Author Archives: Dr. Fiona Caldwell

What Veterinarians Won’t Tell You About Their Job

A veterinarian with a secret.

Veterinary medicine involves lots of sloppy warm kisses and friendly tail wags on a daily basis. And overall, it’s a very rewarding profession. But not every day is all puppies, kittens, healthy pets and treatable diseases. As a veterinarian, I often see frustrating, sad and even gross things. Recently I posted a blog discussing surprising things your veterinarian loves. Here is my list of the top six least favorite appointments or procedures we see:

1. Neglect
The top of my least-favorite list is any appointment or disease that stems from neglect or was preventable. Unfortunately this happens! It’s often hard for animal lovers and pet insurance enthusiasts to imagine that someone wouldn’t treat their pet like one of the family. But it does happen. Often the neglect isn’t malicious or intentional, but stems from lack of knowledge. For example, injuries sustained after leaping out of the back of trucks, which could have been prevented by tethering or securing the dog correctly (or not putting the pet in the back of a vehicle at all.) Other diseases of neglect could include sunburn from being outside too long, skin issues stemming from poor grooming habits or excessively long toe nails. Even periodontal disease that has been left too long can cause the pet pain and discomfort.

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The Surprising Surgery Your Vet Loves to Perform

A cat with pet health insurance waits is held by a veterinarian.

Many animal-loving children dream of becoming veterinarians when they grow up. Helping and healing animals seems like the ideal career, and in fact, being a veterinarian is very rewarding. However, not all of the procedures we do are fun and games. Some can be heart wrenching, frustrating or even just plain gross. While these are my opinions alone, I thought I would share five of my favorite veterinary appointments and procedures; keep an eye out for my top five least favorite coming soon!

1. New Puppy and Kitten Exams
Of course, every doctor is different in terms of the things they love to treat, but unanimously every veterinarian loves taking on new puppy and kitten clients. During these routine pet care exams, it’s also a fun time to talk with you, the client, because you are usually excited and invested in your new pet’s care at this time. Sharing helpful healthcare tips, such as considering pet insurance for your new family addition, can help a family start out on the right foot for a long and healthy life. The puppy kisses and kitten purring doesn’t hurt either!

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Top Nine Pet Myths Debunked!

A small puppy with dog insurance chews on a bone.

We all want our pets to be as healthy as possible. Many families view their animals as part of the family. In the age of information, more and more pet care tips are at our fingertips, but sometimes well-meaning advice can be misguided, or even flat-out false. Here are the top nine veterinary myths I’ve heard from my clients:

1. Pets are Very Affordable
Taking care of an animal is a huge responsibility, not only in terms of time and commitment, but financially as well. Estimates for the annual cost of pet care can range widely from lower estimates around $800 per year, to thousands. And that’s for a healthy pet. Veterinary care can be very costly. Even routine care, such as annual exams and vaccines can sometimes be difficult for pet owners to afford. This is why I am a huge advocate of pet insurance. Pet owners should consider cat and dog insuranceas a way to ensure their pets receive the medical attention it needs in the case of an unforeseen illness or accident. Having pet health insurance may help the pet owner provide the best care to their pet, without having to worry about financial strain.

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How To: Six Part Grooming

A puppy with dog insurance plays dries off after a bath.

We all want our pets to look and smell their best.’Grooming’ should involve more than just hair coat maintenance and all breeds, including cats, can benefit from it. Regular grooming, especially teeth brushing, is important for overall health. Most grooming routines can be done at home with a little know-how, practice and patience. How often grooming is necessary can be variable depending on your pet’s breed and lifestyle. For example, most cats don’t require regular bathing at all, but some dogs can require weekly bathing to stay odor free. Here are some tips for keeping your pet’s appearance in tip-top shape:

1. Pearly Whites
This is probably the trickiest part of a regular grooming routine. Many pets don’t care for it, and brushing can take time and patience. When just starting out, keep it fun and short. Allow your pet to sniff and chew on the toothbrush and taste the toothpaste. Use lots of praise and rewards. Gradually lengthen the time you spend actually brushing as your pet gets used to it. Always use a dog or cat formulated toothpaste, as our toothpaste is toxic to pets.

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I’m Not Naughty, I’m Sick!

A dog with dog insurance gets in trouble for peeing on the floor.

At times, pets can be very expressive with their body language. A tail wag that moves the whole hind end easily translates feelings of happiness and joy. Conversely, dogs and cats can also communicate when they aren’t feeling well, but often the clues are more subtle. As a pet owner, being aware of behaviors that can indicate an illness are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Because accidents and illnesses can strike at anytime, I always recommend pet insurance to my clients. Here are nine subtle clues that might indicate it is time to call the veterinarian:

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