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About Pet Health Advocate

Pet Health Advocate Anna McCollister-Slipp with Buckley (left) and Moose

How do you get the best health care quality for your pet? It’s a question that more and more people are asking themselves these days. As  the role of our beloved furry friends has grown, so have the myriad of health care services provided for them.  And so has our willingness to pay large sums of money to keep them alive, healthy and happily by our side.  This blog is a tribute to our pets, to my pets, my current furry friends Moose and Buckley, as well as the pets I’ve lost, some through old age, and one special little puppy through veterinary misdiagnosis, neglect and malpractice.

For the past 26 years, I’ve dealt with many doctors of my own, trying to find a way to manage my difficult-to-control type 1 diabetes. Over the years, as the disease grew more complex and I developed the myriad complications that come from life with type 1 diabetes, I became more and more savvy in getting the best care possible for my health.  I took responsibility for my disease, learned to find the best doctors, know the latest science and stay on top of what I needed to do and know to manage my disease and complications.  Fortunately, there are a lot of resources at my disposal, ranging from Web sites to new treatments and devices.

Following the untimely death of my Maltese puppy, Falcon, at the neglectful hands of our local veterinary hospital, I decided it was time to take charge of my pets’ health too, to use the same skills I deploy in caring for my own health and apply them to protecting and managing the health of my dogs.  I found very few resources available for people like me and very little evidence that the veterinary world was interested in providing them. I decided to change that and help begin a movement aimed at empowering other pet lovers to learn how to assess the care their pets are receiving and discover the information they need to protect their pets health at home and at the vet. This blog is dedicated to that process.


  1. Yeahhhhhhhhhhyyyyy Anna! What a great blog!

  2. Thank you for the invaluable information. I am currently faced with the decision of whether or not to spay Isabella, my 3.5lb chihuahua. I have many concerns similar to your own. Sadly there are few resources available when it comes to advocating for the health and safety of our precious fur children. If you have any further information or advice and can spare a moment to pass it along please reply or send me an email. Thanks in advance and your babies are beautiful 🙂


    • pethealthadvocate

      Hi Lynne – thank you for your comment and kind words. I would use the checklist I posted related to anesthesia. Make sure that the anesthesiologist is a board-certified anesthesiologist, not just a vet tech. Most vet techs are incredibly skilled, conscientious professionals who work diligently to keep pets safe and comfortable during surgery. However, for dogs as small as yours, I would use extra caution. In addition, make sure to walk through the “what if” checklist for how they would respond to any unexpected issues that might arise during the surgery. These checklists are critical to ensure that everybody on the surgical team is on the same page if something goes wrong. In addition, make extra sure that the vet is monitoring Isabella closely for the recovery period following her surgery. Unfortunately, many vets are not staffed property to do this as needed, and it’s critical to make sure their heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature are tracked closely, so that the vet care team can respond if the levels falter. Good luck! Isabella is lucky to have you as her mother! – Anna

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