entered the isolation room wore a gown and gloves that never left that room.  We kept all of the supplies and medications that were needed in the room so that our staff would not have to go in and out more times than absolutely necessary.  Upon leaving the isolation unit they cleaned their shoes in a bleach foot bath to make sure that no infectious viral particles left the room.  When Winnie left the hospital everything in the isolation room was cleaned, then bleached. and then the room was sealed for 72 hours.

We are all so thankful for our good samaritan who did not turn a blind eye to a helpless puppy in need. She is a fighter and a gentle hearted pup.  God speed Winnie.  We love you and wish you a life free from the pain that you have already experienced.

Winnie close up