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Wellness: Healthy Living
Therapy Dogs for Children with Batten Disease
Batten Disease, a rare illness, has brought two communities together in a most unusual partnership.
Lorena Ann Johnston was born on Groundhog Day in 1971. Her father remembers that her hair grew in as his was falling out. Her first five years were uncomplicated; sadly, they’d be the only easy years of her short life, which ended in 1993 when she was 22. Lance Johnston’s daughter had Batten Disease, an inherited genetic defect that leads to a breakdown of the entire nervous system. Lorena’s...
Dog Years
HarperCollins, 207 pp., 2007; $23.95
Dog Years By Mark Doty Reviewed by Andrea Walker Mark Doty is a critically acclaimed poet whose verses have appeared frequently in this magazine. Now he has turned to nonfiction to chronicle the impact that two Retrievers, one black and one golden, have had on his life. Arden is the gentle and affectionate black Retriever puppy Doty adopts from an animal shelter in Vermont. Beau is the more...
Wellness: Healthy Living
The Big Fat Truth About Canine Obesity
Changing our own habits can help our dogs live longer
Obesity in dogs could be considered a perception problem—a human perception problem. While a whopping 34 percent of dogs are overweight, only around 30 to 40 percent of the folks who put the food in the bowl for them know it. Canine obesity can cause or worsen musculoskeletal problems, exercise intolerance, cardiovascular problems and glucose tolerance imbalances. It also weakens the immune...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Texas A&M a Leading Veterinary College
Innovative diagnostic procedures and treatments make it one of the nation's finest
Dogs, cats, llamas, wallabies and tigers need not fret about receiving expert medical care, particularly if they live in Texas. Veterinarians at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have treated them all, and then some.   Established in 1916, Texas’s only vet school is recognized as one of the world’s leading institutions in veterinary education,...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Symptoms of Valley Fever in Dogs
Symptoms of this fungal disease are not always easy to recognize
Most of us who live with and love dogs have quite a list of things to make us prematurely gray: vaccinating vs. over-vaccinating, Lyme-disease–carrying ticks, providing safe food (with an ever-changing lineup of antioxidants, tocopherols, omegas and probiotics) for our furry companions. With all these day-to-day concerns, canine health problems caused by a fungus may not come immediately to mind...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
The great grass mystery
Do you ever wonder why your dog eats grass? Is it because he’s sick and he’s trying to induce vomiting? Is he missing fiber or some other nutrient from his diet? Maybe you suspect that eating grass decreases his intestinal parasite load? Well, finally, researchers at the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are seeking answers to these questions. Led by Dr. Karen...
Wellness: Health Care
Vet Advice: Help for the Chowhound
Gorging has its consequences—a cautionary tale
Question: Our dog is a notorious chowhound, and she's pretty indiscriminate about what she eats. Should we be worried?   Answer: Let me tell you about Goldie. Goldie is the kind of dog no one can resist for long. She hovers peaceably at barbecues, lays her head lovingly on guests’ laps during Thanksgiving dinner and generally makes a mild nuisance of herself whenever food is involved. Her...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Keeping Your Three-Legged Dog Healthy
Three legs to stand on
A really expensive car can go from zero to 60 in less than six seconds, but that car would have nothing on Harvey, a seven-month-old Mastiff/Husky mix, who went from being an $85 dog to a $2,000 dog in less than four hours. That’s how long it took Harvey to be adopted from the Tacoma Humane Society, perform a cursory inspection of his new home on the fourth floor of an apartment building in...

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