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Blog: Shea Cox
A Vet’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions
Make 2012 happier and healthier for you and your pup
Veterinarians love putting together a plan of care for their patients—so why should New Year’s be an exception? Here are my suggestions for ten (I think fairly reasonable) resolutions that can make a big improvement for your dogs and you. For those who’ve already embraced many of these good habits, this list can serve as a chance to pat yourself on the back. Take your dog for more walks and...
Blog: Shea Cox
Christmas in the ER
A different kind of giving and receiving
While many people wake Christmas morning to open gifts and gather with family, we ER types begin and end our day with a slightly different routine. For me, my husband Scott, who is also an emergency veterinarian, and our two Dobie kids, Christmas Day begins with opening presents at 4 am, ends with eating a turkey dinner at 10 pm—with “challengingly good” chaos during the hours in between.  ...
Blog: Shea Cox
Dough Is A Don’t
Risks for dogs include obstruction and alcohol poisoning
My husband has recently taken up the delicious hobby of artisan bread baking. Although this is a pursuit my belly fully supports, it has reminded me of the dangers that raw bread dough poses for our pets. The risks are twofold. The first problem is that dough rapidly rises after ingestion and can cause life-threatening stomach distention and obstruction. The second—and potentially more serious—...
Blog: Shea Cox
Holiday Hazards for Pets
Tips for keeping your pet merry this season
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! You are beautiful, but you can hurt me! As the holiday season gears up, have you noticed that with the increase in fun and festivities comes a simultaneous increase in the level pet mischief? There just seems to be no way for our curious pups to resist the allure of all that holiday paraphernalia.  Below is a list (all naughty, no nice!) of the common...
Blog: Guest Posts
Questions About Dog Breeding Won’t Go Away
New York Times Bulldog story exposes serious health issues, deep denial
In 2008, the BBC documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed”—which revealed high levels of disability, deformity and disease among purebred dogs—dropped like a bomb on the world of dog shows and breeding in the United Kingdom. A year-and-a-half later, the UK’s Kennel Club initiated steps to reform its practices and standards. Three years later, questions and calls for reform are finally gaining...
Blog: Shea Cox
Bloat, the Mother of All Emergencies
What you need to know about this life-threatening condition
There is no quicker way to jump to the front of the ER line than if you walk into the hospital with a distended dog. Bloat is a life-threatening condition that I treat frequently, and a good outcome is time-dependent. Last week, JoAnna Lou wrote about recognizing the signs of bloat and included an educational video of an Akita experiencing GDV (don’t worry, he survived!). This topic elicited...
Blog: Guest Posts
How Many Raisins in Raisin Bran?
A veterinarian with a potentially sick dog needed to know
Thanks to everyone who replied to my post, A Death in the Pack. Your stories and advice were both comforting and enlightening. Happily, Renzo dodged any long-term ill effects of his raisin binge and was back on stride within a few days. But there was one aspect of Raisingate that was not satisfactory. When I first brought Renzo in, my veterinarian tried to assess how many raisins he may have...
Blog: Shea Cox
Watch for Thanksgiving Sneak Attacks
Fatty turkey trimmings can set the stage for pancreatitis
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and for many families this means the tradition of spending the day preparing and enjoying a delicious turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. Us humans are not the only ones who look forward to this meal, and I see many dogs in the ER after they have decided to help themselves to a serving or two. While our pets may find this to be an initially satisfying (albeit...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Recognizing the Signs of Bloat [Video]
See what the symptoms look like in real life
Everyone with a large, deep chested dog is always worried about bloat (any breed can get bloat, but this demographic is disproportionally affected). Bloat is particularly scary because of how fast the condition becomes serious. When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs and can cause difficulty breathing and even...
Blog: Shea Cox
Keeping Puppy Dog Eyes Clear and Bright
Causes, risks and treatment of cataracts
When you look into your dog’s eyes, what should you see? If your pet is healthy, bright, shiny and clear eyes should be looking back at you. (Well, OK… those three qualities plus a pleading expression, begging for that last bite of whatever it is you are eating.) However, if your dog’s eyes begin to look a little cloudy or bluish-gray, it could indicate that cataracts are forming, which is a sign...

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