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Wellness: Health Care
50 Shades of Brown
Abnormalities in color and consistency may indicate an underlying problem.
I’ll be the first to admit that I stand outside watching each and every performance of my dogs’ “poop show.” This isn’t just a weird sort of voyeurism—rather, it’s a good way to know what’s going on with a dog’s health. If you, too, like to see what’s coming off the production line, keep in mind that the number-one rule of thumb when considering canine elimination is reproducibility. Stools...
Blog: Shea Cox
Arthritis in Senior Dogs
What can be done?
As our pets age, you may begin to notice subtle changes in their movement, such as having a little difficulty going up or down the stairs, or seemingly slow to rise from a comfortable laying position.  These can be early signs of arthritis, and early intervention is critical to slowing progression of the disease.  I am currently experiencing this “slow down” with my 11 year old Dobie, and I...
Blog: Shea Cox
Legislative Alert
DEA action might hinder in-home vet practices
Legislative Alert: We need your help! Please Support S. 950, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, to Allow Veterinarians to Continue to Transport Vital Medications for the Treatment of Animals! The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is seeking urgent modification to the current Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that was put forth by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1970....
Blog: Shea Cox
Bromethalin: not all blue-green rodenticides are the same
In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it planned to restrict sales of certain rodenticides containing second-generation anticoagulants (such as brodifacoum and bromadiolone) to pest control professionals and agricultural supply stores only. Rodenticide manufacturers came up to speed with compliance in 2011, and  in doing so, began using bromethalin more and more instead of...
Blog: Shea Cox
Hops Can Be Lethal to Dogs
Home-brewing is a trend that is becoming more and more popular, and unfortunately, so is the occurrence of hops toxicity in dogs. Hops is the plant used in the process of brewing beer, and both the 'raw' or spent hops are toxic. True flowers or dried hops plugs tend to be more toxic than hops pellets (pellets have less residue), while wild hops have been found to be non-toxic. The diagnosis is...
Blog: Shea Cox
Moist Dermatitis in Dogs—Hot Spots
Home Treatments
A recent request by a Bark reader was, “how can I treat a hot spot at home without seeing a vet?” Hopefully I can begin to answer this, but first, one must be able to “spot” a hot spot. A hot spot is a superficial skin infection that happens when normal skin bacteria overrun the skin’s defenses as a result of damage to its surface. This damage is most often started by the dog chewing, scratching...
Blog: Shea Cox
Paraphimosis:
Treatments to try at home
Paraphimosis is the inability to retract an extruded penis back into the preputial sheath, which is the skin that covers it. This can quickly turn into an emergency situation, as constriction of blood flow will lead to greater engorgement, necrosis (dying off of the tissue), and potential damage to the urethra.  More common causes of this condition can include chronic licking, sexual excitement,...
Blog: Shea Cox
Cracked, Broken or Torn Nails
A broken toe nail can be a painful and potentially expensive injury for our furry friends, and it is something that I often see in the ER. A common scenario is a pet suddenly begins to limp while out playing, and upon closer inspection, an injured nail is seen.  Some nails have just a minor crack with some bleeding, while other injuries put a toenail at a 90-degree angle (ouch!). Because they can...
Blog: Shea Cox
Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing's Disease in Dogs:
Excessive levels of steroids in the body leading to disease
Hyperadrenocorticism, known as Cushing's disease, is a hormone imbalance that results from excessive cortisol in the bloodstream over a long period of time. Cortisol is produced and stored in the adrenal glands, which are two little glands that “sit” on top of the kidneys and is what is released in times of stress, preparing for a “flight or fight” response. However, if this system goes awry, and...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Hospice Care
Hospice care eases the way
“They have been our loyal companions throughout their lives, and in hospice, they need to know that we will dance to the end of the song with them.” —Thomas F. Wilson, PhD When our dogs are young and healthy, it seems as though we have all the time in the world with them. But, as it always does, time catches up with us, and eventually, the “end of the song” begins to play. For many of us, our...

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