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Blog: Shea Cox
The Trouble with Puddles
Giardia, not muddy paws
Diarrhea. Boy, do I see lots of this, and when I say “lots,” I mean lots. In fact, on some shifts, it feels like that’s all I see. One of the common causes of diarrhea in dogs worldwide is giardia, a ubiquitous single-celled protozoan parasite. Giardiasis is transmitted by a fecal-oral route, meaning that the parasite is swallowed in food and water (think: puddles, lakes and streams) contaminated...
Blog: Guest Posts
Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs
Plus, five simple eye-care tips for all pups
One of my favorite types of dog stories to read or write are those that feature working dogs. From guide and assistance dogs to search-and-rescue and arson-detection dogs, I am always inspired by their ability and willingness to do what we ask and in the process transform our lives. So I was thrilled to hear about the 5th Annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event. Channeling the...
Blog: Guest Posts
A Cautionary Tale About Breed Standards
Jane Brackman, PhD
In the beginning was the word and the word was dog and the people made more dogs and used more words to differentiate those dogs until they had more than 400 different kind of dogs and more than enough words to explain the differences.  —Doctor Barkman Breed standards are one of the tools breeders use to suspend change in purebred dogs. But breeds evolve anyway, even when standards remain...
Blog: Shea Cox
Investigating Halitosis
Bad breath may not be a sign of dental disease
Halitosis is the fancy word for bad breath, and that odor is nearly always a sign of a bigger problem. Just this week, I noted a slightly foul odor coming from my own little girl, Dharma. On closer inspection, I noted that the very top of her canine tooth is beginning to turn brown. Overall, the tooth and gumline appear pretty much normal, but I am suspicious of a tooth root infection lurking...
Wellness: Health Care
Melamine: Toxicity in Dog Food
Recall Follow-up
Marion Nestle
For the last year or so, we have been working on a book about pet food, What Pets Eat, to be published by Harcourt late in 2009. One of the pleasures of a long-term project like this is the time to follow digressions wherever they lead. Last year’s (2007) massive pet food recall was so much of a diversion that it resulted in a spin-off publication—Pet Food Politics:Chihuahua in the Coal Mine —...
Blog: Shea Cox
Can Your Dog Give the Gift of Life?
The importance of canine blood donors
Not long ago an adorable Dachshund-mix puppy named Sunny was brought into my ER because he was having trouble breathing and was coughing up blood. A quick blood test determined that he had eaten rat poison. A blood transfusion was required to save his life. He made a full recovery. The need for blood or plasma transfusions is a frequent occurrence in our referral hospital, and can be crucial in...
Blog: Guest Posts
Crufts Show Dogs Disqualified
Canine controversy erupts into blame game
Crufts 2012 best in show Lhasa Apso
England’s most prestigious dog show, Crufts, is now also its most controversial. This past weekend,  several Best of Breed winners were disqualified after health inspections by an independent veterinary surgeon. Of 15 so-called “high profile” breeds (out of more than 200 breeds entered) required to undergo a veterinary exam, six breed winners  failed: the Basset Hound, Bulldog, Clumber Spaniel, ...
Blog: Shea Cox
“Pot Patch” for Pups
Company explores pain-relief potential for pets
Last year, a company called Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems, LLC (MMDS) acquired the rights to a patent for a transcutaneous (through the skin) delivery of medical marijuana to humans and animals. Since our pets suffer from many of the same debilitating illnesses that we do, and with many states legalizing the use of medical marijuana, it doesn’t seem like such a stretch to apply this concept...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping Injured Pups Walk
Experimental drug could help dogs and humans with spiral cord injuries
I love when medical research benefits both canines and humans. This latest study aims to help dogs and people retain their ability to walk with a new medication. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding research to explore an experimental drug that will help dogs and humans with spinal cord injuries. The collaboration between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Texas A&M...
Blog: Shea Cox
Detailing the Dangers of Chicken Jerky. UPDATE.
Update on toxic treats from China
[Update, 3/9/12: The FDA has released new product safety information about chicken jerky treats from China. Update, 3/14: The FDA has just released the TOP 3 brands cited in chicken jerky poisoning cases: Waggin’ Train (Nestle Purina); Canyon Creek Ranch (Nestle Purina); Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats (Del Monte)] China has been in the news repeatedly for problems related to the production...

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