Weekly article archive

The following questions and answers have appeared in my weekly column in the Albuquerque Journal since July, 1996. Each week a new one is added. You'll find information on the physical and behavioral maladies of dogs and cats and a few other species too. I invite you to use the search feature to find the specific answer that you and your pet need.

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. Here is what we know. “Natural SARS-C0V-2 infections, including virus isolation, among serially tested cats and dogs in households with confirmed human COVID-19” by Dr.…

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Media – Hair Pulling Cat: Angst or Itch?

sleeping cat

Constant Misery needs Immediate Attention Question: My 15 year old male orange tabby started pulling his hair out 10 months ago. We started him on steroids 8 months ago. It does not seem to help. His tummy in almost bald. There does not seem to be a skin issue. Poor Max is quite miserable if…

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Media – Night Waking in Elderly Dog

dog on couch

Dementia is Treatable 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 Kong…

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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, but is on the skinny side, even with feeding more. His coat looks fine and he does not scratch or lick himself. Just noticed the…

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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 holiday hazards. There are bound to be others. Edibles: alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), moldy or spoiled foods, onions, onion…

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Media – Elder Cats Losing Interest?

Maybe they could Feel Better Question: Are my two 15 year old cats harmed if they don’t play? When they were younger they would play until midnight. Now they sleep most of the day. Their only exercise is sitting in my yard and munching on grass. I’ve given them toys like catnip rolls and “mouse-chasers”…

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Media – It’s More than Just Mouth Pain


Non-stop Misery is Curable Question: Is my cat’s plasma cell stomatitis contagious? Can it be passed from a cat to a human? Dr. Nichol: Mouth pain, swelling of the gums, reduced appetite, and excessive salivation-it’s miserable What we now call chronic oral inflammatory disease can go on for a lifetime. There are lots of possible…

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Media – Scary Low Weight and Rapid Growth


Question: I have an eleven month old Malinois and a year old Pomeranian, both neutered males. My pom seems to be a healthy body size and weight, and my Malinois is very, very skinny. I can see his hips and his ribs. He eats all his food and doesn’t throw it up. His stools are…

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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 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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