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In my practice I strongly believe in the great value of a true wellness plan for our pets as a great tool for early diagnosis and treatment.

My concern is of wellness plans offered to the public by a major national veterinary company, like Banfield Pet Hospitals, that as an underlying current—but a potent and motivating current—intend to tie the person into the contract for the full length of the contract and with heavy financial costs associated with early termination. The inducing factor of these plans is a convenient—so to speak—monthly payment, but, of course, and here I’m more than sarcastic, a nice down payment to join a plan.

As a matter of principal, and as matter of our liberty as consumers, all plans and programs joined should be fully transparent, and the cost of cancellation cannot be punitive, but instead, just and fair.

In addition the plans should list specifically what tests are included and not just generally speaking about diagnostic blood tests or fecal tests. There are various levels of blood tests and fecal tests available and the consumer should know exactly, and by a specific name what they are.

Furthermore, there should be no ambiguity as to the terms used and what they mean. An example, from a pamphlet from Banfield Pet hospitals: using the luring term unlimited office visits, and in the same time, a few lines further down using the limiting term comprehensive physical exam (2x/year). I believe the problem here is clear: what does an office visit include if not an exam? Does it include a non complete exam, thus providing poor health care? Or does the national veterinary company offering such services intends for this so called office visit to be an occasion for a social visit with tea/coffee and some biscuits? But, sarcasm aside, we as consumers should always safeguard our freedom to choose, or change or cancel at a reasonable cost and not a punitive cost.

We should ask ourselves if the wellness plans offered to us have the health of our loved pets as their first priority, or the bottom line, is the company’s financial bottom line, disguised and sweetened so we don’t see it for what it is!

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida

954-972-5900

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

Cat & toy Mouse

Baxter is a 15 yrs old cat very sweet very friendly, with a few health issues.

Firstly, Baxter is a diabetic. Baxter watches his diet very carefully and his diabetes is due to his genes—the genes we come to this world with, they haunt us, alas. Anyway Baxter handles his diabetes very well and understands that he needs to get insulin injections twice a day to maintain his health.

Over the weekend sweet Baxter developed some serious neurological issues, unrelated to his diabetes. Baxter has dealt with his problem bravely and with a positive spirit, and with the excellent loving care of his owners and best friends, Baxter is walking again, slowly, but steadily improving.

And here are the best news of the day: Baxter is a pacifist and will not hurt a living thing, yet Baxter has a collection of toy mice that he controls and makes sure they are well behaved. Every night about 11 pm, Baxter will carry them in his mouth, bring them to the bedroom and declare in a loud meow that all mice are accounted for and the lights can be turned off and the family can sleep in peace. Baxter stopped doing it the last few nights due to his health problems, but the world can sleep in peace again, last night Baxter has returned to his toy mice duties. Who needs Superman, even more, who needs NATO; we all can sleep in peace as sweet Baxter is guarding the world’s night sleep.

I thought these are very worthy news and need to be shared….

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida

954-972-5900.

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

 

petting a dog

ETHICAL AND COMPASSIONATE VETERINARY MEDICINE

It is essential that the decision making as regards to a patient’s well being is firmly founded in Ethical and Compassionate approach.

In my mind the role of a Veterinary Doctor is, first and utmost, to try and make the pet feel better. Quality of life is essential to all of us: humans and pets.

Yes, medicine has costs—inevitable costs—associated with it. But good communication with the owner, tailoring only the needed tests—not a blanket approach that runs every possible test available—should be practiced.

Also, it’s essential that there will be a good level of trust between the doctor and the pet’s owner, so when treatment decisions are being made, they are being made with consultation and explanation of the possible outcomes.

In conclusion: The love of pets should be the guiding light as to how a Veterinary Doctor should approach his patients.

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

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital-The Gentle Vet

www.thegentlevet.com

954-972-5900

old black cat

 

Target is a 17 years old spayed female cat that reaching this senior age, developed a few health issues.

Target is very particular about her privacy, so I will protect her name by calling her Patient T. Oops… I just realized I have already called her Target, oh well, I’m sure she will be OK with it, I will send her a nice email apologizing, but we’ll continue calling her Patient T, as it sounds so much more mysterious.

Patient T hasn’t been feeling very well lately. She was losing weight, was vomiting and was hiding a lot at home. Also, Patient T, is very vocal and expects her owners to wake up at a certain time in the morning and freshen up her food; giving her the well-deserved attention she needs and expect.

Her owners noticed that she was much more silent and hardly complained to them. Mind you, when she complained she was always right, she has been on this planet for 17 years and she knows what to expect.

Her concerned owners brought her to my office and we brought her back to her usual vocal self with reasonable appetite and enjoyment of life: watching the birds and lizards, and those so very dangerous squirrels….

Patient T sees me often, she was coming twice a week, but now we are on a once a week schedule and her health needs are addressed and treatments added and modified if needed.

I treat her as an outpatient as I think more often than not pets do much better treated like this, staying at their home environment; that they know and feel secure.

Last but not least, if you come across Target, please call her Patient T, as she thinks, and I agree, it adds a certain level of sophistication to her.

Dr. Ehud Sela-The Gentle Vet.

www.thegentlevet.com

Phone: 954-972-5900

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

Standard Poodle

 

Sweet Rosie, an eight weeks old Standard Poodle puppy has reached her loving new family.

Rosie is an amazing dog, tender, loving, intelligent and within the first few hours bonded with her new family.

Rosie’s owners called me very concerned the day following her arrival because Rosie has developed what they thought were severe orthopedic and possible neurological problems. Rosie every few steps would pull one of her hind legs forward, trying, and at times reaching her body with her paws. “The owners conducted extensive research consulting Dr. Google,” and it was clear and obvious that poor Rosie had something severely wrong with her.

Upon presentation Rosie appeared happy and content and an amazing Puppy. Rosie whispered in my ears as I was examining her, that she thinks her new family thinks there is something wrong with her, but she senses that she is doing very well, and with a lick on my face asked me to tell her family that she is just fine, and that she would love to be a member of the family for many years to come.

Rosie was right! Her physical exam revealed no abnormalities at all, but when we went to the lobby and let her run with her owners, she definitely would stop every now and then and presented the above mentioned symptoms. As Rosie is still a little puppy, and a little klutzy, she would sometimes trip over and it was a little humorous, but not to offend Rosie, I kept a stoic expression.

It appeared that Rosie was trying to itch her body, but no skin lesions were seen. Why Rosie would be itchy? I asked myself, and mainly while running and playing? I further pondered, then, like in all great mysteries, the truth become apparent to me: it was her collar. Rosie received her new collar yesterday evening, and she was trying to remove it, as it was mainly bothering her while running and playing.

I removed Rosie’s collar, and all symptoms were resolved, no more neurological, orthopedic, or skin problems.

As good old Sherlock Holmes would have concluded the case, he would have called it not the “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” but The Case of Rosie’s Collar.

One final note: upon leaving the office content with all her problems resolved, Rosie told me that if the collar had diamonds, she might consider it in a much more positive light.

Dr. Ehud Sela, the Gentle Vet

Margate, Florida

954-972-5900

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

Happy-Pets

 

What does proper health care in veterinary medicine consist of? Seems like a simple rhetorical question, doesn’t it? Of course, you would say, and me too: Good and loving and caring health care; first and utmost.

Sadly, as over the years big nationwide corporations—publicly held, or privately held—infiltrated the profession, the answer is far from obvious for these companies.

It seems that financial gains come first! Like so called wellness plans with so much fine print and such difficult escape clauses that would make even a lawyer blush—and I do have great respect for the law professionals, the majority does their job diligently and ethically.

Examples in my profession that disappoint me, to say the least:

Why does a sick pet needs to be vaccinated? Why does a pet need all vaccines available regardless of health status and regardless of the pet’s life style? The answer, sadly, is financial again.

Why do simple procedures such as vaccines or blood draw need to be done away from the owner? What is there to hide? I actually find that pets are so much more comfortable with their owners present.

Why to have incentive programs that reward the selling of products and services? The answer is, sadly, financial gain. A reward should be given for excellent care that makes a pet feel better. That’s it!

Veterinarians should have only one guideline and goal: make our patients feel better, help and improve the bond of pets and people, and comfort and help at times of severe illness that cannot be helped.

Trust is the key word. Trust in our true love as veterinarians for pets and their wellbeing.

And if we do offer wellness preventive plans—as I do and believe in—make them transparent, make them a good value—and value that goes beyond monetary value—make them flexible, make them common sense and not a contract replete with smoking mirrors.

 

Dr. Ehud Sela-The Gentle Vet

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital, Margate Florida

Phone: 954-972-5900.

 

Ridgeback Puppy

 

The cycle of life in my veterinary practice is constantly visible to me.Last month, sadly, I’ve had a few geriatric and middle age patients, dogs and cats, that due to illness of a severe nature, and a grave prognosis, I had to perform euthanasia for them.

Death always deeply pains me, and in my practice I give a strong battle when the angel of death shows—and alas he does make his presence known.

Yet knowing that for these patients of mine, euthanasia can be done in a humane form, in a compassionate form, with the owners present, if they wish, brings me some solace.

But life goes on. Today Olive the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy walked into my exam room, happy; full of life.

She placed her paw in my hand looked at me with her big puppy eyes and introduced herself. She told me with her big trusting puppy eyes: Life begins and ends for all of us, accept it Doc, it’s the cycle of life; it’s the river of life.

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

cat

Dolly the cat comes to visit me in my practice on a quarterly basis. Dolly has some health issues that require routine follow-ups.

Dolly is one of the most amazing cats I have met in my 25 years career as a Veterinarian.

Dolly is friendly and outgoing and trusting. When she comes into the cats-exam room, she can’t wait to get out of her carrier. First thing she’ll do is give a nice and potent head butting to me and my nurse. Next she’ll proceed to lick our hands, and a small friendly nibble on the nose is a must.

Of course grooming us is essential for the visit. My nurse has long hair and she’ll gladly groom her hair. With me, she’s somewhat puzzled, as I have no hair on my head, alas…. But yet, Dolly is a very tactful cat and she never made an issue from the fact that her Doctor is bald.

Before we can proceed to a complete physical exam, Dolly must have some tummy rubbing; it’s protocol.

I always sing to Dolly her favorite song “Hello Dolly,” and she purrs in delight as she is being serenaded.

I have seen many cats and dogs throughout my long career. It’s amazing to me how they all have their own personalities, they are all individuals that love and want to be loved.

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

Phone: 954-972-5900.

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

DNA

At Gentle Vet Animal Hospital we are happy to offer Canine Breed Analysis and Genetic Screening test.

The test goes back three generations as to the breed of the dog. In addition, it screens for hundred and thirty genetic markers for possible diseases. This screening will enable early diagnosis of possible serious diseases.

Carrying the genes for certain diseases doesn’t necessarily mean that the disease is inevitable. At times the occurrence of the disease can be delayed or prevented with appropriate measures.

Our genome interacts constantly with the environment–internal and external–and adjusting the internal or external environment can be beneficial.

Knowledge is power, knowledge is prevention, and knowledge should be used in pursuing a better and longer life for all of us.

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

954-972-5900.

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

7751241-businessman-climbing-on-mountain-of-money-Stock-Vector-cartoon

Here is an example of what I see too often: A pussycat that comes for diarrhea and a fecal test is done at that hospital by inserting a fecal loop to collect the sample. The problems with the procedure are multiple: Not a big enough sample is produced. It’s so uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for the patient, in this case the cat developed a small rectal tear. Then treating the patient for bacterial overgrowth based on the above test. First, bacteria are normal in the gut, second, if a true bacterial overgrowth is a consideration, then get an appropriate size sample—have the owner bring it from the litter box—and send to a microbiology laboratory.

Reason for the above approach: GREED. Generate income, generate it fast and treat. I asked for the records of the cat and found out that the cat had a heart rate over 180 and respiratory rate of 45, that’s heavy panting. The poor cat, the victim in this case, was in major stress and unneeded stress for such a minor ailment.

Unfortunately, often, the patient is taken to the “back” so the owner doesn’t see the stress produced.

In my office the owner brought a sample from the litter box, it was sent to the laboratory and came completely normal. We hope that the tear the cat suffered will resolve.

This in an example of unnecessary testing, rough testing, not common sense testing with GREED a strong underlying current.

Good medicine is not done by algorithms but with common sense and patient well-being as first and utmost, with GREED banned as a factor.

Disclaimer: all events in these descriptions are not fictional and sadly happened and any resemblance to real events is fully intentional.

Dr. Ehud Sela

The Gentle Vet

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate, Florida.

954-972-5900

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

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