Tag: SOVC

Southern Oregon VC, continued.

The story continues …

We closed the first part of this interview with a look inside one of the rooms where dogs are worked on but not to the extent of requiring surgery.

That is carried out in specialist surgical rooms. Here’s a surgeon working on a dog as we passed by outside in the corridor.

Photograph taken looking through the sealed porthole.

It is always busy with the peak being from the end of April through to October. The COVID19 pandemic has seen an enormous influx of new patients with the most critical being those dogs that have an urgent need for care.

SOVC have also installed an MRI machine and here are two photographs of this incredible piece of equipment.

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We were allowed to tour much of the inside of the building, under the care of Renee, and here is another photograph of another room with three staff looking back at the camera. (Names unfortunately not obtained.)

I also want to share the following photographs before rounding off my piece.

Another two staff attending to a dog.

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The one task that no-one seems to get on top of!

I started this post on the 2nd July with a statement that I wanted to explore in a little more detail the difference between dogs and humans, especially those humans who choose to become the veterinarian doctors of this world.

Dogs are pure in mind and most often loving towards us humans. They are intuitive and caring of us humans.  I can no better support that statement than share the ‘Welcome’ page of my blog:

Beloved Pharaoh. Born: June 3rd., 2003 – Died: June 19th., 2017. A very special dog that will never be forgotten.

Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!

As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer. Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming, thence the long journey to modern man. But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite. Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.
Dogs know better, much better! Time again for man to learn from dogs!

Veterinarian doctors are subject to enormous pressures.

Take this video as an example:

According to the CDC, the number of veterinarians who die by suicide is going up. With rising student debt, increasingly isolated offices, and pet owners with social media, the veterinary field is becoming high-risk. “Not One More Vet” CEO and veterinarian Nicole McArthur joins CBSN AM to explain why vets are struggling and how her company is trying to help vet-to-vet.

SOVC doctors note the end of an animal’s life on a ‘Blue sheet‘; a paper sheet. Renee herself worked one Christmas Day at SOVC and there were 11 Blue sheets that day. Indeed Renee had tears coming to her eyes when she spoke of that Christmas. It is a profession that faces daily challenges full of emotion as the CBS video explains. One can’t be in the profession without being fully committed, both heart and mind, and yet that means that one can’t easily put up defenses against one’s feeling.

I paused in my note taking to recall Pharaoh and couldn’t keep my eyes dry and yet he died 3 years ago and we have others that we care for and love.

I am going to finish by quoting the mission of SOVC, for I think it is very special.

Our Mission

The doctors and staff of Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center recognize that there is a special bond between pets and their human family. (My italics) Our goal is to work as a team, with you and your family veterinarian, to help you make the best decisions for your pet’s medical care. We are dedicated to offering the highest level of medicine, to providing a compassionate environment to those pets entrusted to our care, and to treat each pet as we would our own.

It is a very special and caring profession!

Southern Oregon Veterinary Center

An outstanding center of excellence.

Let me start this review of Southern Oregon Vet Center (SOVC) with an extract from a recent blog post by Rob Mielcarski about Cognitive Biases and his presentation of the Cognitive Bias Codex :

I counted them. There are 195 distinct cognitive biases named and described in the list.

Have a look. Do you notice something very odd?

The most important and powerful of all human cognitive biases, and the one that created our unique species, is not on the list: denial of unpleasant realities.

Nor is its progenitor, denial of death.

Any half-wit who studies human history will notice that the first wacky thing our species did after evolving into behaviorally modern humans was make up stories (religions) to deny death.

Today our species aggressively denies every single unpleasant reality of substance that threatens its survival including: over-population, non-renewable resource depletion, climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, and species extinction.

The reason I started with Rob’s post is that at SOVC one comes face-to-face with the reality of the difference between dogs and humans. More of that later.

SOVC was formed in 2004 by Dr. Adam Reiss, DVM, and Dr. Steven Ferreira, DVM.

The facility at the time of formation was, and still is, the only 24-hour facility within a 250 miles radius in all directions. Now that straightforward statement needs thinking about for a moment.

Portland, Oregon is 268 miles to the North by road and Williams, California is a tiny town just off the Interstate I-5 some 254 miles to the South. It’s an enormous area and that’s without heading to the East!

I’m taking from the SOVC website more information on Dr.’s Reiss and Ferriara.

Dr. Adam Reiss

Adam Reiss,DVM, DipACVECC Emergency and Critical Care
Adam Reiss, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Reiss was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. He graduated from New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell in 1993. Following graduation, he completed a small-animal internship at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital and residency in emergency and critical care at Denver Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Reiss obtained board certification in emergency and critical care in October 2002. Dr. Reiss has been involved in the growth and development of two large 24-hour emergency and referral centers in Denver, Seattle, Medford and Portland. He has published a paper on traumatic cardiac injuries, as well as book chapters on subjects such as dystocia and pneumonia. Dr. Reiss has special interests in trauma, transfusion medicine, critical care nutrition and pulmonary diseases.

Dr. Reiss moved to Medford from Seattle with his wife, Dawn, their daughters, Alexys and Makayla, son Deryk and a multitude of pets. His interests outside of veterinary medicine include woodworking, snowboarding and classic cars. Dr. Reiss moved to Southern Oregon to provide veterinary services not previously available in the area, as well as to enjoy the wide variety of activities the region has to offer.

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Dr. Steven Ferriara.

https://www.sovsc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SOVC_Doctor15.jpg
Steven D. Ferreira, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Dr. Ferreira is originally from Arizona, but was raised in Houston, Texas. He received his DVM from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. He worked in private practice in both Seattle and Houston for three years prior to completing a small-animal surgical residency at Denver Veterinary Specialists. During his residency, Dr. Ferreira completed and published orthopedic research focused on the effect of gas plasma sterilization on demineralized bone matrix grafts at Colorado State University. In February of 2002, he became board certified into the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. After three years as staff surgeon in a large veterinary referral practice in Denver, Dr. Ferreira moved to Medford to help establish the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center. Dr. Ferreira’s special interests include general orthopedics, trauma and fracture management, TPLO stabilization for cranial cruciate ligament injury, spinal surgery for disc herniation and surgical management of abdominal disorders.

Dr. Ferreira lives in the Medford area with his wife, daughters and their Chihuahua. In his spare time, he enjoys family life, golf, reading, hiking, snowboarding, music and fly fishing.

My appointment was with Renee Self who has been with the center, as in the hospital, for four years. She started in reception having come to SOVC from running her own finger nail business. At first Renee worked for 25 hours a week but since then she has advanced to her present position responsible for a whole myriad of things.

As well as the main contact person, Renee is also responsible for the relationships with their referring veterinarians; and they have 5,000 on their database, mainly from the U.S West coast but also other parts of the U.S. continent.

I didn’t understand at first that this entails annual blood work for lots of animals, running continuing education classes on a co-sponsored basis (under normal circumstances for 55 – 80 people), fund raising, and being a partner to the Grants Pass Homeless Pet Project and No Pet Left Behind.

Renee Self, Hospital Communications Manager.

Another fact that bowled me over was hearing about the number of vets supported by SOVC. Now not all them are active at any one time, of course, but nevertheless a large number on their database nonetheless.

In Renee’s words, Dr. Reiss is a brilliant man in many areas including planning, veterinary medicine, critical care and he also engages in some surgeries. He has always had a passion for veterinary medicine and has previously started six hospitals.

Dr. Adam Reiss, DVM (with apologies for it being slightly out of focus).

The present building at 4901 Biddle Rd was purpose built as a veterinary centre and everyone moved here in 2017. Before that they were in 4,000 square feet of building that was relatively close by.

A general view of the inside of the hospital.

In view of tomorrow being a Federal holiday the next part of this article will be published on Monday, 6th July.

 

In memory of Casey

Casey: September, 2005 – February, 2017

Dear Casey was put to sleep yesterday morning.

I am going to republish a ‘Meet the dogs” essay that was written and first published February 25th, 2014.

But before doing so, Jean and I would like to extend our very great thanks to all the staff at the Southern Oregon Vet Specialty Center (SOVC) who have been so professional and so loving and caring.

Here is that essay. It is worth noting that we moved from Payson, AZ to Merlin, OR in 2012.

ooOOoo

Casey

by Jean Handover.

Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.
Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.

It is 2011.

Every Friday, the Payson Roundup newspaper would devote a full page to the Humane Society, displaying some of the cats and dogs they had for adoption. I would read about each animal and quietly wish I could bring them all home.

I was particularly taken with one dog that had appeared several times in this Friday page. His name was Casey and he was a six-year-old Pit Bull mix. Unfortunately, at home we were ‘maxed out’ with a total of 14 dogs in three different sections of our house. We just couldn’t take Casey.

I had volunteered to be a dog-walker at the Humane Society dog shelter. But after two sessions walking dogs, I just couldn’t look at these sad little faces without breaking down in tears. I switched my efforts to working at the Society’s Thrift Store. That was great fun and, at least, it felt as though I was still helping the animals. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the animal shelter. They did their utmost to re-home the animals in their care.

Ruby’s ‘pack’ here at home included Phoebe and Tess, rescue dogs from Mexico. Recently, Phoebe had died with leukaemia and Tess with bone cancer leaving Ruby on her own. Ruby was a dog that didn’t mix at all well with the other dogs, as was explained in last week’s post.

The next Friday, the Payson Roundup showed the Society’s ‘lonely hearts club’, highlighting animals that had been in care for a long time. The first dog shown was Casey. I telephone Chandra, the lady responsible for adoptions, and asked if Paul and I could bring Ruby to the shelter to find a companion for her. When we were at the shelter, Chandra asked us if we had anything against Pit Bulls. Of course we didn’t. Ruby was introduced to Casey and, as they say, the rest was history. Casey and Ruby right from the start were just wonderful together.

Ruby behind Casey.
Ruby behind Casey.

Subsequently, I learned from Chandra that Casey had been in care for over a year and, had we not taken him home, his days were numbered at the shelter. There were many cheers and tears when I signed the adoption paper for Casey.

Fast forward to the year 2012 to when we are now living at Merlin, OR.

Casey now lives in the kitchen group here in Oregon: Paloma, Ruby, Lilly and Casey. As with all our dogs, Casey is so happy to have our 14 acres to play in. He is also the sweetest natures of dogs and will try to climb on to your lap at the first opportunity. I have always been a great advocate of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes and have never come across a mean one.

Thus, if you are in the position to adopt a dog, please consider Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes for the Pit Bull is a much-maligned breed.

Casey demonstrating a dog's focussing skills!
Casey demonstrating a dog’s focussing skills!

ooOOoo

This is how Casey will be remembered.

Finally, recalling how close and good friends Ruby was with Casey, one couldn’t see a clearer expression on a dog’s face that Casey was being missed than on the face of Ruby. The picture was taken just before 6pm yesterday evening.

p1160918Trust me, Ruby’s normal face truly has a smile on it.

Having a head for heights!

Sorry, folks but still a few days away from being back to normal service.

We awoke yesterday morning with Casey sufficiently unwell that Jim Goodbrod recommended taking him to Southern Oregon Veterinary Services (SOVC) down in Medford. There SOVC said that it does look as though Casey has a failure in one of the spinal discs in his neck. First, we have been advised to up the pain medicine before embarking on an MRI and then, possibly, surgery.

In the middle of all this the tube from my catheter into my drainage bag became blocked, evidenced by pee running down my leg!!

SOVC offered me their very comfortable bathroom where I then unblocked the tube using a syringe and sterile water; luckily all brought with me.

Then it was up to Grants Pass to find a solution to my ‘leaking’ catheter only to find that Southern Oregon Medical Equipment, who we thought were in Grants Pass, had moved a year ago from Grants Pass to …… guess?? ……. yes: Medford!

Plus it was raining for most of the day!

Yes, it was one of those days!!

One of those days where one needs a head for the heights that life can throw at one.

No better demonstrated by the following video sent to me by my loving son: Alex!

So will just close by saying that until my catheter is taken out next Tuesday (fingers crossed) I may be ‘distracted’ from Learning from Dogs at times!