Itchy dog or cat lately? You are not alone!

This past month I have met more itchy animals than I have in years! The kiddos with the usual seasonal allergies are extra flared up. Even worse, pets who don’t normally get itchy are scratching and rubbing like crazy. What is happening? This time of year, allergens are typically at their worst (at least here […]

Turmeric/Curcumin – Can it really treat inflammatory conditions?

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has gotten a lot of credit over the past few years. Can it really help with arthritis pain? Or is it more placebo effect? I looked at the research. Not what the salesperson says, or what the companies selling it say. I looked at studies that were at least […]

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements – Myth, Magic, or somewhere in the Middle??

We’ve all seen ads online for various joint supplements that claim they transformed a dog’s life, bringing it from barely mobile to running and playing in the yard. The mainstay of these is often two common ingredients: glucosamine and chondroitin. It is often alleged that they help treat arthritis pain. Arthritis, and therefore, pain, involve […]

Grain free dog food in the news…AGAIN

Last summer I wrote an article about the grain free dog food fad. Word was getting out that many of these foods are linked to a specific kind of heart failure that was killing dogs. It was on the national news!  Dog owners were worried, asking questions. Here’s last year’s article about grain free food […]

My veterinarian says my dog has mild anemia – now what?

As a house call veterinarian, I treat a lot of senior pets, so therefore I run a lot of senior bloodwork. Every so often the blood results on a seemingly healthy older dog comes back with one abnormality – anemia. What is it, and how worried are we? Like everything else in medicine…it depends on […]

From diarrhea to… nothing? What’s going on?

“My cat had diarrhea, the vet treated it, and there’s no poop in the litter box.” “We treated my dog’s diarrhea, and she hasn’t pooped in 3 days. When do I worry?” These are common questions that I get asked a lot. What’s going on? First of all, don’t panic. It is actually quite common […]

Are essential oils dangerous to cats?

Lately I’ve been asked about essential oils and cats by many clients. Is it safe to diffuse essential oils around cats? Will essential oils harm the cat? Which essential oils are toxic? Are any essential oils safe, or even beneficial to cats? Let’s start with the basics – what ARE essential oils really? They are […]

Elevated liver enzymes in senior dogs- what does it really mean?

It happens quite often that I’ll run a blood panel on a seemingly healthy senior dog, and I discover one or two liver enzymes are higher than normal. How worried should we be? Well, it depends, but here’s some general patterns. The usual culprit is an enzyme called Alkaline Phosphatase, or Alk-Phos, or Alk-P. I […]

Why is my dog’s ear swollen? All about ear hematomas

There’s something freaky about seeing your dog’s formerly floppy ear become enlarged and painful. Ear hematomas (AKA aural hematomas) can develop overnight, and the severe ones can be quite uncomfortable. But how does it happen? The typical dog with an ear hematoma (pronounced HE-ma-TOH-ma) has floppy ears that can really get going when he shakes […]

Addison’s Disease – the syndrome that can look like anything

Whenever I have a patient that I suspect Addison’s disease in, I always sigh and dread having to explain it. Why? The disease is not straight-forward, can have many forms, and can imitate other disease, making a simple explanation impossible. I’ll try to cover it as reasonably as possible…this might be long and kinda boring […]

Help your dog lose weight – The step-by-step guide to doggy diets

Your vet probably said your dog was overweight. Or fat. Or even obese. Carrying around extra weight isn’t cute, it can shorten your dog’s life by a lot of years. As a house call vet, I see my fair share of dogs whom I am putting to sleep simply because they are too fat to […]

Vaccines do NOT keep your pet healthy!

Many years ago, I had a client with several cats. He would bring each one in and proclaim what a great pet owner he was, because he vaccinated EVERY pet EVERY year. He would end every exam by saying “I keep MY cats healthy!” I applaud his enthusiasm, and his love for his cats. But […]

Grain free food linked to specific heart disease in dogs

You might have seen headlines about grain free food lately contributing to a heart disease in dogs called DCM. What’s up with that? The grain free fad was started a few years ago by marketing companies who make pet food. There was never any real science to back it up, but pet owners jumped on […]

Giardia – the parasite that isn’t a worm

Getting the phone call from your vet telling you your pet has giardia can be un-nerving.  If your dog or cat has had diarrhea, this is the likely explanation. If it was a routine fecal test on a healthy pet, however, the diagnosis of giardia can be a bit of a surprise. Most vets are […]

Did your vet recommend removing your dog’s or cat’s eyeball?

Enucleation. (Pronounced ee-NEW-clee-AY-shen). It’s a much nicer sounding word than “eyeball removal.” But that’s what it is. If you’ve been battling a major eye disease for a while, and the eye is not responding, your veterinarian might have recommended it. We typically recommend removing the eye when it is no longer able to see (so […]

Green gunk in your dog’s eye – let’s talk about “Dry Eye,” or KCS

The condition known as “dry eye” can be incredibly frustrating for pet owners and veterinarians. It is the rebel disease that responds to treatment sometimes, not others, for no apparent reason. The symptoms don’t really make sense. The whole package is odd. So, time to explain it! The medical term for dry eye is KCS […]

Sunscreen for dogs after surgery – or for any exposed skin

Dogs don’t need sunscreen, do they? Most of the time they do not. Their fur shields their skin very well. However, there are situations where dogs can become severely burned if we are not vigilant, and we actually need to put sunscreen on our dogs. The first possibility that came to your mind is probably […]

Rescuing dogs from puppy mills – how NOT to do it!

I first became involved in rescuing dogs from puppy mills about 20 years ago. I made friends who had made friends with these breeders. When they had an older dog who wasn’t producing enough puppies to be profitable, it also wasn’t worth the price of food, or the price of a bullet. These puppy mills/breeders […]

3 diseases that owners can diagnose better than the vet

That’s right. Your vet might be good, but there are some diseases that she cannot diagnose as well as you, the pet owner, can. So know these, watch for signs, and tell your vet if you see them. While she doesn’t have specific diagnostic tests for these conditions, she can certainly offer treatment or adaptations […]

What do dogs and cats actually see?

We all have heard that dogs are color-blind. Is it true? Not exactly. Kinda like the myth that one human year is equivalent to 7 “dog years”. Again, not exactly. So how well can dogs and cats see? In some ways, their vision is better than ours, and in others, it’s worse. Let’s start with […]