Albuquerque Journal Articles

Crime Buster? Not

By drjeffnichol | December 5, 2022 | Comments Off on Crime Buster? Not
Blue eyed white cat

Last in a series Acute hearing is among most cat’s best methods of detecting movement of nearby prey but not for fuzzy Mr. Lancaster. Like the majority of blue-eyed white kitties, he was genetically as deaf as a post. Despite this handicap he was an inspiration to all of us. We could have changed his name to “Mouse B. Gone.” Sadly, he was less adept at collaring thieves. After 3 years as an associate veterinarian I realized a life goal of owning my own practice. I’d saved and invested heavily; providing good medicine requires serious equipment purchases. I was an…

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Nail Trim Nirvana

By drjeffnichol | December 5, 2022 | Comments Off on Nail Trim Nirvana

“Bizzi” panicked with any handling – especially her paws. Her nails could only be trimmed under anesthesia. She got lucky when she was adopted by a credentialed dog trainer who knew how to gently teach her to file her own toenails. Never triggering fear by leaning over this good little dog, her new person encouraged her to dig in soft dirt. She then used treats to lure the kid to run up and down a ramp. That’s when she added a nail scratch board, reinforcing this happy camper with a tasty snack every time she scratched her nails on it.…

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Assassin on the Job

By drjeffnichol | November 28, 2022 | Comments Off on Assassin on the Job
mouse grain

Fourth in a series Mr. Lancaster Sr. was tall, lean, and spry, I’d guess about 80 years old. He was a quiet, likable man who typeset and printed our medical forms. Friendly chit chat revealed that he lived quietly with his daughter. There weren’t many veterinarians in Albuquerque in the late ’70s; everybody knew everybody. Of course, that made gossip a hot commodity. When Dr. Mike Adams encountered me at a continuing education conference he could hardly contain his excitement. Clearly feeling the power of knowledge he dropped the bomb that Mr. Lancaster was a convicted counterfeiter who’d been released…

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Are Predators Gentlemen?

By drjeffnichol | November 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Are Predators Gentlemen?

Third in a series Young Mr. Lancaster was a kitten whose behavior was sometimes, as they say in learning theory, undesirable. He did turn out to be a pretty good cat, hanging out at the reception desk, accepting attention from our clients. On the flip side, even at 6 months he was a wild animal masquerading as a cuddly pet. We love our kitties like little people in furry suits but they are stalkers, slayers, and devourers of helpless creatures. Even in our compassionate veterinary clinic there had to be somebody who needed killing. One fine summer day a couple…

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Biter Rehabbed

By drjeffnichol | November 21, 2022 | Comments Off on Biter Rehabbed
Raven 1

Does this first photo scare you? Pepper not only bared her teeth but lunged and sometimes bit her people when they reached for her on the couch or approached her when she had a toy. She had her reasons. Like many small dogs she was easily startled and became defensive-aggressive when a much bigger creature loomed over her. She also suffered from joint pain. Nobody gave up on Pepper. Her people learned to lure her for hugs and cuddling rather than inadvertently triggering her reactive fear. We also reduced her anxiety with safe medication. Antiinflammatory and pain meds helped too.…

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A Cat & a Gentleman

By drjeffnichol | November 14, 2022 | Comments Off on A Cat & a Gentleman
white cat

Second in a series My practice was in its infancy in 1978 but we were ready for anything. I had an ECG, x-ray machine, and a full array of surgical instruments – everything but stationery and business cards. The equine veterinarian next door recommended a printer, so I called Mr. Franklin Lancaster. He offered to come by to design my spiffy new letterhead. When this senior gentleman arrived he cordially greeted Martha at the front desk and waited patiently as I finished with a client who had brought in an duck with diarrhea. That’s right – a duck named Harley…

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Ever met a cat who urinates in the wrong places?

By drjeffnichol | November 14, 2022 | Comments Off on Ever met a cat who urinates in the wrong places?
AUS cyst calculus

Veterinary behaviorists, like me, see them often. There can be many different reasons for this aberrant behavior including crowding with too many other indoor cats, messy litter pans, the stress of nearby outdoor creatures, the list goes on. Our first job is to rule-out internal physical problems. An abdominal ultrasound of this 3 year old female tuxedo kitty showed the problem; bladder surgery removed it. There is no amount of behavioral treatment that can eliminate a bladder stone.

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Love Spaghetti? Chew the One You’re With

By drjeffnichol | October 31, 2022 | Comments Off on Love Spaghetti? Chew the One You’re With

Question: I have a female mini dachshund who is 8 months old. She’s been chewing the spaghetti irrigation tubes in the yard to pieces! I thought she was doing it because she was thirsty so I keep a water bowl outside for her. Next I used a spray to keep her from chewing but she just licked it off and then chewed. She then brings them in and chews them into smaller pieces. I put up a fence around the areas but she just jumped it and chews and climbs out. She has many chew toys and has chewed up…

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Rodent Poisons, Lingering Risk

By drjeffnichol | October 24, 2022 | Comments Off on Rodent Poisons, Lingering Risk
dog with mouse

Last in a series As word got out that I was the go-to veterinarian for suspected dog poisonings I also became the default repository for conspiracy theories, “common sense” solutions, and intense emotional catharses. Everybody with anything to say (I mean anything) contacted my office, straining at the bit to speak to me directly. But I was busy pumping stomachs. Of course, the sheriff’s office had been deluged with pleas for help but then, just as suddenly as the poisonings had begun, there were no more. I didn’t believe for a minute that every dog in Placitas was now securely…

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Survivors Helped us Push Ahead

By drjeffnichol | October 17, 2022 | Comments Off on Survivors Helped us Push Ahead
big hound

Fourth in a series I offered to help Placitas pet parents with their poisoning problem and, well, they took me up on it. The next morning Gretel, a big hound who I already knew as a wild and active girl, lumbered listlessly through the door. I almost didn’t recognize her. Her gums were pale, her respiratory rate increased. A quick check of her blood showed a serious but not-yet life threatening anemia. And, yes, she’d been allowed to roam loose. This dog was going to make it – if we moved fast enough. To reduce the risk of more bleeding…

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