Archive for the ‘NPR’ Category

Age is Just a Number

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

When my clients make decisions on behalf of their senior dogs and cats, they routinely factor in their pet’s age.  I often hear statements such as, “I would pursue a diagnosis if only she weren’t so old.” and “I would treat him if only he were younger.”  When my clients voice such “senior objections” I gently encourage them to consider the situation a bit more objectively by considering their pet’s functional age rather than their chronological age.  For example, it might be far safer for me to anesthetize the vigorous, playful thirteen-year-old Labrador with normal liver and kidney function I evaluated on Monday compared to the debilitated eleven-year-old Labrador with impaired kidney function I examined on Tuesday. Functionally speaking, the thirteen-year-old is, by far, the younger of the two.  When making decisions, savvy medical advocates evaluate the whole package- spryness, organ function, overall comfort, joie de vivre- rather than considering age alone.  Just because a dog or cat is, by definition, a senior citizen doesn’t mean their body is functioning like that of a senior citizen.

I thoroughly enjoyed explaining this point on NPR’s popular show, Fresh Air With Terry Gross. “Terry, you and I could both be 80 year old women in need of knee replacement surgery.  You might be a terrific candidate for surgery, whereas I might be a horrible candidate!”

When making medical decisions, my clients frequently ask about their pet’s life expectancy. Life expectancies for cats and dogs of varying breeds are nothing more than averages.  This means some individuals will never reach “average” and others will far exceed it. 

Here’s the bottom line. If you have a happy, lively, interactive, and agile senior dog or cat on your hands, throw those age-related numbers and averages out the window.  Rather, I encourage you to observe your pet’s overall quality of life, share some nose-to-nose time with your best buddy, look deep into those beautiful eyes, and make important medical decisions based on what’s truly important rather than simply a number.  Have you ever needed to be a medical advocate for a senior pet?  If so, please share your story.

Best wishes for good health,         

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook         

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Patricia McConnell on The Diane Rehm Show

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Patricia McConnell, expert on canine and feline behavior and dog training and author of more than a dozen books on canine behavior and dog training will be the featured guest on the NPR’s highly popular Diane Rehm Show on Monday March 22nd.

Please visit the NPR website to  find your local station- http://www.npr.org/templates/stations/schedule/?prgId=33. The podcasts are also available through ITunes and on the show website shortly after broadcast.

Back By Popular Demand- Dr. Nancy Kay on Fresh Air with Terry Gross!

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

“A Veterinarian Advises How to Speak for Spot”

Monday, August 31, 2009

This week will be “Animal Week” on the popular NPR show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  The lead interview will feature Dr. Nancy Kay and her book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.  This interview originally aired in March and earned the #1 spot on NPR’s “most recommended” list.

Dr. Kay’s interview will be broadcast on August 31st by your local NPR station and streamed via the NPR website (http://freshair.npr.org).  In the future you can readily access the interview as a Fresh Air archived podcast and via ITunes. 

Visit http://www.npr.org/audiohelp/progstream.html to access links for each of these options. 

Please feel free to share this information with friends and relatives along with any organizations devoted to the well being of animals.

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

Join our email list – http://speakingforspot.com/joinemaillist.html

Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

A Delightful Coincidence

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Seung will be entering his last year of veterinary school at Colorado State University.  On top of his busy academic load, he manages to work part time as a technician at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency Clinic. As a way of figuring out which area of specialization to pursue following graduation he decided to experience an externship in a large emergency/specialty hospital.  His wife Stephanie heard my NPR interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross and suggested that Seung consider my hospital.  Being the good husband that he is, he did exactly that- an externship was arranged.  Imagine his surprise (and mine) when Seung learned that one of his coworkers at the Emergency Clinic is none other than my 22-year-old son, Jacob!  Seung has stayed in our home and worked at my hospital this week.  He’s an exceptional student who is going to go far in the veterinary profession, and we’ve enjoyed his company enormously.  What a delightful coincidence! 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Look for us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/speakingforspot

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Nancy-Kay/105415179814?ref=share

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836

Speaking for Spot on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Friday, March 20th, 2009

The segment I taped for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross aired on March 19, 2009 and is now available on the NPR website – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102105836

Please visit www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.  

 

Wishing you and your dog good health,

 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Look for us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/speakingforspot