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This section contains information on some of the most common medical problems and issues of dogs and cats. It is designed to assist pet owners in better understanding their pets’ health problems and issues.

  • Adopt a Dog in October
    October is National Adopt-a-Dog and Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month. If you are thinking of adding a new pet into your household, consider adopting a pet from the local animal shelter. These pets may not be the specific breed that you had in mind, but they will make wonderful pets just the same. [...]   Read More »

  • Beware of those fireworks!
    If you’re planning a big Fourth of July celebration, make sure to take special care of your pets. The loud noises can be very frightening to your pets, especially to dogs that are outdoors during the festivities. Dogs are  best kept locked indoors, with some music  or the television (just [...]   Read More »

  • Cancer Pill for Dogs
    Pfizer Animal Health recently began distribution of Palladia, a cancer fighting medication just for dogs, after obtaining FDA approval in June. Palladia is designed to be used in the treatment of mast cell tumors, which are the second most common form of tumors in dogs, according to Pfizer. There are [...]   Read More »

  • Dental Health
    Next time you visit your vet, take the opportunity to get your pet’s teeth checked. Although dogs do not typically develop cavitiies like we do, they can develop plaque and tartar that if left untreated, can lead to more severe problems. Cats do develop cavities and defects in the surface [...]   Read More »

  • Dental Health For Your Pet
    Puppies and kittens are born with deciduous, or baby, teeth. These teeth tend to be very sharp and also somewhat fragile. They begin falling out at about 12 weeks of age, starting with the small front teeth called incisors. Many people do not notice when their pets lose their baby [...]   Read More »

  • Diabetes - In Pets?
    November has been declared Pet Diabetes Month by Intervet, an animal health company. Intervet recently announced that less than 50% of pet owners surveyed were aware of the fact that pets can get diabetes. Diabetes is a life-threatening disease if it is not diagnosed and managed properly. In a 2003 [...]   Read More »

  • Diarrhea is a Common Complaint
    Diarrhea is a common complaint among pet owners. Why do dogs get diarrhea? Well, there are many reasons. One big reason is the dog that eats something that is not part of his normal diet. Many pet owners claim that they watch their pets “every minute” and their dog could [...]   Read More »

  • Dog Park Dangers
    Bringing your dog to the dog park can be an excellent way for your pet to socialize with other animals and get some great exercise, however it can come with a few possible dangers as well.  As long as pet owners understand the risks, they can minimize them.  Here is [...]   Read More »

  • Dogs Love To Chew
    Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs.  Dogs have innate behaviors that come naturally to them, without previous experience.  Although chewing is an innate behavior, dogs can be taught which items are appropriate to chew.   All puppies have the need to chew as part of the teething process.  Puppies [...]   Read More »

  • Exercising With Your Dog
    Fall is right around the corner. That means great weather for you and your dog to get out there and get some exercise. It is very important to exercise your dog to keep him healthy and fit. Exercising your dog will help his heart and lungs as well as build [...]   Read More »

  • Giving Pets as Gifts
    Giving a pet as a gift is fine, as long as proper preparations are made before the gift giving occasion. Buying a puppy or kitten for your own child is one thing, but never give a living creature to someone else’s child unless you’ve discussed it with the adult who [...]   Read More »

  • Halloween Hazards
    It’s getting close to Fright Fest. This year I thought it might be fun to dress up my dog Sophie in a costume. This was an excellent idea as I found a perfectly adorable prisoner’s outfit that says Bad Dog across the back. Since her nickname is Bad Black (she [...]   Read More »

  • Heartworm Awareness
    A mosquito bites an infected dog or cat and ingests heartworm larvae, the larvae then develop in the mosquito.  The mosquito then bites a dog or cat, and injects the larvae into the animal, which develops further and travels to the heart, where it lives and grows and breeds.  Heartworm [...]   Read More »

  • High Blood Pressure
    Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease in humans. Some studies have shown that petting a cat or dog can lower high blood pressure because of the calming effects of the human-animal interaction. Did you know that cats can suffer from hypertension, just like people? Unlike people, cats [...]   Read More »

  • Homeless Pets
    According to a 2004 study by the National Coalition for the Homeless, between 5 and 10 percent of homeless people living outdoors have pets. These homeless individuals often will not enter shelters because they would have to abandon their pets and there are few programs that help feed and care [...]   Read More »

  • Household Hazards
    Just like for a toddler, your home can be full of hazards for your pets. This is especially true if you have a new puppy or kitten, but even adult pets can get injured or ill in your home.   Flavored medications: Beware of flavored medications. While this may make [...]   Read More »

  • Humans and Dogs Are Born to Run!
    Scientists have come up with real proof that both humans and their dogs are wired to run.  The brains of people and dogs produce natural chemicals called endocannabinoids that activate a part of the brain and trigger the sensation of feeling good. Professor Raichlen and colleagues at the University of [...]   Read More »

  • It's All in the Genes
    Did you adopt a dog from the shelter or humane society? Ever wonder what breeds came together to make up your mutt? Well, now you can find out. A new genetics test can be run on a cheek swab from your pooch and let you know with some degree of [...]   Read More »

  • Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat
    This summer is bringing record heat to many parts of the US. It is easy for us to realize when we are too hot, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell if our pets are too hot. Remember that your pets do not sweat and they are wearing a [...]   Read More »

  • Kidney Failure
    With the recently announced recall on many different pet foods, there is information about kidney failure circulating in the media. It is important to understand kidney function and health because kidney disease is quite common in aging pets. Acute kidney failure (or sudden kidney failure) in a previously healthy animal [...]   Read More »

  • Labrador Retrievers with Exercise Induced Collapse have a faulty gene
    EIC, or exercise-induced collapse, is an ailment that afflicts Labrador Retrievers while exercising. Symptoms include weakness in the hind limbs, collapse and even death.This ailment affects 3-5% of Labradors, the most common dog breed in the world. Researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine have identified a mutation in [...]   Read More »

  • Microchipping Your Dog
    Whether your dog is a puppy, adult or senior it is never to late to have them microchipped. It is always recommended to have your dog microchipped even if you plan on keeping them indoors, having an invisible fence put around your property or building a fence around your yard. [...]   Read More »

  • Mosquito Alert!
    This is peak season for mosquitoes in many geographical locations. Not only do these pests deliver itchy bites to us, they also might bite our pets. The problem with the bite of a mosquito for your dog is the potential for that mosquito to deliver the larvae of heartworms into [...]   Read More »

  • National Disaster Preparedness Month
    Pets are part of the family and we want to make sure we are prepared for their evacuation and care during an unexpected disaster.  Visit and for information and tips on topics such as making a disaster kit and devising a plan for before, during and after a disaster.   Read More »

  • National Pet Wellness Month
    National Pet Wellness Month is just around the corner – what are you going to do to celebrate? Why not take your special kitty into the veterinarian for a thorough checkup? Did you know that when your pet has a checkup, many of the things that your veterinarian does are [...]   Read More »

  • New Obesity Drug for Dogs
    According to a 2002 American Veterinary Medical Association study, 40% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Pet owners often do not recognize that their pets are overweight, but even if they do, it can be a daunting challenge to help their pet return to healthy, lean [...]   Read More »

  • Pancreatitis - What Most Vets Will Treat on the Friday after Thanksgiving
    When I was a practicing veterinarian, there were certain things that I knew would always be true. Cats brought from the local junkyard would always try and escape, the full moon would bring all sorts of unusual emergencies to the hospital (think dogs on marijuana), and that we could never [...]   Read More »

  • Pet Dental Health Month
    February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Celebrate this year’s “Pets Need Dental Care, Too” campaign by taking your pets for a dental checkup. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the time they reach 3 years [...]   Read More »

  • Possible Dog Poisonings in Colorado
    In Summit County, Colorado, something has caused 13 dogs to recently become very ill with signs of a neurotoxin (toxin that affects the nervous system). Local vets are unsure what is causing the symptoms, which include stumbling, drooling, seizures, tremors, disorientation and other neurologic signs. Two dogs have died even [...]   Read More »

  • Prostate cancer treatment for dogs may help men who suffer from this type of cancer
    University of Missouri researchers have shown positive results treating dogs with prostate cancer with radioactive gold nanoparticles. This treatment has previously shown effectiveness in mice, but this is the first trial in dogs. This may lead to FDA approval for clinical trials in men suffering from the cancer. Isolating the [...]   Read More »

  • Protect Your Pets and Your Family with Rabies Vaccinations
    Most people have heard of rabies and many of us who saw the Stephen King movie, “Cujo”, hope never to have firsthand experience with this fatal viral disease. As dramatic as that horror movie was, rabies is not very often that obvious. Recently in Canada, seven individuals began receiving the [...]   Read More »

  • Protein and Senior Pets
    Most pet owners still believe that protein restriction for aging pets is a good idea. This blanket treatment of our older pets with restricted dietary protein is not only a bad idea, it may be harmful to their health. There may be some medical conditions for which protein restriction is [...]   Read More »

  • Rally-O
    Rally-O or Rally Obedience is a relatively new sport in the dog world. This sport was invented in the year 2000 by Charles (Bud) Kramer, a retired university professor and dog enthusiast. In 2001, there were just 3 competitions held by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). In 2006, [...]   Read More »

  • Responsible Dog Ownership Month
    September is responsible dog ownership month.  Dogs are unmatched in the loyalty and loving companionship they offer their owners.  Being a responsible dog owner means returning their devotion by taking good care of them.  This includes keeping up with medical care and vaccinations, spaying and neutering if you are not [...]   Read More »

  • Separation Anxiety
    Separation anxiety is a behavioral disorder that many pet dogs suffer. This can be a devastating problem to manage as these dogs become hysterical when they are left behind, often causing damage to the home or injuring themselves. Veterinary behaviorists agree that behavioral modification therapy is critical to successful resolution. [...]   Read More »

  • Spay Day USA
    February 27, 2007 has been declared Spay Day USA 2007 by the Humane Society of the United States. This campaign, which began in 1995, claims that it has resulted in more than one million spays and neuters. Have your pet spayed or neutered to help decrease the unwanted pet population [...]   Read More »

  • Stem Cell Treatment for Arthritis
    Most equine veterinarians are familiar with the use of stem cells to treat various joint ailments, but this is a relatively new phenomenon for small animal veterinarians. At Santa Cruz Westside Animal Hospital, a 2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog was their first patient to receive stem cell therapy for [...]   Read More »

  • Take Care with Flea and Tick Control
    Did you know that 44,000 potential toxicities associated with the use of topical parasite prevention products were reported to the EPA last year alone? There are many over-the-counter flea and tick medications that are available, but are they safe? In an article from the EPA’s website, updated June 23, 2009, [...]   Read More »

  • Take your dog to work day is June 21st
    For many small businesses and those working in the animal health industry, every day is “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”  I can say the highlight of my dog’s week is running to the car Monday morning knowing she’s headed to the veterinary clinic.  Once at work she and the [...]   Read More »

  • The Dangers of Summer Months
    Dogs and cats do not sweat like humans do to cool off, they pant to cool the air they breathe. When walking or running with your dog, check the temperature of the pavement.  They do not wear shoes to protect their feet like we do and very hot pavement can [...]   Read More »

  • The Dental Exam
    The dental exam is a very important part of your pet’s annual check-up.  Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any changes in eating behavior, drooling, odor, pawing at the mouth, dropping food or reluctance to eat.  Your veterinarian will perform a dental exam by looking at the head and [...]   Read More »

  • The Do's and Don'ts of Pet First Aid
    You would not want to further complicate your pet’s condition or do anything to interfere with tests or treatments recommended by your veterinarian.  The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts in regard to providing your pet with safe and effective first aid. DO: Do find out which emergency [...]   Read More »

  • The Housing Crisis Affects Pets Too
    Record numbers of foreclosures have left many homeowners struggling to find a place to live for themselves and their pets. If you are in this situation, please do not abandon your pets. Pets are not able to fend for themselves and will become ill or even die without care. The [...]   Read More »

  • The Three Lines of Pet Identification
    Nearly 1 out of every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their lifetime without proper identification and 90% of lost pets never return home.  Pet identification dramatically increases the chances that your lost pet will be returned home. In veterinary practice, we often are asked the question, [...]   Read More »

  • This Will Not Go Away - Our Pets are FAT!
    Mirroring the obesity epidemic among the human population of the US is an obesity epidemic in our pets. This problem is not going away, despite the warnings in the press and in the vet clinic of the serious medical conditions that go hand in hand with obesity in pets. Overweight [...]   Read More »

  • Top 10 Conditions for Dogs and Cats
    Below are the top 10 claims for dogs and cats as submitted by customers of VPI. The following data is based on claims submitted by VPI policyholders: Top 10 Canine Claims Top 10 Feline Claims 1. Ear infections 1. Lower urinary tract diseases 2. Skin allergies 2. Stomach upsets/gastritis 3. [...]   Read More »

  • Traveling With Your Pet
    The holidays are a busy time for travel and it is becoming more common for people to travel with their pets.  There are many things to consider when making your plans so that travel is safe and relatively stress free.  First, consider the accommodations where you and your pet will [...]   Read More »

  • VPI's Top Ten Reasons Dogs Went to the Vet in 2007
    Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the world’s largest pet health insurance company, analyzes its claims each year to formulate a list of the top reasons that pets were taken to their veterinarian over the past year. The list is out for 2007 and it is an interesting one. The number one [...]   Read More »

  • What in the World is a Zoonosis?
    It’s important! A zoonosis is a disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human. One well known example is rabies. Rabies kills animals and people. There is no cure. You can prevent your pets from becoming infected with a rabies vaccine, administered by your veterinarian. Simple. Rabies [...]   Read More »

  • What to look for when choosing a kennel for your pet
    With the holidays approaching, many pet owners are faced with leaving their pets in the care of others while they travel. For some, a pet sitter visiting the home is the best option to avoid disrupting routines. For others, the decision to board their pet is the best fit and [...]   Read More »

  • Where are your dry foods made?
    We have three manufacturing facilities, all located in the United States. They are located in California, Missouri and South Carolina.   Read More »

  • Working Dogs
    Working dogs are special dogs that have learned to perform tasks.  This term has come to include many jobs dogs enjoy doing with humans.  Examples include service dogs that help people with disabilities such as the visually or hearing impaired and even people who suffer from seizures.  Therapy dogs are [...]   Read More »

  • World Pet Memorial Day
    Memorial Day is a chance for us to honor our military heroes who have passed.  With so many dogs serving in the military, there exist tributes such as the War Dog Memorial in New Jersey for our canine soldiers who have served and died in the line of duty.  For pet owners [...]   Read More »

  • World Rabies Day
    Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Most cases of rabies occur in wild animals such as bats, foxes, raccoons and skunks. However, without responsible vaccination, our pets and humans can become infected as well. Around the world, more [...]   Read More »

This section features current events in the veterinary world and information about pet care that is timely – such as holiday hazards around the holidays or dental care during the month of February. If you would like to see a particular topic, please use our contact form and choose ‘General Feedback, Other’.

Thanks for reading!
Veterinary Technical Services Department

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