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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...
Wellness: Health Care
Spaying Alternatives
A Kinder Cut? Advances in spay procedures
Advances in spay procedures
As a colleague of mine once said, “a spay is a procedure routinely performed, but it is not a routine procedure.” In the U.S., “spay” refers to the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. In Europe, however, removal of just the ovaries (ovariectomy) appears to be the most popular sterilization technique. Why are my European colleagues doing things differently, and is there evidence to suggest...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Making Pet Meds More Affordable
Greater choice made available to pet owners
More Affordable Pet Meds
As politicians and voters squared off this fall, a little bill sat in committee on Capitol Hill, awaiting action that in all likelihood won’t happen. If it expires, it will probably be reintroduced at the next Congressional go-around in 2013. But even if it dies on the vine, the bill has opened debate on an issue that affects virtually every pet owner — the cost and availability of veterinary...
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...
Wellness: Health Care
Bone Regeneration: From Science Fiction to Fact
Bionic Dog
Whisky - Bionic Dog
Something was wrong with Whiskey, and it wasn’t lethargy, whining or refusal to eat that tipped off his owners. It was chew sticks, unchewed. For the 10-year-old Small Munsterlander, chewing was a lifelong obsession. It had been a good life, one spent running down San Francisco city sidewalks; playing in the parks; exploring neighborhood shops; and, of course, chasing toys on the beach. Whiskey’...
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...
Wellness: Health Care
Second Opinion: Magic Act
A Vet’s Perspective
Magic Act: Second Opinion
Every day in veterinary emergency rooms across the country, shocked, distraught and overwhelmed dog owners face tough decisions. In addition to medical complexities and ambiguities, they deal with guilt, fear, grief and, sadly, money. But for Kathy Noons and her seven-year-old Boston Terrier, Tessie, it was all about hope. Although Ms. Noons had asked her dog-walker to keep Tessie leashed, the...

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