How dangerous is ice melt to pets?

Many businesses use ice melt or salt to keep the walkways safe. Homeowners often use it on the sidewalks in front of their houses. Pet owners often want to use ice melt, but fear harming their pets. What gives? There are “pet-safe” ice melts being sold. Are they really safer, or is it hype? If […]

Deep snow + older dogs = OUCH!

With the first deep snow of the season, I see many many older dogs present for “not being able to walk” or “walking stiff.” Is it just the cold weather? Probably not. (I doubt it’s helping though!) Deep snow can be hard on old dogs. Why? It is common for older dogs to have some […]

With many medications, timing matters!

We vets often write instructions on the bottle of medication like “Give three times a day” or “Give once a day.” Seems simple enough, right? Did you know that some medications actually work best when given a certain way? As always, check with your vet if you have specific questions. Here are some drugs that, […]

Coconut oil – glorious or gimmick?

Coconut oil has gotten some pretty incredible claims associated with it lately. Kinda like New Year’s Eve – supposed to be magic, but in reality, not all that great, and rather overpriced. It will not treat your dog’s parvo. It will not cure your cat’s cancer. It is not a substitute for medical care. Want […]

8 holiday pet safety myths and facts

This time of year presents unique hazards to pets. Some are real. Some are overblown. Some no one really ever talks about! When do you cancel the party and rush to the emergency vet? When do you clean up the mess and move on? Here’s my top 8 holiday myths and facts Red means this […]

Does your dog need a sweater?

Sure, sweaters can be froo froo and cute. But honestly, some dogs truly need them! Let’s face it, it’s cold. On a particularly slow news day, that gets repeated multiple times. Our big dogs with thick coats love this weather! We can’t get them to come in, especially when there’s snow! Our little dogs, however, […]

You CAN give your pet turkey on Thanksgiving?!? WHAT!?

Did you know that, for the majority of pets, you CAN give turkey on Thanksgiving!?!? I know I know I know.  Many vets tell you NO table food. They say to NEVER give your pet any turkey on Thanksgiving. Why do they say that? It’s just easy. People tend to want to over-indulge their pet, […]

Peanut butter warning!

It’s quite common to use peanut butter to give your dog medication. It sticks to the pill and is downright delicious. A new trend is starting with some off-brand, “natural” type peanut butters. They are including a sweetener called xylitol. This is a safe, no-calorie sweetener for people, but is highly poisonous to dogs! Xylitol […]

My blind dog – and what I learned

Last year, I came in contact with a dog who was pulled from animal control by a rescue group, and needed a foster home. Of course, I can’t turn down a homeless fluffy face, so agreed to foster him. When we first met, Linus was more interested in sniffing his new surroundings than in meeting […]

Anal glands – AKA the licking/scooting solution

Anal glands! Dogs have them. Cats have them. Humans, thank God, don’t have them. Some dogs have a lifetime of trouble with them, and need them expressed (emptied out) often. Other dogs act like they don’t even have them. What gives? First off, a little anatomy. Anal glands produce a stinky, almost fishy smelling fluid, […]

Keeping pets safe on Halloween

Everybody (hopefully) knows the “pet safety” shpeal: Don’t give your dog chocolate. Some sugar free foods are toxic. 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 of the festivities. –People dressed in costumes, especially masks, […]

Is your pet overweight?

What an animal weighs is just a number. The current trend in people is to use body composition, or “percent body fat.” This gives a much more accurate interpretation of a person’s build. You can have two 5’8″, 170 lb women. One can be a couch potato with no muscle, and she may be 38% […]

Heartworm disease in cats

Everyone knows how important it is to keep dogs on monthly heartworm preventative. But can cats get heartworm? Let’s see….. For starters, heartworm is transmitted the same way in dogs and cats. A mosquito flies around, sucks on an animal with heartworms, ingests the larvae from that pet’s blood, and then processes it into a more […]

July Fourth isn’t so fun for many pets

Many neighborhoods have their own fireworks going on the entire week leading up to the July Fourth holiday. If you happen to live close to a local fireworks show, then it can really get scary! Here’s a few thoughts if you have a stressed-out pet this week: – This time of year is when many […]

Heat stroke in pets

The handsome man below is my Pepperman. We had a bad scare today. I came home to find my husband had let two dogs out, but only one back in. The Pepperman, who is almost 16 years old, was collapsed and panting profusely on the patio. He had found the shade, thankfully. I grabbed him, […]

How to choose a boarding facility for your pet

More and more boarding facilities are opening, and summer is the busy time for them. Some are new on the block, and some have been around for years. How do you know which is the best for your pet? Don’t just go by what you hear or see in ads and brochures – make an […]

Third eyelids

“There’s something wrong with her eyes.” I hear that often enough. Most often, it’s something normal that just looks unusual – the third eyelid. Dogs and cats have this membrane in the corner of each eye. When they are awake and alert, it’s often low and barely visible. When they are sleeping or sedated, it […]

Blood pressure and pets

When we go to the doctor, having our blood pressure taken is just routine. Why isn’t it for dogs and cats? For starters, blood pressure is perhaps the most difficult parameter to accurately measure in dogs and cats. It wasn’t until less than 15 years ago that reliable veterinary machines were developed. It used to […]

Should we panic over the dog flu?

Nope. Wait, I guess I should write more than that. First, some perspective. Every year, between 5,000 and 25,000 people in this country die of influenza and/or related complications. This did not make the news. Recently 1,000 or more dogs in Chicago come down with influenza, 5 dogs died, and it’s making national headlines. To […]

Meet Regan – weight loss success!

I’ve known Regan for years. She had slowly put on more and more weight as she got older. She finally reached the point where that extra weight was dramatically affecting her life. Both knees are compromised, with one being surgically repaired, so asking those joints to carry extra weight caused even more pain. Even with […]