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

July 2019

Full Issue (PDF)

July 2019 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

Features

Fear of Fireworks

These are the times that try dogs’ souls — if they suffer from noise phobia, that is, which many dogs do. The booms of July 4th fireworks leave them panting, pacing, drooling, shaking, barking, and running for cover. What can you do about it?   More...

Which Imaging Technique Is Right for Your Dog?Subscribers Only

Veterinarians often need to see inside a sick or injured dog to figure out what’s wrong. But what’s the best imaging technique to use? It depends on what the veterinarian suspects might be the problem. What follows is a guide to the various ways doctors view what’s happening under the coat. As you’ll see, the cost of imaging is a good reason to have pet health insurance.   More...

Acupuncture for What Ails Him?Subscribers Only

Acupuncture treatment, by many accounts, is proving valuable in treating dogs suffering from such ailments as musculoskeletal pain and nausea as well as various side effects of chemotherapy. Tufts veterinary school graduate Karen Fine, DVM, who practices in Massachusetts, describes one dog who was in so much pain from apparent disc disease in his neck that she told his owners if acupuncture didn’t help, and they declined to take him for a workup by veterinary specialists, they should seriously consider putting him down to relieve him of his misery. But within five days of his first treatment — when Dr. Fine inserted a number of thin needles in his skin and left them there for 20 minutes — he was 60 percent better. Today, he is 90 percent improved. Acupuncture literally saved his life.   More...

Why an Older Dog Might Be a Better ChoiceSubscribers Only

While a brand new car has its attractions, many people have found that a car with some mileage on it runs just as well, has had the kinks worked out, and costs a lot less than a new vehicle. So it goes with dogs. A mature dog usually has plenty of life left. In addition, the behavioral kinks have likely been taken care of, and a mature dog often costs a lot less than a 2- to 3-month-old puppy. The advantages break down as follows.   More...

When the Dog Won’t Stop Eating PoopSubscribers Only

First-time dog owners who have new puppies that engage in the habit of eating poop are often told it’s a behavior of dogs under one year of age and that their pet will grow out of it. But plenty of adult dogs eat poop, too. In a survey of 3,000 dog owners conducted by Benjamin Hart, DVM, of the veterinary school at the University of California, Davis, it was found that one in six dogs is a “serious” stool eater.   More...

Research Proves It Yet Again: Leaner Dogs Live LongerSubscribers Only

Several decades ago, 48 Labrador retrievers were split into two groups at birth and then followed for their entire lives. One group was always fed 25 percent fewer calories than the other. By the end of the study, the group fed less lived for a year and a half to two years longer than the other, on average. The difference: they were ideal body condition as opposed to their moderately overweight counterparts.   More...

News & Views

When Dogs’ Reactions to the Mail Carrier Go Beyond Cute

Dogs barking at the mailman are fairly common, but some 6,000 attacks on letter carriers occur each year, according to the U.S. Postal Service, and some are quite serious. Among the cities with the greatest number of attacks: Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. But attacks occur all over the country, involving not just bites but also knocking letter carriers to the ground, sometimes necessitating emergency room visits.   More...

Are You Up For a Canine Sleepover? It Will Significantly Reduce a Shelter Dog’s Stress

Noise levels in shelters can easily exceed 100 decibels (think jack hammer or power lawn mower), and 6 months of exposure to that amount of noise results in hearing loss for dogs. Shelter dogs are also often confined to small spaces and don’t get to interact much either with other dogs or with people, leaving them socially isolated. They sleep less in shelters, too, about 11 hours a day, according to one study, compared with 14 hours a day in a household environment.   More...