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

February 2019

Full Issue (PDF)

February 2019 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

You Gonna Eat That?Subscribers Only

You love your dog and don’t mind giving him table scraps here and there. But it has gotten to the point that every time you sit down to eat, he’s there — begging, nudging, drooling, and beseeching with wide eyes for some of your meal. How has something that you thought was cute and tried to be nice about — and loving about — turned into such a persistent, annoying problem?   More...

Your Legal Right to Take Your Pet Along When Being Evacuated

Thanks to a law known as the PETS Act, not just service animals but also plain old household pets must be included in any emergency preparedness operational plans by state and local authorities. And FEMA must provide rescue, care, shelter, and essential needs for both humans and pets following a major disaster or emergency. With that in mind, the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that if you plan accordingly, listen to your local authorities, and remain calm, you and your dog will be able to evacuate as smoothly as possible in the event of, say, a hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster.   More...

Who’s Going to Take the Greyhounds No Longer Racing in Florida?

With the state of Florida banning greyhound racing by the end of 2020 in a historic November vote, that means only six dog tracks will be left in a smattering of other states: Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia. It’s a boon for the greyhounds, as dog racing is not a sport. It’s a gambling industry that treats the dogs like dice, which is to say, as if they weren’t sentient beings. They’re kept in small cages up to 23 hours a day, with their welfare consistently coming after earnings; a dog dies on the track every three days in Florida alone.   More...

Dog Food Prescribed By the Vet Not Working?Subscribers Only

Tufts veterinary nutritionist Cailin Heinze, VMD, is only too familiar with scenarios like the following: “We had this little dog who needed surgery to remove bladder stones made of calcium oxalate,” she says. “After that, she was prescribed a diet that would make the stones less likely to recur. Even so, the stones kept coming back. She had to undergo two more operations to remove more stones. We asked the owner what was going on. ‘Well, I’m feeding the diet you recommended,’ he said.   More...

Misbehavior In Your Absence Can Signal a Case of Separation Anxiety.Subscribers Only

She’s perfectly house trained as long as you’re home but relieves herself on the floor when you’re not there, making you pay for leaving her alone. Or she pulls all the trash out of the garbage can and strews it throughout the house. Rest assured she’s not being vindictive. She’s feeling panicked.   More...

Brushing: Not Just CosmeticSubscribers Only

You know that a long-haired dog like a Bernese Mountain Dog or a shih tzu needs to be brushed frequently. But were you aware that short-haired breeds like beagles and boxers need regular brushing, too?   More...

An Elective Surgery That’s a Life SaverSubscribers Only

The ravages of bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), often occur extremely fast. A dog’s human family will leave early in the morning, then return late in the day to find their dog extremely ill or even dead. GDV is a condition in which the stomach twists in place, cutting off its own blood supply and compromising the blood supply to other organs.   More...

Eight Types of BedsSubscribers Only

Every dog should have a bed. It’s a go-to spot they love, whether to snuggle, snooze, or get a good night’s rest. But which bed is best? It depends on your canine pal’s proclivities, health conditions, and age. A dog’s bed needs to change through the years, and you may want to switch beds as she gets older. Here are eight types of beds, along with features that may suit a dog’s specific needs.   More...

News & Views

Dear Doctor: The dog’s white hair is taking on a rust color

My 12-year-old dog, Emmy, has been pure white her entire life — until the last 7 months. As you can see from the photo, she now has a rust-colored face and paws. Three different veterinarians have given me three different theories for why this has happened, ranging from old age to allergies. At this point she has been on four allergy medications, including steroids, but none of them has helped. I should note that she has also had pus in her left eye, which is red. I have been applying the over-the-counter eye ointment Maxitrol, but I am already on my fourth tube — it only works for a couple of days. Please help my baby girl. I don’t know what else to do.   More...