Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – If your cat is less active, do this

By drjeffnichol | November 2, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – If your cat is less active, do this
fat cat

The Cause is Dangerous but Not Difficult to Control If left to fend for themselves in the wild our cats would survive by stalking and devouring prey, displaying their prowess with an athletic build and the heads of trophy rats they’ve bagged mounted above their fireplaces. Our pet kitties, on the other hand, park their derrieres on the couch and munch fast food for felines. The results are often not pretty. It’s estimated that over 35% of pet cats are overweight or obese raising their risk of diabetes, joint damage, skin disorders, and fatty liver disease. Too corpulent and uncomfortable…

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Media – Noisy Breathing Dog

By drjeffnichol | October 26, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Noisy Breathing Dog

Dangerous? Treatment Safe or Risky? Question: We think our dog Dakoda has laryngeal paralysis. Our veterinarian said she can have surgery but it is only 70% effective and it could have terrible side effects. Dr. Nichol: Breathing is rather important isn’t it? Most of us draw each lungful without a thought. But struggling to move air can trigger panic for anyone, especially a dog who desperately needs to dissipate excess heat by panting. The larynx is the structure in Dakoda’s throat that includes her vocal cords. It controls the movement of air and protects her lungs from inhaling food. The…

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Media – Eye Language

By drjeffnichol | October 19, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Eye Language
cat blinking

Calming Blinking It’s really hard having less contact with people. Socially distanced can mean socially isolated. But your cat may be trying to help by inviting you to snuggle by slow eye blinking. There may be natural empathy behind those half closed eyelids. Cats are good at nonverbal communication. Hold on – aren’t cats socially aloof? Let’s face it; most don’t come running when their person arrives home. They’re not small dogs with short ears and certainly not little people in furry suits. A paper published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports examined slow blinking in pet cats. It turns…

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Media – Learning in the Bullied

By drjeffnichol | October 12, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Learning in the Bullied

Stress Matters Magawa isn’t just any rat; he is the very best at what he does. You may recall from “The Year of the Rat” in last week’s Fetch page that this African pouched rat won a gold medal for discovering more unexploded mines and ordnance in Cambodia than his competitors. Training made it possible for them to save untold numbers of human lives, although it’s doubtful that they understand the true purpose of their craft. They work for bananas. They all attended the same school but the rodent at the head of the class is different. Various species serve…

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Media – Guest Panic

By drjeffnichol | October 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Guest Panic

Poop on-the-run is No Fun Question: We got our Jackson at the SPCA in Houston at 12 weeks age. When we were walking him a UPS truck scared him. Since then, he has never been the same. One time he was trying to get inside and out of nowhere a lightning bolt happened. Then our neighbor’s dog snapped at my Jackson. Now he won’t go to the dog park. He won’t eat on our patio. He only feels safe in his crate. He hides under my futon. Since I saw your PTSD video on You Tube I now understand that…

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Media – Circling, Head Tilt

By drjeffnichol | September 28, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Circling, Head Tilt
small dog

Wait & See? Question: My dog is 4 years old, weighs 4 kilograms, no fever, his name is Dodo. Yesterday, he could not go straight but circling with his head tilted towards one side, but he eats well (we’ve been hand feeding him). Today is the second day of this syndrome. My family could notice small improvement as he could go straight in small distance, but we are now very worried and afraid of his situation. Can you tell us what is going wrong with our dog? We love him very much! Dr. Nichol: Dodo’s problem may be serious. An…

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Media – Fear-Free Cats at the Doctor’s Office

By drjeffnichol | September 21, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Fear-Free Cats at the Doctor’s Office
cat looking out

Here’s How to Keep a Cranky Kitty Calm Does your cat hate going to the veterinary clinic? I get it. Lots of cats freak-out with anything away from home. Despite the safety and trust you’ve nurtured in your cat she is a hunter who can also be hunted. A white coated stranger in a funky smelling place reaching into her carrier- the perception of threat is real. Clever cats learn to dodge this ordeal, or at least postponed it. By hiding their symptoms, like reducing activity to disguise breathing difficulties or jumping less because their joints hurt, they avoid appearing…

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Media – Thyroids Gone Wild

By drjeffnichol | September 14, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Thyroids Gone Wild

Feline Seniors Need Gentle Care Tony, a grey tabby cat pushing 15, has been ours since he was just a baby. He and I share the belief that we’re still kids but, oddly, he’s developed an age-related problem. Doing my best to cheat the reality of aging I’ve examined him and regularly submitted lab profiles. About a year ago his thyroid screen, called the T4, started to creep up. I’ve seen a lot of this during my career. Hyperthyroidism affects about 10% of cats over age 9. Feline hyperthyroidism is caused by slowly growing benign tumors of the thyroid glands,…

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Media – Brushing for Safety

By drjeffnichol | September 7, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Brushing for Safety

Dogs like Tasty Paste Question: Just dropped off my 10 year old Schipperke for teeth cleaning. Sounds easy, but I worry about the anesthetic. I promise to keep her teeth clean from now on! So how often should I brush them? Dr. Nichol: Caring for your Schipperke’s health – every bit of it – will keep her feeling better and living longer. If you’re patient you can teach her to enjoy tooth brushing with toothpaste that’s made-for-dogs. C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste can be safely swallowed; in fact, that’s part of the bargain. Your pupster can choose from poultry, malt, beef, seafood,…

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Media – Feline Travel Terror

By drjeffnichol | August 31, 2020 | Comments Off on Media – Feline Travel Terror
cat in a carrier

Good Management & Helpful Meds Question: We have a cross-country move at the end of the summer and are curious what recommendations you have for moving with kitties. We have two (11yrs and 4yrs), both of whom we adopted while living here in Georgia. Now we’re moving back to my home state of Minnesota. The cats do not enjoy the short car rides to our local veterinary clinic and likely won’t be thrilled with the 17 hour drive. Dr. Nichol: Cats can be vocal and highly stressed car travelers. “Are we there yet?” You know the drill. But it’s the…

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