Whats Good for the Dog Is Good for the Person – and Vice Versa

Youve no doubt heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people throw a bucket of ice and cold water over their heads (or have it thrown over them) to increase donations for research into a cure for Lou Gherigs disease, scientifically referred to as ALS. But did you know that when you make a contribution to ALS research, youre helping dogs with that paralyzing disease, too? Thats right. Dogs as well as people lose mobility because of a degradation of certain tissue in their spinal cords, eventually succumbing to the illness. And scientific investigators who are looking for effective treatments are in effect helping both species. Their findings across the animal kingdom (including us) are called comparative medicine, and they facilitate the advancement of translational medicine - the quicker translation of basic science knowledge into clinical applications that can help living beings across the world of animals.

Dear Doctor

I have recently heard about a deadly canine disease called Alabama Rot. My understanding is that its spreading. Im kind of freaking out because I live with my dogs very near Alabama in the Florida panhandle. Can you tell me how I can make sure my pets avoid this illness?

A Member of the Wedding?

10 Ways to Include Your Dog in the Wedding, was the way one headline read in a recent issue of a bridal magazine. Tip number 2 in the article: Dress your furry friend up in a tuxedo and/or cuffs to serve as a handsome ring bearer. The suggestion was accompanied by a photo of a little boy in his own tux pulling on a nattily dressed dogs white collar. The dog did not look particularly happy.

Is the Intensity of the Grief Normal?

Platitudes dont work, says veterinarian Alicia Karas, referring to the need for feelings to be acknowledged that brings bereaved callers to the Tufts University Pet Loss Hotline. Its understandable that people use them, she comments. More often than not, they really dont know how to respond to grief because there are few things you can say that wont end up sounding wrong. But uttering phrases like, he had a good life or hes out of pain or hes is in a better place falls short of the mark because the person is so severely missing the companionship shared with their dog.

The Cycle of Life

Tom Hughes, who lives with his wife, Penni, in the big yellow house with the wraparound porch at the top of our street, had a motto: One wife, one child [Katie], one dog.That dog was Daisy, a smallish (and somewhat cranky, if you ask me) chocolate Lab with whom Tom was completely besotted. He always said that when Daisy went, that was going to be it because no other dog could compare.

Ticket to Ride

After the two broke up, Ms. Brodsky moved from Albuquerque to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. The wrinkle in the relocation was that she needed to find a rental situation that would allow her to keep her two dogs, mixed breeds Violet and Sen. Fortunately, that seemed to get smoothed out because she scoped out a landlady who was willing to take in all three of them. But then the landlady decided she didnt want a housemate after all, and while scrambling to find new accommodations for herself, Ms. Brodsky realized that finding another place that would allow two dogs was going to be too difficult.

Does Antibiotic Use in Dogs End Up Backfiring, Diminishing the Drugs Ability to Kill...

Since antibiotics came into common medical practice in the late 1940s, they have eradicated countless bacterial infections that used to routinely kill people long before they reached old age. They are indeed wonder drugs. But today, antibiotic resistance - a weakening of these drugs power to do away with harmful bacteria and eliminate sometimes deadly infections - is more and more becoming a threat not only to human health but also the health of our pets.

Check Your Dog’s Muscle Mass

You know you should be assessing your dogs body condition score to make sure shes not too heavy by looking at her from above so you can easily see and then feel her waist and an abdominal tuck. You should also be able to feel her ribs very easily when you lightly run your fingers over her sides. But the body condition score assesses only your dogs fat stores. What about her muscle condition score? Your dog can be just the right weight, or even overweight, yet have too little muscle.

Quality of Life (HHHHHMM) Scale

When to euthanize is a very deeply spiritual decision, says Alicia Karas, DVM, who heads the Tufts Pet Loss Hotline and therefore knows that people often call in not only once their dog has died but also when they have to make the decision about whether to put their pet down. Compassion is called for when it comes to hearing people out about this, she says.

On Whether Being a Therapy Dog is Safe for Your Pet – and for...

But a new Tufts study led by veterinary nutritionist Deborah Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, and colleagues just published in the American Journal of Infection Control provides evidence that those visited by therapy dogs - especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems - are put at risk by a lack of rules about a therapy dogs vaccination status and other health parameters. Likewise, lax rules potentially compromise dogs safety.

Dear Doctor: October 2017

Our small cockapoo Bailey always sleeps on the bed with us. And he always ends up on my pillow, curled around my head with breaths from his little nose going right into my ear. Curiously, in the middle of the night, I almost always wake to find him furiously licking my face, especially my eye sockets and scalp. Once he did it so long and hard that he scratched my cornea. If I have a nick from shaving, he will literally lick it until the scab is gone. These episodes can last as long as 30 minutes. Is he grooming me as his master and trying to please me? Whatever the reason, its so cute that I never cut him off. Its good to be loved. Hes a great dog and tends to my every emotional need. I should note that he doesnt ever do this to my wife. Whats going on here?

Do You Know Enough to Keep Your Dog Safe?

Your dog doesn't seem right, and you want to take her temperature to make sure she's okay. But what should her temperature be? Is 98.6 degrees in the right range, as it is for us?

What about when it comes to drying her with a hair dryer after a bath? What's a safe setting? What could burn her?