Albuquerque Journal Articles

The Cleavers’ Boston

By drjeffnichol | March 27, 2023 | Comments Off on The Cleavers’ Boston
girl and dog

First in a series Visiting the Grahams was always exciting although, in retrospect, it was pretty ordinary. Kenny Graham was a funny kid, the same age as my big sister Martha. Their family was like June, Ward, and Beaver Cleaver. Life was simple. I was 4 years old; Martha was 6 – average baby boomer kids. I thought the Graham family was really lucky because they had a dog, a black and white Boston terrier named Buster. I loved Buster and I was sure he loved me back. We didn’t have pets. One day the grown-ups were playing cards and…

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The Apple & the Tree

By drjeffnichol | March 20, 2023 | Comments Off on The Apple & the Tree
child and dog photo

Retrievers can retrieve tennis balls until exhaustion. An Australian shepherd might herd you until you hide in a closet. At the Western Veterinary Conference last month I attended presentations on neurology, nutrition, and behavior medicine. Almost everything influences behavior. Environment and personal encounters are big but it all starts with genetic coding. Dr. Leanne Lilly is head of behavioral medicine at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. She explained that beyond an individual’s inherited tendencies, events surrounding its birth, called epigenetics, can alter the way DNA drives behavior. It’s complicated but the apple often doesn’t fall far from the…

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The Monster in the Yard

By drjeffnichol | March 6, 2023 | Comments Off on The Monster in the Yard

Third in a series Newt did well on his antianxiety medication. He was alert, happier, and playing with a new puppy but there was no home run. He continued to douse the house when his people were out of sight, although somewhat less often. He certainly suffered from separation anxiety but I was still missing something. We needed to gather intelligence on Newt’s activities when his people were away from him. Drones? They’d only cause paranoia. So I advised Anna and Tom to purchase a home surveillance system like a Nest Cam. Of course, this was an invasion of Newt’s…

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People – Can’t live with them; can’t live without them

By drjeffnichol | February 27, 2023 | Comments Off on People – Can’t live with them; can’t live without them

Second in a series Our dogs are not little people in furry suits. We love them that way but their upstairs wiring is somewhat different. With his significant anxiety disorder, Newt the Bichon Frise, struggled mightily with life in a human world. He was strongly bonded to his people, Anna and Tom, but his mind overflowed with angst. Contrary to what they had come to assume, urine marking was not his favorite pastime. Newt was often on the edge of losing impulse control; almost anything could set him off. If Anna reached for him while they sat on the couch…

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Senior Female Dog – Discharge Dangerous

By drjeffnichol | February 13, 2023 | Comments Off on Senior Female Dog – Discharge Dangerous

Question: l have a 17 year old Pomeranian. She is in heat and no, l never had her fixed. She is bleeding way more than usual. It’s not bright red like blood but l know she’s uncomfortable. She is usually very active but I know she’s hurting. Should I be concerned? Is there something l can give her for pain? Dr. Nichol: I am concerned about your senior girl. Unlike humans, a normally aging female dog’s reproductive cycle continues throughout life. There is no canine menopause. The normal, somewhat bloody, vaginal discharge from a dog “in heat” should reoccur in…

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Workplace antics and the CIA

By drjeffnichol | February 6, 2023 | Comments Off on Workplace antics and the CIA

Last in a series I’m residency trained in veterinary behavior medicine; I have no business venturing into the brains of humans. But, in this case, I did it anyway. Looking back on Kendra, it was clear that our effigy planting, blood gutter knife displaying, wicca enthusiast, short-term employee arrived with her own agenda. I don’t believe she was proselytizing her spiritual inclinations; her behavior was attention-seeking. She was good with clients at the desk and helpful in caring for pets like Princess, the fishhook swallowing poodle, but her shenanigans had become a serious distraction. Owning a veterinary hospital was harder…

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Princess Good; Knives & Dummies Bad

By drjeffnichol | January 30, 2023 | Comments Off on Princess Good; Knives & Dummies Bad
poodle and child

Fifth in a series Who doesn’t love reunions? Princess needed to stay quiet the day after her open chest surgery but she and her family had never been happier. They gratefully accepted the fishhook she’d swallowed, promising to return the next day to keep their pupster’s spirits up. Free air was minimal, Princess’ lung sounds were good, her respirations normal. So I took the plunge on day 3 and removed her chest tube. She ate well, felt great, and went home with strict instructions for minimal activity. I’d called Dick Tracey for help with my other pressing dilemma but, sadly,…

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Human Suction Machine

By drjeffnichol | January 16, 2023 | Comments Off on Human Suction Machine

Third in a series The term free air may conjure filling stations of old, where you could pull up to the compressor and inflate your tires. Free air in a chest means that it’s not in the lungs where it belongs, keeping us alive; it’s outside the lung lobes but trapped within the chest cavity. Princess wouldn’t be able to breathe against that potential complication. But by inflating her lungs as I closed her ribs, followed by chest tube suction, we would eliminate this problem. As I set down my instruments I asked Amos to switch off the oxygen. That’s…

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Senior Soiling, Confusion, & Barking

By drjeffnichol | January 2, 2023 | Comments Off on Senior Soiling, Confusion, & Barking
old dog

Dementia is Best Treated Early & Thoroughly Question: My sweet dog and best friend, Isaac, was diagnosed with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. I watched your video on CDS, and it meant so much!! Isaac is a 15 year old Kooikerhodje. I am heartbroken. His symptoms are barking, confusion, losing control of bowel movements and pacing at night. He has lost his hearing and is having eyesight problems. My veterinarian prescribed acepromazine, Xanax, Prozac and he has been on Tramadol for pain. In your video, you mentioned Purina Neuro Care diet, Fish Oil, SAMe and Melatonin (for restlessness at night). Can these…

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Feline Boot Scooting

By drjeffnichol | December 19, 2022 | Comments Off on Feline Boot Scooting
Cat derierre

Not your Typical Two Step Question: I have a male ginger cat, 9 years old, named Will. For the last 2-3 years he has had to have his anal glands expressed due to boot scooting and licking of the area. In the last year I have had his anal glands infused with antibiotics twice. After this last infusion he did receive relief but it seems to be for a very short time as he is already starting to boot scoot. Should Will have his glands removed? Dr. Nichol: A long, long time ago, as a much younger veterinarian, I took…

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