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Wellness: Health Care
Should you treat your dog with stem cell therapy?
Second Opinion
Imagine yourself in a veterinary surgeon’s examination room, bracing for the details of wound care, pain management and an exhaustive (and alarming) list of potential post-operative complications, when the doctor surprises you with an announcement: “With luck, we can avoid surgery altogether.” Can this be true? Did you and your dog show up at the wrong appointment? Most of us who wield a...
Blog: Guest Posts
Controversial Suit Over Heartgard Plus
Whistleblower questioned product claims, fired
In response to a 2009 class action lawsuit against Merial, Ltd., over the effectiveness of its popular heartworm preventative, Heartgard Plus, Kari Blaho-Owens, Ph.D., claims her employer asked her to destroy a document pertaining to the lawsuit and to stop analysis of data from an internal investigation that she suspected was inaccurate. In her own lawsuit against Merial, Blaho-Owens says...
Blog: Karen B. London
Causes of Death Vary by Breed
What’s your dog’s risk?
Most dog guardians have some idea what to look for in terms of health issues based on the breed of their dog. Those who have Pugs and Bulldogs know that respiratory problems may crop up, while those with Dachshunds and Bassett Hounds are aware that their dogs are more likely than many other breeds to have back issues. A recent study of almost 75,000 dogs over a period of 20 years delved...
Wellness: Health Care
Should a Dog Get a Gastropexy to Prevent Bloat?
A Vet's Perspective
Part of the appeal of veterinary surgery is the reward of achieving a “before and after” moment for a sick animal. It might be the Dachshund with intervertebral disk disease transformed from dragging a paralyzed hind-end to being able to trot over to greet me. Or the Labrador with laryngeal paralysis who is no longer desperate for air and able to breathe comfortably on a hot summer day....
Wellness: Health Care
Relieving Arthritis
Strategies for relieving your dog's arthritis pain
The easy run becomes a stiff walk; the jump to a favorite chair is no longer possible; lying down is accompanied by a deep groan. As our dogs age, things that were once second nature become an effort. Today, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and companion animal care, many dogs are living to a ripe old age. On the downside, that longevity also increases the odds that they’ll suffer from...
Blog: Karen B. London
CPR Saves Lives
It’s true for dogs and people
Firefighters saving lives—it’s a story that never gets old, especially when the story has a twist. In this case, the individual who was brought back from the brink of death was not human. Tammy Rodriguez performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a Pit Bull who was in a fire that destroyed several floors in two buildings. That CPR, along with the oxygen she administered, saved the dog’s life.  ...
Blog: Guest Posts
Dogs and Wild Mushrooms Don’t Mix
Poisonous species are more common than you might think.
I remember the sad sinking feeling I experienced last August as I read an email from my friend Diana Gerba. Seeing her email in my inbox initially prompted excitement—oh goodie, more photos and stories about Donato, Diana’s adorable Bernese Mountain Dog. My excitement quickly morphed into utter disbelief as Diana described the death of her barely six-month-old pup caused by ingestion of a...
Wellness: Health Care
Joint Efforts
Arthritis management takes careful coordination.
Think of them as the silent sufferers: the millions of dogs who hobble among us, creaking away on swollen joints and dwindling cartilage. Most are older, but the years didn’t make them that way. Arthritis did. Osteoarthritis is the biggest cause of chronic pain in U.S. dogs. According to most estimates, it affects more than 20 percent (that’s 10 to 12 million animals). Technically speaking,...
Wellness: Health Care
Cruciate Conspiracy
Second Opinion
A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a story that they clearly felt blew the whistle on the “epidemic” of canine knee surgeries in this country: “The number of dog knees undergoing cruciate ligament repair each year in America is estimated to now exceed 1.2 million … Such treatments have helped fuel a doubling of the number of veterinary surgeons in the U.S. in the last decade …” Finger-...
Wellness: Health Care
Three-Legged Dogs Do Adapt
Second Opinion
Three Legged Dog
About a year ago, I walked into a busy waiting room, called a patient’s name and was rewarded with the kind of life lesson usually delivered by dogs. A woman in her early twenties (I’ll call her Lauren), with cropped, bleach-blond hair and a healthy tan, struggled to hang onto her frisky retriever’s leash. From a distance, I thought I saw one of her arms in a sling, hence her difficulty, and...

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