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|Apps for Smart Phones|
Of the 1.3 million apps available, at least a few are related to pets!
The HomeAgain Pet Rescuers App streams real time alerts into the app, and an interactive map displays all the lost pets in the area. There are also tips for helping lost pets.
Want to get a great photo of your dog? Use the Bow Cam IPhone app. It gets your dog's attention by emitting barking sounds, so you can get that perfect picture.
Modern veterinary medicine has seen many technological advances: digital x-ray, color Doppler ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI. There is, however, another great tool that has helped veterinarians and that most people have at their fingertips - their smart phone!
The photo and video capability of phones has helped communication between pet owners and their pets' doctors. Often, it is hard to describe an unusual behavior, or to determine which leg the dog is limping on, or to tell the difference between a cat's cough or retch. A picture is worth a thousand words! The veterinarian is really helped by being able to see a photo or watch video of the pet.
There are several common scenarios where these images are helpful:
Seizures are common in dogs and are seen occasionally in cats. Grand mal seizures are pretty obvious, but partial seizures can look just like unusual behavior. They also have to be differentiated from syncope (which is a fainting spell) but dogs in a syncopal episode act differently than when a person faints. Dogs in a fainting spell will often move their legs and vocalize. Thus it is very helpful to the veterinarian to see video of these episodes to decide whether it is a neurological event (seizure) or is related to their heart (fainting).
Limping and coughing are symptoms that dogs exhibit at home and often do not show during the exam at the veterinary hospital. The excitement of going to the hospital causes an adrenaline release which often makes the signs disappear for a short period of time. Video of these episodes when the pet is at home can help with the proper diagnosis.
Photos of any suspicious material is helpful to the veterinarian when trying to develop a diagnosis. For instance, bloody vomit usually looks like coffee grounds; photos of the vomitus can identify underlying causes. Photos of feces, sputum, or any other abnormal material should be shown to the doctor during the exam.
Smart phones have provided a great leap forward in communication between pet owners and their veterinarians. Photos and videos can be shown to the doctor during the office visit, or can be emailed to the animal hospital. The more information the doctor has, the faster an accurate diagnosis can be made.
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.