All posts by dr. jane

Feline Asthma

Cat resting

People often ask me if cats can get asthma. Unfortunately, the answer is a definite, “Yes”. The signs of feline asthma can come on quite suddenly and can constitute a medical emergency, so let’s review this condition in some detail.

Just like in humans, the airways in cats with asthma become restricted and inflamed. Mucus forms in the respiratory tract and the airway walls spasm. This can lead to wheezing, coughing, tiredness and difficulty breathing. Some cats can also vomit or lose their appetite. A cat having an asthma attack may sit with his head extended and breathe with an open mouth. Open mouth breathing is abnormal in cats. If you see this, consider it a sign of emergency and contact your veterinarian immediately. More...

Be Wary of Dr. Search Engine

Cat with computer

Could that growth on my dog’s back be a mast cell tumor? Is that cough really kennel cough, or perhaps something even worse? My pet is drinking more water – what does that mean? If you have ever gone online to try and diagnose what is wrong with your dog or cat, you have plenty of company.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center indicated that 35% of U.S. adults say they have used the Internet to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have. I imagine if this many people are using the Internet to figure out what is wrong with themselves, then they are most likely searching for what is wrong with their pets as well. More...

Detecting Hidden Signs of Pet Illness

Vet With Dog

Ever wonder why ear infections and skin allergies are the most common reasons pets are taken in to the veterinarian?

It is because these problems are usually pretty obvious and cannot be ignored. Anyone who has discovered an oozing, stinking ear infection or a chewed-bloody-and-bare hot spot will tell you that these are BIG hard-to-miss symptoms that something ‘not quite right’ is going on. More...

New Research on Spaying and Neutering

dog

This month, I’d like to share with you a study on spay and neuter procedures that’s making big waves in veterinary circles. It really has surprised many people. However, before I launch into the review, I want to caution you that sometimes studies can be misleading, so let’s take the following with a grain of salt before we overhaul the way we think about the importance of alteration surgeries.

This new study was published by researchers at the University of California – Davis. It indicates that neutering may adversely impact the risk of some dogs for developing certain cancers and joint problems. This study runs counter to prevailing sentiments, so it’s worth a review of where we stand now. More...

Bumpy Lumpies

dog at vet

Skin problems rank high among the most common reasons that pets go to the veterinarian. Chief complaints include unexplained lumps and bumps that develop on the surface of the skin, under the skin, or even inside the mouth. The good news is that most of the time these swellings are simply benign (non-cancerous) growths. However, it is imperative to have any suspicious growths examined by your vet since they could lead to a more serious condition that may require treatment. More...

Spotlight on Feline Illness - FeLV and FIV

Five beautiful cats

The great thing about cats is that they are superb at being independent and social companions. Most cats enjoy spending time outside playing with other felines. As a pet parent, it is very important that you are aware of some possible dangers associated with having your cat freely roaming outdoors. Since the 1960’s, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) have been spreading amongst the feline population worldwide. While these two diseases are preventable, they are contagious and potentially fatal if they are not detected early enough. The good news is that vaccines are available to decrease the chances that your feline will catch FeLV or FIV. More...

Puppy FAQ

Puppy

To kick off the New Year and the launch of our Large Breed Puppy Food, we’re celebrating everything puppy. If you’re a new pet parent or are simply thinking about adopting a new puppy, we offer the following collection of frequently asked questions about puppies, along with Dr. Jane’s insightful responses.

My puppy often has the hiccups. Is this something I should be concerned about?

For a puppy, hiccups are generally not cause for alarm. Puppy hiccups are usually a harmless, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. Hiccups are experienced by all breeds and sizes, with episodes typically lasting less than a few minutes. Some unborn pups even hiccup inside their mother's womb! While hiccups are harmless, when accompanied by regurgitation, or the sudden discharge of undigested food or water, especially without much provocation, is worrisome. If your pup vomits, especially repeatedly, a veterinary exam is very much in order. More...

Year-End Reflections and Thanks

Dog with Santa hat

During the holidays many of us are swept up in a whirlwind of activities including trimming trees, opening presents and spending time with friends and loved ones. Once the twinkly lights are extinguished, the gifts are distributed and the kids go to sleep with full bellies and warm hearts, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s passed and make resolutions for the upcoming year.

As I look back on 2012, I feel the need to reiterate how truly honored and grateful I feel to be a part of a company devoted to the health and well-being of companion animals. Our products speak for themselves but they all include one important ingredient you won’t find on the label – heart. From our customer service agents to our management team to our dedicated Field Representatives, everyone here at Life’s Abundance plays a part in fulfilling our mission … to help dogs and cats lead longer, healthier and happier lives. More...

A Furry Friend is the Best Medicine

Cavalier

The inclusion of animals in medical settings is nothing new – in fact, dogs and other animals have been visiting hospitals and other medical care facilities for over 150 years. The benefits of using therapy dogs in facilities where comfort and affection may be in short supply have become strikingly evident in recent years – and the need for these canine volunteers has grown exponentially. In fact, many people have asked me what character traits make for a good therapy dog. Since it’s a wonderful way to help someone in need, I’m glad to use this forum to discuss what makes a good therapy dog and give you an introduction to getting your dog started in this most noble of vocations. More...

All Creatures Are Great - Big or Small!

Big dog and a little dog

One of the most amazing things about canines is the astounding range of sizes and shapes they come in. From Saint Bernards to Chihuahuas - and everything in between – there’s a dizzying array of physical variations. This explosion of varieties has happened extraordinarily quickly in terms of evolutionary timescales due to relentless selective breeding by humans and, as a result of our genetic meddling, the dog is now the physically most diverse land animal on the planet.

With the multitude of shapes and sizes in the canine kingdom, you may be surprised to note that only six or seven locations in a dog’s genetic code can explain about 80% of the differences in height and weight among dog breeds. In comparison, in studies on humans, like those conducted by Carlos Bustamente, professor of genetics at Stanford, differences in height and weight in humans are controlled by hundreds if not thousands of genetic variations. More...