Archive for August, 2012

Things that were Awesome in Kansas City

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Russ and Amanda and Abby and I went to Kansas City last week to go to Lego Land learn stuff.  Well, I went to learn stuff.  Also, we went to Lego Land which was awesome.  The girls had to tell Russ and me it was time to go at the end of the afternoon.  You know that sound Legos make when you are mixing them to find a blue 2X4 brick?  Yeah, that is what I was not quite ready to leave.

But we did, and I went to CVC, which was as awesome in a grown up sort of way.  Central Veterinary Conference is a veterinary conference done by Advanstar three times a year.  They publish Veterinary Economics and other journals-I-love and have the website dvm360.

Things that were Awesome in KC…

I played with Legos.  I know I already said that one.  I just wanted to give you context for how awesome the things on my things that were awesome in KC list is.

I met Dr. Andy Roark.

I met Dr. Dave Nicol.

I learned about feline hyperaldosteronism.  (Summary:  If cats accidentally make too much aldosterone, it makes them feel like crap.  Also, it’s treatable.)  I feel like if I can get my head around weird medical conditions, I can probably figure out the less weird things too.  It gave me hope.  Like I could walk into any exam room with any lethargic kitty and confidently hold his paw from diagnosis through treatment.

I sat through two entire eyeball lectures without getting grossed out.  Well, I was grossed out.  But I stayed.  And I learned things.  And I did this –


instead of this –


I went to my first Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board Meeting.  You know those guys in the little squares by the articles in journals?  And the editor names in the list at the front of the journals?  Did you know that they are REAL PEOPLE?  They are!  I got to meet them in Real Life.  And they are super nice.

I only walked into a crowded room and right back out twice in four days.  And I walked back in both times.  Yay me.  I am a grown up.  Well, maybe not.  But I do think I should get another “I’m a winner” sticker.

I have a list of EIGHT more books to read!  Woo!  And I bought two veterinary books – one on exotic pets and also the most recent edition of Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook.  Loving that book does not make me a nerd.  I was already a nerd, and that is why I love that book so.  Be glad that I am.  It is good for your pets!

I came back refreshed and excited about medicine and exited about how social media and veterinary medicine can be friends.  They can, and they are, they just don’t know each other very well yet.  I feel as though I have more tools to work on that this coming year, especially after spending time with Dr. Roark and Dr. Nicol and the dvm360 group.  This is going to be fun, people!

Very, very fun week, and I am already looking forward to next year.

Thank you People Who Made CVC Awesome!  (Yeah, you.)

Animal Practice

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I liked it.

I think it will be a funny show.

Here is a link to the The Animal Practice Website.

You can watch the first episode from there if you want.  If you do, or if you have seen it, let me know what you think.


Friday, August 10th, 2012

My brother Dave and Sara’s big beautiful Mastiff James died this summer.  He was one of my very favorite dogs.  He is the James of this veterinary blog that my brother set up for me years ago – Riley and James.  More importantly, he was James of the Nelson family and James who was loved by everyone who met him.

James Nelson December 2003 - July 2012


James developed Addison’s disease, and though we diagnosed him and treated him and even got him to the emergency clinic for the weekend during his first Addisonian crisis where he received stellar care, his blood pressure did not remain high enough for long enough to keep him going.  He fought hard for three days.  We didn’t think he should have to keep fighting so hard when he kept getting sicker, and his family let him go early Monday morning, July 23, 2012.

earn money writing online

I was able to spend one of his last days with him – the first day of his hospitalization while he was at Gentle Doctor.  As his friend, it was strangely nice and will always be one of my most precious memories.

And yet, he had a treatable disease that was treated well and a family doing everything they could to get him through.  As a sister and veterinarian, being unable to save the dog I love so much and spare the family I love so much that pain and loss is very hard.


James did not want me to go around the corner to the doctors' office and he did not fit comfortably in a "dog" sized kennel, so we hung out together in the treatment room - as it should be.

I am sorry I could not save you James.  I really tried, Buddy.  I love your family, and I sure love you too.

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It takes a village to save a Mastiff…and if he is not saved…the village is no less awesome for having shown up.  Thank you Friends.

Adam was petsitting James, and first noticed that James was sick.

Dr. Ryan helped me diagnose James and get him comfortable and set up for treatment.

She, Jen and Kelly took care of James with me ALL day and even did the most intense of the James-care in the afternoon so I could spend two hours sitting on my parents’ deck with my other brother Bill before he left town again.  That two hours in the midst of everything is now, in hindsight, a reprieve that is still getting me through.

Dr. Stokes, Dr. Bashara, Dr. Krapfl and Omaha’s Internal Medicine and Critical Care specialist Dr. Byers all weighed in to help with James’ care.

Dr. Porter got James set up at Animal Emergency Clinic, and she and her team took care of him all weekend.

Dr. Buhr at Animal Emergency Clinic met with Sara and her Mom and me and just sat with us a while, even though I am sure he was tired and busy and had a bunch of patients who needed him as much as James did.

Mom and Dad and Russ took care of me, even when they were taking care of Dave and Sara.

Mom and Sara’s Mom took care of everyone and Olive so Dave and Sara could be with James.

Dave and Russ and Dad and Bill left for a long-planned  fishing trip the day James became critically ill.  At the time, I thought James would make it and told Dave he should go.  Guys from the fishing lodge drove Dave to a place where friends from Omaha met him and drove him home.  He made it home and was with James – and Sara – when they needed him.

The ER team let me be with James and Dave and Sara at the end.

Becky got James’ family a very sweet card.

EVERYONE (yeah you!) showed up to say “Wow, this sucks.” and “I am so sorry” and “James sure was an incredible dog.”

He sure was.

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Thank you all.  You are the best.