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

June 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

June 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

My Dog is Racist, and I’m Mortified!Subscribers Only

Alabama-native Maegan White loves traveling with her husband and their dogs, Maui and Dexter. Maui, the couple’s boykin spaniel, is so friendly that he helped neighbors from India overcome their fear of dogs and even adopt one of their own.   More...

Barbra Streisand Cloned Her Dog. Should You Clone Yours?

In a Variety article this past winter that mined her thoughts on the #MeToo Movement, Barbra Streisand mentioned in passing that she cloned her beloved Coton de Tulear, Samantha, and had two of the three knockoffs at home with her — Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet. The article focused on Ms. Streisand’s having broken a lot of glass ceilings in Hollywood both as a director and a producer, but what went viral was the dog cloning, with articles popping up on the online sites of People Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and too many other media outlets to mention. Just type “Barbra” in the Google search bar, and “Barbara Streisand dog” appears as one of the choices to click on, with 14 straight pages of listings on this particular story.   More...

Advances — and Challenges — in AnesthesiaSubscribers Only

The risk of death for dogs under anesthesia used to be one to two deaths in 100 patients, says Lois Wetmore, DVM, an assistant professor of anesthesia and pain management at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “Now we’re down to about one death in 2,000,” Dr. Wetmore says. “We’re headed in the right direction.”   More...

The Other Opioid CrisisSubscribers Only

In one of our country’s most unfortunate contemporary ironies, while opioids are destroying people’s lives and the lives of their family members throughout all strata of society — rich, poor, urban, suburban, rural — they are in short supply in hospitals around the country. This is true both for hospitals that serve people and those that serve their pets. Reports are coming in that in some hospitals, elective surgeries for people — gall bladder removal, hernia repair — are being postponed, while some people in postoperative recovery are said to be receiving less potent pain medication than they need.   More...

Choosing the Breeder Before Choosing the PuppySubscribers Only

We are big fans of choosing an adult dog in need of a home from a shelter or pound. It’s not just good for the dog; there are a lot of advantages for the person, too. Puppies can be exhausting. Their boundless energy combined with the need to take them out to piddle in the middle of night and teach them not to chew the furniture and everything else in sight takes a lot of energy — and sleeplessness.   More...

A Quiz About Your Dog’s Food Meant to Stump YouSubscribers Only

Sure, you know to look for the Statement of Nutritional Adequacy in small print on the packages of food you buy your dog so that you are assured it meets the standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). But do you have a handle on some of the finer points of dog nutrition? Test your doggie diet acumen.   More...

News & Views

Score One For the Dogs

A Massachusetts man who abused his dog so viciously that the animal had to be put down will serve eight to 10 years in prison for his offense, followed by a two-year probation upon his release. He also is never allowed to own a dog again.   More...

Dog Walking: the Good, the Bad, and the Lazy

Fitness experts say we should each try to take about 10,000 steps a day, which amounts to walking five miles — or about 1,800 miles a year. Well, guess what? If you have a dog, you’re covering 1,000 of those miles by walking him. That’s the latest from British pet food manufacturer Harringtons, which surveyed 2,000 dog owners. Their dog walking lasted 34 minutes, on average, and covered just under 2 miles.   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: Why is a much lower dose of medicine now doing the trick?

Q. Our dog, now almost 7, has been on daily Proin since she came to live with us as a puppy. She had been dribbling urine without actively trying to, and we were told she needed to be on the medicine for life since the sphincter in her bladder was weak/slack, perhaps as a result of being spayed, and the drug would keep it more taut. Originally, we tried slowly increasing doses in order to…   More...

Welcoming Jen Reeder to Our Fold

It was after the mayhem in Charlottesville last summer that journalist Jen Reeder thought of examining the concept that some dogs act racist — or can be trained to seem racist, even if unintentionally. It wasn’t that dogs were involved in any of the violence — simply the notion that in so many ways the country divides along racial lines, with dogs often in the mix. (Who hasn’t seen those photos of attack dogs used to intimidate, and harm people, in racially fraught situations?)   More...