Whenever I come to one of these conferences it clarifies for me what my real interests are in medicine. This week I’ve been to lectures in a few main areas – management, alternative medicine, and pain management. Yep, that sums it up for me.
This morning I went to a lecture on what’s wrong with dog food and how to try to get people to feed a better quality of diet. That’s a problem in my area because people want to buy the cheap stuff from WalMart. In my personal life I’m a big component of ‘you are what you eat’ and ‘garbage in garbage out’ when it comes to diet. I need to be more consisently talking about that during appointments (there’s that management talk coming out!). The speaker said that at the absolute minimum she tries to get people to feed foods with no artificial colors or preservatives. If they are already doing that then try to upgrade them one more step.
This afternoon I’m going to a series of lectures on physical therapy for pain management. I love working with arthritis dogs. The practice owner that I work with a lot is of the opinion that pain is good in dogs because then they don’t overdo it. We argue about this all the time. That would be one nice thing about having my own practice. I could get products that I want to use for pain protocols and once I get acupuncture certified I can do a lot more anti-pain work. I’d like to eventually get an assistant who is massage therapy trained to work in the office also. The vet I work with isn’t even a huge fan of surgical pain management. If the animals are a little light on their anesthesia he thinks that’s safer because they won’t die during surgery. I follow him around and add gas anesthesia to animals who aren’t totally asleep. He thinks I’m excessive and I think he’s cruel. We are never going to agree on this one. But I liked the way one of the pain lectures stated her guidelines yesterday. She was talking about owners not recognizing pain in their animals because they think if they aren’t crying then they aren’t in pain. She asks owners to imagine that they had this same condition and then ask them if they think it would hurt. That alone will increase pain medication compliance. Believe it or not, I have trouble sometimes getting people to take pain meds for their dogs.