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Veterinarian Provides Disabled Students with Skills_ Smiles Veterinary

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Veterinarian Provides Disabled Students with Skills_ Smiles Veterinary Powered By Docstoc
					8      PetsMatter


Veterinarians Are the Best Resource for
Owners with Behavior Questions
                                                                                            Veterinary
                                                                                                                                          Volume 2               Issue 4
continued from page 4                                                                       Clinics: On the
to bark, despite distractions, and she        has proven to be true. “One of my dogs        Cutting Edge
does tricks, such as playing dead and         no longer thinks she is the boss and the
counting. Most dogs love to do what is        other one has gained more confidence
                                                                                            Messages from the field
asked of them and be rewarded for it,
Gillaspy said.
                                              so [she] doesn’t bark at everything that
                                              moves,” he said.
                                                                                                                                         Veterinarian Provides Disabled
   Atkinson hired Eric to address exces-         When looking for help with behavior        “In today’s day and
sive barking in individual sessions and       problems, Gillaspy says that personality      age there is so                              Students with Skills, Smiles
then realized that his dogs would bene-       is important. “People should like their       much that a veteri-
fit from an obedience class. “My wife         trainer on a personal level. Trainers         nary hospital can




                                                                                                                                         F
                                                                                                                                                 urry patients give disabled students something
and I thought we knew enough to train         without people skills won’t do. They          offer its patients.                                  to smile and learn about in Georgia, where an
our dogs — we did fine with house-            should be able to explain things in a                                                              AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital part-
                                                                                            Veterinary medi-
training and basic commands like sit          way you can understand. Look for a                                                                 ners with a vocational program that bene-
and shake. If we could do it all over         trainer with lots of experience [and]         cine is mirroring
                                                                                                                                                 fits everyone involved.
again, we would put our dogs in every         always make sure your trainer has a           human medicine in
                                                                                                                      Gayle M. Craig,       A 15-year partnership between the Animal
class possible with Eric,” Atkinson said.     well-trained dog. If they can’t train their   the services it pro-                         Medical Center and a local high school special
                                                                                                                          CVPM
   Gillaspy explained that dogs respond       own dogs they can’t train yours.”             vides, and [as a                             education program gives students an opportu-
well to positive reinforcement of good           Some veterinarians have received           result] pets are living longer, and          nity to work with pets and gain independent
behaviors and told Atkinson that by           additional training in behavior, which                                                     living skills.
                                                                                            clients are more informed. Pet own-
engaging his dogs with new tricks, he         enhances their ability to diagnose and                                                        Cathy Griffith, a teacher at Lakeview Fort
could avoid some of the attention-seek-       treat behavior problems. There are about      ers are extremely important in the
                                                                                                                                         Oglethorpe High School’s special education
ing behaviors.                                50 certified applied animal behaviorists      preventive care and treatment of
                                                                                                                                         program, schedules students to work several
   In other words, if your dog is engaged     in the United States but not all of them      their pets… [They] should not be
and performing tricks, it is less likely to   participate in one-on-one training with                                                                                 continued on page 3
                                                                                            afraid to take advantage of this new
exhibit the negative behaviors you            clients, which is why dog trainers like       technology. The results can be                     Dr. W. Britt Schaffeld at the Animal Medical
sought help for in the first place.           Gillaspy play an important role in train-
                                                                                            astounding. That said, no matter                 Center is shown with a patient receiving extra
   For the Atkinsons, that philosophy         ing and behavior sessions.
                                                                                            how wonderful the facility, how inno-                           care from student Evan Franklin
                                                                                            vative and progressive the technolo-

Color Us In!                                                                                gy, how experienced the staff, veteri-
                                                                                            nary hospitals… are here to serve the
 Hey Kids! Fluffy and Fido are ready to play.                                               needs of the client and patient.             What You Don’t Know: Who Is                                                            Share Your Pet
                                                                                               A veterinary hospital should meet
                                                                                            your pet’s medical needs [as well as]
                                                                                                                                         Monitoring Your Pet Under Anesthesia?                                                  Stories!
                                                                                            your emotional needs. You should             The ability to trust your veterinari-             “Things can happen even with         Tell us how your pets matter to you!
                                                                                            feel a bond with the veterinary team         ans is important, especially when              seemingly healthy animals under         This call goes out to readers of all ages.
                                                                                                                                         pets need anesthesia, drugs that               anesthesia,” said Elise Atkinson, a     We hope to hear how dogs, cats, reptiles,
                                                                                            and sense that there is a bond
                                                                                                                                         numb the senses so that pets do not            certified veterinary technician and     birds, and pocket pets have enhanced
                                                                                            between the veterinary staff mem-                                                                                                   your lives, and the role your veterinary
                                                                                                                                         feel pain during procedures.                   AAHA accreditation professional.
                                                                                            bers caring for your pet. I am lucky                                                                                                team has played in that relationship.
                                                                                                                                           Anesthesia is necessary but it               Using monitoring equipment and
                                                                                            to work in a facility that works hard        can pose health risks, which is why            having a dedicated person to check      Email us with your pet stories at
                                                                                            to maintain strong, respectful inter-        the American Animal Hospital                   patients regularly minimizes that       PetsMatter@aahanet.org
                                                                                            personal working relationships, and          Association (AAHA) requires                    risk, she added.                        for upcoming issues
                                                                                                                                         accredited clinics to use monitoring              Monitoring equipment tracks a        of PetsMatter.
                                                                                            client relationships, while providing
                                                                                                                                         equipment.                                     pet’s vital signs – temperature,        Email away!
                                                                                            a caring environment for pets….                                                                                                     Send your
                                                                                                                                                                                        pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure
                                                                                            Choose a hospital that is the right                                                                                                 stories today!
                                                                                                                                                                                        – while he/she is under anesthesia
                                                                                            fit for you and your pet’s medical                                                          and alerts medical professionals to     Read one
                                                                                            and emotional needs, and you can’t                                                          any changes in a patient’s condition.   pet tale on
                                                                                            go wrong.”                                                                                     Pet vital signs are checked every    page 7.
                                                                                                                                                                                        five minutes at Canobie Lake
                                                                                            – Gayle M. Craig, CVPM, practice manager                                                    Veterinary Hospital, an AAHA-
                                                                                            for Countryside Veterinary Hospital, an                                                     accredited practice in New
                                                                                            AAHA-accredited facility in Massachusetts.                                                                  continued on page 7
2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PetsMatter          7


New Educational Campaign Educates Pet Owners                                                                                         AAHA Accreditation Matters:                                   Not All Veterinary Clinics Provide Monitoring of Patients
                                                                                                                                     Under Anesthesia
About Their Dog’s Risk of Getting Cancer
                                                                                                                                     continued from page 1
Did you know that one out of two dogs         The canine cancer poster has a chart       rates of cancer in dogs, Crawford started                                                              “If there is a problem, we want to catch it right away,”
will get cancer and one in four will die    of dog breeds – from golden retrievers       volunteering her time to help other pet     Hampshire. “If there is a problem, we
from it?                                    to chow chows – and the types of can-        owners learn about the risks of cancer.     want to catch it right away,” said                             – Danielle Caisse, licensed veterinary technician and practice manager
  If not, you’re in good company.           cer that are most common for each.           She first learned about the cause from      Danielle Caisse, a licensed veterinary
Surveys show that many – if not most –      Collies are frequently diagnosed with        her mother, who saw a cancer poster at      technician and practice manager.                 encouraged clients to ask veterinary         thesia monitoring equipment is manda-
pet owners do not know that cancer is       nasal cancer, and skin cancer is com-        AAHA-accredited Mandarin Veterinary         Practice members create individual               professionals how they safeguard pet         tory, which provides clients with a
the number one natural cause of death in    mon for pugs and shar-peis.                  Hospital in Florida.                        anesthesia plans for each pet, depending         health during surgery.                       level of assurance that their pets are
dogs age two years and older.                                                                                                        on age and the pet’s medical history.               “Your veterinarian should be able to      receiving the best care possible.
  “Before the words, ‘Your dog has can-                                                                                                 To receive and maintain accredita-            answer questions about how your pet’s           There are approximately 3,000 vet-
cer’ entered my life, I was blind to the                                                                                             tion, veterinary practices like Canobie          vital signs will be monitored… and           erinary clinics in North America that
magnitude of the number of dogs diag-                                                                                                Lake must use anesthesia-monitoring              who will be responsible for monitoring       have earned AAHA accreditation.
nosed, the suffering they endure, and                                                                                                equipment and have designated team               your pet,” said Carpenter, a professor       Accreditation shows clients that the
how many lose the battle,” said Kristen                                                                                              members monitor the machines.                    of anesthesia and pain management at         clinic or hospital has met high stan-
Crawford, a pet owner.                                                                                                                  That level of attention to each               the University of Illinois College of        dards of excellence set by experienced
  To educate pet owners like Crawford,                                                                                               patient may, at times, raise surgery             Veterinary Medicine. She advises             veterinary professionals.
the Morris Animal Foundation launched                                                                                                prices but it helps protect lives,               clients to ask about the level of care          Trusting your veterinary team is eas-
a Canine Cancer Campaign. The organi-                                                                                                explained Rachel Carpenter, DVM,                 pets receive at clinics because not all      ier to do when you know the clinic is
zation produced a poster, which hangs in                                                                                             who was recently quoted in an article            veterinary clinics provide the same          accredited. That plaque is a fast way of
veterinary clinics across the country, to                                                                                            about the importance of anesthesia and           quality of medicine. At AAHA-accred-         identifying quality practices that are
prompt candid discussions between pet                                                                                                the use of monitoring equipment. She             ited clinics, however, the use of anes-      conducted behind the scenes.
owners and veterinary professionals
about the disease.


                                                                                                                                     Pets Are “Protectors, Confidants,
                                                                                                                                     Companions: How Pets Matter to You
                                                                                                                                                                A pets owner’s story
                                                                                                                                     “My husband and I are blessed to be guardians of two cats (a brother and sister)
                                               “Before the words, ‘Your dog has cancer’ entered my life, I was                       and a female multi-breed dog. All three were adopted from shelters. Our dog
                                                                                                                                     Hallie is our protector, confidante, companion, in-house comic and the purest
                                                 blind to the magnitude of the number of dogs diagnosed, the                         example of unconditional love. Our cats Max and Samantha are big fur balls
                                                     suffering they endure, and how many lose the battle.”                           who offer leg rubs, warm laps (even in the summer heat!), purrs that totally relax
                                                                                                                                     [our] busy minds and attitudes! Their love can be conditional depending on their
                                                                       – Kristen Crawford (pictured above with her dog Dawson)       moods but when they give it, it's so real and big!
                                                                                                                                       Our animals make us smile every day. We can only hope that we bring as
                                                                                                                                     much joy to them as they do to us. Sharing our life with animals is sheer pleas-
                                              You play a key role in safeguarding           Crawford’s 11-year-old Labrador                                                                                                         HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR
                                            your pets. Regular check-ups at the vet-     retriever, Dawson was diagnosed with        ure and fills a place in our lives that only
                                            erinary clinic and recognition of any        transitional cell carcinoma in February     they can complete.                                                                               PET GET VACCINES?
                                            changes in behavior, and energy level        and is – as she says – “still fighting        We mostly interact with Dr. Dean Small. He has                                              Ask your veterinarian about the pros
                                            help identify cancer before it spreads.      strong!”                                                                                                                                       and cons to each vaccine.
                                                                                                                                     unquestionably enhanced our relationships with
                                              With early intervention many cancers                                                                                                                                                    Every pet has different needs.
                                                                                                                                     our animals by genuinely caring, explaining
                                            are curable and there are an increasing      Additional resources
                                                                                                                                     everything, hiring an extremely caring staff, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ASK QUESTIONS.
                                            number of treatment options available.       • “How to Deal with Your Dog’s Cancer
                                              Ask your team of veterinary profes-          Diagnosis”                                following up on visits. They offer the best care                                                  Learn why vaccines are an
                                                                                                                                     around!”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   important part of your pet’s health.
                                            sionals today about this serious disease,    • http://www.ehow.com/how_2038770_
                                            and arm yourself with information to           deal-dogs-cancer-diagnosis.html
                                            protect your pets.                           • http://www.healthypet.com/library_        - Barbara Varhol takes her pets to Johnson County Animal
                                              After learning about high incidence          view.aspx?ID=37                           Clinic, an AAHA-accredited hospital in Kansas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           www.continuum3.com
4     PetsMatter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PetsMatter           5


Whispers You Want                                                                                                                      Making Time for Play Could Prevent or Reduce
Your Dog to Hear                                                                                                                       Behavior Problems Caused by Stress in Cats
Well before prime-time television actors       Talk with your veteri-                                                                  Establishing positive playtime with          said. “Unfortunately people don’t
recognized a market for canine behavior     nary team to get a list of                                                                 cats—even five or ten minutes a day—         understand how to set these rules.”         Resources:
programming, veterinary professionals       trusted professionals.                                                                     reduces stress and may prevent play             To establish positive playtime use       The Indoor Cat Initiative
had been educating clients about how to        Lone Tree Veterinary                                                                    aggression, a common behavior com-           toys—not hands or feet—to start games       (www.vet.ohio-state.edu/2218.htm)
teach, nurture, and maintain good pet       Medical Center, an                                                                         plaint, say veterinary experts, who have     that involve chasing and pouncing. Kitty    provides examples of popular toys as
behavior.                                   AAHA-accredited hos-                                                                       learned that cats—like dogs—benefit          fishing lines, balls, and furry mice held   well as solutions for scratching and
  As experts in the field of pet health,    pital in Colorado, built a                                                                 from owner interaction.                      a few feet away from the body are good      other tips.
veterinarians and technicians know that     Canine Academy on site                                                                       It may be hard to imagine that cats        tools to use.                               Cat Behavior Tip Sheets from the
bad behavior can lead to animal aban-       and hired Eric Gillaspy,                                                                   lounging around the house feel stressed,        Overall, play aggression normally        Humane Society of the United States
donment. They also recognize that some      a canine behavior con-                                                                     but medical studies prove that they do       occurs when cats misinterpret owner         (www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_
behaviors, such as urinating in the         sultant and trainer, to                                                                    and that it can lead to aggressive play.     actions as games, say behavior experts.     for_life_program/cat_behavior_tip_sheets)
house, aggression, anxiety, and self-       work with clients                                                                            “We put cats in abnormal situations        For example: One cat regularly jumped
mutilation can have medical causes.         referred by veterinarian                                                                   when we keep them inside and confine         on two young boys as they raced down a      Aggression Information from the
  To address behavior issues before         Bill Moyle, Jr.                                                                            them with multiple cats,” said Valarie       hallway after bath time.                    Humane Society of the United States
they become problems, veterinary clin-         “A well-behaved dog                                                                     Tynes, DVM, diplomate of the                    “The kids were screaming and chas-       (www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_
ics across the country offer classes and    is a good family mem-                                                                      American College of Veterinary               ing each other and the cat thought it       for_life_program/cat_behavior_tip_sheets/
                                                                                        problem at the clinic. For example, if he                                                                                               aggression_towards_people.html)
refer clients to qualified professionals.   ber and is less likely to be placed in a                                                   Behaviorists (ACVB). “Yet cat lovers         was funny to land on the kids’ butts,”
                                                                                        sees a dog lunging or barking at other
Some clinics hire professionals with        shelter,” said Nancy Moyle, PhD, co-                                                       know it’s hard to get just one.”             said Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, PhD,        American College of Veterinary
                                                                                        dogs, he may talk with the owner about
advanced degrees in animal behavior         owner. “Anyone who has a pet [he/she]                                                        To keep cats happy, veterinary behav-      ACVB diplomate. “He thought there           Behaviorists
                                                                                        how he/she can correct the behavior. He
(certified applied animal behaviorists)     loves understands what that means.”                                                        ior specialists suggest that owners play     was a really good game going on.”           (www.dacvb.org/community/blog/
                                                                                        is also called into exam rooms for
and others suggest dog trainers.               When addressing behavior issues —                                                       for at least five minutes each day with         She suggested that the owners shut a     public_education/)
                                                                                        impromptu consultations for separation
                                            such as excessive barking, jumping, and                                                    cats individually or in a group. To deter-   door to the cat’s room during bath time
                                                                                        anxiety and other common behavior
                                            chewing — early intervention is impor-                                                     mine whether you should separate cats        so he couldn’t see the boys run down
                                                                                        problems.
                                            tant. Professionals say almost all behav-                                                  for play, watch to see if they sleep side    the hallway. The “attacks” stopped.
                                                                                           “I was really happy that my veterinari-
                                            ior issues can be resolved but they warn                                                   by side and groom each other, Tynes             Owners can also try distracting a cat
                                                                                        an had a trainer on staff that he obviously
                                            that effective training takes time.                                                        said. That behavior indicates good inter-    during instances of play aggression. By
                                                                                        trusted,” said Bert Atkinson, a client at                                                                                               Does your dog lag behind on walks?
                                                                                                                                       action and gives a green light to group      throwing something across a cat’s line
                                                                                        Lone Tree and The Canine Academy.
                                                                                                                                       play, she said.                              of vision, he/she will chase the toy
                                                                                        “Eric always stresses that your dog                                                                                                         Seem reluctant to go up and
                                            The Right Trainer                           should be having a good time, [which]
                                            When hiring trainers, veterinary profes-                                                                                                                                                    down the stairs?
                                                                                        makes me and my dogs feel comfortable.
                                            sionals look for depth of experience.       I think I’m learning just as much, if not                “Playtime provides mental stimulation and exercise,
                                            The Moyles liked the fact that Gillaspy     more, than my dogs,” he said.
                                            had worked at the Academy of Canine            The owner of a boxer and two pit bulls,
                                                                                                                                             if you don’t engage your cats you have all these potential
                                            Behavior in Washington State for six        Gillaspy knows how important it is to
                                            years and volunteered with a pit bull                                                                     problems with aggression as well as obesity.”
                                                                                        have dogs fit into their owners’ lifestyles.
                                            rescue group.                               To illustrate how effective his training                                                                     — Valarie Tynes, DVM
                                              An important part of the veterinary       can be, he uses his boxer, Violet, as a
                                            team, Gillaspy consults with veterinari-    class assistant and a positive example.
                                            ans if he suspects a medical cause for                                                                                                                                                  Subtle
                                                                                           A hospital therapy dog, Violet shows
                                            behavior problems and frequently inter-     canine students how to resist the urge
                                                                                                                                         “Playtime provides mental stimulation      instead of going after your feet.             changes in
                                            venes if he sees a budding behavior                                                        and exercise,” Tynes said. “If you don’t        In addition to establishing positive
                                                                                                              continued on page 8      engage your cats you have all these          playtime, owners need to recognize and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  your pet’s
                                                                                                                                       potential problems with aggression as        respect a cat’s limits. Some cats are       behavior may
                                              Resources:                                                                               well as obesity. The goal is to get these    finicky about what types of toys they       indicate pain.
                                              Association of Pet Dog Trainers — provides information on what to look for               animals up and off the sofa. They need       like and are specific about the type of
                                              in a trainer                                                                             [owner] involvement.”                        attention they want.
                                                                                                                                         Step one is to teach cats what is             “Most cats do not like to be held
                                              Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists — www.certifiedanimalbehaviorist.com
                                                                                                                                       appropriate play.                            upside down or scratched on the belly,”        Ask your doctor about
                                              American College of Veterinary Behaviorists — Go to www.dacvb.org/home4 to                 Cats that attack moving feet or jump       Crowell-Davis said. Since they groom            pain management.
                                              find a veterinarian board certified in behavior                                          on owners without warning may not            each other on the head and neck those
                                              American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior — avsabonline.org/avsabonline             have learned the basics, Tynes               are safe areas but signs—like twitching       www.stepstoplaymore.com
                                                                                                                                       explained. “Kittens learn if they hurt       tails and low growling noises—indicate
                                              International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants — www.iaabc.org
                                                                                                                                       other kittens or cats play ends,” she        that they have had enough.
6     PetsMatter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PetsMatter          3


Veterinary Professionals Act as Pet Advocates                                                                                         Pet Euthanasia: The Last Stage of Care for Beloved Pets
continued from page 3
couch. “It’s a warm, home-like environ-      very personal, heart-wrenching experi-                                                   Although the question of euthanizing a      ized pet euthanasia services
ment,” said Michelle Iund, DVM, owner.       ence, I can unequivocally tell you that     Euthanasia Resources for                     pet is emotional, preparing for this end-   tailored to support client
  Saying goodbye to a cherished pet is       nothing prepares you for that time.”        Pet Owners                                   of-life procedure can alleviate some        emotions in the early 1980s.
never easy but veterinary professionals        Joy Dias, PhD, director of the                                                         stress and grief associated with it.        One of the first grief support
can help you identify when it is in the      Companions Program at the University        The Argus Institute:                            Euthanasia, a painless experience for    programs was Changes:
pet’s best interest to do so. Iund recent-   of Florida Veterinary Medical Center,       http://www.argusinstitute.colostate.edu      the pet when conducted by a veterinari-     Support for People and Pets.
                                                                                         /grief.htm offers comprehensive read-        an, may be the last act of compassion       It is now known as the Argus
                                                                                         ing lists related to the decision to euth-   you can show toward your ill or suffer-     Institute at Colorado State
                                                                                         anize a pet, understanding the process,      ing pet. Veterinarians, who recognize       University. The Argus
              Euthanasia: …a painless and easy death to a                                talking to children about the death of a     how personal this decision is, help         Institute offers direct clinical
                                                                                         pet, grief management, and pet loss          guide clients through the process.          support to pet owners and
         patient suffering from an incurable or painful disease.                         hotlines.                                    Questions that pet owners who face          training to veterinarians and
                                             — Webster’s II New College Dictionary       The Association for Pet Loss and             this decision often ask their veterinary    veterinary students.
                                                                                         Bereavement (http://www.aplb.org)            professionals include:
                                                                                         offers a live chat room where grieving       • Is my pet suffering?                      Consultation
ly euthanized her own pet Jesse, a           agreed. “If you’re waiting for the day      pet owners can contact someone day           • What are the effective treatment          To help clients with this diffi-              Vista Veterinary Hospital in Texas, the
beloved 16-year-old cocker spaniel, so       when all the events are right to make       or night. In some cases, professional           options?                                 cult decision, some veterinarians dedi-       grief/consultation suite is windowed and
she knows firsthand that there is no         the decision [to euthanize a pet], it’ll    counseling may be warranted.                 • How do I know if the illness/condition    cate tranquil spaces within clinics where     contains plants and a comfortable
one-size-fits-all approach.                  never happen.”                              Article: “How to Cope with the Loss             is affecting my pet’s quality of life?   private discussions about pet euthanasia
  “I’d had her since she was six weeks          Arming yourself with pertinent                                                           Veterinarians began offering formal-     can take place. At AAHA-accredited                                  continued on page 6
                                                                                         of a Pet”
old,” Iund said. “She was my close           details can, however, soften the emo-       http://www.ehow.com/how_2032672_cop
companion and inspiration. From this         tional blow. Knowing how illness            e-death-pet.html
                                             affects pets helps pet owners feel more
                                             confident about the difficult decision                                                   Pets, Students Benefit From Unique Internship Opportunity
                                             to euthanize, professionals said.
 Nutrition Tips for                             Dias, who offers bereavement coun-                                                    continued from page 1
                                             seling, advises pet owners to ask
Weight Management                            whether pets will get better, if the good   Questions to Consider before                 hours a day at different community
                                             days outweigh the bad, and when that        Euthanasia Procedures:                       venues. The veterinary hospital is a
                                                                                                                                                                                    “For severely disabled kids,
                                             balance will shift shift. “Would you                                                     favorite choice. Student tasks range
 High levels of protein in a pet's weight    rather [have] your pet’s last day be a      • Should the procedure be handled at         from washing dishes to folding towels,
 loss diet stimulates metabolism and                                                       the veterinary clinic or at home?                                                      being with animals helps them
                                             good or bad one?” she asks clients.                                                      and perks include befriending the
 promotes fat loss.                                                                                                                   patients.
                                                Veterinarians urge pet owners to con-    • Which family members should be                                                          to learn to react or respond.”
                                             sider that the average life span is 10 to     present?                                      It is a mutually beneficial arrange-
 Maintaining a healthy weight can help
                                             12 years for dogs and 12 to 15 years                                                     ment, said Britt Schaffeld, DVM,                          – Cathy Griffith, teacher
 minimize the risk of weight                                                             • How will you explain the decision to
                                             for indoor cats. A pet’s age and stamina                                                 owner of the Animal Medical Center          Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School
 related problems such as                                                                  other family members?
 arthritis and                               are factors to consider when weighing                                                    (IAMC).
 diabetes mellitus.                          euthanasia against a possible extended                                                      “Miss Griffith and her students make
                                             medical recovery effort that may last a                                                  sure each animal gets lots of extra         it’s like a real job. For severely disabled
 The Purina Life                             few weeks or months.                                                                     attention,” Schaffeld said. “Any way        kids, being with animals helps them to
 Span study                                     Barb Gaddess, a registered veteri-       to help the cat but due to the increas-      you look at it, with this program every-    learn to react or respond.” For exam-
 showed that                                 nary technician and owner of Valley         ing breathing trouble it would be best       one wins.”                                  ple, a boy with severe difficulties, who
 maintaining an                              Veterinary Hospital, an AAHA-                                                               Griffith, whose three cats and one       did not display much emotion, bright-
                                                                                         to euthanize him.”
 ideal body                                                                                                                           dog are treated at AMC said, “The           ened significantly at the veterinary
                                             accredited hospital in Canada, said           A client recently sent the following
 condition can actually
                                             that the ideal scenario is for veterinar-   note to the team at Valley Veterinary        whole class has observed my cat's           hospital.
 help dogs live longer
                                             ians and clients to make euthanasia         Hospital for their help during the           checkup and Dr. Schaffeld even let             While he was there, his demeanor
 healthier lives.
                                             decisions together.                         euthanasia of her pet Rocko:                 them listen to [my cat’s] heartbeat.”       changed, Griffith said. “His face lit up
                                                For example, the hospital recently         “I will never be able to express to           The clinic also treats the class ham-    as he’d gently pet the kittens.”
purinaveterinarydiets.com                    admitted a cat that was struggling to       you how deeply I appreciated your            sters. “One poor hamster had to have           Michelle Griswold, a tenth-grade,
                                             breathe. Despite many attempts with         support, kindness and gentleness…            his leg amputated but thanks to Dr.         special-education student with pets at
                                             medication, surgery, and therapy, the       especially for showing me how much           Schaffeld, Meatball, our three-legged       home, said “My favorite part is work-
                                             cat did not recover, she explained.         you cared for Rocko that day and             hamster, led a long and happy life,” she    ing with the animals, but I am learning
                                             “The client and veterinarian decided        always. I really needed that. It helped      added.                                      responsibility and am making friends
                                             that they had done everything possible      me in my sorrow.”                               “We have a wide variety of students      with the animals, the other students,
                                                                                                                                      and abilities,” Griffith said. “For some,   and the people at the Center.”

				
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