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

February 2017

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February 2017 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Unwholesome Ingredients In Your Dog’s Food?

“Does your pet’s food contain dead pets?” That’s how one sub-title read for an article on slate.com, which went on to say in the first paragraph that dead dogs “might very well be what you are scanning at the grocery store checkout and scooping into your dog’s bowl.” The article also says that “the stuff that ends up in dog food is material that can’t be sold as food for humans,” making the point that what “can’t even go into hotdogs gets consolidated and shipped to rendering plants,” where it is “pulverized into one big blend of dead stuff,” heated for hours, and then put into pet food as meat and bone meal.   More...

Maybe ‘Memory Like an Elephant’ Should Be ‘Memory Like a Dog’Subscribers Only

It has long been said that dogs don’t sequence memories in their minds the way people do, that in fact they don’t really have the kind of awareness of self that would allow them to recall a situation they were in at some point in the past. That is, the belief has been that they essentially live only in the present.   More...

Budgeting for Pet Health Insurance Now Can Save You Heartache — and Wallet Ache — Later

“I think at the end of the day it will probably be a wash,” says Stacy Toczylowski, referring to the amount she pays on health insurance for her Jack Russell terrier, Bella, and the amount her dog’s medical care actually costs. In other words, she believes that all told, the money the pet health insurance company reimburses her for Bella’s care will essentially equal the amount she will have shelled out on the monthly premium. Still, she is not sorry that she bought a healthcare policy for her beloved dog. Why not?   More...

Ten Signs Your Dog Feels Stressed

Sometimes it’s easy to tell when your dog feels stressed — during loud fireworks displays, perhaps, or when he doesn’t want to get out of the car in the parking lot of the veterinarian’s office. But there are signs of stress in our canine loved ones that can come across more subtly. What are they, and what can you do to calm your dog during those times that anxiety has gotten the better of him?   More...

They Mouth and Nip and Bite. We Mouth Off in Response. Neither Will Fly.Subscribers Only

People have a pretty good sense of touch on their lips and around the face, to be sure. But most of our sense of touch is within our fingers. It’s exquisitely acute at the fingertips, in particular. A dog, on the other hand, could never use his paws for, say, reading Braille. The pressure receptors there just wouldn’t be sensitive enough to distinguish all those little dots and other shapes; the skin is too thick. The pain and temperature receptors in his paws aren’t terribly sensitive, either — a good thing for an animal who doesn’t wear shoes while walking over gravel and other uneven surfaces.   More...

Daily, Weekly, Monthly, YearlySubscribers Only

Wait, before you start reading, go get your wall calendar, or date book, or smart phone, or whatever it is you use to remind yourself of your appointments. We’ll wait.   More...

News & Views

Alphabet Soup

“You keep making a typo when you refer to one of the veterinarians on your editorial board,” a reader wrote. “Cailin Heinze is always called a ‘VMD.’ But the designation for a vet is ‘DVM.’”   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor - Different vets with different views on aspirin?

In your October article on “Sharing the Medicine Chest” with your dog, you made no mention of aspirin. My veterinarian has prescribed 81 milligrams of aspirin twice a day for my 13-year-old border terrier, who has trouble climbing stairs and going for her walks. My friend’s vet has told her not to give aspirin to her German shorthaired pointer. What is the verdict on whether to use aspirin for pain in dogs?   More...