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

June 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

June 2017 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Lots You Can Do At Home to Make Vet Visits Less Intimidating

“When I was growing up, we were taught that you pry the dog’s mouth open and then shove the medicine down their throat,” says veterinarian Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. “What I’ve been thinking about for a long time now is how you can get canine patients to participate in their own care rather than making it seem like an adversarial relationship. And what I’ve found is that you can actually train animals to play a willing role. You can make it a positive thing,” says the doctor, who heads up the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic.   More...

Massage for What Ails Your Dog?

Great Dane mix Menace had survived myriad allergies, gastrointestinal problems, mange, bloat, and a blockage in his intestine but kept going. In his later years, says his owner, Cathy Sutton of Franklin, Massachusetts, “his back end was giving out. He started to lose control of his bowel. And his neck always had a huge strain on it and was tight all the time because he was compensating with his front end for his weakened back end. When he was 12 years old everybody told me that was as long as he was going to live.”   More...

Everybody Into the Pool!Subscribers Only

Nothing beats the summertime heat like a dip in the pool or a visit to the beach or a lake, and many dogs, like their human family mates, enjoy all the splashing around. They’re probably not going to be willing to go down the water slide with you, but toys and gear are available that will enhance their pool or shore-side experience. At the same time, a number of other items will help insure their safety. First, the fun stuff!   More...

Ah, Those Wily DogsSubscribers Only

If it’s you and your dog competing in a shell game, there’s a better-than-even chance your dog is going to win. That’s right. They’re onto you and can outsmart sleights of hand you set up to fool them.   More...

When Two (or More) Pets Require Different DietsSubscribers Only

Tufts veterinary nutritionist Deborah Linder, DVM, DACVN, doesn’t just counsel people who have to make sure their household pets don’t eat each other’s food. She has to contend with plate-sharing issues among the animals in her own home. “I have a dog and two cats,” she says, “and everybody wants to eat everybody else’s food, but they all have different medical diseases and have to be on separate diets. Yet they all have to be fed at the same time or they get very upset and go around howling.”   More...

Expert Advice

Making Medical Care Easier

I know I’ve told you guys a couple of times already that our shiba inu Rosie takes a drug called Proin twice every single day. It increases the tone of the sphincter in her bladder so she doesn’t dribble urine in the house by accident. Normally, we have no problem getting it into her. We call out, “Rosie, Franklin, it’s time for your meds!” and both dogs come running, Rosie to get the pill wrapped in a tight little wad of American cheese and Franklin just for the tiny wad of cheese. (“There ain’t no way I’m not gettin’ in on some of that,” he told us early on.)   More...

Dear Doctor: More — or less — Calcium for Large-Breed Puppies?

I have just gotten a Great Dane puppy, eight weeks old, and the vet said I should feed her food for large-breed puppies because it has less calcium for its calories than food for smaller puppies. I said, “You mean more calcium, right?” because a big dog like a Great Dane needs more calcium to build bigger bones. But the vet insisted that food for large-breed puppies has less calcium. How can that be?   More...

Dear Doctor: Choosing the Right Heart Medication

Several months ago you published an article that talked about a medicine called pimobendan that could stave off the symptoms of congestive heart failure and thereby keep a dog with that condition healthier for a longer period of time. I have a 12-year-old beagle, Chewy, in that situation. She has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure because she has a heart murmur and an enlarged heart but does not yet have major symptoms of the disease — not really any weakness, difficulty breathing, severe loss of appetite, or cough.   More...