The official recommendations for how long a dog should fast before undergoing anesthesia may differ from what your veterinarian tells you. Listen to the doctor.

How Long a Dog Should Fast Before Anesthesia

For healthy adult dogs about to undergo an operation, the American Animal Hospital Association now recommends a 4- to 6-hour fast prior to anesthesia. The organization suggests even shorter pre-surgical fasts for dogs younger than 2 months of age and dogs with diabetes, who need to eat their food at specific times to pair with […]
Dogs with health problems Of plaque stains in teeth

Tongue and Gum Colors Provide Health Clues

Has your dog’s usual pink tongue color faded somewhat? Take her to the veterinarian. A tongue or gums that go from pink to paler pink could be a sign of anemia — a deficiency of red blood cells — and the cause has to be identified and treated. If her gums or tongue literally go […]
Dog Rabies

Rabies Risk an Increasing Concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a ban on dogs entering the United States from 113 “high-risk rabies countries,” including the Dominican Republic, Brazil, India, the Philippines, and Morocco. Dog rabies has been eliminated from the United States since 2007, but the CDC points out that “the importation of even one […]
“I hope you made sure those pills you bought at a discount don’t contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs.”

Where to Fill Your Dog’s Prescriptions

Your dog is prescribed the pain-relieving medicine gabapentin — a drug also commonly prescribed for people. Because it’s cheaper from a pharmacy for people than from the vet, you decide to have the prescription filled at your local drug store. Going to your regular pharmacy is also more convenient. It’s right inside the supermarket. The […]
Vet examining dog

Dear Doctor: The illness behind the anemia

Q. After some blood work, my dog was diagnosed with anemia. Now my vet wants to conduct a bunch of other tests. Can’t I just give him an iron supplement? Travis Zelenski Chicago, Illinois Dear Ms. Zelenski, A. Anemia simply means a low red blood cell count. There are many reasons the concentration of red […]
Spaying or neutering may cause some dogs to gain some weight, but it should not make a dog morbidly obese. That tends to be more a matter of the family’s feeding style.

Does Spaying or Neutering Really Lead to Weight Gain?

If you’ve recently had your dog spayed or neutered and it looks like your pet has put on a few, you’re probably not imagining it. Spaying and neutering don’t cause weight gain, but they do create physiological changes that predispose a dog to packing on extra pounds. The risk for weight gain is highest during […]
Virtual veterinary visits

Veterinary Visits By Video

Back in December 2019, before anyone had ever heard the term “social distancing,” telemedicine remained largely at the margins of veterinary care. The concept...
dog with arthritis

Is Your Arthritic Dog Depressed?

It is well known that depression is a hallmark of arthritis. Pain leads to a chemical stress response in the brain, and over time, that response — an ongoing imbalance in neurotransmitters — is what leads to the mood disorder. Add to that the sleep deprivation and loss of mobility that comes with arthritis, and […]
The color of the discharge — and the color of the eye itself — provides clues to what might be wrong.

Eye Gook: When to Worry

The color of discharge coming out of your dog’s eye can tell you a lot about whether something is wrong or if the “gook” is normal. The color key below will help you determine whether a vet visit is in order. White. White discharge that’s not excessive, especially if it’s in the inner corner of […]
Vet examining dog

Dear Dear: Worried about abdominal surgery

Q. My dog is supposed to undergo abdominal surgery, but I am worried about putting him through it. When my husband had abdominal surgery, he was so tender at the incision site that it took a month and a half before he was able to walk without pain. I know my dog needs the operation, […]
The cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL, connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). If the ligament tears, however, (see inset), the two bones slide past each other during walking and running. That's what causes the pain.

A Tear in the Knee

Perhaps you have heard of athletes who tore their ACL — the acronym for a ligament in the knee called the anterior cruciate ligament. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and NFL quarterback Tom Brady are two examples. Dogs can suffer the same injury, except in our canine friends the ligament is called the CCL, for cranial […]
A reverse sneeze looks very uncomfortable, but the dog will be back to himself as soon as it’s over.

Reverse Sneezing

During a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. But during a reverse sneeze, which sounds like loud snorting, air is rapidly pulled in through the nose. It can be very alarming to watch a dog in the throes of a reverse sneeze spasm. His head and neck will extend, and he […]