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News: 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...
News: 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...
Wellness: Health Care
Joint Relief
Second Opinion
rouxby.com
I consider myself to be an optimist, a “glass-half-full” veterinarian. So why was I so worried about Zeus, a four-year-old Great Dane mix? “He’s been lame for a couple of months,” said Jeff. “And he’s very active,” added Jeff ’s girlfriend, Adrian. “We run six miles, five times a week, and go to the dog park for an hour or so every evening.” Zeus had been referred to me for a torn cruciate...
News: 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...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Should you buy pet insurance?
Risk Management
Photograph: Steph Fitzsimmons
A year ago, one of patty Glynn’s three dogs, a five-year-old Chinese Crested named Merry, became ill and very nearly died. It turned out that she had inflammatory bowel disease and required transfusions, among other care. Blood work, emergency vet-hospital treatment and after-care expenses brought the total close to $5,000; luckily for Merry, Glynn and her husband, Stew Tolnay, were able to...
News: 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...
News: Shea Cox
Ick! It’s a Tick on My Dog!
The top 5 tick myths dispelled
Disease-carrying ticks can pose serious health risks to both dogs and people, no matter what state you live in. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that ticks in every state can carry disease, and the number of tick-borne diseases is on the rise. Here in Northern California, they seem to be everywhere, and it is not uncommon for me to find an “incidental tick or two” during my...
News: Shea Cox
Prescriptions for Pet Meds
Making the cost of pet care easier to swallow
In many veterinary practices, dispensing of prescription drugs, nutritional supplements and parasite prevention makes up 17 percent to 20 percent of practice revenue. Historically, selling these products has been a relatively passive revenue source for veterinary practices. In the past, there has been little competition for products, and consumers did not routinely “shop around” for medications...
Wellness: Health Care
Holistic Approach to Cancer in Dogs
Healing maladies holistically.
Follow Your Nose.
In my office, an aging golden retriever named jasper sits by my fax machine and waits for his latest ultrasound report. But I already know the results from a gentle wag of his tail and his rejuvenated appetite: the cancer is in remission. Unlike an oncologist, I don’t treat cancer. I focus instead on healing the patient’s failing immune system; Jasper’s gave rise to two large liver tumors. I...

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