Cat pee – Where do you want it?

cat

Shouldn’t a cat, who’s livin’ the feline dream at your house, crave the answer to this age-old question? They do, sort of. It matters what the person wants but it’s…

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Puppy Biting

dog

Mouthing? Teething? Playful nipping? Or is that youngster snarling and lunging? Get control now – without punishment or fear.

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House Soiling Perp Walk

Yellow Lab

Question: My 1 1/2 year old yellow Lab poops and pees in the house, sometimes after being taken outside multiple times and doing nothing out there. She knows she’s not…

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Food Fight

king charles

Question:
I have a 3 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He has been getting aggressive towards my other two dogs about his food.

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Cats Hate Cars

cats hate cars

Yowling, urinating, maybe even some in-the-crate defecating: Are we having fun yet? The anxiety and misery our traveling cats feel, often on the way to the veterinary clinic, needs to…

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Predatory Aggression – Lucky to be alive

woman grey poodle

Early in my career my veterinary clinic had a feed store as a next-door neighbor. Being a backyard poultry farmer, I visited often for chicks (baby chickens, that is) and lay pellets. I lived the life of North valley chic. The only thing missing was the chic.

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Cat Poop Solutions

happy cat

Don’t try correcting this bad behavior; it’ll never work. Stressors, like too many other cats, outdoor creatures, and physical disorders, are often major factors. Litter pan hygiene is another big…

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Tiny instruments; quick, steady hands

turkey

Fourth in a series Anybody with a major trauma, including a 5-day-old eviscerated turkey, is assumed to be shocky. Blood vessels lose their tone, meaning that their diameter expands –…

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Crying for Mom

puppy

Some puppies are highly-stressed in their new homes. Helping the little rascal adjust starts with caring and love. There’s a whole lot more you can do to set the kid…

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Turkey Jerky?

turkey

Third in a series “John” the 11 year old poodle bounced in the door for his suture removal 10 days later. If it weren’t for his undignified tummy haircut you…

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The Geek Next Door

Chicken

Second in a series
I admit to being an annoying adherent to the Queen’s English, having shaken my head when hearing the noun ‘geek’ misappropriated. In our highly digitized society people can be fondly referred to this way or even adorn themselves with this moniker. It was not always so.

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Bad Guts, Lucky to be Alive

woman grey poodle

Early in my career my veterinary clinic had a feed store as a next-door neighbor. Being a backyard poultry farmer, I visited often for chicks (baby chickens, that is) and…

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Puppy Obedience Training DIY

puppy training

Dogs who are happy to follow instructions are a pleasure to have as your best friend. But a lot of them just aren’t clear on the concept. Spare the frustration.

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Where is the Cat?

Do you see a fuzzy white cat? The correct answer, for this invisible kitty, is no. He’s hiding, not because he is afraid, although that can be a very good…

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New Baby Dog

Mick

The Nichol family is planning to add a puppy. I’ll share my preparations and training plan. Everybody can win.

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The Sky can be a Scary Place

labradoodle

Second in a series “Little Dog” had matted fur and a dangling leg but he was in otherwise good shape, for a 20# canine street urchin. The damage was long…

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Gas Abuse; Paw Pain

man and dog

First in a series Frustrations come with every job. I’ve been lucky. Problems that have risked baldness, you know – tearing out my hair – have been followed by good…

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Don’t Let Your Cat Fool You

scared cat

Do you examine your cat’s teeth? That would mean putting him on a table under a bright light with an assistant gently holding his shoulders as you slowly open his…

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Shocking Food Fights

dog with food bowl

Question: I have a 55# pit mix, Molly, with food guarding. I have pet gates set up for feeding to avoid conflict but recently the gate got left open. Molly…

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Horse Play – Fun Until it Isn’t

Jamie

We were just wrapping up a routine day of limping, itching, and diarrhea (ah, my patients, not me) when Jamie arrived. She’d been frolicking in the pasture with the neighbor…

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Knocked Down, a Good Dog Gets Back Up

Jamie

Last in a series Jamie’s mandatory retirement from obedience competition at age 11 was followed by an acting gig, appearing in the Albuquerque Little Theatre production “Of Mice & Men”,…

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A Career-Ending Injury

Jamie

Third in a series When Jeff and Cathy Robb brought their first collie puppy to me for vaccinations, back in the early 80s, I remember proselytizing on the benefits of…

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Knockout from a Mean Left Hook

Jamie

Second in a series When Amos rolled Jamie, prepped and sleeping, into surgery I was already scrubbed, gowned, and gloved. I remember standing in front of the x-ray view box…

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Cat Mischief? Bad Behavior?

cat

Cat parents often custom-fit activities for their indoor kitties that keep them engaged in activities that bring out their wildness in good ways. Here’s the lowdown from an excellent cat…

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Dogs who Never Listen

Mick 1st Place Rally Novice 12-10-23

Just because you love your dog doesn’t mean they do as their told. Frustrating. People yell, jerk the leash, and repeat commands. Any dog can learn to earn its person’s…

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Cat Beasts & Feathered Prey

window cat

Question: I was truly dismayed reading your article in the Albuquerque Journal last Sunday. Feral cats are well known to be a major threat to small birds. The numbers of…

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Sheltering a Feline Recluse

condo

Question: We have a beautiful, long-haired black cat hanging around our backyard. My husband feeds the birds but the kitty is hunting and killing them. We set out food for…

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Sandhill Cranes of New Mexico

sandhill cranes

These splendid birds arrive every fall in our beautiful state. Many folks drive to Bosque del Apache to get a glimpse but we can enjoy these almost prehistoric creatures up…

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Stinking, Balding Bulldog

bulldog

Question: My bulldog is 9 years old and losing hair. Her skin is dry and it smells bad. Her ears have gooey junk in them and they stink too. Is…

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Tag team at Kindergarten

puppy kindergarten video

Puppy kindergarten teaches healthy play during the sensitive period of socialization. Mick and his BFF (Welsh corgi) wrestle with wild abandon. A fun loving pug considers joining the fun and…

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The Springs Less Traveled

dripping springs

The South rim of the Grand Canyon is a wonderful 70° in early November. It’s a really dry place. We dropped 1180 feet as we hiked 3.5 miles to this…

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Circus dog? Robot dog? AI dog?

rally training

Mike is demonstrating Rally skills with “Bree”, his Pomeranian. At Sandia Dog Obedience Club in Albuquerque, Mike and Rene are instructors in the dog sport called Rally. It’s like obedience…

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Biting – Can You Ever Trust Again?

Scared dog

Folks like you and I are tethered to our pets by an emotional commitment to their well-being. If they have a problem with any body part, including their brains, we want them to get well fast. The Internet offers prodigious quantities of quack remedies, especially for behavior disorders. Think twice about quick and dirty corrections.

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Baby Boomer Brains & Hitting Balls

person with dog

Are baby boomers concerned about their cognitive abilities declining? It gets my attention. I published my residency research on cognitive dysfunction syndrome in elderly pets. There’s a whole lot of…

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A Happy Dog Works

dog working

My Border collie “Mick” loves to work for me because he always earns interactions and sometimes food. Dogs aren’t in the mindset of pleasing a master; they look to us…

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Turtle Dip

box turtle

This Western box turtle paddled by us yesterday at the Bachechi Open Space. They’ll eat from a menu that may include earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles, slugs, fruits, or plants, depending on…

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Turkey vultures

turkey vultures

I like turkey but that’s not what comes to mind when you see a turkey vulture eat dead animals. This bunch was hanging out in the Rio Grande Bosque this…

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Elk on the Run

elk

Remember the Paul McCartney tune Band on the Run? Well, this isn’t it. But I caught myself singing as I watched, at a great distance, as this herd with youngsters,…

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Too Squirrely for Hungry Coyote

squirrel

I spied this wily golden mantled ground squirrel while hiking in the Valles Caldera of Northern New Mexico. He noticed me and Mick, the Nichol family Border collie but wasn’t…

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Lonely Cat Needs to Get a Life

scared cat

Question: My 2 year old cat has separation anxiety. When he sees me getting dressed he starts crying and follows me, holding my leg, and when I get to the…

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Ankle Biter Redemption

play ball

Challenge Your Knowledge of Canine Behavior
Multiple choice: Dogs adopted as adults, who are aggressive toward the man in the home: (a) Were previously mistreated by a male (b) Are jealous, wanting the woman all to themselves (c) Are frightened by the macho, but gentle dude who guzzles battery acid instead of coffee in the morning (d) Are trying to be dominant (e) Have an Oedipus complex.

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Correct by Not Scolding? Find out How!

play ball

Last in a series
Ignore bad behavior? Am I crazy? Sally and Raymond, like a lot of us, loved their dog like a little person in a furry suit. In many ways, that’s healthy for pets and for us but different species have different behavioral genetics.

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Horny Ninja Lizard

lizard

I also came upon this little reptile during my hike in the Weminuche Wilderness of Southern Colorado. Was this a horny toad? I’d call them that in the past but…

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Bite the Food, Not the Person

man with a wrench

Fourth in a series
By calling Brandi and rewarding her with a treat Sally was able to preempt this big hound’s fear-driven assaults on Raymond. Her good man could now walk around the house without igniting a barrage of canine invective and hostility. Our patient had become somewhat more manageable but her people were getting tired of constant constable duty.

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Who had to Change? Everybody

dog

Third in a series – I felt bad for Raymond, assaulted through no fault of his own, but it was Brandi the big hound who spent nearly every waking moment on the edge of hysteria. She watched Raymond with one eye, anticipating that this kindly Dr. Jekyll’s might transform into the murderous Mr. Hyde at any moment. But there was more going on in that confused canine cabeza.

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Tiger Mama Needs Babies

In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born…

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Why are Men the Dog Devil?

devil

Second in a series If a saber toothed tiger is charging at you, an adrenalin surge is well justified. But Brandi, the 3 year old hound recently adopted by Sally…

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Chin Acne in Cats

cat acne

Feline acne starts as comedones on the chin and lower lip. Poor grooming may be a factor. Stressed cats may just hunker down and neglect their personal needs. When a…

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CBD – Is it Safe? Does it Work?

cbs

Always on the lookout for new and better treatments, I follow the research. At the recent conference of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Philadelphia I listened as…

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Ears & Rears – Would it Ever End?

sheepdog

Poking my head into the reception room, my gaze fell on a nicely groomed Old English Sheepdog – my next patient. As I invited her and her person into the exam room I noticed a slight left head tilt.

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It all Came Out Fine in the End

sheepdog

Last in a series Most of us would rather file our knuckles with a cheese grater than face surgery but “Chase,” the full-body itching Old English sheepdog, was running out…

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Fireworks Freak-Out

fireworks

There will be a whole lot of scared pets this weekend. It’s hard enough if they tremble and hide but some panic and escape the yard in search of safety…

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Elephant Basketball

elephant video

Wild animals don’t make good pets nor do they belong in display enclosures. But these relaxed creatures have work they enjoy – and they have space to move and interact.…

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Ears and Rear – No End in Sight

scratching dog

Third in a series We’d put an end to those ear infections, whatever it took, but unless we controlled Chase’s scratching and rubbing, the population of normal organisms in her…

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Good Buddies

buddies

Friendships happen between creatures of different species because they share empathy and kindness. Our species could do better with other humans  – we aren’t really different than each other. We can…

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Ladder of Aggression

Ladder of aggression graphic

Click graphic to open a larger version as a pdf   Don’t be surprised by reactive aggression. If a dog even begins showing the body signals from this text book…

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A Ferret & a Paint Can

ferret

My general veterinary practice was busy. That might sound like a good problem but despite meticulous preparation I was seldom caught up. There seemed to be more going on with every pet I saw than what it came in for.

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Willets of Chincoteague

willets

If you kayak from Chincoteague to Assateague Island on the Atlantic shore or Virginia you might get lucky enough to enjoy the sight of wild Spanish ponies. You’ll also have…

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A Ferret in a Haystack

ferret

Last in a series Following her uneventful spay procedure, and prior to her mysterious disappearance, our ferret patient Miss Ellie had been resting in a cage in the treatment room.…

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Ponies of Chincoteague

horses

Remember Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry? Well, even if you never read this excellent series of children’s books you would love a visit to Chincoteague Island. We took a…

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Life of the Single Female Ferret

ferret

First in a series My general veterinary practice was busy. That might sound like a good problem but despite meticulous preparation I was seldom caught up. There seemed to be…

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Destruction & Panic when Alone

destructive dog video

Destruction & Panic when Alone So what can you do if the dog who’s stolen your heart damages your house while you’re away-often? If you have a dog like this…

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Dog Bites Child – Can it Ever be Trusted?

girl and dog

Visiting the Grahams was always exciting although, in retrospect, it was pretty ordinary. Kenny Graham was a funny kid, the same age as my big sister Martha. Their family was like June, Ward, and Beaver Cleaver. Life was simple. I was 4 years old; Martha was 6 – average baby boomer kids.

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The Cleavers’ Boston

girl and dog

First in a series Visiting the Grahams was always exciting although, in retrospect, it was pretty ordinary. Kenny Graham was a funny kid, the same age as my big sister…

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Is My Dog OK At Home Exam

video

Our dogs are special to us. None of us wants there to be any problem. They need to stay well and enjoy a great long life with us. If you…

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The Apple & the Tree

child and dog photo

Retrievers can retrieve tennis balls until exhaustion. An Australian shepherd might herd you until you hide in a closet. At the Western Veterinary Conference last month I attended presentations on…

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Dog with an Idle Mind

video thumbnail

  Puppies and dogs of any age can be unrelenting chewers and destroyers of all things we may hold sacred. We can love man’s and woman’s best friend like a…

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Urine was Never the Solution

Bichon Frise

The anxiety and blood pressure spikes of white coat syndrome aren’t fun for us. Most pets have the same problem. That long walk to the exam room, running a gauntlet through other jumpy dogs, is especially harrowing for those already losing their grip.

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The Monster in the Yard

video

Third in a series Newt did well on his antianxiety medication. He was alert, happier, and playing with a new puppy but there was no home run. He continued to…

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Newt’s River

Bichon Frise

First in a series The anxiety and blood pressure spikes of white coat syndrome aren’t fun for us. Most pets have the same problem. That long walk to the exam…

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Older Dog Confused

video

 Pets who age gracefully bring comfort to their doting pet parents. But not all of them do well in their golden years. Some get dementia that their families mistake…

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Cat Attack Child

cat attack

What’s wrong with this kitten? Why go after a child? Cats are hard-wired for predatory behavior to survive in the wild. Kept as pets, they must still be cats. This…

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Workplace antics and the CIA

police

Last in a series I’m residency trained in veterinary behavior medicine; I have no business venturing into the brains of humans. But, in this case, I did it anyway. Looking…

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Fat Cat? Exercise by Eating

cat food puzzle

Cats aren’t hard-wired to be couch potatoes. They are meant to hunt and pull the guts out of the helpless creatures that keep them alive. It’s not pretty but it’s…

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Friendly porcupine? Uh – oh

porcupine

There’s a reason these slow creatures with their prickly personalities are seldom seen. They’re mostly active at night, normally spending the day in trees. They may forage for food during…

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Voodoo Veterinary Medicine?

Voodoo

Fourth in a series Work flow during the infant months of my veterinary practice was intermittent but with time we got busier. Martha needed help at the desk. In the…

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Human Suction Machine

poodle

Third in a series The term free air may conjure filling stations of old, where you could pull up to the compressor and inflate your tires. Free air in a…

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Catch & Release

Fishhook esophagus

Second in a series A lot of important stuff happens in our chests. Adding a fishhook is not a positive. We premedicated Princess with a pain reliever and sedative, administered…

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Iguana for breakfast?

This tropical creature on the island of St. John camped out in the almond tree next to our bed & breakfast porch while we ate – breakfast. It gathered it’s…

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Senior Soiling, Confusion, & Barking

old dog

Dementia is Best Treated Early & Thoroughly Question: My sweet dog and best friend, Isaac, was diagnosed with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. I watched your video on CDS, and it meant…

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Grazing on the Fly

peacock thumbnail

Peacocks on St. John island are somewhat leery of people, well, those of us with a pulse anyway. Folks in this gorgeous Caribbean land of manana bury their departed above…

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Feline Boot Scooting

Cat derierre

Not your Typical Two Step Question: I have a male ginger cat, 9 years old, named Will. For the last 2-3 years he has had to have his anal glands…

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Mr. L – Somebody got Lucky

cat

I was wearily motoring home, down unlit El Pueblo Road, when my Triumph’s headlights lit up a slow moving small while object. Grocery bag in the breeze? Ah, no. White…

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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…

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Nail Trim Nirvana

dog

“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…

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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…

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Barking & Instigating Mayhem

Barking and instigating thumbnail

OMG! Yell, swat, yell some more? Samantha, a sweet basset hound, was the highest-ranking dog in her home but she was not a stable leader. Her pushy, overbearing behavior toward…

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Are Predators Gentlemen?

Duckling

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…

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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…

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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…

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Somebody got Lucky

cat

First in a series I was wearily motoring home, down unlit El Pueblo Road, when my Triumph’s headlights lit up a slow moving small while object. Grocery bag in the…

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Go Ahead – Challenge that Puppy

river crossing

Are there any helicopter pet parents out there? Well, of course there are. There is such a thing as healthy stress. Moderate risk is essential to confidence building. And so,…

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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,…

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Free to Roam & Risk

dog with ball

He couldn’t even raise his head, his gums were pale, his pulse weak and thready. Had an injury caused this black German Shepherd mix to bleed internally? Was he anemic…

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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…

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Better, Funner Leash Walks

head halter training

Head halter training – Start slow and positive Lurching, jumping, growling, barking – are we having fun yet? Ah, no. A head halter, like this Gentle Leader, makes it easy…

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Teaching Fun Dog Tricks

Night night 1 thumbnail

Dogs’ brains are built for fun with their people. You can make it easy for them to work-to-earn treats, praise, and most important – physical contact. When I show Mick…

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Tomcat Killed Big Blue

mouse

Second in a series The sudden loss of “Big Blue” triggered a derailment in the brains of the two young men who loved him. He was special to them and,…

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Shocking Discovery

german shepherd

First in series He couldn’t even raise his head, his gums were pale, his pulse weak and thready. Had an injury caused this black German Shepherd mix to bleed internally?…

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They’re Not Pigs

The Gila Wilderness is among my most favorite places in part because wild animal encounters are to be expected. The rattlesnake in our campsite wasn’t unusual; the javelinas who sauntered…

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Rattlesnake-Fun or Scary?

Rattlesnake in the Gila

I had just doffed my pack when arriving at our campsite in the Gila Wilderness last weekend when my friend Tom said, “Look – a rattlesnake.” And there, right where…

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Human Dental Hygiene & Cat Guts

Vomiting – Serious or Watchful Waiting? Vomiting is nobody’s favorite pastime. Sadly, some cats retch from time-to-time, seemingly whether they need to or not. Finding the cause can be tricky…

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Dental Hygiene at Fault

Fourth in a series By day 2 of Gucci’s recovery her temperature had risen to a healthy 101.2 degrees. Her grumbling and complaining, as we gently syringed warm saline through…

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Nip and tuck

cat

Third in a series I worked carefully and fast. Gucci, the tortoise shell cat, maintained strong vitals as I debrided (trimmed) the edges of her intestinal wounds and sutured them…

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Dog Fights at Home

dogs fighting

It is so unsettling, in some cases tragic, when family dogs fight. It’s the most common problem seen by veterinary behavior specialists, with loads of research to support our treatments.…

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Act Fast or Lose

xray

Second in a series Gucci wasn’t just having another routine bout of vomiting. Her 104.2 degree fever spoke major inflammation. It wasn’t too late; her immune system was fighting hard.…

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Petting Cat – Ouch!

cat

Grooming or petting a cat can be dangerous. Watch for dilated pupils and rippling skin. Physical problems can underlie serious aggression.

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Barking Too Much? Tunnel of Fun

tunnel

Jumping, nipping, barking – Don’t yell. Don’t punish. A tired dog really is a happy dog. You can have a blast with your dog while s/he does all the running…

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Rocks, Storms, and Home Alone

spaniel

Seemingly logical assumptions can lead the most cautious among us down the wrong path. Veterinary medicine provides generous opportunities so I gather every detail possible. Because it’s important for me…

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Lascivious Neutered Cat

kitten

Why? Fix it! Question: What do you do about a cat acting out sexually? We’ve had Sebastian “Basti”, 20 months old, for a year. He was neutered at 8 months.…

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Apprehensive hawk – only a kid

hawk

This fledgling hawk looks big enough to fly solo and catch rodents on the run but she’s still just a youngster. Mom was nearby, communicating freely. We think words of…

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Storm Phobia

storm phobia video thumbnail

Close the window blinds during storms. If possible keep your dog in an interior room with less outside sound White, pink, or brown noise (downloadable from the Internet) can be…

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The Risk of Love

kitten

Poupon was an almost constant source of connectedness and entertainment for Cheryl and her husband Michael.

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Storms & Separation: Tough Sledding

lightening

Third in a series Harvey’s stone sampling diminished quickly with medication for his intestinal disorder. His daddy, Don the designated household pooper scooper, seldom found landscaping rocks in his spaniel’s…

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BARKING! Anxiety & Frustration

Lulu

Dogs Need a Job – Gainful Employment Confucius said, “A man (woman) who enjoys what they do never works a day in their life.” Our dogs can have that life.…

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Rocks in Guts

Rocks rads

Second in a series Harvey, a rather handsome and genuinely sweet spaniel mix, carried a laundry list of behavior symptoms. His pica (eating non-food items) was priority one because it…

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Come when Called – on the Move

come when called

Our dogs should always come when called, whether they’re sitting and looking at us or when they’re heading off in another direction. Don’t get frustrated when ignored; train in baby…

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Rocks, Storms, and Being Alone

First in a series Seemingly logical assumptions can lead the most cautious among us down the wrong path. Veterinary medicine provides generous opportunities so I gather every detail possible. Because…

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Teaching Stay – Part 2

teaching stay

Mick and I have practiced the stay command 2-3 times a day. I no longer need to stand in front of him to remind him of what I mean when…

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Ditch wading & bird songs

wading

Young Mick Nichol enjoys his daily jaunts along the irrigation ditches because, well, because he’s a dog. Leaving the home territory to sniff, investigate, read the bulletin boards, and post…

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How to Know When to Adopt Again

cats

Last in a series Inviting a pet into your life carries risk. They love us completely and they’ll never leave but their lives end. The grief can send you down…

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Sadness can Bring Happiness

Poupon

Third in a series Find Out How Life is precious, especially those shared with joy and acceptance. As Cheryl sat on her deck to meditate, Poupon waited at the door-every…

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Teaching Down in Three Steps

teaching down video thumbnail

Teaching “Down” – Step 1 Dogs love to work for food. You don’t need to push a puppy to ground. Give the “Down” command as you use a treat, as…

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Weathering the storm

poupon

Second in a series Cheryl contacted me as soon as she and Michael were hit by the first wave of bad news. I learned long ago that what people in…

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The Risk of Love

kitten

Poupon was an almost constant source of connectedness and entertainment for Cheryl and her husband Michael. One night he snuck into their dining room and carried off a pizza box…

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Teaching Stay

teaching a puppy to stay

Who wants to stay? We may not want to but a dog can, if we motivate him. Mick is just learning that if he watches me, and then I show…

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Puppy Heebie Jeebies

Baby Mick

Last in a series Be ready for your excellent new pupster’s grand entrance. Have a covered crate for nighttime sleeping, food-dispensing toys, and a drag line (6 foot leash the…

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Leave It!

Leave it

How much garbage and other poop should a dog eat on a leash walk? You can yell LEAVE IT! and jerk hard on the leash but your dog may only…

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Mick & his Chick

Mick and his Chick

We picked our boy Mick, in part because he has a social nature. It turns out that he’s never met a stranger. Mick visits this hen on a daily basis.…

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Cougar Still Attacks

cat toy

Last in a series And Stays in His Home Mary Beth was committed to bringing out the best in “Cougar”, not to mention her vested interest in her own safety.…

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Your Dog Digs Where???

digging puppy

Digging dogs can damage a great yard. Don’t punish; it’s normal behavior. Instead, give that dirt dog its very own wonderful digging box. Make it attractive by loosening the dirt,…

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Cat Be Gone or Cat Behave?

cat on a skateboard

Second in a series Aggression is never acceptable, especially toward the frail and vulnerable. The science of animal behavior would be central to “Cougar’s” treatment but the elderly lady on…

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Cat Attack

cougar

First in a series The soft female voice on the phone told a poignant story. She wasn’t calling about her own pet but for her 83 year old mother and…

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Tag Team at Aztec?

puppy kindergarten

Puppy kindergarten teaches healthy play during the sensitive period of socialization. Mick and his BFF (Welsh corgi) wrestle with wild abandon. A fun loving pug considers joining the fun and…

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Senior Cats – Picky Eaters

cat eating

Elderly cats, like 15 year old Tony Nichol, named by my young sons for the cereal box tiger, are prone to diminishing appetites and weight loss. Dental disease, common in…

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Growling at Kids?

puppy kids

Find out who won Question: What do I do when this 9 week old puppy growls at the kids when they want to pick her up? She lives to crawl…

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Dog Brushing made Possible

puppy brushing

Some dogs hate to be groomed. But a hungry dog can earn tasty treats while lying still for gentle brushing. Sitting on the floor, rather than leaning over, will help…

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A Dog must be a Dog

Fourth in a series Set her Up for Safety Ruby, our Doberman patient who was no longer impaled by an elm stick and having finished relieving herself outside, endured yet…

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Mick, Come!

mick

  13 week old Mick is not too young to learn basic skills. Dogs are programmed to earn resources like food and attention from their leaders. Mick already knows how…

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The All-Nighter

Doberman

Third in a series Would dedication be enough? I knew when double checking my repairs of Ruby’s internal injuries that they were secure but it was her high risk of…

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Sit at Door

puppy training

  A dog racing through an open door can knock people down and risk him getting loose. Mick is learning to sit at the door and wait for the “OK”.…

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Projectiles Save Lives

Ruby

Second in a series My first instruction, with Charley Garcia still on the phone, was NOT to remove the stick from her dog Ruby’s chest. Leaks can kill. That grotty…

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Invitation to Play

invitation to play

Young Mick’s BFF is Gaston, the white fuzzy guy. Despite the language barrier they often play well together. But this time, despite Mick’s entreaties, Gaston just said No!

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Train Chaser Pays a Steep Price

train

First in a series “Dr. Nichol, Charlie Garcia’s dog Ruby has a stick in her chest. What shall I tell her?” Martha Peterson, our composed client service specialist, had appeared…

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Puppy Kindergarten

Puppy Kindergarten

Mick enjoys meeting other puppies and he’s doing it at the right time. Their developing canine brains, between ages 7-12 weeks, has them ready to be socialized with people and other dogs…

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Does it Pay to Work for a Living?

food toy

  Incarceration-No. Scavenging-Yes! According to our dogs, the great famine could strike anytime. They’re natural predators but, gee, how often can they snag a slow rat in time for dinner?…

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Mick and Whale

  Young Mick is fitting into our family nicely. His toys are lucky to be just toys. With this wild Border collie channeling his inner predator, his whale and sheep…

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Sweet Destroyer Poopster

beagle photo

Third in a series Don’t lock him up Bang, bang, ding, dong! Just as Diane walked into the house, finding more of Jasper’s daily carnage, somebody was outside! Fresh scratches…

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Racing Border Collies

racing puppies

Who will win this intense competition? The puppy who comes home with our family in just one week, that’s who. And who will it be? Even we don’t know yet.…

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Depression Dog

beagle

First in a series Simple Cure? Driving home from Amarillo Richard had his eyes on the road while his wife Diane took in an outrageously beautiful New Mexico sunset. That’s…

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Puppies in Their Spare Time

puppies video

  These Border collie puppies play well with others but there is more to life than fun and games. There is also hiking, snuggling, and fun and games. One of…

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Media – Boxers in the Night

Boxer

First in a series Boxers in the Night Semi Pregnancy Who doesn’t love newborn puppies? Veterinarians get to turn difficult deliveries into real joy but it’s often difficult. In the…

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Holiday Weirdness & Risk

dog in a Christmas hat

What does it take? The holidays are great fun, aren’t they? Singin’, dancin’, and carryin’ on. For you and me, sure, but badly unsettled pets can engage in some unhealthy…

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Media – Baby Blues

twins

Canine Coping Skills for Twins Question: I have a female Doberman, 5 years old, and a female mixed breed dog, age 10. And 8 months ago I became mom of…

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Media – Children in Furry Suits

Finding a Way to Save Lives Pet lovers can mistakenly assign human emotions to members of a different species. Firmly believing that cats want everything we do doesn’t make it…

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Media – At-Home with the Feline Herd

cat crowd

Part 2 in a series At-Home with the Feline Herd Crowded Eccentricity Cattle, pigs, and sheep, rubbing shoulders in large groups, risk spreading infectious diseases, leading veterinary medicine to the…

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Media – Idiosyncratic Cat Parenting

hearse image

Morbid Fascination? Cats are interesting and entertaining creatures; their people maybe even more so. I’m rather fond of these folks, being part of this societal subset myself. The 1959 Cadillac…

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Media – Porgy, Tirebiter, & Papoon

dog tire biting photo

What’s in a Name? Most veterinarians don’t make house calls much anymore but I’ve done my fair share. I’ve learned interesting things about behavior that I never expected. Harry and…

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Faith

Faith

Faith was important not just because we loved her but because she taught valuable lessons.

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Media – Fear & Protective Aggression

catahoula

Who’s to Blame? Fear is often the in-the-moment reason for canine aggression. Adrenalin-driven reactions aren’t always bad; it’s actually a survival mechanism that’s built into all of us. But if…

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Media – Snapping at Mom

catahoula

Whose Fault? Rehome? Worse? Dogs are man’s and woman’s best friends but there are species differences. They walk on all 4s and they’re a bit hairier but like us, dogs…

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Media – Kitten Selection

Kittens

Choose your Friends Carefully Question: I never had a cat and I decided to have my first one now. I wanna get it in adoption and I know it’s difficult…

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Media – Blanket Pacifier

dachshund

Holy Moly Question: I have a 4 year old dachshund mix who insists on chewing our blankets to soothe herself for few minutes before she goes to sleep. I have…

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Media – Surgery by Dog

golden retriever

Amputations are unfortunate but sometimes necessary. The anatomy is complicated; a good doctor follows established procedure. “Blue” the blue heeler didn’t benefit from any of that until he landed on…

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Media – The Occult of the Itch

dog

Diagnose first; treat second Question: I have a 7 month old puppy who itches and scratches herself constantly anywhere she can reach. I have taken her to my veterinarian twice…

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Media – Faith Wins

faith

Doing the right thing for our injured stray cat would take courage-and faith. She needed a name and I really needed to unite my team. I told my compassionate but…

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Media – Faith

Faith

For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com. Faith was important not just because we loved her but because she taught…

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Media – COVID19 in Cats & Dogs

person cat bed

Sick People Infect their Pets This COVID19 pandemic continues to hang over us like a dark cloud, new variants putting unvaccinated people at increasing risk. Now we know that pets…

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Media – Freaked-Out by Fireworks

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…

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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 https://drjeffnichol.com/zoom-group-conferences/ to sign up. Age is Not a Factor for…

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Media – Healing Trauma & Feline Politics

kittens

“You are invited to get my help with a behavior problem by participating in a Zoom group behavior conference. Visit https://drjeffnichol.com/zoom-group-conferences/ to sign up.”     A colleague of mine…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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Media – Springtime Pet Toxins

Lily

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…

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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…

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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…

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Media – Horses & Asses

Horse and donkey

Simplify the Politics Question: We adopted a jenny to be a buddy for our elderly horse. At first she was happy to share food, but with time and confidence she…

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