How Holistic Treatments Helped a ‘Cat From Hell’ Lead a Better Life

The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets. Jul 16, 2013 How Holistic Treatments Helped a ‘Cat From Hell’ Lead a Better Life by Dr. Patrick Mahaney Share Save to mypetMDI was enthused to be requested again by Jackson Galaxy, of the Animal Planet …

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Choosing a Career Path in Veterinary Medicine

Back in veterinary school, I was faced with the decision about what exactly I wanted to do after graduation. It seemed there were two paths I could choose from: one would lead towards becoming a general practitioner and one would lead towards becoming a specialist.

Unlike some of my peers who knew exactly what they wanted from the minute they entered the clinics, the decision wasn’t simple for me. Each option had proverbial pros and cons and benefits and drawbacks. I wasn’t entirely sure how to …

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German Shepherd Stranded on Cliff Ledge Saved by Firefighter

A German Shepherd named Diamond went missing last Saturday in Jeremiah, Kentucky, and when a neighbor finally found her, she was in a no-good, very bad place — nearly halfway up a 200-foot-cliff.

Gus Tolliver takes the credit for finding her. He did it with his ears.

“I didn’t locate it the first time it barked, and it had to bark two or three times, and then I said, “Well, that dog is really close,'” he told “And I just happened to look up on the cliff there and see it.”

Diamond was 50 feet up, stranded. Above her was sheer cliff. Below her was more cliff. There was no way up or down — or least none that Diamond was willing to take. She was done. She was going to wait this one out.

When firefighters arrived, they planned their strategy. It involved hiking a quarter of a mile to the top of the cliff.

“Our plans were to get up there and repel down to the dog to see if maybe we could get a hold of it to repel it on down,” said Fireman Michael Potter.

Potter took the lead on this one. They hiked up. He rappelled down. He approached the dog. Amazingly, it went all to plan. Diamond crawled up to Potter, allowed him to wrap her up in a bear hug and hoist her up, all while perched on the edge of a cliff.

“Once I got there and saw that it was calm and not hurt, I just put it on my chest and rappelled on down with it,” said Potter.

The pair descended into a boat — there was a river under this cliff, to make the rescue that much more difficult. Once on dry land, fighters treated a happy Diamond to a box of kibble.

The dog’s owner, Lucy Combs, got a call during the rescue and quickly made her way to the scene.

“We searched all day and somebody said they’d seen her here, and the fire department was here rescuing her,” she said.

“So this is my dog, and her name is Diamond, and she’s my world.”


Lost and Never Found – How Microchips and Pet ID Tags Can Reunite Pets with their Families

Late Saturday night, one of my clients stopped by pleading for help. A boxer had been hit by a truck behind his house and was thrown across the road. The dog had a collar, but did not have any tags, so there was no way for anyone to contact the owners. Another couple had also stopped and was sitting with the dog while my client came to see if I would help. My husband and I quickly dressed and followed him to the dog, but by the time we arrived, he had already died. We took the dog to the clinic where I scanned him for a microchip to see if I could locate the owner. Unfortunately, he did not have a microchip. Somewhere nearby there is a family that will be spending Christmas day wondering where their dog might be and if he will ever come home again.

Microchips and pet ID tags have been helping pets reunite with their families for years.    Many happy endings have occurred when we were able to call a number on the tag or scan the pet and find a microchip number that would eventually lead us to their worried owners. Many other pets have wound up in shelters or injured and euthanized without the owners ever finding them. Many other pets are stolen and never returned. If your pet should ever escape, be stolen or simply lost having both a microchip and a pet ID tag will help you reunite with your pet.

The microchip is a small capsule that is inserted just under the skin between the shoulder blades with a large needle. Anesthesia is not needed and it is just a quick stick that many pets do not even notice when it is done. The microchip releases a tracking number when it is scanned by a handheld device. The chip can not be scanned by satellites and does not contain any other information other than a special number and the maker of the chip.


When the pet is micro-chipped, the owner then registers the number with either the chip manufacturer or with the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery ( The will register any chip and is one of the largest recovery organizations for lost pets. There is a one time registration fee that we include in the cost of the microchip and there is not an annual renewal fee. Many veterinarians and animal shelters have  scanners and when animals arrive at their facilities they are scanned for a microchip and if one is found, the AKCCAR is called at 800-252-7894 to see if the number is registered so the owners can be located. Every clinic has their stories of reunited pets and families. This year we have reunited several dogs and cats with the microchips and many more with ID tags.

Why should I also have a pet ID tag if my pet has a micro-chip?

In the case of the poor Boxer that was injured, if he had pet ID tags on, the good Samaritans that were comforting him as he laid dying could have contacted the dog’s parents without having to wait for the clinic to open and scan for the chip.

My pet has a Rabies tag, why do I need a personal pet ID tag?

The Rabies tag has an id number and the clinic phone number. The finder of the pet must wait until the clinic is open to be able to match the ID number with owner. In cases of an injured pet, critical hours to get life saving treatment will be wasted until the owner can be found.

Why should I have my pet micro-chipped if he has a pet ID tag?

Pet tags can get lost, snagged or removed, especially if your dog had been stolen. A micro-chip is added insurance that your pet will find their way home.

The best way to ensure your pet will get back to you is to have them tagged and micro-chipped.

We have micochips and pet ID tags in stock. We also have a new engraver  that can personalize your pet ID tags


Superman Logo Blue Circle Tags




Bladder Stones in Dogs

The occurrence of bladder stones is not uncommon in our canine friends and can lead to serious discomfort and even secondary problems if not treated. These stones are rock-like minerals that form in your dogs urinary bladder. There can be several small gravel-sized stones or large single stones in the bladder. In this handout, we will discuss the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of bladder stones in dogs.

It is normally not difficult to detect that your dog is experiencing discomfort related to their urinary tract. The two most common signs of bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria. The former symptom involved the presence of blood in your dogs urine while dysuria is a term to describe when your dog is straining to urinate. If you notice that your dog is having difficulty urinating, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. If possible, try to collect a fresh urine sample in a clean plastic cup to bring with you to the veterinary practice. Although these symptoms are good indicators, dogs with bladder infections (without stones) can exhibit hematuria and dysuria.

The build up of bladder stones can lead to serious pain and your pet may even cry out when trying to urinate. It is important to catch this condition early, so that surgery or secondary infections can be avoided and additional stones will not form. Your veterinarian will want to perform a laboratory evaluation of your dogs urine and will also palpate the urinary bladder to see if stones can be felt. In many cases, your veterinarian may want to take x-rays or ultrasound your dog to search for bladder stones.

If it is determined that your pet has bladder stones, your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate treatment. In serious cases where larger stones are involved, or stones that are unlikely to dissolve with other therapies, surgery may be necessary. Removing bladder stones involves opening the abdomen and urinary bladder and it will take your dog several days to recover. Certain types of bladder stones can be dissolved with special prescription diets and your veterinarian will notify you if this is an option. If diet therapy is chosen, it is very important that you follow the exact diet regiment as outlined by the veterinary staff. It can take several weeks to months to fully dissolve bladder stones and your veterinarian will want to follow-up with your dogs treatment until the stones are eliminated.

Once you have eliminated your dogs bladder stones, there are steps that can be taken to prevent future occurrence. Maintaining your dog on a special diet may be indicated and your veterinarian may want to perform follow-up urinalysis, x-rays or ultrasound to detect recurrence. Non invasive investigation and careful monitoring can detect this problem early helping to avoid surgery!