All posts by dr. jane

What to Do if You Suspect Animal Hoarding

Dog Pen

Animal hoarding is not just a complicated psychological disorder, it’s a public health danger. Most recently popularized by Animal Planet’s ‘Confessions’, animal hoarding is a growing problem in the U.S. Current estimates put the number of animals trapped every year in hoarding situations at 250,000. Experts believe that many more remain unreported, and thus uncounted. Dogs and cats aren’t the only species ‘collected’ … reptiles, rabbits, birds, rodents, even farm animals may be accumulated by hoarders. More...

End of Life Considerations

vet, dog and pet parent

With advances in veterinary medicine in the past 30 years, we now have more tools than ever before to treat disease. As a consequence, dogs and cats are living longer, which means plenty of visits to the vet’s office.

As long as there are no major medical issues to contend with – just wellness checks and treatments for the occasional injury or illness – there’s a pretty low level risk of tension between a vet and a pet parent. But when things go badly, such as with a terminal diagnosis, that risk can escalate dramatically. Pet parents can often be so uncomfortable thinking about end-of-life care, much less talking it through, that they become defensive when discussing treatments for a terminally ill companion animal.More...

Common Pet Dangers

Vet with shepherd

What do you think are the most common pet poisonings? Rat poison? Insecticides? The Pet Poison Hotline publishes a list of most common poisonings reported in dogs and cats - many of these items are non-toxic to humans but can be deadly to fur babies. In this month’s post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the dangers lurking in your home and how to best to protect your pet kids. More...

Lyme Disease - An Emerging Problem

Trail

It’s the height of summer, which means that mountain trails, bucolic meadows and forested thickets are beckoning your dog to romp and explore. This impulse may be at odds with concerns about new research on Lyme disease, which may have you more inclined to restrict your canine companion’s activities to the Great Indoors. Before you put the kibosh on outdoor fun, make sure you know all the facts about canine Lyme disease. More...

Questionable Behavior

Cat and Dog playing chess

We love our companion animals. But sometimes their actions are mystifying, if not altogether baffling. Fortunately, our own Dr. Jane is on-hand to offer some rationale behind some of the most perplexing pet behaviors. More...

Doctor, What is that Smell?

Boston Terrier Puppy

If you’ve ever noticed a foul odor wafting from your pet’s hind end, there's a chance that anal sacs may be the source of the problem. As any pet parent will tell you, nothing smells as uniquely terrible as the material emitted from these glands. More...

Cynophobia

Dog Barking

Imagine walking down the road. Suddenly, you are confronted by a large, snarling dog heading directly for you. Try to imagine your level of fear. If you were once terrorized by a dog earlier in life, multiply that fright by a factor of ten. Your heart would race, your body would start to shake and your breathing would become shallow and rapid. These reactions are caused by a surge of hormones, such as adrenaline, often referred to as the ‘fight or flight response’. It’s how your body reacts to a perceived threat, and it’s totally normal. More...

The Secret of the Dog Bow

Dog Playing

Pet parents often ask me, “Why does my dog bow?” The answer is more complicated than you might think, as it often is with our wonderfully complex canine companions. Dog bows serve as building blocks of dog communication and also have a physiological function in the stretching referred to as pandiculation. The reason behind each bow depends on when the dog engages in the behavior. Let’s talk about this unique form of stretching first. More...

Benefits of Dental Care vs. Anesthesia Fears

February is National Pet Dental Month, and a great time to talk to your veterinarian about the state of your pet’s mouth and, if needed, schedule a dental cleaning.

There is a price to pay for neglecting your companion animal’s dental health. It’s a long-term cost that’s potentially much higher than the short-term fees associated with a dental cleaning. Several problem areas can develop as a result of poor dental care: excessive tartar, tooth decay, periodontal disease and oral abscesses. These conditions can be the gateway to other major medical conditions involving the heart, liver and kidneys. As with humans, such advanced dental disease can diminish your pet kid’s quality of life and even shorten lifespan. More...

Heart Health for Humans and Pets

Heart Health Awareness Month is right around the corner, beginning February 1st. While technically concerned with human heart health, I think it’s vital that we expand the scope of the conversation to address canine and feline heart health, too.

Most people have a basic understanding of the risks of heart disease in humans, but when it comes to the heart health of our pet kids, that area remains a mystery to many. More...