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News: Shea Cox
Deciphering (Ab)Normal Dog Behaviors
Chasing their tails, eating grass and rolling in garbage—should you worry?
From humping to “targeted” sniffing, our pups have a plethora of odd habits—at least to those of us who walk on two legs instead of four. While no one knows for certain the exact “why” behind these behaviors, we do have some theories. And until dogs learn to speak human, divulging their best-kept secrets, we’ll just have to continue to make educated guesses about this weird-but-true realm of...
Wellness: Health Care
Second Opinion: Wake-up Call
Sometimes I realize I may be getting too old for this job, particularly when I get a phone call from my resident in the wee hours of the morning. “I’ve got a dog with a broken back,” he says. “Any chance you can give me a hand?” I could groan, but it would take too much energy. I could say, “Can’t it wait a couple of hours?” but he’s already said the magic words. A broken back is a true...
Wellness: Health Care
In a Spin
Canine vertigo is treatable but scary to witness
I jolt awake in the middle of the night to the sound of one of my three dogs throwing up. My first thought is, glad the floors are concrete and easy to clean. The moon provides enough light for me to make my way to the kitchen, where I see Meadow, my 10-year-old Alaskan Malamute, standing with her head slightly lowered, a small pool of yellow vomit on the floor in front of her. Her front legs...
Wellness: Health Care
Senior Health
What to do while you’re deciding what to do
Your dog hasn’t heard you call his name for a year or two. His back legs are stiff. He’s developed a fear of thunderstorms that he once slept through. His muzzle long ago turned gray. These poignant signs of aging may pull at your heartstrings, but may not mean much about your older dog’s overall health. As time goes by, though, signs of aging may become more dramatic: nighttime wandering,...
News: JoAnna Lou
Dog Walks Raise Money for Cancer Research
The 2 Million Dogs Foundation supports comparative oncology efforts
It seems everyone I talk to has a friend, relative or pet affected by cancer. The disease has touched way too many loved ones, both human and canine. As it turns out, when it comes to cancer, we may have more in common with dogs than we think. For instance mammary tumors are the most common tumors in intact female dogs and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. As more...
News: Shea Cox
The Science of Flatulence
There’s more to it than meets the nose!
As much as we might hate to admit it, flatulence is a normal biological function. A surprising amount of air is swallowed just with the simple act of eating, and if this is not burped out, it must exit through the other end. The amount of air swallowed tends to be increased when dogs feel they must eat quickly or in brachycephalic breeds (dogs with a compressed upper jaw and a short muzzle)...
News: Shea Cox
Be Prepared: Four Emergency Room Essentials
Lay the groundwork for quick, low-stress treatment
Working in the ER, I see a full range of preventable predicaments that complicate addressing a pet’s immediate health crisis. I’d like to highlight four simple measures you can take as a pet parent to prevent distress and concern should an emergency arise while you are away or if you need to seek care outside of your normal veterinary relationship. Records!! Keep a copy of every medical...
News: 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...
News: 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.  ...
News: 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—...

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