One of my “pet peeves” as a vet is people who tell me, “I don’t want my pet to have an exam today, I just want the vaccines”. Essentially they are saying they want me to just give “Fluffy” her shots without doing a physical exam. Most of the time it’s money driven since the exam costs more than the vaccines and people want to save a buck or two. However, I have to believe that these people also don’t understand the importance of the physical exam.
First of all, we never just give vaccines without a physical exam. Injecting a vaccine into a living being is not a benign event. Important things happen in the body when a vaccine is given! Therefore it is VERY important that a vet makes sure your pet is healthy before injecting a biologically active substance into them.
Secondly, the exam is the most important part! I cannot tell you how may times I have found “problems” in a dog or cat that was just in for it’s annual exam and vaccines. Most of the time they are not life threatening problems, like dental disease or luxating patella, but they still need to be addressed. Obesity is another one, though this one can lead to life treating complications. Just yesterday I was examining a dog prior to giving the annual vaccines and I found two mammary tumours…I won’t elaborate but that is NOT a good thing.
Cats and dogs will not come out and tell their owners that their vision is getting fuzzy. They won’t be able to articulate that they have had a throbbing tooth ache for months. They won’t be able to let you know that they have an enlarged lymph node or an arrhythmia or a heart murmur or a thyroid nodule, until it’s too late. These are all conditions that can be treated and/or managed fairly successfully if diagnosed early on.
So please get your pet in for a head to tail exam at least once a year. And remember that the physical exam is the most important part and it’s worth every penny!
Here is an awesome article about this very topic. I posted it on Facebook this week and people really liked it: http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/lifestyle/how-tell-if-you-have-awesome-vet
Now for a new recipe. I made some oatmeal chocolate cookie bars this week and shared them with my co-workers and my brother-in-law (for his birthday). I had to try to give them all away so they’re not hanging around our house while Sean is in the middle of his work-out/weight-loss bet. I must say that they were amazingly delicious. I cooked them for 25 minutes but I did cover the pan with tin foil with about 10 minutes left of baking time because I didn’t want the top layer to get overcooked. They turned out so soft and moist because of it. The middle layer of gooey chocolate was the best part. They were just perfect! I think everybody should make these and eat lots of them 🙂 I am eating one as I type this.
Deep Dish Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie Bars
Ingredients for the Cookie Batter:
2 sticks butter
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
3 cups oatmeal
Mix the butter, eggs and brown sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Slowly incorporate the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well. I used a stand mixer since it’s quite thick.
Ingredients for the chocolate filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (typically one bag is just shy of 2 cups)
Melt the sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla and chocolate chips in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly until they are melted and mixed together well.
Spread 3/4 of the cookie batter on the bottom of a buttered 13×9 pan. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cookie batter and spread the remainder of the cookie batter on top (it won’t cover completely-use a knife to spread it over the chocolate). The top tends to get done before the cookie bars are completely cooked, so you should put aluminum foil over it for the last ten or so if it looks like it’s browning too much. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely before cutting.