Dear Doctor August 2023

Q: If a dog has had a Lyme disease vaccination is any other prevention recommended?

Short Takes July 2023

Veterinarians Can Now Become Board-Certified in Shelter Medicine

Snack Bag Suffocation: It’s a Thing

Videos of dogs with bags around their heads are popular on social media — a shame because a dog with his head stuck in a bag is scared. Worse, he’s in grave danger. A pet can suffocate in less than 5 minutes when his head becomes lodged in a bag. Figures for how often that happens are lacking, but the Food and Drug Administration says that “although this may seem like an odd scenario, it plays out more commonly than you realize.”

Making It Illegal for Your Dog to Stick 
His Head Out the Car Window

Few sights are as endearing to a dog lover as seeing a canine exuberantly sticking his head out the car window and feeling the breeze on his face. And many dog lovers like to extend that pleasure to their own pets. But it is dangerous. A dog can get hurt by flying pebbles thrown up by other cars. Dust can get into his eyes. And the flapping of soft ears in the wind can irritate them, make them swell, and cause damage. Dogs have fallen out of car windows, too. All it takes is one too-fast turn around a bend for a dog to lose his footing.

Recognizing “Swimmer’s Ear” and Other Dog-Eared Problems

Does your dog get to beat the heat by regularly splashing around in a lake, or perhaps a backyard pool? That could predispose her to ear irritation, or even an infection, if her ears are compromised due to allergies or some other condition. Frequent swimming can increase the moisture inside the ear, and that creates a good breeding ground for harmful pathogens in vulnerable ears, says Tufts veterinary dermatologist Ramón Almela, DVM.

When Your Rescue Dog Turns Aggressive On You

You’ve had your rescue dog for a little while, and everything seemed fine at first. He was a bit meek, but you figured he’d relax after a while. Now, though, he is sounding a low growl if you go near his bowl while he’s eating — or baring his teeth if you go to pick up one of his toys. What’s going on?

If Your Dog Won’t Take the Medicine, Can It Be Compounded?

To compound a medicine is to alter it in some way so that it’s tailored to the needs of a particular patient who wouldn’t...

Gender-bending urination

Q: I read your February article about how some male dogs squat to urinate, and it made me wonder why my female dog lifts her leg to urinate. She has always done this.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Dog-Walking Rut!

Imagine if you were required to read the exact same magazine article every single day — in fact, several times a day, for your entire life. That’s what it feels like to a dog who is always taken on the exact same walk.

When the Dog Looks Rusty

Ever wonder why a dog’s coloring sometimes looks like rust around the eyes? It can happen when there’s an increase in the flow of tears, say, when hairs are rubbing into the cornea or there’s an infection or a foreign body that has gotten into the eye. Tears contain proteins that bind to iron, and when the tears reach the outside of the body and are hit by oxygen, they literally rust.

Dog Language 101: Three Commonly Misunderstood Canine “Expressions”

Imagine if you reached out to shake someone’s hand and they grabbed you by the shoulders and kissed you on the lips. Dogs go through that level of emotional discomfort all the time because people mistakenly think they’re always ready for intense socializing. They’re not — not all of them, anyway.

New Standards Announced for 
Human Grade Dog Food

On its homepage recently, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) announced that there are new guidelines for pet food labeled “human grade.” Do they appreciably alter the guidelines already established? More importantly, is human grade dog food better for your dog than other dog food? For some perspective, we spoke with Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® Cailin Heinze, VMD. Dr. Heinze is a member of our Editorial Board.