Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Continuing Education

Like doctors who work on the human species, veterinarians need to continually update their skills. For Dr. Karnia to renew her license, she must regularly attend seminars, conferences and workshops, demonstrating that she is keeping current with developments in technology, diagnostics and industry standards. That’s why we occasionally block out a day or two to allow the doctor to attend these functions.

On October 17th and 18th, Dr. Karnia attended a two-day conference at Scottsdale’s Valley Ho resort. “Feline Fine: A Marriage of Medicine and Well-Being” was organized by the North American Veterinary Conference and Dr. Margie Scherk, a board-certified* feline practitioner who lectures around the world. The complete life span of cats was addressed from neonates to end-of-life issues. In-depth coverage was given to a few medical topics, including diabetes, renal insufficiency, and lower urinary tract disease. Dr. Scherk also discussed various practice tips for handling cats and providing a less stressful visit to the clinic.

It’s just as important to us as it is to you that we are giving your cat the very best that the veterinarian community offers. And it’s not just Dr. Karnia that participates in continuing education. We make sure our staff are continually updating their skills. We regularly have meetings where we invite product representatives to let us know about new developments in their area. Representatives from Royal Canin, Purina and Hills recently visited the clinic to talk about the various diets we recommend. Merial, who provides us with most of our vaccines as well as Heartgard and Frontline products, talked to us about the extensive research they conduct for their vaccines.

For more intensive training, we send our technicians to seminars and workshops specifically focused on their role in the hospital. Even the front office gets into the act. We want to make sure we are running an efficient and enthusiastic business, so we study up on client relations, streamlining costs, and marketing (writing blog posts, for instance, to keep clients informed). This spring, nearly the entire clinic staff will attend the American Animal Hospital Association conference in downtown Phoenix. We’re fortunate to have the conference in central Arizona, and all of us will take advantage of the four days of lectures, exhibits and workshops.

We do this because we want you to be secure in the knowledge that your cat is receiving the best care possible at the Scottsdale Cat Clinic, and that you as our client are treated with the utmost respect.

*Board-certified means really smart and really knowledgeable. Basically, Dr. Scherk had to pass a horrifically difficult test and present a number of case studies in feline medicine to a bunch of strict, sober and decidedly unfrivolous ladies and gentlemen just looking to deny her accreditation. She now specializes in feline medicine—a top gun of the cat vet set.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pet Food Politics

Marion Nestle has written what sounds like a fascinating book about last year's pet food contamination. The book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, reveals how the crisis that caused so much illness in pets should be a warning siren for the global food supply. The complex interconnections of our food supply means that we are in no way isolated, and the problems that seemed like just a cat and dog issue could easily effect us. In fact, Nestle mentions that some of the tainted pet food from last year did make its way into the human food supply, being fed to farm animals destined for human consumption.

This could be the 21st Century's version of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Even now we read stories about baby formula contaminated with the same substance, melamine, tainting that product. Here at the clinic, one of our suppliers has discontinued a diet based on rabbit because the only consistent supplier with enough quantities is China, and they cannot verify the quality of the meat. We'll be reading it here at the clinic, just to find out more about how globalization changes everything, even your cat.

You can hear Marion Nestle interviewed on the radio program Here and Now at this link:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pet Food Recall

Mars Petcare has issued a recall for its brands listed below.

Paws & Claws
Natural Cat Food
Members Mark
Red Flannel
Country Acres
Special Kitty
Buju & Ziggie
Pet Pride
PMI Nutrition
Doggy Bag

The food is being voluntarily recalled for possible contamination with salmonella. Not all products are being recalled. If you have any food, please go to the Mars Petcare website:
There you will find information about lot numbers and specific products that are covered.

From the looks of things, it appears to be a precautionary measure, with the company saying that as of now, there has been no direct link to any illness. Everyone's just trying to be on the safe side.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact us or another veterinarian.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Help Wanted, August '08

Veterinary Technician
The Scottsdale Cat Clinic is looking for a full-time experienced veterinary technician to join our practice. Our technicians work closely with clients, developing and nurturing relationships with both people and pets. We expect our technicians to have the same connections with our clients as our doctor does. Our practice has a strong focus on client education, including nutrition, dental health, and behavioral well-being.

Our practice is committed to developing technicians to their maximum potential. Our goal is to have our technicians perform all technical and animal care duties to free our doctor to concentrate on the medical and surgical needs of the cat. We are looking for someone who is knowledgeable, skilled, efficient, and willing to supervise and train other technicians and staff. Experience with blood drawing, catheter placement, taking radiographs, performing lab tests, surgery preparation, monitoring anesthesia, and dental procedures is required. You must possess a good rapport with cats and the ability to calmly handle and restrain our more excitable patients.

As an exclusively feline practice, you gain the opportunity to specialize in one species, to become an expert in cat care. We are dedicated to furthering the education of our employees and will encourage and aid you in developing your skills.

Our clinic is still very young. This is your chance to help shape our practice and our culture. You can grow with us.

We offer paid vacation and sick days, health insurance, continuing education, and discounts on pet care.

We are an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourage bilingual candidates to apply.

Requirements for the job include:
• An enthusiastic, warm, and compassionate personality
• Comfort in a fast-paced environment
• Good computer skills
• Ability to do some heavy lifting

What we need from you:
A cover letter and a resume sent to:
Scottsdale Cat Clinic
Attn Human Resources
4002 N. Miller Rd, suite 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Thanks to all of you that applied. We had a lot of fabulous applicants, and we believe we hired a great person.

Microchip Your Cat

If you haven't done so already, now is a good time to microchip your cat.

HomeAgain will donate $1 to the Winn Feline Foundation for every cat that is microchipped and enrolled as a HomeAgain full service member during the months of June, July and August.

“HomeAgain knows that, in our database, cats are underrepresented in comparison to the number of lost and found cat reports we receive,” says Steve Shell, vice-president and general manager of HomeAgain. “Twenty-two percent of pets in the HomeAgain database are cats, but we actually keep more cats than dogs as companion pets in the US. Cats are not as well identified as dogs, with collars and tags, or with microchips and registration, putting them at great risk of never getting reunited with their owners if ever lost."

The Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established 40 years ago by the Cat Fanciers’ Assoc. to promote the health and welfare of cats through education and research. Veterinarians and cat owners benefit every day from research funded by Winn. For more on cat health, visit Winn Feline Foundation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pet Insurance in the News

In our most recent newsletter, we had a long article about pet insurance. In that article, we laid out the benefits of having pet insurance and what to consider when buying a plan.

This week, the East Valley Tribune has a couple of articles on the same subject.

In the first, "What's a pet worth?", writer Mandy Zajac discusses the cost of treating her golden retriever at a cardiologist and an internist. The costs can quickly add up for diagnosis and treatment.

In the second, "Is pet insurance a good thing?", Zajac lays out a lot of the same issues we discussed in our newsletter. She even talks to a representative from Embrace Pet Insurance, one of the companies we recommend.

The upshot of both articles is that medical care for your pet can be costly. Pet insurance may not be for everyone, but it does eliminate the awful moment of deciding that necessary medical care cost more than you can afford. With pet insurance, that decision goes away, and you know that your cat is getting the best care possible.

If you have any questions about pet insurance, read the article in our newsletter and follow the helpful links to some companies we recommend. Also feel free to call our clinic, and we can point you to some resources as well. We can't make financial decisions for you, unfortunately, but we can help you understand how pet insurance works.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is Dr. Karnia's birthday!

And she's working. That's how much she loves the cats.

Stop by, type an email, pick up the phone, send her those cool birthday envelopes made just the right size for $20 bills.

Happy Birthday Dr. Karnia...14 professional years (and many more as an amateur) healing the animal kingdom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pet Insurance

Tomorrow morning we'll be training the staff in aspects of pet insurance. We just sent out our newsletter where we posted lots of pet insurance facts, and now we want to arm the staff with lots of knowledge for our clients. In that most recent newsletter we recommended three companies that we thought were pretty good.

Since then, I've been more and more impressed with Embrace Pet Insurance. From the side of the veterinarian looking to find out more for her clients, they have been remarkably helpful, professional and exceptional. As a relatively new clinic, we haven't had much experience with clients using pet insurance, but if Embrace treats their clients as well as they've treated us in learning about their company, they'll be a tough company to beat.

For the record, we've also been pleased with our two other choices to recommend.

PetFirst Health Care, and PetPlan Pet Insurance. Petplan has the added benefit of being endorsed by Scott's veterinary hero (what, you don't have a veterinary hero?) Dr. Ernie Ward.

Scott would like to add that his wife is his first veterinary hero, but Ernie comes in a close second (what, a guy can't have two veterinary heroes?).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our New Cat Concierge

Last month, we put out a call for a new receptionist for the clinic. We were amazed at the response we received. We had over 200 applicants for the position! Choosing the final candidate was tough, but we are pleased to welcome Valerie Handley to the staff. You can read a bit about her below.

And we especially want to thank those of you that chose to submit a resume or offer to help us in other ways. The Scottsdale Cat Clinic has had a wonderful first year thanks to you all, and we are touched that so many of you not only trust us with your pets, but also liked us enough to want to work with us. I wish we could have hired more of you.

The Clinic is growing again. This week we are interviewing for a veterinary technician, so we'll have a new member to introduce to you shortly.

Cat Concierge

Valerie Handley

Valerie has recently joined the clinic after making the decision to follow her life-long aspirations working in the animal field. She graduated from ASU and then spent a number of years in sales before making the jump to the veterinary field. Having two rambunctious cats herself, Nala and Lucky, as well as three dogs, Mack, Riley and Carmen, she is eager to help out with your cat in any way possible. Recently married, she and her husband, Ben, live nearby in Scottsdale and enjoy walking their dogs and letting their kitties roam the backyard. Now that she's a part of the clinic, family and friends have set up a betting pool, gambling on when she will bring home her third cat.

Goodbye and Good Luck
We also want to say goodbye to Jaime Vasche and wish her luck in her new endeavours. Jaime helped us tremendously, from before we opened through our first year struggles. We couldn't have made it this far without her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Recession Proof Your Pet

Yes, I used the "R" word in the title of this post, but that doesn't mean I've lost hope.

Yet, with a mortgage crisis, high gasoline costs and food prices that keep going up (that cat food's starting to look tasty and at the right price), it helps to have a plan for the financial element of pet care. Here are a few tips to keep your cat from breaking your bank.

1. Semi-annual exams.
Sure, on the surface it sounds like just spending money on a healthy cat, but what looks like a healthy cat to you might be a cat that is cleverly disguising her condition. A thorough examination can save you money in the long run. Your vet can identify diseases and conditions before they become serious--and expensive to treat. By the time your cat shows signs of illness, her condition may be quite advanced and costly to correct. Consider complete blood and urine tests as well. By nature, clinical examinations are subjective. Lab work is completely objective data that can show changes long before they become visible.

In addition to this, your vet can always recommend ways to maintain and improve your pet's health.

2. Keep your cat thin.
Obesity causes many problems in cats, from diabetes and high blood pressure to arthritis and even cancer. All of these are expensive to treat and can erode the quality of life for your cat. Yet it costs very little to have your pet maintain a healthy weight. Consult with your vet to learn what your cat's ideal weight should be, and how many calories you should be feeding him. You might be surprised at the size of the portion. And get your cat exercising. Play with him, provide a cat tree for her to climb, let them run around a bit. Keeping the excess pounds off will helpl them live longer and decrease your vet bills.

3. Feed your cat premium pet food.
It might seem like a good deal to buy the cheaper brands of cat food, but vomiting and diarrhea are not fun. Many problems with the digestive track can be traced back to poor quality food. The best foods will cost a bit more, but not nearly as much as treating a GI disorder. Consult with your veterinary team to determine the best diet for your cat.

4. Consider Pet Insurance.
Pet insurance is there for two things: the unexpected and the expensive. We certainly hate to see owners confronted with the dilemma of whether or not they can afford a specialist for a serious illness. Pet insurance can really help in these situations. Many pet insurance companies offer complete coverage for all breeds. But the key is to get your pet insured before she develops a medical condition. Otherwise, your pet gets saddled with a "pre-existing condition" label, and coverage may not be available. We recommend looking at the plans that have low annual premiums and higher deductibles. Insurance for maintenance visits may not be practical, but having it in an emergency can make all the difference.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Help Wanted

Receptionist / Client Services Associate

The Scottsdale Cat Clinic was founded one year ago to provide exceptional veterinary care exclusively for cats. In one short year we’ve established a strong client base—a self-selected group of pet owners who desire the very best for their cats. Our clients are exceptional people who value their cats beyond measure. We treat them and their cats as one of our family members. To meet our clients’ demands, we are equipped with the latest technology, including digital radiology and laser surgery as well as access to the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment available. We are also a paperless office, with all our medical records kept digitally.

The Scottsdale Cat Clinic is also committed to developing our employees into skilled, adept veterinary professionals. We value smart, talented and caring people who can join our team at the epitome of veterinary care. If you love cats and you love people, a career at Scottsdale Cat Clinic is for you. Imagine a job where you will participate in the joys of helping people care for their pets, and where you can have the daily satisfaction of knowing you made a cat’s life better. Plus you will enjoy the rewards of professional development and personal quality of life.

Our clinic is located on the east side of downtown Scottsdale, the heart of the East Valley. Our facility is brand new and just a block or two away from the Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale Stadium, the Scottsdale Public Library, and Old Town Scottsdale. Work in the exciting and sparkling center of the Scottsdale lifestyle.

Receptionist/Client Services Associate
(Cat Concierge, Cat Counselor, Cat Consigliere)

As one of our Client Service Associates you will welcome our clients and their pets when they arrive. You will be the first impression of the clinic, receiving the client to our home. Our clients will come to know you as their friend on the inside of the operation. You will also be responsible for coordinating the flow of clients through the clinic, understanding and finessing the demands of our clients, technicians and veterinarians. You will be the conductor of the orchestra.

On the phone, you will be the warm, friendly voice that reassures our clients and potential clients that they have found the perfect place for the care of their cat. In those few moments you will be a teacher, educating them about our clinic and encouraging them in their desire for a healthy and happy pet.

Away from the front desk, you will be an administrative whiz, working with ease with our management software. You will confirm appointments, schedule check-ups, review inventory and prepare estimates. You will be the person that knows how to do things, earning the respect and love of your peers.

You will be valued, richly compensated and admired. All this plus you get to play with cats.

We offer paid vacation and sick days, health insurance, continuing education, and discounts on pet care. Compensation range is $11-$15 or more depending upon experience.

The position is full-time, but we will consider part-time for exceptional candidates.

We are an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourage bilingual candidates to apply.

Requirements for the job include:
∑ An enthusiastic, warm, and compassionate personality
∑ Comfort in a fast-paced environment
∑ Some college education
∑ Good computer skills
∑ Ability to do some heavy lifting

What we need from you:
A cover letter and a resume sent to:
Scottsdale Cat Clinic
Attn Human Resources
4002 N. Miller Rd, suite 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Stop working for just a paycheck and start doing something you love.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Cat Whisperer

From comes this fascinating article about a cat behaviorist. Mieshelle Nagelschneider opened up her Cat Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon and has now signed a deal with a television network to show off her skills.

Nagelschneider is particularly adept at diagnosing behavior problems with cats and finding subtle yet powerful ways to encourage better behavior. She's not a pet psychic or even a trainer. What she does, and what all good pet owners can do with a little help, is understand the feline mind.

Kristin Weir, the author of the piece, writes about trying to correct her cat's behavior. Thompson's like a lot of cats we know:

Thompson grew into a wildly affectionate, completely lovable, moderately rotund adult cat. He outgrew most of his extreme behaviors, but one trait persisted. Thompson is a biter. He bites frequently and hard. As I climb into bed at night, he'll dart from a dark corner and lock his jaws around my ankle, ears back and eyes wide, like a lion taking down a wounded gazelle. But five minutes later, all is forgotten.

We see Thompsons all the time. And their frustrated owners. On occasion, we do find medical reasons for their behavior, but sometimes it is just a personality issue.

Weir describes a two week course, led by Nagelschneider, that gradually rewarded Thompson for his good behavior, and discouraged his bad behavior:

One thing that I immediately liked about Nagelschneider's approach was her assertion that we focus on rewards, not punishment. She suggested a few "aversive techniques" to try when Thompson misbehaved, but they were pretty mild -- rattling a soda can filled with quarters to startle him, or simply ignoring him altogether. "We don't want to traumatize him," she explained. "The idea is to achieve the desired results with the least amount of invasive measures possible."

This pro-active approach made sense to Alice Moon-Fanelli, a clinical assistant professor of animal behavior at Tufts University. "Cats are very responsive to positive reinforcement," she said. "Usually what happens is the pet gets attention when it's doing something wrong."

This, of course, is nothing earth shattering, but Nagelschneider does bring some interesting theories to her program. In Thompson's case, she does some quick feline psychoanalysis.

But as we discussed his habits and quirks, one theory emerged above the others as a likely diagnosis: Thompson had low self-esteem. As Nagelschneider described it, Thompson's apparent lack of confidence could explain his dizzying alternations between clinginess and viciousness. When he followed me from room to room and jumped on my desk 15 times a day, he was looking to be reassured of my affections. When he attacked, he was acting out in an attempt to control me, like a playground bully knocking the skinny kid down to boost himself up.

Like the dog whisper and horse whisperer that came before her, Nagelschneider reinforces something that we too often forget when dealing with animals. We are better pet owners when we try to see it from their point of view. Patience, attention and love will allow us to understand much about our cats.

I encourage you to read the article in full--if only to see how one scientist ranks cats as similar to pigeons and cockroaches.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Travelin' On

We want to say goodbye to one of the Scottsdale Cat Clinic family. Jasper, one of our resident felines has decided to pursue other offers. In truth, Jasper had grown too big and too important for our small clinic. He was receiving offers we just couldn't match. We quickly felt like the Milwaukee Brewers with a hot prospect we couldn't afford to sign. I like to think Jasper's out there somewhere in pinstripes--hopefully with the Cubs.

In truth, Jasper was a pretty shy young cat when we adopted him. He was one of the guests of honor at our Grand Opening, and we thought he'd make a great addition to the staff. But as the months wore on, Jasper became more and more bold. Lots of you, I'm sure, saw him run out and greet your cats as they arrived for exams or surgeries. While he was friendly, Jasper was also particularly keen to let these other cats know they were in his house. He accomplished this in the usual feline manner; with the occasional spray.

Jasper was also a handful in the back office. Once he became comfortable in his clinic home, he expected a lot of play time. We found it hard to get on with work with our young black cat draped all over us. Jasper also had a love-hate relationship with Margie, our dignified senior calico. Jasper loved teasing Margie, and Margie just flat out hated Jasper. Who knows what havoc was wrought in those long nights when the clinic doors were shut. Eventually we realized that Jasper was the Shawn Marion of our team (to mix sports metaphors). He was incredibly talented, but unhappy with his role. We had to let him go.

Our thanks to Shannon for enthusiastically negotiating Jasper's trade. Good luck and Godspeed to you, little black fellow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Save Your Life: Get a Cat

A new study suggests that cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who don't own cats.

A new study from the University of Minnesota says that feline owners had a 30% lower risk of death from a heart attack than those without a cat. Dog owners, however, showed the same rates of death.

We aren't ones to jump on a possible post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, but I think we all know that cats just make life that much better.

And, I'm sure dogs are of great comfort to lots of people. We would never suggest that owning a dog is risky behavior. Some people like to bungee jump and skydive. There's all sorts in this world.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Scottsdale Cat Clinic - Scottsdale, AZ

We made it on to Yelp. Thanks for the two reviews you guys gave us. We're glad you enjoyed coming to see us. We talked about that gymnastic cat for the rest of the week.

And the rest of you...if you liked us, we wouldn't be irritated if you raved about us on this and every other website that will have you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dental Health Month

Save 10% on Dental Treatments in February

It's the month-long celebration everyone anticipates. Well, probably not, but February is Dental Health Month for your cat. Now is a good time to schedule your family feline for a cleaning. It's easy to overlook our cats' teeth. And for some of us, we'd just as soon stay away from those pointy fangs. But good dental health is essential for the overall health and comfort of your cat. Give your cat a bright smile in February, and we'll give you 10% off the dental treatment. That includes x-rays, cleaning, anesthesia, and any teeth extractions we might recommend.

Call the clinic at 480-970-1175 to schedule your cat's dental treatment.

Check Out That Bright Feline Smile

Good oral health care can increase your cat's life span. Gingivitis and dental lesions can, of course, cause pain and discomfort for your cat, but it's not just your cat's teeth that are at risk. Inflammation and infection of the gums can lead to heart, kidney, and liver problems as bacteria and toxins travel through the bloodstream and to your cat's organs. 70% of cats have gum disease by the time they are three years old. Left untreated, many pets suffer silently and age prematurely. Preventing and treating dental disease will keep you cat healthier and improve his or her quality of life.

Good dental health requires professional cleaning and consistent home care.

If tartar and gingivitis (common problems in cats) are already present, your cat will need a professional cleaning under anesthesia. This includes both a visual exam and a complete set of x-rays of the teeth. These x-rays allow us to see any hidden problems as well as enabling us to plan the most effective treatment. The teeth are then cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler and polished.

Frequently, we will see lesions on the teeth that are painful for the cat and can lead to infection. For the benefit of the cat, it is necessary to remove these teeth.

At the end of the procedure, the mouth is rinsed and a sealant called Oravet is applied to every tooth, preventing plaque from quickly returning.

At home, you can keep your cat's teeth healthy and clean by feeding them high-quality food, dental chews and even brushing their teeth. We can suggest a number of products that can make it easier to keep your cat's teeth pearly white.

Rinses, Gels, Chews and Brushes

The Scottsdale Cat Clinic offers a variety of products to help you keep your cat's teeth clean. At the end of each dental cleaning, we apply a sealant called Oravet to your cat's teeth. We also offer a home care version of this same sealant that you can apply to your cat's teeth on a weekly basis. The waxy substance helps keep those teeth free of plaque and the buildup of tartar.

But it doesn't stop there. We also have gels that reduce gum inflammation and help with mouth odors--a plus for a species fond of fish-based foods. Special dental diets from Hills, Purina and Royal Canin exercise the teeth and are formulated to scrape plaque away. Dental chews also exercise the teeth and help fight bacteria. We even carry cat toothbrushes and toothpaste. And if your cat isn't the sort that will take to brushing, we have rinses that you can add to your cat's water dish.

You've got a lot of options for keeping those teeth in good shape. Let us help you find what works for you and your pet.

Feline Dental Health Websites

Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

Pet Dentistry

More and More Pet Dentistry

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dr. Jane Brunt and the CATalyst Summit

According to an American Veterinary Medical Association recent survey, the percentage of cat-owning households that received NO veterinary care was 36.3%. That's over twice as many as dog-owning households. In response to this alarming statistic, the American Association of Feline Practitioners is launching the CATalyst Summit to promote the health and well-being of cats. Topics discussed will include why cats' needs are going unmet and how existing stereotypes regarding cats can be rectified.

Dr. Jane Brunt, past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, spoke with PetLife Radio about the upcoming CATalyst Summit and cat care.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl

The hubbub has finally died down, and all those crazy Northeasterners have shipped back to the cold and snowy East Coast. We had some fun wandering around, seeing how the runaway freight train remodeled our downtown.

The game was enjoyable to watch, but when are we going to get a Super Bowl featuring the Bengals against the Lions? Or how about the Jaguars versus the Panthers? Now that would be a Super Bowl worth watching. None of these mediocre names like "Giants" or "Patriots." More cats in the NFL!

And not so many birds.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

From Orlando

We're in Orlando this week at the North America Veterinary Conference. That means 3 conference centers, 400 speakers, 50 hands-on laboratories and workshops, 1400 hours of education over five days. That means 10 conference hotels, 40 buses running 7 different shuttle routes, 3 dollar candy bars, 2 very tired Scottsdale Cat Clinic employees, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Oh yeah!

So far, Dr. Karnia has spent an entire day learning new techniques and skills in a laser surgery laboratory. She's been to panels on chronic sinusitis, intestinal biopsies, and anesthesia protocols. Lots of fun.

I've been inundated with advice and recommendations on providing exceptional client services. I've learned about eye contact, body language and proper greetings. I hope next time we meet, I manage to say "Hello" in the proper manner.

We've walked the exhibit floor, talking to pet insurance brokers, software managers, and dental instrument hawkers.

And we still have three more days to go.

It's exhausting, but when we sit down at dinner or in our hotel room, both of us are very excited about all the new ideas we have to bring to you and especially to your cats. The NVAC is one of the largest conferences in the country, and the sheer amount of brain power is impressive. We're tapping into some of the best ways to treat your pet.

So we suffer through early mornings, bad coffee, way, way overpriced lunches, and long rides on seemingly endless shuttle bus routes. We do all of this to make your veterinary hospital the best it can be.

We look forward to seeing you when we come back home.

P.S. For being a southern state, it sure is cold down here. It may have something to do with all the presidential primary campaigning going on, but I can't be certain.