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News: Shea Cox
15 Not-So-Toxic Toxins
From silica gel packets to poinsettias, dogs ingesting these toxins may not need a trip to the vet
During our emergency hours, I receive many a call that begins “my pet ate …” followed by the questions, “Is this harmful?” and “Do I need to bring him or her in?” Many of these inquiries are about substances that are not necessarily toxic, and I often give the recommendation of letting your pet remain happily at home.  I have compiled a list that represents the most common “nontoxic” toxins...
News: Shea Cox
Bites and Stings
The A-Bee-C’s of Acute Allergic Reactions
I kicked off my Saturday morning shift by treating the cutest puffy-faced puppy; he was experiencing his first acute allergic reaction. Like many dog owners, this puppy’s mom had never witnessed this kind of sudden reaction, and arrived at our ER in a panicked and perplexed state exclaiming, “he was normal just a minute ago!” Acute allergic reactions are a common emergency, and the culprits...
Dog's Life: Green
Green Grooming with Baking Soda
A fantastic dog-grooming helper
Baking soda is a key ingredient when it comes to grooming. •Keep your dog brushes clean by soaking them in a small basin in a solution of warm water and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Rinse and air dry. •Give your dog a dry bath by sprinkling her with baking soda. Rub it in, then brush it out. •For a wet wash, combine 3 tablespoons baking soda with 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 teaspoon baby...
News: Shea Cox
Preventing Heat Stroke
“Sunny and 70” can mean “sunny and deadly”
We have been experiencing idyllic temperatures in Berkeley, Calif., these past couple of weeks—mostly sunny days and mid-70s bliss. Perfect weather for a fun-filled outing with our pets, right? For the most part, the answer is “yes” but these are the kind of days where we have to be extra cautious with our pets. At the veterinary hospital where I practice, I have had three dogs die from heat...
News: JoAnna Lou
Signs of Canine Cancer
One in three dogs will be affected by cancer
I still remember when I first heard that cancer affects one in three dogs. I was at an agility trial fundraiser for canine cancer research and the organizers asked anyone touched by the disease to raise their hand. Almost everyone had their hand up. It's a scary statistic that hit home recently. Three of my friends have lost dogs to cancer in the last month. The disease has become so...
News: Guest Posts
Vet Care Nightmare
Why we spent $6,500 this month … and counting
For the month of August, my husband and I have spent $6,500 on veterinary care for two of our four dogs. What I find particularly maddening is how we have done everything possible to ensure our dogs stay healthy, and yet, do we really know if it made a difference? I naively thought that by giving my dogs the best of everything—a raw diet, vitamins, supplements, holistic treats, mentally...
News: Guest Posts
Big Dog, Big Heartworm
Foster volunteer chronicles her pup’s heartworm treatment
For the past month, I’ve been following a blog about a nine-year-old foster dog named Mila, who is undergoing heartworm treatment. It’s written by Jean, who fosters dogs for Big Hearts Big Dog Rescue in Western New York. Mila is the third heartworm-positive pup to come into Jean’s care. I’ve never really appreciated the challenges or devastation heartworm, and I’ve never known a dog treated...
Wellness: Health Care
Oncept delivers cancer-fighting DNA
A vet’s perspective
Skin lumps can be tricky. we stick them with a needle, suck up some cells, smear the sample on a slide and take a peek down a microscope, but sometimes we still can’t make a diagnosis. This leaves us with the option of surgery on a lump of unknown provenance and the dilemma of how wide an excision to make. If the culprit is benign, the surgery need not be radical. But what if the lump is...
Wellness: Health Care
Veterinarian's Pet Peeves
What not to do at the vet’s office.
Most dog guardians love their vets and, for the most part, the feeling is mutual. After all, we’re working together for a common goal: good health and happiness for our best friends. Most vets accentuate the positive. Dr. Susan Wagner, a veterinary neurologist and author of “Through a Dog’s Ear,” praises the thoughtful generosity of her human clients. “The good ones will even take out...
Culture: DogPatch
Foreign Bodies
Tasty, disgusting, edible or not— everything’s fair game for curious critters
Foreign bodies combine mystery, intrigue, incredulity and guilt to make for a fascinating and fickle assortment of surgical diseases. There seems to be no limit to what our pets will try to cram into their mouths; size, shape, texture and taste often playing little or no part in an oral obsession that for many owners can become a difficult and costly vice to curb. So why do our dogs, cats and...

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