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


The Right Way to Perform CPR On Your Pet

Even the most loving dog owner probably wouldn’t list mouth-to-snout as the preferred way of expressing affection for his pet. But what if it could save the life of a companion animal who has stopped breathing? More

Is the Dog Being Territorial?

Steve Wojnar of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, is concerned that his five-year-old goldendoodle, 95-pound Angus, “has become steadily more territorial about space he seems to consider his. He has never been particularly dog-social,” Mr. Wojnar says, “although he was never aggressive before and just chose to basically ignore other dogs. Over the past several months, however, he has started growling and barking at dogs who walk past our house. Most disturbing, he has been growling and barking at dogs who walk by when we have him out at our local pub, where he is allowed to sit or lie near or under the sidewalk tables. He has even taken to getting up (or trying to — my hand is always on his collar) and moving toward passing dogs, growling and barking all the while. More

“Sit,” “Down,” “Leave It,” “Come”

You’re really good at cooing over your new puppy, loving her up, giving her delicious treats, and in general showing her that life in your household is going to be wonderful. But within a day or two of your new dog’s arriving at your home, you should also be engaging in training. It’s not a punishment. When a dog and a person are new to each other, the motivation to communicate is quite high, so that’s a good time to start teaching her your cues for desirable behavior. Furthermore, when she gets it right, which will begin to happen quite quickly, she will feel a great sense of accomplishment — and so will you — and that will strengthen the bond between the two of you. More

Running (or Biking) With the Dogs

All too few dogs engage in enough physical activity, which not only contributes to the epidemic of unhealthful excess weight in an estimated two in five of our canine companions but also leads to behavioral issues. Problems like whining, panting, barking, and aggression could be ameliorated with regular aerobic activity that gets the heart rate up and excess energy out. Some veterinary experts even put vigorous physical activity in front of training, diet, and other measures as a mood stabilizer and overall calming influence — no surprise to people habituated to using a good workout to lift their spirits and “get the venom out.” More

Is it Cancer or a Problem with a Neck Gland?

Eleven-year-old bichon frise Cooper was feeling, well, not quite himself — a bit lethargic. His “mom,” Cherylann Hanrahan of Norwalk, Connecticut, was worried that it was her fault. A while back, she had started putting 1/4 teaspoon of crushed eggshells into his food on the advice of someone who told her it would improve his diet’s nutritional quality. Then, when she took him to the vet to see what was wrong with him, he had high blood calcium — 16 milligrams per tenth of a liter of blood as opposed to a healthy 9-to-11.7 milligrams. That made her concerned that she had put some kind of awful chain of events into motion. Egg shells are high in calcium, and the vet said that high calcium in the blood sometimes means cancer. More