What to do when your pet gets the wrong medication

It can happen to anyone. You have multiple pets on medication. Your mind is distracted. You’re handing out pills. Maybe somebody spits one out and their buddy snatches it up. Maybe one gets dropped and you don’t know who got it. Maybe you flat out gave the wrong pill to the wrong pet. (I’ve done […]

Our cats are NOT loving “Shelter-in-place”

With many people working from home, kids being home from school, and the whole schedule changing, many cats have had their routines turned upside down. Eventually we will try to return to “normal” life, whatever that will be like, but how can we help our cats adjust? While dogs might think it’s cool that their […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coccidia – a parasite that is not a worm

Coccidia (pronounced cox-IH-dee-a….kinda rhymes with a semi-laxative yogurt brand) are microscopic parasites that can infect both dogs and cats. We most commonly see it in puppies and kittens, although any age of pet can come into contact with the parasite and contract it. If your veterinarian said your pet’s poop sample tested positive for coccidia, […]

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 […]

Pregnant? You can keep your cat! The scoop on Toxoplasmosis

Many pregnant women go to their first doctor visit and leave with unnecessary fear and anxiety about their beloved cat. Physicians have been getting better in the past years, but there are still some doctors out there who have not kept up with the times, and are telling pregnant women they cannot have a cat […]

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 […]

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 […]

The 10 biggest lies even seasoned pet owners believe

As a practicing veterinarian, I interact with a wide variety of people, from first-time pet owners to the seasoned pros who have owned pets their whole lives. I have noticed some common misconceptions that even the experienced pet owners believe. So, time to end the confusion and lay out the facts! 1 – Cats and […]

The myth of dominance and the alpha dog – not true!

Growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, we were taught by the experts of the time that dogs needed to be in a pack, and that it was important for the human to be the “alpha dog” in that pack. The human had to be dominant, or the other dogs would perhaps try to dominate […]

The cancer cats get in their mouths

I really couldn’t come up with a catchy title. It’s a sucky disease. Cancer sucks. So the title sucks. It’s a theme. But let’s talk about Squamous Cell Carcinoma. It’s a type of cancer that can occur in a variety of places. Humans get it on their skin (reason to wear your sunblock!!). Dogs and […]

Diarrhea in dogs and cats- when to worry

Everyone with a dog or cat has dealt with it at one point. It’s never pretty. It’s diarrhea. Of course, I could write pages and pages on this topic. Our focus here: when do you start to worry? There are many variables at play. The diarrhea could be a nuisance that clears up easily with medication (or on […]

Want to avoid hip dysplasia? Avoid vitamin supplements!

As busy humans eating less-than-ideal diets much of the time, it has been widely recommended we take a multi-vitamin daily to fill in the gaps in nutrition left by our questionable diets. Many people extrapolate that to their dogs needing a vitamin or mineral supplement as well. In puppies, particularly, this can actually cause harm! […]

Why is my dog losing hair on his sides?

Here’s another benign skin problem that can really freak an owner out. Recurrent flank alopecia, also called seasonal or cyclic flank alopecia, is exactly what it sounds. Let’s break it down: Recurrent/cyclic – it comes and goes…..and comes back Flank – the sides of the dog’s belly, behind the ribs Alopecia – fancy word for […]