Daily Paws

Pet news, tips, entertainment and opinions from VetLocator.com

Archive for October, 2009

A Day In The Life of a Veterinary ER

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

This is a guest post from Jon Geller, DVM, an emergency veterinarian in Colorado:

Dr. Jon Geller, DVM Many emergency veterinarians enjoy the challenge of saving an injured pet in a gunshot wound case, especially when we have a good outcome.

It’s not very often however, that a dog comes into our ER in critical condition from a gunshot wound and survives and the dog’s owner ends up dead from the very same gun a short time later.

However, that is exactly what happened on the afternoon of November 2, 2003 and here is the sad tale that unfolded in our ER.

Mojo was a 3 year old Miniature Pinscher, but did not deserve the “land shark” label that many of these MinPins end up with, as he normally was affectionate and friendly. He did like to bark, however, and that tendency would end up leading to a tragic end for his owner because of it.

Mojo arrived at our emergency room with his owners Diane and Richard who rushed him in after he’d been found collapsed in their yard, struggling to breath.

When he arrived his gums were pale and he had a wound on the left side of his chest. After we gave him oxygen to help him breathe, a quick XRay showed two bullets lodged in his chest. One bullet was lodged right next to his spine in his chest cavity and the other one was down near the bottom of his chest.  He was lucky to be alive.

As soon as Mojo’s owner Richard realized what had happened, he left the emergency clinic telling us he was going home.

He appeared calm at the time, but his wife noted a look of determination in his eyes as he left.

After Richard’s departure our team of emergency vets and techs continued to work on Mojo, administering IV fluids, pain meds and more oxygen in our efforts to save the little dog’s life.

When Richard heard the cause of Mojo’s problems he knew immediately that the bullet had come from his neighbor because his neighbor frequently complained about Mojo’s barking.   As soon as Richard arrived back at his home in the rural town of Ault, Colorado, he grabbed a stick of lumber and went next door to confront his neighbor.

Now Richard’s neighbor ran a jewelry business out of his home and had frequently bragged to them about the collection of guns he kept for security.

The neighbor must have heard Richard arrive home and was waiting for him, apparently sitting in a chair in his living room with a shotgun laying across his lap. So when Richard knocked on his door and shouted at the neighbor to come outside the neighbor was ready with a gun.  Ready to defend himself against the owner of the dog he’d shot and tried to kill for barking too much.

Threats were yelled back and forth and when the neighbor refused to come outside, Richard broke the small view window in the top of the door.

That was all the neighbor needed.  His shotgun blast tore through the open window and hit Richard in the middle of his chest, fatally wounding him.

Richard died defending his dog.

The shooter of Richard and Mojo was taken into custody but was released from County Jail just 9 days later under the Colorado “Make My Day” law, where deadly force can be used to protect one’s self, family and property if they are threatened.

The issue of why he could shoot Mojo without penalty was never addressed.

And Mojo?

Our efforts to save Mojo proved successful. He was taken off of oxygen, moved out of intensive care, and started on oral pain meds and antibiotics.  The fact that Mojo survived provided some solace to Diane, Richard’s widow.

However, living next door to the killer of her husband and attempted killer of her dog proved too much for Diane.  Several months later she moved with Mojo to another state to try and put their nightmare behind them. As far as I know, they are getting along OK.

And you know something else?  Upon further investigation we discovered that the second bullet in Mojo’s chest was from a previous gunshot that had gone undetected, and multiple pellets were also found in the side of the house where Mojo used to roam the yard and bark.

It’s believed he had been used as target practice by the neighbor, whose intolerance of Mojo’s barking proved to test the limits of the law and human civility and cost one man his life.

Jon Geller, DVM


Recently there was a news story about a man arrested for stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s pet fish.  And at conference held in Oregon on the subject of Animal Law,  one of the topics was how animal abuse and domestic violence were connected, and the statistical results of a study on that topic.

The study, conducted both in Utah and in Australia, show that more than half of domestic violence cases also involved animal abuse.  The article is an interesting read and it can be found here: http://su.pr/5YDxjQ

The message from Jon’s story and the study is clear.  People who would abuse an animal ARE in need of help and anyone connected to such a person may be at serious risk.  It is not something to laugh off or ignore.

What do you think.  Do you think that violence against animals is a sign of violence against people?  That’s how I feel.

How about you?

You can leave your comment below by clicking on the blue link that says Comments or typing in the box.




Dog cancer miracle – and what it can mean to us

Sunday, October 11th, 2009


About a year ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota began an experimental procedure to save a dog from an aggressive brain tumor.

Researchers hoped that any success they achieved with Batman’s treatments would give them valuable insights into new ways of treating brain tumors in humans.

Batman had a common tumor called a glioma (a type of tumor with scattered invasive cancer cells).  Most dogs diagnosed with this type of cancer are dead within a month.

But Batman was an exception.  His experimental treatment worked! And now, over a year later, Batman is healthy and has no sign of cancer.

A miracle.

Not only was the treatment successful but his success was so dramatic, the National Cancer Institute is funding further research for up to 100 dogs.

So far 8 other dogs have undergone the same procedure and ALL of the dogs had their brain cancers shrink or disappear.

Researchers will finish their trials with dogs (and if you have a dog or know of a dog with cancer, it may qualify to participate in the trial FREE) and take the information they learn in the trials to develop a treatment course for humans with similar cancers.

They expect to begin clinical trials on humans in 2 to 3 years and if the results for humans is similar to those with dogs, then many people will benefit and their cancers will be cured.

And they will be sharing the same miracle that Batman did.

The miracle of life.

To read Batman’s story, click HERE.

In the resource link below, you can see a video on Batman and his surgeon and also get information on how to get free cancer treatment for dogs who qualify.

Resources:  Free Tumor Treatment for Dogs



Made-to-order pets. If you could do it, would you?

Friday, October 9th, 2009


Headlines tell a lot about trends.  For example, recently this headline caught my eye:

Chinese perfect method of choosing sex of animals prior to birth.
The story was about Chinese scientists sorting pig sperm into male or female chromosomes and then using artificial insemination to impregnate two different sows.  One gave birth to all male piglets and the other to all female piglets.  This same method has also been used for buffalo and milk cows.  Apparently pig sperm are much more difficult to sort as they are more delicate than the buffalo or cow sperm is.  Although the scientists are working with farm animals – in the future this same method can be used for any type of animal and sperm.

Here’s another one:

Scientists successfully clone 5 puppies that are genetic copies of a German Shepherd that helped in the hunt for 9-11 victims.
In this case a company who wants to make headlines for cloning dogs (it’s a lucrative market that they want to promote), ran a contest for the most clone-worthy dog and Trackr, the above mentioned German Shepherd won the contest .  Here is a picture of Trackr’s genetically identical offspring.


And finally this headline:

Allerca Inc. Sued over Non-Delivery of Hypoallergenic Kitten
In case you’re not familiar with who Allerca is, it’s a company that claimed to have developed the first hypoallergenic cat – with much hype and hoopla accompanying the announcement – along with photos of the first cat.  They took orders from cat lovers who were allergic, charging around $8,000 for a kitten, and another $2000 or so to be on the rush list.  Apparently there were problems and a man is suing because they failed to deliver the kitten he ordered over 3 years ago.

The trend here is that the methods for creating designer pets, cloned, sorted, sterilized and categorized, continues to grow and pet owners are paying big dollars for them.

There is just one component that is missing in these engineered companions and that is who the occupants of these designer pet bodies are.

Cloning a dog does not return your same dog.  It gives you a dog that looks like your old dog does (or 5 of them as in the case of Trackr).  Choosing a designer pet does not mean you’ll get a great pet or companion, or one that is healthy and free from problems.

So my question to you is:  If you could make a pet to your order, a designer pet, if you could do it, would you?


PS: As I write this article, my wonderful pet companion – not a designer pet by the way –  sits quietly at my feet and glances at me as if to say: “Why bother?  I’m better than any designer pet you could ever order.”  and you know what? She’s right.

Resources:  Allerca lawsuit article

Cloned puppies