Vet Buzz

Vet with puppy
Future DogTrekker Gets A Check-up

Welcome to the award winning Vet Buzz,'s pet health blog with the latest in veterinary medicine, valuable tips and seasonal guidelines to keep your dog safe and healthy at home and on the road. Whether it is caring for an elderly dog, holistic approaches to health care, toxic algae blooms or tick and rattlesnake warnings, our Vet Buzz contributors have you covered.

If you have a specific condition or issue you would like to research, either scroll down through the stories below or use the Site Search box that can be found at the top left of every page. Stay safe, live healthy.

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What bones are safe to give your dog


By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital

I admit it, as a veterinary professional, I cringe when people ask me which bones to feed their dogs. I have seen too many cases of diarrhea from dogs chewing on bacteria-laden bones, vomiting from swallowing a chunk of bone, surgery from bones that will not pass through the intestines, and broken teeth from chewing.  I have also had to remove chunks of bone that become lodged in a dog's mouth, and seen bones cause serious choking problems.

The bones that scare me the most are rib bones and marrow bones. more »

Tips for Visiting the Desert With Your Dog

Desert dog - Rupert Taylor-Price (CC)
Desert dog - Rupert Taylor-Price (CC)

• While winter temperatures in Southern California deserts are mild, heat can still build up fast inside a car. Be very, very cautious about leaving your dog unattended, even for a short while. If you must step away for a few minutes, make sure the outdoor temperature is below 60 degrees, and leave the windows cracked.

• Bring water—lots of water. Dogs, like people, need frequent hydration in a desert climate. It’s a good idea to carry water for both of you wherever you go, whether on foot or in a vehicle. If your dog isn’t trained to drink from a water bottle while hiking, carry a collapsible bowl. more »

Traveling With a Blind or Deaf Dog

Traveling With a Blind or Deaf Dog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital

Deaf or blind dogs can be great travel companions. Most of the issues these dogs have when on vacation have more to do with the disorientation they feel from being in a new place, and less to do with their physical handicaps. Since deaf and blind dogs rely on routine and often map out the lay of the land in their minds, keeping to a routine each day while traveling will lessen any stress your dog may have from being out of his normal environment. more »

Keeping the Holidays Safe for Dogs

You light up my life! <br/> Photo Credit: @justabirddog
You light up my life!
Photo Credit: @justabirddog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital.

The holidays can be stressful and full of temptation for pets as well as people. Those friends and family you entertain can be seen as invading hordes to your dog.

All the lovely, butter-filled treats you work so hard to prepare can cause GI upset and pancreatitis in your dog. Those gorgeous decorations you work so hard to hang, can be awfully tempting to a curious canine companion. And all those things you may think of as just trash, can be just the thing to make your dog dumpster dive his way into an emergency trip to the vet. more »

Motion Sickness

Not Sure I Love Car Rides...
Not Sure I Love Car Rides...

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital.

Traveling with your dog over the holidays is not always easy when your dog has a tendency to get motion sickness. There are a few things you can do to prevent or reduce the vomiting associated with motion sickness. And then there may be a few issues you will need to iron out with the help of your veterinarian. more »

Nasal Discharge and Coughing

Nasal Discharge and Coughing

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland.

There are many underlying causes of nasal discharge and coughing in dogs. The cornerstone of treatment is identifying your dog’s predisposing factors.Your dog’s age, breed, health status (including any pre existing conditions) and lifestyle are important considerations. more »

Cushing's Disease


By Dr. Jennifer Tavares, VMD, and Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital.

Cushing's disease can mimic a lot of other conditions. With its main disease signs of increased water intake, increased urination, increased appetite, a decrease in skin quality, the onset of lethargy, obesity, and loss of muscle tone, it can look a lot like kidney disease or a low thyroid hormone level to your veterinarian. To many lay-people, it may seem to be just the normal signs of old age. more »



By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland.

“Your dog ate what?!” This sentence is uttered in disbelief by veterinarians and veterinary staff every day. Pica is a medical term referring to the act of seeking out and eating non-food items. It is a serious, common and sometimes life-threatening condition often faced by dog owners and their veterinarians. more »

Socializing Your Dog

Socializing Your Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

Beyond all the medical care, feeding, and changes to the household that a new dog will bring, you also need to consider the socialization of your dog.

Just like people, puppies take time to learn about their environment and the people that are going to be in their lives which is why it is important to socialize them. more »

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Please don
Please don't go.

By Chris Pitts, RVT, Broadway Animal Hospital, Eureka

We all want our dog to be bonded to us, but when your dog cannot handle any time away from you, he may have separation anxiety. Your dog can manifest the stress of your absence by chewing furniture, baseboards or door frames, digging, urinating in the house, or even jumping out of windows to try to find you. There are other signs that can be less destructive, but equally intolerable to your neighbors, such as whining or incessant barking.

Separation anxiety is a behavior to be dealt with as soon as possible. more »

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Vet Buzz Contributors

Dr. Bill Barboni
Dr. Bill Barboni of Marin Pet Hospital with his dogs, Rip and Billy. See Dr. Barboni's profile.

Dr. Shannon Leggieri DVM, Marin Pet Hospital
Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland.

Dr. Angela Gaeto with dog
Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. See Dr. Gaeto’s profile.

Dr. Melissa Robinett of Bel Marin Animal Hospital in Novato. See Dr. Robinett's profile.

Dr. Troy
Dr. Erin Troy of Muller Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek. See Dr. Troy's profile.

Dr. Stallings
Dr. Rhonda Stallings of Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma. See Dr. Stallings' profile.

Dr. Pamela Bouchard of Animal Hospital of Cotati. See Dr. Bouchard's profile.

Dr Berger
Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, Veterinarian & Behavior Specialist, San Francisco SPCA. See Dr. Berger's profile.

A veterinarian with a dog
Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, of Holistic Veterinary Care. See Dr. Richter's profile.

Dr. Jennifer Tavares, VMD,
of Broadway Animal Hospital
See Dr. Tavares' profile.


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