Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – Freaked-Out by Fireworks

By drjeffnichol | July 5, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Freaked-Out by Fireworks

Many Great Ways of Helping Scared Cats & Dogs Startled by earsplitting blasts, many otherwise stable pets will endure almost continual panic this weekend. Dogs may hide, tremble, drool, cry or howl, and even urine soil, vomit or pass diarrhea. Many get clingy but some escape the home and risk serious injuries. A freaked-out dog or cat needs reassurance, but shelter from the bombardment is much better. Allow an anxious pet to find relief anywhere she feels better. A bathroom, dark closet, or an open, covered pet crate, located away from windows and exterior walls, should be available. Unpredictable flashes…

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Media – Homeless Dogs – Help with the Heat

By drjeffnichol | June 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Homeless Dogs – Help with the Heat

Question: I feel bad for the dogs of homeless people during these really hot summer months as their owners beg for food on street corners. Just today I saw a man begging while his dog was next to him under a small tent. When it gets in the 90s and 100s that small tent is useless. These animals really suffer. Dr. Nichol: I, too, have worried about people and dogs who are exposed to our scorching sun. I have treated many cases of heat stroke. It’s tragic; they don’t all survive. The City of Albuquerque is taking steps to improve…

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Media – Sudden Lameness in Small Dog

By drjeffnichol | June 21, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Sudden Lameness in Small Dog

You are invited to get my help with a behavior problem by participating in a Zoom group behavior conference. Visit to sign up. Age is Not a Factor for Improved Quality of Life Question: My Chihuahua is 13 years old. Last week he started limping on his rear leg. We took him to the veterinarian and she said that his knee is popping in and out. She said he is actually too old for surgery. Is there something we can do? Dr. Nichol: Luxating patellas (dislocating knee caps) are common in small dogs. This problem is caused by abnormally…

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Media – Healing Trauma & Feline Politics

By drjeffnichol | June 14, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Healing Trauma & Feline Politics

“You are invited to get my help with a behavior problem by participating in a Zoom group behavior conference. Visit to sign up.”     A colleague of mine recently treated a couple of tiny homeless feline littermates. One baby had a fractured leg, the other a back injury. These kittens were found in bad condition and, since neither speaks a human language (all they’ll say when asked is “meow, meow, meow”), we can only guess at what happened. Baby bones heal fast. Within a couple of weeks the girl kitty with the leg fracture was a fully functioning…

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Media – Unsightly Cat Chin

By drjeffnichol | June 7, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Unsightly Cat Chin
Party cat

Acne isn’t a Heart Breaker Question: I am wondering how cats develop feline acne. Dr. Nichol: We used to think that these unsightly carbuncles and blackheads on cats’ chins were infections and that some of these pets, despite their excellent upbringings, had questionable personal hygiene. With further research it turns out that feline acne is related to a dysfunction of the hair follicles. It does not reflect a flawed character. There can be comedones (black heads), papules (little red bumps), crusts, scabs, pustules (white heads), hair loss, and in severe cases, pain. Some kitties face only one bout of chin…

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Media – Picking the Greatest Puppy for Your Life

By drjeffnichol | May 31, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Picking the Greatest Puppy for Your Life
puppies in a basket

Sharing your life with a great dog is like any important relationship. Start out on the right paw and everybody has a shot at success. Behavioral research shows that puppies do better if they stay with their mothers and litter mates until at least age 5-7 weeks. Picking the right breed is important but remember that puppies are unique individuals. You’ll want to pay attention to the different temperaments within each litter you consider. They’re not appliances that roll off an assembly line. I recommend first choosing the racy appearance of your shiny new dog-that’s the breed. Then carefully sort…

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Media – Leaky Girl Dogs

By drjeffnichol | May 24, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Leaky Girl Dogs
sleeping dog

Simple Oral Medication Ends Bed Wetting Question: I have a 3 year old blue heeler female. She is house trained. Lately in the evening just after her supper while she is sleeping in her bed she urinates laying down. She seems to not realize it. Dr. Nichol: This is a stressor for your heeler; dogs have an innate need not to foul their sleeping area. Assuming that your girl is in good health, and spayed, she is most likely leaking urine because of a weak bladder sphincter muscle. Before starting treatment your veterinarian needs to rule-out internal problems, like bladder…

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Media – Meow, Meow, Meow – Too Much Talking

By drjeffnichol | May 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Meow, Meow, Meow – Too Much Talking
cat mouth

She may be Telling you She is Sick Question: A Facebook friend just adopted an 8 year old female cat who she says is perfect for her. The cat seems happy, plays and purrs. The problem is this poor woman is exhausted. The cat talks a lot all day and all night. When Catherine described her new cat on Facebook she is so tired she can hardly string three words together. Dr. Nichol: Chatty Cathy Kitty has plenty of opinions, including that she is perfect for your friend Catherine. Keeping this loquacious cat occupied with feline-specific behavioral opportunities could reduce…

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Media – Rear Leg Disability

By drjeffnichol | May 10, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Rear Leg Disability
photo of cat sleeping

Blood Clots from Heart Disease Question: My poor Abby who is still a youngin at 5 years old is having severe problems walking. She is an indoor only cat and has not sustained any trauma. Her problem has been going on for 2 months. She is unable to jump and her walking has gotten progressively worse as she drags her hind legs and frequently stumbles. She does not seem to be in any pain and her temperament, eating/drinking and toileting habits have not been altered. We have tried a pain killer and prednisone and her problems are getting worse. Bloodwork…

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Media – Digging for Hoses

By drjeffnichol | May 3, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Digging for Hoses
digging dog

Splendid Excavating Alternative Question: We have a self-watering backyard. Our 1 ½ year old very tall, very strong, mixed-breed Doberman-Great Dane tore up all the lines! So now we are in the process of getting a landscaping contractor to redo them. How do we keep her from doing it again? All I can think of is going around the yard with her, pointing and showing her the lines, and saying, “NO” in a very loud voice. Even if she figures out what I mean I’m afraid she won’t apply it to the other lines. Dr. Nichol: Your dog won’t get…

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