Speaking For Spot: The Single Most Important Dog Book You Will Ever Read

Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life 
by Dr. Nancy Kay

What if what YOU know could make the difference between the health and sickness (or even life and death) of your dog?

Well, it truly can.

The sole purpose of my blog is to share the things we have learned the hard way and to stress the importance of educating yourself in matters of your dog’s health. Our education was hard and painful.

If I had read this book 7 years ago, when Jasmine came into our lives, she would have been spared much suffering. And it would have saved us a lot of heartbreak and over $50,000 in vet bills for the past two years! I so wish I had read this book back then.

Unfortunately, the book hadn’t been born yet. But it is out there now!

Don’t fool yourself, your dog’s health is in YOUR hands!

You’re the one who chooses the veterinarian for your dog. You’re the one who will or will not see a symptom, and you’re the one who will or will not ask the right questions.

Does all that seem rather overwhelming? It isn’t with the right information.

Don’t let the cover fool you! Speaking for Spot is likely the single most important dog book you will ever read!

If you were to read just one dog book, let it be this one.

You need to be a medical advocate for your dog. You need to learn how to ask the right questions and how to make the right choices. You need to know how to find the perfect veterinarian for your dog.

Any decisions you make will be only as good as the information you base them on.

Does all that seem rather redundant? After all, that’s what vets are for, right?

But how would you know you have a good vet? Trust me, like in any profession, not all vets have been created equal!

How would you know the decision he’d make is the right decision for you and your dog? What if there were other options that would work much better in your case?

Would you know if he made a mistake? Would you know what information only you have is important for your vet to know? Would you know what questions to ask about your dog’s symptoms or diagnosis?

Having a great veterinarian and working as a team is the key to best quality health care for your dog.

Please trust me on this. This book is a must read! I know, because we learned all this the hard way.

As my friend, Dino Dogan would say: “Buy it, borrow it, steal it – do whatever you have to do to read it!”

Notes: It is our personal experience that the coolest gadgets and equipment do not in themselves guarantee the best care possible. Any tool is only as good as the one using it.

It is also our experience that size does not always matter. Our vet is an old farm boy running a small clinic and yet he has done more for Jasmine than all the rest combined.


DR. NANCY KAY wanted to become a veterinarian for just about as long as she can remember. Her veterinary degree is from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, and she completed her residency training in small animal internal medicine at the University of California—Davis Veterinary School.

Dr. Kay is a board-certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and published in several professional journals and textbooks. She lectures professionally to regional and national audiences, and one of her favorite lecture topics is communication between veterinarians and their clients.   Since the release of her book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life, Dr. Kay has lectured extensively and written numerous magazine articles on the topic of medical advocacy.  She was a featured guest on the popular National Public Radio show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Dr. Kay is a staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, California. As a way of providing emotional support for people with sick four-legged family members, Dr. Kay founded and helps facilitate the VCA Animal Care Center Client Support Group.  She also facilitates client communication rounds for VCA Animal Care Center employees.

Dr. Kay was selected by the American Animal Hospital Association to receive the 2009 Hill’s Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award.  This award is given annually to a veterinarian or non-veterinarian who has advanced animal welfare through extraordinary service or by furthering humane principles, education, and understanding.  The Dog Writers Association of America selected Dr. Kay for two awards.  The first was the 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award recognizingSpeaking for Spot as the publication that best promotes the health and well being of dogs. The second award was for the Best Blog of 2009 (www.speakingforspot.com/blog).

Dr. Kay’s personal life revolves around her husband (also a veterinarian), her three children (none of whom aspire to be veterinarians) and their menagerie of four-legged family members. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare moments in the garden or riding along the beach atop her favorite horse. Dr. Kay and her family reside in Sebastopol, California.

Categories: Dog health advocacy

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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