Dr. Crusoe here. As you hopefully heard, I’m leaving on tour starting April 17th to travel across Canada to raise awareness for flea and tick prevention as well as to meet fans and sign books as part of the No Bite is Right campaign. I was chosen to be the spokesdog for the campaign, which might seem an obvious choice, but there were actually a few factors as to why.
Firstly, I’m a celebrity, and my implausible handsomeness is so extraordinary it would not even fail to knock the socks off a white-footed cat. Although I’ll admit, I do have cookie crumbs in my whiskers above.
Secondly, I’m a highly acclaimed canine doctor. You can view some of my past successful diagnoses, prognoses, and dognoses here, here, and here (I was the doctor who diagnosed the first recorded case of Hamster Fever).
Third, I’ve personally gone through an experience which directly ties me to this cause. So, let me tell you about all this by describing my day yesterday at the office.
“Is my 9:00 appointment here yet?!” I asked my receptionist.
“Yes, the patient is here and ready for you when you are”, she replied back.
“GOOD, because I’m tired of being late for my 9:30am naps because of people who are too lazy or disorganized to arrive at their appointment on time…”
(That’s why Dad has been banned from this office)
So not wanting to delay any further, my patient was showed into the examination room.
And low and behold, guess who my patient was! My very own Mum!
I think she was a bit surprised to see me, too.
“Mum, I know you have a distasteful habit of not taking me seriously enough sometimes, so I invite you to glance through my wall of certifications behind you. I think you’ll find my resume to be quite impressive.”
So once I was satisfied that she read through each plaque, I began the examination.
“Well, it’s unfortunate you never take my word for things, because I’ve had to waste 10 minutes proving I’m a doctor to you. That leaves just 20 minutes left for your examination. Now what the heck’s the problem? If this is some sort of romantic issue with Dad you’re going to have to go see Crusoe the Psychiatrist again for that… I work at the psychiatry office on Saturdays if you didn’t know that yet.”
“No, no, it’s not that”, Mum said. “Actually, it’s because I’ve been hearing a lot about ticks lately and I was wondering if you could give me a screening, and maybe tell me about some preventive options?”
“Now that is something I can help with”, I said. “I’ve become quite an expert myself on that subject.”
“Actually, I think I have a little presentation board here somewhere…” I mumbled as I shuffled through my drawer. “Ah, here we go! Now…” I cleared my throat in preparation for my usual spiel on ticks. “You see, ticks are a growing problem here in Canada as they move further north from the States, mainly because of climate change and more hospitable temperatures for them to survive in, plus they carry a host of scary diseases like Hamster Fever and Lyme disea–”
“Crusoe!“, Mum interrupted. “That says ‘tacks’!“.
“Shoot. My apologies, this is rather embarrassing”, I said. “This is my presentation board from Sundays when I work at Staples… Let me just flip this around for you…”
“Ah, that’s better! Now where was I…”
“Oh yes – so as I was saying, ticks carry some pretty nasty diseases, and they aren’t just in rural areas anymore – there are cases of ticks and tick-borne illnesses reported in urban areas as well. So, I’m glad you came to talk to me about this…”
Mum looked a little aghast. “Well, I’m glad I came to talk to you, too!”
“Why don’t you hop up on the table here and I’ll give you a quick inspection… Make sure you don’t have any already”, I suggested.
So she did.
“Sorry about the small table”, I offered. “I’m renting out this veterinary office to run my human medical services business…”
(Maybe if she’d help with my monthly office rent I wouldn’t HAVE to work a HANDFUL OF JOBS and she likewise wouldn’t HAVE to lie down on a dog-sized table…)
“So, I’m just going to start by checking your vitals…”
Her heartbeat was very, very slow compared to mine. Worryingly so.
“Well…” I began, “I’ve never actually listened to the heartbeat of a tortoise before but I’m pretty sure you have the heartbeat of a tortoise – which is also a preliminary symptom of Level 1 Hamster Fever.”
“Oh no!” Mum exclaimed.
“Have you been exposed to ticks at all?” I asked.
“Uh, uh...” she stumbled. “I’m not sure?”
“Well it’s very possible. Let me inspect your head for any ticks.”
“Have you been using my shampoo again?!”
“Anyway, don’t answer that”, I grumbled. “Just make sure to buy me another bottle when it’s empty. Now, I better take out my magnifying glass to double check, because my eyes aren’t like they used to be…”
“Still not enough magnification. Unfortunately, my inspection is going to have to be ‘inconclusive'”.
Eesh, Mum puffed. “That’s helpful”, she said sarcastically.
“Anyway, you should never rely on finding them on you after-the-fact. It’s all about prevention!”
“Oh? What can I do to help prevent ticks?”
“Well, I don’t know of anything that helps prevent ticks on humans… But I do know about tick prevention for pets! And I learned that the hard way. Not sure if you remember, but I had a tick once myself! It was a dreadful experience. By some chance, Dad found it on my while performing my daily massage (goes to show the importance of daily massages). By some chance I didn’t catch any diseases, but if only I’d known about all the different preventive options at the time… getting a tick in the first place could have been avoided.”
“Oh?” Mum asked again.
“Allow me to explain better with this tick-squeaky toy…”
“You see, there are pretty much two types of preventive medications: the chewable treat kind, meaning the medication is ingested and flows through the bloodstream, which also means the tick must bite and intake enough of the medication to finally die and fall off (which is what I was on when I got my tick); and the liquid applicator kind which is applied topically on the outside of an animal, and can actually repel, disorient, and kill the tick before it even bites!”
“It’s like taking a bite out of the tick before it bites you!” I said, squeaking the toy.
“The bottom line is, if it doesn’t bite, it can’t transmit disease.”
Mum thought for a moment. “Well, that sounds great for you dogs, but what about us humans?”
“No idea”, I said plainly. “I guess you could just try sticking close to your dog who’s on preventive medication while out on walks… That might work.”
Mum seemed to fall into a lapse of inner thought… So I took the opportunity to update her medical record.
“I’m just going to record that you potentially have a tick as well as potentially have Level 1 Hamster Fever, and are a suspected shampoo thief…”
“What!” Mum exclaimed, “I don’t think so!”
“Sorry, your time’s up”, I told her. “You’ll have to schedule another appointment if you’d like more advice.”
She got up to leave, clearly flustered and annoyed.
“Oh”, I said, stopping her on her way. “One more thing – can you tell my receptionist to pencil in ‘squeak session’ instead of ‘naptime’ for my 9:30 slot? Thanks.”
So there you have it, now you’ve had a glimpse into my Wednesdays when I work as a medical doctor.
Man, I feel like I’ve been working a lot lately…
Anyway, if you live in Canada or are traveling there soon, take a look at my tour schedule so you can come meet me! And regardless of where you are, be sure to ask your vet about ticks and preventive options. You can learn more about fleas and ticks at nobiteisright.com.
It’s always better to be prepared!
And oh, since everyone here just read all my medical advice, I’ll be invoicing all of you for that twenty-minute session as well…
Like this post? Like this cause? Show it to the left! 🙂
And a big thanks to my personal vet clinic, Cedarview Animal Hospital for being so cool and letting me do my photo shoot there.