Back in the saddle again

Pete Keesling

When I chose to retire a few years back, many of my friends smiled skeptically and told me it wouldn’t last long. I shrugged off those doubters; after all, there were plenty of things to keep me busy. But you know, I really couldn’t stay away. I tried relief work, filling in for colleagues who wanted a day off. And, of course, I kept writing this column and doing some radio work here and there.

Four years later I’ve gone nearly full circle, returning to practice again in San Martin where I enjoyed so many years doing what gives me so much pleasure. Yep, occasional relief work for friends just wasn’t enough.

So I’m back in my old office once again, working on a limited basis. Guess I need to give this “retired” thing a little more thought. For now, a part-time work schedule affords me the opportunity to stay involved, yet have some time to do my projects at home.

I’m working with several young veterinarians who bring an incredible combination of talent and energy to the clinic. Add to that a fresh, energetic staff and it’s all good. I’m enjoying the camaraderie and the challenge that I missed these past few years.

Yep, it’s good to be back in the saddle again. Besides, clinic work gives me all kinds of stories for this column. And here’s this week’s questions…


Our dog, Tweaker, has been trying to vomit for about a week. She’s eating normal and seems to feel good otherwise. I thought maybe she ate some bad food, but she should have recovered by now, right? So what’s wrong? What can we do for her?


Even though Tweaker feels healthy, her repeated attempts to vomit means she has some sort of a health problem. The list of possibilities is a long one; it could be a viral or even a parasitic infection. She may have inflammatory bowel disease or the early signs of a stomach or intestinal ulcer. But hopefully, it’s something simple. So before you go to the vet, here’s something you should try at home.

First, withhold all food for about 8 hours. Let her stomach rest. Water is okay; we don’t want her to dehydrate. Then try feeding her small amounts of a very bland diet. Boil some white rice and add a tiny amount of cottage cheese. Give her just a small spoonful every hour or two. Remember, her stomach is inflamed, so we don’t want to stretch it with a big meal. More important, don’t let her have anything else to eat for at least 24 hours (and don’t let her chew on any grass or plants!). If she stops vomiting, you can add some of her regular food to her diet on the second day. But if the vomit persists, a trip to the vet will be needed to determine the cause of her stomach upset.


What’s your favorite pet? 


We’ve had quite a few pets (Rumpy the cat, Doctor Dog, Pebbles the bulldog, Shadow the burro, Cuzco the llama, Mocha the horse, Freddie the cow). I just don’t know how to pick one out of such a diverse group. So let’s put it this way. My favorite pet has always been the four-legged kind. I like ’em all!

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