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

August 2017

Full Issue (PDF)

August 2017 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Fido, Please Bring Me My Slippers

You know how some people are able to get their dogs to lie down and roll over after they say, “Bang, bang?” Or how some dogs are able to retrieve an item from another room, or even from another floor of the house, and bring it over to the person asking for it? How do people get their dogs to do things like that, which require more steps than just “Sit,” or “Down?”   More...

Projecting Your Own Fears Onto Your Pet

Kim Curtsinger has “ruined” her dog, she tells us. “My four year-old sheltie, Casey, is very timid around other dogs,” says the Nicholasville, Kentucky woman. “Unfortunately,” she adds, “I am the cause of this. I have a habit of scooping him up in my arms if we’re out walking and a loose dog approaches us. Sometimes I will yell ‘Get back’ at the loose dog if it is approaching slowly. Sadly, this has imprinted on Casey’s mind, and the sight of a dog bigger than he is sends him pulling away from the dog with his tail tucked between his legs.   More...

Sticking Points in dogsSubscribers Only

We’ve talked in these pages about the famous Japanese dog Hachiko, who went to the train station every day to wait for his owner to come home from work — even for years after the owner died, until his own passing. The dog, who became a national symbol of loyalty in Japan, was found to have had four meat skewers in his stomach (think kabob sticks) at the time of his death. They didn’t kill him — cancer did — but they could have.   More...

In a City Near You: Food Trucks for DogsSubscribers Only

Gone are the days when pretty much all you could order at a food truck was a hot dog and a soda. On the Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston, for instance, lunchtime diners enjoy walking over to dozens of food trucks to chow down on the likes of Latin and Caribbean farm-to-plate meals, Indian cuisine, Moroccan fare, and, at the Shuck Food Truck, fresh seafood.   More...

Best Case Scenario: Not a Dry Eye in the House for dogsSubscribers Only

Gloria Mooney is worried. Her dog, Sparky, all of a sudden began to have trouble opening his eyes. It was not completely out of the blue. Weeks earlier, he had what she calls a skin breakout, with ulcers (open sores) appearing all over his body, including inside his mouth, his nostrils, eyes, and so on. Those areas were breaking and failing to heal. Sparky’s veterinarian assumed some kind of allergy was responsible for the problem and prescribed steroids and other medications, which cleared up the open wounds everywhere but in the corneas of Sparky’s eyes. The cornea is the clear outer surface of the eye, and problems there are serious. The cornea accounts for more than two thirds of the eye’s optical power.   More...

When Cancer Strikes the Blood Vessels of Older DogsSubscribers Only

There are six types of cancer that make up the majority of malignancies striking older dogs: lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), osteosarcoma (bone cancer), mammary cancer, mast cell tumors (mast cells are immune cells found all over the body), soft tissue sarcoma (cancer that takes hold in connective tissue like muscles and nerves), and one called hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma, with its grim prognosis, may be the diagnosis a dog owner least wants to hear. Chris Stickell of Monkton, Maryland, has now heard it twice — first with one of her golden retrievers, and then with another one from the same line, 10-year-old Bailey.   More...

News & Views

When Is Locking a Dog in a Crate Right?

Patricia Koons of York, Pennsylvania, takes issue with our view that a dog should never be locked in a crate unless he is being “toilet” trained, and then, only for very short periods of time—with his owner in the house to watch over him and keep taking him out every 15 minutes or so until he relieves his urge to urinate outside.   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: Homeopathic Treatment for Cushing’s Disease?

My 12-year-old Scottish terrier, who has been ill for over a year, received a diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease in the spring. Her doctor did not prescribe any pharmaceuticals for her. Is there a homeopathic treatment available that will lessen her symptoms?   More...

Dear Doctor: Barking during Intimacy

My 20-pound cockapoo, Bentley, is a very docile service dog who never barks outside the home or for food or water. But strangely, even if he’s lying peacefully on the floor, as soon as my wife and I embrace in affection, or lie down next to each other, he runs over to us and barks until we stop and give him some attention (which I’m sure isn’t right but we love him to death). He never becomes aggressive or threatening at all. He just barks, almost as if he’s jealous, feels left out of the intimacy, or simply wants the attention. It’s comical to see and we laugh about it. Is this normal behavior? What’s the cause?   More...