Archive for June, 2015


This morning I examined Cooper a ninety pounds doggy, with blue eyes, and such a tender and loving personality.

Cooper had strong back pain—as he loves to play and wrestle with his canine brothers at home.

Cooper is not aware of his size and power, and he is afraid of so many things in life; that’s why I call him the Gentle Giant

Cooper doesn’t like the exam table—although we have a nicely padded table that is also a scale and is at ground level and can be raised. Yet Cooper morally objects to stepping on it.

So I examined Cooper on the floor, sat near him with my veterinary assistant, of course with his owner—mother—present.

Cooper doesn’t like his paws touched. He thinks that when his paws are touched it means a nail trim. He doesn’t like nail trimming as he thinks that pedicure and manicure are way overrated.

Never the less, with gentle voice, gentle persuasion and the assistance of tasty but healthy treats, I was able to collect a blood sample and Cooper didn’t feel a thing: he was too busy savoring the treats.

Blood work was normal, so I started Cooper on medication for his pain and inflammation.

I advised Cooper that he must take it easy for the coming weeks, so he doesn’t aggravate his back pain. Cooper barked and nodded and said he will give it serious consideration.

His mom told me that she will make sure that he takes it easy.

This is the story of Cooper, the blue eyed Gentle Giant.

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Margate, Fl 33063

Phone: 954-972-5900

© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.



I have been encountering over the last years more more the use of words that tend to convey to the pet owner a sense of guilt and scare.

The following statement with some variations is used: You have declined diagnostics and treatment at this time, as well as humane euthanasia. It is very likely that your pet will continue to decline without treatment and may die at home.

Wow! What a statement; how frightening.

So, are there cases when a pet is so critical that the above is true? Of course there are. But I have encountered cases—and too often—in which the statement is used to scare and create a feeling of guilt.

A true assessment needs to be done, and if true financial hardships are present, then a less costly venue can and should be pursued. In my practice I explain in detail the possible differentials of the illness, being frank and open, and often, with the understanding and acceptance of the owner, a course of treatment will be ensued, and if feasible and most time it is, I send the patient home, where often they are more comfortable. Usually a follow up visit is set for the next day. I explain that this approach has significant limitations, as at this point we do not have a diagnosis, but we can try and see how we are doing with treatment that addresses the symptoms. Of course some medications cannot be started without diagnosis—as they can do harm in certain situations—but at least we are trying to help the pet and the family.

If the patient improves, then, gradually and judiciously we’ll do tests to further define the illness, continue or modify the treatment, and try and get a prognosis.

The bottom line has to be compassionate veterinary care with good communication with the owner, and a relationship of mutual trust.

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Margate, Florida.


© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.

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