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

May 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

May 2017 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Dogs Will Be Dogs, Whether Or Not It’s Convenient For You.

Rita Denton of Jefferson City, Missouri, is beside herself. Her daughter’s French bulldog attacks “anything that moves,” she says — “big dogs, carriage horses, police on bicycles, children. I am afraid,” Ms. Denton comments, “my daughter will end up with a lawsuit on her hands!”   More...

Is It a Seizure?Subscribers Only

Poor little Scottish terrier Newt was barley two months old and had been in his new home only a few weeks when, according to his owner, Jackie Strom, “he kind of rolled over on his back, his arms and legs going. His eyes were sort of in the back of his head, and he lost control of his bowels. It probably didn’t last much more than a minute or so.”   More...

Drug Used to Euthanize Pets Found in Dog Food

Just a few months ago we printed a front-page article assuring you, our readers, that despite rumors of unwholesome ingredients in commercial dog food, including remnants of dead dogs and cats, the store-bought pet food we feed our canine loved ones is wholesome, safe, and nutritionally balanced. We explained that dogs and cats who have died or been euthanized are rendered separately from animals used for food at plants inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and therefore are not present in food produced by pet food companies who do in fact use meat from government-inspected facilities.   More...

Could You Turn Down the Radio?Subscribers Only

We know. Summer’s approaching, and with it that feeling of freedom, so you like to roll down the window and blast the car radio, belting out your favorite songs as you cruise along the highway. But you know what? If your dog is with you, it could really hurt her ears. Dogs hear a good four times better than we do, and they have a hard time with very loud noises. So Jimmy Page’s guitar riff and Robert Plant’s louder and louder singing of the lyrics in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, while a terrific release for you, are a jangly, scratchy cacophony of ear-splitting sounds to your pet. Imagine having to listen to a high-volume recording of a fork scratching the bottom of a pot and not being able to change the station.   More...

When Cancer Requires Emergency TreatmentSubscribers Only

Say “cancer,” and what comes to mind is not a mad rush to the emergency room to avoid imminent death but, rather, a slow-growing problem with gradual deterioration. However, some dogs (and people) with cancer often feel perfectly fine and exhibit no symptoms and therefore go undiagnosed — until a catastrophic emergency occurs.   More...

News & Views

Difficult, Or True to His Species?

So you know that park with the trail that wends alongside a cove where I take the dogs for romps? And you know how I haven’t talked about that spot in a while? It’s because the town has outlawed dogs off leash there, and border collie Franklin has to have significant time untethered every day or he will go crazy. (Translation: He will drive me crazy.)   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: Let Dreaming Dogs Lie

Q My dog does a lot of dreaming - you can see her limbs twitching a little. But she also often emits little cries or other sounds while dreaming that seem to indicate she’s in distress. Should I wake her at those times to relieve her from whatever anxiety she may be experiencing? Leora Sadler Redondo Beach, California   More...

Dear Doctor: Dogs Gotta Swim…But Should They Be Bathed Afterward?

Q My dog is now almost a year old and absolutely loves to go in the water. There is a saltwater bay near our house that leads to the ocean, and nothing makes him happier than to splash around in it, and even swim in it. He grins from ear to ear. But should I be bathing him after each wet excursion? After all, water in a bay — or even in a stream or river — carries its own bacteria and other pathogens and may not be perfectly harmless. Also, I wonder if the salt in the water is prone to making the skin under his coat too dry. Please tell me the verdict on how often to bathe a dog who enjoys the ocean, lakes, ponds, or streams? I certainly wouldn’t go into the water without bathing afterwards. Maisie Kirkland Nahant, Massachusetts   More...

Dear Doctor: The Dog Likes To Relax in Tight Spaces

Q My dog has always liked to squeeze himself into tight spaces to hang out — under the dining room table, between the couch and the wall, the bed and the wall, even on a shelf in the basement when I go down to do laundry. What is that about? Should I be concerned? Harry Winter Maspeth, New York   More...