Time Magazine and Designer Dogs

My last blog post included a bit of ranting about puppy mills and the importance of purchasing puppies responsibly. While it’s unusual for me to rant two weeks in a row I simply can’t resist given what I just viewed in the September 8-15 edition of Time magazine. The Time cover states, “The Answers Issue: Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know.” When I initially glanced at the centerfold’s jazzy appearing infographic titled, “Where Do Designer Dogs Come From?”… Read More

New Research That Raises Questions About Current Neutering Recommendations

Results from a hot-off-the-press study published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, raise questions about traditional neutering recommendations within the United States where most veterinarians advise that dogs be neutered at a young age in order to induce sterility and eliminate behavioral issues before they have a chance to begin. This new information along with data from other recent studies are a prompt for all of us to reconsider current neutering dogma. The title of the newest… Read More

Hybrid Vigor: Real or Assumed?

Many of us talk about “hybrid vigor”- the notion that mixed-breed dogs avoid the inherited medical maladies passed along to their purebred counterparts. Does proof exist that mixed-breed dogs are indeed healthier? An article  within the most recent edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association helps answer this question. Titled “Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995-2010)”, this study determines the proportion of mixed-breed and purebred dogs with 24 common genetic disorders… Read More

Back at the Keyboard

Following a brief medical leave of absence I’m thankfully back at the keyboard.  I’d like to draw your attention to a PetConnection blog post I wrote in which I discuss a study that examined the causes of death in more than 70,000 purebred dogs (82 breeds represented).  While some of the data presented was rather predictable (at least for those of us who have worked with the particular breeds studied), some of the findings were surprising and fascinating.  I invite you… Read More

Dogs That Fly

The United States Department of Transportation recently released breed-related information about dogs that have died while traveling in the cargo compartments of airplanes since May 2005. Of the 122 dogs that died, 108 were purebred. Brachycephalic breeds (ones I affectionately refer to as “smoosh faced”) such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs represented approximately half of the purebred dogs that took their last breath while in the plane.     You’d have a tough time finding a veterinarian who would be… Read More

A Dozen Simple Ways to Be Certain You Are Working With a Reputable Breeder

So, you’ve decided to adopt a dog and feel certain that a purebred is your heart’s desire.  You’ve done your research to be sure that the size and temperament of the breed you’ve chosen is the right fit for you, your lifestyle, and everyone else who lives with you (including both two-legged and four-legged family members). Now, what’s the best way to find this dog of your dreams?  Here are some good options for finding your new dog (hopefully, we… Read More

Puppy Mills: Part II

I received an abundance of feedback in response to my recent blog about puppy mills.  Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your feelings concerning this emotional topic.  Virtually all of the comments expressed agreement that puppy mills are despicable and we wish they would cease to exist.  They also included important ideas that prompted me to think, “Wow, I wish I’d included that in my blog!”  Needless to say, I can’t resist sharing these wonderful… Read More

Puppy Mills: People and Their Puppies Pay the Ultimate Price

Twice during the last month, I’ve experienced feelings of anger while in the midst of euthanizing one of my patients.  Normally I feel mostly sadness, often combined with an element of relief knowing that suffering is gently and humanely coming to an end.  Anger is an unusual visitor, but this emotion is sure to surface whenever I euthanize the innocent victim of a puppy mill (puppy mills are large scale breeding operations that produce puppies for profit with little or no… Read More

The Results Are In!

Thanks to everyone who provided their guesses about the breed composition of my puppy, Quinn.  I was chastised a bit for not providing enough information about his height (his back comes to just below my knee), his weight (he’s 18 pounds soaking wet), and his behavior (he’s wonderfully animated and super quick and agile).  Here were the breed guesses provided:  -Papillon -Corgi -Sheltie -Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -Rat Terrier -Collie -Spaniel -Australian Shepherd -Basenji -Chihuahua -Border Collie -Nova Scotia Duck… Read More

The Wisdom of Knowing…… or Not

Our puppy Quinn came to us via a local rescue organization.  Apparently, he was next in line for the needle at an overcrowded shelter in Bakersfield.  Although he has been part of our family for six months now, I remain clueless about his breed ancestry.  This is unusual for me- I’m like one of those people who guesses people’s weights at the circus.  Only, what I’m good at guessing is which breeds have gone into the making of a mutt. … Read More