Who is Dr. Barb

Science Geek, Animal Lover, Kind-Hearted Veterinarian

About the Science

dr-barbI grew up with a doctor for a Dad, and spent many dinner conversations becoming fascinated with how bodies work. As I entered my teen years and started reading books on veterinary medicine, the discussions turned more to comparisons between animals and people! I am a confirmed Science Geek with an interest in many branches of science; I love that I have a career that challenges me to keep learning, and presents puzzles to solve on a regular basis.

About the Bond

The bond between people and their animals has always been important to me – animals have always been a big part of my life. My horse, when I was a teenager, was my escape and my solace from all the stress and anxiety that goes along with being an adolescent. My assorted “fur-friends” have seen me through the best as well as the most difficult times of my life. I am committed to supporting the bond between people and their pets. I want pet parents to feel empowered in the care of their pets, to understand their pets’ issues and what they can do about them. I want to address the frustrations that can get in the way of a good relationship with a pet, when unpleasant behaviours arise. The love and companionship of a pet can be an enrichment to any person’s life. My goal is to see that friendship flourish, and last in comfort and health for as long as possible.

My Crew

I live now in Oak Ridges, with my wonderful and supportive partner, my two boys, and his little boy. Our busy household is rounded out by the members wearing fur, scales and a shell: 2 dogs (the little one rules the big one!), 2 cats*, 2 very large goldfish plus a tank full of cichlids, and Danny the red-eared slider turtle.

Three of my furries are rescues:

Isora

isora-profile Isora, a little Japanese Chin, was an SPCA Puppy Mill rescue. When they brought her in, she had a perforated ulcer in her eye. They were unable to save her eye, it was surgically removed. She also suffered from hernias out of both sides of her groin, that caused hard swellings along both sides of her belly. The first concern was that these masses were breast cancer; on biopsy, they turned out to be entrapped and dying fat tissue, bulging through and pinched off by the hernia holes. Isora had surgery to remove the herniated tissue, close the holes, and get her spay done.

Em-Em

emem-profile Em-Em is an object lesson: a vet should not bring her kids to work! I was working just a half-day on a PA day, and so let my two boys tag along to work with me. A stray kitten had been found and brought in, and was waiting for Animal Control to come and pick her up. “Moooommm, she’s so cute! Moooooommmm, can we keep her?” Her name is the initials M.M., for Miniature Moriarty – the kids thought she looked like Mori, our elderly cat that had died of mouth cancer a short time before.

Skygge

skyge-profile Skygge (pronounced SKUga, Danish for shadow) was my “first baby” – before I ever had kids, he was the one I got up for to do 4 am feedings. He was brought in by a client of mine, who had found a litter of abandoned kittens. One was already dead, two were weak but he could get them to eat, and one, this one, was too weak to eat. He brought the kitten to me, and I found that this little 2 week old baby had pneumonia. I put him on antibiotics, fed him by stomach tube until he was strong enough to nurse from a bottle, and carried him back and forth from work for several weeks in a snug little cardboard box lined with towels and containing hot water bottles.

I am sorry to announce that my dear Skygge passed away on April 10th, 2013, as these web pages were being written. He was 15½ years old. He succumbed to FATE: Feline Aortic Thromboemobolism. This is a tricky and insidious condition, in which outwardly healthy cats develop an abnormality in their heart that lets a blood clot form. The clot breaks loose and blocks the aorta, where it branches to the back legs, causing hind limb paralysis and circulatory failure. My boy ended as he began, being carried back and forth with me in a carrier with hot water bottles, as I attempted medical treatment every 4 hours to try and save his life. He is sorely missed by my whole family.

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