Staff Education Tidbits

Dr. Jim Earley and Dr. Amy Plankenhorn traveled to Johnson City, TN, on a recent rainy Sunday to attend a day-long presentation about cancer management.  The speaker was Dr. Greg Ogilvie, a respected veterinary oncology specialist from San Diego, CA, who has been on the forefront of cancer research for many years.

They learned about some exciting new developments coming up in veterinary cancer management, reviewed pain management and comfort care, and picked up some interesting facts.  For example:

  • Obesity is a risk factor for cancer.
  • Grain in the diet does not lead to the development of cancer, unless it’s highly refined sugars.
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increases cancer risk in dogs and cats.  Lung cancer is a known effect of smoking and smoke exposure in dogs, cats, and humans.  But dogs and cats have a 70% higher risk of mouth cancers, and cats have a higher risk of stomach cancer when they are exposed to cigarette smoke. Why?  Because the smoke gets on their coat, and when they lick and groom themselves, their mouth and stomach are exposed to carcinogens.  So if you must smoke, do it outside for the sake of your pet!

At one of our recent Tuesday staff meetings, Dr. Jan Andrews, a Veterinary Clinical Pathologist from the Raleigh area, came and spoke to our doctors and technical/nursing staff about new knowledge on obtaining and handling laboratory samples.  Our staff is always striving to improve our procedures to benefit our patients.