How Did You Do? Were You Smarter Than a Vet Student?

Thanks to those of you who played along with my most recent edition of, “Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student”. Posted below are my preferred responses to the questions posed to you one week ago. Responses to the Questions A. The Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine is a “noncore vaccination,” meaning it should be given only to dogs with significant exposure to kennel cough. There’s no reason to give this vaccine to dogs without risk of exposure. Doing so subjects… Read More

Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student?: Honoring Pet Health Awareness Month

In honor of November’s Pet Health Awareness Month, I bring you another episode of “Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student?” For those of you who are new to this assessment of your animal aptitude, here’s the way it works: Read through the questions. Post your responses (one correct response for each question). Once your responses are received I will enter your name into a drawing for a free copy of Speaking for Spot or Your Dog’s Best Health. The… Read More

Veterinarians and Vaccines: A Slow Learning Curve

Am I feeling frustrated and disappointed? You bet I am after reading an article titled, “Vets Slowly Move to 3-Year Vaccine Protocols” in the most recent edition of Veterinary Practice News. According to the article, approximately 60 percent of veterinarians continue to over-vaccinate their adult canine and feline patients by administering “core” vaccinations annually. This in spite of the fact that, for a decade now, it has been public knowledge that these vaccines provide a minimum of three year’s worth… Read More

Resolutions for the New Year That Will Benefit You and Your Pet

The transition to a new calendar year may inspire you to muster the resolve to make good changes in your life. How about the lives of your pets? No time like the present to make some new year’s resolutions that will benefit both of you. Here are three suggestions: More Face Time With Your Pets Our furry family members are more than happy to be our exercise partners, confidantes, psychotherapists, and nonelectric heating blankets. Take advantage of such pet-facilitated services… Read More

A Primer on Leptospirosis

Of all the vaccination questions I receive, the most common one is from folks questioning whether or not to vaccinate their dogs for Leptospirosis.  And I am so pleased they are asking- I love when people recognize that simply handing their dog over for “the works” in response to a vaccination reminder card (or these days, perhaps an email reminder) simply doesn’t make sense. Unlike canine distemper and parvovirus- infectious bad guys that are ubiquitous in the environment and against… Read More

Trends in Veterinary Medicine

Just as human docs are seeing more patients with diabetes, so too are veterinarians.  A first-of-its-kind study conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital (a corporation with more than 770 veterinary hospitals) documents rises in the incidence of diabetes, dental disease, flea infestations, ear infections, and intestinal parasites.  Banfield collected their data from a whopping 2.1 million dogs and 450,000 cats seen during 2010, and then released it as a document called “State of Pet Health 2011 Report.” The entirety of this… Read More

Vaccinations for Your Dog: A Complex Issue

During my last year of veterinary school, I recall how scary it was when a new canine virus—parvovirus—seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Highly contagious, it spread like wildfire throughout the United States, causing severe illness and often death. It was a downright frightening time for veterinarians and the clients they served. Fortunately, an effective vaccine was rapidly developed, and this horrible new virus was downgraded from a rampant deadly infection to a preventable disease. Thank goodness for vaccines! They… Read More