Standard treatments and approaches address most conditions your dog might face. But one size doesn’t always fit all.
There are times when your dog will benefit from a tailored solution. You should be able to discuss alternative options with your veterinarian.
Grab your best tool for communicating with your veterinarian here.
Looks like the boils, altered mental status, and heart failure were caused by renal cell carcinoma. I need your signature to start treating it with malaria.
—Gregory House, MD
Getting the correct diagnosis is crucial, but the work doesn’t end there.
Once you know what’s wrong with your dog, you still need to decide on the treatment. Yes, you might have been presented with one treatment option only. That, however, doesn’t mean there is only one option.
Jasmine’s cruciate ligament injury
When Jasmine was diagnosed with torn ACL, the only option presented to us was TPLO surgery! Is TPLO the only option for this condition? Far from it. Your dog’s busted knee can be treated with
- conservative management with or without a brace
- regenerative therapies
- alternate therapies
- surgery, but there is more than one surgical option out there
There are enough options to make your head spin. Why are you offered only one?
That’s not to say that the one choice you were given isn’t the best one for your dog. But how would you know for sure without considering them all?
Remember, getting a second opinion doesn’t apply only to diagnostics but to treatment options also!
While a run-of-the-mill treatment solution can often work, it is not always the case. The problem with cookie-cutter solutions is that each dog is an individual.
The best treatment is such that considers your dog’s individual needs.
JD’s ringworm infection
The first time our vet was faced with the need for a unique solution to a common problem was when we brought in JD with a ringworm infection.
He was going to write up a standard prescription.
While doing that, he mentioned that JD would have to wear the Elizabethan collar until the treatment was over.
Wait a minute. This was just shortly after Jasmine’s first knee surgery, and she was pretty vulnerable to setbacks! And I remembered what a disaster it was when JD had to wear the collar after he got neutered. He was a clumsy danger to himself and everybody around him.
Mixing that with Jasmine’s post-op didn’t seem like a good idea.
I still remember how momentary irritation swept over the vet’s face.
He was trying to hide it, and I didn’t hold it against him. What was important was what he did. We could clearly see him thinking.
He then came up with an alternate solution that did not require the e-collar!
Yes, it was a pain in the backside, and the treatment took longer. But it worked, and Jasmine’s knee was safe!
He [our vet] since got used to the fact that every solution has to be custom with Jasmine. So after examining her, he would sit down deep in thought: “I know what I would normally do—now I have to figure out what I’m going to do, considering it’s Jasmine.”
Jasmine’s vet is brilliant, and sometimes, I think he enjoys the challenge.
Thinking out of the box
He had custom-designed his first lift exam tables. He had now designed custom sound-proof kennels for the sick ward in his new place. And he always makes the treatment work for his patients.
When one of Jasmine’s incisions wasn’t healing well, he came up with the idea of using Preparation H.
That’s right, the hemorrhoid ointment! Did it ever work! It seems it works better for this than for its original purpose!
This year has been quite wet, and Jasmine’s feet seemed to want to keep breaking out with infections.
What are we using? Epi-Otic!
Yup, the ear cleaner! And it worked beautifully! Since we started using it, even the cracks Jasmine had on the pads disappeared.
Jasmine’s care was custom-tailored to her, starting from her home-cooked diet and hand-picked supplements to treating any problem that she faced.
Traditional veterinary medicine
The biggest leap of faith for her vet was when we wanted to include the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in our arsenal.
He squirmed a bit at first.
But because the patient’s interest is his main priority, and conventional treatments failed to address the problem, he agreed to try it.
The TCVM vet was quite surprised to find out that her regular vet was cool with that. “He knows you’re here?” he asked, surprised when we came for the first consultation.
Yes, of course, he did. We wouldn’t want to do anything without his blessing.
We love and respect him too much to go behind his back. And the fact that we didn’t have to [go behind his back] only proved that our respect for him is well deserved.
Pick a tool that will work best
Over time, all kinds of things got mixed into the pot that is Jasmine’s medical care. Latest science, unorthodox ideas, and alternative treatments.
We drive our dogs around in custom cars and dress them up with custom accessories … and yet we are quick to settle for cookie-cutter medical solutions.
Does your dog have arthritis? Here are some NSAIDs.
While NSAIDs can be a satisfactory solution for many dogs, other options can work just as well and are safer.
Whatever treatment option you go with, make sure that it is the best solution for you and your dog. There are options!
Personalized medicine improves outcomes