Subscriber Archive

Don’t Let a Good Kitten Go Bad

February 26, 2024
kitten

House soiling, fighting, furniture damage – you don’t want it. A great cat’s life is not a random event. Good behavior starts with a healthy structure.

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Dog Parks – the Good the Bad & the Ugly

February 19, 2024
dogs playing

Running and playing with other dogs is good exercise and fun for everybody – unless your dog or someone else’s reacts badly. Should puppies go too?

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Airborne Monstrosities – High Anxiety

February 12, 2024
Koko

Third in a series Jan and Marty enjoyed watching the hot air balloons drift over their Corrales home but Koko’s arrival changed that and a whole lot more. This wigged-out adolescent Labradoodle became terrified of the backyard sky. She’d been blessed with an idyllic puppyhood, the best food and a loving family, so she couldn’t blame her mother. Koko also fixated on window reflections with growing terror. Dogs on TV, who she thought were running at her, scared her witless. Even when not suffering an adrenaline surge she desperately needed to be with her people, nudging and following, sometimes mounting their legs as a displacement behavior. She just didn’t know what else to do with herself. Are we having fun yet? Koko’s brain, like everybody’s, is the most complex organ in the body. It seemed stable when she was a kid but its neural circuits, driven by her genetics, shifted…

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New Baby Dog

February 12, 2024
Mick

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

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The Sky can be a Scary Place

February 5, 2024
labradoodle

Second in a series “Little Dog” had matted fur and a dangling leg but he was in otherwise good shape, for a 20# canine street urchin. The damage was long past any hope of improvement; only amputation could relieve this boy of his constant ache. With Marty already attached to him I remember thinking that all three of us were lucky to have met. Surgery was uneventful. Little Dog went on to live a long and playful 3-legged life. Pretty soon a nice lady, Jan, began to accompany Marty to Little Dog’s veterinary appointments. It was clear from the start that this was no summer fling. They’ve raised an excellent family, their children learning compassion by example. After their last dog passed on, and now empty nesters, Jan emailed me that she and Marty might be ready for a puppy. So I sent her a link to my puppy selection…

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Barking, Yapping, Whining, Yelping

February 5, 2024
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It’s driving you crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy… Trash and canine trash talking cause more human angst than theft, murders and all the rest of the mayhem.

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Gas Abuse; Paw Pain

January 29, 2024
man and dog

First in a series Frustrations come with every job. I’ve been lucky. Problems that have risked baldness, you know – tearing out my hair – have been followed by good things. Most pets get well. Bonds are forged with their people. Veterinary medicine is challenging but it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. A few years into my life as owner of the Adobe Animal Clinic I’d sent Amos, Heidi, and our other staff home on time, most days, but as we got busier they started looking frazzled. So I hired Mike, a high school student, to come in after hours to vacuum and mop. He did OK for a month or two. One morning I arrived to find our gas anesthetic machine on its side with its valve wide open, the reservoir empty. Well, that just wasn’t normal. Who could have done this? Mice from the feed store next…

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Biting & Agitated at the Veterinary Clinic

January 29, 2024
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Most dogs who try to bite or escape in a veterinary clinic are frightened. You can reduce anxiety by slowly and gently leading your dog from behind a squatting doctor. A dog who may bite should wear a basket muzzle. We shot this video with my own dog, Miss America. She has passed on now. She was an excellent actress, not to mention a delightful pet. We miss her still.

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Don’t Let Your Cat Fool You

January 22, 2024
scared cat

Do you examine your cat’s teeth? That would mean putting him on a table under a bright light with an assistant gently holding his shoulders as you slowly open his mouth big enough to see all of his choppers. Actually, about the only time that really happens is during the annual physical exam. What? Your cat doesn’t see the doctor every year? Don’t feel bad. A lot of cats hate the veterinary clinic. There’s a widespread belief that kitties little need for medical care, that they pretty much take care of themselves. What nonsense! Other than hiding their illnesses they’re no different than the rest of us. They just aren’t programmed to fuss and belly ache. Everybody needs periodic physical exams to head-off smoldering problems. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association established a strong link between chronic dental disease in cats and kidney failure.…

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