My First Job as a Vet

I quit my first job as a vet. In fact, I was there for a week and a half. I quit without notice, and without having a job lined up. That was hard. But I did not feel like I had failed. After a few years we start to hear that many of our classmates have changed jobs, often not lasting the full one year contract that they signed up for. But why? My reasons for quitting were based on my own moral standards. When you go through a veterinary school that has a teaching hospital, you have a very high expectation of medicine. You are expected to have full and complete medical records that include a SOAP: four sections based on subjective and objective findings, what are your differential diagnoses a

Can DHEA be used to Improve my IVF outcome?

I have low AMH. Will DHEA work to help my IVF outcome? Ever since I graduated with my Masters I’ve had to use other sources for scientific research, other than our online library. This is mainly Google Scholar. If you are a scientist then you already know the power of studies, which puts the meta-analysis as the top-tiered of all research, and this should include clinical studies, and not just studies in a lab. I talked about taking control over your fertility a few weeks ago. So, what else do I do on a rainy holiday Monday? Writing, or blogging, reduces my stress. These pages are just where I put my thoughts. Today’s research topic is DHEA. How did I come across this? First, I am a member o

Cat with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and Tonsillitis

Today I noticed one of my feline patients had inflamed tonsils. Tonsillitis as a primary condition is rare in cats. So when we see inflamed tonsils it is secondary to something else. In my patient, she has a rhinitis - inflammation of her nasal cavity. Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in cats are a fairly common occurrence in our patients. The first photo above is for comparison of this very subtle finding. Above is Indi’s oral cavity. I’ll point out the tonsil area for you to compare. Here’s the oral cavity of my patient with upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). My apologies, but the lighting isn’t that great. You can see that very subtle increase in redness near the back of her oral

Who am I?

I was listening to Dr. Crawford’s podcast again, and this particular post was on building your personal and professional brand, as well as intellectual property and how to protect that in your contracts with your profession. I already mentioned that Gary Vee was the first influencer for this blog, but I can tell you again that I really relate to Dr. Crawford’s style – medical, introvert, intellectual, researcher. The first step is to identify who you are. You are your brand, and that really is the overarching idea behind a blog – it’s you. So, Who Am I? I’m a Veterinarian. I’m a thinker, an intellectual, an introvert. I’m a researcher, mainly reproduction, but anything in veterinary medicine

Why you should freeze your eggs now

Hubby asked me this evening. “Why didn’t you freeze your eggs sooner?” I already told you, when I got accepted in to veterinary school I was 31, and knew that when I graduated at 35, the chances of me getting pregnant naturally were low, statistically speaking. Freezing my eggs would have been a great option, had I one - even thought about it, two - had the money, three - had the idea that you could be a career driven woman in your 30’s AND be a mom. But you know what they say? Hindsight is 20:20. Okay, so when I found out from one of my mentors who is a single mom, who started when she was 38, to go through becoming a mother on her own, why had I not thought about it when I graduated from v

Premonitions

When I went for my interview at UCVM, I remember thinking that morning, randomly, of my friend Leah. Leah and her boyfriend Nick worked at the Greater Vancouver Zoo with me. The year that I moved to Calgary was the year that Nick and Leah moved to Edmonton in pursuit of Nick’s career as a pharmacist. Leah and I had taken an equine class together as well, so we had grown close during our time at GVZoo, but when we moved to Alberta on separate paths we lost touch. She had even baked this amazing cake as a farewell. Randomly on March 26, 2011, while I was de-stressing with a little workout prior to my interview, I remember thinking, I wonder if I will see Leah today. My mom had come to Calgary

More Lumps on Dogs

When a senior dog comes in, basically any dog that is over 8, and their owner is worried that they found a lump - that this lump has been growing, after assessing via palpation and visually if it is a skin lump, I put my thinking cap on. Common things are common, and then I also provide a caveat that, we cannot tell for sure without a diagnostic sample. When I collect a fine needle aspirate, that really is my goal, to collect a diagnostic sample. My goal is not always to be able to diagnose the lump on my own. We have a diagnostic laboratory we send the samples to. At the lab, they have special stains, and board certified personnel to diagnose the lump. Sometimes, I don’t get to send these s

Wild Dreams

Last night, I had a terrible dreams. First was about a client, his partner, and their puppy who had pancreatitis - in life, the puppy does not have pancreatitis, yet. Haha. But pup is running about and then the client’s partner morphs into an old client of mine who I saw every week for a few months when I was treating her cat for chronic kidney disease. To be honest, there was some more strangeness to the dream, but I can’t recall. Waking up, and startled by my husband’s snoring. I’m awake for a bit, go online, do some reading, and finally say I should try to sleep again. The second was a bizarre non vet related dream where my friend and I were being “hunted” by not just one, but two serial

What is Your Goal?

I started listening to a podcast this morning. I came across it by recommendation from a fellow member of the TTC community on MyMindBodyBaby FB group. The podcast is ‘As a Woman‘ by Natalie Crawford MD, OBGYN and reproductive endocrinologist. Her first episode is called “What is your goal?” My goal for this blog was always the same - to educate. In fact, Dr. Crawford and I share the same view - we both believe that knowledge is power. I have only listened to a few episodes, but I feel like I can relate to her. We are both women in medicine. Yes, she’s pursued a rigorous residency in OBGYN, and I’m just a GP Veterinarian. But I want to specialize. I did my Master of Science in Reproduction.

Growth Hormone: Does your cat have acromegaly?

The current generation of pet owners is very smart. They are very much involved in the health of their pets. Pet owners google everything, then their veterinarians have to debunk some of the things they have found, or some of the things they were told by their breeders. I actually don't mind, in fact, since I love to educate, I will go into discussing with the owners that every heart murmur in an adult dog is considered significant enough for diagnostics, that grain-free diets have an association with the development of heart disease, that yes, you bought an adorable Frenchie - who will also develop allergic skin disease, and that every little dog, especially Yorkie's are going to have troub

What's a day look like for a veterinarian during COVID-19 restrictions?

Today's Monday, and I actually have a three day weekend. We, the DVMs met on Friday after work to discuss a small change in the schedule. We want to start becoming prepared for when the Ontario government lifts its restrictions. As mentioned previously, we had a newly appointed Medical Director (MD), and our senior er... seasoned veterinarian stepped down and took more of a surgical role. He essentially does not want to do any appointments, only surgeries. We have decided that Mondays we will do surgeries, or I should say, he will do the surgeries, and myself and our new MD will alternate on appointments. We are still going to be offering Telemedicine for the remainder of the week. Myself an

Testing for hyperadrenocorticism; diagnosing Cushing’s

Sometimes we as veterinarians say, this pet did not read the textbook. Which has been my experience with testing for Cushing‘s (hyperadrenocorticism). My typical approach has been blood tests. I was taught that the LDDST (low dose dexamethasome suppression test) was the go-to test. Even at my previous clinic, that was our go-to diagnostic test. That’s textbook, but when you get the results, sometimes you’re puzzled. I’m often on the phone with the lab, that thankfully provides consulting services over the phone with an internal medicine specialist. At my current practice, our medical director uses the ACTH stimulation test (adrenocorticotropic hormone). It’s a more expensive test because the

Happy Caturday

Last week was National Fertility Awareness Week, so if you’re also on the trying to conceive journey, feel free to head back there for more info. It’s Saturday morning, and I felt like doing another personal entry. This week, I ordered a nutrition guide from MyMindBodyBaby. There are four phases of the menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. Most science just breaks it into two phases: follicular and luteal. But the menstrual cycle is dynamic, the hormones fluctuate from day to day, but also within the day there is a circadian rhythm. Yes, I’m still working, and yes, we’re still trying to adhere to public health guidelines for social distancing during COVID-19.

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