Albuquerque Journal Articles

Grieving Pet Loss

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Grieving Pet Loss

Other family dogs share the loss & the grief. Question: A few weeks ago I had to put down Sam, one of my four dogs, due to liver failure. The remaining three seem to be grieving, no playing, no barking, not eating. Sam seemed to be the leader. How can I help them overcome their grief when I cannot seem to recover from it? Thank you for listening.   Dr. Nichol: Your world has been badly shaken. You and your special family are having normal feelings of loss. The other dogs had a unique social structure that needs to repair…

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Urine Killing Grass

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Urine Killing Grass

Daily Vitamin C will provide a healthy lawn.   Question: We have a 6-month-old blue heeler, female; she is slowly turning my grass yellow.  Is there anything that I can do to prevent my grass from dying?   Dr. Nichol: 250 mg. (two hundred fifty milligrams) of vitamin C once daily will acidify her urine and cause the grass to grow lush and green in those spots instead of brown and dead.     Question: I read in your column that in order to neutralize a female dog’s urine you should give 250 unit of vitamin C. Should I give…

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Belly Buttons

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Belly Buttons

Everybody has one. Here’s how to hunt one down.   Question: Why don’t dogs and cats have belly buttons like people?   Dr. Nichol: Well, the truth is that they do but they’re just a bit more modest about it. I’ve examined the tummies of countless dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice and guinea pigs and everybody has one but they are all strangely unfestooned with rings and studs and starburst tattoos. Each of them is discreetly covered with hair. Nonhuman mammals never seem to display their navels. I just don’t get it.   To find your dog’s…

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Legal Intervention for a Neglected Dog

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Legal Intervention for a Neglected Dog

Do your Best job of Diplomacy Before calling Animal Control Question: One of my neighbors has had his Labrador confined behind his house (on the windowless side) for years.  Never walks him, now had a debark collar installed.  The dog is outside day and night, very lonely.  I have tried to talk to the neighbor, but the answer has been “mind your own business.”  What organization can I contact to do something to help this poor, lonely creature?   Dr. Nichol: You are a kind soul to want to help this dog. Boredom is a destructive force. Creatures of any…

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Rare Dog Breeds, Ear Trims, & Air Travel

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Rare Dog Breeds, Ear Trims, & Air Travel

Be Careful with “Designer” Dogs; Inbreeding Often Spells Poor Health & Bas Temperaments Question: I will be getting an Argentine Dogo puppy form a breeder in Austin in a few weeks.  She will grow to 90-105 pounds, will she be able to fit under the airplane seat at 8 weeks old? Why do people crop dogs’ ears? How long does it take for the ears to heal? Have you ever seen Argentine Dogos in NM? Should I consider giving her a sedative for the airplane ride, checked in or under the seat?   Dr. Nichol: Dog breeds that are rare…

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Small Breed Dogs

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Small Breed Dogs

They have some Issues of their Own but are Better in some ways than Large Dogs Question: A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the Journal about all the “negatives” of adopting “very small” dogs because of their teeth and other health problems.  I’ve been thinking about adopting a small one but this article has put me on hold. I like Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus.   Dr. Nichol: It got my attention too. It’s true that small and toy dogs face special issues. On the flip side there’s a long list of large breed problems only rarely…

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Plan Carefully when Choosing a Lifetime Pet

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Plan Carefully when Choosing a Lifetime Pet

The Best Individual means More than Breed. Watch the You Tube Video Question: We are looking to purchase a puppy.  We have two children ages 12 and 13.  We enjoy our back yard along with our vegetable garden.  Our choices of puppies that we are looking toward are Samoyed, St. Bernard and Siberian Husky.  If you could please help us decide which dog would best suit us and the life style we have we would be very grateful.   Dr. Nichol: The right breed of dog, and the best individual fit for your family, has a lot to do with…

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Singing Along

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Singing Along

Good tunes and the dogs who love them.   Question: I have a one year old Bearded Collie who barks and howls whenever I play the piano. My question is, does the sound hurt his ears or is he “singing” along?  He doesn’t leave the room or try to hide.  He barks much less if I play soft or slow, if I play loud and fast he howls.   Dr. Nichol: Gee, if only our pets could talk. Some folks might wonder if your Bearded Collie (they look a lot like Old English Sheepdogs) thinks he’s a music critic. I’m…

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The Expense of Raising Pets

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on The Expense of Raising Pets

There are places to trim costs & do just fine. But cut quality on the wrong priorities & your pets will pay more later.   Question: Should I give vitamins to my pets? I have a whole menagerie. I have 2 guinea pigs, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and some fish. I try to feed good food but it can get expensive. So is it good to feed food that’s just O.K. and add vitamins? Which vitamins are good?   Dr. Nichol: I think I understand where you’re coming from. A lot of us animal lovers surround ourselves with a whole…

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Pets as Gifts

By drjeffnichol | September 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Pets as Gifts

It may be a great idea. But the surprise of a real live long-term responsibility wears off fast. Talk about it first & be ready for the real investment of energy & expense.   Question: My fiancee has said that she might want a pet and I’m running out of time to get her a birthday present. I really love her and I want to see that look of joy on her face when she opens the wriggling box. What kind of pet do you think I should get her?   Dr. Nichol:   Boy, am I glad you asked…

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