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Doc Smith's Blog

Journaling about veterinary medicine, life in Cumberland Valley, pet care, and other topics.
Questions and answers about animals and medicine as well as behavior and puzzling activities
Dec
04

A Vet's Life Is A Daily Surprise

Veterinary Medicine provides vast opportunities to see many strange and wonderful things. This profession also provides daily possibilities to make you look like an idiot. These stories give rise to the romantic ideas and dreams that everyone believes life as a modern veterinarian must be. I can’t deny that I have seen my fair share of crazy over the last three decades, but it’s the routine stuff that will drive you mad.

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May
26

Baskerville: Not a Place You Want To Get Stuck.

Warning! Graphic Pictures in this post!


I was presented with a beautiful older Basset Hound with a great disposition. He was happy-go-lucky with a tongue made for licking. When I walked into the room, he was there immediately to greet me (he must not have heard the rumors about me) with his tail wagging and the saliva ready to go. I had never met the Grant family either and was a bit surprised when they asked for me by name. (Obviously they hadn’t heard all the rumors either). Here was this wonderful pet who seemed healthy, except he was thin. The owners were quick to inform me that he wanted to eat but kept regurgitating everything he had eaten, to the point where now he didn’t want to eat at all. They had sought help, and believed the problem had been corrected because the dog had responded to initial therapy, but then things quickly escalated out of control.

I petted “Big-B,” as I called him, and then placed him on the examination table. His gums looked good. His temperature was normal. He didn’t howl in pain when I felt around on his stomach. His eyes were goopy, but nothing serious. I was a bit taken aback by this thin feller. After discussing options with the Grant family, I proceeded with radiographs (X-rays) of his belly and bloodwork.

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May
19

I Don't Know the Answer to your Question.

As a veterinarian, I get a lot of questions. When  I say a lot, I mean hundreds per day. Most of the questions I expect and have prepared answers. Some I have to study on for a bit. But some I just don’t know. Without a doubt I am the smartest person my wife knows, as I reminder her daily, but even my super powers are limited. In case you were wondering where my intellectual prowess stops, I’m about to tell you. Enjoy the abyss.

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May
04

Eating Socks Is Never Good.


This is the story of Kate. She is a beautiful, well-kept, pampered Doberman from London. She has the best of food, the best of care, the best parents anywhere on the planet. Regardless of her Life of Riley, she ate a sock! In case you don’t know, socks are non-digestible.  So the sock became lodged in her gut making her a very sick dog.

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Mar
08

Warning! The following pictures are totally Gross.

I mean it. Disgusting. Unless of course you are mentally deranged like me and enjoy gross stuff. If that is the case, then this is the blog posting for you.

I have had so many cases over the last twenty years that it’s hard to pick a favorite. I find new things everyday to photograph.  In this new digital age I can take excellent pictures...and I do take them. I have thousands of cases, thousands of pictures, and thousands of things that I’d love to share. I could sit down and create a three-day slide show and just barely scrape the surface of the treasure trove of death, disease, and mayhem I’ve captured.

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Feb
23

The Most Boring Veterinary Blog Ever.

I own quite several small treasures that I have saved up over the last 20 years of veterinary life. I thought it would be cool to share a few of those images with you and share some stories. I know that many people are totally turned off by history, but not me. I love looking back on how things were for my forefathers. The lessons I learn from these men and women of my past, teach me how to be grateful for the more modern era I am privileged to work. I invite you to take a stroll with me. I mean it’s just a blog…how long could it take?

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Feb
16

Reflections: I am so embarrassed!

I tend to stay away from the dark side of Veterinary medicine, and focus upon the good things going on in the world. There is way too much hate and extraordinary attempts to focus on dark things by too many that I just tend to look at the lighter side.

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Dec
01

Some of the WORST advice I have ever been given!

I will forever be totally amazed at how confident people are when giving me advice on how to practice. For instance, I have been trimming toenails on cats and dogs for well over 30 years, but a couple of days ago a client scolded me on how wrong my technique was while giving a pedicure to her pooch. But, I'm not a super proud man, so I did my best to accommodate her wishes. What's the harm if you cut them sideways, front-to-back, or horizontal as long as the end result is a shorter nail? She's happy, I'm happy, the dog's happy—it's all good.

Except when it's not.

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Oct
13

Those Nasty Ears Part II

Last week, we talked about different primary reasons your Feline Friend or your Canine Companion would develop an ear infection, and we talked about some simple signs of what might be going on inside that ear. Today I'd like to tell you about the aftermath: the end result if left untreated, the daunting task of curing a chronic disease, and the frustration that we see so many time with our patients.

For the record, I am talking about the EXTERNAL EAR CANAL, defined as the eardrum to the pinna. Again, I must emphasize that many illnesses have a specific regional application. What we see here in Kentucky, may not be the same for furry friends in Wisconsin.

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Oct
06

Those Nasty Nasty Ears...

those nasty nasty ears

I treat ear infections in dogs and cats everyday, without exception. There is very little that can frustrate an owner, a pet, and a Veterinarian than an unresponsive ear infection. In this blog post, I would like to describe to you what I see in this are most often, what to look for, and some treatment options for pets with ear infections. Now please, you know that I cannot cover EVERY SINGLE detail about your dog, or the complexities of treatment. This is an overview, and YOU should consult with YOUR veterinarian about proper treatment. There are basically three things that I see as PRIMARY reasons a dog or cat has an infection in this area.

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Jul
07

Reflections: A Dog was Hit by Lightning!

Back when I was young and had all my hair, I had recently moved from Fort Smith, Arkansas where I had just left a practice and started the process of buying Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital. During that time, I worked for Dr. Campbell Mercer, the former owner, for 6 months while we finished the transfer of ownership.

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May
12

The Valley Vet: Mosquitoes

heartworms

It’s that time of year again. Time for the 100°F days and the warm comfortable nights. Time for tornadoes and budding flowers. Time for the sweet smell of spring and summer and the last dying memories of winter past. (Yah know, the back-to-back one-foot snows and a month out of school for the kids.) It’s also time for the arrival of Mosquitoes.

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Oct
08

Seven Things Your Child Might Want to Know About Veterinary School

What I Do

I love the tiles we see posted a lot on social media that have four squares: a picture of what most people think a veterinarian does, what mom thinks, what you think, and what actually happens in the world a veterinary medicine. The images are cute and, to be honest, contain some underlying truths. Isn’t the best comedy rooted in a hint of truth? Anyway, I get asked tons of questions about my journey to becoming a veterinarian. Where did you go to school? How long did it take you to become a veterinarian? What are boards like? Why did you become a veterinarian? I’m sure you are probably thinking up a few right now. That brings me to this week’s blog. I want to answer seven big questions I get and, hopefully, you’ll get to know me a little bit better as I walk you through my journey. I want to warn you though, I’m older now and things seem to get more “fond” as we look back on our youth. If I get too romantic in my writing, forgive me.

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Latest Blogs

17 November 2017
The Valley Vet
Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Medicine provides vast opportunities to see many strange and wonderful things. This profession also provides daily possibilities to make you look like an idiot. These stories give rise to the romantic ideas and dreams that everyone believes life as a modern veterinarian must be. I can’t deny that I have seen my fair share of crazy over the last three decades, but it’s the routine stuff that will drive you mad.

17 November 2017
The Valley Vet
Pet Care

Clients ask me all the time, “If this were your pet, what would you do?”

I appreciate your question, and yes I hear what you are asking of me. However, it is an unfair question and I sweat a little each time someone asks me. I do not want you to be offended in any way by my saying it makes me nervous because I truly am flattered that you have that much confidence in me to ask.

02 November 2017
Pet Care

Pet Obesity is a problem. We know this.  The question is, why are our animals so stricken with obesity? I mean dogs can’t open the fridge and make a sandwich nor remove the top of the soda-pop can. If one ever shows that talent, I'm buying him!!!

02 November 2017
Family Life

I heard the first crack followed by a loud pop. My hands tightened around the tree branches hoping that would save me in the event that things decided to go south, literally. I clung to the snow-covered limb not moving a muscle. So far things seemed to be holding. I could see the ground some 60 to 70 foot below me all covered in snowy powder from the night before, and I knew it would be of little cushion if I fell out of this tree.

02 November 2017
Dogs
Pet Care

So, yesterday I was looking at a dog in my exam room when I made a horrible statement that got me in a lot of trouble. After I said it, I got “The Look.”

31 October 2017
Pet Care

I find it very interesting when reading The Bible that there are two famous parables related to the same subject: that of something that was of value that was lost and then found.

10 July 2017
Tough Cases

Every day at Cumberland Valley we are asked to deal with dermal tumors of some nature. Of course, as a rule of thumb, the sooner you identify and remove a potentially life-threatening lesion or mass, the better the outcome would be expected. Still, sometimes factors get in the way of early identification and we are presented with much larger growths that prove hard to remove.

05 April 2017
Tough Cases

I believe it was Lord Byron that penned the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction,” which of course I have been saying wrong all along as, “Life is stranger than fiction.” Whichever saying you hold nearest and dearest to your heart, I would enjoy reinforcing your philosophy with one of the craziest veterinary stories I have had the pleasure and awe in dealing with lately. This is the story of Cookie, or as we like to call him, Zombie Dog.

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Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital

110 Lagoon Trail
London, Kentucky, 40744
P: (606) 864-9120
Email Us info@vetspetsandlaughs.com

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  • Tuesday: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
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