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News: Shea Cox
Ick! It’s a Tick on My Dog!
The top 5 tick myths dispelled
Disease-carrying ticks can pose serious health risks to both dogs and people, no matter what state you live in. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that ticks in every state can carry disease, and the number of tick-borne diseases is on the rise. Here in Northern California, they seem to be everywhere, and it is not uncommon for me to find an “incidental tick or two” during my...
News: Shea Cox
Prescriptions for Pet Meds
Making the cost of pet care easier to swallow
In many veterinary practices, dispensing of prescription drugs, nutritional supplements and parasite prevention makes up 17 percent to 20 percent of practice revenue. Historically, selling these products has been a relatively passive revenue source for veterinary practices. In the past, there has been little competition for products, and consumers did not routinely “shop around” for medications...
News: Shea Cox
Keep your Lawn Free from Urine Spots
Dilution is the solution to pollution
 It is a common misconception that "acid" in a dog’s urine is what causes the brown spots left behind on our lawns. However, the culprit is actually the high nitrogen content of the urine. Nitrogen is “the waste” in the urine and is the result of protein breakdown through normal body processes. Because a canine diet is very high in protein, there will be high levels of nitrogen, and you’ll be...
News: Shea Cox
It’s Not Always “Just A Walk in the Park”
The most common dog-park related incidents revealed
  The warmer summer weather correlates to an uptick in ER visits, many of which are related to dog park dilemmas. Interestingly, there has been a 34 percent increase in dog park utilization over the past five years, and these designated areas are the fastest growing segment of all city parks in the U.S. With this increase in use comes the proportional increase in dog injuries. Veterinary Pet...
News: Shea Cox
Rattlesnake Bites the Dog
The dos, the don’ts, and the mumbo jumbo myths
We all love to bask in the California sun and rattlesnakes are no exception. Snakebite envenomation is something that is frequently seen in the ER, in fact, we treated three pets for this just this past weekend alone! Sadie, an 11-week old Cocker Spaniel, was one of those patients. She was gardening with her Mom when a rattlesnake bit her. Poisonous snakes of the United States belong to two...
News: Shea Cox
Safety Tips for Dogs on the 4th of July
One of the busiest times of the year for our emergency service is the Fourth of July holiday. While many people celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and BBQ’s, many others spend it waiting in the ER while their pet is treated for an array of holiday-induced emergencies, including serious laceration injuries from pets jumping through glass windows or doors, high rise fall injuries due to...
News: Shea Cox
Foxtails Can Pose Serious Risks to Dogs
Foxtails
As an ER vet, I officially mark the start of the summer season when I see several patient charts over the course of a 10 hour shift with the presenting complaint: sudden sneezing. By the third one I think, “Another one? What the foxtail!” Annual grasses releasing foxtails grow quickly throughout the rainy season. As temperatures rise, the foxtail-shaped tip of each grass blade dries out and the...
News: Shea Cox
Bone Marrow Mishaps
When a good chew turns bad to the bone
Dog with bone stuck around lower jaw
An uncanny reason for a visit to the ER is when a playful pup manages to get one of those circular marrow bones caught around its lower jaw and canine teeth. I still remember my first patient that found himself in this very predicament; perplexed, I thought, “How is this even possible?” While it looks like a trick that only David Copperfield should be able to pull off, it can actually happen with...
News: Shea Cox
Keeping Dogs Safe in the Summertime
This morning, as I watched my partially bald dog Dharma bask in the sun’s rays, I was reminded of the risks that the sun and heat can pose to our pups. It has prompted me to discuss a few sun tips to help keep our dogs safe- while still having fun- this summer season. Despite all that fur, it’s important to be aware of the risks of sunburn in your pet. Dogs, especially those with short hair,...
News: Shea Cox
Sago Palm Alert
Plant and its seeds are toxic to pets
One of the highlights of my weekend was the successful treatment of an adorable puppy named Leeloo. After being hospitalized for nearly 72 hours, she thankfully fell into the percentage of dogs who survive the ingestion of this highly toxic plant: the sago palm.   Sago palms are not really palms at all; they just look like one. The sago palm is a cycad and contains the toxin cycasin and even...

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