Thursday, July 5, 2012

Communication Enhances Medical Care: Treating Finnian by Janice Cain, DVM, DACVIM

Finnian's face before.
When Nancy agreed to adopt Finnian, a handsome and affectionate cat, from a rescue group, she knew she had a battle ahead. Finnian had been tentatively diagnosed with pemphigus foliaceus, an uncommon skin disorder that causes the skin to literally peel off, leaving painful scabs and crusts behind. At the time of adoption, Finnian's skin disease was under control, but he was having serious side effects to his medication, including diabetes, and his skin was so thin that it would easily tear. After several frustrating weeks of trying to manage his condition, Finnian was in trouble. I had treated Nancy's other pets in the past, so she brought Finnian to the Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center, to see if I could assist her with this challenge. 


Finnian's face after!
We have won and lost a few of the battles with Finnian's complicated illness. Nancy has been very faithful to bring him in for numerous recheck examinations, but at times his condition would change almost daily. We constantly needed to modify his mediations and doses. We found that through intense email communication, that we have been able to form a partnership that has been extremely successful. After a severe relapse of the pemphigus, and an amazingly nasty ear infection, we finally have achieved a balance of medications that are working. Between Nancy's diligent nursing care and my counsel regarding the medical management of his numerous problems, I am happy to report that Finnian has dramatically improved. 

The art of communication is the key to any successful relationship. Today's technology strengthens the bond between veterinarian and client, allowing us to successfully manage even the most challenging of medical conditions together.   

Dr. Cain graduated from the Veterinary School at the University of California, Davis in 1984. Following a residency there she became board certified in Internal Medicine in 1989. Her special interests are Internal Medicine, Oncology, Endocrinology, and Canine Reproduction. She is a nationally recognized expert in Canine Reproduction, and has lectured at veterinary conferences around the country. She lives in Pleasanton with her husband, 3 children and their dog.