I am sorry that I did not get a recipe up for Monday or a Tuesday teaching post up either. Sunday night we had to take our companion of 12 years, Mother to my little Gizmo, and Mom's Twinkles and Feisty, to the emergency Veterinary hospital at OSU. Unfortunately, Misty Morning lost her life yesterday, and we have been mourning and making decisions. Needless to say, this blog was the farthest thing from my mind, but I do apologize.
So what is on my mind this Wednesday is second opinions. To begin with, Misty was diagnosed with a heart disease and given medicine for that condition. As she became more and more ill, her doctor was contacted and his directions were followed. Eventually we decided to take her to the "big city" animal clinic, because she was degrading as we watched, and he seemed put off that we continued to call him. In fact, he said to give her more medicine, she could not be given too much of it, and just give her pain medicine so she would rest.
The problem was, when we got her to the animal hospital, they told us that they saw no evidence of her supposed heart disease, and, not only that, but that the medicine we were giving her was 5x more than what was recommended for her weight. So we, in effect, had been poisoning her each and every time we gave her that medicine. Not only that, but that day alone, under the advice of her doctor, we had given her 4 tablets, so 20 times the dosage she should have received IF she had the disease in the first place! All of that medicine was too much for her little body and she could not be saved. Misty paid with her life for our ignorance.
So how is that a certified Veterinarian, an experienced animal doctor, did not know that he was prescribing an overly high dose of medicine for this small dog? How did he decide that she had heart disease in the first place? Well, come to find out, he magically diagnosed the heart disease by simply listening to her heart with a stethoscope. Amazing, because in the big city they diagnose that ailment with an xray and/or an echo-cardiogram, just as it's done for humans. But I was not with my Mom, Misty's Mom, when she was diagnosed, and I never thought to question him or his diagnosis.
Of course I am sad, and mad, and many other things. But the reason I am sharing this story is to point out that we all need to get second opinions, both for our human families, and for our animal families alike. Before we accept the word of one doctor for a new diagnoses, or the need for a new medication regimen, we need to investigate it ourselves and seek a confirming opinion with another doctor. I know that you may think this is not necessary because your doctor or veterinarian has been in business x number of years, but so had Misty's vet. And Misty's vet had been treating her for years. He was trusted. He was kind. He was wrong! Had we simply made it a matter of policy to get second opinions for all new medications and diagnoses, Misty would be here today. Every human is fallible, any person can be lazy, incompetent, or just wrong. So use our sadness as an object lesson, get a second opinion!