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Wellness: Health Care
The Gift of Good-bye
Caring for dog, Hospice
What would you give to be able to spend another month, another week, or just another precious day with your best friend? Anyone who has ever loved and lost a pet has probably had such a wish. Pets are no longer just pets; they fill the role of family, child, companion and guardian. As such, their dying process can carry a burden equal to the loss of our two-legged loved ones, and it is during...
Blog: Shea Cox
ASPCA Poison Control Center
Emergency help only a phone call away
ASPCA Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435: 10 digits every dog owner should know! A number of calls we receive in the ER are inquires about whether or not a substance is toxic to their pets. These inquires can include questions about specific pet or people medications, vitamins and supplements, both common and unusual household items, as well as various food stuffs. With literally thousands of...
Blog: Shea Cox
Leptospirosis
A bacterial disease that's spreading
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of great importance as it can affect both humans and animals, and can readily be spread from one species to another (i.e., from our dogs to us). For many years the occurrence in pets was rare, however, in the past few years, the disease has become diagnosed more frequently-I myself have treated four dogs suspected of having Leptospirosis just this past year....
Blog: Shea Cox
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome:
Old Dog Senility
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, also referred to as “old dog senility” or “sundowner syndrome” is a common syndrome that is categorized as a slow, degenerative and progressive disorder in our aging pets. This process leads to changes in awareness, a decreased responsiveness to normal surroundings, and potentially increased signs of anxiety that usually worsen in the night hours.  There are many...
Blog: Shea Cox
Compounding pharmacies: a recipe for trouble
A rare form of human meningitis has already claimed the life 5 people and caused illness in over 40 others. The culprit: an injectable back pain medication made by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that was contaminated with a fungal organism.  This news has created an understandable ripple effect that leaves us to question: how does this affect our pets who take compounded medications to...
Blog: Shea Cox
Hypoallergenic dogs: Fur facts and fictions
Allergy sufferers who still want to share their home with a canine companion have been known to drop big bucks on breeds that are being touted as “hypoallergenic dogs.” These are dogs who are reported to have lower household allergen levels compared to other pooches. But before you throw out your bottle of Visine and handkerchief, a new study suggests that this just may be fur fiction.  Prominent...
Blog: Shea Cox
DIY Physical Exam: An “owner’s manual” for your dog Part 4
Part 4 in 4 part guide
Welcome back for the last installment of the DIY physical exam for your dog! We have reached “the tail end” of things so to speak, and will be finishing up our discussion with learning some “belly basics” as well as what to watch out for with the musculoskeletal system. ABDOMEN: The exam is pretty straightforward: touch and feel the stomach, starting just behind the ribs and gently press your...
Blog: Shea Cox
DIY Physical Exam: An “owner’s manual” for your dog Part 3
Part 3 in 4 part guide
Welcome back for part three in our four-part DIY physical exam! This week we are going to move down to the chest area, known as the thorax.  NECK, CHEST AND BREATHING: Normal You should not be able to hear your pet breathe at all (except with panting). The act of breathing is for the most part performed by the chest wall; it should move “in and out” easily and rhythmically to and fro during...
Blog: Shea Cox
DIY Physical Exam: An “owner’s manual” for your dog Part 2
Part 2 in 4 part guide
Hello again, Bark readers!  Welcome back for the second installment of the DIY physical exam.  We are going to start at the head today, continuing to move down the dog body over the next couple of weeks.  NOSE:  Normal:   Smooth, soft and clean; it is a misconception that a dry, warm nose means illness; sometimes a normal nose can appear slightly dry as well as warm to the touch; a healthy...
Blog: Shea Cox
DIY Physical Exam: An “owner’s manual” for your dog Part 1
Part 1 in a 4 Part Guide
To identify an illness or abnormal situation, you must first be able to recognize what is normal for your dog. You know your dog better than anyone else and you will have to decide when an abnormal situation warrants professional help. Sometimes the condition is so serious it leaves no doubt. Frequently, however, the changes are subtle, or happen over a longer period of time, making noticing a...

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