There is absolutely no more aggravating time than locking yourself out of your automobile. It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient possible time and takes what seems like forever to deal with. After unsuccessful attempts to gain access to your car on your own, you may need to call upon a locksmith. Most [...] sevendogsandababy.com
National Geographic had a short blurb in the latest issue about the increasing incidence of celiac disease in humans. This disease has increased by 400% in the last few years. If case you’re not familiar with the medical term, Celiac disease is the collection of the many medical symptoms of allergies to the glutens present in grains. Celiac disease occurs when a sensitive person eats food made with wheat, barley, or rye. These three grains contain the highest amount of the troublesome indigestible protein. This protein is not broken down into amino acids, so it looks like more like a bacterial or viral invader. As the bigger gluten molecules float down and are absorbed through the bowel wall, the sensitive person’s immune system may attack and cause inflammation, diarrhea, and pain. The gluten allergy may also cause other medical issues as well as painful muscles and joints. Sometimes these medical problems may look like there is another cause when the inflammation is due to the gluten allergy.
When gluten is attacked, the immune army of cells and chemicals inflame the bowel walls, organs, and other tissues. Filtering organs like the liver or the membranes of the joints are commonly affected as they trap the toxic products of the chemical battle. Inflamed tissues hurt and don’t work as well as healthy tissues. Inflammation and swelling of those tissues cause discomfort and pain. That is how a food ingredient causes medical symptoms.
What does this have to do with dogs?
Gluten is cheap filler you will find on the label of many commercial foods, prescription diets, biscuits, dental chews, and treats. Gluten sensitive dogs will react to the gluten by itching, shaking their head, scooting, having diarrhea or blood in the stool( , and having red gooey ears that never seem to clear up. Seizures may even be caused by gluten containing treats or chews. Avoiding these “toxic treats” may help clear up itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bowel problems, and even seizures.
Purebreds prone to urinary tract issues like infections, crystals, and stones are often sensitive to glutens. If the prescription diet, geared for urinary issues, inflames the skin, ears, bowels, or causes seizures, that isn’t much help!
You have to read the labels of everything that your pet chews on or eats to help with medical issues due to food allergies. Make sure you are not “treating” your pet with gluten filled treats or chews. Gluten filled pill pockets are even sold. Beware of giving your pet a dose of the food ingredient that is making them sick!
Learn to feed like I do. Slow cooked meat and veggies, hypoallergenic commercial canned food, raw food, and healthy human food.Better ingredients and less allergens may make your dog and cat look and feel better!!
Check out Dog Dish Diet to learn more about better ingredients, obesity, and allergies. Check out Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet to learn how to slow-cook food for your dog and cat. Click on the title you are interested in and read more about them. Email me if you have questions firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a thing for hats. I’ll fully admit that this is due in part to the fact that they allow me to be lazy with my hair, but it’s more than that. Throwing on a stylish hat instantly transforms an outfit. Even if the hat is ultra casual, I still feel a little bit fancy. For whatever reason, I feel especially inclined to wear hats in the springtime. I’ve never worn an Easter hat or been to the Kentucky Derby or done anything that would directly cause me to associate hats with this time of year, but I do. And the hats you see above are some of my favorites right now.
Are you a springtime hat person? Which is your favorite of this bunch?
Two weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking at the AAHA National Convention as a part of the BlogPaws veterinary social media track. In a fit of what I can only imagine was perhaps a hypothermia-induced lapse in judgment, Bill Schroeder invited me to co-present for the day.
Bill Schroeder, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, that one person, Tom Collins, Dr. Lorie Huston, Kate Benjamin (courtesy Dr. Patrick Mahaney)
For those of you who don’t know, Bill helms In Touch Vet, a veterinary marketing company that works with 8,000 vet clinics across the country with website design and social media. And I, well, I manage one site, which is slightly less impressive, really. He’s spoken all over the world. I’ve spoken all over the midwest. I’m not entirely sure what he was thinking, but I didn’t want to correct his mistake, so I accepted his offer. And this is why:
Five years ago, there were about three veterinarians on the web. I attended a social media lecture at Western States and they held it in the basement, on Saturday night in Vegas, where a woman with no veterinary experience whatsoever got up in front of the bored looking crowd of 10 and attempted to explain what a “Facebook” was. Now, things have changed. I see more vets trying to get on board. I say “trying” because this is what tends to happen:
1. They attend a lecture, think to themselves, yup, I should do this.
2. Log onto Facebook, become immediately overwhelmed.
3. Back to work / consider asking receptionist to share some pics from George Takei’s page, or worse, post some dull news brief from an academic journal.
Done right, social media is fun, and engaging. I wouldn’t be here all this time later if I didn’t think that were the case (because trust me, I’m sure not making a living off writing on this site.) We’re lucky, as vets: we don’t need 20,000 fans or fans in Dubai or strangers we’ve never met, though I like all of those things; we just need a small and loyal group who support what we do. Being here makes me a better vet because it forces me to concentrate on my communication.
So I got up there with Bill, and he said all sorts of profound things and told some great jokes and showed some compelling slides. I watched. I said a few things, the most profound of which was probably my comparison of Twitter to a one-night stand (it’s not about long term relationships there, and that’s OK), but the one thing that struck me more than anything was: wow, we’re all still pretty far behind the eight ball as a profession. That, and the fact that I should wear lower heels when speaking.
The Fallacy of That One Vet From Michigan
Let me share with you something someone said after one session: a veterinarian, and I won’t guess his age because, well, I never do that anymore, came up to us and said: “yeah, this is great and all, and I’m sure where you are in San Diego everyone’s all into this social media thing (I can’t recall if he used air quotes or not), but I don’t need this where I am.”
So we asked where he practiced, and he said, “Michigan.” Then he said, “Only 2% of my clients use social media. I know this. We have data.” I wasn’t thinking of calling him a liar, since we are an honest profession of course, so I believed him. But then he said this: “So I just think maybe we need to focus on our traditional methods of new client recruitment. Like going to Rotary Club.”
Now look. I like Rotary Club. My father in law is a past president of a well renowned local chapter and the members are amazing. But I think even he would agree, that as a sole way of looking for new faces to come in the door, maybe it is a somewhat limiting strategy.
Social Media: Old People Like Me Use It Too
Then I really pondered what he was saying. Only 2% of his current base uses social media. Who are these people, 98% of whom eschew online interaction? Other than the local Rotarians, I mean. We know, generally speaking, that 67% of US adults are active on social media. According to pingdom, half of all social media users are 25-44, with another 20% 45-54. That’s plenty of middle aged people with pets, I think. More than half are women, who, at least in my practice, show up in the waiting area more than half the time. That works out well.
So I ask myself, does this person live in a small town of Luddites who eschew all forms of web based communication out of a sense of nostalgia? Is there really some place in this country so far off the national average outside of Amish country? Or is he simply handing over, to the clinic down the street, this huge chunk of potential clients who aren’t even aware his clinic exists because they don’t go to Rotary meetings?
Maybe it’s a San Diego thing, but I really can’t comprehend a town where more pet owners attend Rotary than go on Facebook, or yelp, or any of the other places we now go to find recommendations for businesses. Perhaps, like the good men and women of the Old Mission Rotary, they do both.
I sense from many veterinarians the feeling that the internet, and social media in particular, is overrun with 14 year olds who go onto reddit, post a few LULZ and then get on with their day, none of which involves being the primary caretaker for animals. If that were the case, I would have abandoned ship long ago.
I, however, have spent the last half decade getting to know all of you, and I’m pretty sure that none of us are shopping in Forever 21. I think we’re all pretty solidly Ideal Veterinarian Client Demographic: educated, emotionally vested in our animals, and committed to their well being.
Social media: it’s not just for college kids and Beliebers.
And that connection I share with you all, that sustains me in my moments when I questioned my sanity going into the profession in the first place, is why I wanted to speak at AAHA.
I thought it went well, at least until I saw the first group picture.