Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – Crate House Training

By drjeffnichol | February 1, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Crate House Training

House Rules & Freedom to Move Question: I just brought home an 8 week old puppy and want to ensure the best possible crate training. It’s been 4 days, however he is still having accidents. I believe the crate may be too big. How do you recommend starting a new puppy out when they need to have their space and for potty training? Dr. Nichol: Teaching a shiny new puppy how to find the bathroom can be challenging. Momma cleans up after her infants but as the kids mature their genetic programming motivates them not to soil their living area.…

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Media – Licking Legs & Everything Else

By drjeffnichol | January 25, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Licking Legs & Everything Else
Elizabethan collar

Nausea is Nobody’s Friend Question: My dog recently had a lick granulomas removed by laser. He was placed in an Elizabeth (cone) collar. When I take off the collar for him to eat he stops eating to lick the wounds. I have tried to take off the collar and dress the wounds with gauze and duct tape, as well as Boundary. Each time he chewed and licked off the dressings. Dr. Nichol: Your poor dog licks incessantly partly because his wounds itch like crazy. Anxiety may be a factor but there is much more to his problem. Lick granulomas almost…

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Media – COVID19 Pet Infections

By drjeffnichol | January 18, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – COVID19 Pet Infections
dog in a face mask

Who are the Carriers? Are pets capable of spreading COVID19? The SARS CoV 2 (cq) virus, the organism responsible for the human epidemic, has been investigated in cats and dogs. Here is what we know. “Natural SARS-C0V-2 infections, including virus isolation, among serially tested cats and dogs in households with confirmed human COVID-19” by Dr. Sarah Hamer and colleagues, found that a minority of cats and dogs got infected. Very few of them showed any symptoms. In another study, titled, “SARS-CoV-2 infection, disease and transmission in domestic cats” by Gaudreault, et al determined that cats became only transiently infected. They…

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Media – Hair Pulling Cat: Angst or Itch?

By drjeffnichol | January 11, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Hair Pulling Cat: Angst or Itch?
sleeping cat

Constant Misery needs Immediate Attention Question: My 15 year old male orange tabby started pulling his hair out 10 months ago. We started him on steroids 8 months ago. It does not seem to help. His tummy in almost bald. There does not seem to be a skin issue. Poor Max is quite miserable if he gets this sudden itch. He’s ok otherwise, sleeps well and even plays with a toy now and then. What can cause this constant hair pulling and what can we do? It makes us sad to see our sweet kitty so miserable. Dr. Nichol: It’s…

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Media – Night Waking in Elderly Dog

By drjeffnichol | January 4, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Night Waking in Elderly Dog
dog on couch

Dementia is Treatable Question: We are having a big problem with our Pekapoo. He is 15 1/2 and seems to be hyperactive at night due to Sundowning Syndrome where he very restless. He is going out 3-4 times per night. We have him in a calming vest, have given him Rescue Remedy and a Kong with peanut butter. Nothing is working and his agitation is increasing. We do not want to get him on tranquilizers. Dr. Nichol: You must have taken mighty good care of this little guy for him to have reached such an advanced age. It is likely…

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Media – Pee – Eeww!

By drjeffnichol | December 28, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Pee – Eeww!
stinky dog

Stinky dog needs a diagnosis & treatment Question: My 8-year-old male pit bull literally stinks, even a day after a bath. His teeth seem fine. He seems to feel ok, but is on the skinny side, even with feeding more. His coat looks fine and he does not scratch or lick himself. Just noticed the smell a few months ago. Dr. Nichol: Please understand that I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck; I’ve written this column–every single week-since 1996. I’ve heard it all. When I get questions on personal hygiene, I have to wonder. Is this one of those…

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Media – Plants, snacks, & drugs

By drjeffnichol | December 21, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Plants, snacks, & drugs
Christmas cat

Avoid Poisons & Injury Conspicuous Christmas consumption isn’t just for humans; our pets eagerly indulge in dietary indiscretion too. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center provides the following list of holiday hazards. There are bound to be others. Edibles: alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), moldy or spoiled foods, onions, onion powder, fatty foods, salt, yeast dough. Plants: Lilies are potentially deadly for cats, poinsettias may cause vomiting or nausea, mistletoe can cause heart problems but usually just stomach upset, and eating Holly leads to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy. Christmas tree: Drinking fertilized tree water…

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Media – Elder Cats Losing Interest?

By drjeffnichol | December 14, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Elder Cats Losing Interest?

Maybe they could Feel Better Question: Are my two 15 year old cats harmed if they don’t play? When they were younger they would play until midnight. Now they sleep most of the day. Their only exercise is sitting in my yard and munching on grass. I’ve given them toys like catnip rolls and “mouse-chasers” but they soon tire of them. Both are normal weight, have good appetites, and healthy on recent physical exams. Dr. Nichol: This sounds like a sedentary feline version of retirement; just sit around and chew the grass with a friend. I agree that your two…

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Media – It’s More than Just Mouth Pain

By drjeffnichol | December 7, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – It’s More than Just Mouth Pain

Non-stop Misery is Curable Question: Is my cat’s plasma cell stomatitis contagious? Can it be passed from a cat to a human? Dr. Nichol: Mouth pain, swelling of the gums, reduced appetite, and excessive salivation-it’s miserable What we now call chronic oral inflammatory disease can go on for a lifetime. There are lots of possible causes including an immune reaction to dental plaque, an upper respiratory infection called calicivirus, and feline AIDS. Behavioral stress may be a factor for some. It’s complicated. Erosive damage (resorptive lesions) of the teeth, chronic gingivitis, and smoldering bacterial infection can stir this pot but…

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Media – Scary Low Weight and Rapid Growth

By drjeffnichol | November 30, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Scary Low Weight and Rapid Growth

Question: I have an eleven month old Malinois and a year old Pomeranian, both neutered males. My pom seems to be a healthy body size and weight, and my Malinois is very, very skinny. I can see his hips and his ribs. He eats all his food and doesn’t throw it up. His stools are normal, and he doesn’t have worms. Is there any way to get some weight on him? Or is he just a late filler since he is so active? Dr. Nichol: I share your concern. It’s possible that your Malinois puppy is just an energetic, gangly…

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