Hollywood’s Impact on Dog Breed Popularity

A Belgian Malinois named Jagger plays the title role in the recently released movie, Max. As the story goes, the canine character Max has served in Afghanistan, and is returned to the United States after his Marine handler/partner is killed in action. Max, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, becomes part of a coming of age story for the killed Marine’s younger brother. Max is pegged to be a summer blockbuster, although the reviews I’ve read have been mixed. Regardless… Read More

Were You Smarter Than a Vet Student About Canine Heatstroke?

Thanks to all of you who tested your knowledge about heatstroke in dogs. Below you will find the answers you’ve been waiting for! Kathleen, one of my regular readers, told me that four San Quentin inmates who participate in the prison’s Pen Pal Program took this quiz and are eagerly awaiting the answers. The Pen Pal Program, sponsored by the Marin Humane Society, pairs shelter dogs in need of training with San Quentin inmates. Sandy, the dog on the cover… Read More

Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student About Canine Heatstroke?

Time once again for the ageless classic, “Are You Smarter Than A Vet Student?” Given the summer season, I’m providing you with the opportunity to test your knowledge about heatstroke. You know what to do. Read the questions and choose the best responses. Then, sit on pins and needles for a week while awaiting the answers to these compelling questions. If you provide me with your answers , I will enter your name into a drawing for a signed edition… Read More

Service Dog Goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

An eight-year-old Golden Retriever named Figo (pronounced “FEE-go”) is my new hero. Figo is a devoted service dog and he recently demonstrated his devotion by putting his life on the line for his human companion Audrey Stone who is legally blind. On June 8th Audrey and Figo went out for their daily walk in Brewster, New York. While crossing a street they were approached by a mini school bus. The bus driver failed to see the twosome, but Figo clearly… Read More

Five Reasons to Consider Fish Oil Supplementation for Your Dog

Fish oil is certainly a popular supplement these days for health conscious people. There are many proven benefits, and we now know that many of these same benefits also apply to our canine companions. What is fish oil? As the name implies, fish oil is derived from marine animals and is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Animals cannot manufacture these fatty acids on their own; they must be consumed in the diet. For this reason they are often… Read More

Quinn playing with Tupi

Five Things Veterinarians Love About Poop Samples

Wouldn’t it be grand if our pets didn’t have to poop? There would be no litter boxes to clean, no carrying plastic bags laden with feces when walking the dog, and no inadvertently stepping in a fresh pile of poo when walking across the lawn. Alas, poop production is simply a normal part of life. What goes in must come out. So, how do veterinarians put a positive spin on pet poop? No problem! Those of us in the profession… Read More

New Legislation Will Protect Pets Involved in Domestic Violence

Any member of a household, including companion animals, can become victims of domestic violence. In fact, fear of what might happen to a pet keeps some human victims from leaving their abusive situation. This is the impetus behind bipartisan federal legislation H.R. 1258, referred to as The Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS Act). This pending legislation has 57 co-sponsors in Congress and the endorsement of many domestic violence and welfare organizations. The American Veterinary Medical Association has just announced… Read More

Pet Food: What You See May Not Be What You Get

Many regulations exist for pet foods, but some recent research questions whether such regulations are adequately protective against pet food mislabeling. A study, conducted at Chapman University’s Food Science Program, suggests that pet food mislabeling is relatively common. The researchers evaluated 52 commercial pet foods and treats marketed for dogs and cats. They used DNA analysis to look for eight meat species (beef, goat, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, goose, and horse) within each product. They then determined if the protein… Read More

Students Organize Puppy Mill Awareness Week

Puppy Mill Action Week begins on May 6th. It is a time to contemplate what we can do to make a positive difference. For some time now, I’ve believed that the very best way to eradicate puppy mills is by educating kids. A child who is aware of the reality of puppy mills can rattle the family conscience, particularly when Mom or Dad are thinking about purchasing a puppy on line or from a pet store. This is the reason… Read More

When Doing the Wrong Thing Feels So Right

Have you ever made the mistake of doing the wrong thing with your dog because, in the heat of the moment, it felt like exactly the right thing to do? Here’s an example of what I’m describing. A few months ago, my husband and I went horseback riding in Pisgah National Forest, located in western North Carolina. The day was crisp and cold, and the ground was covered with slushy snow. As we chugged along trying to stay warm, the… Read More