Our pet publication, Feathers Fins and Fur, began publishing the Ask the Vet column in the summer of 2010. Offering suggestions for pet issues, such as hairballs, and educating our readers on an assortment of health and behavior topics, this column is dedicated to the concerns of the audience. Dr. Teller has been a valuable asset for Feathers Fins and Fur, answering readers’ questions for the last year and a half.
Here’s your chance to learn more about our veterinarian!
MPK: Our readers know you simply as “Ask the Vet”. Do you specialize in any areas?
DT: I am board-certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline medicine. This means I’ve done extra study on the medical problems in dogs and cats. Some people specialize in certain organ systems, such as cardiologists and the heart or neurologists and the brain, but I specialize in 2 species, canines and felines.
MPK: You cover so many topics in Ask the Vet. Is there a particular area of interest in the veterinary world that you most enjoy?
DT: I have a particular fondness for gastrointestinal diseases, pain management, and the problems of our senior pets. There are many different reasons for our pets to have vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or other issues related to the GI tract. An animal’s response to pain is something we learn more and more about all the time, and there are so many options now for providing relief and keeping animals comfortable, whether it’s related to acute pain from trauma or the chronic pain of osteoarthritis. As our knowledge base and medical technology advance, our pets are living longer and longer lives. They develop many of the chronic diseases that humans do, so it is very rewarding to manage these patients and maintain a very good quality of life for them well into their twilight years. I also greatly enjoy cytology. When a dog or cat presents with an abnormal growth, mass, lump, or bump, I can take a needle aspirate and examine the cells under the microscope (cytology) to determine if they are benign or malignant, and in some cases, even determine what type of tumor it is.
MPK: What do you like best about being a veterinarian?
DT: Every day is a new day. It brings different patients with different problems. The great thing about dogs and cats is that no 2 are alike. Their personalities are unique. I could have 3 patients come in with vomiting and all 3 could be from different causes and require different diagnostics and therapeutics. I also love knowing that I can make a difference in the health and welfare of animals. It is great fun to have a first time puppy or kitten owner come in and have the chance to discuss all the things involved in raising the newest member of the family. It is particularly rewarding to watch as humans and their animals bond and the deep love that develops between them. It is wonderful being able to strengthen and maintain that bond throughout an animal’s life. I also enjoy getting to know the people who care for their pets. There are some wonderful clients who are incredibly devoted to their pets and want to work as a team to ensure the best for their dog or cat.
MPK: What is the most unique animal that you have treated?
DT: We had a rescued tiger club briefly. It had been confiscated from someone who had obtained it illegally and was providing inadequate care for it. We kept it and cared for it until the appropriate wildlife facility was located to take over his long term care.
MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?
DT: I love to travel! My favorite trips have been to Africa and the Galapagos. We also spend time every year in Colorado. I love trips where I can get out and do things, such as hiking in the mountains or learning about another culture. We live in a fascinating world, and there are always new things to learn. I’m a knowledge sponge, and I can never know enough.