Where Are the Cheerleaders?

As a child growing up in Westchester I was active in sports.  I played throughout grade school, High school, even at the college level.  Anyone who has played sports competitively know one must be dedicated, and committed to perfecting ones skills.  Practices are often grueling and time consuming.  When ” game day” comes all your time and training becomes second nature and you just perform.   One of the most satisfying aspects of sports competition is the cheers of encouragement I used to hear from the fans, team mates, and  cheerleaders.  If I played well, colleagues and friends use to stop me and congratulate me on my performance.

Veterinary education is one of the hardest academic degrees to obtain.  Being a practicing veterinarian  requires 110% dedication.   You must commit every ounce of energy to gaining cutting edge skills, and education, in order to be the best veterinarian.  My education and training didn’t stop when I finished Veterinary school. I went on to become certified in Acupuncture and herbal therapy.  All Practicing Veterinarians are still  required to complete continuing education and hands on surgery labs.   There is countless hours of studying and traveling to sharpen my skills and knowledge.  With my constant academic training, and lifelong commitment to veterinary medicine,  I know that I am a skilled and competent veterinarian.

Even after all the training and success I have had,  sometimes it would be nice to have a cheer,  or even a round of applause (every once and a while )confirming all my hard work!!

“Sampson” was a 8 year old, male,  Siamese cat that presented to me at my clinic, for weight loss and inappettance.  On examination, we discovered a yellow color, of the gums, and the whites of “Sampsons:” eyes.  The medical name for this condition is called, “Icterus”.

There are a variety of causes for innappetance and Icterus in a middle aged cat.  Using my experience and judgement. We ran blood and urine test and determined the illness to be localized to Sampson liver.      The next step was to determine if the liver illness  was the result of an infection, cancer, or a metabolic imbalance.  Diagnostic imaging was performed.  A plain film x ray revealed normal size and shape of liver. The next step was to perform a sensitive imaging test called an ultrasound.  An abdominal ultrasound uses a sensitive hand held probe to scan all of the abdominal organs and intestine external and internal architecture.  Based on the ultrasound I determined a highly sensitive, and diagnostic, non invasive procedure, called an ultrasound guided needle biopsy needed to be preformed.  The exact location of the biopsy was carefully chosen and the needle biopsy was performed with precision, under anesthesia.  The tissue sample was sent to the lab and evaluated by a pathologist to reveal a condition known as a “fatty liver”.

The quickest way to cure this condition is by aggressive feeding, including medication , and herbal supplements and acupuncture.  Due to the fact that Sampson was not eating an  esophageal feeding tube was placed in his neck.  The tube must be placed with surgical care and precision.
Working with animals, and their owners  in today’s technologically advanced society can sometimes be challenging.  I find that people are used to instant results.  With the internet the world seems to be at your fingertips.  If a computer or I-pod breaks it is dropped off and usually fixed in a day or two.   I often have to remind my people to have patience. In nature things take time.  If one sets a broken bone it takes months to heal.  If you plant a seed it takes weeks, before it blooms into a flower.

“Sampsons” owners became frustrated with the lengthy time and effort it took for Sampson to make a full recovery.     Despite the owners impatiences “Sampson”made a gradual improvement, over 4 weeks, with medical care, and tube feeding.

At the end of the day, I take pride in the fact that all of my training and education paid off. I can see the appreciation in “Sampson’s” eyes….although I am still wishing I could hear some cheers of encouragement from the cheerleaders!!

Andrew Frishman DVM

Progressive Animal Hospital

(914) 248-6220

Somers, NY

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