I received a call at 6:30 AM from my mother-in-law while I was at a veterinary conference in Destin, Florida, a 6 ½ hour drive away from home. She was staying at my house watching my kids and pets while my wife and I were away. She was very concerned that my 11 year old Labrador Retriever, Bernie, awoke unable to get up from a laying position, seemingly paralyzed in the rear limbs. Having a recent past history of two knee replacements and back surgery herself, my mother in law was unable to attempt to lift Bernie and transport him anywhere.
With no available nearby family or friends to assist, I called my veterinary hospital to see if they could arrange transporting Bernie to the hospital for medical attention. They were were facing a very busy schedule that morning with several procedures and appointments that required a fully staffed team…It would take two medical team members to transport my dog from my house, a 30 minute drive away. The solution they came up with to get Bernie while minimizing an interruption in their important medical work flow was to contact a medical team members whose day off it was to come clock in and accompany an on service medical team member to transport my dog.
In less than one hour, my dog had been transported to the clinic, examined, and I was given a very relieving report. Bernie’s symptoms had generally reduced and he was ambulatory. Dr. Fogelberg, my associate veterinarian who is an experienced and highly competent veterinarian, determined that Bernie has some back pain from chromic intervertebral disc disease in his back that likely resulted in temporary motor deficits in his hind legs. He recommended rest, anti-inflammatory medication, laser therapy, and to have Bernie boarded at the hospital kennel for the duration of my trip in case he had another flare.
Bernie is an important part of the fabric of my life and that of my family and we love him beyond words. Under normal circumstances, when my pets have medical concerns, I would normally examine them myself and lead my team to help me engage a diagnostic work up and treatment.
With my wife and I being out of town, for the first time, I was relegated to being essentially a client of my own veterinary hospital. After their decisive action, I was grateful to my medical team beyond words. Once the stress of the crisis that was thankfully averted had passed, it occurred to me that my medical team works through crises multiple times a day on behalf of pets and the families that adore them.
While I always hold my medical team in very high regard, having been the beneficiary of their compassion and their competence gave me a renewed perspective on the importance of what we do for a living; and how fortunate I am to have such an impressive team to fulfill our purpose, “Making the world a better place, one pet at a time.”
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of subjects and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.