Media – Surgery by Dog

golden retriever

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

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Media – The Occult of the Itch

dog

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

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Media – Faith Wins

faith

This is the last in the series on Faith Doing the right thing for our injured stray cat would take courage-and faith. She needed a name and I really needed…

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Media – Faith

Faith

For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com. This is the first part in a series Faith was important not just…

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Media – COVID19 in Cats & Dogs

person cat bed

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

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Media – Freaked-Out by Fireworks

fireworks

Many Great Ways of Helping Scared Cats & Dogs Startled by earsplitting blasts, many otherwise stable pets will endure almost continual panic this weekend. Dogs may hide, tremble, drool, cry…

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Media – Sudden Lameness in Small Dog

You are invited to get my help with a behavior problem by participating in a Zoom group behavior conference. Visit https://drjeffnichol.com/zoom-group-conferences/ to sign up. Age is Not a Factor for…

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Media – Healing Trauma & Feline Politics

kittens

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

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Media – Unsightly Cat Chin

Party cat

Acne isn’t a Heart Breaker Question: I am wondering how cats develop feline acne. Dr. Nichol: We used to think that these unsightly carbuncles and blackheads on cats’ chins were…

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Media – Leaky Girl Dogs

sleeping dog

Simple Oral Medication Ends Bed Wetting Question: I have a 3 year old blue heeler female. She is house trained. Lately in the evening just after her supper while she…

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Media – Rear Leg Disability

photo of cat sleeping

Blood Clots from Heart Disease Question: My poor Abby who is still a youngin at 5 years old is having severe problems walking. She is an indoor only cat and…

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Media – Digging for Hoses

digging dog

Splendid Excavating Alternative Question: We have a self-watering backyard. Our 1 ½ year old very tall, very strong, mixed-breed Doberman-Great Dane tore up all the lines! So now we are…

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Media – Fear-Free Medical Care

Cooperation Earns Food Question: My wonderful, elderly Ellie (13 years) is difficult to work with when she has an ear infection, eye infection or other medical problem. She wiggles and…

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Media – Injured Strays – Be Hopeful

Dr. Jeff Nichol

The doctors, staff, and volunteers at Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department do what it takes for the homeless pets they treat but post-operative recovery is sometimes harder than the procedure itself.…

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Media – Springtime Pet Toxins

Lily

Be Careful this Easter Everybody loves springtime flowers and plants but some buds, bulbs, leaves, and seeds can be unsafe for our pets. Swallowing any plant material can cause a…

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Media – Jolted Cat

sleeping cat

Feel Better; Sleep Well Question: My cat will be fast asleep, then she wakes up suddenly and flies out of the spot she was in and acts very terrified. Is…

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Media – Chronic Diarrhea & Vomiting

French bulldog

Help Faster, Better, Cheaper Retching and vomiting or straining to pass diarrhea is pretty miserable. Some dogs struggle often with these symptoms. When does it become too much? You can…

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Media – Horses & Asses

Horse and donkey

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

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Media – Crate House Training

Puppy

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

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Media – COVID19 Pet Infections

dog in a face mask

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

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Media – Pee – Eeww!

stinky dog

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

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Media – Plants, snacks, & drugs

Christmas cat

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

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Media – Wild & Crazy Deaf Kid

Heeler puppy

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

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Media – Crying for Mom

Puppy crying

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

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Media – Feline Heartbreak

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…

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Media – Noisy Breathing Dog

dog

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

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Media – Eye Language

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…

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Media – Guest Panic

Yorkie

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

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Media – Circling, Head Tilt

small dog

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

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Media – Thyroids Gone Wild

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…

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Media – Brushing for Safety

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

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Media – Feline Travel Terror

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…

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Media – Rickety Felines

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…

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Media – Warts on Older Dogs

cockapoo in a shirt

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

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Media – Alien Invasion

Old cat lying in sun

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

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Media – Mouth Warts in Puppies

puppies wrestling

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

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Media – Fireworks Freak-Out

fireworks

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

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Media – Grain-Free Could be Risky

dog eating

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

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Media – Feline Culture Clash

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…

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Media – Brute Fear

scared dog

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

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Media – Feline Family Feud

calico cat

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

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Media – Skipping Lameness

cockapoo

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

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Media – Prevent Bad Behaviors

two Puppies playing

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

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Media – Socially Asocial

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…

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Media – Herpes Eye Discharge

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.…

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Media – COVID-19 in Pets

pomeranian

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

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Media – Cat Bladders

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…

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Media – Feed Me or Die

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…

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Media – Rabbit Ears

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.…

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Media – Wild Barking & Chasing

small dog barking

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

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Media – Feline Windbag

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…

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Media – Wigged-Out on the Road

photo of dog riding in car

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

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Media – Oxygen Hose Abuse

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…

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Media – The Mouse Diet

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…

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Media – Bury dem Bones

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

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Media – Holidays Happen

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

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Media – Silent Suffering Cats

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

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Media – Crate Nightmare

Separation Anxiety is Not Solved by Confinement Question: My dog is so anxious in his crate. Dr. Nichol: Crates have become popular for keeping dogs out of trouble but confinement…

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Media – Doorway Freak-Out

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

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Media – Runny Eyes & Itchy Face

Allergies & Smoldering Infection Question: My 10 year old cat has had eye drainage for quite a while. My veterinarian referred us to an ophthalmologist who thought it might be…

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Media – Adoration & Humping

“Why, that’s Ridiculous!” Question: We recently adopted a terrier that’s about 18 months old. We just love him, however, he constantly follows us around at every move. When my husband…

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Media – Pig Ear Pickle

Serious Infections I’ve cared for multiple species during my career, including a few pigs. To my knowledge, no person has fed dog ears to their pigs but, sadly, the opposite…

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Media – Cats Suffer Silently

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…

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Media – Predation can Make You Sick

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,…

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Media – Grain-Free Risks

image illustrating cardiomyopathy

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

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Media – Wild and Car Crazy

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

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Media – Feline Fisticuffs

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…

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Media – Stress Whizzing

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…

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Media – Fighting Family Dogs

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

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Media – Cat Calls

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.…

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Media – Grass for Cats

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…

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Media – Womb Mates make BFFs

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…

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Media – Eat More; Weigh Less

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…

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Media – Clipping Male Dogs

dog with tie

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

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Media – Hermione has fatty liver

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…

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Media – Rattlesnake Bites

rattlesnake

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

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Media – Cat Urine Spray

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…

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Media – Sphinx calls Ork

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…

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Media – Stinky Cat 3 AM

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…

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Media – Possum Home Invasion

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.…

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Media – Food Fight

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

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Media – Pain in the Rear

pomeranian

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

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Albuquerque Journal Article

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

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Albuquerque Journal Article

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

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Albuquerque Journal Article – Dog Fights Avoided

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

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Night Waking in Elderly Dog

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

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Cats Shedding

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.…

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Cats Hangs Rump Off Pan to Eliminate

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…

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Hair Loss – Bad Sign

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…

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Putting Catnip Toys in Food Bowl

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. …

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Matted Elderly Cat

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,…

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Choke Collars Carry Risks

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

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Circling Dog with Head Tilt

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

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Cat Bites Visitors

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…

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Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

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

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Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

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

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Pain from Cat’s Leg Amputation

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,…

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Warts on Older Dogs

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

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New Year’s Eve Fireworks

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

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Festivities May Be Upsetting for Pets

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

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Cat Terrified of Visitors

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…

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Fat Cats & Diabetes

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…

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Baby Teeth

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

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Clipper Burns

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

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Doorway Freak-Out

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

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Human Blindness & Feline Toxoplasmosis

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…

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Balloon Phobia

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

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Cancer of a Dog’s Spleen

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

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Cat Lip Lesion & Diarrhea

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,…

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Hot Spots & Maggots

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

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Punishment

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

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Xylitol is Dangerous for Dogs

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

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Dog Eats Clothing, Towels, & Bedding

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

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Cat Rescued from Electric Pole

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…

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Cats Rubs Off her Whiskers

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…

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Eye Discharge in a Dog

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

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Hyperactive Older Cat

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…

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Ear Flaps & Sopapillas

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…

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Russell the Vagabond Moves In

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…

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Ear Pain and Discharge

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

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Puppy Mouths Owners & Steals

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

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Motion Sickness in a Dog

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

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Controlling Canine Thievery

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

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Painful when Jumping

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

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Heeler x Drives his Owner Bonkers

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

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Cats and Christmas Catastrophes

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…

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Rabbits can make Good Pets

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”…

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Feline Diets

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…

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Cat Fights & Reconciliation

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.…

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Fat Cat Risk Liver Failure

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…

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Hen Hysteria

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

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Senior Cat with Kidney Failure

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…

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Euthanasia of an Elderly Dog

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

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Dog Shocked for Car Chasing

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

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Shock Collar Damages Friendship

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

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Bladder stone should be analyzed

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

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Cats contact with Human Pain Creams

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…

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Over-grooming Cat

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…

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Fear, Excitement & Submissive Urination

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

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Diabetic Complications

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…

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Dog Eats Only Frankfurters

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

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Dog Freaks Out on Car Rides

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

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Senior Cat Afraid of Handling

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…

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Pomeranian with Anal Gland Pain

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

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Advancing Rear Lameness in a Cat

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…

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Dogs Fighting on Owners’ Bed

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

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Socially Isolated New Kitten

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…

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Trapping-Reader Feedback

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

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Dog Wild and Crazy in Car

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

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Holiday Risks for Pets

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

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Pet Dog Caught in Wild Coyote Trap

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

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Senior Dog Barking Excessively

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

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Cat with Food Allergy

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…

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Urine Marking

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

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White Shell Spots on Turtles

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…

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Beagle Struggling with Heart Disease

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

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Which Dog is Urine Soiling?

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

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Balloon Phobia

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

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Hip Dysplasia

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

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Aggression between Family Dogs

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

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Feline Obesity

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…

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Indoor Feline Dirt Rolling

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…

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Lepto-An Emerging Wet Weather Threat?

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

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Cats Hide Illness

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…

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Fecal Soiling & Fireworks

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…

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Canine Distemper Spreading Fast

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

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Sticky Matted Hair in an Older Cat

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…

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Puppy Eats Tortoise Poop

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

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Cat with Swollen Ear Flap

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…

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Cats & Dogs as BFFs

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

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Discharging Eyes & a Sore Face

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…

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Aggressive Dog on Owners’ Beds

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

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Skunks have Needs Too

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.…

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Older Cats Suffer Silently

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.…

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Fear Aggression toward Visitors

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

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Pet Medical Insurance Saves Lives

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

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Feline Fatty Liver Disease

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…

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Cat Killed in Yard

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

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Paralysis of a Dog’s Face

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

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Cat Wakes Owner at 3 AM

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…

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Cat Frightened of Humans

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…

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Clipper Burns

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

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Retained Baby Teeth

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

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Female Stands-up to Urinate

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…

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Feline Acne

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…

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Dust-Up at the Dog Park

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

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Blind Cat with a Rich Life

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…

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Balloon Phobia

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

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Air Travel for Scared Cats

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…

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Plastic Licking Cat

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:…

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Recent Uptick in Parvo Cases

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

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Submissive Urinator

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

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Cat Bites like a Snake when Petted

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…

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Feline Scooting & Scooching

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…

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Puppy Perplexed by Potty Pads

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

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Kitten Assaulting Family

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…

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Itchy Cat with Diarrhea

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…

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In last week’s column…

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…

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Trap, Neuter, Release

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…

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Dog Crated Day & Night Urine Soils

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

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ACL Rupture in a Small Dog

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

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Cat Defecates Next to Litter Pan

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…

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Fearful Dog Losing Bladder Control

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

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Cord Chewing is Shockingly Dangerous

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…

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Feces by Home Delivery

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

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Great Dogs Wait for Caring Homes

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

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Diabetic Cat Feels Bad

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…

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Personality Change in Older Dog

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

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