Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – Tortoise poop … is it bad for dogs?

By drjeffnichol | April 26, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Tortoise poop … is it bad for dogs?

Question: Our large back yard is shared by our Russian tortoise and our 5 pound (11 month old) poodle. Last spring, when “Tortie” came out of hibernation, our puppy started spending a lot of time outside. I then discovered why: the puppy was finding and eating Tortie’s poop!! Gross. Can she get sick? Dr. Nichol: Your poodle puppy, that delicate little flower, has become a tortoise stalker, motivated by her taste for – well, the good news is that her scatological proclivity is most likely benign. For expert advice I contacted reptile specialist Dr. Robin Lane. I learned that Tortie…

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Media – Fear-Free Medical Care

By drjeffnichol | April 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Fear-Free Medical Care

Cooperation Earns Food Question: My wonderful, elderly Ellie (13 years) is difficult to work with when she has an ear infection, eye infection or other medical problem. She wiggles and I cannot properly medicate her. She’s not above taking a nip at me. There are no muzzles for Shih Tzu’s because they have no snout. When I take her to the veterinarian, it takes me holding her front legs, an assistant holding her snout and body down (making it difficult for her to breathe). It’s most disturbing to me and Ellie. Dr. Nichol: You and Ellie are not alone. A…

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Media – Injured Strays – Be Hopeful

By drjeffnichol | April 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Injured Strays – Be Hopeful
Dr. Jeff Nichol

The doctors, staff, and volunteers at Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department do what it takes for the homeless pets they treat but post-operative recovery is sometimes harder than the procedure itself. It can be tough on everybody. My work with the Placencia Humane Society in Belize put my skills to the test. We came well equipped for field medicine thanks in large part to my readers. Donations included electric clippers, an otoscope, and cash for vaccines, heartworm prevention, and antibiotics. Most Belizeans are pretty stoic in their acceptance of the bugs, hurricanes and floods visited upon the one-room wooden houses on…

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Media – Springtime Pet Toxins

By drjeffnichol | April 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Springtime Pet Toxins

Be Careful this Easter Everybody loves springtime flowers and plants but some buds, bulbs, leaves, and seeds can be unsafe for our pets. Swallowing any plant material can cause a dog or cat to vomit or have diarrhea so the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has provided a list of potentially dangerous plants. If you suspect a plant problem with a pet, contact your veterinarian or the 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435. Here are some common plants your pets should avoid. Don’t try to teach them what not to chew and why; just keep them safely separated. Lilies are…

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Media – Wascally Wabbit Shredding Shrubs

By drjeffnichol | April 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Wascally Wabbit Shredding Shrubs

Foil Foliage Filching Question: I have a rabbit living in my front yard and eating the leaves off my evergreen shrubs that are about 30 years old. He’s eaten all of the bottom leaves and I see him standing trying to reach the upper leaves. I have tried shooing him away every time I see him to no avail. I don’t want to hurt him and want to know a safe way to get rid of him. I can tell he’s a wild rabbit and not a store bought rabbit; he runs very fast when I approach him. I called…

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Media – Jolted Cat

By drjeffnichol | April 19, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Jolted Cat
sleeping cat

Feel Better; Sleep Well Question: My cat will be fast asleep, then she wakes up suddenly and flies out of the spot she was in and acts very terrified. Is she having night terrors? Dr. Nichol: Your cat may be having a sleep disturbance but we don’t want tunnel vision. Her terror, as she is jerked out of a restful slumber, tells us that her brain is reacting with intense emotion but the real issue may be somewhere else in her body. Pain can come from almost anywhere. Cats with allergies may be startled by an intense itch. Whether deeply…

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Media – Freaked-out by Strangers & Sick when Alone

By drjeffnichol | March 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Freaked-out by Strangers & Sick when Alone
Australian Cattle Dog

The Mind-Body Connection is Worth Investing Lulu is a sweet, 2 year old Australian cattle dog who was adopted from a shelter just 2 months before I met her. She had itchy skin and a rather delicate gut. She’d already started eating a special diet and was taking an anti-itch medication called Apoquel. Lulu landed in my exam room because of her reactive aggression toward men of all shapes and sizes. Actually, anybody who rushed onto the scene could trigger Lulu’s fear-related displays. She never actually bit anyone. Those histrionics were intended to send a message. “Scary monsters don’t belong…

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Media – Chronic Diarrhea & Vomiting

By drjeffnichol | March 17, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Chronic Diarrhea & Vomiting
French bulldog

Help Faster, Better, Cheaper Retching and vomiting or straining to pass diarrhea is pretty miserable. Some dogs struggle often with these symptoms. When does it become too much? You can try different diets or give probiotics, antibiotics, or supplements and still make little progress. Fouling the living space is not natural canine behavior. The stress that besets these dogs needs to evaporate. They need relief from their cramping and belly aches. Nobody should have to endure this. I’ve treated a whole lot of these sick dogs. I have hunted long and hard for the underlying causes, often with the help…

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Media – Feline Fights in a Fishbowl

By drjeffnichol | March 1, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Feline Fights in a Fishbowl
calico cats

Peace & Privacy Question: I need advice on displaced aggression in my 2 cats that are normally very loving to each other. It started after a neighborhood cat started appearing in my back yard. It’s gotten much worse with them fighting and I’ve tried the Feliway plug- ins. Dr. Nichol: Your cats have done just fine indoors together and they don’t need no stinkin’ visitors. Unable to lunge through your windows to drive-off that alien monster your frustrated kitties have redirected their aggression toward the closest target with a pulse – each other. This is a serious problem. Fights can…

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Media – Facing Feline Flatulence & Faucet Foibles

By drjeffnichol | February 22, 2021 | Comments Off on Media – Facing Feline Flatulence & Faucet Foibles

A Fecal Exam may Reveal the Cause Question: My 5 month old adopted kitten is Pimienta “Pimi” and she is such a good girl. I waited for a kitten that chose me and it is the best thing I have done because she is so cute and she sees me as her mummy (I think). At the beginning Pimienta drunk water from the bowl but now she just wants to drink from the tap. I’m worried she won’t drink enough. The other problem is that she farts. This is obviously very disgusting. Her veterinarian suggested a diet change. Dr. Nichol:…

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