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 getting creative with training (lights, gestures) but he’s a monster. He’s destructive to no end and I’m not sure how to let him know when…

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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. He was subdued when he first arrived but wherever I was, he was there, practically on my feet. He whines almost like a child when…

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grey cat

Treat with Empathy & Kindness Question: My sweet little six year old cat, Pepper, had a ‘boyfriend’, Fluffy, who lived in the home in back of us. They had both yards and two acres of open space for frolicking. Fluffy, at 16, was euthanized several weeks ago and Pepper seems to be badly missing him.…

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fat cat

The Cause is Dangerous but Not Difficult to Control If left to fend for themselves in the wild our cats would survive by stalking and devouring prey, displaying their prowess with an athletic build and the heads of trophy rats they’ve bagged mounted above their fireplaces. Our pet kitties, on the other hand, park their…

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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 have terrible side effects. Dr. Nichol: Breathing is rather important isn’t it? Most of us draw each lungful without a thought. But struggling to move…

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cat blinking

Calming Blinking It’s really hard having less contact with people. Socially distanced can mean socially isolated. But your cat may be trying to help by inviting you to snuggle by slow eye blinking. There may be natural empathy behind those half closed eyelids. Cats are good at nonverbal communication. Hold on – aren’t cats socially…

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Stress Matters Magawa isn’t just any rat; he is the very best at what he does. You may recall from “The Year of the Rat” in last week’s Fetch page that this African pouched rat won a gold medal for discovering more unexploded mines and ordnance in Cambodia than his competitors. Training made it possible…

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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 then, he has never been the same. One time he was trying to get inside and out of nowhere a lightning bolt happened. Then our…

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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 tilted towards one side, but he eats well (we’ve been hand feeding him). Today is the second day of this syndrome. My family could notice…

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cat looking out

Here’s How to Keep a Cranky Kitty Calm Does your cat hate going to the veterinary clinic? I get it. Lots of cats freak-out with anything away from home. Despite the safety and trust you’ve nurtured in your cat she is a hunter who can also be hunted. A white coated stranger in a funky…

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Feline Seniors Need Gentle Care Tony, a grey tabby cat pushing 15, has been ours since he was just a baby. He and I share the belief that we’re still kids but, oddly, he’s developed an age-related problem. Doing my best to cheat the reality of aging I’ve examined him and regularly submitted lab profiles.…

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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 clean from now on! So how often should I brush them? Dr. Nichol: Caring for your Schipperke’s health – every bit of it – will…

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cat in a carrier

Good Management & Helpful Meds Question: We have a cross-country move at the end of the summer and are curious what recommendations you have for moving with kitties. We have two (11yrs and 4yrs), both of whom we adopted while living here in Georgia. Now we’re moving back to my home state of Minnesota. The…

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shih tzus

Teach with Reliable Structure Question: My two Shih Tzus are sisters, 4 years old, adopted last year. They are usually potty trained but I did have to replace hallway carpet to tile. They don’t know how to ask to go out and I have trouble being intuitive all the time. They are shy and not…

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old cat arthritis

Older Joints – Never Assume Question: I read that most older cats have arthritis. My 14 year old female spayed cat does not show any overt signs of pain. She is a little overweight (working on it) but is otherwise healthy. I’m planning on getting ramps and stairs for her, a more accessible litter box,…

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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 want to remove them because she is 14. What about using thuja or multi vitamins? Dr. Nichol: Everybody seems to get lumpy and bumpy with…

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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 a family member. How can we introduce a good sized, bouncy puppy to our lovable old girl? Dr. Nichol: This could be a tall order…

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dogs competing for attention

Dogs Competing for Attention Question: How to help with competition between dogs for human attention? Rosebud acts like she owns me and Helmut (new dog) acts like he owns my husband. How to reduce this behavior? Dr. Nichol: Rosebud and Helmut believe that access to their leaders is limited. What? Why that’s ridiculous! Love and…

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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 plays with and Ella both have them. The other dog’s owner wants to treat with the antibiotic for them to be able to play together…

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cat picture

The Right Care Goes a Long Way Question: My 12 year old male cat Prancer was diagnosed with diabetes. He was immediately put on insulin injections. He has his regular blood tests and changes in the insulin dosages. He does not appear to be making very much progress. Will he show improvement in eating and…

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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, and even urine soil, vomit or pass diarrhea. Many get clingy but some escape the home and risk getting hit on the road. A freaked-out…

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aggressive corgi

Teach, Don’t Punish Question: My 2 year old female Corgi will fight any dogs or people that get too close. While she’ll let me pet her, she will not get on my lap. She will get on my husband’s lap, nuzzle his hand, and sleep (with one eye open) but if he tries to hand…

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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 diet by many, grain-free has been dogged by controversy from the get-go. There are a small number of dogs suspected of gluten intolerance who’ve improved…

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cat fight

Mutual Disdain Likely to Fester & Explode Question: Apparently this cat found us. She is part of Community Cat Program here in El Paso. She is not feral; she is more of a stray and very social with humans. She’s around 5. We are trying to acclimate her to an indoor environment. Our older cat…

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cat with eye discharge

This Senior Cat could Feel Better Question: The eye discharge in my 15 year old male cat has slightly diminished with Neopolydex ophthalmic suspension. A senior profile exam at Animal Humane revealed a benign thyroid lump said to be common in older cats. He does not stroke his eye with his paw. Can pain be…

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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 absolutely terrified of my husband. We don’t know her history and she is just over one year old. I’m wondering if my husband is causing…

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Chihuahuas

Yeast & Bacteria + Skin Oils Question: We have two small dogs – a Chihuahua and a terrier mix – that have a “body odor” problem. We can give them a bath today and within two days the odor is back. I have owned a number of dogs in my lifetime (I’m 81 years old)…

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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 move Pearl across the dirt road to our home. She loves our pair of Goldies, but loathes our calico with ululating passion. We are considering…

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Cat drinking from bathroom faucet

Wet your Cat Question: I have two kittens about nine months old. They have access to water and dry food all day and I give them wet food in the morning and evening. Is that too much? Should I change their feeding habits? I’ve noticed that when one of them visits the water bowl it…

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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 seconds, it was horrifying. She was born with loose kneecaps. My veterinarian told me about stem cells. I’m skeptical with any new procedures. Are there…

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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 right to make this a priority. The sensitive period for puppy socialization is ages 3-12 weeks. This means healthy, happy play and handling with lots…

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two cats sharing a bed

Most Cats are Not Party Animals Question: I adopted two female cats a couple of years ago. The younger one has always been energetic and playful. The older cat recently died. I’m now wondering if my remaining cat “needs” a friend. I’d prefer to not adopt an additional cat due to the risk of unknowingly…

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siamese cat

Treatment Matters Question: My cat Harry is very special at age 14, a little flame point Siamese. He suffers from an eye condition that became much worse several months ago. What freaks me out is the brown discoloration in one eye. I’m crippled and stranded, so it’s scary. Despite it all Harry works hard to…

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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 which, of course, is subject to change. Idexx Laboratories tested thousands of canine and feline specimens and found no positives for the coronavirus strain that…

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standard poodles

Why must a Dog Act-Out? Question: I walk my 2 year old standard poodle on a trail. He’s a great dog. When he’s on a leash he often rears up and barks at dogs we meet who are on- leash too. I need to keep the leash on (he gets free runs at the dog…

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woman gazing at dog

 She’d Feel Better if She Could Cry Question: One of my dogs has a crusty discharge from her eyes. It doesn’t wipe away, and when I pull it off, the skin underneath is red and sore. After reading your column on rabbits recently, I wondered if it could be mites, but if there’s such a…

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leopards hissing and fighting

Amusements, Separation before Reconciliation Question: I have two cats that aren’t getting along. One is my husband’s and the other one is mine. We moved in together 7 months ago and they still can’t be together. We keep them separated and have been only successful a couple of times in the same room for a…

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cat drinking from faucet

Water Matters Question: My cats don’t like to drink cold water and since giving them lukewarm water I haven’t had any problems with urinary infections. I used to have a cat with a urinary problem at least once a year. You might want to suggest it to your patients who have a cat with a…

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beagle

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 old for surgery. What is her life-expectancy? I’m assuming the tumor is malignant and aggressive since it wasn’t palpable a few months ago and her…

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black cat in a bed

Manage – Don’t Suffer or Punish Question: I have a little cat of horrors. He is a 4 year old black American Short hair and when he is hungry he will attack my feet and hands. I am a diabetic and he leaves long lasting wounds that take forever to heal. None of my other…

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two rabbits

Not always Pretty Question: We have had a truly organic constantly changing “rabbit garden” within our backyard. Bunny Town USA has had many happy years and happy healthy rabbit broods. Three years ago we had wild mice and a feral cat. Sometime after, the rabbits began their battle with mites. Even in the cold the…

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two kittens

Young Cats with Enriched Lives more likely to Succeed Question: I have always had a cat. Several months ago we lost our last cat and we were heart broken. I would like to find two cats/kittens from the same litter. Would it be a problem finding two different kittens that would live together? We want…

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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 until we get home. At home, if we have guests and if they move or walk, she runs to them to scare them. She doesn’t…

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dog on terrace

Find out How Question: I have an 11 year old Yorkie, Luca. He has heart murmurs and takes 2 diuretics. He’s been stable for a couple of years. The diuretics mean he pees a LOT. He had always gone outside but he had a bladder stone removed and now has issues holding it in. We…

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cat meowing

Big Appetite? Weight Loss? Question: What can I do with my cat’s incessant meowing? Myrtle is 18 years old. She’s able to hop up on the furniture. First thing in the morning, she starts around 6 a.m. and will keep it up. I’ve tried ignoring it, and other times shushing her to no avail. She…

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Sphinx cat

Mites or Other Infections are the Primary Cause Question: We took our cat to the veterinarian due to noticing his ear was down and swollen. The doctor reassured us his ear will go back down in time. He did tell us Maurice has ear mites. Once that problem is gone will that help the process…

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puppy with 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 she emits the cry of a banshee, bucking wild bronco, putting on the brakes, and rolling. No amount of patient standing or treat offered helped,…

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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 him a tranquilizer, but then he was just as anxious because he felt so horrible from the medication and still hated the movement of the…

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cat sitting on sofa

Reduce Temptation; Cat Chewing Done Right Question: My cat Bella Lynne is 3years old and she chews on oxygen hoses. I need help. Dr. Nichol: Cats are predators who need to stimulate the specialized nerve receptors in their faces. The chewy texture of your oxygen hoses is irresistible to Bella Lynne. Set her up to…

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image of cat playing with mouse

Or Purchase the Right Cat Food The raging debate on healthy cat diets continues. Dry vs. canned, high protein or grain free? You could go to the mountaintop and consult Google, that wizened guru. But instead I’ll share current research which, like all good science, continues to shift. Obesity is epidemic for our short eared,…

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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 is letting him ‘mark’ things, sniff and do a little browsing. To keep him further occupied, we got a large Nylabone. We find that he’ll…

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photo of cats fighting

Can New Cat Succeed? Question: I have 2 other cats and since I’ve brought the new guy home it is a divided household. My 2 established cats are terrified of this guy or just don’t like him. They hide and don’t come out. They hiss and growl. I have to lock up the new cat…

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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 around visitors or startling at sudden noises, hiding, freezing with ears flattened, the head low, and the tail tucked are important clues. Scared dogs may…

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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 notice them limping, slow to jump, or crying when they get up. But cats don’t say a word. If you think they get a pass…

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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…

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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…

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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?…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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“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…

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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…

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image of a cat in a box

Most Do Best Alone in the Jungle Question: I adopted two female cats from the shelter 3 years ago. One was a year old; the other was three. The younger one has always been energetic and playful, while the other’s favorite activities were sleeping, observing, and hiding. The older cat recently died. I’m now wondering…

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photo of yawning cat

Observant Pet Parents & Preventive Care Save Lives In the pet popularity contest cats are a close second to dogs, yet they get much less preventive medical care. That’s because of a widespread misperception that they’re lower maintenance pets. That just isn’t so. Oh sure, they can stay indoors, munch from a brimming bowl of…

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She can Work to Earn Question: I adopted my lab mix at age 3 months. She has been dominant, aggressive, independent, and a bully from the beginning. She is now 3 years old and has had two obedience classes, but with no success. She attacked and bullied the other dogs in the class. She pulls…

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Rapid Growth & the Wrong Food Well-intentioned pet parents dabbled in dog and cat nutrition long before the surge in popularity of raw and grain-free diets. This is no job for amateurs. I’ve read the research and I’ve treated the orthopedic consequences and the raging internal disorders. Inappropriate feeding is particularly dangerous for big breed…

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Protection for Diminishing Birds Question: I was disappointed in your reply to the owner of the “trophy hunting cat” in the July 19 Albuquerque Journal. While you made good points about diseases transmitted to pets and potentially to humans, you missed the opportunity to address another serious issue: birds, small mammals and reptiles killed by…

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image of cat hunting a mouse

Tularemia, Plague, Rabies, & Hanta Virus Question: Our formerly feral five-year-old cat is now a tamed cuddler, purrer, and a chatterer. Her favorite activity is catching baby rabbits, baby squirrels, lizards, mice and birds. She is proud to bring these finds in, which get tossed out immediately. Could she contract Hantavirus or other diseases from…

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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 recently discovered a possible link between grain-free, “legume-rich” foods and a potentially life-threatening heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Deficiency of the amino acid taurine…

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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 worry about the distraction. In all other situations he responds to speech commands and treats. In this he is oblivious to my existence! Dr. Nichol:…

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Image of cats about to fight

Fighting Among Household Cats Relationships among multiple indoor cats could devolve into a slugfest. The head banana may lurk in the shadows, pounce, and scare the snot out of an unsuspecting subordinate. Wounds and abscesses can be lanced and irrigated but the fear can last a lifetime. Be observant. Watch for one cat blocking access…

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image of multiple cats eating

A Crowd of Cats Question: One of our foster families has a cat with bladder disease.  She had a UTI, which has now cleared up after medication.  She is now on gabapentin, but is still not always using the litter box.  Her family is using Feliway and is isolating her from the other cats, but things…

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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 she has become extremely aggressive, taking his food, even growling when he attempts to get close to us. The male is now showing up with…

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dogs eating trash

Beware of Sugar Substitutes in Prepared Foods Did you know that dogs and cats are not little people in furry suits? They’re like us in a lot of ways. They snuggle, play, and talk to us, sometimes more than other people. Maybe that’s why we keep them as pets rather than, say, cockroaches or earthworms.…

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image of cats fighting

Kitties often Speak Non-Verbally Question: Having watched your Facebook Live on cats who fight, I wonder about how do two cats living in a house communicate with each other? Dr. Nichol: Cohabitating cats communicate almost continually. Sometimes referred to as socially asocial many could as easily survive alone as live in a feline colony. Genetically…

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cat eating grass

Be Wary: Serious Trouble may Lurk Question: What is your view of “cat grass?” Dr. Nichol: I have never used cat grass. I don’t eat it, smoke it, grow it or mow it. On the other hand, the two Nichol family cats, Tony and Gaston, are rather fiendish about it, almost like catnip. But they’re…

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To Help: Find Out Why Question: About 6 months ago, our 15 year old Shih Tzu developed a new fear. We think he may have sun downer syndrome. Late afternoon he starts stretching his head way out and sniffing the air like crazy. Shortly after the sniffing starts, he begins to tremble violently. This usually…

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photo of dog sharing food with human

Fussy or Sick? Question: We have a dog that we have difficulty feeding. He is a very finicky eater. Most of the time he’ll eat frankfurters but nothing else. We began giving him those because we were afraid he would get sick not eating. What should we do to help him? Dr. Nichol: You may…

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Two kittens

Adopt Kittens in Pairs Question: I have always had a cat throughout my 60 years. Several months ago we lost our last cat and we were broken hearted. I would like to find two cats/kittens from the same litter. Would it be a problem finding two different kittens that would live together? We want a…

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cat sleeping

Not a Road Map to Feline Health Tony is a 12 year old kitty who started fussing for food frequently. But when his family was petting him they realized that he wasn’t just being pesky. Despite packing away the groceries this feline senior was losing weight. On physical exam Tony’s heart rate was faster than…

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golden retriever

PTSD is Treatable Question: We have a golden retriever that was given to us when he was 1 1/2 years old. In his previous life, he was taken to two different classes where he was subjected to fear and pain through a shock collar. Ever since we have had him (15 months), he has terrible…

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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 was how males can be neutered now, just ‘clipped’ but not the testicles removed. I thought the idea of neutering was to not only prevent…

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calico cat

Question: Hermione, our 11 year old long haired calico, was diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis. She received a month of treatment per our veterinarian. We then made a tough decision to stop all treatment. Two weeks later Minie has increased energy, is eating somewhat better, and is again engaging in household life. But all of the…

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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 better solution, so I don’t need it for myself. In Santa Fe they are using shock collars for this purpose, and I would like to…

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aggressive cat

Are We Having Fun Yet? Question: I have indoor cats. One of the black cats (Toby) has gotten aggressive with the others and he started to spray about 6 months ago. I have never had this happen before so I am not sure what to do or where to go. I have used Nature’s Miracle…

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sphinx cat

Regurgitation is Dangerous Question: Blue Boy is a Sphynx cat, 13 years old. Ever since he was a kitten he has scooped food into his mouth like a bull dozer and chewed it while growling. After he stuffed himself he would regurgitate it and run away. I fed him tiny amounts at a time and…

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 Something for Everybody Question: My nephew and I both have large male dogs. I told him that when I take our 100# black Labrador for a walk, he sniffs, browses and ‘marks’ his territory. My nephew indicated that letting males do so ‘shortens’ their lifespan since they are under duress while doing it. I would…

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Vitamin D recall

Check with FDA Mistakes happen. Multiple dog food brands have been found to contain excessive levels of the essential nutrient vitamin D. Some have 70 times the correct amount. Don’t panic. So far only a handful of dogs have gotten seriously ill. No cat foods have been suspected. The FDA web page, where the recalled…

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cat up late at night

Cat Daddy as Midnight Toy Question: Stinky, at the age of 5 months, adopted us by walking in the back door. The weird thing is his habit of waking me at 3 AM. He will come back every five minutes to stare at me and give his little pathetic meow. It does no good to…

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Not Man’s, Woman’s, or Cat’s Best Friend Question: I have two 15 year old cats who are both well toilet trained. Recently I moved from the city to the country. Since then I have been getting nightly visits from a possum, she is lovely and I hand feed her my excess veggies (avocados are her…

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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. He won’t let the 2 year old near it and attacks him, causing a fight. We have punished him. I don’t know how to stop…

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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 can’t reach there because she is soo tiny. Is she supposed to still be irritated there? And is there something I can do to help…

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caged cat

Born to be Wild, or to At Least Believe They Are Question: I’m trying to help half a dozen cats who are kept in pens.  I would like to see them hunt, climb, chase, choose which cats they associate with, and have more than just one spot to sleep in.  To me, keeping cats in…

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green eyed cat

Don’t Let Your Cat Fool You Do you examine your cat’s mouth? That would mean putting him on a table under a bright light with an assistant gently holding his shoulders as you slowly open his mouth big enough to see all of his teeth. Actually, about the only time that really happens is during…

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dog afraid of fireworks

Pets ready for Fireworks? In the next few days many of us will be treated to (or cursed by) fireworks and even a few skyward gunshots, all to improve our outlook for the New Year. Oh sure, these immature and potentially dangerous antics fall into the category of irresponsible human behavior (explosions must boost the…

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holiday dog

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 behaviors because they’re nervous or scared. You’ll need to be observant. Tense body postures around visitors or startling at sudden noises, hiding, freezing with ears…

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hissing cat

Indoor Cats Freaked-Out by Visitor Question: I have 2 cats, 10 months old. We have recently let them go outside. A few days ago another cat showed up in our garden. I took my cats inside as I was afraid they were going to fight. They kept hissing at each other through the window. When…

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pit bull eating

Avoid Innate Competition 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 walked over to my 10 pound dog to eat her food, the little dog growled and Molly attacked. I was able to…

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cat in a hat

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 expressed due to constant boot scooting and licking of the area. In the last year I have had his anal glands infused with antibiotics twice.…

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bulldog

Secondary Infection can cause Misery & Wreak Havoc 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 this just because she is old? Dr. Nichol: Dry skin problems and hair loss are not signs…

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Good Housekeeping Promotes Etiquette Question: My female cat pees like a lady when outside, but inside she stands and sprays the wall. I have had to buy an enclosed litter box to protect the walls. I tried new litter but it did not help. Dr. Nichol: You tried new litter? I thought this was about…

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senior 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 so much!! Isaac is a 15 year old Kooikerhodje. I am absolutely heartbroken. His symptoms are constant barking, confusion, losing control of bowel movements and…

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Scared Dog

Halloween can be Scary and Dangerous The idea of Halloween is rather appealing. It’s fully legal and socially acceptable to assume a different identity. If you are underage you can arrive uninvited on the doorsteps of total strangers and feign poverty or threaten to trick them if they don’t cough-up unhealthy snacks. Many dogs, being…

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golden retriever puppy

Hey – wasn’t that settled a long time ago? The oversupply of pets hasn’t gone away. The behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering are clear. Roaming, urine marking/spraying, and aggression between intact (unneutered) males are greatly diminished. Early-age sterilization prior to adoption has been quite effective in reducing the glut of unwanted pets. During the…

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Fear can be Learned just Once Question: New Mexico Animal Friends has a spayed female foster cat, Twyla, a young tortoiseshell shorthair, who has become difficult at adoption clinics. We think she may have had a bad experience. She snarls and swats at people and acts as if she is “guarding” her cage. At the…

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hot air balloon

Balloons Fiesta is a great spectacle for us, but it’s not much of a wingding for pets who freak-out from those cosmic monsters leering and looming over them. Even the far-off hiss of a propane burner or a multi-colored speck in the distance can trigger overwhelming terror for dogs who’ve logged a few frightful fiestas.…

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blind cat

Quality of Life is Central Question: My cat Kayla just turned 23 years old and suddenly went blind. When do I know that it’s too much for her to handle and make the choice to put her down? My heart is breaking. Dr. Nichol: You must have given Kayla wonderful care for her to have…

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Breed-Specific Work is Necessary Question: How can you stop heelers from eating their feces (and that of turkeys, geese, plus dirt, plants, etc.)? My friend’s 7 month old heeler is a planet eater! She’s also super hyper and uncontrollable to the point of not being an enjoyable dog. Dr. Nichol: Coprophagia (stool eating) is certainly…

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fat cat

Moving is Painful & Stressful Question: My fiancé and I are having a house built. I have an enormous 20# tabby male cat named Tortellini. Should I kennel him for a couple of days? He hates going into his carrier; I have never kenneled him. Tortellini has peed on me in my bed and on…

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barking dog

Improve Life to End Complaining Question: Do you do debarking or bark softening? I have about a 20# Sheltie. Dr. Nichol: I’ve considered debarking a few people (politicians, mostly) but for noisy dogs, there are better ways. Barking is actually a normal canine communication. Punishments, like verbal reprimands and electric or citronella collars seem simple…

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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 them daily. Do the supplements advertised in pet supply catalogs actually work to minimize shedding? Dr. Nichol: Naw. A supplement would help if you fed…

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Itchy cat

Food & Airborne Allergens take their Toll Question: Pippi, my 4 year old Maine Coon cat first suffered with indolent ulcers at six months of age that has been controlled with z/d diet. Since January Pippi has formed stools for weeks and then reverts to “little cow pies”. Lately, she startles with itching and then…

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puppy planning

During Luna’s earliest weeks of life, long before being left at the shelter, she missed out on gentle social exposures, causing her to be afraid when approached by anyone. Well-meaning human attempts to make friends triggered defensive lunging and snapping. She got lucky with her second family; they were committed to teaching her a better…

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aggressive dog

Luna’s life with Hope and Brian began with great promise. They weren’t ready to start a human family but they loved pets. They’re socially conscious people who wanted to make a difference so off they went to the local shelter in search of a canine companion. That’s where a 6 month old Papillion-looking waif stole…

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blind cat

Basic Obedience Skills will make a Difference Question: How do you improve the quality of life for a blind cat? Dr. Nichol: Caring for this special needs cat can be rewarding. Instead of adopting a Seeing Eye dog for her you can motivate her with food and guide her with your voice. Start with the…

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limping chihuahua

Age is Not a Factor for Improved Quality of Life        Question: My Chihuahua is 13 years old. Last week he ran and started limping on his rear leg. We took him to the veterinarian and she said that his knee is popping in and out. She said he is actually too old for surgery. Is…

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Dog scared of fireworks

Restrictions on fireworks won’t stop the earsplitting blasts that turn otherwise stable pets into trembling, panting emotional disasters. Some will get so overwhelmed that they‘ll drool, cry or howl, urine soil, vomit, or pass diarrhea. Most get clingy but a few may escape the yard and risk getting hit on the road. A freaked-out dog…

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Cat sleeping in litter box

Better Alternatives will mean Better Choices   Question: My cat has a thing about sleeping in her litter tray even when it has been used. How can I get her to stop without her not wanting to use it for what it’s for?   Dr. Nichol: Cats find boxes irresistible but your girl, sleeping in the…

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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 symptoms. She is increasingly distressed when we go to the veterinarian (panting, shaking, defecating). What is the worst case scenario if we do nothing? I…

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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 are a great example of how well dogs can get along when they are unencumbered by contrivances like houses and fences. Pet dogs, with limited…

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dog

Together in a Crowd Grace is a 13 year old Chihuahua with a bad back, permanently dislocated knee caps, and a staggering rear gait. You could say she has pluck and courage but she doesn’t consciously throw her shoulders back and “power through”. She doesn’t need to. She just runs and sniffs and eats and…

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dog

Be Kind – Pet Proof your Home         The growing popularity of marijuana edibles, along with the increasing likelihood of this drug’s full legalization, has created significant animal welfare concerns. Dogs believe that every filched snack may be their last shot at survival, making them natural born thieves. The chocolate in “magic” brownies is a serious…

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kitten playing with cat food toy

Predatory Aggression can be Redirected Question: Like the cat you wrote about last week my 7 year old neutered-male craves affection but will viciously and without warning bite me. I was sitting on the couch, typing on my iPad and he was snuggled on my arm. I wasn’t petting him and everything seemed peaceful. Suddenly…

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trembling dog

Find the Cause; Avoid the Misery         Question: I have a miniature dachshund, 1 1/2 years old.  About a week ago she started shaking/trembling when it was bed time and every night since then she starts to tremble at night and hides behind my couch.  Could something be wrong with her or is she just scared…

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cat meowing

Soldering Infection may be at Fault    Question: I have a 10 year old male orange tabby. He has always been a vocal cat and enjoys “talking” back and forth with you. A week ago he lost his voice. He seems healthy otherwise, but is a bit sad and perplexed about not being able to speak.…

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raw diets

Reliable Commercial Food is Healthy & Complete The popularity of feeding raw meat to dogs continues. Your pupster can harken to his barbaric roots by ravaging the “genuine article”. Why not? What group of free-living wild dogs has ever barbecued their kill to safeguard against potentially dangerous microbes? It just wouldn’t be natural. Well, I’ve…

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choosing the right kitten

Science reduces the Guesswork You’ve decided to adopt a kitten and you’ve been a careful, detached observer of a litter. You’re chafing at the bit, just itching to snuggle and cuddle those fuzzy little cuties. OK, it’s time to get physical but remain objective just a little longer. You really want the right cat for…

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fearful dog

Kindness will Light the Way Question: All my life I’ve had a dog through every turmoil and problem. I recently began a relationship with a woman who has a wonderful canine partner (let’s call her Nickel to protect identities) who is completely avoidant! We’ve tried the calm, soft voice approach. We’ve attempted the food lure.…

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cat injection

My excellent and, sadly, late colleague Dr. Sophia Yin presents a wonderful method for giving injections to cats. The pet parent with this diabetic kitty can learn to make it a good experience rather than a source of fear. Complications like Urinary Infections Derail Good Control Question: I have a 14-year-old cat who was diagnosed…

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dog veterinary exam

Ask Questions & Make Informed Choices Question: I am writing to you to vent my frustration toward the excessive fees charged by veterinarians. We took our pet for a routine annual physical and were charged $206.01. (For my last physical, I paid $135.75.) Today, we took her to have her teeth cleaned and paid $276.08…

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dog eats 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. Last spring, when “Tortie” came out of hibernation, our puppy started spending a lot of time outside. I then discovered why: the puppy was finding and eating Tortie’s poop!! Gross.…

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Cat Scratching Furniture

Declawing is so ‘90s (actually ‘60s) Question: I am 72 and have had cats since I can remember. We recently lost our last cat and I feel lost without another companion but my wife insists that any new cat be declawed. I just can’t agree to that. What is your advice?   Dr. Nichol: I…

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Research Supports other Alternative Therapies Question: A friend started using CBD oil for her dog that has severe epilepsy and it seems to be minimizing the number of seizures.  I wanted to see if it might be a possibility for my dog. He freaks out when he sees strangers and he gets startled sometimes at…

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Our American tradition of conspicuous Christmas consumption isn’t just for humans. Your pet can be a pig even without being a pet pig. Edibles: Alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), spoiled and fatty foods, onions, onion powder, salt, yeast dough and marijuana are all dangerous and potentially deadly for pets. Plants:…

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Fearful cat

I recently shared the story of Sherman, a well-loved cat with long-standing defensive-aggression in veterinary clinics. It was so bad that his people quit taking him for routine wellness exams. As a result his kidney failure wasn’t diagnosed until its advanced stage. Cats have become the most popular pets in America because busy people assume…

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Parrot

Set Pets Up for Success; then Teach them What to Do Right John received a parrot as a gift, one with a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every utterance was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity. John did his best to improve the bird’s demeanor by saying only polite words, playing soft music,…

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dogs and cats who dread Thanksgiving

It’s Easy to Give them a Break & Keep them Safe Thanksgiving is great fun, isn’t it? Family, football, turkey, pie, and beer. Well, maybe for you and me. Keep a close eye on your pets. Tense body postures around visitors or startling at sudden noises, hiding, freezing with ears flattened, the head low, and…

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Chocolate is Dangerous for Dogs Halloween is great, isn’t it? You can go incognito and so can your dog. And the snacks, oooh, they’re to die for, aren’t they? But if it’s a dog who indulges – even a little- chocolate can be fatal. Of the vast array of goodies consumed in mass quantities during…

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A ScareCrow will Prevent Intrusions by Neighbor Cats        Question: I have a spayed female cat who mostly stays indoors and but likes to go out in the evenings. There are a couple of male cats who wander into her territory. The angry, fighting, howling cat words are loud and scare me. My first tendency would…

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Careful Evaluation & Dosing are Critical to Success Question: I have a 14-year-old diabetic cat. She was healthy and stable; her insulin (glargine) dose was 1.5 units. About a month ago she became lethargic and indifferent to food. Her fructosamine was 400 and there was sugar in her urine. Her insulin was increased to 2…

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anxious dog

Panic is No Fun for Anybody Buddy, a really cute 2 year old girl dog, lost her composure and released a bladder full of urine with almost any hint of excitement. When I met her she was scanning the room, on the lookout for any possible threat to her well-being. She held herself somewhat low,…

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Itchy Cat

Atopic and Zylkene can Help Question: Our cat is a bit of scaredy cat but is also aggressive towards me and my husband. He was poorly socialized as a kitten. I love him to death but am so saddened by him. He can be so mean when all we want to do is love and…

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Rarely Fatal, Pet Rats can be Tested There is a subset of animal lovers with pet rats. I like these gentle creatures. I’ve have had their genetic cousins, gerbils, myself. What’s new with rats is that the CDC has made us aware of Seoul virus. Originally discovered in South Korea, this infectious organism is found…

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Question: We have a 16 year old Chihuahua with worsening cognitive dysfunction over the past 8 weeks. Early signs started 4 months ago. She has been on SAMe and her house soiling has improved. She walks in circles and gets herself trapped and bumps into things. I have read about resveratrol and ginkgo biloba. Not…

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High Protein, Low Carb Question: Sometime back you suggested feeding cats over 12 pounds canned kitten food. Our cat weighs about 18 pounds. He eats canned food and dry. You recommended kitten food because of the protein. What brand or brands and how much? I am confused because the amount of calories is what causes…

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Question: Several people (not veterinarians!) have suggested that it isn’t safe to walk my 11-year-old Boston Terriers in Albuquerque this summer – or even keep them in New Mexico at all – because these brachycephalic dogs are so susceptible to breathing difficulties caused by ash and other particles in the air from the wildfires. They…

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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, and even urine soil, vomit or pass diarrhea. Many get clingy but some escape the home and risk getting hit in the road. A freaked-out…

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Chronic Nausea is Most Common Cause Question: My dog recently had a lick granulomas removed by laser. He was placed in an Elizabeth (cone) collar. When I take off the collar for him to eat he stops eating to lick the wounds. I have tried to take off the collar and dress the wounds with…

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An Ovarian Remnant May Be Lurking Question: Pepper, aka Ms. Incorrigible, was a newly spayed rescue. After 6 weeks, she went into heat behavior. A second spaying procedure found 25% of an ovary which was removed. 9 months later she displayed the same behavior-insisting on getting out at night, vocalizing, climbing screens, etc. Of course…

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Prevention & Recall is Best Question: Our dachshund, Scooter, is 16 months old.  We have 2 older dogs, as well. Problem is, Scooter likes to eat their poop.  We’ve tried giving the older dogs supplements, spraying the poop with distasteful things and we keep it picked up.   Dr. Nichol: This is a truly revolting…

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Rule out Birth Defects before relying on Diet to Add Weight Question: I have an eleven month old Malinois and a year old Pomeranian, both neutered males. I know that breeds are different, but my pom seems to be a healthy body size and weight, and my Malinois is very, very skinny.  I can see…

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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 he very restless. He is going out 3-4 times per night. We have him in a calming vest, have given him Rescue Remedy and a…

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Frequent Brushing Benefits Skin & Emotional Well-Being Question: I have two cats, Snowball and Alfie who were rescued as newborns from a box in a feed store 8 years ago. Although they are brushed each day they both leave lots of cat hair everywhere. Their coats are healthy and shiny and they seem to be…

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Intermittent Lameness does Not Signal an immediate Crisis Question: We have a Pomeranian who weighs 10 pounds and just turned 1year. We have been told he has luxating patella dislocating in both kneecaps. He is very active and only shows favor to his knee maybe once a month. Is it possible the bones will form…

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Dirty Restroom Facilities Create Trouble Question: Sadie is a large, four year old, spayed calico cat with a big rump. Consequently, she goes outside her box because she backs into a corner to do her business and hangs over the side. I would like to get a box with a cover but I have heard…

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Anxiety Quickly Leads to Fear Question: My 2 year old female Corgi is devoted to me–so much so that she will fight any dogs or people that get too close. While she’ll let me pet her, she will not get on my lap. She will get on my husband’s lap, nuzzle his hand, and sleep…

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The Road to Fatty Liver Disease Question: Hermione, our 11 year old long haired calico, was diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis. She received a month of treatment per our veterinarian. We then made a tough decision to stop all treatment. Two weeks later Minie has increased energy, is eating somewhat better, and is again engaging in…

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Don’t Wait for Symptoms-Have your Dog Examined & Tested FDA consumer alert: “Federal officials are warning consumers and veterinarians to be on alert for potentially deadly hyperthyroidism in dogs that have eaten Blue Buffalo Co. and WellPet food. The three separate alerts, posted Monday (March 27) by the Food and Drug Administration, include test results…

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An Enriched Indoor Life would Improve Kitten’s Well-Being Question: My daughter has a 6 month old Tonkinese kitten.  She brings any toy with catnip in it to her food bowl.  She has to clean them off.  She is doing her residency in anesthesia and leaving food out is necessary.  What can she do to stop…

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A Head Halter is a Great Leadership tool Question: I read the post on your facebook page about the Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd and felt an instant kinship! Our 1 year old Aussie shepherd is driving us nuts. In addition to nuisance barking at everything that moves, tearing around the house and the yard like a crazy…

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Consider Mouth Pain from Dental or Kidney Disease Question: My long haired cat (Ragdoll) will be 16 this month. He gets badly matted. I have tried cutting out the mats, but they just come back worse than ever and around his rear which he doesn’t like being messed with. I’ve called groomers and veterinary clinics…

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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. Walking a dog is a lot more fun when everybody is under control but jerking on a pet’s neck can have unintended consequences. There are…

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Ear Mites Cause Pain & Injury Question: Hey my name is Christina and I live in North Carolina. I have a tom cat his name is Checkers. Tuesday I saw that his inner pinna has swollen. I was wandering is there anything I could do to help with the swollen part? Dr. Nichol: Hey Christina…

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Attitudes toward Animals Matter Question: I’m concerned about the dog Dodo mentioned in your 2/10/17 column. “Dodo” can mean a stupid person, not one who might warrant respect.  Or someone who acts stupidly, as the dog in your column who walks in a circle with his head tilted. I think these people should rename their…

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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 circling with his head tilt towards one side, but he eats well (we’ve been hand feeding him). Today is the second day of this syndrome.…

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A Safe Haven Before Visitors Arrive Question: My cat Haley is 10 years old. When I have visitors she will attack them even when they are sleeping. She has attacked 2 babysitters. After 2 years she finally is ok with the current sitter. Yesterday my 16 year old had a friend over. The death growl…

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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 she emits the cry of a banshee, bucking wild bronco, putting on the brakes, and rolling. No amount of patient standing or treat offered helped,…

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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 she emits the cry of a banshee, bucking wild bronco, putting on the brakes, and rolling. No amount of patient standing or treat offered helped,…

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The Right Medication can make the Difference Question: Marley is a 2 year old, male tabby with his right rear leg amputated at the hip. He is getting around amazingly, a few weeks after surgery, full of speed and grace, but about every hour, his backside spasms for a few seconds- he hops involuntarily backwards,…

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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 want to remove them because she is 14. What about using thuja or multi vitamins? Dr. Nichol: It’s no surprise that your canine senior has…

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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 gunshots, all to improve our outlook for a new year.  Oh sure, these immature and potentially dangerous antics fall into the category of irresponsible human…

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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 behaviors because they’re nervous or scared. It’s part of our job as caring pet owners to help them feel better. You’ll need to be observant.…

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Patience, Zylkene, & Feliway Question: My 6 month old kitty came from Animal Control when she was 5 weeks. She was definitely scared but settled in with me in a day or so. I live alone so besides veterinarians she’s had no other company. She runs and hides whenever anyone comes over. My wonderful cat…

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The Link is Strong but it can be Broken Garfield the comic strip cat, famous for his obsessive eating, is not alone. Just this morning our cat Tony, having ripped a hole in an unopened dog food bag, was caught happily gorging. Jokes abound but an expanding feline girth can be lead to heartache. Obesity…

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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 come out on their own later? Dr. Nichol: Retained baby (deciduous) teeth is a common bump in the road of adolescence for small dogs. Have…

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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. Nichol: As with any medical problem, attempting to diagnose a skin disorder without a physical exam would be a serious gamble. But – I suspect…

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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 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…

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Testing Cats can Assure Human Safety Question: I have friends that have macular degeneration. One is legally blind. I have read Internet articles telling that cats can carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (cq). One of them states that Toxoplasmosis is the most common cause of eye inflammation in the world. Could this be causing the…

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Knee Caps need Repair. Stem Cells can Help 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 seconds, it was horrifying. She was born with loose kneecaps. My veterinarian told me about stem cells. I’m skeptical with any new…

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Question: Will the mist of an essential oils diffuser bother my two male cats? How long is a cat’s memory?  I will be gone for a month as my daughter is getting married in Little Rock, AR. Is there anything I can do to help them remember me? Dr. Nichol: Essential oils are fine for…

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Question: I have a nonprofit cat rescue, ForeclosurePets, here in Washington State (I am a NM native). I currently have a mom, who is very friendly, and her 3 kittens. They are about 9 weeks. I got them 2 weeks ago. The kittens will play at a distance with a teaser, and I have gotten…

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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 leering and looming over them. The far-off hiss of a propane burner or a multi-colored speck in the distance can trigger overwhelming terror. There’s nothing…

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Vaginal Foxtail Awns cause Infection & Misery Question: My cat Mystic is a 3 year old spayed female. She scoots on our carpet and leaves a streak. Our veterinarian said that she was too fat to clean herself. Her anal glands were not a problem. She said that Mystic had a vaginal infection and the…

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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 old for surgery. What is her life-expectancy? I’m assuming the tumor is malignant and aggressive since it wasn’t palpable in June and her hematocrit has…

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Allergic Causes respond to Diet + Medication Question: Our 4 year old Maine Coon cat, Pippi, has suffered with indolent ulcers that are under control with Hill’s z/d. In January, she had reddened gums. Our veterinarian put her on an antibiotic. Within three days she had severe loose stools, so we discontinued the antibiotic. Since…

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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 on murder and mayhem instead. Today’s Pet Care topic is maggots. They’re not cute and cuddly. No one has them as pets. Despite my love…

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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 exercise. She had considered an electric shock collar because she was desperate. Canine verbal communication is actually normal. Dogs are a highly social species, after…

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Question: I have a Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd who is 1 year old. He barks constantly. If nothing is out there to bark at, he barks at birds and such. My husband is considering an electric bark collar. I know it is in his breed to bark, but are there any other suggestions before the collar? Dr.…

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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 risks of this sugar substitute, did their best to pet-proof their house, but their dog “Zoe” outfoxed them anyway. “We were gone for less than…

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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 almost losing him show we need help! Dr. Nichol: Eating nonfood items, called pica, is not a rare problem. Your husky is fortunate that his…

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Electrocuted and Concussed “Chico” Survives Last week I shared tales of a few foolish felines who reached heights they could hardly handle. Here’s the story of “Chico”, told by his caring and faithful owner. Fasten your safety belt.  It’s pretty harrowing. “Chico was chased up this 30-ft utility poll by the neighbor’s dogs. No way…

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Allergies & Mange need Medical Attention Question: We got our cat, LuLu, from a shelter 10 months ago when she was 8 months old. She has always liked to have her head rubbed pretty hard and she rubs her cheeks against hard areas like walls or bed posts to the point she has rubbed off…

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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 off and on. I wipe off the material and rinse the eyes with “Eye Relief’ but in a few days it returns. She is terrified…

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Booby Traps & Window Coverings can Help Question: My male neutered cat Giorgio has been acting out for about a year; he is 100% indoors. Sometimes a cat outside will make him hiss and growl, but he also lunges if I go nearby even an hour later. He continues to have a low growl and…

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Hyperthyroidism Responds Well to Treatment A super active kitty visited recently for a behavioral concern. At first glance you might take her for a playful kitten, jumping onto the counters and exam table, purring loudly, and rubbing against me. The fly in the ointment was her age: 13 years. She’d become incessantly active at home…

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Diagnosis may be Complex; Relief is Essential Question: I have a Great Pyrenees dog, 10 years old. For the past 6 months he acts like he has sleep apnea: he tries to get to sleep, but constantly awakes unable to catch his breathe. He’s big. He doesn’t seem to have it worse when he’s running…

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Appetite Loss is the Greater Concern Question: My cat has an ear hematoma. It was first drained and then injected with steroids. Her veterinarian also gave her ear drops for a yeast infection and an injection of antibiotics. This has been going on for about a week and now she’s not eating. I’m afraid I…

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Diet can Help but Manual Expression is a Must Question: I have a 2 year old Apple head Chihuahua. Her name is Sunny and so is her disposition! She has had a problem in the past needing her anal glands expressed. Our veterinarian recommended a list of several different food choices. I have tried several…

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Gainful Canine-Specific Employment is Needed Question: We adopted a little basset hound about six weeks ago. He is a lover. And by that, we mean a real lover! He is humping the male cats and the other male basset. Frequently! Passionately! He was neutered in late March. Does he still have testosterone in his system?…

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Feline-Specific Choices for Behavioral Well-Being Question: Last week in your column you answered my letter about Russell, the cat about town. Well, we opened the door and he gradually got used to being in the house. He acquired his own chair, wakes up, and goes to the door to be let out.  One cold night…

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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 nasty smelling discharges are frequent findings even when dogs and cats are brought to us for unrelated reasons. Many smolder quietly for weeks or longer.…

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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, he’s snatching tissues out of our hands, trying to gnaw on our arms/hands/legs/shoes/furniture. We have an arsenal of chew toys, bones and rawhides but when…

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Lab Work & Treatment should be Started Soon Question: I have a male cat, 20 months old, who gets sneezing fits, sometimes sneezing 9 times in a row (all without the courtesy of screening his nose with a paw!!). He was a stray we got through Animal Control. This morning he sneezed several times, then…

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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 causes frothing at the mouth and eventual vomiting. Having the windows wide open seems to help. Is there any hope of being able to go…

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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 to eat. She’s well fed but when she gets something in her mouth she’s not supposed to have she won’t drop it and will growl…

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Porky Pussy Cat needs to be Re-Litter Trained Question: We adopted Kiki from the City Shelter. She’s about 7 years old and was obese. Jaundice was noticed and she was to be euthanized.  She stopped eating and was diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis. She’s doing better now. It nauseated her to walk to the litter box,…

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Use the Right Treats or Risk more Surgery Question: My little Shih Tzu could not urinate because he had stones in his bladder. The veterinary hospital that cares for him removed those stones but they are the kind that will return without proper diet so they recommended Hill’s u/d non struvite dog food.  Can I…

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Thorough Dental Treatment is Essential Question: Our cat is 10 years of age and lately started to salivate a lot, having trouble eating and her tongue slightly protruding. Don’t know if she is in pain but sleeps a lot. My problem now is worrying if it is dangerous to give her anesthesia for dental scaling…

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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 legs seemed stiff and she was in pain. She was scared till she got up and wanted to go outdoors. Next day she was chasing…

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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. I’ve considered finding someone more active than me because my health prevents me from activity I used to do with him but would miss him…

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Time to Cat-Proof for the Holidays Canine dietary indiscretions like chocolate, raisins, grapes, and turkey carcasses are well known. Let’s be fair; cats are sneakier; their Christmastime binging can go unnoticed until they’re sick. Tinsel tops the list. Once swallowed, peristaltic movements usually advance it safety toward the proper exit but if a strand gets…

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Housing, Litter, and Diet are Crucial Question: I am an 83 year old woman in good health mentally and physically. I would like a pet but don’t want the “baggage” of a cat or dog. I’m considering getting a rabbit. I don’t have a good yard for outdoor activity, however. Dr. Nichol: I know what…

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Treat the Patient; the Diagnosis is Secondary Question: A couple of weeks ago you spoke regarding overweight kitties. Smokie is five years old and weighs 13.8 pounds.  I have moved him to canned kitten food.  My other three are all over 13 years. The tabby is not overweight, healthy.  The Siamese has issues with bowel,…

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Teaching Fun Tricks can Desensitize & Heal the Emotional Wounds Question: Our 8 year old hound-spaniel mix (rescued at age 1) is afraid of new shoes/boots. She runs away from us and hides. She shakes, emits a horrible smell, and now checks out what’s on our feet. She won’t accept treats when we are wearing…

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Feline-Specific Outlets for Natural Behavior are Essential Question: We have a 3 year old female cat, “Tuxie”. Our other cat “Merlin” was adopted by a fellow who later hanged himself. Merlin wants to play more than Tuxie. Sometimes the play gets a little rough. Then she’ll run under a bed. Sometimes ears are back on…

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Canned Kitten Food is Best for Healthy Cats of All Ages Are chubby cats cute and happy? As youngsters their bodies can tolerate abuse but like us, as they reach middle age, they pay for the mistakes of their youth. Diet matters. Dry cat foods are marketed on the perception that kitties are just small…

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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 genuine behavior disorder, a significant challenge in commercial poultry operations. Stuffed into cages, row upon row, some laying hens suddenly wig-out with no apparent trigger.…

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Irritability can be Overcome with Targeted Medical & Behavioral Treatment Question: We have a 7-10 year old rescue Chihuahua. Whenever we attempt to put on her harness, leash or Velcro coat/dress she attempts to snarl and bite us and it is getting much worse. Our veterinarian sees her for a cardiac, liver and allergy ailment.…

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Blood Pressure control becomes Key to Long Term Success Mungojerrie, the 14 year old kitty whose story graced this page last week, had become a heavy drinker and a world class urinator. His lab work led to a diagnosis of stage II kidney failure. Treatment with Hill’s k/d diet plus daily warm subcutaneous (under the…

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Lab Draws require Gentle Handling Mungojerrie, a 14 year old male kitty, has been a cherished companion to a man who fell for and married a woman of fine character with a penchant for dogs as well as cats. Mungojerrie swallowed his feline pride and adapted, only to be confronted soon thereafter by the entry…

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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 going deaf, barks a lot, and stares into space. He asks to go to toilet and eats and drinks normally. A year ago we lost…

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Dirty Tricks & Booby Traps Question: Is there anything we can put around our trees to keep the neighborhood cats from using them as their personal cat box? Dr. Nichol: What? You don’t want your landscaping festooned with cat poop? Worried about getting parasites from gardening in your own yard? Are your indoor cats using…

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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 it invaluable. My 4 month old terrier mix was chasing cars even on a leash. A neighbor k9 officer loaned me a shock collar with…

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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. Ever since the training, no one can get near him with a brush, especially around his neck. He goes nuts biting, growling to get me…

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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 symptoms. She is increasingly distressed when we go to the veterinary clinic (panting, shaking, defecating). What is the worst case scenario if we do nothing?…

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Flurbiprofen: Safe for Humans-Deadly for Cats Do you need relief from joint or muscle pain? How about a skin cream that would avoid the side effects of oral antinflammatories and pain relievers? Many physicians are now prescribing topical medications that contain the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) flurbiprofen. It’s made a real difference for many people…

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Rapid Growth can lead to Bone & Joint Disease Big breed dogs are at higher risk of joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. Heredity is a factor but so are early nutrition and weight. Here is an update on healthy dietary management of puppies who will someday reach size large to gargantuan. The right…

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Evaluate for Skin Disease before considering Behavioral Causes Question: My cat is pulling out her own fur several times a day- lots of it. She has bald patches now. She is 10 years old and had one other episode like this last summer that lasted 2 weeks and then stopped. She started this again a…

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Read Labels of Prepared Foods & Snacks Have I ever mentioned that dogs and cats are not little people in furry suits? Oh, sure, they’re like us in lots of ways. They snuggle and play and talk to us, which may be why we keep them as pets rather than, say, cockroaches or earthworms. Be…

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Motivate, have Fun, Never Punish Question: My nine month old kitten will not come when I call her. My other two cats come when they are called and for supper. I have to chase the kitten around the back yard and eventually lose that argument, and even the feather toy does not lure her into…

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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 herself. She is terrified when she goes to the veterinary clinic. She hides behind me and even tries to climb up my back to get…

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Seizures are a Major Challenge Question: Our 13 year old cat had been a diabetic for 9 months. We dropped her off for boarding but later received a call that she had gone ‘ critical’ but was stable. During our trip back home we were informed that she had had seizures. She was ok under…

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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 frankfurters but nothing else. We began giving him those because we were afraid he would get sick not eating. What should we do to help…

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Young Cats are More Likely to Accept a Newcomer Question: In May 2011, I adopted two female cats.  The younger one is five now and has always been energetic and playful. The older cat recently died.  I’m wondering if my remaining cat “needs” a friend.  I’d prefer to not adopt an additional cat due to…

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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 when she sees oncoming traffic.  We have done a great deal of travel with her, it never gets easier. We have tried Benadryl to calm…

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Sedation is Safer for Medical Care Question: I have a 15 year old cat who cannot stand to be touched by hands. He got extremely traumatized when he was neutered as a young boy and will only allow me to pet him with my feet. He is very long haired and has long claws. I…

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Vaccinated Puppies & Adult Dog make Safe Friends Question: I am getting an 8 week old Lab puppy. I already have an older Lab who is fully vaccinated. I am concerned about protecting the pup from parvo. I plan on avoiding dog parks, pet stores, and sidewalks. I will also avoid taking her to my…

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Separate Warring Cats, then Reintroduce Carefully Question: I have a brother and a sister cat. They used to be very loving to each other by sleeping, playing, and cuddling. Then the male cat swallowed a thread that led to an emergency surgery. Upon his return he was a “new” cat to her. She has since…

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This Gut Wrenching Decision is an Essential Last Gift Question: My 16 1/2 year old cocker spaniel suffers from dementia, rear leg myelopathy, food sensitivity, abnormal kidney levels, a cataract, hearing impairment, and multiple benign lumps. Recently the dementia symptoms require ‘round the clock care. He’s lost all interest in food and I’ve had to…

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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 her bum. She can’t reach there because she is soo tiny. Is she supposed to still be irritated there? And is there something I can…

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Heart Muscle Disease a likely Cause 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 has not sustained any trauma. Her problem has been going on for 2 months. She is unable to jump and her walking has gotten…

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Allergies are the #1 Cause Question: We have a Red Bone Coon Hound who is 18 months old. He chews his ears and toenails. He was a rescue dog about six months ago. What can we do to stop this behavior and why does he do it? Dr. Nichol: Dogs who lick, chew, or scratch…

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Determine that Neutering was Complete Question: My cat is ten years old. This last year he has been climbing on the back of another male cat that we have (who is more subservient) and biting his neck. He holds him still and grinds and sometimes cries out.  He has also been growling and hissing at…

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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 younger one is near him and starts prancing around on the bed so the younger one prances behind him eventually growling back and then they…

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Enrich the Environment for a Full Feline Live Question- I have 5 cats and 5 months ago, I saved 3 kittens that were 3 days old. I just adopted 2 of them together to a home and we are keeping the third. Well, the poor little guy is bored, lonely, and depressed. None of my…

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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 in a coyote trap. “Bailey” ended up doing fine but the trapping issue continues to smolder.  The Journal published some letters on the Op-Ed page.…

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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 it’s getting scary to travel and worry about the distraction. In all other situations he responds to speech commands and treats. In this he is…

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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 Control Center provides the following list of holiday hazards. There are bound to be others. Edibles: alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso…

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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 and titled it: “A story of Good vs. Negligence!” “My neighbor visited his ranch twice on a recent weekend. It abuts the National Forest near…

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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 I live in second floor flat. My dog is kept in the kitchen where he has an area to walk about since he started to…

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Reliable Food Trials Require Rx Diets Question: We have a 13 year old female cat. Recently she started itching above her eyes and has removed most of the hair. Our veterinarian scraped the area and did a culture. The test was negative so we were told it was probably a food allergy. She currently eats…

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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 have Barney a Beagle- Jack Russell and two females – Jill a Jack Russell and Frankie a toy poodle. Dr. Nichol: With that house full…

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Good Management Prevents Infections Question: I have southwest box turtles. I don’t even know how many anymore, since I find them mating and occasionally find a baby turtle. At one time I had them named but now have lost track. They live in an enclosed yard. I have found a couple of them with a…

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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 these drugs really help, or just make her gain weight and add to her lethargy? I don’t take her on true walks anymore, as she…

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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 old. One is quite docile and the other one can have an attitude. In our bedroom, I have placed runners on three sides of the…

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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 is directly under a regular balloon flight path. Dr. Nichol: You and your petrified pupster are not alone. There is nothing in the evolutionary adaptations…

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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 our local veterinarian and by Dr. Michael Wey as having hip dysplasia.  When Dr. Wey checked him out some months ago he said he didn’t…

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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 month she has become extremely aggressive, taking his food, even growling when he attempts to get close to us.  The male is now showing up…

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Dangerous but Not Difficult to Control If left to fend for themselves in the wild our cats would survive on prey, displaying their prowess with buff physiques. Instead they park themselves on the couch and eat fast food for felines. The results are often not pretty. It’s estimated that over 35% of cats are overweight…

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Accommodate Natural Needs Question: I saw your web post about why indoor cats like to roll in the dirt. I work out of town.  Is there any way to bring this “outdoorness” inside while I’m away? Maybe a box of sand or tiny pebbles like in fish tanks? But will he confuse it with his…

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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 can wax and wane because of changing weather patterns. Generous summertime rainfall is a beautiful thing but standing water can harbor leptospirosis, an almost forgotten…

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Watch Carefully for Clues If I could change one thing about cats it would be their communication skills. They are certainly a social species but in rather different ways than dogs and humans-the champions of chatter. Many cat lovers treasure their pets’ aloofness. Few cats  nag. Well, the Nichol family cats do but that’s because…

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Litter Pan Choices & Fear Avoidance Question: Last year during the July 4 fireworks, my 5 year old cat tried to use the litter box, messed on himself, and got a urinary infection. Ever since, he messes 6 inches away from the box although he uses it to urinate. I have tried moving the box,…

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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 many infected dogs they recently halted intakes for 2 weeks to get control of it. Native American reservations have been particularly hard hit. Back in…

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Kidney Failure may Cause Excessive Licking While oooing and ahhing at the beautiful and peaceful new Cattery at Animal Humane last week I was asked about a 17 year old cat. While active and feeling well for her age she’s been licking her coat excessively for several months. When her owner pets her she often…

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Food Toys can make a Difference Question: We have a 9 year old Shih Tzu that has started barking when we leave her alone. We leave the TV on, give her food & water, and walk her before we leave. We are summering in NM in a RV and neighbors tell us she barks when…

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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 out of hibernation our puppy started spending a lot of time outside. I then discovered why: the puppy was finding and eating Tortie’s poop!! Gross.…

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Mites or Other Infections are the Primary Cause Question: We took our cat to the vet due to noticing his ear was down and swollen. The vet reassured us his ear will go back down in time. He did tell us Maurice has ear mites. Once that problem is gone will that help the process…

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Heroic Family Cat Derailed a Tragedy Question: I keep seeing this video everywhere and hearing lots of theories about the dog’s behavior. The dog is completely unprovoked, but it also doesn’t seem like he/she sneaks up on the child as I would expect a wolf to sneak up on prey. Is the dog curious and…

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Teach Improved Behavior with Gentle Guidance Question: I just got a dog that was free. He is overly aggressive plus I think he was mistreated. He responds to me but is aggressive towards any males or anyone who comes to the door. He was also restricted to his kennel and he growls towards his food.…

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Leash in hand, we blissfully soak up the sun on a healthy walk while our dogs are busy cavorting and scavenging for scraps of, well, maybe we don’t want to know. There’s a lot going on inside their bodies, including questionable oral hygiene, that can gradually damage their kidneys. Even while nosing around the yard…

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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. Do you think if we could raise them together we would be able to train the dogs to be guardians of the cats? We love…

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Diagnose First; Treat Second 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: I’m sorry about…

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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 off the bed and barks, if you enter the room, situation is getting worse and if you try to calm her she can even bite…

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Scent Glands, Diet, and Environmental Enrichment Question: This x-ray is of my pet skunk. He is a neutered male, 10 months old. He has gone off his back legs. Dr. Nichol: Your skunk’s x-ray (posted on facebook.com/drjeffnichol) shows a couple of bright ovals near his rear end, suggestive of impacted anal (scent) glands. They are…

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Life is Short; Do Whatever it Takes Question: I have an 8 year old mixed breed (old yeller, lab looking beauty) with arthritis in her right ankle. It swells up with a knot on it and causes her a lot of pain. Our veterinarian recommended Rimadyl, but we want to treat with natural products if…

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Observant Owners & Thorough Medical Care Saves Lives Cats are America’s favorite pet, yet they are seen less often than dogs in veterinary clinics. Why? I thought you’d never ask. It’s because of the widely held belief that cats are lower maintenance pets. They can stay indoors, munch as-needed from a brimming bowl of non-stinky…

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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 weeks old. There are 3 other dogs. When people enter the house her hackles go up and she barks, all the time backing up. She…

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Some Disorders may be More Prone to Occur To neuter or not to neuter: That is the question. Really? Wasn’t that settled a long time ago? As a veterinarian, obliged to reduce animal suffering, shouldn’t I, of all people, vigorously beat the spay/neuter drum? The oversupply of pets has not gone away. The behavioral benefits…

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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 has given us more diagnostic accuracy and some astonishing cures but it doesn’t come cheap. Like most veterinarians I’ve struggled with providing state-of-the-art medicine while…

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Obesity is Dangerous Question: Hermione, our 11 year old long haired calico, was diagnosed with hepatic lipidosis. She received a month of treatment per our veterinarian. We then made a tough decision to stop all treatment. Two weeks later Minie has increased energy, is eating somewhat better, and is again engaging in household life. But…

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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, nor people. Early today, we found a cat torn to shreds. There are three cats still lying in the sun purring and weaving. It sounds…

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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 has become paralyzed. His left eye will not close and neither does the left side of his mouth. He has been in this state for…

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Add Feline-Specific Activities Question: Stinky, at the age of 5 months, adopted us by walking in the back door.  The weird thing is his habit of waking me at 3 AM. He will come back every five minutes to stare me in the face and give his little pathetic meow.  It does no good to…

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Ask Questions & Make Informed Choices Question: I am writing to you to vent my frustration toward the excessive fees charged by veterinarians. We took our pet for a routine annual physical and were charged $206.01. (For my last physical, I paid $135.75.) Today, we took her to have her teeth cleaned and paid $276.08…

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GI Disease Underlies Most Question: My dog recently had a lick granulomas removed by laser. He was placed in an e-collar. When I take off the collar for him to eat he stops eating to lick the wounds. I have tried to take off the collar and dress the wounds with gauze and duct tape,…

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Quiet Enticements and Anxitane can Help Question: We got our 2nd cat last August, a beautiful female calico about 3 years old. Her name is Sweety. She has been abused in the past by the way she shies away from everyone but she will play with our other cat. We have finally got her to…

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Taurine is a Critical Nutrient Like humans thriving on a healthy diet, properly fed pets feel better and live longer. If you have a creative bent with nutrition or a restricted budget you’ll need to be careful.  Cats whose diets are deficient in the organic acid taurine can end up blind or facing life-threatening heart…

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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. Nichol: As with any medical problem, attempting to diagnose a skin disorder without a physical exam would be a serious gamble. Having said that, I…

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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 come out on their own later? Dr. Nichol: Retained baby (deciduous) teeth is a common bump in the road of adolescence for small breed dogs.…

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A Cleaner Litter Pan can make a Big Difference Question: My female cat pees like a lady when outside, but inside she stands and sprays the wall. I have had to buy an enclosed litter box to protect the walls. I tried new litter but it did not help. Dr. Nichol: You tried new litter?…

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Appropriate Treatment Pays Off Question: My mostly feral/domestic cat has chin acne very badly. I’ve read stuff on line and am now only giving food and water out of glass/porcelain bowls. I’m not seeing any progress. Would Dinovite help? I hesitate to try witch hazel or any other antiseptics. Dr. Nichol: Your diagnosis is correct.…

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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 doing her barking thing. Suddenly, some guy strode up and grabbed her by the neck, shaking her hard a couple of times before I shoved…

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Specific cause unknown The risks to canine health from eating jerky treats are on the front burner again. I shared information on this problem in my Pet Care column back in March, 2012. Now, for an update. Food safety issues are a growing problem in part because of the globalization of this industry for humans…

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Basic Obedience Skills will make a Difference Question: I have to ask, how do you improve the quality of life for a blind cat? Dr. Nichol: I am so glad you are caring for this special needs kitty. You can have fun teaching her to follow your lead without hiring a Seeing Eye dog for…

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Vascular Ring Anomaly can be Surgically Corrected Question: Blue Boy is a Sphynx cat, 13 years old.  Ever since he was a kitten he has had trouble with food.  He would scoop it up his mouth like a bull dozer and chew it while growling. After he stuffed himself he would regurgitate it and run…

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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. Every exposure worsens their fears. The far-off hiss of a propane burner or a multi-colored speck in the distance can trigger overwhelming terror. Phobias are…

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There may be a new and ugly infection of dogs that could spell trouble – or maybe not. Confirmed so far in only a handful dogs in Ohio, the organism, called circovirus, has been implicated in cases of severe, sudden onset vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, and physical depression. Speculation is rampant. Here is what we…

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Chewable Anxitane can make a Difference Question: I will retire soon to Ecuador and my two cats will be relocating with me. The plan is for them to travel in their carriers in the aircraft cabin underneath the seat. Unfortunately this will involve several changes in aircraft. Should I break up a very long day…

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Stomach or Intestinal Causes are Most Likely Question: My oddball cat loves to lick shiny plastic bags, such as Ziplocs and dry cleaning bags. What is that about? Dr. Nichol: It seems that every month or so some new exotic cat breed appears on the scene. Is Oddball one of those high falutin’ designer cats?…

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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 dog owners worried, veterinarians have been sharing information about the recent uptick in canine parvo, a nasty virus that invades the lining of the small…

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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. She loves him dearly, but he is a submissive urinator. He is 10 months old and despite obedience classes and behavior modification he isn’t getting…

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Intermittent Lameness does Not Signal an immediate Crisis Question: We have a Pomeranian who weighs 10 pounds and just turned 1year. We have been told he has luxating patella dislocating in both kneecaps. He is very active and only shows favor to his knee maybe once a month. Is it possible the bones will form…

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Avoid touching Behind the Shoulders Question: I have a four year old female cat that will, on occasion, viciously bite me without warning when I pet her. When my previous cat would bite, I chalked it up to over-stimulation because I could detect warning signs (tail flicking and ears flattened). This cat, however, craves the…

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Anal Gland need Maintenance; maybe Removal Question: I had to have my cat’s analog glands taken out. Since then he has been scooching on carpet. I had him checked for worms. I had them put him on meds for a week but he is still doing it. Dr. Nichol: Our pets’ rear ends can be…

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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 started gradually moving the pads closer to the dog door. I have taken him out on the leash after eating and then he messes inside.…

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A Trip to the Doctor means Managing Travel Anxiety Question: We have an older female German shepherd that for the past couple of months has ‘matter’ in both eyes off and on. I wipe off the material and rinse the eyes with “Eye Relief’ but in a few days it returns. She is terrified to…

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Correct the Bad Behavior while Reinforcing Correct Human Interactions Question: My kitten is 10 weeks old and is constantly biting and scratching my family’s hands and feet. How we can solve this? Dr. Nichol: Well, you could wear mittens and boots all summer but then your kitten would be in charge. Next thing you know…

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Myasthenia Gravis may be the Cause Question: Why does my Jack Russell (5 months) get sick when he drinks? Every time the poor little guy gets a drink, especially first thing in morning, he throws it back up. Dr. Nichol: If little Jack (May I call him Jack?) is like others of his ilk, he…

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Itchy Cat with Diarrhea Food and Airborne Allergies Likely Question: Pippi, my 4 year old Maine Coon cat first suffered with indolent ulcers at six months of age that has been controlled with z/d diet. Since January Pippi has formed stools for weeks and then reverts to “little cow pies”. Lately, she startles with itching…

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My recent exposé of our volunteer efforts to spay and neuter stray cats has turned our contraception conundrum into a veritable feral feline fiasco. Here are the final comments I’ll share on this page. Further discussion is welcome on facebook. · I agree [the feral cat issue] is a hard situation and responsible pet ownership…

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In last week’s column I explained volunteer efforts to reduce our burgeoning population of feral cats. Here are shortened versions of a couple of reader responses. My wife and I live with two formerly feral cats. Domita had been born wild but in contact with people early on. Ossie (with clipped ear indicating feral neutering)…

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Feral Cat Population Control & the Impact on Wildlife A few times a year I spend a Sunday morning spaying and neutering feral cats at the behest of Street Cat Companions, a branch of the not-for-profit New Mexico Animal Friends. This is a dedicated bunch committed to controlling New Mexico’s growing population of stray cats.…

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Medication only needed until Healing is Complete Question: I have a 6 month old foster kitten and she has seizures of unknown origin. She has a healed fracture of her front leg and a crooked tail. Phenobarbital was prescribed twice a day but she is during well on just a night dose. Is it possible…

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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 defecated in the crate at night, but has consistently urinated in the crate during the day.  I have tried making the crate smaller, coming home…

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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 diagnosis was ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. I left the animal hospital crying. While researching online, I read non-surgical treatments are possible for dogs less than…

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Make Success Easy; Avoid Punishment Question: I have two cats, Puppy and Critter. Puppy uses the Litter Robot to urinate but defecates right in front of it. When I catch him I sharply tell him no and bad. When I catch him defecating in the Litter Robot I pet him, praise him, and give him…

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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 companion dog after her owner died, then rescued by us because of dominance issues in her adopted home.  She came without her companion. She had…

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The Doctor Informs & Advises. The Owner Makes the Call Question: Last week you advised an owner of a Great Pyrenees to get expensive tests for her dog’s breathing problems. At 10 years old, that gentle giant is OLD. At what point do advise simple stuff and keeping the dog comfortable? Limiting exercise, losing weight…

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Diagnosis may be Complex; Relief is Essential Question: I have a Great Pyrenees dog, 10 years old. For the past 6 months he acts like he has sleep apnea: he tries to get to sleep, but constantly awakes unable to catch his breathe. He’s big. He doesn’t seem to have it worse when he’s running…

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Taste Bads & Funner Alternatives. Avoid Punishment Question: My cat has a terrible chewing problem.  He chewed through my curling iron cord, leaving exposed wires. He chews the plastic top on my water bottle, the plastic on my shoe laces, my computer and printer cords, and cell phone cords. Is there any type of discipline…

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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: Maybe she’s like Lassie and she’s trying to tell you something. These tokens could represent your dog’s depth of feeling for you or her payment…

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Care for the Behavior & the Physical Pain Daffodil (not his real name) is a cat who complained so much and so loudly his owners could hardly talk over the din or sleep through the night. He followed one of them constantly but hissed at the other four household cats. He demanded food often but…

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Weight Reduction is the Best Medicine Question: We have a 10 year old German shepherd/Malamute mix who is using the bathroom in the family room every night. She is house broken and knows she should not. She does have some difficulty getting up; however we cannot live with a dog using the bathroom in the…

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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 mix named Sarge, whose reactive aggression toward other dogs made him unattractive to potential adopters. Sarge’s plight caught the attention of Melinda, a committed volunteer…

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Complications like Urinary Infections Derail Good Control Question: I have a 14-year-old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes about 3 years ago. She was completely healthy and stable; her insulin (glargine) dose was 1 1/2 units. A month ago she became lethargic and indifferent to food. Her fructosamine test showed 400 and there was sugar…

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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 to be around us and refuses to come indoors at night. Is this condition treatable? Toby’s regular vet thinks he is in pain due to…

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A Steady Diet of Dry Food is Best Question: I’m a new dog Mom. Is it okay to give peanuts to my little dog?  She won’t eat peanut butter but loves those peanuts.  Is it okay to give can pumpkin when she has not gone #2 in a day or more?  I’ve given her some…

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Have a good Christmas? Great! The carousing and cavorting has only begun. With New Years Eve right around the corner everybody who’s anybody is certain to accessorize with glo-sticks and glow-in-the-dark jewelry. Lots of laughs for us but for an inquisitive pet the experience can quickly turn from exhilarating to excruciating. Biting through the chewy…

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Time to Cat-Proof for the Holidays Canine dietary indiscretions like chocolate, raisins, grapes, and turkey carcasses are well known. Let’s be fair; cats deserve recognition for their high risk Christmastime binging too. Tinsel tops their list. Once swallowed peristaltic movements often advance it safety toward the proper exit but if a strand gets hung up,…

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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 me when I visit someone else’s home. Even if I let her empty out before we enter, the first thing she does (even on a…

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The right Medications can make a Big Difference Question: Marley is a 2 year old, male tabby with his right rear leg amputated at the hip. He is getting around amazingly, a few weeks after surgery, full of speed and grace, but about every hour, his backside spasms for a few seconds- he hops involuntarily…

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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. Walking a dog is a lot more fun when everybody is under control but jerking on a pet’s neck can have serious consequences. Not all…

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Territorial & Fear-related Aggression is best Avoided Question: My cat Haley is 10 years old. When I have visitors she will attack them even when they are sleeping. She has attacked 2 babysitters. After 2 years she finally is ok with the current sitter. Yesterday my 16 year old had a friend over. The death…

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Ignore Bad Behavior & Teach Focus on Leader Question: I have a 3 year old female border collie. We have stopped going for walks because of her atrocious behavior, which ranges from screeching like a pterodactyl, to whirling like a dervish. This is with a Halti leader. We have tried BAT. Other dog owners give…

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The Right Food Matters but a Cat must Eat it. Question: My 14 year old cat has had increased urination. The vet gave antibiotics, ruled out diabetes, and prescribed c/d diet. Cher snubbed her nose at it. Two days without eating I gave her Fancy Feast. Google says dry food causes urinary tract. I need…

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Surgery plus Stem Cells can make a Huge Difference 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 seconds, it was horrifying. She was born with loose kneecaps. My vet was telling me about stem cells. I’m skeptical with…

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Set Him Up to Succeed; Avoid Punishment Question: My husband and I got a shelter cat about 6 weeks ago. He is one and a half years old and neutered. For the first two weeks he would poo and wee in the automatic litter tray. Then one day he decided to poo on the floor.…

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Causes include Medication Side Effects or Aging Brain Disease Question: I have a wonderful 12 year old German shepherd mix. She has arthritis in her back legs. She is now on prednisone and tramadol 3 morning, 3 night. She follows us around and won’t leave our side. She tries to sleep on the bed or…

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Mouth Pain or Uncomfortable Joints are likely to Blame Question: I have a 20 year old cat that is having “fur” issues. Her coat is matted in several places. I have tried to cut off the mats but the problem is getting worse. I know she’s uncomfortable. The vet said that shaving her might help,…

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Every Painful Ear needs Medical Attention Ear disease is the most common problem seen in veterinary clinics and we still aren’t treating enough of it. Redness, swelling, and nasty smelling discharges are frequent findings even when dogs and cats are brought to us for altogether different reasons. Many smolder quietly for weeks or longer. By…

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Prevent the Angst by Uninviting Strays Question: My male neutered cat Giorgio has been acting out for about a year; he is 100% indoors. Sometimes a cat outside will make him hiss and growl, but he also lunges if I go nearby even an hour later. He continues to have a low growl and will…

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A Head Halter is a Great Leadership tool Question: I read the post on your facebook page about the Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd and felt an instant kinship! Our 1 year old Aussie shepherd is driving us nuts. In addition to nuisance barking at everything that moves, tearing around the house and the yard like a crazy…

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Careful Evaluation & Dosing are Critical to Success Question: I have a 14-year-old diabetic cat. She was healthy and stable; her insulin (glargine) dose was 1.5 units. About a month ago she became lethargic and indifferent to food. Her fructosamine test was about 400 and there was sugar in her urine. Her insulin was increased…

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Protein & Sodium Restriction may trump Kitten Food Question: A year ago I contacted you about an older cat, overweight. I thought you said to feed her canned kitten food but now I am wondering if that should be cat food instead. She has been on Purina kitten & cat food all of her 13…

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No Electric Shock Collar; Enrich this Dog’s Life Instead Question: I have a Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd who is 1 year old. He barks constantly. If nothing is out there to bark at, he barks at birds and such. My husband is considering an electric bark collar. I know it is in his breed to bark, but…

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An Important Summertime Threat Maggots are worse than disgusting; they are among the most dangerous summertime hazards to pets’ health. Confronting these flesh eaters and their unmistakable odor is a truly memorable experience. Maybe you don’t want to read this over breakfast. Similar in size to grains of rice maggots are the larvae of the…

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All Meat Diets cause Thiamine Deficiency Question: Our cat had a possible stroke 3 weeks ago. Every other day we are thinking he’s getting better. The next day he’s not. He’s 11 and has never been ill before. He tries to move away from his basket to urinate! We feed him water with a syringe…

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Cats can Learn to Earn Treats by Taking Medicine Question: How do I give a pill to a cat? My previous cats have been cooperative, but this cat is much more difficult. She foams and drools after I have given her a pill and I am not even sure she swallows it.   Dr. Nichol:…

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Changing Clothes, Washing Hands Best Question: I’d like to volunteer at a cat shelter, but I’m wondering if I could inadvertently transmit disease to my cats at home.   Dr. Nichol: That’s an important question. After caring for stray kitties infectious organisms like upper respiratory viruses and feline distemper could get a free ride to…

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Question: Our 13 year old cat has stopped eating altogether. He has gone from 15 lbs. down to 13 in two weeks. We took him to a local veterinarian and they ran tests and found he only had a small heart murmur so they put him on Clavamox & enalapril. He’s just wasting away before…

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Age doesn’t Matter; It’s a Great Move for All Cats Question: My daughter wanted to know if having her cat neutered at one year of age could change his personality.   Dr. Nichol: There is no hard and fast rule that applies to every cat; like all of us, they are individuals. Having said that,…

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Many Possible Causes Question: What is your recommendation for placing an 11 month old cat who now has all but her canines removed, because of plasmacytic lymphocytic stomatitis, with other cats? I fear that whatever virus that’s involved might be transmissible to certain vulnerable individuals.   Dr. Nichol: This is an important question with a…

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Risks and Test Results Assessed in Light of Physical Health Question: Our two adorable kittens have been diagnosed with feline leukemia. We are concerned they will not survive their shots or spaying. Being that they are 5 months old, I’m worried that the female will get pregnant from her brother.  Is there a feline birth…

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Most Causes can be Treated at Home Question: Our old cat Spunky (13 years) is a disagreeable animal but I hate to see him decline. Two years ago we let the vet clean his teeth. I decided then I would not subject him to any more tests or treatments. He’s very thin but eats at…

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Potentially Deadly: Malignancy & Diabetes are Manageable if Treated Early Question: My cats are brother and sister; they are 14. My female cat has had a small lump near her female parts for 5 months. I am not concerned because she has maintained her weight, happiness and eats and drinks well. Is there anything I…

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Nose Temperature is Never Reliable; a Thermometer is Much Better Question: Is a cold nose an indicator of health in a cat (like a dog) or is it OK if a cat’s nose is warm? Dr. Nichol: I’ve enjoyed thousands of canine and feline noses in my years of practice but, contrary to folklore, their…

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Kidney Failure follows 24-48 hours after Ingestion Easter lilies: This beautiful flower is potentially dangerous. Cats who eat any part of this plant become lethargic as their kidneys fail within 24-48 hours of ingestion. Any cat or dog who has eaten an Easter lily needs emergency treatment, ideally before the onset of symptoms.

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Cats are very Different. Human Products are often Risky for Cats Question: My cat is 15 months old and is getting over an allergy attack that affected her eyes. I burned some incense and used an insect repellant with DEET. Can those things be harmful to a cat? Dr. Nichol: Your kitty may have a…

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Diagnosing the Cause is Important & usually simple Question: My baby Roo is a little tabby cat we found abandoned in a park. She had little lumps just under her chin on her neck, approximately where humans would have lymph nodes. Her Feline AIDS test came back negative. When the lumps hadn’t gone away another…

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Dangerous & Unnecessary Question: My friend has a cat and when he gets into trouble or does something bad she either hits him hard on the top of the head or on the butt. Will this hurt the cat? He also squinches his eyes tight when he gets hit on the head? Can the hitting…

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Skin, Dental, or Ear Disease can all be Responsible. Anal Glands cause the Worst Odor. Question: My cat stinks!! It is getting to the point where I don’t like him on my knee because he pongs. It’s not his breath but his actual fur. Do cats have BO or do you think there is something…

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Dogs & Cats are Not at Risk Question: Do I need to protect my dogs from the West Nile virus?   Dr. Nichol: This spreading infection is nerve wracking for horses, birds, and humans, but our dogs and cats are way out of the loop. For the latest and greatest on West Nile, I contacted…

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Inherently Sensible, Cats Lie Low Question: A couple of weeks ago you wrote, “Presumably we have enough sense not to leave pets in the heat”…outside. What about inside? Can we leave our pets in the house without air conditioning or some type of air circulation? If so, are cats better able to handle this than,…

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No Risk to the Kitty as Long as he/she Get Some Shelter Question: How are cats with rain and cold weather?  My cat always likes to go out at certain times of the day to do his business as he seems to much prefer this than his litter tray.  But I worry a little about…

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R/d is the Best Way to Shed the Pounds & Prevent Serious Disease Question: Is Science diet r/d formula equal to the prescription r/d? Can I buy this r/d food anywhere else besides my vet?   Dr. Nichol: The prescription diets (r/d and others) are made by Hills Science Diet. R/d is the best weight…

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Unable to Enjoy Normal Activities this Cat will Improve with the Correct Diet Question: Our cat used to be tiny and rambunctious but as he has aged, he has put on a lot of weight.  His sides are now distended and he is definitely not as playful as other two year old cats.  Could he…

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