We will be posting little tidbits of information and anecdotes from the vets here on our website. Unless it says otherwise, these are generally posted by your friendly neighborhood vet, Dr. Kate Washabaugh. Check in occasionally or “Like” us on Facebook to stay posted. Thanks!
On Sunday we celebrated our anniversary! It’s been 20 years of A Breed Apart Animal Hospital as of this month. So everyone dragged their very supportive families up to Devil’s Lake and we celebrated together in the sun. Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of games and screaming happy children. Most importantly, a floating unicorn! We all got a turn and I can’t think of a better way to honor the amazing women who have made this clinic what it is. I’ve known a lot of very strong, smart women and I love that this particular group has come together to build on each of our strengths, cover for each of our weaknesses and generally made us better than we are alone.
Drs. Kate Peterson and Claudia Meyers began it all 20 years ago and nurtured it as it grew. But we can’t just thank the two great vets who started it all, nor the awesome technicians who keep this place going strong. We really need to thank all of YOU. Our clients who care about their pets so much. Our clients who pass our name along at dinner parties and book clubs and farmers markets. And our clients who have become our friends. We appreciate everything you give us and your support in making this clinic what it is.
We look forward to many more celebrations together! Thanks to everyone for being a part of this great journey!
Please join us in welcoming our newest team member, Dr. Rheba Zimmerman. Check out Dr. Zimmerman’s bio on our website. We threw her into the frying pan yesterday and she did great. Dr. Meyers and Dr. Washabaugh are always here to provide support as she settles into her new position here, but we expect she will do well all on her own. Welcome Dr. Zimmerman!
Dr. Zimmerman’s DVM degree was awarded from the University of Wisconsin in 2016. Before returning to school to become a veterinarian, she taught in the sciences, including veterinary science. She is a passionate Wisconsin Badger fan, attending as many events as possible with her husband and young son, is a national tournament golfer (formerly the #1 golfer on the UW’s golf team), and is a professional clown!
Moms and Dads are great.
This last week Dr. Peterson retired and Dr. Meyers and I became the sole owners of A Breed Apart Animal Hospital. We celebrated Dr. Peterson with lots of fun and lots of treats and we wish her every relaxing moment she can get.
Meanwhile, Dr. Meyers and I are holding down the fort and working hard to find the right addition to our veterinary family. We want to make sure he or she fits into our team, but also that she makes all of YOU, our pet and client family, happy. It’s been challenging behind the scenes and of course, I share that with my supportive family. So today, these lovely flowers arrived at the clinic. Thanks Mom and Dad!
I am happy to celebrate my renewed partnership with Claudia and am excited for all the things we will continue to accomplish together. The people may change a little, but A Breed Apart will always be the same in its philosophy. You are our family, friends, and neighbors and we hope to treat your furry friends as just that.
We had a lovely time celebrating our dear Dr. Kate Peterson last night. I’ll save all the nice things that were said for another time. For now I’ll post the pictures as evidence of our excellent retirement bash. Dr. Peterson won’t be saying an official good bye for 2 more weeks, but it’s never too early for a party!
The whole clinic turned out to attend the Puppy Up Madison dog walk for cancer research and we had a blast. It was a beautiful day, the dogs were happy, the kids were crazy, and the adults had fun seeing each other outside the clinic. We donned our fancy team t-shirts, walked our two miles, saw a lot of old friends (furry and not) and then headed to Dr. Kate’s house for some relaxation. That means lots of carbs, and lots of lazing around laughing at the endless energy of the young people and the canines that kept them running.
Next year we hope to see even more of you out there! And to those of you who donated on our behalf, we give you a big thank you. We’ve all been touched by cancer. Anything we can do to advance treatments for humans and furry friends is great. And this organization does a lot to help.
There’s been a lot in the news lately about the medical merits of marijuana. Whatever your political views, it appears it’s going to be increasingly accessible, and even legal, in a number of states. So how does this impact the veterinary community and our pets? Well, for one thing, I expect we’ll start seeing a lot more toxicity cases. But, we are also starting to field questions about the medical use of this drug. Marijuana itself is not yet legal in Wisconsin, but different legal products are becoming available and they may be useful in managing some or our pet diseases.
The thing to understand is that CBD products do NOT contain THC, so we can already use them in our pets. Keep in mind, as with all non-FDA products, there is little regulation with these supplements, so be sure to talk to us about good sources if you decide to try one. We know in humans these products can help manage anxiety, help with sleep disorders, help with nausea, and even some types of seizures and pain. What’s potentially great about this group of drugs are the mild side effects. We really struggle with drugs in our dogs and cats as they effect the liver and kidneys as well as cause all kinds of awful side effects like nausea and increased urination. Other than some sedation and managing the “munchies”, it’s not looking like there’s a lot of bad things associated with these CBD products.
On the other hand, there is a down side to this fun little plant. We see A LOT of marijuana toxicity and animals can get really sick when they get too much. While they rarely die from THC toxicity, it can be a pretty expensive problem to manage. Toxicities like this typically take a little detective work on our part. Rarely does a client come in and tell us exactly what their dog ingested. Usually it starts off with the college teenager home for vacation reporting “he ate the pan of brownies”. Hmmm… then why does he seem so dopey instead of hyperanxious? Why won’t he vomit when we give him injections to make that happen? Why is his heart rate so slow, his pupils dilated, and he’s dripping urine? And why is he staring hungrily at my potato chips? With a little more “sensitive” questioning, we can usually pull out the truth – it wasn’t JUST chocolate in those brownies. Please always keep in mind – VETERINARIANS ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO REPORT MARIJUANA INGESTION. And we won’t. We’re just here to help.
So how do we help our doggies get through their bad “high”? Usually it comes down to fluid support and monitoring. Once the drug is on board it can be really difficult to vomit it up (that pesky anti-nausea side effect) and it can take a few days for this drug to work it’s way out. That means a lengthy hospital stay, but when they leave with their half eaten bag of Cheetos, they are usually just fine.
Its an interesting time to be a vet. There’s a lot of “old” drugs that are getting new life, new classes of drugs that are being invented everyday, and experimentation with drugs like marijuana that may offer some relief to our patients. We’ll keep you posted as new information in this field arises.
Once again we are proud to join in the PuppyUp Madison fight against pet cancer!
Dr. Meyers and I have walked this with our various dogs and family members the last few years and it is always fun and rewarding. PuppyUp is a great foundation that helps fund cancer research. We’ve all been touched by cancer – either human or fuzzy friend – and it is undoubtedly horrible. We are pleased to help contribute to the effort to fight cancer.
This year more of the A Breed Apart Animal Hospital team members are joining us and you are all welcome to, as well.
Check out the PuppyUp website at: www.puppyupmadison.org and sign up with our team or make a donation.
We hope to see you on may 7th!
It’s been a rough week here at A Breed Apart Animal Hospital. We’ve seen a lot of losses and it is always hard to lose pets we love and watch the people we’ve come to care about endure those losses. But, this post isn’t about the pain of loss. I’m here to tell you about a success story.
This morning we had a patient here waiting for a procedure. Just sitting in her cage. One of our fabulous technicians was settling someone else in when our little trouble maker suddenly cried out and dropped over. Katie kept a cool head, grabbed her out and immediately rushed her over to the vets. Dr. Meyers assessed her – no breathing! No heartbeat! And quickly started compressions. I started mouth-to-nose resuscitation, the techs scrambled for oxygen. All seemed lost. And then… a breath. And we could hear the heart. And within 5 minutes our friend was up and looking around like she was pretty darn proud of herself. Obviously, we have some work to do, but the little girl went home with her relieved mom today and we count that as a win.
Do you know what to do if your pet suddenly stopped breathing? Do you know what to do if a human being does? Everyone should know the basics of CPR (it’s not so different for pets and humans in the end). Check out these links as a start. You never know when you might need to save a life.
The holidays are here – the trees are decorated, the candles lit, and the parties begun. That means lots of fun for you and your families, and lots of opportunities for your pets to find trouble. We’ve already been seeing the negative effects of holiday celebrations here so be sure to have a happy and SAFE holiday everyone!
Our number one holiday danger is chocolate toxicity in dogs. We’ve already had lots of chocolatey vomiting here (you can thank me for not posting a picture of that!) thanks to the little chocolates left in that bowl on the table, that package of fancy chocolate under the tree, and the baking goodies on the counter while someone stepped away. Keep in mind that chocolate can cause neurologic, cardiac, and GI effects that can last up to 72 hours. So be sure to call us for decontamination advice if you have a problem. It’s always rewarding to see that chocolate come back up (only a vet would say that!).
We also see a lot of kitty foreign bodies at this time of year – think tinsel. If you have a cat, please please please watch the ribbon on your presents and be sure to keep tinsel out of the house completely. Climbing the tree can be a problem, but consuming the items on it is an even bigger issue. We’d love to avoid giving you the gift of ribbon from your cat’s intestinal tract for Christmas this year!
You’d be surprised to hear that many cats have an affinity for some human antidepressants like Effexor. They’ll just snap it up the second you drop it on the floor. Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful and may require a little extra pharmaceutical support for us humans so be careful with the happy drugs as you’re handling them.
Finally, if you have kid relatives that give you those very attractive salt dough ornaments to hang on your tree, and if you have a dog, hang them high. Salt dough is tasty for dogs and can be super toxic due to the high sodium content. Of course, then you don’t have to worry about toppling your tree with that five pound ornament anymore.
Hopefully your holidays are uneventful and happy. And most of all safe. But if you have a problem, we are available by phone until 9pm each day so be sure to check in.