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

If We Knew What They Were Saying, Their Barking Wouldn’t Be So Irritating

If We Knew What They Were Saying, Their Barking Wouldn’t Be So Irritating

Dogs communicate 5 different things with their barks. They shouldn't be punished for trying to tell you or another dog something.

December 2016 - In her excellent book, Barking: The Sound of a Language (Dogwise Publishing), Norwegian trainer Turid Rugaas points out that people often think dogs bark as an act of aggression or to prove their dominance, or simply to annoy people. But while barking most certainly can get on people’s nerves, dogs don’t bark to “strut their stuff” or exhibit swagger. Like us, they vocalize to express something — a warning, an emotion, a desire, happiness even.…

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The Dog Growls When I Touch His Toys

The Dog Growls When I Touch His Toys

What to do when the aggression is directed at the owner.

Deborah Betson of Aurora, Colorado, has a situation. Her mixed-breed dog, Camo, has begun to growl when she tries to move any of his toys or his dog bed. She can’t even move his possessions around in order to clean. She adopted Camo only recently from a Colorado correction system program that takes dogs from various shelters and gives them to prisoners to train, and the first couple of months went beautifully.

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How Vets Think

How Vets Think

We get into vets' heads to understand how they make diagnoses when presented with symptoms that could be indicative of any one of a number of diseases. A diagnosis could be differential, presumptive, or definitive.

A dog is brought to the clinic because she is both urinating more than ever and also drinking more than ever. The condition is referred to by veterinarians as PU/PD, which stands for polyuria-polydipsia — the medical term for over-urinating/over-drinking. What could it be? Diabetes? Something else?

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

What to do when the dog's immune system overreacts to the intestines own good bacteria.

“Jessie was one of a kind,” says Bill Tidman of his shepherd/collie mix. “Other than my wife, she was my best friend.” “She was just such a special dog,” says Mr. Tidman’s wife, Sharon. “I called her my soul dog. She was my baby girl. When she first came here, [the Tidmans acquired her from the dog officer when she was a puppy] she was so excited to be with us she bounced from couch to…

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