I’ve been reading a book by Nancy Kay, DVM. It’s called Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. It is very well-organized, written in easy-to-understand language, and it gives advice on everything from how to pick a veterinarian to how to make decisions about your dog’s cancer treatment. Reading it is like having a veterinarian friend tell you the things you should do and not do at your dog’s veterinary appointments, what to ask, and when and how to get a second opinion. The author survived a cancer scare herself, and knows all about negotiating diagnostic testing, sifting through information, and how to be the kind of person your dog can count on to make sound decisions about his or her care.
Here’s an especially interesting tidbit: Did you know most dogs are no longer supposed to get routine vaccination boosters on an annual basis, but that they are still supposed to get an annual examination? The book explains what you need to know about vaccines, how to talk with your vet about it, and even which vaccines should probably be given to which dogs and why. I think this book could save dog lovers a lot of time, money, frustration and heartache.
There is also advice to help you sort out whether your dog needs to have surgery, needs to see a specialist, what other options there might be, and how to deal with financial concerns relating to your dog’s care.
You can find out more, join an email list, and listen to Dr. Kay’s interview with Terry Gross on NPR at Speaking for Spot.