Albuquerque Journal Articles

Media – Crate Nightmare

By drjeffnichol | November 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Crate Nightmare

Separation Anxiety is Not Solved by Confinement Question: My dog is so anxious in his crate. Dr. Nichol: Crates have become popular for keeping dogs out of trouble but confinement may lead to problems. Members of any species whose natural choices are restricted can become frantic. If your dog isn’t coping we’ll he’ll need an alternative. Folks with new puppies are often counseled to “crate train.” It makes sense for a dog to learn to relax in a small space for travel. Like their feral cousins, domestic dogs are denning creatures who rely on a snug refuge for security and…

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Media – Bladder Pain – Dangerous Stones

By drjeffnichol | November 4, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Bladder Pain – Dangerous Stones

Rx Diet + Lots of Water Question: My Shih Tzu could not urinate because he had stones in his bladder. His veterinarian removed those stones but they are calcium oxalate – the kind that will return without proper diet so they recommended Hill’s c/d Multicare. Can I still give him dog treats? I am sticking to this diet heart and soul, but he likes his treats, so is it OK? I do not want those stones to return. He was in a lot of pain. Dr. Nichol: When crystals in the urinary tract stick together they form stones (calculi). Some…

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Media – Cat Claws Desecrate Vital Resource

By drjeffnichol | October 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Cat Claws Desecrate Vital Resource
kitten playing

Toilet Paper Alternatives Question: My name is Courtney and I have a question regarding my cat Remus. My grandmother and I got him a few years ago. He has been causing major problems by tearing up our toilet paper. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can break him of this bad habit? Dr. Nichol: Well, Courtney, you have a cat, a creature whose brain is genetically programmed to scratch stuff in order to split off dead portions of his nails so they’ll be sharper weapons for catching and killing his meals. That’s not all. Research has discovered…

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Media – Aging like a Fine Feline Wine

By drjeffnichol | October 21, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Aging like a Fine Feline Wine

Fear-Free Kidney Care The Nichol family really loves its kitties, Tony and Gaston. They tap into the same part of our hearts as children but there are differences. They haven’t said a word about college. And they don’t speak a human language, which is usually OK. They’ll never blab our personal business but it can be hard to know when they’re not feeling well. Cats are innately tight lipped in the Wild Kingdom. If they appear vulnerable they could become somebody’s lunch. That makes it their caretaker’s responsibility to keep them alive and happy. It takes more than good food…

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Media – Doorway Freak-Out

By drjeffnichol | October 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Doorway Freak-Out

Special Care is needed for Emotional Abuse Question: We have a Lab mix 2 years old. She’s had issues with trust but has done well, always sleeping inside. While my friend was pet sitting her daughter hid behind the door and when our dog came in she shut the door, scaring the dog. Now she will come up to the door but will not cross the threshold. We have tried coaxing her with treats and toys to no avail. We miss her terribly! The weather will be getting cold and I am fearful for her to be outside. Dr. Nichol:…

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Media – Painful Crashing & Quick Recover

By drjeffnichol | October 7, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Painful Crashing & Quick Recover

Neurologic & Heart Disorders Need Special Care Question: My little girl terrier has been having seizures; that’s what I’m calling them. It’s starts as if she’s losing her balance and then she’ll flop down on her side and start to scream as if someone is standing on her foot. I would immediately pick her up and notice her neck and head are rigid. This lasts for 2 to 4 minutes. She then comes back to normal as if nothing happened. The triggers are giving her a bath and chasing something; the last time was a trot in the park. She’s…

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Media – Wild Kittens – Should we Stay or Should we Go?

By drjeffnichol | September 30, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Wild Kittens – Should we Stay or Should we Go?

Feral at 8 Weeks Question: There is a tame but stray cat in our back yard. She recently had 3 kittens, who are now 8 weeks old. The kittens seem feral, but we suspect the mom used to have a home. What should we do? We would like to adopt the mom, but if she is not spayed soon, she may have another litter. Dr. Nichol: Your commitment to this cat family is certainly their best hope but the road ahead for the kids may be challenging. There are multiple factors affecting their fuzzy little personalities. Beyond genetics and environmental…

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Media – Runny Eyes & Itchy Face

By drjeffnichol | September 23, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Runny Eyes & Itchy Face

Allergies & Smoldering Infection Question: My 10 year old cat has had eye drainage for quite a while. My veterinarian referred us to an ophthalmologist who thought it might be an allergy. Prescription food z/d did not help. He also has recurring sores above both eyes that he scratches open. Dr. Nichol: Your poor kitty sounds miserable with that discharge and the wounds on his face. Having ruled-out eye disease the ophthalmologist may be right about an allergy. Airborne pollens and other particles irritating the tissues beneath your boy’s eyelids could be responsible. Hair loss and chronic wounds on the…

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Media – Adoration & Humping

By drjeffnichol | September 16, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Adoration & Humping

“Why, that’s Ridiculous!” Question: We recently adopted a terrier that’s about 18 months old. We just love him, however, he constantly follows us around at every move. When my husband and I are sitting watching TV or reading and one of us gets up, he follows us-this is a constant routine. Is something wrong with him? Our dog has been fixed but at the dog park recently he was humping a female dog. Did the “Fix” not work? Dr. Nichol: Your fine new terrier is hopelessly devoted to you folks partly because he’s never had it so good. You are…

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Media – Pig Ear Pickle

By drjeffnichol | September 9, 2019 | Comments Off on Media – Pig Ear Pickle

Serious Infections I’ve cared for multiple species during my career, including a few pigs. To my knowledge, no person has fed dog ears to their pigs but, sadly, the opposite is commonplace. The pigs may now be getting their revenge. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has discovered an outbreak of Salmonella infections in dogs who have consumed prepared porcine pinnas (pig ears). I don’t want to be a boar but this could get messy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that this particular strain of the Salmonella bacteria is resistant to multiple antibiotics. Beyond the canine risk,…

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