Detecting Flea Bites

It’s easy to see flea bites on ourselves because we’re not covered head to toe in dense hair. The telltale raised red dots on a dog are harder to find. On a dog, you might be more likely to see tiny “pepper flakes,” which are flea droppings. Red, irritated skin and hair loss can be […]

Left-Sided Versus Right-Sided Congestive Heart Failure In Your Dog

Our clients who come to see us at our hospital for small animals often become extremely alarmed if we say their dog has heart failure. They think the word “failure” means the heart has stopped working and they have to put down their dog. Not so. Heart failure, known medically as congestive heart failure, means […]

Your Dog Can Die From Licking Your Topical Medicine

Fluorouracil cream is prescribed for people to apply to their skin to treat a number of conditions. These include warts; skin cancers such as certain forms of basal and squamous cell carcinoma; patches of scaly skin called actinic keratoses that usually come from too much sun exposure and can turn into cancer over time if […]

Stress Appears to Cause Premature Graying in Dogs, Too

You know how the stress of four years in the White House can turn even a relatively young president prematurely gray? Turns out those same four years can also gray the muzzle of a young dog under duress. Researchers reported the finding in a journal called Applied Animal Behavior Science. They assessed the grayness of […]

A Non-Core Vaccine That May Be Critical 
For Your Dog

In recent years, there appears to have been a global jump in dogs with leptospirosis, a life-threatening bacterial disease that affects the liver and kidneys. Geographic locales in which the offending bacteria tend to thrive include warm, moist environments. Think: stagnant puddles of water and ponds, including vernal ponds. They can be found in many […]

More toes on the back feet than the front?

Q: I’ve noticed my dog has five toes on each of his front feet and four on each of his back feet? Is that normal? Buddy Reines Shreveport, Louisiana Dear Mr. Reines, A: Yes, five toes on the front feet and four on the back feet is normal canine anatomy. That said, some breeds are […]

Don’t Try to Remove the Porcupine 
Quills Yourself!

Porcupines don’t live in the south (except for the mountains of Virginia) but do reside in the rest of the country. And where they are regularly found, encounters with dogs that result in quill injuries are common. If your own dog ends up in a tussle with a porcupine and gets quilled, get him to […]

Dogs Who Don’t Exercise Regularly Appear At Much Greater Risk for Dementia

An inactive dog is between six and seven times likelier to have dementia than a dog of the same age and breed who engages regularly in physical activity. So suggest the results of a study of more than 15,000 dogs participating in the Dog Aging Project, an initiative led by researchers at the University of […]

Short Takes November 2022

Bladder Cancer: Much More Serious In Dogs n Any type of malignant tumor is serious, of course, but the good news for people is that if we develop bladder cancer, it’s generally a low-grade, superficial tumor that does not spread beyond the bladder. That’s not the case for dogs. They most often develop higher-grade bladder […]

Antibiotics Losing Their Effectiveness in Dogs, Too

You’ve probably heard of antibiotic resistance — the ability of bacteria that are causing an infection to resist the workings of the antibiotics prescribed to kill them. That means the antibiotics have a reduced chance of curing an illness brought on by the growth of harmful bacteria, whether it’s a respiratory infection that is causing […]

Dear Doctor November 2022

Braces for Fido Q: My vet said my young dog needs braces. Can that possibly be right? Elsie Schwartz Chicago, Illinois Dear Ms. Schwartz, A: Yes. It’s not for cosmetic reasons. It’s for a dog with malocclusion that can cause trauma in the mouth. A malocclusion means the upper and lower teeth don’t align properly. […]

What Looks Amusing May Be a Sign of Ill Health

Perhaps you’ve seen the online videos of dogs with an adorably goofy-looking gait. They put one front leg very decidedly in front of the other as they prance along in a jangly style, or sometimes bring up their front legs as if they are marching, putting a smile on dog lovers’ faces. But what looks […]