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About kayla1

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  1. Pet Medical Crisis Fund

    Great story, and it's good to see that all donations go directly to helping the animals. link Pet Medical Crisis Fund established after whopping $30,000 vet bill ABC Sunshine Coast By Kathy Sundstrom Updated about an hour ago PHOTO: Two-year-old Wolfie, the Husky, was saved by the Pet Medical Crisis Fund after it swallowed two nails and a piece of cloth. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) RELATED STORY: 'Emotional blackmail' contributes to high vet suicide rate RELATED STORY: What you need to know before getting pet insurance RELATED STORY: Knowing when it's time to say goodbye to your dog Jennifer Hunt spent $30,000 on vet bills in a year to save the life of her eight-year-old rescue border collie, Jed, and said he was worth every cent. The registered nurse from Melbourne realised most others could not afford to do the same, so she started a charity to help them. Nearly nine years later, the Pet Medical Crisis Fund has distributed around $350,000 to save more than 450 pets. Jed's story Ms Hunt adopted Jed from a rescue group but he ruptured discs in his back while chasing seagulls in 2009. Ms Hunt's vet said surgery for Jed would cost $10,000 and he would likely be a paraplegic, so recommended putting him down. She told the vet she did not want Jed to be put down. "I'm a registered nurse, I fix people, and I can afford to pay," Ms Hunt said to the vet. However that was not the end of the vet bills as Jed ruptured two more discs and required an additional $20,000 of surgery. PHOTO: Jennifer Hunt with her rescue dog, Jed, and the walking sling he used for nine years because he was a paraplegic. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) "I was told most people would put their dog to sleep and I asked 'Am I doing the wrong thing by my dog?'," Ms Hunt said. "The vet said 'No', it was just that most people couldn't afford it." Which was the reason why she decided to start the charity — to be able to contribute to vet expenses for people not in a financial position to pay themselves. "The vet said it as a good idea and then I turned it into a charity." The charity not only helps pet owners and their pets, but it also assists vets by not having to absorb the costs associated with treating pets free of charge. "We've discovered we don't just help the pensioner and you don't just help the pet, you actually help the vet," she said. "The vet is left with the scenario of being emotionally blackmailed [to treat pets for free], whether it is overt or covert they feel very much under pressure. PHOTO: Jed, Jennifer Hunt's border collie, inspired the creation of the Pet Medical Crisis Fund after his costly vet bills. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) Paying it forward The charity has been building up its profile in Australia through people sharing their stories on Facebook and in local media. "If we assist someone, we say 'can you help with sharing beautiful photos?' and we ask them to do a story in their local newspaper," Ms Hunt said. The exposure in local media often results in donations to the charity. "We usually get [in donations] what we put in for the pet back and more," she said. "This then pays it forward to the next person. "Most people don't feel like taking charity, so if they can pay it forward, to help the next person out [they are happy to]." The fund criteria The Pet Medical Crisis Fund offers a donation of $1,000 for vet bills to those who have exhausted all other options. "Go to the bank, Centrelink, family and friends first," Ms Hunt said. "But a lot of pensioners are isolated from family and friends. They may have burnt bridges and their pet is what keeps them going. Once other loan options have been exhausted, the vet asks to see pet owners' healthcare cards or pension cards to ensure they have a genuine need for financial support, at which point the charity can be approached. Ms Hunt asks the vet to do the surgery at cost so they are not using publicly-donated funds for profit. "We limit our donation to $1,000 so it relies on the vet to reduce costs and the owner to contribute," she said. "On some occasions this is not enough. "We raised $5,000 and the dog is great now." PHOTO: This x-ray shows nails swallowed by Wolfie, the husky. (Supplied: Jennifer Hunt) The Pet Crisis Medical Fund gives 100 per cent of the donated funds directly to the animals. "I'm sick to death of hearing stories about other charities where the money people are putting in is not going straight to where it was intended [but to admin costs instead]," Ms Hunt said. "People need to be confident where the money is going." This year, a philanthropist has donated money specifically for Ms Hunt to focus on stopping work as a nurse, hiring help, and taking the charity nationwide.
  2. Stage 3 Renal Failure

    I can't say whether it's normal or not but it's not something that my boy did, though his kidney failure came on very quickly and it wasn't long before he stopped eating altogether (he may have been in a later stage of kidney failure compared to your girl). Is she on medication to prevent stomach ulcers? It's great that she's still active and eating.
  3. Article on vet shortage

    link to article Veterinarians abandon profession as suicide rate remains alarmingly high ABC Sunshine Coast By Kathy Sundstrom Updated about an hour ago PHOTO: The suicide rate amongst veterinarians is worryingly high. (Supplied: Manuka Vet Hospital) RELATED STORY: Managing the mental strains of life as a vet RELATED STORY: How dealing with death impacts vets' mental health RELATED STORY: Suicide deaths spark call to better secure veterinary drug Australia's veterinarian shortage has been "particularly tough" in the past 12 months, according to an employment expert who blames stress, financial pressure, long hours, along with abuse and "emotional blackmail" from pet owners for the problem. Key points: It has become difficult to fill vet roles due to a number of conditions, including low starting salary and a five-year degree Clients complain to vets about prices and use emotional blackmail The suicide rate among vets is worryingly high Vets are also four times more likely to take their own life than others, which is double the suicide rate of doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses. The Animal Emergency Centre (AEC) in Noosaville, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, was forced to close for 12 hours on Sunday as no one could fill a shift. If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline on 13 11 14 Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 Headspace on 1800 650 890 QLife on 1800 184 527 An AEC spokesperson said it was "very rare" for an emergency centre to have to close because of staff availability, but it was the second time in a year. Former veterinarian Wendy Nathan runs Australia's largest veterinary employment website, Kookaburra Veterinary Employment, and said it had been a become difficult to fill roles. The site currently has over 430 vet roles advertised. Dr Nathan said the shortage was not helped by the high university entrance requirement, the five-year study period, and the low starting salary compared to dentists and engineers "In theory there should be enough, yet vet clinics are short of vets and can't get vets to fill shifts," Dr Nathan said. PHOTO: Veterinarian Matt Rosen, director of the Tanawha Animal Emergency Service, assists a tetanus patient. (Supplied: Matt Rosen) Veterinarian Matt Rosen from the Animal Emergency Service at Tanawha, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, said a large factor for people leaving the profession was the manipulation vets received from people who could not afford their bills. "We get some people who complain about the price and use emotional blackmail," Dr Rosen said. "You wouldn't be in this profession if you didn't love animals, but we don't get the same subsidies you get for humans and it costs the same to treat." Vets abused, left in debt Dr Rosen said people who complain when it comes to paying their pets' vet bills make it much harder on vets. Dr Rosen is a partner at the Tanawha practice, which is equipped with ultrasound machines, x-ray machines and other emergency medical equipment you would find in a hospital, but the veterinary practice must rely on pet owners, not the government, to pay an animal's bill. "People throw the emotional blackmail at you, you give in to them, and then you are left with $10,000-debts," he said. "They're conflicted so much. They want to do as much as they can for the animal but there is no one to pay for it. "There is nothing worse than making a seven-year-old cry in your surgery because you can't treat a pet." PHOTO: A fish hook being retrieved via endoscopy at the Tanawha Animal Emergency Service. (Supplied: Matt Rosen) Dr Nathan said the shortage of vets was making it worse for those in practice. "Vet clinics are short of vets, they can't get vets to fill shifts," she said. "They need to give vets a good quality of life so they are not working 60 hours a week." Increased suicide risk The suicide rate amongst vets is worryingly high. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) website advises that vets are at a "significantly higher risk of suicide than the general population". "While other healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses are around twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population, veterinarians have been shown to be up to four times more likely to fall victim to suicide," the website states. Dr Rosen said some of his colleagues had taken their own lives. "A certain number of colleagues have suicided. This is a well-recognised fact in our profession," he said. "Usually people who go into veterinary science are highly motivated and put a lot of stress on themselves. "If you have a pre-existing illness like depression, then you have the emotional stress at work and access to medication that can facilitate it, it all adds up." AVA President Paula Parker said there was a high demand for vets in emergency clinics and vets in rural and regional areas. "What we do is work with the business owners and employers on how we can make a business as attractive as possible and veterinarians as happy possible," she said. The AVA also had a number of programs to assist with mental health issues vets face, including a 24-hour counselling service, a benevolent fund, and a training course so every veterinary facility in Australia has a person who is able to provide first aid and to help those in crisis. 'They need a lot of support' Dr Nathan puts the issue of vet retention partly down to prolonged stress. "Vets are high-achieving kinds of people. To get in to university you need exceptionally good grades at school," she said. "They want to get everything right and doing vet medicine is a very stressful job. Dr Nathan knows this first hand as she was a vet who moved out of the profession. "Vet clinics don't get support from the system like Medicare. They have to invest money into equipment and digital systems, they need CT Scanners and to keep upgrading the premises. "Vets also do a lot of free work for wildlife so there is not always the best salaries available to go down to vets."
  4. Dog Poo Composting

    I was reading about this the other day. Here are some tips from this article
  5. Stage 3 Renal Failure

    The kidney disease smell is quite distinctive, if that's what it is that you're smelling on her breath.
  6. Stage 3 Renal Failure

    My old boy Coco had kidney failure which came on very quickly. The kidney diet is very restrictive - Coco was allowed only the renal dry food or the vet-prescribed home made diet. No raw food. The home made diet is very bland and he really didn't like it, but that's all he could have (until he stopped eating, at which point I gave him anything to get him to eat). Coco had been on various NSAID medications for spinal issues, and this medication was thought to have caused (or at least contributed to) his sudden kidney failure. But it's a quality of life issue - he needed medication to relieve his pain. So despite the outcome, I don't regret giving him the pain medications because they allowed him to enjoy his time free of pain. Good luck with your girl. I hope the kidney diet helps and you have a long time with her yet.
  7. DogsAndTheMob, I'm referring to the study you linked to in your first post, Kaplan et al. (2018). The quotes in my post are from a separate article (link in my post).
  8. Dalmatian

    Well Domino enjoyed his first christmas here. I don't take my other dogs to see Santa as they wouldn't enjoy it, but as Domino is so sociable he got to meet Santa and loved it. He's using his voice more now and has quite the vocabulary. Mainly various excitement squeals. He was never walked in his previous home so he's really enjoying the regular outings. It's very fortunate that he's here to enjoy it. Dalmatian rescue recommended to the previous owner that he be pts...fortunately the previous owner didn't do this and instead contacted the rescue group that saved him. Here he is meeting Santa...
  9. The taurine deficiency and DCM appears not to be solely related to a grain free diet as in the linked study not all diets being fed were grain free, and (with the exception of one dog) there was improvement noted both in dogs switched to a different grain free diet with taurine supplementation and in those switched to a grain inclusive diet with taurine supplementation. Also, in an earlier study (as cited in the linked study), Backus et al. (2003) identified taurine deficiency and DCM in Newfoundlands fed a diet of lamb meal and rice. From another recent article here, summary and recommendations...
  10. There is more information about the investigation in the summary report here
  11. Regarding your first point, this is noted in the research paper. The researchers explain that any differences found in treatment conditions are attributed to the diets as a whole rather than ingredients/processing method/nutrient and energy concentrations (which were not separately tested). Interesting, thanks for posting sandgrubber.
  12. As sandgrubber mentioned, there are a couple of threads about chemo. My advice would be to get scanning done (CT or ultrasound) to check for metastasis and speak to an oncologist. If you are considering further surgery then consult with a specialist surgeon. Before commencing chemo, you need to get the facts, and an oncologist will provide you with the most up to date information. There is a common misconception that chemo means a sick dog and reduced quality of life, but in reality the majority of dogs receiving chemo experience no or minimal side effects. Like all medication, the aim is to maintain quality of life. My 11 year old girl has nearly finished her second round of chemo for grade 3 MCT and she has had no side effects such as nausea etc. If she had not received treatment, she either wouldn't be here today, or she'd likely be dealing with the symptoms of metastatic disease. But with treatment, she has outlived her prognosis and is her normal, happy, active self. That's quality of life.
  13. It took 13 years and a member survey for it to become clear to PR that funding is the major issue for rescue groups? So for 13 years they were either spectacularly ignorant of the major issue facing rescue groups, despite working 'with' rescue groups for so long, or they were spectacularly arrogant and knew of the issue but chose to do nothing about it. I look forward to seeing their 2018 financial reports.
  14. Chemo Experiences

    Thanks corrie
  15. Chemo Experiences

    Hi corrie, thanks for asking! Annie is doing really well! After her surgery last year, the oncologist said >90% of dogs with grade 3 MCT don't live beyond 12 months. That was about 15 months ago now and Annie is still doing great. She had another lump come up about three months ago which turned out to be an infiltrated lymph node, so as it is now metastatic we are doing another round of chemo with vinblastine again. Same as with the round of chemo last year, no side effects. Yes! Bounding out of the car after chemo. Annie runs inside and says, let's play! I agree, chemo gets a bad rap. It's so nice to hear a positive story with the quality time it gave to you and your girl. I think my initial stress was more lack of understanding and having preconceived notions of horrible side effects. But I'm much less stressed about it now that I have a better understanding. Just seeing how good Annie has been with it all, and how much more quality time it has given her. It makes it all worth it. One thing that I find really heartwarming is when I go to the oncology clinic and meet other people with dogs going through cancer treatment, it's so lovely to see the bond between the other dogs and their families. These people truly love their dogs and are doing their best for them. Here is my little girl that I love so very much, and having fun with her doggy brothers.