Category: Cats

Ghosts.

An emotional post that is potentially upsetting to readers. Especially English readers.

Yesterday, September 14th, saw the opening of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that happened on June 14th. As the BBC News reported:

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has opened, with its chairman promising it will provide answers to how the disaster could have happened in 21st century London.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said he would not shrink away from making recommendations that could lead to prosecutions.

Yesterday morning, I woke at 5am PDT (1pm UK time) and picked up my tablet that has a BBC Radio 4 app installed. I lay there in the dark, Jeannie still fast asleep alongside me, and listened to the World at One: Forty-five minutes of news, analysis and comment, with Martha Kearney. Naturally the opening stages of the inquiry were one of the main items covered.

I was born in London. At the maternity ward at the hospital in Park Royal, West London. Some 5 miles from Grenfell Tower. I was brought up in Wembley, London again some 5 miles straight line distance from the tower.

For much of my early life as a young adult I was in and around that part of London. So while I was not personally familiar with Grenfell Tower itself, the news coverage of the disaster at the time relayed sights of a part of London that seemed like an old friend from the past.

A ghost of my life from over 50 years ago.

Yesterday on the World at One Martha Kearney interviewed Kareem Dennis better known as the rapper Lowkey:

Lowkey: A song for Grenfell, a call for justice

Hip Hop artist Lowkey lives opposite Grenfell tower. He has written a song called Ghosts of Grenfell, featuring people from the local community, which demands justice for those who died.

Lowkey told the World at One about his song and the night of the fire.

(Photo: Lowkey. Credit: BBC)

The interview included snippets of Lowkey’s song.

After I had finished listening to the World at One I did a web search to learn more about the poor animals that lost their lives in the inferno. It broke my heart reading the stories.

Then I started watching the full video of Lowkey’s song: Ghosts of Grenfell. Sixty seconds into the song I could hold my emotions no longer and burst into deep sobs.

Here is Lowkey’s song.

For those that want to stay with this, then here are the lyrics to Ghosts of Grenfell.

ooOOoo

Ghosts of Grenfell

Lowkey
Featuring Mai Khalil

Produced by Jo Caleb and Quincy Tones

[Intro: Lowkey]
The night our eyes changed
Rooms where, love was made and un-made in a flash of the night
Rooms where, memories drowned in fumes of poison
Rooms where, futures were planned and the imagination of children built castles in the sky
Rooms where, both the extraordinary and the mundane were lived
Become forever tortured graves of ash
Oh you political class, so serve out to corporate power

[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream
[Verse 1: Lowkey]
Words can not express
Please allow me to begin though
1:30am heard the shouting from my window
People crying in the street
Watchin’ the burning of their kinfolk
Grenfell Tower, now historically a symbol
People reaching, from their windows
Screaming, for their lives
Pleading, with the cries
Tryna reason with the skies
Dale youth birthed champions
Comparison is clear though
That every single person in the building was a hero
So don’t judge our tired eyes in these trying times
‘Cause we be breathing in cyanide, the entire night
They say Yasin saw the fire and he ran inside
Who’d thought that would be the site where he and his family died
The street is like a graveyard, tombstones lurching over us
Those shouting out to their windows, now wish they never woke them up
Wouldn’t hope your worst enemy to go in this position
Now it’s flowers for the dead and printed posters for the missing, come home
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Verse 2: Lowkey]
I see trauma in the faces of all those that witnessed this
Innocence in the faces of all those on the missing list
See hopes unfulfilled
Ambitions never achieved
No I’m not the only one that sees the dead in my dreams
Strive for the bravery of Yasin, artistic gift of Khadija
Every person, a unique blessing to never be repeated
Strive for the loyalty of siblings that stayed behind with their parents
Pray that every loved one lost can somehow make an appearance
We are, calling like the last conversations with their dearest
Until we face, what they face we will never know what fear is
We are, calling for survivors rehoused in the best place
Not to be left sleeping in the West Way for 10 days
We’re, calling for arrests made and debts paid
In true numbers known for the families that kept faith
We’re, calling for safety in homes of love
They are immortalised forever, the only ghosts are us
I wonder
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Bridge: Mai Khalil (Arabic)]
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee

[Speech: Lowkey & Various Voices]
To whom it may concern, at the Queen’s royal borough of Kensington in Chelsea. Where is Yasin El-Wahabi? Where is his brother Mehdi? Where is his sister Nur Huda? Where is their mother and where is their father? Where is Nura Jamal and her husband Hashim? Where is their children, Yahya, Firdaus and Yaqoob? Where is Nadia Loureda? Where is Steve Power? Where is Dennis Murphy? Where is Marco Gottardi? Where is Gloria Trevisian? Where is Amal and her daughter Amaya? Where is Mohammed Neda? Where is Ali Yawar Jafari? Where is Khadija Saye? Where is Mary Mendy? Where is Mariem Elgwahry? Where is her mother Suhar?

Tell us, where is Rania Ibrahim and her two daughters? Where is Jessica Urbano Remierez? Where is Deborah Lamprell? Where is Mohammed Alhajali? Where is Nadia? Where is her husband Bassem? Where are her daughters, Mirna, Fatima, Zaina and their grandmother? Where is Zainab Dean and her son Jeremiah? Where is Ligaya Moore? Where is Sheila Smith? Where is Mohammednour Tuccu? Where is Tony Disson? Where is Maria Burton? Where is Fathaya Alsanousi? Where is her son Abu Feras and her daughter Esra Ibrahim? Where is Lucas James? Where is Farah Hamdan? Where is Omar Belkadi? Where is their daughter Leena? Where is Hamid Kani? Where is Esham Rahman? Where is Raymond Bernard? Where is Isaac Paulos? Where is Marjorie Vital? Where’s her son Ernie? Where is Komru Miah? Where is his wife Razia? Where are their children Abdul Hanif, Abdul Hamid, Hosna? Where are Sakineh and Fatima Afraseiabi? Where is Berkti Haftom and her son Biruk?

Tells us, where is Stefan Anthony Mills? Where is Abdul Salam? Where is Khadija Khalloufi? Where is Karen Bernard? Where are these people? Where are these people? Where is Gary Maunders? Where is Rohima Ali? Where is her six year old daughter Maryam, her five year old daughter Hafizah and her three year old son Mohammed? God bless you all! Where are all these people?

[Outro]
Where are all these people?
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise

ooOOoo

 

Back home again

And it feels so good!

Jean and I were invited to Chicago this last weekend, actually Friday through Sunday, to support a charity that does a great deal of work saving dogs in many countries. (Will write more about this great charity soon.)

So we flew out, via San Francisco, from our local Medford airport last Thursday returning on Monday. The long week-end was not without a few challenges!!

I hadn’t been back to Chicago in nearly 30 years and found it a bit of a shock to the system.

So going to leave you for today with two photographs of the other side of city life!

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Back to normal soon!

Visiting the Vet – More on Ruby

A need to re-check Ruby.

On Tuesday the Visiting the Vet post was about our Ruby. As was explained in the early part of that post:

Back on the 11th August Jean and I took Ruby into Lincoln Road Vet because there was blood in her urine. Ruby is one of our six dogs that we have at home. Ruby is the last of the Mexican ex-rescue dogs and is an eleven-year old Sharpei mix.

Dr Jim thought that Ruby had a straightforward Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and that a course of antibiotic would fix that.

All of that was reported in my previous post and, indeed, it did look as though it was all resolved.

Then on Tuesday night we discovered a pee in the house that had blood in it. Repeated yesterday. Although we hadn’t caught Ruby in the act, so to speak, we were pretty sure that it was her with the blood in her urine (again).

So yesterday morning back we went to Lincoln Road Vet Clinic to be seen by Dr. Jim.

Jim and his assistant, Cianna, first took Ruby through to a lab at the back of the clinic to take an X-ray and draw some of Ruby’s urine directly from her bladder.

That urine was going to be cultured by Three Rivers Hospital in Grants Pass for that was the only reliable way of seeing what might be the cause of the infection. A quick web search found more information about a urine culture:

A urine culture is a test to find germs (such as bacteria) in the urine that can cause an infection. Urine in the bladder is normally sterile. This means it does not contain any bacteria or other organisms (such as fungi). But bacteria can enter the urethra and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).

A sample of urine is added to a substance that promotes the growth of germs. If no germs grow, the culture is negative. If germs grow, the culture is positive. The type of germ may be identified using a microscope or chemical tests. Sometimes other tests are done to find the right medicine for treating the infection. This is called sensitivity testing.

In no time at all the images from the X-ray were available to be viewed.

Jim was delighted to report that there was no sign of stones or a tumor. Ruby is an eleven-year old dog and what Jim did see on the X-ray was ‘bridging’ along parts of Ruby’s spine. The technical term for this is spondylosis and, again, a quick web search found more:

Spondylosis in dogs, also called spondylosis deformans, is a degenerative condition that usually occurs most along the spine in older dogs. There, degenerative disks cause bone spurs to develop. These bone spurs can form bridges from one vertebrae to the next, limiting flexibility and range of motion.
Most cases of spondylosis require minor pain relief, and dogs can live out healthy, comfortable lives with this condition.

It’s not a very good image but here is an enlargement of that first X-ray picture (or rather my photograph of same) showing that bridging.

Jim offered some general information regarding idiopathic cystitis that is more commonly seen in female cats but can also be seen in dogs. In cats the cause is more likely to be stress but in dogs the more likely cause is an infection; as in a UTI. In both cats and dogs the signs are frequent peeing but cats are more likely to incur some pain when urinating compared to dogs.

Back to Ruby.

The second X-ray image (below) did nothing to change Jim’s mind that Ruby might have a UTI that requires a change of antibiotic to accurately combat the infection.

While waiting for the results of the urine culture, Jim recommended putting Ruby on a second course of Amoxicillin.

When we get those results I will add the details to this post.

Tanja Brandt

I promised you more background information.

You will all recall that when we were ‘enjoying’ the chaos of having new flooring installed in three of our rooms I posted over a number of days a selection of wonderful, incredible photographs taken by Tanja Brandt.  Here is one of those photos.

We were all utterly enthralled by them and wanted to know more about Tanja.

But Tanja is German and her website and blogsite are, not surprisingly, in German. However, a good friend of mine from times past, Chris Snuggs, who is fluent in German (and French) came to the rescue when I asked for a favour of an English translation.

I sent Chris the link to Tanja’s ‘About Me’ page and here is what Chris emailed me yesterday.

Paul

At this URL: https://www.ingoundelse.de/%C3%BCber-mich/

…. she introduces herself with two short texts followed by a list of publications and/or photographic events and awards etc.

I have done a translation of the two elements of her introduction but not attempted to translate the list that follows.

I am assuming that if you want to write an introduction to her you can take her words according to my translation and reformulate them in your own words.

If you want a proper translation of her own words then I think I would need to work on it a bit more. The difficulty there is that if I translate her words directly it will not sound great in English; to get her meaning across in good English I would have to be a bit more free with the phrasing.

I hope that makes sense.

Made sense to me! Wonderful sense!
Here are those translations with the original German in blockquotes and the English translation by Chris topped and tailed with Tanja’s photographs:

Über mich …
Verlasse dich auf dein Herz – es schlug schon, bevor du denken konntest …

…. gibt es nicht so viel zu erzählen. Meine große Leidenschaft, seit ich in Windeln krabbeln kann, sind Tiere.

Tiere im Allgemeinen – vor allem auch Greifvögel und Raubkatzen – und Hunde im Speziellen.

Ich glaube, ich spreche ihre Sprache.

Ein Leben ohne Tiere ist für mich schwer vorstellbar und wenn Jemand keine Tiere mag, dann wird er sich vermutlich nicht sehr lange bei mir aufhalten.

About me
Trust your heart; it was beating before you were capable of thought.

There’s not all that much to say. My greatest passion even since I was a baby are animals – all kinds of animals, above all birds of prey and big cats – and especially dogs.

I believe I speak their language!

For me a life without animals is difficult to imagine, and if someone doesn’t like animals, then he or she would probably not be around me for long.

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Fotografie ist meine Leidenschaft

Wie es begann?

Ich wollte schöne Fotos von meinen Tieren. Bzw überhaupt von Tieren. Fotos, die die Seele und den Charakter des jeweiligen Tieres widerspiegeln. Nicht einfach nur Fotos.

So kam mir der Gedanke, mit einer professionellen Kamera dürfte das kein Problem sein. Die Kamera wurde gekauft und es ging los – das Ergebnis war ernüchternd ….

Ich musste dann doch noch einige Workshops besuchen, um da zu sein, wo ich heute stehe.Kurse, Workshops, Webinare, Bücher, Austausch mit anderen Fotografen und viel üben. Und ich versuche jeden Tag, was dazu zu lernen und zu entdecken.

Aber allein das Technikverständnis macht es nicht aus, um die Seele der Tiere zu zeigen und die Arbeit mit den Tieren ist so wertvoll. Ich kann Tiere nur fotografieren, wenn sie sich wohlfühlen und mit Begeisterung mitmachen oder Wildtiere eben keine Angst vor mir haben.

Photography is my passion. How did it all begin?
I wanted to take beautiful photos of my animals, indeed, of all animals: photos which would reveal the soul and character of each animal – not just snaps …..

So I had the idea that all I needed was a professional camera. The camera was bought and off I went – the experience was chastening. I realized I needed training to get where I am now: went to workshops, on courses, internet lessons, books, exchanges with other photographers and lots more. And I still try every day to discover and learn something new.

But technique alone doesn’t suffice to lay bare the soul of a creature. Working with animals is so fulfilling, but I can only photograph them when they are at ease and enthusiastically join in the process, or if with wild animals when they are not afraid of me.

So many things make presenting this blog to you so very special for me. Then something comes along that takes it into the stratosphere of being special. That is Tanja Brandt. Tanja’s photographs and how she describes herself are stratospheric!

I am so pleased to have been granted permission by Tanja to share her photographs; something I never want to stop doing!

The wonderful love of a dog

Just enjoy!

We are chilling out for a couple of days giving our attention to Mark and Debbie who are staying with us. They came over to view the eclipse and I shall feature a few of Mark’s photographs for this coming Sunday’s Picture Parade.

(The following first seen over on the Care2 website)

Published on Aug 2, 2017

This dog’s motherly instincts are so strong that she feels the need to help raise an abandoned litter of kittens. What a hero!

And not this is not a dog that is living in a loving home but a stray dog! Incredible creatures.

Giving us better lives!

Delighted to republish this for you all.

Marc who blogs at Healthy Pawz recently decided to follow this place. I went across to Healthy Pawz to leave my thanks for the follow, as I always try to do, and read a most wonderful post. Wanted to republish it here today.

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Pets Can Change Our Life For The Better

Posted on August 18, 2017

Pets have an amazing ability to change our lives for the better. They find that special place in our heart and latch on with incredible amounts of unconditional love. When we regularly give our pets undivided attention, we build a bond and connection that will last a lifetime.

Every moment we spend with our pets is an opportunity to observe them and learn more about their personality, nuances or needs. Notice the simple and basic things about your pet like when they are relaxed, comfortable, happy, anxious, etc., just as you would a child. Those moments of observation will teach you so much about the little being that wants nothing more than to provide you with unconditional love and attention.

Another great benefit to having a pet is that they can sometimes see in us what we cannot see in ourselves. We know about service pets that support people in different ways for sight, comfort, seizures, autism, etc. But, our own pets are also in tune to our needs and emotions. However, we are sometimes so rushed with life that we fail to recognize the great gift our pets are offering us (me included). We have a rescue kitten with one eye and in my opinion, she’s amazing. This little cat noticed inflections in my voice that indicated stress of some sort. For me it was business as usual, but for her it was climb on my chest and rub her little face against mine. After a few hundred times of this (exaggerated of course) I finally realized that she was trying to calm me down. And I learned to better recognize when I needed to take a step back with a deep breath throughout the day.

We live in a very fast paced, get it done kind of society. That kind of daily grind can strip away some of our compassion and empathy because we are so overwhelmed with other aspects of life that we may not notice when we are stuck in that vortex spinning around aimlessly. Whether we realize it or not our pets are a great conduit to restoring that which we need to sustain us in our human relationships. Compassion and empathy are easily understood, but not always easily lived out. Our pets are a daily reminder of this because they provide both compassion and empathy daily. Because of this, we have an opportunity to reciprocate compassion and empathy back to them and to those around us.

Whether you have a dog, cat, hamster, etc., pets can enhance our lives in so many ways. Carve out some daily time to spend with your furry loved one, observe them on their terms and take some time to reflect about how they are benefiting your life. Watch over time as your emotional intelligence evolves through this process.

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There is so much wise advice in that post!

Hard to highlight any particular sentence but this one spoke to me early on: “When we regularly give our pets undivided attention, we build a bond and connection that will last a lifetime.”

Our Brandy!

A connection that will last a lifetime!

Return to Predators!

The critical value of predators.

Not so long ago there was some discussion about how important it was for the natural way of things to include predators. I mentioned how this had been the topic of a post published some time ago in this place.

It was back in February, 2014 and I have republished it today.

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The critical value of predators in our wild lands.

February 24th, 2014

The consequences of the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park.

I have two people to offer my thanks to for today’s post: Suzann and Ginger. Both of them within hours of each other sent me an email recommending the following video. So, without further ado, here is that video. (Oh, would you believe this. The video was released on February 13th, 2014 and, at the time of me writing this post, has been viewed 1,453,345 times! Wow!)

Published on Feb 13, 2014

Visit http://sustainableman.org/ to explore the world of sustainability.

For more from George Monbiot, visit http://www.monbiot.com/ and for more on “rewilding” visit http://bit.ly/1hKGemK and/or check out George Monbiot’s book Feral: rewilding the land, the sea and human life: http://amzn.to/1dgdLi9

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.

Narration from TED: “For more wonder, rewild the world” by George Monbiot. Watch the full talk, here: http://bit.ly/N3m62h

B-Roll Credits:
“Greater Yellowstone Coalition – Wolves” (http://bit.ly/1lK4LaT)
“Wolf Mountain” (http://bit.ly/1hgi6JE)
“Primodial – Yellowstone” (https://vimeo.com/77097538)
“Timelapse: Yellowstone National Park” (http://bit.ly/1kF5axc)
“Yellowstone” (http://bit.ly/1bPI6DM)
“Howling Wolves – Heulende Wölfe” (http://bit.ly/1c2Oidv)
“Fooled by Nature: Beaver Dams” (http://bit.ly/NGgQSU)

Music Credits:
“Unfoldment, Revealment, Evolution, Exposition, Integration, Arson” by Chris Zabriskie (http://bit.ly/1c2uckW)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the US Copyright Law.

For any concerns or questions, you may contact us athttp://sustainableman.org/contact/

If you want to read more on a general level, then my post on the 11th January, 2014, An echo in the hills! may be worthwhile. It included this from William Ripple, of Oregon State University:

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Top dogs keep ecosystems in order

Many of these large carnivore species are endangered and some are at risk of extinction, either in specific regions or entirely. Ironically, they are vanishing just as we are learning about their important ecological effects, which is what led us to write a new paper in the journal Science to document their role.

From a review of published reports, we singled out seven species that have been studied for their important ecological role and widespread effects, known as trophic cascades. These are the African lion, leopard, Eurasian lynx, cougar, gray wolf, sea otter and dingo.

Based on field research, my Oregon State University co-author Robert Beschta and I documented the impact of cougars and wolves on the regeneration of forest tree stands and riverside vegetation in Yellowstone and other national parks in western North America. Fewer predators, we found, lead to an increase in browsing animals such as deer and elk. More browsing disrupts vegetation, reduces birds and some mammals and changes other parts of the ecosystem. From the actions of the top predator, widespread impacts cascade down the food chain.

Similar effects were found in studies of Eurasian lynx, dingoes, lions and sea otters. For example in Europe, absence of lynx has been closely tied to the abundance of roe deer, red fox and hare. In Australia, the construction of a 3,400-mile dingo-proof fence has enabled scientists to study ecosystems with and without dingoes which are closely related to gray wolves. They found that dingoes control populations of herbivores and exotic red foxes. The suppression of these species by dingoes reduces predation pressure, benefiting plants and smaller native prey.

In some parts of Africa, the decrease of lions and leopards has coincided with a dramatic increase in olive baboons, which threaten crops and livestock. In the waters off southeast Alaska, a decline in sea otters through killer whale predation has led to a rise in sea urchins and loss of kelp beds.

Predators are integral, not expendable

We are now obtaining a deeper appreciation of the impact of large carnivores on ecosystems, a view that can be traced back to the work of landmark ecologist Aldo Leopold. The perception that predators are harmful and deplete fish and wildlife is outdated. Many scientists and wildlife managers now recognise the growing evidence of carnivores’ complex role in ecosystems, and their social and economic benefits. Leopold recognised these relationships, but his observations were ignored for decades after his death in 1948.

op carnivores, at work keeping things in check. Doug Smith
Top carnivores, at work keeping things in check. Doug Smith

Human tolerance of these species is the major issue. Most would agree these animals have an intrinsic right to exist, but additionally they provide economic and ecological services that people value. Among the services documented in other studies are carbon sequestration, restoration of riverside ecosystems, biodiversity and disease control. For example, wolves may limit large herbivore populations, thus decreasing browsing on young trees that sequester carbon when they escape browsing and grow taller. Where large carnivore populations have been restored – such as wolves in Yellowstone or Eurasian lynx in Finland – ecosystems appear to be bouncing back.

I am impressed with how resilient the Yellowstone ecosystem is, and while ecosystem restoration isn’t happening quickly everywhere in this park, it has started. In some cases where vegetation loss has led to soil erosion, for example, full restoration may not be possible in the near term. What is certain is that ecosystems and the elements of them are highly interconnected. The work at Yellowstone and other places shows how species affect each another through different pathways. It’s humbling as a scientist to witness this interconnectedness of nature.

My co-authors and I have called for an international initiative to conserve large carnivores in co-existence with people. This effort could be modelled after a couple of other successful efforts including the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe, a non-profit scientific group affiliated with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the Global Tiger Initiative which involves all 13 of the tiger-range countries. With more tolerance by humans, we might be able to avoid extinctions. The world would be a scary place without these predators.

William Ripple does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

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The ConversationMan! We are a strange species at times!

Visiting the Vet – Hyperthyroidism

Lady Jessica isn’t feeling too well.

09:50 July 13th, 2017.

Jessica Louise is a 14-year-old cat that normally lives happily outside. But in recent times ‘Jessie’ has become very thin despite constantly eating and has now preferred to be inside the home even accounting for the fact of there being dogs in the house.

Jim’s pretty certain that he is looking at a cat with a hyperthyroid thyroid gland. No question that a blood test is needed and the blood sample is taken without delay.

The results are soon back and confirm that Jessie’s T4 readings of >8.00 mg/dL are very high, indeed beyond the upper limit of their testing equipment. Jim explains that the normal range for T4 is between 0.80 – 4.70 mg/dL.

The puzzled look on my face is seen by Jim and he takes a few minutes out to explain what a blood test accomplishes.

There are three parts to the blood test:

  1. The Complete Blood Count (CBC), that is the cellular part of the test.
  2. The chemistry of the blood, measuring the condition of the kidneys, liver, electrolytes, diabetic status as in blood glucose level, and more.
  3. The optional Part, a test for T4 Total Thyroxine level.

A very quick web search found this from which one reads:

Your dog or cat’s T4 (Total T4) is a useful screening test to detect an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) in dogs or an over-active one (hyperthyroidism) in cats. But total T4 levels are a considerably more accurate way to diagnose an overly active thyroid gland in your cat than an under-active thyroid gland in your dog.

Jim prescribes Methimazole. Once again, back at my desk a quick web search for Methimazole For Cats finds:

What is Methimazole?

Methimazole is used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats. It has largely replaced propylthiouracil in this treatment process since it has a lower incidence of adverse side effects. Methimazole requires a prescription from your veterinarian, and is sold per tablet.

(This is only one of many products found online!)

Jim weighs Jessie and finds that she is 4lbs 12 oz. Her weight should be in excess of 8 lbs.

The clinic protocol is that Jessie should not be seen until at least 45 days has elapsed. But Dr. Jim underlines that Jessie should be brought back in to the clinic before then if there is no weight gain soon or, especially, if Jessie continues to lose weight.

10:05 All done.

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

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Good people, may I ask for your assistance.

Best explained by sharing part of a recent email sent to Yvonne D. who has offered her help with my book project. In past times, Yvonne was a Veterinary Technician.

Dear Yvonne,

My Visiting the Vet theme on Learning from Dogs has awakened within me the interest and passion to write my second book. Or, to put it more accurately, to switch away from the present theme that I have been struggling to get stuck into for months.

I spoke with Russel Codd at the clinic and he is really keen to support me.

The overall idea that is forming in my mind is to write a book that alternates, chapter by chapter, between observing the medical and clinical goings-on at a number of vet clinics in town, including specialist processes, surgery, cardiac, etc., and chapters that look deeply into the many different relationships that individuals have with their pets; primarily with dogs and cats.

I want to get into the ‘mindset’ of people who have pets in their lives across the whole range of feelings of those said people. From those who love their pets practically without any limit, to the homeless people (almost 100% men) whom one sees with a dog or two in tow alongside the highway. But also exploring those who seem so hateful. E.g. our pet sitter knows a man who threw his elderly dog away in some local woods. What causes someone to be like this? I want to find out!!

The book will be called: Of Pets, and Of People.

With very kind wishes,

Paul

Copyright (c) 2017 Paul Handover

Any feedback at all would be fabulous! What would you like to see in such a book? What would you most definitely not want to read?

Visiting the Vet – Updates

How this theme is taking shape!

But first, let me offer an update and a correction.

In my first report, published on June 28th, the very first patient for Dr. Jim was Ginger.Here’s an extract from that report:

It was immediately clear to Jim when he listened to Ginger’s heart that it was racing; Jim thought at something like 200 beats per minute. Jim continued to check Ginger over although, as he told me later, he had an idea that Ginger’s medical problem was a cardiac issue. Jim arranged for Ginger to be given an X-ray as well as blood work.

A number of you wanted me to check on Ginger’s status. Jim said that in a follow-up call made by the clinic they were told that Ginger was doing well.

The second item is a correction. In the report that described Lynn bringing in a stray kitten that had terrible puss oozing from one eye, I wrote: “Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.”

When I queried with Jim what was the cause of the infection, he said that there was nothing physical behind the eye but that the kitten had contracted a severe eye infection probably a viral infection. The kitten was also doing well.

So last Thursday, the 13th July, I returned to Lincoln Road, arriving at 09:45. My plan was to spend the morning with Jim and then the afternoon with Dr. Russel  Codd the owner of the clinic.

It was another wonderfully interesting day and I have sufficient material for the next two to three weeks.

This is Cooper, a male Jack Russell, being checked out by Dr. Russ.

Dr. Russ started the afternoon at 14:30 so there was a bit of a wait after Jim had finished his morning at 12:05. That prompted me to see if future sessions watching Dr. Russ at work could be morning ones.

In other words, I would go across to Lincoln Road on two mornings a month; one to spend with Dr. Jim and one with Dr. Russ. I have yet to speak to Russ about that but can’t envisage an issue.

What Russel Codd did say to me that afternoon was that he really supported this theme and that he might arrange for me to ‘shadow’ one or two specialists who work locally in Grants Pass.  Plus, I did venture the idea that maybe there was book potential and Russ was very happy with that possible development as well.

So Sue, there’s the answer to you writing last week: “Lots of information here perhaps for a second book?” Great suggestion! (Indeed, good people, I am giving the idea of turning this series into a book very careful thought and will ask for feedback from you in a subsequent post once I am clearer about the purpose and objectives of such a book.)

So the first of my reports from my visit on the 13th will be published either later this week or early next week.

Thank you, everyone, for your interest, suggestions and support. You really are a great group of readers!

Visiting the Vet – Transformations.

This is why some choose to become veterinary doctors.

Today I write about the last animal that Dr. Jim attended to from my morning at Lincoln Road on June 22nd. I have been blown away by the interest in this theme from so many of you. Thank you!

Indeed, today I am back at the clinic spending both the morning and some of the afternoon watching and recording.

My plan from now on, subject to Dr. Codd supporting the idea, is to spend time at the clinic roughly one day a month. For in just the five or six hours of a day’s visit there is such a variety of events that it will provide more than enough material for me to present Visiting the Vet posts regularly each week during the following month.

OK! Now to the last patient that morning.

12:20

A woman carries in a stray kitten that had been found on the premises of a local scrap metal dealer.

The woman, Lynn, didn’t hesitate to bring the kitten to Lincoln Road because it had an infected right eye.

Jim takes some blood, in itself a bit of a challenge with such a young kitten, and looks more closely at the male kitten. He observes that the eye is most terribly infected with puss pouring out and Jim is of no doubt that the kitten had this eye infection since birth just a few weeks ago.

I come closer to take a photograph (the one above) and am in awe of the delicate way that Jim uses a tiny swab, Lynn holding the kitten for Jim, to clear the puss away from the eye. Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.

12:40 The kitten sees with both eyes. What a transformation in just twenty minutes.

Jim looks up at Lynn: “Lynn, you do know you have saved his life!”

Lynn replies: “I didn’t really want another cat!”

Jim then gets some food for the kitten and gives it time to settle down.

Lynn and I chat and I am flattered to learn that Lynn has previously purchased a copy of my book. It can be such a small world at times!

12:30 All done. Lynn wraps the kitten back into the same towel that was used to bring it in to the clinic such a short time ago.

Thus ended my first experience of being behind the scenes of a busy vet practice.

The experience has profoundly affected me.

For as well as the astounding level of medical skill that I have observed it was also clear, as Jim put it, that he has to play counselor, psychotherapist, and even bartender. Why bartender? Because Jim quietly offers the observation that quite a few persons come in with their pets when they are the worse for drink! The owner that is not the animal!

Seriously though, let me offer what I concluded after just this one visit to Lincoln Road. That Jim and, I’m sure, Dr. Russ and many thousands of DVMs across the world, have many more demands on them than just being a good doctor.

They must display attention to detail and have an inquiring mind. They must be genuinely empathetic for the animal owner’s circumstances. But also good record keepers! Also they will have to endure a great deal of kneeling. Then, again, those knees have to be topped with a head that is jam-packed full of knowledge and experience to avoid jumping to incorrect conclusions. More subjectively, their emotions have to be kept under control for they frequently will see animals that have not been best cared for and, again all too frequently, they will have to end the life of a dear pet as gently and painlessly as is possible.

To be continued!