Midwest Canine Influenza Outbreak: A New Virus Within the United States

If you keep tabs on dog-related news, you’re probably already aware of the recent outbreak of canine influenza in the Midwest. Chicago appears to be at the epicenter of the epidemic. The first dogs affected by this virus were observed in mid-March of this year. Since then, more than 1,000 known cases have been reported in and around Chicago, and there have even been a few deaths. New virus within the United States Until a week ago, the virus responsible… Read More

New Information about Jerky Treats for Pets

Since 2007, we’ve known that chicken jerky treats manufactured in China can cause gastrointestinal and/or kidney issues in some dogs. Until recently, virtually all commercially sold jerky treats in the United States were manufactured in China. Despite extensive investigations by numerous experts, the actual cause(s) of jerky-induced illnesses has not been identified. When jerky-associated problems were first documented, savvy proprietors of many independently owned pet stores quit stocking Chinese-manufactured jerky treats. More recently, many of the big box stores have… Read More

Raising Awareness About Dog Fighting

Just over a week ago ten people were arrested in Elizabeth, New Jersey in conjunction with an alleged dog fighting ring. Seventeen dogs were found, most with obvious injuries, and all were living in small dirty cages. At the site investigators discovered a pellet gun, a treadmill used to develop dogs’ stamina, and a dog fighting ring stained with blood. Such stories are commonplace in the United States, so much so that it’s easy to become numb to this horrific… Read More

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancerous process that dogs, cats, and people happen to share in common. This disease is also referred to as myeloma and plasma cell myeloma. It is relatively uncommon in dogs and rare in cats. Although not considered curable, myeloma can be successfully treated. What is multiple myeloma? Multiple myeloma cells originate from lymphocytes, a normal type of white blood cell that resides in the bone marrow. These lymphocytes differentiate into a variety of different types of… Read More

Shirley Zindler: Animal Control Officer, Author, and Photographer Extraordinaire

I’ve met some truly extraordinary people in my life, and Shirley Zindler happens to be one of them. I know her from my California days, and have described her as a saint disguised as an animal control officer. Only recently did I learn that Shirley is also a gifted author and photographer. Shirley’s book, The Secret Life of a Dog Catcher is an eye-opening, highly entertaining, and endearing read. Readers are treated to a wonderful variety of animal-related experiences, all… Read More

Pollakiuria: Why is My Pet Urinating More Often Than Normal?

Pollakiuria is a fun word to pronounce, but it’s certainly not a fun symptom to deal with. Pollakiuria means increased frequency of urination. Dogs with this symptom ask to go outside more frequently than normal, often round the clock. The well house trained dog may begin leaving puddles in the house and cats with pollakiuria are in and out of the litter box with increased frequency. Some kitties abandon the box altogether choosing other places to urinate. Pollakiuria caused by… Read More

Therapy Dogs Help People with Cancer

Animal-assisted visits in cancer treatment centers are gaining in popularity. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy can opt for some doggie face time during their treatments. But does this truly influence the patient’s well-being? Until recently, scientific documentation of the benefits of pet-facilitated therapy for cancer patients has been lacking. A study published in the January Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology provides just such evidence. The study titled, “Beneficial effects of animal-assisted visits on quality of life during multimodal… Read More

Who Have You Met Through Your Dog?

For me, the most endearing thing about 101 Dalmatians is the fact that, without their dogs’ involvement, Roger and Anita would likely never have met, fallen in love, and married. Two spotted dogs named Pongo and Perdita ignited this animated romance. Another dog-arranged marriage happened in real life for my dear friend Beth and her husband Michael. As the story goes, while hiking in the forest Beth and her adorable, goofy dog named Nimbo became separated. Given his hound-mix pedigree,… Read More

Transitional Cell Carcinoma in Dogs

Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common cancerous condition affecting the urinary tract of dogs. Scottish Terriers top the list in terms of breed predisposition. What is TCC? TCC is a malignant tumor that most commonly grows within the urinary bladder. It also frequents the urethra, the tube-like structure that drains urine from the bladder to the outside world. TCC can also arise within the prostate gland (males), kidneys, and ureters (the long, narrow tubes that transport urine from… Read More

Puddle Precautions

There’s a lot to be said for a vigorous walk with your dog after a heavy rainstorm. The landscape appears refreshed, the air smells great, and you and your dog get to unleash some cabin fever! As fun as it is to watch your dog splash and play in the puddles you encounter on your walk, some caution is advised. Depending on the surrounding environment, those pools of standing water can harbor some health hazards. Leptospirosis Leptospirosis organisms are bacteria… Read More