Nice Catch!

What could possibly go wrong with a 3 year old chocolate lab running around on a boat full of fishing gear? πŸ˜‘πŸ™ƒ

June and I share a pillow at night and have been known to share the occasional fork. (Don’t judge... I've seen some of you kiss your pets right on the lips in an exam room.) I'm also pretty certain she played a part in hanging the moon 🌝 She brings me 100 loads of joy everyday... not including last Christmas when she made a snack out of my Christmas tree ornaments. (Somebody remind me of that when I start looking at lab puppies for sale.) She loves to hunt, run, and will be your fishing partner for hours. Swimming is her absolute favorite thing to do. June is a girl on the go, which isn’t a problem until you need her to STAY. She understands commands like “go, sit, no, shake, stay, etc..” but is a lab really a lab if it isn’t stubborn? 

Her latest fishing trip ended in a surprise visit to NAAH because believe it or not, she didn’t listen. As she roamed the boat scanning the water for a dead fish to bless the deck of the boat, she spotted a shiny, plastic fishing lure connected to two treble hooks instead. Ignoring every “NO” and “STAY”, she dove off of the deck and bit down onto the biggest lesson she’s learned in a while. Luckily for her, I clock in every week to an animal hospital full doctors that have dealt with far worse. Dr. Bonner was the lucky savior of the day this time (hopefully for the last time πŸ˜….) Seeing my sweet “bad dog” as I always call her, in such a stressful situation was hard. I’ve been with my NAAH team for almost a year. It’s not always puppies and rainbows in “the back.” We’ve worked through some not so fun things in the short time I’ve been a part of the team. We have helped numerous pets and their owners through their own emergencies, and I think knowing what to expect played a significant part in how I handled my own pet's mini emergency. I knew she would have to be under sedation in order to cut the hooks out. I knew the medications she was given for sedation. I held off her vein for Dr. Bonner to administer them. I ran her wet ears through my fingers while she was snoozing and I talked her through the entire process. I told her next time to maybe be smarter and that real fish don’t have any hooks connected to them 🀣πŸ€ͺ. She got a couple sutures, a week's worth of antibiotics, and a couple cans of food for her sore mouth. The entire visit lasted 30 minutes max.

Initially, as soon as I saw her frantic eyes I panicked. Then I realized that I don’t need to because I know I can trust our staff and doctors. Crazily enough, I kept thinking throughout this hook cutting, smelly, wet dog mess of a situation that I am so fortunate for this to have happened under these circumstances because I am able to calmly stand with her from start to finish. I thought of every big or small emergency that I’ve been a part of at NAAH. To me, the hit by car, or attacked by dog appointment is a typical day to work through. Bring it on, let’s fix it!  Whether those pet owners were existing clients or people we had never seen before, they chose our staff with their pets care when they were in a panic. After dealing with my own situation, I can appreciate how difficult it is to hand over their pet to us when they are so full of worry and uncertainty. Maybe they are familiar with all of our faces or maybe they've never laid eyes on any of us before. Either way, I’ll always ask “Is it okay if I take your pet to our treatment area and have a doctor look at them?” Usually the answer is (sometimes reluctantly) yes. We may sedate, x-ray, or shave and clean puncture wounds on your pet... all while you wait worriedly in your exam room. Maybe you also share a pillow and the occasional fork with your pet. Maybe you wholeheartedly believe they hung the moon and gave the reluctant “yes” when I asked to borrow them. In some circumstances, we may have had to keep your pet overnight or even for a couple nights. Whatever the case, we understand. We understand the worry, the questions, the phone calls asking how Fluffy is doing every hour, and the anxiety that can come with having a sick or injured pet. We always will treat them exactly as we would want our own to be treated because most likely, they did help hang the moon ❤️🐢🐱.

June slept like a baby when she got back home and woke up the next morning like nothing ever happened. She is sharpening up on her listening skills and is very thankful for Dr. Bonner’s help and will be more careful in the future.

-Emilee, NAAH Veterinary Technician


              June (L) and Walker (R)                                  Poor June!

The Waiting Game

I wanted to share with you all a case that we had recently at NAAH that really put everyone through a range of emotions. Christy is a 9 year old Labrador that began seeing us in 2017. She's such a sweet girl, and it's so exciting getting to see her when she comes by. She normally comes with her sister, Summer. They are both the sweetest dogs ever. Christy has these big brown eyes that draw you in to immediately pat her head or give her a scratch on the chin. Christy had gained a little weight in 2018 and her owner wanted help to get her weight down. When Christy came in for a dental cleaning in January, she had lost 15 pounds. Great, right? Well, I was pretty excited until I looked a little closer. What should have taken her 4 months to lose, had only taken her 2 weeks. Her labwork was totally normal. Given Christy's breed and age, I had a sinking suspicion something more nefarious was the culprit. An ultrasound of her abdomen confirmed what I had feared. She had a tumor about the size of a baseball coming from her spleen. 

Here's the deal -- when we find a splenic tumor in a patient, it's almost always best to surgically remove the spleen. This is because splenic tumors are at risk of rupturing, leading to bleeding in the abdomen.  With most cancerous tumors in dogs, we can know what specific type of tumor we are dealing with prior to surgical removal. This helps us and the owner know the pet's prognosis, survival time post surgery, etc. With splenic tumors, we can't do this prior to surgery. We have no idea what specific type of splenic tumor it is until after surgery. A benign type of tumor means a wonderful prognosis with a normal life expectancy, whereas an aggressive, malignant tumor is quite the opposite. So, until we perform surgery and send the tumor to a pathologist, it's an anxiety-ridden waiting game.

Christy's surgery was scheduled for 2 days later. Everyone was rooting for Christy on surgery day. From the client service reps greeting her when her owner brought her in, the technicians getting blood samples prior to surgery and basically anyone within arm reach of her, Christy got a reassuring pat on the head. Surgery went great and she went home the next morning. Now for the hard part -- waiting. For 4-5 days, we wait to hear back from the pathologist. The weekend passed and the next work week began. Finally on Wednesday, I got an email saying that the pathology results were in...the tumor was benign! What great news! I called the owner immediately and he was overjoyed. He was thrilled that Christy, his faithful friend, who had been a constant companion for him for a long time, would be around for a good while. 

Now that's something we can all celebrate.

Dr. T 

- Christy and her big brown eyes -


Well it's been a while since we've posted on our blog and I thought we'd try to get it going again! Enjoy a little behind the scene look at life at NAAH! Please comment with any topics you'd like to see in the future!

Family. Family means a lot of different things to people. As one of our core values here at NAAH, the word family describes the relationship our team has with one another. When my 1 year old has been sick, I can count on a call or text checking on him. When someone's father is in the hospital, it's for sure going to come up as a prayer request at our daily morning huddle. We genuinely care about each other and can tell when somebody is having a bad day. With 1/3 of our life being spent at our job, it's important to have a solid support system at work. That's something that we are fortunate to have at NAAH. "Family" also forms the groundwork for the experience we strive to create with our clients and their pets. Going to the veterinarian can be stressful for the pets as well as their 2 legged owners. We aim to give both you and your pet a positive experience from the time you walk in the door to the time you leave the parking lot. Whether it's taking the time to thoroughly explain what's going on with your pet or taking a bag of food out to your vehicle, we really want to make our clients and their pets feel like they're part of our family, because they are!

Dr. Thompson 

2018 NAAH Christmas Party with our own families