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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...
News: Shea Cox
Safety Tips for Dogs on the 4th of July
One of the busiest times of the year for our emergency service is the Fourth of July holiday. While many people celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and BBQ’s, many others spend it waiting in the ER while their pet is treated for an array of holiday-induced emergencies, including serious laceration injuries from pets jumping through glass windows or doors, high rise fall injuries due to...
News: Shea Cox
Foxtails Can Pose Serious Risks to Dogs
Foxtails
As an ER vet, I officially mark the start of the summer season when I see several patient charts over the course of a 10 hour shift with the presenting complaint: sudden sneezing. By the third one I think, “Another one? What the foxtail!” Annual grasses releasing foxtails grow quickly throughout the rainy season. As temperatures rise, the foxtail-shaped tip of each grass blade dries out and the...
Wellness: Health Care
Pain Relief for Dogs
Treating chronic pain in dogs.
Chocolate Lab
I see it all the time. it might be a yellow Lab cursed with crunchy, stiff elbows; a Rottweiler with knees that refuse to bend; or a German Shepherd who circles forever before daring to lie down. Degenerative arthritis in our canine companions is a common, debilitating and frustrating problem, especially for older dogs. Though some dog owners opt for surgical solutions like joint replacement,...
Wellness: Health Care
Learning Curve
Second Opinion
Australian Shepherd named Cyrus
As an englishman, I’m used to fielding questions about my homeland, but earlier this year, my jaw dropped when a patient asked me, “Who’s Kate Middleton?” It amazed me that anyone could be unaware of the future king of England’s bride. I couldn’t help thinking, How did you manage to avoid this story? Where have you been hiding? Little did I know that my next patient, a three-year-old Australian...

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