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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

New Vaccination Guidelines Published

New Vaccination Guidelines Published

Something of a shift toward choosing vaccinations on a dog-by-dog basis rather than using blanket recommendations.

December 2017 - For the first time in six years, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has come out with a new set of guidelines for vaccinating dogs. And those guidelines are changing with the times. For instance, with this edition they are now produced as an online education resource that will allow ongoing updates to be made whenever new research information comes in. No longer will there be “gaps of years between versions,” says Link Welborn, DVM, DABVP, CCRT, chair of the AAHA’s Canine Vaccination Task Force. In fact, he says, “the online format will also be accessible on mobile devices, which will improve functionality greatly.”

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Assessing Caregiver Burden for Pet Owners

Assessing Caregiver Burden for Pet Owners

The toll that caring for a sick or dying animal takes and how you can relieve the stress.

When researchers turned to social media to recruit people for a study that would look at the extent of the psychological and social burdens that come with caring for a sick pet, the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the call were women. Tufts veterinary social worker Eric Richman, MSW, LICSW, isn’t surprised. Mr. Richman, who used to work in the human healthcare system, says that “when talking about human medicine and chronic illness, the caregiver is often female.” And that role, rightly or wrongly, often extends to caregivers for dogs.

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Dog and Donut

Tips for Giving a Proper Diet History to the Vet

Leaving out information can compromise your dog's health in serious ways.

Once your dog grows out of puppyhood, most veterinary visits include scant to no discussion of diet. Sometimes, however, something is wrong that would lead either you or your dog’s doctor to prompt conversation about what your pet is eating. Or your dog’s primary care vet may refer you to a veterinarian who is board-certified in nutrition because she discovers or suspects your dog has a health issue that requires dietary intervention overseen by an expert in the field. Or you on your own decide to go to see a board-certified veterinary nutritionist simply because you’re concerned that what your dog eats might be affecting his overall health.

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Dogs eating ice cream

Can You Remember What Your Dog Had for Lunch Yesterday?

Why it might be important to know every single thing your pet eats.

Hmm, let’s see…two small pieces of American cheese so he wouldn’t feel left out when his “sister” Rosie got her bladder-tightening pill wrapped in cheese, another two small pieces when she got her second pill later in the day (I forget the brand of cheese just now), a dental chew (not sure which — my wife buys them), I-don’t-know-how-many 5-calorie tiny Milk Bone biscuits that he demands when we take our walks or which I dispense because he has come back to me when I called, the licks of ice cream he managed to squeeze in before I pulled him away from the cup someone left outside the ice cream shop…

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