Keep Halloween costumes fun!

Everybody (hopefully) knows the “Halloween pet safety” shpeal: Don’t give your dog chocolate, raisins, or chocolate-covered raisins. Some sugar free foods are toxic (here’s my xylitol article). Keep your pets inside (black cats in particular – some people are freaks). Here are a few things we might not think about in the hustle and excitement […]

Feline dementia (where’s my litter box?)

You may have noticed some behavior changes in your senior cat. Some of these changes can be symptoms of pain (here’s my article on how to tell if your cat is in pain), but we need to consider dementia in addition. Yes, cats, like people, can become senile as they age – happens to many […]

Limping pets

When I was in vet school, one of our orthopedic surgery professors had a saying: “There is no such thing as an orthopedic emergency.” Clearly he did not enjoy being called in the wee hours of the night. Can’t blame him. What he means is that an animal won’t die from a broken leg or […]

What to do when your pet has a seizure

Perhaps nothing is more scary or distressing for an owner than seeing your pet have a seizure. Knowing what to do if it happens can make it not only safer for everyone involved, but also enables you to help your veterinarian do her job by providing accurate information. If your pet starts having a seizure, […]

Pet-safe insect killers

I recently learned how frustrating it is to want to kill problem insects in the yard, but keep my pets safe. I was scouring the small print on the insecticide labels, looking for which I could use around pets. I wanted it to work, and was skeptical of the “natural, organic” ones with only some […]

Heartworm treatment – the long and winding road

When you find out your dog (or, in many cases, foster dog) is heartworm positive, you want to fix it! Let’s treat him and get rid of these heartworms! You know they can be deadly if not treated, so why wait? Then, when you learn how long the treatment takes, and we can’t start just […]

Pet weight loss tips and tricks

If you read my earlier article about the health risks of obesity, you might have been inspired (or scared!). If your pet needs to lose weight, the time to start is now. First, accept the fact that weight loss takes time – often months. If you have a large dog who has mobility issues, losing […]

Pets whose lives changed from weight loss

Obesity is, in the majority of cases, brought on by simply overfeeding. But you can turn things around! If you read my previous article on the tragedy of obesity, you need to know there can be happy endings! We just need to acknowledge the problem and intervene as early as possible. Here’s two success stories […]

The ONE simple thing to keep your pet living longer

You might feed organic, grain free food. Fluffy might be sleeping on a bed of dye-free organic cotton. You might cook free-range meat with whole grain meals every day for your pet. She drinks filtered water. Her air purifier hums consistently. Hopefully you keep your pet on a routine heartworm preventative. You follow your vet’s […]

Five heartworm facts you didn’t know

About once a month, I get the panicked, guilt-ridden phonecall. “I just realized Fluffy didn’t get her heartworm pill last month! What should I do? Do I need to test her today?!?!” First, you are not a terrible person – it happens to the best of us! As soon as you realize it, give the […]

Help for scared pets during storms, fireworks, being alone …or any pet anxiety

Spring and summer can be rough. Thunderstorms are unpredictable, and fireworks seem to occur more often than just July 4th. Some pets aren’t phased, while others are downright terrified by these loud and unexplained noises. Some pets are just anxious in general. Maybe they were not socialized properly during the formative months. Maybe they have […]

How do I know if my dog is in pain?

How can you tell if your dog is in pain? I wish we could just ask them! When it comes to concealing pain, dogs have mad skills. Many of them are people pleasers. Very few dogs want to be a party pooper. So, hurting or not, the show must go on! They don’t want to […]

My pet’s eyes are watery – how soon should I see a vet?

Eye cases are tough. Sometimes it’s a major emergency. Other times it’s simply something that needs time to resolve. When to get your pet seen by a vet ASAP? Of course, not every pet reads the manual, but some general rules may be helpful. Here’s a few scenarios I hear a lot: 1 – Your […]

What does YOUR heartworm preventative cover?

My earlier article went through every type of intestinal parasite that is treated by various American heartworm preventatives. But, which product treats what parasite? It is not simple! I color-coded the parasites for each product to make them easy to spot. Oral Medications Heartgard Plus The original. The classic. There are now many other brands […]

Heartworm preventatives do more than just prevent heartworms!

Like most pet owners, you probably give your dog a preventative for heartworm every month. Many cats who go outside, live in the south, or both, receive monthly preventatives as well. It is very important to prevent heartworm, that’s for sure! It can be fatal in dogs if not treated. Treating is expensive and downright […]

Your pet needs fish oil – now what? How to buy the right one.

The more our field learns about fish oil and omega fatty acids, the more we veterinarians have been recommending them. There’s a good chance your pet, or a pet you know, has been recommended to be on fish oil. It’s great for problem skin (big time!), arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and even can help […]

Which vaccines does your cat really need?

Years ago, veterinarians gave every shot to every cat, every year. No one asked about lifestyle. No one asked if this was actually helping the cat or harming the cat. No one asked if one shot was different from the next. Over the past 15 or so years, things have changed for the better! We’ve […]

New, improved guidelines for Rabies exposure

This week we have a great example of policy catching up to science! Every year or so, a group of experts in the field convenes and updates the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control. They are the ones making recommendations on what action is required in terms of vaccination against rabies, as well as […]

Cats with weepy eyes and juicy sneezes

Indoor only cats are very rarely exposed to other diseases. So how is it that your cat was healthy last week, and suddenly seems to have a cold? One word – herpes. (Technically called FHV, or Feline Herpesvirus-1) No, your cat doesn’t have compromised morals. In fact, 90% of cats in this country have herpes. […]

How to use the new anti-cruelty laws to help an animal in need

Animal lovers cheered when many states enacted tougher laws against animal abuse. For instance, here in IL, the law officially bans leaving a pet exposed in “extreme weather.” All 50 states have laws like this, making it a misdemeanor to leave an animal outside with insufficient shelter. In Massachusetts and Oklahoma, sometimes it can even […]