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

September 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

September 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Donating Your Dog to Science (But Taking Her Home at Night)

Do you have a dachshund with a moderate or severe spinal cord injury? Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, about 90 miles from both Houston and Austin, wants to study your pet to better understand the illness and begin to figure out ways to treat it.   More...

8 Questions to Ask Before Relying on a Nutrition Website

When you google “how to feed a dog with cancer” and come upon a website that says to buy your pet a supplement designed by the person running the site, your instinct to feel suspicious kicks in automatically. But when you click on a website that says not to feed your dog a diet with grains because dogs are not naturally grain eaters (and the site points out that you don’t see dogs grazing in grassy fields), whether to pay attention can get tougher. (For the record, dogs tolerate grains just fine, and many do like to sometimes munch on grass, which is not a grain, anyway.)   More...

Dog Nutrition Websites: The Best of the BestSubscribers Only

To help you in your Internet search for reliable nutrition information for your dog, we have compiled a list of the very best websites out there, divided into categories for your convenience.   More...

A Manmade Dog IllnessSubscribers Only

English bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, boxers, Pekingese, Lhasa apsos, shih tzus, affenpinschers, Japanese chins, Cavalier King Charles spaniels. These are many, but not quite all, of the breeds considered brachycephalic, meaning they have pushed-in faces. And people love them. Their impossibly adorable big eyes, flat noses, and heads that are often large in relation to the rest of their bodies are the very qualities that draw us to infants, and we want to hug these dogs up. Indeed, the French bulldog and the English bulldog are numbers 4 and 5, respectively, on the list of the most popular breeds in America.   More...

Free Vaccines for LifeSubscribers Only

Google “free vaccines for life” and you will see page after page of veterinary practices that engage in this very type of program — free vaccines annually for dogs who are patients at these clinics. They all operate a bit differently, but here’s the gist. If you take your dog to the clinic once a year for her wellness visit, vaccines deemed necessary at that time will be given at no cost.   More...

It’s Okay to Anthropomorphize After All

You’re in the middle of sharing anecdotes about how your dog simply adores your new baby, licking him every chance she gets, when your brother-in-law chimes in that you’re “anthropomorphizing again.” That is, he says you’re attributing human motivations and emotions to your dog when she is licking the baby solely for dog reasons — the taste of salt on the baby’s body or the reaction the dog gets from delighted humans — rather than to express affection. You feel, once again, silly, maybe defensive, for your unscientific thinking that your dog is somehow like a person.   More...

News & Views

Dogs Can Smell Disease in Trees, Save Crops

You've probably heard that with their keen sense of smell, dogs can sniff cancer on their owners and even be trained to warn of a hypoglycemic attack in someone with diabetes because of changes in the odor of the person’s breath. Now, researchers are learning that dogs can also protect our food supply — in a big way.   More...

Dogs Aloft Again with United Airlines

When a dog died last March during a Houston-to-New York flight on United Airlines after being stowed in an overhead compartment, a tragic mistake the company acknowledged and apologized for, United temporarily suspended its program for allowing dogs (and cats) to fly on its planes while reviewing its safety policies.   More...

We Like ‘Em Like Us

Who among us hasn’t been slapped on the proverbial wrist because we’ve treated our dogs too much like people, imbuing them with human emotions and feelings and thereby breaking scientists’ cardinal rule not to anthropomorphize animals?   More...

Expert Advice

Dear Doctor: The Dog Can’t Urinate

For the last day or two my dog has stopped urinating. He strains and maybe a few drops come out, but there’s no “stream” to speak of. I know that a dog will sometimes miss a bowel movement. Is this the same thing?   More...