Albuquerque Journal Articles

Tag Team at Aztec?

By drjeffnichol | April 11, 2022 | Comments Off on Tag Team at Aztec?
puppy kindergarten

Puppy kindergarten teaches healthy play during the sensitive period of socialization. Mick and his BFF (Welsh corgi) wrestle with wild abandon. A fun loving pug considers joining the fun and then says, “Ah, no. I’ll find a kinder, gentler smack down.” For all the juvenile canine fisticuffs and trash talking no one ever gets hurt. They’re all delighted to have another go next week. Aztec Animal Clinic gets it right.

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Senior Cats – Picky Eaters

By drjeffnichol | April 4, 2022 | Comments Off on Senior Cats – Picky Eaters
cat eating

Elderly cats, like 15 year old Tony Nichol, named by my young sons for the cereal box tiger, are prone to diminishing appetites and weight loss. Dental disease, common in older kitties, makes eating painful. A reality for all feline seniors is gradual onset kidney failure, often accompanied by nausea; feeling queasy is not consistent with a healthy appetite. Cancer is another consideration with older poor eaters. Diagnosing and treating the cause is essential. But beyond myriad internal disorders, many older cats get fussier about the temperature of their food. A paper published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior researched…

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Coming when called – longer distance

By drjeffnichol | April 4, 2022 | Comments Off on Coming when called – longer distance

Young Mick (now 15 weeks old) has been practicing his recalls. We started with a little tug using a short leash. Now he comes reliably from longer distances but we still use a long line. It’s easy for people to hope for reliability too soon. That would frustrate everybody. Instead, you can prevent a failure by using a leash every time until your dog’s recalls are pretty darn good (they get better but are never really 100% reliable). No one is perfect, including Mick Nichol. He always gets a treat, praise, and most importantly a hug and a kiss for…

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Growling at Kids?

By drjeffnichol | March 28, 2022 | Comments Off on Growling at Kids?
puppy kids

Find out who won Question: What do I do when this 9 week old puppy growls at the kids when they want to pick her up? She lives to crawl on them and lick their faces but when she runs around like crazy and they try to catch her and pick her up, she growls. It’s like she’s saying “Hey, leave me alone, I’m on a mission here.” The first time it happened they quickly let her go and she felt like she won! Dr. Nichol: Anybody who has raised kids and dogs knows that they are wild and unpredictable…

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A Dog must be a Dog

By drjeffnichol | March 21, 2022 | Comments Off on A Dog must be a Dog

Fourth in a series Set her Up for Safety Ruby, our Doberman patient who was no longer impaled by an elm stick and having finished relieving herself outside, endured yet another thorough exam. Her vitals were normal, her heart rate and rhythm strong, her abdomen only slightly tender. After our long night I remember Amos, barely awake by this time, muttering, “Holy smoke, doc, this dog might actually make it.” Hoping to bolster his confidence I replied with my most nonchalant delivery, “Don’t be ridiculous, Amos, of course she will.” We would maintain generous doses of antibiotics and keep this…

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Mick, Come!

By drjeffnichol | March 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Mick, Come!

  13 week old Mick is not too young to learn basic skills. Dogs are programmed to earn resources like food and attention from their leaders. Mick already knows how to sit on command. I showed him the treat, backed up a few feet, and then told him, “Mick, Come!”. A little tug on the leash can set his brain and body into motion. You can back up several steps as your puppy comes toward you. As soon as he/she arrives reinforce with the resource (food) and share your delight by telling that pupster how good he/she is. Touching (petting…

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The All-Nighter

By drjeffnichol | March 14, 2022 | Comments Off on The All-Nighter

Third in a series Would dedication be enough? I knew when double checking my repairs of Ruby’s internal injuries that they were secure but it was her high risk of post operative infection that scared the daylights out of me. We had already administered IV antibiotics and, on our way out, irrigated her deep Doberman chest and abdomen with copious quantities of warm saline. My conversation with Charley, Ruby’s committed person, had been brief. As Amos and I carefully carried our trauma patient from her car I quickly explained that the outcome was uncertain. We got the go-ahead to do…

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Sit at Door

By drjeffnichol | March 14, 2022 | Comments Off on Sit at Door
puppy training

  A dog racing through an open door can knock people down and risk him getting loose. Mick is learning to sit at the door and wait for the “OK”. As he catches on we have him wait a little longer and sit a little further from the door. He has fun with this new game because he earns a pet and a “good boy”. He also earns access to the other side of the door. Everybody wins.

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Projectiles Save Lives

By drjeffnichol | March 7, 2022 | Comments Off on Projectiles Save Lives

Second in a series My first instruction, with Charley Garcia still on the phone, was NOT to remove the stick from her dog Ruby’s chest. Leaks can kill. That grotty elm branch, with its abundance of dirt, bark, and bacteria of many varieties, may have been keeping her alive. A projectile that has impaled a body, whether an arrow, spear, or part of a tree, can temporarily plug the holes it caused in blood vessels and lungs. We soon came to learn how important that was for Ruby. It was a mighty good thing Charley followed my advice. As soon…

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Invitation to Play

By drjeffnichol | March 7, 2022 | Comments Off on Invitation to Play
invitation to play

Young Mick’s BFF is Gaston, the white fuzzy guy. Despite the language barrier they often play well together. But this time, despite Mick’s entreaties, Gaston just said No!

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