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Kids Turn Hobbies/Education

Meet Vet, Janet Tobiassen (Crosby)

Name: Janet Tobiassen (Crosby)
Title: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Small animal veterinarian with doctorate in veterinary medicine from Oregon State University. Interest areas include soft tissue surgery, genetic defects and diseases, and pet therapy for the elderly. She trained at Oregon State University, Washington State University and the Animal Medical Center in New York City. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). She is currently retired from clinic work to enjoy time with her young son (12/97), daughter (8/99), and husband.
Web Site: Veterinary Medicine at About


Chat Transcript

kidexchangeADM ok first, let me welcome and Thank Dr. Janet for coming tonight
DrJanet Thanks, Wendy
kidexchangeADM first Dr,. Janet can you tell us a wee bit about yourself...how you became a Vet and why
DrJanet I wanted to be a vet since 2nd grade - I think that is when I had a good understanding of what a vet does
DrJanet still learning about all that vets do, though! ;)
cpaw282 what is the most exotic animal u have ever worked on?
DrJanet Probably an iguana - helped another vet with it. Ferrets, too
cpaw282 ok
DrJanet I am not an exotic vet - mainly dogs and cats
kidexchangeADM DrJanet how did you know in Grade 2? did you like animals? pretend play Vet?
DrJanet LOVE animals -
kidexchangeADM Did you have animals growing up Dr. Janet?
DrJanet oh yes,....helping take care of kittens, taking care of the dog was my "chore"...my three sisters had to vacuum and do dishes etc. ;)
kidexchangeADM ok Gayle go ahead with your question please
DrJanet yes - we had tons of cats. Got my first dog (that I remembered) at age 11
GayleHOST do you have any pets of your own now?
DrJanet big horse lover too, but alas, we lived in town :(
DrJanet yes on pets now - 7 chickens, 4 geese, 4 cats, and a dog...we live in the country too (finally!)
kidexchangeADM You can see a pic of Janet and her dog here
kidexchangeADM ok cpaw you can ask your question
cpaw282 have u ever treated a Rhodesian ridgeback? do you know what kind of dog that is?
DrJanet yes, and yes
cpaw282 i have one
GayleHOST <--has one too
cpaw282 really gayle?
DrJanet they are interesting, aren't they? they have a "ridge" of hair down their spine, kind of like a cowlick
GayleHOST yes lab x ridgeback with a big ridge
cpaw282 yes they are very pretty dogs too
cpaw282 we show our two
DrJanet in 4-H or AKC?
cpaw282 have no clue, sorry
DrJanet cpaw - where do you show your dogs?
Dopey What is the minimum age at which kittens can get fixed (and YES I have unpleasant memories of this!)
DrJanet some vets do spaying and neutering as early as age 8-12 weeks, but most commonly 5-6 months
cpaw282 Dr Janet we show our dogs some where in Richmond but he is a big winner
DrJanet ahh
cpaw282 ya, well we have all of this stuff on our walls
Austin Do you have any pets off your own and do they get any extra treatment?
DrJanet Yes, I have several pets now...what do you mean by extra treatment?
DrJanet (my pets in case you missed it - 7 chickens, 4 geese, 4 cats, and a dog)
Austin like do you bring stuff from the vet home
Austin 4 dogs 2 cats several fish 1 iguana
DrJanet oh - I haven't brought any diseases home (!) but I do bring home bandage materials and some routine meds to have on hand here at home
Austin my pets
Austin ok
cpaw282 i have heard that there are only male orange tabby cats and there has never been a female one spotted before, have u heard that and if so why is that so?
DrJanet no - there are female orange tabbies - I had a beloved cat named Margaret with these markings. Maybe you are thinking of calicos - they are only female, no males
cpaw282 really?
GayleHOST wow that is interesting didn't know that
cpaw282 maybe so i have a calico kitten
DrJanet it is related to coat color genetics - only the females (XX) can carry all three of the color genes
kidexchangeADM Dr. Janet...what is a 'tabby' cat
DrJanet MY FAVORITE kind, LOL
kidexchangeADM lol ok but what does 'tabby' mean?
DrJanet they are the stripped ones, and there are variations among tabbies - mackerel tabby, etc.
DrJanet I don't know all of the variations off hand, but mackerels have a large "o" kind of in the center of their sides (bad description, but hopefully you know what I mean)
kidexchangeADM I think so Dr. thought maybe there was some kind of meaning to the word
kidexchangeADM saw a big ole tabby in the field tonight with my dogs...they can sure run!
DrJanet hmmm - I will look that up! that would be a good vet quiz question!
DrJanet the cat's guide, Franny would probably know!
kidexchangeADM true Janet bout Franny's site on Cats
GayleHOST why is it best to buy a pet from a reputable breeder ?
DrJanet many reasons! Most important is health and mental/emotional well-being of the pet
DrJanet toooo many pets are in filthy conditions, with many diseases, parasites, congenital problems, etc. and the "breeders" don't care...they just want to make a buck and be rid of the pet
GayleHOST very sad
kidexchangeADM DrJanet...for kids who are interested in becoming a Vet...what is the first step to get started at a young age?
DrJanet also, there are many problems that are genetic....an unknowing breeder can actually *breed for* unwanted and unhealthy traits, causing the new pet owner tons of $$$ to fix or to deal with (some problems can't be fixed)
kidexchangeADM wow Dr. Janet that still goes on? I know when I just bought my purebred pup they drilled ME about how I was going to make a good owner
DrJanet getting started: read all that you can - pet magazines, even pet stories. I know this sounds way hokey, but I learned a lot from reading the James Herriot series (a few times!)
DrJanet yes, Wendy - it is everywhere...ever see the "AKC rott pups" or similar by the roadside? you don't want to see where they were bred/raised
DrJanet also, getting started: I learned a ton about animal care and husbandry in 4-H - not sure what they have in Canada or other countries, but a valuable experience
kidexchangeADM that is so sad Dr Janet...
kidexchangeADM 4H is pretty much world wide
DrJanet yes, it really is
kidexchangeADM it's very big in Canada, 4H that is
RonHOST How often should you take your pets in for a regular check up?
DrJanet oh good - I highly recommend 4H! :) I was in dog 4H and you really learned about responsible animal care, training, and responsibility req'ed for taking care of pets
DrJanet pets should be seen annually by your vet - more so if they are seniors or with a health condition that needs monitoring, like heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, etc.
GayleHOST we moved to Hawaii a few years ago and our rhodesian/lab was in quarantine for 4 months, he still has separation anxiety when we leave the house, what can we do to make it easier for him, will he ever get over it?
DrJanet aww that is hard. here is a basic "how to" for sep. anxiety:
DrJanet leave your dog for very short bits - less than a minute to start. don't make a big deal about leaving or coming back, that just reinforces the separation itself
DrJanet gradually lengthen the time
DrJanet also, using a crate or confined area can actually make him feel more secure
DrJanet there are medications available for sep. anx., but that should be a last resort and only used with behavior modification
DrJanet finally, give your dog safe toys to keep him occupied in your absence.
GayleHOST we had the crate but he chewed it apart ;-) then we got a big cage... he chewed that apart
DrJanet it takes a long time, and can be frustrating, but it can be done!
DrJanet were they the commercial dog (airline carrier) crates?
DrJanet another option is the steel crate
GayleHOST he has this big I need to protect my family sense
GayleHOST Big kennel 8 feet by 6 feet
DrJanet is he aggressive?
GayleHOST no not at all
GayleHOST big crybaby
DrJanet hehe. is he anxious at other times, or just when you are gone
GayleHOST when we are getting ready to go out, even to work in the yard, or take out the garbage
GayleHOST he cries and sometimes storms the door when we open it
DrJanet oh poor guy! how long ago was the quarantine?
kidexchangeADMGayleHOST 3 years ago
DrJanet some people have had success using an herbal product called Rescue Remedy. I have used it some for previous pets...seemed to have a mild calming effect...
GayleHOST is it wrong for us to give in and just take him with us?
GayleHOST that might be worth a try I'll ask his Vet
DrJanet well, it is kind of like "credit card" parenting...easy now, pay later! :O
GayleHOST yeah, I understand well, thanks for the advice
kidexchangeADM DrJanet...is it a myth that dogs and cats don't get along? I've always had good luck with it
DrJanet you can understand when it is ok to take him and when it isn't...he can't...he thinks he should be there all of the time.
DrJanet Gayle - you might want to talk to your vet...with the duration and degree of your problem, and see about medication in conjunction with training
GayleHOST he has been a lot better since we got our second dog, not wrecking the house and stuff
GayleHOST now he has some company
DrJanet good!
GayleHOST we work at home which is a blessing he never is alone more than an hour
DrJanet Wendy...I think it is a myth in the sense that so many dogs and cats get along just fine. They are all individuals, though and some dogs really hate cats, some cats really hate dogs
kidexchangeADM how do you feel about declawing cats DrJanet.....
DrJanet Gayle - we work at home too, and that made one of our dogs (long time ago) worse with sep. anx. :(
GayleHOST oh-no ;-)
DrJanet I have declawed many cats. Are my cats declawed? no.
kidexchangeADM I can see that happening with the sep anxiety...you are with more so it's harder when you are not
kidexchangeADM kinda like kids who are never babysat :)
DrJanet yes on both counts, Wendy!
GayleHOST hehehe.. have a couple of those too Wen
kidexchangeADM lol Gayle you are too easy!! [like me]
DrJanet re:declawing - I have my set "limits" about declawing - young cats, preferably 6 mo and less than a year, not overweight. They heal rapidly, with rarely any problems

Continue reading Chat Transcript....


You can read the interview with Dr. Janet here.