Archive for May, 2015

Team Work

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

The staff at Madison Veterinary Hospital is top notch. They prove that every day in a thousand small and large ways. Recently I got to see a beautiful example.

A woman came into our lobby holding a large dog who was mostly non-responsive and bleeding. She had found the dog on the side of the highway and did know where else to go. There is an emergency animal hospital about 1/4 mile down the road, but this dog needed help now. Our receptionists calmed the lobby, paged the medical staff and then calmed the frightened woman. She noted where the dog was found and got her contact information so we could call her with updates or questions.

The technicians assessed poor Ryan (as we called her), started a line, gave pain meds, cleaned wounds, took x-rays, and calmed the poor girl down. They did all this while tending to a full schedule of appointments with out missing a beat.
We found that she did have a fractured jaw, and some head trauma, but the rest of her body was mercifully spared anything more severe than road rash.  After she was stabilized we wanted to get some calories in her.  Because of her broken jaw she cannot chew.  She will have to wear a muzzle and eat only a liquid diet for the next 6 weeks.  Our techs and ward managers make up an appropriate slurry and sat with her to make sure she was able to lick up the food and keep it down.

Ryan Feeding

In the beginning of this process we also scanned her for a microchip, which was not present.

Small rant on microchips – Please get them. And then please register them and keep up with your current contact information. Microchips are not very expensive, usually around $50. They last a lifetime and have no side effects, aside from a small poke. Each chip has a special and individual number sequence. When a reader is run over the dog, the number comes up, that number will then be used to contact you and let you know where to find your lost friend. With out this simple device, we thought Ryan would more than likely never find her family.

Ryan hug

This is terrifying to pet lovers and Madison has some major pet lovers! Our staff took pictures and posted them on lost pet web sites and first thing the next morning called the local animal control offices around where Ryan was found. It turns out her family had been frantically searching for her and left their number with the animal control officer. We called the family and they were at Madison to pick her up in no time at all.

Watching the sweet lost dog perk up and wag for her family was what we call an “emotional paycheck”. They are reunited and we are all looking forward to seeing Ryan healthy and happy and with her family on her follow up visit 🙂


If the Madison staff was less dedicated, this story may have had a much less happy ending. Thank you. It is an honor to work along side such a Team!


Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

I go to yoga a couple times per week. Or at least I try to. This past weekend I had made it to my mat and was trying to focus on my breathing while not falling down while trying to balance in a very uncomfortable position, when the instructor said something that really hit home.

cat yoga

He asked us to visualize all of our past experiences, good and bad, wrapped up like a thick tail behind us. He suggested that we use that “tail” to help us balance and to have gratitude for all of it. In his class and in life. I suddenly found triangle pose much easier.

These past experiences, many people call it our baggage, makes us who we are. Good and bad we can lean on all of it, for lesions, or hope, or relief that we have moved on, or to take comfort in sweet memories.

At Madison we all have a lot of baggage. So many potent and emotional memories of animals we have loved and lost. Times when our efforts were heroic and the outcomes were joyous, and the other times when all our work seemed to be in vain.

And we do lean on those past experiences and they do deserve our gratitude. We learn from them. They are part of our shared experience, part of our culture. They help make us who we are and they help to bond us to each other.

We lost a good kitty this weekend.  Many of us have many memories with her and her passing has brought sadness and anger.  Tomorrow when I find my mat I will try to find strength in having the good memories of her as well as the hard to help support me.  I will breath and be grateful for all of it.

yoga dog

Busy Day

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

It is 10:17pm on a Tuesday night. Madison officially “closed” a little over two hours ago but much of the staff is still here and hard at work. We had a pretty typical shift this evening, we saw some healthy dogs for routine checkups, a young dog with diarrhea that was lasting too long so he came in and we found the parasitic culprit. We saw the cutest golden retriever puppy ever and we all took turns rolling around on the floor and carrying him around the hospital to show other clients and hear them squeal with joy at the site of a happy puppy.









One of our regulars came in, a diabetic cat whose blood sugar is always too high. She has been losing weight and today we diagnosed a massive amount of constipation. Her stool back up is so severe that she has stopped eating and her potassium has crashed. We admitted her into the hospital for intravenous fluids and enemas to soften the rock hard poop and hopefully get her sugar under control.

Another kitty came in for an evening check up. This girl has not been eating well and now seems to be in pain. We did an ultrasound of her abdomen and thoroughly examined her. Her abdomen appears normal, but she is painful and she is running a fever. We pulled blood for several tests that our lab will run, gave her an injection to pick up her appetite and sent her back home. Hopefully tomorrow we will have some answers.
While doing the final checks on our hospitalized patients, one of our LVT (licensed veterinary technicians), M, found that our previously blocked cat had re-blocked. When we say that a cat is “Blocked” it generally refers to a blockage in the tube that leads from the urinary bladder out the penis. This tube is called the Urethra. The cat could not pee. This is an emergency. M got kitty’s family on the phone and then Kitty prepped for anesthesia. We were able to pass a urinary catheter and remove a large plug of mucous from the end of his urethra. We removed the urine from the bladder and flushed it with cool saline. Then we sutured the catheter in place, attached a closed collection system that will allow us to measure the amount of urine produced, and woke kitty up.
While M and I were busy helping this poor kitty to urinate properly the rest of our evening staff were all busy as well. They were reading urine samples that were collected throughout the day. Making sure that our diabetic cat had all of the proper medications and diet. Properly cleaning and folding our surgery laundry to make sure that it was sterile for our next surgery day.  Refilling prescriptions, making sure that every dose is correct, and of course cleaning every surface of the hospital to make sure that when we open tomorrow no one will get a hint of all of the odiferous activities of the day.
The Madison staff is still here at almost midnight, making sure that everything is perfect and everyone is cared for and tucked in. I am so proud to be a part of this excellent team. Tomorrow will be another day of pushing ourselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Good Night for now.




Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Mother’s Day is a strange holiday in some respects. To mothers with young children it is a wonderful day to be pampered and thanked and maybe even allowed a nap.

To Women suffering with infertility or who have lost their child (or children) it is a day of mourning.

It is a day for us adults to turn to our mothers and thank them in earnest for the guidance, food, protection, inspiration, hilarity, and love that have been given over a life time.

For those who have lost their mothers it is a day to remember and to mourn for those times that are gone and will never be.

I have been hesitant to post anything on social media today. I am blessed to have a wonderful daughter. She is bright and funny and loving and alive. But I am very sensitive to the pain of loss and do not wish to be the cause of tears. But really, there is no pain greater than the loss. Talking about grief does not always increase pain, sometimes it can lighten a heart to know that it is loved and remembered.

So I want to wish a very heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who are holding their children today, and to those who cannot.  To those who wish deeply to have children, and to those who are Mothers in other ways. To you who to give us art and inspiration, who show tenderness and concern to others when you could easily turn a blind eye. And of course to all of the Pet Moms who take such excellent care of their fur-babies, and even find time to foster and rescue animals who are without homes or families.

You work hard and make the world a better place for all of the love that you give. Thank you and I hope that you have a Peaceful and Happy Mother’s Day.

kitten puppy

Spring Fever!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

It’s finally Spring!!! I feel like I have been waiting for warm weather for months 😉 and so have our pets.  Let’s go over some of the guidelines for a healthy and happy spring and summer!

  • Our pets are excited for warm weather too, so remember to keep them on a leash or in a secure fenced in area so they can safely enjoy some fresh air.
  • As it gets warm out, please remember to Never to leave pets in a warm car.  Cars can get HOT FAST!  When in doubt, leave them home.
  • Remember to protect your pup’s eyes if you will be letting the breeze blow in his face – Doggles are fashionable and safe!


  • Make sure that your dogs AND cats are getting their flea and heartworm preventatives every month.  (this should be continued year round)
  • When it comes to spring cleaning, make sure your friends cannot get into any cleaning products.
  • Swimming is fun and good exercise, but make sure that your dog (or cat?) can safely get to shore and are not in danger from near by boats.  Dog life jackets are a good option if they are swimming in deep water.

iphone pics 028

  • Always follow recommendations on lawn products to make sure that you pets are safe to walk on the grass after treatment.
  • Pets get spring allergies too!  If you notice that your dog or cat is itching, shaking their head, or losing hair – give us a call and make an appointment to come in to discuss the best course of action to help your pet feel good again.
  • Thunderstorms can be strong this time of year.  If your dog suffers from noise anxiety please call us.  There are ways that we can help to calm those fears.


Enjoy some sunshine, long walks in the spring breeze, and naps in the sun!

Happy Spring Friends!



work kitty