Dr. Medina’s Story: Sworn Protector

Dr. Medina: When I was seven years old I wanted to be a veterinarian. I always loved animals. That passion, and that drive, and that love
for animals stayed with me. Not only just here at work, but when I’m at
a restaurant and people bring their dogs and they’re limping, it’s very emotional for me
because I’ve taken an oath to take care of animals. Sometimes it’s very hard for me to not walk up to a stranger and give him my business card and beg them to call me, but at least
when they come in the door I know that there’s something that I could do to offer them help. This afternoon, I’m going to be examining
Asia. She’s a Labrador who retired about a year
ago from the police force. It was hard for me when they decided to retire Asia. I love working with working canines because they do so much to protect the community, so being able to help them control their pain is very rewarding for me. When I first diagnosed Asia with osteoarthritis, I was very concerned. Nicki: She kind of was getting a little slower going to the door. Almost like reluctant, “all right, let’s go
to work.” Dr. Medina: Dogs can be very stoic, and they don’t necessarily verbalize pain. It can be pretty devastating. Nicki: What really was the most heartbreaking thing was when she would try to jump up to the car to go get in to work, she couldn’t
make it. That’s what was really killing us. Dr. Medina: The main thing that we focus on is pain control. Our concern every time we start any medication is what is that risk of safety versus efficacy. Especially for something like osteoarthritis, that is a long-term condition so they’re going to need long-term medication. Anti-inflammatories are the number one medication that we use. My personal preference is Galliprant as the number one choice, primarily because it’s effective but it’s also safe. Nicki: It’s like somebody turned the lights
on and she’s all bright, and happy, and go-lucky, and just that jovial Lab-like self again. Dr. Medina: I’m very pleased with her progress. Now she’s doing things that she hadn’t done in a long time. The cuter story is that she’s always looking up on the counters of the kitchen to try to steal food. So even though maybe it’s not necessarily
a desirable behavior for some families, it’s encouraging to me that she’s actually able
to do that now. I always tell the owners that I’m part of
the team. It’s not just me. They’re a part of the healing as well, so
it’s kind of like a little family. That makes me feel great because I was able to help contribute to her pain control.

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