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Wellness: Healthy Living
Rash Action
Vet school team solves the mystery of Max’s skin problem
Plant
When we impulsively rescued an eightweek- old ball of yellow fur from the back of a pickup truck headed for the pound, we had no idea how much our lives would change. This Lab/German Shepherd mix, whom we named Max, grew quickly. Before we knew it, we had a 108-pound ballistic missile with a wet tongue and four paws — and, in his second year, a severe allergy to an unknown substance. We tried...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Toxic Holiday Plants
Watch out for dangerous mistletoe this December
For years I’ve avoided Poinsettia plants around the holidays because I’d always heard that they were highly toxic for animals. But according to Veterinary Medicine magazine, the toxicity of Poinsettias has been greatly exaggerated.  Research estimates that the average animal would have to ingest 500 to 600 Poinsettia leaves to surpass toxic levels. The most common symptom is irritation to the...
Wellness: Food & Nutrition
Career Change: From Human Resources to Holistic Hound
Profiling notable second acts: Heidi Hill
Heidi and Pearl
When Heidi Hill was growing up, she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. As so often happens, that dream was put aside; instead of going to vet school, she earned a degree in accounting and embarked on a successful career in corporate finance and human resources. Then one day, as she was casually leafing through a magazine, she read an article on homeopathy. Intrigued, she began to explore the...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Get Smart about Pet Allergies
Let’s start with some tough truths. “Non-allergic” or hypo-allergenic dogs do not exist (sorry, Bo Obama). You can’t eliminate dog’s allergens with special shampoos, topical sprays or oral agents. And there’s little evidence steam-cleaning carpets and upholstery helps control pet allergies.   That’s the myth-busting word from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). But...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Don't Let Bedbugs Bite Your Dog
Although once nearly eradicated in developed countries, bedbugs are on the rise. These tiny bloodsuckers don’t transmit diseases, but can leave itchy welts on you and your warm-blooded pets. It’s important to routinely check any place you or your pets sleep for the telltale dark stains of bedbug activity. Dogs aren’t taking this bedbug business lying down, either. Some companies are training dogs...
Blog: Karen B. London
Velcro Dogs
Picking up allergens a hazard
Usually when people talk about “Velcro dogs,” they mean the kind who are clingy and extremely emotionally attached to their guardians. That sort of Velcro dog makes sure you never feel alone, much less lonely, and keeps you from ever having to go any place, such as the bathroom, all by yourself.   There’s another kind of Velcro dog, which is perhaps of greatest interest to people with allergies....
Blog: Karen B. London
Cutting Nails
Reducing the stress for you and your dog
There are few parts of dog guardianship that are less agreeable than cutting nails. In fact, the only task that I dislike more is picking up poop, and depending on the dog, clean-up duty may even be preferable to nail trimming.   I worked for almost a year as a dog groomer, so I know a few tricks about getting nails trimmed no matter what. Whether it’s keeping a dog occupied with treats or a...
Wellness: Health Care
Small Organ, Big Trouble
When rich food appears, pancreatitis lurks
Dog
’Tis the season for family gatherings, gift giving and food galore. Veterinarians know that this is also the season for canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a painful, potentially life-threatening condition most commonly caused by overindulgence in foods that are particularly rich or fatty. And what kitchen isn’t overflowing with such foods this time of year? The pancreas is a...
Blog: Karen B. London
Mushrooms Can Poison Dogs
Heavy rains in Arizona heighten danger
Veterinarian Julianne Miller, in an interview with Arizona Public Radio, says that she has seen three times as many cases of mushroom toxicity in dogs this summer compared with previous years. The reason for the increase is that Flagstaff, Ariz., has had the fourth wettest monsoon season ever, with nearly 10 inches of rain in just over two months. Fungi thrive in the wetness caused by heavy rains...
Wellness: Healthy Living
10 Easy Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Dog
Cleaning Confidential
Husky
Our canine pals do plenty of great things — provide love, guard our homes, save Timmy from mine shafts — but they’re not too concerned about domestic tidiness. However, there are smart, easy ways to collar canine clutter and keep your dog safer. 1. Store everything you need for outings — leash, pick-up bags, paw wipes — near the door. Speaking of pick-up bags, reuse plastic shopping bags or the...

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