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 – 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 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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Media – If your cat is less active, do this

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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Media – Noisy Breathing 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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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 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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Media – Learning in the Bullied

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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Media – Guest Panic


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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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 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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Media – Fear-Free Cats at the Doctor’s Office

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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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 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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