Q: I just have a quick question about my cat that I know Dr. Goldstein could answer in a few minutes. Can I just speak with him for 5 minutes without having to go through the formality and paperwork?
A: While Dr. Goldstein and our other veterinarians wish they could speak with the hundreds of people who contact us each week, it just isn’t possible to take all those calls and still serve the clients who do reserve appointment time for our knowledge and services. It is also illegal for us to make medical recommendations without having genuine knowledge of your cat’s medical condition. More importantly, if your pet is ill, he/she deserves our full attention – something our vets can’t provide in a 5-minute telephone call without any background knowledge of your specific animal.
Q: My dog has cancer. Can I just start him on Poly-MVA?
A: Poly-MVA is just one of the tools we employ in our fight against cancer. Poly-MVA is a legal, non-prescription supplement, so while it probably would not hurt your dog to start him on it without medical supervision, it is certainly better for you to have your dog evaluated by one of our veterinarians. Upon completion of the consultation we would better be able to make recommendations about what treatments and supplements would be most appropriate for your animal’s illness. In the case of Poly-MVA, if we felt it would be a suitable treatment, based upon on
our extensive experience with it, we would be able to specify the proper dose, a transition plan, and recommendations for monitoring your dog’s progress.
Q: My dog has an oral tumor. Why can’t I just make an appointment and come in for cryosurgery? I know it’s supposed to be great for oral, nasal and rectal tumors.
A: We can’t schedule your dog for surgery until we see him in person and evaluate his condition. Cryosurgery is an excellent surgical tool for all of the types of tumors you’ve named, but we must still see your dog before we can evaluate whether we believe cryosurgery will be safe and/or effective for your animal. The type of cancer, the size of the tumor, and its specific location are all factors that must be taken into account.
Q: My dog has bladder cancer. How many animals have you treated with bladder cancer, what did you treat them with, and what is your success rate?
A: While we are presently trying to build the computer databases necessary to accumulate this kind of statistical information, it is not currently available. As is the case with most clinical practitioners, we have been unable to compile and track such information due to the significant manpower and money that is required to do so. Statistical information, tracked over multiple years, is typically only available at universities and large research hospitals.
If you approached a local veterinarian, who had been in practice for 20 years, and asked her how many animals she had treated that had been seriously injured by cars, and how she treated them and what her success rate was, she would probably not be able to answer you. First, as a clinical practitioner, she is busy just helping the animals, not conducting research and tracking each animal by full success, partial success or death. Second, it is likely that she treated each case in a somewhat different manner depending on the animal’s specific injuries, and on the wishes/instructions of the owner. And if you asked the same questions of your nearest veterinary (or human) clinical oncologist, or clinical orthopedist, or clinical neurologist, they would probably be unable to provide you with such precise statistics either.
While Smith Ridge Veterinary Center has long specialized in treating cancer cases and other chronic, degenerative disease, we are still very much like the clinical practitioner described above. Our time and manpower have gone to treating animals, not collecting statistics. We have been able to remain in practice for over 25 years because we have helped many animals with serious disease who did not respond to conventional therapies. But we cannot help all animals or successfully treat every disease. Once we are able to responsibly review case records and see your animal, we will be able to give you, based on our years of clinical experience, an answer about whether we think we can help your dog, and what treatment options we believe might be effective.