Pecan Pie’s Tips for Surviving the Holidays. Literally.

This time of the year more than most I hear a lot of my friends having to make unnecessary trips to the Vet’s office which is not a fun place most of the time, however, since my Mom works there, I don’t mind visiting.

The tree is a lot of fun and many friends have had trouble with those light cords. I have asked my mom and Dad to unplug the cord just to be safe while they are out.

My Mom tells me that during the holidays she sees more ingested items such as ornaments, parts of presents and other decorations which can lead to expensive surgeries, so get your pet parents to look out for small items like this and put the breakable smaller ornaments up higher on the tree.

I love this time of the year the most for new food items to sample, but I am told they are not good for me and that I need to stick to my cat food.  Human food can be high in sugar and carbohydrates that are bad for me and can lead to long term health conditions that are no fun.

So stay safe out there, and resist all efforts to be put in a costume!  As you can see I have not been successful.

By Pecan Pie (with assistance from Dr. Holland)

Join us for SPCA K-9 – 3K Dog Walk this Saturday April 2nd!

Azure Holland Mobile Veterinary Service is excited to be participating in this year’s SPCA K9-3K Dog Walk and post-race festival on Saturday, April 2 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. The K9-3K Dog Walk is a benefit walk event to help homeless pets, plus a day of family-friendly, dog-friendly festivities. The event consists of a 1.8 mile (3 km) walk plus festivities that draw over 4,000 people and 1,000 dogs each year. More than 60 vendors and sponsors offer pet-related products, and participants enjoy food, music, demonstrations and contests. It’s fun for people of all ages, and dogs love the opportunity to socialize, to sniff and be sniffed. In its 17th year, this annual event is held rain or shine. Make sure to come by our booth in the vendor village from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’ll have fun goodies and treats for you and your family – including your fur babies too! It will be a great party for all! For more information, please visit: http://spcawake.org/events/the-k9-3k-dog-walk/. If you are looking for something a little different that day but just as fun, we are also excited to be a sponsoring a water station at the NC Veterinarian School’s IronDog 5K also on Saturday, April 2nd. The 5K is at 10 a.m. at NC State Centennial Campus. NC State IRONDOG is a charity that raises money for animals whose owners cannot aff ord their medical care. IRONDOG members raise pledges for completion of endurance athletic events. For more information, please visit: http://www.ncstatevets.org/irondog/.

Tucker’s Story

The Smith family contacted me recently because they needed some help with their pet, Tucker, who was showing signs of advanced aging. Tucker was having issues with arthritis and it was starting to affect his quality of life. He was having trouble getting around, including going out to use the bathroom, and he was seemingly more restless at night.

I visited the family for a palliative care consultation. During this appointment, I spent a great deal of time with the family listening to their concerns as well as watching Tucker move around the home and yard. We even took him on a leash walk to see how he was walking on asphalt surfaces. These home visits are invaluable for identifying the pet’s main problem areas and addressing small things that can make a huge difference for the pet. In Tucker’s case, pain control and improvement with mobility were my priority.

I was able to leave Tucker’s family with a clear treatment plan and some goals that they could work on with Tucker. The family is still using their referring veterinarian for medication refills, lab work and additional wellness and preventative medicine that are needed. Tucker was doing great on his recheck last week and had even built some additional muscle mass with the walking he has been doing.

I thought I would share Tucker’s story with you to show some of the other services we offer other than home euthanasia.  If I can help you, please call, we offer no charge initial consultations.

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or would like to schedule a time for me to meet with you.  I perform at home evaluations and euthanasias in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

A Peaceful Goodbye for Bella

I wanted to share with you a case that really touched my heart a couple of winters ago. Bella was a sweet, older German Shepherd who had been having trouble getting around for a while. Her mom Karen reached out to me when she felt that Bella’s suffering had become too great. The morning of the phone call Bella was unable to rise off of her favorite spot on the living room floor. Karen called me because she didn’t want to have to move Bella from her favorite spot and really preferred to say goodbye at home.

When I arrived at the home Bella was sitting in her favorite spot on the living room floor, basking in the sunlight. She was able to sit up and greet me and seemed at ease with me being in the home. I sat down on the floor next to Bella and spoke to her family about the euthanasia until everyone felt comfortable and all their questions were answered. When it came time to give Bella her sedation she remained sitting up and looking out the window into the yard that she had protected and played in for so many years. It was as if she knew that these would be her last memories and that she wanted to look out her window until the very last.

I think of this case often when I get asked why I do at-home end-of-life care. To me, I gave Bella the greatest gift I could give her. She was able to pass away at home, in her favorite place, surrounded by love.

Azure

Pecan Pie’s Favorite Places 2015!

The year 2015 is nearing an end, and it’s been a purrfectly fantastic one! My parents have taken me on several trips across this great state of North Carolina; on sandy beaches, in star-spangled parades and of course at our beloved snowy mountains.

boat (2) parade mountain

As I reflect back on all of the great things this year, I’m grateful for some of the wonderful places here in Raleigh that have treated me and some of my best pup friends here in the capital city. I wanted to take a moment to share with all of you a pawful of my FAVORITE PLACES IN 2015!

Favorite specialty pet store – Unleashed, The Dog & Cat Store

This locally owned store has a superb selection of some of my favorite treats, toys, food and other essentials to keep me one happy kitty. The staff provides excellent customer service and attention, and I love that there is a great selection of all-natural products. The best part is that all my local furry friends can find an Unleashed store near them because there are five of these stores here in Raleigh!

 

Favorite Daycare/BoardingDog Diggity Daycare & Boarding

Pups and kitties alike are purrfectly pampered at Dog Diggity Daycare. The staff is warm and friendly and my pup friends can also be treated with additional specialty services at the Diggity Day Spaw. Did someone say blueberry facial?? Yum!! Plus if my parents are feeling extra meowtastic, sometimes I’m treated to one of their delicious custom-made cakes from the Shaggy Chic Boutique. But the best part of Dog Diggity is their amazingly adorable Facebook page!

 

Favorite place to snag that extra-special treat Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

As soon as I saunter into this friendly neighborhood-style store, I am enveloped in the sweet scents of freshly baked pet treats. And even though there are locations in Raleigh, Cary, Wakefield and Fayetteville, this boutique bakery and grooming store doesn’t lose that unique one-of-kind feel. Note to self: Put a homemade treat from Woof Gang Bakery on my Christmas list this year. ME-OW!

 

Because my best furry friends mention so many other wonderful places here in Raleigh, I had to add an Honorable Mention category to my list this year!

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Phydeaux Pet Store – Another meowtastic specialty pet store with three locations in the Triangle. This locally owned boutique store has a large selection of quality products all my friends love and can’t find in typical big-box stores.

 

Pups Day Out

Perhaps the friendliest pet staff in town! You can feel the love as soon as you step in the door at this daycare, boarding and grooming facility. Plus they keep their daycare pups in a large play area behind the front desk so the staff can spend as much time with them as possible. My best pup friends say this place is wooftastic!

 

Upon thinking about all of the places I’ve loved visiting this year I couldn’t help but think of some of the fun events I’ve had the pleasure attending this year as well. So I thought why not add a Favorite Events category too?

 

Favorite Event of the YearDown by The Tracks Block Party benefiting the SPCA of Wake County

tracks (2)

In its 14th year, this annual dog- and cat-friendly autumn block party takes place at the Shops at Seaboard Station. Many pet parents and their furry loved ones stroll through Seaboard Station while listening to live music, visiting pet specialty vendor booths, nosh on food from local food trucks, participate in pet costume contests and mingle with other pet families. A great social event for pet lovers. The best part was that I made lots of new friends at this party! It was meowderful!

 

As I ponder this year and think about all the sweet treats I’ve received from some of these fantastic places I listed, I realized it’s time to think about my 2016 Meow Year’s resolution. According to my canine friends, there are some great pet-friendly charity walks and runs benefiting some wonderful local pet organizations Raleigh. I decided to pick the K9 3K Dog Walk & Senior Dog 1/2K and the IronDog 5K to train for in 2016!

 

Both races will be held in April, and the K9 3K Dog Walk is coined as the “largest dog-friendly event in North Carolina.” It boasts over 4,000 walkers and runners and more than 1,000 pets participating in the race. The IronDog 5K raises money for animals whose owners cannot afford their veterinary medical care through the N.C. State Veterinary Hospital Fund. They both sound like purrfect events to support and attend in 2016! I can’t wait!

 

 

Ah, what a wonderful fur-filled year it’s been, full of adventurous places and special moments. As I wrap up thinking about my favorite places in 2015, I’ll have to admit my absolute furravorite place to be is right by my Christmas tree, adoring all its beauty this time of year…and perhaps giving an ornament or two a playful nudge. A cat’s gotta play, right? 😉

 

Happy Holidays!

Love,

Dr. Holland and Pecan Pie

 

p.s. *make sure you click on ALL of our fun-filled links… meow!

 

 

When is Pet Hospice Right for my Pet

I get asked about pet hospice when I meet with families so I hope to help explain a little more.  Pet hospice is often thought of in the same way we think of human hospice, that is, to provide comfort during the final phases or our animal’s life.  When I help families with pet hospice in Raleigh, I am meeting with them and their pet and assessing the current care needs to provide comfort.   Some families are not ready to say good bye yet or wish for the pet to pass over the rainbow bridge naturally.  I will provide a short term care plan that may include fluids or pain management medications.  I will also spend time with the family and instruct them on what to expect during this time and the different ways they can make their pet more comfortable.  Pet hospice is also about education so that my families will understand the process and what they can do at home.  I offer complimentary phone consultations if you would like to discuss your concerns about your pet with me.

Azure

Dr. Janelle Fenlason Joins Our Practice

We are so happy to welcome Dr. Janelle Fenlason to our practice.  Janelle has a real passion for helping families and their pets.  “I realized I needed to offer more availability on the weekends and evenings, Janelle was a perfect fit and I really think families are going to appreciate getting to know her, I know I have.”  Dr. Azure Holland.

Dr. Fenlason grew up in Europe as an ARMY brat. Her family moved back to the United States and she finished high school in Northern Virginia. From there she went to attend Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. She then accepted an opening in St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada where she did a dual program that helped her attain her Master’s in Public Health while studying for her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Fenlason did her last year of veterinary school at North Carolina State School of Veterinary Medicine and is now working in a local hospital where she concentrates on companion animals when she is not comforting pets in their homes.

Janelle always wanted a dog growing up and this happened once they returned to the United States. Her family adopted a Labrador Retriever mix named Indiana who immediately filled their hearts and home. After several years when it was time to relieve him of his suffering from bone cancer, Dr. Fenlason asked her veterinarian to come to their home since Indy was always very nervous and anxious at the hospital. She was very fortunate to be able to make the last moments peaceful and not rushed by the everyday happenings of a hospital. From that day Dr. Fenlason wanted to make the hardest part of sharing a life with our four-legged friends as peaceful and loving as possible.

Dr. Fenlason commits her time to pet parents’ knowledge and understanding of what is going on with their ‘friend’ and provides a service that she would expect for her four-legged children. Never hesitate to ask questions and let your concerns and ideas known. She wants to make the last moments with your beloved friend as memorable and with less stress as possible.

Janelle and her husband have two children, Priscilla and Garreth and two four-legged children, Jack the Rottweiler mix and Medulla the opinionated kitty. Janelle enjoys spending time with her family, reading and meeting new people.

My Pet has been given a terminal diagnosis, What do I do Now?

The process that a family goes through to reach the decision of euthanasia for a beloved family pet can be one of the toughest things they ever have to go through. What can make the decision even harder is knowing your pet has a terminal diagnosis and seeing that he or she seems fine today. Depending on the terminal diagnosis, many pets can quickly end up in an emergency situation that may be painful or extremely stressful on the pet and pet parent. Having your veterinarian provide you with as much information as possible about the diagnosis and what to expect in a timeline format can help families prepare for the ultimate loving decision of euthanasia.

So how do my families decide what to do? This decision is personal and every individual approaches and deals with death differently. I always recommend to pet parents to envision how they want to say goodbye. I’ve come to people’s homes where the pet is still doing fairly well and the family was able to take the pet on a final walk, take some pictures, and feed a special meal. In these situations the families saw the appointment as a celebration of life and they wanted saying goodbye to be on a very uplifting experience. Other families that I have helped wait until their is a downward change in the quality of life of their pet such as the pet not eating or walking. There is not a wrong answer, just what feels right in your heart. I would encourage you to call me if you are having trouble with this decision as I always offer free phone consultations and will spend as much time as necessary talking with you about your pet’s situation. I am honored to help pets and families with these difficult choices. My mobile practice covers the triangle and I am here to assist families and pets in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary and surrounding areas. In my experience as a veterinarian, home euthanasia offers a very loving alternative to brining your pet into a hospital. It also offers a more private and stress free environment for the pet and pet parent.

Azure

A Beautiful Goodbye – Max’s Story

Just recently I was asked to help a family say goodbye to their beloved pet on a Sunday morning. When I arrived at the home I walked up to the door and saw a little note attached that read “we are in the back yard.” I made my way around the front walk to the back and stood at the gate for a moment. What I came upon was this beautiful scene. Their beloved pet Max was laying in the sun on his blanket. Almost perfectly the rays of sun were just basking him and illuminating his fur. His family was encircling him and giving Max hugs and kisses. They shared with me some stories of how he came to be in the family on Christmas morning and of his glory days. I learned that Max loved playing and frolicking in the snow and hunting moles in the yard.  His four legged family was also there to say goodbye. There were three dogs who payed respect one on which even came over and left a ball for him next to his head.  Their family cat also said his goodbyes and sat next to Max and the family while he took his last breaths. Max passed away very peacefully with the love of the entire family close by. This was one lucky dog who will always be remembered for the 19 years of love he gave to the Kidd family.

Azure

A Very Personal Decision – Bran’s Story

I have been in private practice for five years and last year started a house call service to help families with end of life care for their pets. Over the past three years I have been lucky enough to help an older gentleman Mr. Crosson and his companion Bran. I met Bran on my second day at work and we became fast friends. She always looked forward to coming in to see me. Maybe it was the excitement in my voice, the belly rubs she received, or the many treats I gave her. She, I and Mr. Crosson have been through a lot in the past few years and have developed a special friendship. She has been diagnosed with multiple conditions and has stayed happy and healthy with the care and love of her pet parent up until very recently. Everything changed when Bran had a seizure episode last week. Over the past week Bran’s condition has been ever changing which has caused moments of extreme happiness and those with tears. Their were times when Mr. Crosson was ready to let her go, but wanted to give her just one more night to see if her condition would improve. Mr. Crosson and I have been talking daily about Bran’s condition and quality of life.  I’ve realized through talking with him that I love Bran just about as much as he does. I’m finding that making a decision about when it’s time has become very personal in this case. I want the best for Bran, Mr. Crosson. I know that he and I together will make the best and most loving decision for Bran when it’s time. Until that day comes Bran is going to have every opportunity to live life to its fullest with Mr. Crosson by her side.

I have walked many families through the process of deciding when it’s time to say goodbye to their beloved pet. I truly understand what my clients face when it comes to end of life care and decisions for your pet. My mobile vet practice is solely devoted to helping with the end of life transition. I’m available for free phone consultations to discuss the specific needs of your companion and to discuss your emotions as well.  I have been trained in pet loss guidance and I provide home euthanasia in Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, and Durham.

Here is a picture of Bran, Mr. Crosson, Jo Ann and myself this past Halloween.