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Visiting Vet: Fish hooks

The last time I went fishing was probably 1979, camping with my vet school boyfriend, who liked to trout fish in the Pennsylvania rivers. I was squeamish about baiting hooks with live shiners, and...

Visiting Vet: Did she or didn’t she?

One thing about being a veterinarian, it’s rarely dull. Well, honestly, after 40 years I’m a little tired of fleas and ticks, and vomiting and diarrhea, but we are always assured of a little...

Visiting Vet: Humans, please follow directions!

Tired of all COVID-19 all the time? Me too. Since realizing we needed a new way to provide veterinary care for Island animals, I’ve watched endless webinars on telemedicine, social distancing, virology, epidemiology, and...

Visiting Vet: Pets in a pandemic

Every night after dinner, I retire to the living room to watch television, read a book, maybe do a crossword puzzle. As soon as I sit down, Captain Jack Sparrow, our big Maine coon...

Visiting Vet: Let’s talk telemedicine

“Do you hear that?” my daughter asked from where she sat doing “remote college” homework after dinner. “Hear what?” I asked, ensconced on the couch playing Words With Friends on my phone, trying not...

Visiting Vet: Veterinary care during coronavirus

Even before COVID-19, Vineyard veterinarians were struggling to maintain basic emergency care for all the animals here. Many of us are getting older. OK, we’re all getting older. Especially me. Seriously. I have been...

Visiting Vet: COVID-19 and our pets

“I was wondering if you or anyone else may know,” the email began. Of course the questions that followed were about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Are dogs and cats susceptible? Could the...

Visiting Vet: Mystery staggering

Shoes is a happy, healthy, 2-year-old Labrador retriever. Late one evening in January, she was sleeping contentedly in her chair, then decided to hop down. When she reached the floor, her owners immediately noticed...

Visiting Vet: Essential oils may not be safe for your pet.

I readily admit to being a child of the ’60s. Bell-bottoms. Janis Joplin. Peace and love. So I’m no stranger to essential oils — patchouli, sandalwood, rose oil. These scents of my youth make...

Visiting Vet: Diabetes and your pets

When I was a young veterinarian, many moons ago, I had a patient named Heidi. A quintessential Island Lab. Short, stocky, sensible. An all-around great dog. When I first diagnosed her with diabetes mellitus,...

Visiting Vet: A rough start to the new year

I didn’t stay awake until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Nonetheless, I was still in my jammies when clients called late morning New Year’s Day. One good thing about being...

Visiting Vet: What’s in a label?

I’ve known Cassie for more than eighteen years. She’s a little old lady cat these days, but still full of personality. Cassie has a condition that frequently affects elderly felines — chronic kidney disease...

Visiting Vet: Ureter blockage

Sugar and Spice. Two tortoiseshell siblings. When the pair were 5 years old, Spice started gradually losing weight, despite a ravenous appetite. At first I wasn’t too concerned, telling her owner the old adage,...

Visiting Vet: Gesundheit

Resisting the urge to hibernate at home, my husband and I had driven out to Pathways in Chilmark one cold, rainy evening. We had just arrived when I got a call about Little George,...

Visiting Vet: Holiday wisdom

It was 1989. Autumn. After having worked seven years at the Vineyard Veterinary Clinic in Edgartown, I finally set out on my own. Initially I was solely a mobile practice doing house calls, so...

Visiting Vet: Star Zulu, a lucky little Bengal kitten

The email included a montage of photos of adorable Bengal kittens. Who could resist such cuteness? Then another picture. A closeup of the roof of the mouth of one particular kitten named Star Zulu....

Visiting Vet: Canine compulsive disorder

I’ve known Stanley, an energetic Labrador-cocker mix, all his life. One November when he was 8 years old, he started nibbling fur on his feet, from his toes to his “ankles.” The end result...

Visiting Vet: Genghis’ ear mystery solved

Genghis is a handsome, playful, 1-year-old boxer pup who recently came in to have his ears checked. “He’s scratching them a lot,” his owner reported. The typical cause for itchy ears in dogs is...

Visiting Vet: Signs of EEE

I needed a stepladder to reach the top bookshelf and pull down my “large animal” textbooks from veterinary school. I don’t do equine work anymore, but my younger daughter loves horses, keeping me connected...

Visiting Vet: Tori was lucky

“I don’t know what to do,” the caller said urgently. “I can’t catch her. I don’t know if she swallowed it.” The “her” in question was a 14-month-old cat named Tori. The “it” was...