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Murphy’s Top Ten Laws of Veterinary Medicine

October 23, 2010

Medical Secrets Medical School Deems Unscientific

Doc Truli has determined there are secret Laws of the Universe governing health and medicine.  Here are a few for your edification.

  1. If you have the lab results on a Friday night, you will not need to go to the pet E.R.  If you do not have them in hand, your pet will need to go to the E.R.
  2. Never end a prescription on a Saturday night.  The pet will relapse when all the vet offices are closed.  If the pet has the medicine, everything will be perfect.
  3. There is a secret agreement among all pets.  They know when a long holiday weekend is coming up and get sick just then.
  4. If your pet vomits and you decide to buy all the medication the vet recommends, your pet will get better like nothing happened and make you feel like you wasted your money.  If you skip the meds, figuring the white rice will work, your pet will vomit all night until intravenous fluids and a $1,000 vet bill become mandatory to save your pet’s life.
  5. If you say “no” to annual, routine bloodwork to check for hidden disease in your pet, your pet will get sick the next week, making you feel guiltier than anything before in your life.
  6. If you say “yes” to the annual screening lab work (in pets 7 and older, 30% chance of an abnormality on routine lab tests in a healthy-looking animal), your pet will also get rip-roaring sick in the next week.  But at least you will know it’s a new problem and you won’t feel guilty.  So, does preventative medicine prevent disease, or does preventative medicine just prevent guilt?
  7. All coughs and limps disappear at the animal hospital.
  8. Your unspayed female dog will come down with a life-threatening pyometra infection 1 week before you finally scheduled the spay procedure to try to avoid pyometra!
  9. Female dogs and cats do not go through menopause.  Just when you think babies are impossible, bam! A litter!
  10. A corollary to #9, no, the puppies and kittens do not “just know” that they shouldn’t mate with their own brother or sister.  And they will get to that task as young as 6 months of age!

Hope these Murphy’s Laws of Pet Medicine help you laugh, and maybe understand how to avoid catastrophe and emergency rooms.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 12:12 pm

    It’s the Gospel right down the line 😀 – a no win, regardless. BTW, thank you for finding and linking to my blog. I’ve returned the favor and I’m sure many of my readers will soon be over here digging through your articles.

    • October 26, 2010 1:31 pm

      Hey Molly!
      No win, but really, no lose, either. People should stress-out less! I have categories specifically for Persians and for Himalayans, but really, all of the stories are helpful.
      Do you have your cats tested for cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease? Inherited forms of both run through some Persian bloodlines. Not to take income away from your vet, but you can go to UC Davis Vet School’s Feline Genetics Laboratory website for testing for your cats. There are step-by-step instructions for cat breeders (just takes cotton swabs and a cheek swab sample) and info on how to pay them directly. Saves cat breeders a bundle of money to go directly to the laboratory!
      There’s more on UC Davis Feline Genetics site about Cat Cloning and cat bloodline databanks, if you or your readers are interested!
      Doc Truli

      • October 26, 2010 2:31 pm

        Very true about the stress less part. I was particularly amused about the blood test scenario.

        Yes, all of my kitties have been DNA tested for PKD through UC Davis and are negative. I have not heard of DNA testing developed and available yet for cardiomyopathy in Persians, just Ragdolls. I will check out your categories for Persians and Himalayans and see what’s new 😀

      • October 26, 2010 2:43 pm

        You know what? I just checked again, and you’re right, they only have the Ragdoll test at this time. There is the Idexx BNP test that is supposed to only show the natriuretic peptide in response to cardiac muscle stress. They say it is diagnostic for cats with hidden cardiomyopathy (not the genes for it, but the disease process.) Idexx claims that approx 15% of all cats are walking around with hidden cardiomyopathy, but I have not started recommending screening all cats, and I do not screen my cat (stage name VirtuaCat) until I see independent verification of the data. After all, laboratory screening tests are big business!

      • October 26, 2010 7:56 pm

        Interesting comment on the laboratory screening tests being big business.

      • October 27, 2010 9:27 am

        To be clear: I do not think of the University tests like the Cat Genetics Lab Tests at UC Davis as business motivated. The large commercial laboratories, like Antech and Idexx, certainly are. They provide invaluable aid and services to veterinarians, but their information materials are also marketing pieces. As a doctor, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for their research and development on behalf of animals, but I need to see University and/or independent confirmatory research before I leap to a conclusion about new testing protocols. As should any physician.

      • October 27, 2010 11:37 am

        Thanks for the clarification, but I assumed pretty much as you explained. Things have gotten so commercial in recent years that it’s very easy to be led astray. I was thinking about some of these other operations that seem to be popping up. There’s this one in California for example: have you run across any of these? I’d be interested in your thoughts as to using them either as a breeder or a veterinarian.

      • October 27, 2010 1:46 pm

        I typically do not use small labs because they do not have good quality control and consistent lab techs. I’ve heard of Zoologix. I’ll look into them. I’ll let you know what I think!

    • October 27, 2010 2:03 pm

      I would love to know, but mostly from a self education stand point since my vet would be the one in charge of figuring this stuff out for me through his testing/labs if the need arises.

      • November 1, 2010 10:44 am

        So I Googled Zoologix. Looks nice from their website. They are not particularly forthcoming about who works there. They do not claim to be run by veterinarians or veterinary specialists or technicians. I did find, which is an anti-primate research lab group that had posted on their site internal emails and private documents regarding a positive tuberculosis primate test in 2006 (perhaps illegally posted?)

        Zoologix was the original lab handling the tests and they reported “sample insufficient for testing,” so the further apparent botched handling of the case (which took from July to November to resolve on paper with the state and federal reporting agencies) does not appear to be Zoologix’ responsibility from the .pdf documents online.

        As long as you work hand-in-paw with your veterinarian, you should make correct decisions regarding where you want to send your samples for testing. I know Antech diagnostics offers larger PCR panels for cats and dogs than Zoologix, and, if your veterinarian has an account with them, they also offer free specialist consults regarding testing procedures, accuracy, and interpretation of results.

      • November 1, 2010 11:55 am

        Wow! you did some research. I haven’t had the need for any PCR testing as yet, but will save the stopcovance link just in case. Next time I see my vet I’ll try to remember to ask him which lab he uses.

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