Sheli Ellsworth & Bill Wafer, DVM

The ABCs of pet ailments including traditional and homeopathic care

Noah Knew Stuff

My uncle was an animal lover.
His name was Noel. But for a little kid, “Noel” was a hard word to say. So for most of my life I called him Uncle Noah. It seemed to fit.

I blame Uncle Noah for my own love of animals. He owned a
farm, an animal extravaganza as far as I was concerned. He had
birds, cats, dogs, a pig, a llama and cows. I loved visiting him. He
instinctively knew when a female was about to go into labor or if
there was trouble brewing in one of his cow’s four stomach

My own affection for animals is not something of which I have a lot of control.

Animals are honest, and, except for a few cats who shall remain nameless, they rarely have hidden agendas or talk about you behind your back.

Animals like simple things. They appreciate straightforward
attention like petting and they like to eat. In fact, there aren’t many
disagreements with an animal that can’t be solved with food. I’ve
never had a pet steal a boyfriend or show the slightest concern
about being named in a will, so for whatever reasons, I like animals
better than I like people.

In fact, there aren’t too many problems pets don’t have an
answer for:
  • Bad day? Feed me and you’ll feel better.
  • You feelin’ sick? How ‘bout I snuggle up next to you on your bed.
  • Bored? We could always go for a walk. A walk will do you good. Fresh air, exercise—you’ll be as good as new.
It’s hard to argue with such basic logic.

Eventually, my love for animals and enviable yard turned
into a part-time job. Since I live in a small, unincorporated area of
an urban environment, my home has become a place where people
leave their pets while they are vacationing, when they’re moving or
if they are entertaining company who do not find drool amusing.

“Spend a day or a lifetime” has become my motto.

Technically, I’m a pet sitter. But since some of these pets spend
more time with me than their owners, I prefer to think of myself as
a pet au pair. And what follows are stories about the health issues
of some of my charges in the hope that you will benefit.
Confessions of a Pet Au Pair: the ABCs of pet ailments is an hilarious way to learn about your pet's health. The book is written from the view point of a fictional pet sitter who struggles with the health problems of some of her charges. She has a veterinarian, Dr. McKenna a fashion challenged polka dancing man who often wears his lunch on his tie and his assistant the vampire-like Pam,who make the health journey with her. The book is divided into chapters with each one featuring a different pet with a different problem.The index is extensive and designed so the reader can look up symptoms as well as medications and illnesses. The book explores traditional medicine as well as homeopathic remedies. The more technical information is in text boxes allowing the reader to get as specific as he wants about a certain subject. Breeds prone to certain problems are usually listed as well as basic things like the proper way to put a small animal in a pet taxi, how to make a boric acid eye wash, how to rid your home of fleas, etc.

 The 39 chapters include:

  1. Allergies and the Itchy Chihuahua,
  2. Anal Leakage ,
  3. Anemia and After Six Attire,
  4. Arthritis slows Hip Hop,
  5. Asthma in Aristocrats,
  6. Bladder Matters,
  7. Bordetella—Curse of the Gypsy,
  8. Constipation Pauses Poop,
  9. Coughing Concerns,
  10. Cushing Syndrome is Serious Stuff,
  11. Death of a Pet,
  12. Distemper Isn’t an Angry Dog,
  13. Euthanasia,
  14. Eyes that Have It,
  15. Fleas—Not Only at the Market ,
  16. Frothing for Better or Worse,
  17. Germs: the, Down and Dirty,
  18. Heartworm Scare at Home Front,
  19. Immunological Insults,
  20. IBD Arouses Agony,
  21. Influenza in Animals,
  22. IBS is Bothersome Stuff,
  23. Kidney Failure is Not an Option,
  24. Liver Recipe Sans Fat,
  25. Leptosporosis and the Lethal Cloud,
  26. Mange makes for Scaly Bedfellows,
  27. Obesity and the Roly Poly Pug,
  28. Psychos, Psychics and Stress,
  29. Poop—A Preponderance of the Evidence,
  30. Shaken—not furred,
  31. Skin and the Epidermal Abnormal,
  32. Teeth—an Owner’s Guide,
  33. Temperature tells a Tale,
  34. Thyroid Disease and the Food Bowl Phenomena,
  35. Toxic Schlock and Other Poisons,
  36. Tumors and the Terrible Thought,
  37. Upper, Respiratory Rottenness,
  38. Vaccines Vary by Environment,
  39. Vomiting and the Top Dog.

SheliSheli Ellsworth is an award-winning writer who grew up on a farm in Texas.
Because of the death of a pet from an undiagnosed illness, she began studying pet health desperate for answers.
After a stint as a contributor to a pet health website, she wrote this book with the help of a veterinarian and her cat, Mimi.
If you enjoy humor, look for her book, The Psychoanalysis of Everyday Life: Sometimes I pee when I laugh (2012).

<>Dr. BillBill Wafer graduated from Texas A&M and practiced veterinary medicine for 44 years in the White Mountains of Arizona.
He has treated all sorts of animals: cattle, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, elk and pets like dogs, cats , hamsters and –a bear.
“An animal group was in town doing a promotional gig. This  500- pound bear would sit on his haunches on the side of the road while his owner sat on the bear’s knee and hitchhiked.
Then one day he shows up and asks me to give his bear a shot of penicillin for a runny nose. I asked him who was going to restrain the bear. He went and got a logging chain and attached one end to the bear’s leather collar and the other to his bumper. Up to this point, the bear had paid me no mind, so I loaded my syringe and walked up behind him and stuck him. The bear let out a squall and cried like a baby, which really made me feel bad since he’d never made an aggressive move.”
Kirkus Reviews:

"A handy, approachable reference for cat and dog health."