Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NAVC Institute

I just have to write about last week when I was at the NAVC Institute doing a behaviour course with my idol, Dr. Karen Overall, a board certified veterinary behaviourist. I had taken this course five years ago and thought it was time to take it again. It was even better than the last time. We did behaviour cases, got introduced to new behaviour modification protocols and new medication protocols. It was all I could do to stay seated, I was so excited.

I’ve included a link so you can see what I was doing. What the schedule doesn’t tell you is how much extra time was put in. When the other courses were finished after dinner, we would head back into the room at 7pm for another few hours of work. I did get to bed at a normal time on Wednesday night since we were off “early” for the banquet.

I had been emailing Dr. Overall about a rather complex case and that evening she told me that I was going to present it to our course and the instructor of the neurology course as well as his students. Let’s just say that I didn’t get to bed cause I needed to make a proper case presentation. I haven’t done one of those since vet school. Luckily I was able to jazz it up a bit because I was able to email the owner for some photos. I will be forever grateful for her taking the time to send the pictures. I am also very glad my Mom made me do public speaking in 4-H. I was able to “turn it on” and get the answers we needed.

The next night another attendee presented how he’s changed the way he practiced general medicine so his hospital was more behaviourally aware. I am so glad not to be the only vet who sits on the floor if it makes the dog or cat feel more comfortable.

We were also lucky to have two attendees from Norway. They did a lot of search and rescue work and all the animals are trained with only positive methods. When Dr Overall as you to do a presentation, you do it, so she presented how they trained and were tested. Just amazing!!! I also loved the fact that both of her English Cocker spaniels had their beautiful tails.
In addition to being in class and madly taking notes, we also got to work on “bratty” dogs that were referred by local trainers and vets. While everyone else was adjusting equipment, I found a puppy that had been brought in for socialization. The focus on this 12 week old German Shepherd puppy was breathtaking. I grabbed a clicker and some treats and away we went. Willow would have jumped through a flaming hoop if I’d asked.

I also had a blast with the true behaviour cases. One dog had noise phobias and the other had fear aggression. I loved watching their body language and how the specialists work with them and their suggestions to the owners.

Check out the course at this link

Friday, May 18, 2012

First of the year

The girls had booked off most of the morning so I could catch up on my files before heading off to my behaviour conference in Florida. Before you get too envious, we have been asked to bring fleecy jackets and blankets as the conference rooms are kept quite chilly. Plus, we start at 8 in the morning and end at 9 or 10 at night.

I wasn't exactly looking forward to my worklist but I trudged through the files until one of the girls walked in and asked if I would be willing to take a look at a dog that had played with a porcupine. I was so happy!!! When animals wake up after having quills removed, they look so much more comfortable. The other great thing about this case was that the owners had not trimmed the quills. It is an old wives tail that trimming allows the quills to deflate. They cannot deflate as they are too stiff; however, the more you touch them, the more they work their way into the skin.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not without my heels!

Last year, we sponsored the hayrides at the Millarville Market. This year, we are helping to sponsor the “Run to the Millarville Farmers’ Market” half marathon. Race day is Saturday, June 16. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society.

There is an incredible amount of information on the website. One tidbit of information stood out for me. “The race course will close at 10:30am, allowing for a maximum race pace of just under 10 minutes per kilometer.” Are you kidding me? I would need at least an hour per kilometer so I didn’t die of heart failure!

Good luck to all the participants!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunday Fun

So people have been telling me that I need to get out more. For some reason, me having so much fun playing with sebaceous cysts and abcessing kind of freaks people out.

Well, I got out of Okotoks and went to a seminar in Calgary this past Sunday. I bet you're thinking its not much of an improvement BUT it was about behaviour. Dr. Horwitz came up from St. Louis to talk to the Calgary Academy of Veterinary Medicine. It was a great review and she had some great videos of inappropriate behaviour. The one that had me watching with one eye open was the one of the child sitting in the corner with the dog while it was trying to eat. It was a very patient dog but you could see it getting more and more stressed as time progressed. The dog did escalate to lifting its lip and the video stopped.

If somebody bugs me while I'm eating, I am not exactly the most polite person in the world. (Most people have learned never to do it more than once!). Think of it from the dog's perspective. For whatever reason, us humans have decided its okay for us to bug our dogs while they are eating. Why? I bet there would be a lot less bites occuring at meal time if they were only allowed to eat in another room or in their crate by themselves.

Dr. Horwitz talk gave me a lot of ideas so when I have time....... : )