Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – Surgery by Dog

By drjeffnichol | September 20, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Surgery by Dog
golden retriever

Amputations are unfortunate but sometimes necessary. The anatomy is complicated; a good doctor follows established procedure. “Blue” the blue heeler didn’t benefit from any of that until he landed on my operating table. His amputation was performed by the golden retriever next door who, unless I missed my guess, was not a trained surgeon. Treating the wound, where Blue’s right front leg once lived, was not my only priority. He’d suffered significant fluid loss when this appendage was unceremoniously ripped from his body only 30 minutes before his arrival at my veterinary hospital. As generous volumes of IV fluids restored…

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Media – Hyperbole? Or “Did that really happen?

By drjeffnichol | September 13, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Hyperbole? Or “Did that really happen?

First in a 3 part series Back in the day, before the advent of computers, I was writing notes in a medical record when Martha, our unflappable receptionist, appeared at my side. “A lady on the phone says the dog next door has torn off her heeler’s leg. What should I tell her?” Really? In the space of one second, my mind darted from: when frightened by sudden events people exaggerate often minor injuries to: could that have actually happened? And so I replied, “Tell her to bring that dog right in”. How-ever severe the problem truly was, it would…

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Media – The Occult of the Itch

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – The Occult of the Itch

Diagnose first; treat second Question: I have a 7 month old puppy who itches and scratches herself constantly anywhere she can reach. I have taken her to my veterinarian twice and after checking her over, I was told that her skin and coat looked healthy and didn’t see a problem. A groomer used a special shampoo for dry skin – that hasn’t helped either. I’ve also been feeding her dog food that contains salmon hoping that might help – again it hasn’t. She hasn’t been around any animals. I hate to see her so miserable and don’t know what else…

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Media – Shy Dog Embarrasses Herself

By drjeffnichol | August 30, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Shy Dog Embarrasses Herself

Calm; Don’t Punish Question: My 6-month-old corgi knows that she’s supposed to pee outside and does a really good job most of the time. But when she’s inside, every once in a while, if we approach her, she will squat and pee. This doesn’t happen every time. Just sometimes. She could be inside for an hour or two with no issues, but if we approach her a certain way she squats and pees. Dr. Nichol- Dogs who strut around beating their chests are the confident, take-charge type. Your corgi, on the other hand, came genetically programmed for the low rung…

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Media – Faith Wins

By drjeffnichol | August 23, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Faith Wins

This is the last in the series on Faith Doing the right thing for our injured stray cat would take courage-and faith. She needed a name and I really needed to unite my team. I told my compassionate but frightened staff that our struggling patient would be named Faith. Pets can be powerful teachers. Each of them has a spirit. Most are more pure and uncluttered than ours. They share our lives to help us learn the real meaning of being. The next morning with bright lights, a magnifying loop, and our tiniest instruments, I carefully re-repaired Faith’s jaw fractures.…

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Media – Fear and pain are real, but are not a reason to quit

By drjeffnichol | August 16, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Fear and pain are real, but are not a reason to quit
cat mouth

This is the second of a 3 part series Without warning our homeless cat went crashing, mouth wide open, into the cage door. She clamped her freshly operated jaws around the bars and howled. It was horrible. In the blink of an eye, she had not only completely undone the surgery; she had created yet one more jaw fracture. Veterinary hospitals are staffed by good people with generous hearts. But tragedy can be frightening. I untangled our painful, agitated, and delirious patient from the cage door. Doing my best to comfort her, I looked up at what seemed like a…

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Media – Faith

By drjeffnichol | August 9, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Faith

For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, This is the first part in a series Faith was important not just because we loved her but because she taught valuable lessons. She has long since passed but the memory of what she did for us has never faded. Martha had been in the office only ten minutes when she heard banging on the front door. Holding a cardboard box and shifting her weight from one foot to the other, a nervous young woman waited as Martha unlocked the door. Then things…

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Media – Dumpster Dog Cherishes Memory of his Best Friend

By drjeffnichol | July 26, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Dumpster Dog Cherishes Memory of his Best Friend
Blanket dog

Their Shared Blanket Question: My Honey, who passed Christmas Eve 2019, found a litter of puppies in the dumpster. We kept the big boy. She named him DD (Dumpster Dog). Being a widowed man, I put her stuff in storage (threw it in the closet). DD found a blanket I used to cover her with. I would cover her and put DD in bed with her when she was ill. Now he drags the blanket around the yard wherever he goes. DD snuggles with it almost like he is praying! Can he still smell her or is it the blanket…

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Media – A Cat who Licks Off her Hair

By drjeffnichol | July 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – A Cat who Licks Off her Hair
Grooming cat

Itching & Anxiety Question: I adopted an anxious 3 year old cat 3 years ago. Recently I’ve noticed Bella appears more anxious when I’m away from our home. She has been overgrooming to the point of slight bleeding. Dr. Nichol: Cats who lick their skin excessively are not happy campers. Denuding one’s body leads to issues with body image, an affliction many prefer to keep private. When you’re home with Bella she’s focused on enjoying your company. But, when she’s alone with her skin, it’s driving her @#%&* crazy! Anxiety can cause a lonesome cat to self-mutilate but allergies, skin…

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Media – COVID19 in Cats & Dogs

By drjeffnichol | July 12, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – COVID19 in Cats & Dogs
person cat bed

Sick People Infect their Pets This COVID19 pandemic continues to hang over us like a dark cloud, new variants putting unvaccinated people at increasing risk. Now we know that pets can get this from their people. New research has shown that dogs and cats, exposed to COVID at home, are significantly more vulnerable than homeless pets. Are we having fun yet? A study at the University of Guelph tested pet dogs and cats, those staying in shelters, and strays with no history of human contact. The results were striking. About 70 percent of cats and 40 percent of dogs who…

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