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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – Crate House Training

Puppy

House Rules & Freedom to Move Question: I just brought home an 8 week old puppy and want to ensure the best possible crate training. It’s been 4 days, however…

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Media – COVID19 Pet Infections

dog in a face mask

Who are the Carriers? Are pets capable of spreading COVID19? The SARS CoV 2 (cq) virus, the organism responsible for the human epidemic, has been investigated in cats and dogs.…

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Media – Pee – Eeww!

stinky dog

Stinky dog needs a diagnosis & treatment Question: My 8-year-old male pit bull literally stinks, even a day after a bath. His teeth seem fine. He seems to feel ok,…

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Media – Plants, snacks, & drugs

Christmas cat

Avoid Poisons & Injury Conspicuous Christmas consumption isn’t just for humans; our pets eagerly indulge in dietary indiscretion too. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center provides the following list of…

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Media – Wild & Crazy Deaf Kid

Heeler puppy

Punish? Set him up for Success Question: We bought a blue heeler puppy for my son for his 13th birthday. “Bucky” is deaf. He is spunky- too much so. We’re…

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Media – Crying for Mom

Puppy crying

Not Ready for Boot Camp Question: My new puppy, Buddy, arrived yesterday. He has been socialized with other dogs on a regular basis because the breeder has a doggy daycare.…

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Media – Noisy Breathing Dog

dog

Dangerous? Treatment Safe or Risky? Question: We think our dog Dakoda has laryngeal paralysis. Our veterinarian said she can have surgery but it is only 70% effective and it could…

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Media – Guest Panic

Yorkie

Poop on-the-run is No Fun Question: We got our Jackson at the SPCA in Houston at 12 weeks age. When we were walking him a UPS truck scared him. Since…

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Media – Circling, Head Tilt

small dog

Wait & See? Question: My dog is 4 years old, weighs 4 kilograms, no fever, his name is Dodo. Yesterday, he could not go straight but circling with his head…

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Media – Brushing for Safety

Dogs like Tasty Paste Question: Just dropped off my 10 year old Schipperke for teeth cleaning. Sounds easy, but I worry about the anesthetic. I promise to keep her teeth…

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Media – Warts on Older Dogs

cockapoo in a shirt

Diagnose First, then Decide if Treatment is Necessary Question: I have a cock-a-poo with several warts. Our veterinarian said to use antibiotic cream but that didn’t help. He did not…

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Media – Alien Invasion

Old cat lying in sun

Can Old Cats & Young Puppies Mix? Question: We have a 15 year old cat who is well, happy and calm. In September we will receive a Golden-Doodle puppy from…

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Media – Mouth Warts in Puppies

puppies wrestling

Unsightly but Rarely Dangerous Question: Do you have an opinion on what to do about papillomas in our dog Ella’s mouth and how/whether to treat with azithromycin? The dog Ella…

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Media – Fireworks Freak-Out

fireworks

Comfort Scared Pets with Good Management Startled by earsplitting blasts, many otherwise stable pets will endure almost continual panic this weekend. Scared dogs may hide, tremble, drool, cry or howl,…

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Media – Grain-Free Could be Risky

dog eating

Regular High Quality Pet Food is Best Question: Dr. Nichol, what are your thoughts on grain-free diets for dogs? Dr. Nichol: Well, I thought you’d never ask. Considered a fad…

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Media – Brute Fear

scared dog

Women yes; men no Question: I just watched your YouTube video on dog PTSD. I realize that my dog’s trigger is men. We’ve had her three days and she is…

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Media – Feline Family Feud

calico cat

Social Distancing is Best Question: My mother-in-law is living in nursing home/hospice. We are seeing her Miss Pearl twice a day for feeding and social time. We would love to…

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Media – Skipping Lameness

cockapoo

Modern Treatments – Better Healing Question: I have a 3 year old cockapoo and she was trying to jump and did something to her leg. She cried for about 30…

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Media – Prevent Bad Behaviors

two Puppies playing

Work with COVID19 Restrictions Question: With stay home in place, what do we do if we get an 8 week puppy who needs classes and socialization? Dr. Nichol: You are…

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Media – COVID-19 in Pets

pomeranian

Don’t Panic-Be Careful Staying home is a real drag but if you have pets you’ll never be alone. We don’t need social distancing from them, do we? Here’s the update…

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Media – Wild Barking & Chasing

small dog barking

What’s Better than Yelling? Question: I have a Chihuahua who wants to attack everyone. In the car she goes crazy; she barks at everyone on the street. She doesn’t stop…

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Media – Wigged-Out on the Road

photo of dog riding in car

Treat the Cause Question: Our two-year-old Golden retriever is totally unhappy traveling in any vehicle, including our motorhome; which is a shame because we travel a lot. We tried giving…

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Media – Bury dem Bones

Risky Chew Toys Question: Our large and lovable but frisky black Lab gets mischievous once in a while. Taking him for walks does wonders; the first half of the trip…

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Media – Holidays Happen

Keep it Safe I can’t wait for Thanksgiving: Family, turkey, pie, and political football. Well, maybe for you and me. Keep a close eye on your pets. Tense body postures…

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Media – Silent Suffering Cats

Chronic Pain can Dog your Cat Do you know anyone “of a certain age” with chronic pain? Most people don’t keep it a secret. Dogs don’t suffer silently either. You’ll…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Media – Grain-Free Risks

image illustrating cardiomyopathy

  Heart Disease Related to some Diets The growing popularity of grain-free diets for dogs has worried many veterinarians for quite a while. The FDA, along with independent researchers, has…

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Media – Wild and Car Crazy

Question: I need help controlling my Sunny in a car. I have had big dogs all my life but never had this problem and it’s getting scary to travel and…

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Media – Fighting Family Dogs

Dangerous to Each Other & People Question: My 2 dogs have been together for 2.5 years. The female has always be passive before the male, however in the last month…

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Media – Clipping Male Dogs

dog with tie

Neutering is Best Question: Recently a neighbor got a dog from a shelter and “Rowdy” was a what ‘appeared’ to be an intact male. But the new owner said that…

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Media – Rattlesnake Bites

rattlesnake

Teach Avoidance without Electric Shock Question: Do you have information on humane rattlesnake “proofing” techniques for dogs? It seems to me that keeping your dog on leash would be a…

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Media – Food Fight

Prevent It; Don’t Punish It Question: I have a 3 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He has been getting aggressive towards my other two dogs, Malteses, about his food.…

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Media – Pain in the Rear

pomeranian

It’s a Dog Thing Question: I have a 5 year old female Pomeranian, who was expressed yesterday. She is still whipping her head around to get to her bum. She…

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Podcast – Fear and Anxiety

Dogs are man’s and woman’s best friends but there are differences. Unlike most of us they walk on all 4s and they’re somewhat hairier. But like us they’re genetically programmed…

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Albuquerque Journal Article

Question: I recently moved to Albuquerque from Colorado. I have two yellow Labs. They have always shed hair, but it seems to have gotten worse since the move. I brush…

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#34 – Fireworks Freak-Out

There are lots of remedies for this phobia. Beyond recommending drowning out the noise with fans and music, pheromones (Adaptil), and food toys to promote foraging, I urge you to…

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Albuquerque Journal Article

Question: Our small rescue dog is 14 years old. During a recent senior checkup we discovered a bladder stone (from an ultrasound during a draw for urinalysis). She has no…

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Albuquerque Journal Article – Dog Fights Avoided

Living Gracefully                            Last week I introduced a handicapped Chihuahua mix named Grace and her canine compadres of the Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary. The healthy interactions of this free-ranging group…

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#31 – CBD Oil for Canine Anxiety

NMVMA listserve Behavior Tip #31 Hi colleagues- The veterinary behavior community has been hearing a lot public buzz about CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety, particularly in dogs. Reliable…

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Night Waking in Elderly Dog

Dementia can be Treated Question: We are having a big problem with our Pekapoo. He is 15 1/2 and seems to be hyperactive at night due to Sundowning Syndrome where…

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Choke Collars Carry Risks

Head Halters are Safe and Effective Question: How do you feel about choke collars for dogs? Dr. Nichol: You ask a complex question with behavioral as well as physical implications.…

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Circling Dog with Head Tilt

Inner Ear Infection vs. a Brain Disorder Question: My dog is 4 years old, weighs 4 kilograms, no fever, his name is Dodo. Yesterday, he could not go straight but…

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Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

Allow the Little Ones to Drag the Leash at Home Question: I have a 4 month old cavachon puppy, adorable, playful, and lovable. Her name is Joy. On leash walks…

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Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

Allow the Little Ones to Drag the Leash at Home Question: I have a 4 month old cavachon puppy, adorable, playful, and lovable. Her name is Joy. On leash walks…

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Warts on Older Dogs

Diagnose First, then Decide if Treatment is Necessary Question: I have a cock-a-poo with several warts. Our veterinarian said to use antibiotic cream but that didn’t help. He did not…

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New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Fear is Easy to Manage with Oral Sileo Gel About this time next week many of us will be treated to (or cursed by) fireworks and even a few skyward…

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Festivities May Be Upsetting for Pets

The holidays are great fun, aren’t they? Singin’, dancin’, and carryin’ on. For you and me, sure, but maybe not for everybody. Badly unsettled pets can engage in some unhealthy…

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Baby Teeth

Early Extraction is Safest Question: I discovered that Rocky (5 month old Jack Russell) is growing his adult canine teeth however his baby teeth are not coming out. Will they…

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Clipper Burns

Heal well with Careful Treatment Question: We have a Rhodesian ridgeback, chow, Sheppard mix. I made the error of shaving his coat. Now these red bloody abrasions keep appearing. Dr.…

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Doorway Freak-Out

Special Care is needed for Scared Dogs Question: We have a lab mix 2 years old. She’s had issues with trust but has done well, always sleeping inside. While my…

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Balloon Phobia

Avoid the Fear Triggers; Reduce the Anxiety Balloon Fiesta is great fun for us, but it’s not much of a party for pets who freak out from those cosmic monsters…

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Cancer of a Dog’s Spleen

A Bleeding Malignancy: Painful and Life-Ending Question: My 17 year-old beagle was diagnosed with a splenic tumor last week. She has arthritis in her hips and knees. She is too…

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Hot Spots & Maggots

Older Pets Outdoors are at Risk Are you eating your breakfast as you read this? If you don’t have a strong stomach you may want to enjoy a news story…

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Punishment

Almost always a Failure; Uncover & Treat the Cause Instead Last week, on this very page, I advised the owner of a barking dog to conduct a trial of daily…

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Xylitol is Dangerous for Dogs

Get Serious about Pet Proofing Do you know what xylitol is? If you’re a dog owner it’s time you did. Here is the story of a family that understood the…

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Dog Eats Clothing, Towels, & Bedding

Consider Physical or Behavioral Causes Question: Our Siberian husky eats towels, clothes, bedding – had surgery yesterday to remove a hand towel from his small intestine. 3 incisions later and…

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Eye Discharge in a Dog

Travel Anxiety makes it Hard to go to the Veterinarian Question: We have an older female German shepherd that for the past couple of months has ‘matter’ in both eyes…

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Ear Pain and Discharge

Every Painful Ear needs Medical Attention Ear disease is the most common problem seen by veterinarians and there are still too many uncomfortable pets flying below radar. Redness, swelling, and…

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Puppy Mouths Owners & Steals

Assertive Personality must Learn to Earn Everything Question: My five month old Australian Shepard mix is constantly biting and chewing. If he’s not trying to eat rocks on his walks,…

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Motion Sickness in a Dog

Car Trips can Improve Question: About 4 years ago we adopted a Lab/shepherd mix, Maggie. We’d love to take her places but anything other than a short trip to Grandma’s…

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Controlling Canine Thievery

Your Dog is Not a Wolf; You Don’t need to be Alpha Question- I added a rescue Labradoodle to my pack about a year ago. She’s always looking for something…

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Painful when Jumping

Hip Dysplasia more likely than Spinal Disease Question: Our German shepherd who is 5 years old suddenly jumped down from her (our!) easy chair and fell in a heap! Her…

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Heeler x Drives his Owner Bonkers

More Exercise, especially Herding, would be Perfect Question: I’ve a blue heeler/Lab mix, altered. He tries to herd people and drives me nuts barking when I’ve got to go out.…

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Hen Hysteria

More than just Freaked-Out Fowl I want to discuss hen hysteria. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a pejorative term; I’m not a politician. Hen hysteria is a…

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Euthanasia of an Elderly Dog

Consult your Veterinarian for Perspective Question: We have a Staffordshire bull terrier, 14, stiff and a little weak on his back legs, sleeps a lot, and now seems to be…

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Dog Shocked for Car Chasing

Harsh Punishment can Work but Humane Treatment is Reliable & Safe Question: I appreciate last Friday’s column about shock collars. However there is one particular use for which I found…

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Shock Collar Damages Friendship

Rebuild Trust with Slow Desensitization Question: I brought our dog Oscar to a reputable trainer who recommended an electronic collar. I didn’t know how bad it would damage Oscar’s trust.…

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Bladder stone should be analyzed

Question: Our small rescue dog is 14 years old. During a recent senior checkup we discovered a bladder stone (from an ultrasound during a draw for urinalysis). She has no…

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Fear, Excitement & Submissive Urination

Reduce the Triggers, Reinforce Calm Behavior, & Medication Question: We rescued a beautiful female 18 month old shepherd/whippet from the Taos shelter. She had been left in the backyard by…

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Dog Eats Only Frankfurters

Establish Health Status before Providing Dog Food Only Question: We have a dog that we have difficulty feeding. He is a very finicky eater. Most of the time he’ll eat…

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Dog Freaks Out on Car Rides

Cover the Crate & apply Adaptil Wipes Question: Our Puggle is 4 years old. She is a fabulous dog . Just one problem. She goes crazy in a vehicle especially…

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Pomeranian with Anal Gland Pain

Impacted A/G may be Sore following Expression Question: I have a 5 year old female Pomeranian, who was expressed yesterday. She is still whipping her head around to get to…

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Dogs Fighting on Owners’ Bed

Everybody is at Risk; Dogs should Sleep on Floor Question: I have 2 male Chihuahuas, father and son. They have always slept with us. The older one growls when the…

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Trapping-Reader Feedback

Effort Underway to Outlaw Trapping on Public Lands A few weeks ago in this column I posted a letter telling the story of a dog who spent 3 days caught…

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Dog Wild and Crazy in Car

Prevent Arousal Triggers; Treat Anxiety, Nausea Question: I need help controlling my Sunny in a car. I have had big dogs all my life but never had this problem and…

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Holiday Risks for Pets

Prevention is the Best Medicine The time honored American tradition of conspicuous Christmas consumption isn’t just for humans; pets too can be guilty of dietary indiscretion. The ASPCA Animal Poison…

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Pet Dog Caught in Wild Coyote Trap

Microchip and Caring People Saved this Life The following narrative is a difficult story with a good ending and an even better lesson. A friend and longtime reader wrote this…

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Senior Dog Barking Excessively

Dementia is Common in Canine Seniors Question: My 13 year Sheepdog has started barking since he came out of kennels in March. I have gotten complaints from my neighbour as…

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Urine Marking

Crowding & Political Stress Question: Why does my 3 year old neutered male toy poodle Jack urine mark in the house? He is house trained and goes outside. I also…

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Beagle Struggling with Heart Disease

Reevaluate Diagnosis & Treatment for Best Results Question: My 5 year old beagle has a grade 4 heart murmur. She is on 3 medications: furosemide, enalapril, and spironolactone. Do all…

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Which Dog is Urine Soiling?

Check first for Bladder Disease Question: I read with great interest (and often amusement) your weekly column. I have two female Llaso Apsos. They are sisters and are ten years…

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Balloon Phobia

Avoidance & Antianxiety Treatments Question: Help!  My dog is terribly afraid of hot air balloons, causing him to bark uncontrollably.  The occasional balloon I could deal with, but my home…

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Hip Dysplasia

Good Treatments depend on Age & Severity Question: My husband and I are the owners of a beloved one year old Airedale terrier. Toby has been x-rayed and diagnosed by…

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Aggression between Family Dogs

Act Early & Be Careful Question: I have 2 dogs that have been together for 2.5 years.  The female has always be passive before the male, however in the last…

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Lepto-An Emerging Wet Weather Threat?

Vaccination is Safe & Effective Have you ever questioned the significance of “emerging” disease threats? Some stay for years while others seem to fade with yesterday’s news cycle. Real epidemics…

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Canine Distemper Spreading Fast

Vaccination is Critically Important Veterinarians in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas have seen a significant uptick in canine distemper cases. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson had so…

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Puppy Eats Tortoise Poop

Disgusting but most likely Harmless Question: Our large back yard is shared by our Russian tortoise and our 5 pound (11 month old puppy) poodle. As soon as “Tortie” came…

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Cats & Dogs as BFFs

Choose Carefully & Raise them Together Question: Am I crazy or is this possible? I want 2 cats and 2 large dogs to get along peacefully in our mountain home.…

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Aggressive Dog on Owners’ Beds

Give Dog her own Bed; Avoid Punishment Question: Usually at night my 8-month young mini pinscher sleeps in my brother’s bed and if someone passes by the room she jumps…

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Fear Aggression toward Visitors

Forget Punishment; Guests mean Good Things Happen Question: We have an 8 month old mix breed dog who is timid but aggressive. We have had her since she was 8…

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Pet Medical Insurance Saves Lives

A Good Plan can make Veterinary Expenses Affordable A dog or cat who is sick or injured needs competent medical care but the cost can be a serious problem. Research…

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Cat Killed in Yard

Coyotes may be Responsible. Rule out Involvement of Dogs Question: We raised two LGD puppies with sheep — neither of them showed aggression toward anything — not chickens, cats, sheep,…

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Paralysis of a Dog’s Face

Idiopathic Facial Paralysis is a Lifelong Condition Question: One of my tenants has a heartbreaking situation with her precious 8 year old golden retriever mix. Half of the dog’s face…

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Clipper Burns

Heal well with Careful Treatment Question: We have a Rhodesian ridgeback, chow, Sheppard mix. I made the error of shaving his coat. Now these red bloody abrasions keep appearing. Dr.…

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Retained Baby Teeth

Early Extraction is Safest Question: I discovered that Rocky (5 month old Jack Russell) is growing his adult canine teeth however his baby teeth are not coming out. Will they…

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Dust-Up at the Dog Park

Question: Our German shepherd, Chrysanthemum (6 months old), has fear-aggression issues so we’ve been taking her to Bullhead Park to try socializing. There were 5-6 dogs there and she was…

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Balloon Phobia

Avoid the Fear Triggers; Reduce the Anxiety Balloon Fiesta is great fun for us, but it’s not much of a party for pets who freak out from falling cosmic monsters.…

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Recent Uptick in Parvo Cases

Thorough Vaccination will Diminish Risk Question: A friend with connections to a therapy dog group emailed me about two “new” dog illnesses. They seem serious. Dr. Nichol: Not only are…

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Submissive Urinator

Patient repetition of Rewards for Courage Question: My mom is a young widow. And very lonely. She mentioned she wanted a cocker. So I surprised her with one for Christmas.…

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Puppy Perplexed by Potty Pads

One Day Housetraining is Fast & Simple Question: My puppy is 10 weeks old and has been paper trained since 4 weeks. I want him to go outside so I…

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Dog Crated Day & Night Urine Soils

Natural Behavioral Outlets Essential to Well-Being Question: I am a new mom to two wonderful shelter dogs, including Moxie, a 15 month old pit bull/heeler.  She has never urinated or…

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ACL Rupture in a Small Dog

Surgical Management is Best for Young Dogs Question: My dog Lola is a happy 3 year old Lhasa-poo. Recently, she eagerly ran down the stairs and hurt her leg. Her…

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Fearful Dog Losing Bladder Control

Avoid Fear Triggers & Teach Scared Dog that Strangers are Safe Question: Our 6 year old, mostly red healer, was rescued from an Indian reservation, then rescued again with her…

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Feces by Home Delivery

A More Enriched Environment will Provide Healthy Alternatives Question: My dog brings feces into the house from outside almost as an “offering”. How can I stop that behavior? Dr. Nichol:…

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Great Dogs Wait for Caring Homes

Adult & Senior Dogs can Make Great Pets Sometimes I volunteer to direct the behavioral rehabilitation of pets in shelters and foster homes. One of these was a German shepherd…

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Personality Change in Older Dog

Similar to a Human’s Alzheimer’s Dogs can have Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome Question: I have an older Lab cross that has undergone extreme personality changes. He is withdrawn, does not want…

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Urine Soiling Away from Home

Anxitane can Help with Social Anxiety Question: I have a 5-year old female border terrier who is almost the perfect pet. The problem is that I cannot bring her with…

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