Browsing articles in Sheila Pell
News: Editors
Who Can Give a Dog a Massage?
It may take more skill than a belly rub, but should massage only be allowed with veterinary supervision? California is the latest state to propose regulating the field of animal rehabilitation, and it could put many kinds of practitioners out of work. With preventive health care booming, the state’s veterinary board wants to rein in non-veterinary businesses that cater to wellness, saying they “...
News: Guest Posts
Valley Fire Dogs in Need
As embers fell and flames grew, the question of “what to take” often came down to a four-legged bundle. But the Valley Fire in California’s rural Lake County left many with just minutes to escape as it sped through parched brush in record time. “The community had to leave so fast that hundreds of animals were left behind,” says Bill Davidson, director of Lake County Animal Care and Control. ...
News: Guest Posts
Best in Health: Purebred or Mixed-Breed?
With their extremes of limb and coat, purebred dogs may seem more prone to health problems. And don’t breeders even compound defects, as they tinker with uniformity? Yet the dog of many varieties, a potluck of traits, outlasts them all. Not quite, say U.C. Davis researchers in a recent study lead by Anita Oberbauer in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. Their analysis of health records of 88,635...
News: Guest Posts
Think Twice about the Fish in Dog Food
Be sure where it comes from
There’s a new concern about fish, and once again, labels won’t clear it up. The hidden ingredient in some pet food is slave labor used to harvest small forage fish like mackerel. A New York Times expose of brutal conditions on Thai fishing ships describes the link to several top brand U.S. pet food companies. Why not just skip Thai fish? Many would if that information was on the label, as it is...
News: Guest Posts
What Else Is In That Supplement?
Dog fed blue green algae supplement develops liver problem, report finds
A new report by researchers at U.C. Davis points to the need for oversight of nutrition supplements. The pills and powders fed to pets to boost their health come with no assurance of getting what you pay for—or more than you bargained for, like toxic contaminants. In this case, a tainted organic algae powder was damaging the liver of an 11 year old Pug, who lost her appetite and was lethargic...
News: Guest Posts
Beware of Algae
Can be toxic to dogs
Often, dogs are the first alert. Their willingness to swim in and drink slimy water makes them sentinels for some of the most powerful natural poisons on earth. A Labrador Retriever enjoying a family outing in June collapsed after swimming in a Minnesota lake. He died that day at the vet’s office. Tests are pending but the vet suspects the dog was poisoned by cyanobacteria, also known as blue-...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Fleas and Ticks
Simple preventive steps can go a long way toward offsetting their threats
Tick Talk
A few months ago, the icy breath of the north that normally tucks itself over the Arctic during the winter blasted into the Northeast, prime tick country. This prompted climate scientists to look for links between a weakened polar vortex and a warming world. But those who study arachnids were interested in other signs … like fewer ticks. In January, Thomas Mather, PhD, an entomologist known to...
News: Guest Posts
Mean Seed Season
The danger of foxtails grows
The season of ripgut and painful vet bills is here. Foxtails, a longtime scourge in the West, can now be a problem in every state. And climate change may add a twist. Studies find that weeds grow faster under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide; will migrate northward and are less sensitive to herbicides. A botanist who researched their effects on dogs also warns about a deadly disease. Sporting...
News: Guest Posts
The First Canine Laryngectomy
Bean during her intake at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley shelter.
At her intake at a shelter in April 2012, Bean was a pup with a familiar profile: a Pit Bull whose family could no longer care for her. But it wasn’t long before someone at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, California did notice something unusual about her. It was her lack of “boing,” says staff member Finnegan Dowling. “No Pit Bull puppy should be that mellow.” Bean also had a...
Wellness: Food & Nutrition
GMO: Are genetically modified crops safe in your dog food?
A vet speaks out on genetically modified pet food.
Most dogs now dine on some type of genetically modified (GM) food, often in the form of corn and soy in their kibble. As these ingredients increasingly enter the food supply, we have one more reason to wonder if our shopping choices might be harming our pets. More animal feeding studies are needed, experts say, and a recent long-term, peer-reviewed report points out why. It found that a diet of...