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General

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing is most commonly performed to determine if a pet has atopy, also known as atopic dermatitis or allergic inhalant dermatitis. Allergy tests can help identify the specific allergens causing a pet’s allergy problem. Once a list of “problem” allergens is identified, a specialized serum containing small quantities of these allergens can be formulated…

After a Loss, the Right Time for a New Dog

The Thompson family fell in love with their rescue puppy, Baxter, as soon as they met him. But adopting Baxter was no easy decision: After losing the second of their two German Shepherds, it took the family four years to get to a point where they could imagine getting another dog. Sally, a black and…

Adventures in Pet Fostering–The Ups and Downs of Part-time Animal Ownership

Last week I suffered a setback in my side job as a foster mom. After placing an adorable, 8-year-old English Bulldog in what I hoped would prove her forever home, she came back. Lulu’s rehoming had lasted all of seven days.It simply wasn’t a good fit. Owner-pet incongruence ranks high among the common pitfalls of…

A Vet’s View on Pet Sitting Disasters and How Best to Avoid Them

Whenever I’m asked how I feel about pet sitting as an alternative to traditional kennel boarding, I always reply strongly in its favor. I treat my own pets to the safety and comfort of an in-home stay whenever I’m out of town… so why wouldn’t I recommend the same for my patients? But as with…

3 Disgusting Parasites Your Pet May Have That You Don’t Know About

The first time it occurred to me that veterinarians have a higher gross-out threshold than most people was during vet school. Ensconced in a booth at a local Mexican restaurant, my classmate and I were flipping flashcards and quizzing each other about diarrhea over a couple of burritos. We were feeling rather chuffed with ourselves…

Having Allergies Doesn’t Mean Passing on Pets

Would you believe there are veterinarians who are allergic to animals? It’s absolutely true. In my 30-plus years as a practicing veterinarian, I have known not only veterinarians but also veterinary technicians and dog trainers who are allergic to animals. Of course, many of them have mild allergies — but not all. Some really have…

What It Really Costs to Own a Pet

Make sure you’re prepared for unexpected pet expenses, like emergency vet visits and destruction of your favorite couch cushions. There is no doubt that being a pet parent brings great joy and fulfillment. But that happiness comes at a cost: From parrots and pythons to Persians and Poodles, every pet has a price tag. Carriers…

Cancer: Now What?

  In July of last year, a young couple brought their two Greyhounds to see me at the clinic. Joel, the 11-year old dog, had begun coughing over the last few days. (Toast, Joel’s faithful companion, came along for moral support.) The couple and I talked about how the dogs were doing, and possible causes…

Why This Veterinarian Really Can’t Stand Retractable Leashes

  Call me a hater, but I detest retractable dog leashes. In fact, few commercial products recruit the wrath of veterinarians the way this one does. Some of us even believe there’s a special place in hell to redress the kind of wrongs wrought by retractable leashes everywhere. And now (predictably, perhaps) it appears the…

Pet Health Insurance 101: Your Policy Shopping Checklist

I’m a pet health insurance devotee, and if a veterinarian thinks it’s worthwhile to insure her animals, you should probably consider purchasing policies for your pets, too. It Just Makes Sense Not buying it? Let me try to convince you with three simple reasons. It buys peace of mind. If you know you can afford…

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