How to tell when you are using a franchise veterinarian

A dog or cat with a fracture in a leg will not use that leg. Even if you pick up the other leg, it will roll down onto the fractured leg. They will bear no weight on a limb fracture.

But that does not mean if the dog will not bear weight on the leg, that it is fractured.  This is too much for some veterinarians to keep in mind. So they need x-rays. Even as the pet is walking around. And they will find nothing because cartilage and tendon lesions do not show up on x-rays but that is never explained as the diagnostic is suggested and done. 

A cat with a fever of any significance will not eat. But that does not mean a cat without a fever will eat. And, it does not mean that a cat that is not eating has a fever.

This is too much for some veterinarians to keep in mind. So they need bloodwork. They also need the % commission on that blood work.

I haven’t seen this in print anywhere in an employees, manual, but there is a “breadcrumbs, testing algorithm“ at work in certain veterinary practices, especially at the franchise or corporate level. And that is the “stock answer“ to any question being asked:

“What’s wrong with my pet?”

We should be able to answer that question with the results of a few tests.

The test results indicate a specific problem. What’s the prognosis?

We should be able to tell with the results of a few more tests.

What are the chances of my pet survival?

We should be able to tell with the results of the next few tests.

OK so we know it’s UN-treatable is there anything that would buy time?

We should be able to tell with the results of a few more tests.

Wow, this looks really hopeless, should I put my pet to sleep?

We should be able to tell with the results of the next battery of tests. 

If you get that answer over and over again from the doctor at the franchise, please realize you are feeding a commissions based machine. 

Lexi’s Amazing Weightloss Journey

Good Morning Dr. Johnson,

I have attached a few pictures of Lexi's weight loss progress over the past 3 years, as I was not sure which ones you might prefer.  Feel free to crop or edit the pictures if needed.
I adopted Lexi in February of 2020, right before the pandemic became serious and lockdown started.  She was listed at a shelter as a 35 lb poodle mix about 7-8 years old under the name Strawberry Shortcake.  Newly named Lexi came home and the next day went to Johnson Veterinary for an initial checkup.  She was overweight, has allergies, but was overall very happy and healthy.  A diet of 1/3 cup dry food twice a day with little treats was implemented along with daily exercise to get her on the track to a better weight.  A year later (still stuck in the pandemic), Lexi's diet changed to 1/4 cup twice a day, but treats could be more plentiful as she was in training to become a Therapy Dog and needed the extra encouragement (she is extremely motivated by food) to complete training.  At this point, she was about 25-27 lbs.  We are now on year 3, Lexi is 20 lbs, healthy, and still on the same diet with healthy treats (such as frozen green beans, frozen broccoli, strawberries, and healthier dog treats).  She is rocking a cotton candy look and still loving food, though in the right quantities.
Feel free to edit the story (I might not be exact on the weight checkups but I tried to get close).  Let me know of/when you post.
Thank you and have a nice day.

Why not use formalin in cold water?

Coldwater formalin

There’s no decent reason. 100 years ago some asshole wrote that formalin will settle to the bottom in ice cold water.

Which is actually true, it will stratify if you leave it in a vial under test circumstances. But the concept is that it would create hot spots on the bottom of the pond, except that there’s usually at least some circulation to keep that *theoretical* event from happening. I wouldn’t spend a moment worrying about it. 


If you are applying the formalin into water, that is below 40, and it clouds as soon as it hits the water, it’s not going to work, because it is forming paraformaldehyde, which, in the big scheme of things is no big deal, except that the cold water has deactivated that particular formalin recipe.

Also, paraformaldehyde is toxic to fish. Twice as toxic as regular formalin but it’s not going to kill a whole Pond. 

Most commercial preparations the formalin has been buffered to prevent that.  

For what it’s worth, because of high oxygen tensions not available in summer: I love formalin in cool water.  

Why not use your first name, especially if you practice at Kissy vet.

Dear Dr. Johnson,

Have you ever thought about referring to yourself as Dr. Erik? Using just your first name? Perhaps it would be less intimidating to customers with white coat syndrome.


It crosses my mind very briefly. But the problem with it is that it’s “cutesy” . It’s like naming your clinic “Dancing Cats With Balloons”. Or “Kissy Vet”. It lacks medical validity. And you might say, “wow that’s going a little far“ but no. You can’t search out a veterinarians credentials or license by their first name. So if I called myself, “Dr. Chad”, it would really be hard for a conscientious, consumer to “check me out“ before you brought your beloved pet to me.

Now, more than ever, with the advent of extremely relaxed licensing, the necessary importation of veterinarians, who were educated in Bangladesh, and  Bulgaria, (if at all), and veterinarians running shot clinics in disgrace on card tables at pet stores, putting needle to skin without a previous medical history to refer to, in practical anonymity. Calling yourself, Dr. Brian, is really just diversion. 

In the final analysis, I think if I am not soothing enough in my demeanor and mannerisms, to take the edge off a name like Erik Johnson, (I don’t wear a white coat by the way) I might need to change work. Lol. It’s a very good question. Thank you for asking. And if you want to call me, Dr. Erik, that’s fine. I’ve been called worse! Lol. 

You can practically call me whatever you want, I don’t have the ego to insist on “doctor” in front of my name, but I will continue to use my full name everywhere you see it in print ads or interviews, because I am proud of the work it took to get where I am, I’m proud of my degree and I’m proud of my licensing. 

Lyme’s Disease in Cats: Can Felines Contract Lyme’s Disease?

Lyme disease is probably not a concern for cat owners. Although the bacteria that cause
Lyme disease is capable of infecting cats, the disease has never been seen in a cat outside
of a laboratory setting. However, because Lyme is potentially quite severe and is common
among humans and dogs, it is wise to know how the disease is transmitted and what the
signs of infection are in your pets.

Fish and Pet Health Information Websites with Original Pet Help Content

Consultation on South American fish


Freshwater Fish

Size of system in gallons


Water Changes

1x week 25-30% water is clean, no gravel

Stocking Density in Inches of Fish

5 denticulata piranha @ 7″ and 4 tiger silver dollars @ 4″

Type(s) of filtration

2 aquaclear 110, one fluval wavemaker

Did you get any new fish? Did you quarantine them?

All my fish came directly from the Amazon River to my tanks in Canada

So, What's Going On?

First of all I went to school with a friend Don G. who is from and lives in Marietta GA!!!

I have kept piranhas for many years. I have a school who had black dots on them from the time I received them. Years before I remember black dots on my old school that I don't remember causing problems. I have had this school for about a year and a half. They are healthy, eating but recently they have been flashing much more than “normal”. I really don't see anything but a few black spots that I thought were kinda always there, if anything the black spots are better. Looks like some raised spots sort of small blisters if you look real close. I've noticed 2 other tanks flashing now too! One tank is exodons, the other some big Pygos. I've salted for 5 days so far at 0.03 still flashing but less ?

Live Plants? Invertebrates?

None of the abov

There are possibilities for those black dots and you’re right, they would be harmless without a snail and a wading bird to finish their lifecycle.

It’s also possible with new fish that you got some thing like a minor, genetic trematode into the collection such as gyrodactylis or dactylogyrus would be my guess.

That’s a harmless theory to test because I will send you a link to a medication and exactly how to use it to clear it up, safely. And if you’re still having the problem in four or five days then we have to think about other possibilities. All the fish you’re talking about have a tendency to be sensitive to certain medication’s.