Welcome to the award winning Vet Buzz, DogTrekker.com’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.

Spring safety tips for dog owners

Understanding and managing risks for a safe outdoor experience When venturing out with your dog during spring, it’s important to be proactive about various risks to ensure a safe and … Continued  Read more.

Groundbreaking cancer vaccine for dogs

Hunter is one of the dogs who has been helped by the vaccine. Photo by Yale University.
A groundbreaking cancer vaccine for dogs, heralded as “truly revolutionary” by experts, is making significant strides in clinical trials that commenced in 2016. This vaccine, aimed at improving cancer treatment … Continued  Read more.

Is it OK for my dog to sleep on my bed?

Snuggling up with your furry friend at night can bring a whole new level of comfort to your sleep routine. But is it OK for your dog to sleep on your bed? Let's explore the cozy world of canine cuddles and find out!  Read more.

Here are some tips for bathing your dog

How often should I bathe my dog? It depends on the individual dog and its breed, but generally, dogs can be bathed every 4-6 weeks. Some dogs may need more frequent baths if they have skin issues, live in a dirty environment, or get into things that make them dirty.  Read more.

Traveling safely with your dog

Photo by Spencer Gurley Films on Pexels.
When it comes to traveling with our dog, safety should always be a priority. Unfortunately, there are some dangers we may not even think of when planning our trip.  Read more.

Why is my dog coughing?

There are a number of reasons your dog may be coughing. Here are a few possibilities. If you’re worried, please consult your vet. Kennel Cough Kennel cough is a highly … Continued  Read more.

Finding a vet on the road

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. With the holidays approaching, more and more people plan to hit the road with their canine companions. Whether your dog has pre-existing medical conditions or not, it is important to plan ahead for any necessary or unforeseen medical care that might be needed during your adventure. This takes some time and investigation  Read more.

How to Remove A Tick

By Chris Pitts, RVT, Broadway Animal Hospital Ticks are gross. They carry diseases, and they are literal blood-sucking parasites. Their entire life is dedicated to waiting until an unsuspecting host walks by, jumping on said host and sucking them dry. Eww.  Read more.

Good and bad of dog kisses

Photo by Tony Alter (cc).
By Chris Pitts, RVT, Broadway Animal Hospital Think your dog may be a good candidate for the Valentine's Day kissing booth? Let's take a quick look at what goes on inside your dog's mouth before you sign him up.  Read more.

Winter woes and wags

By Aaron Teixeira, MSc Shelter Behavior Manager, SF SPCA With winter now in full effect, cold rain, snow and ice can complicate our dogs’ exercise routines. Regardless of the weather, it is important to remember that our dogs still need daily exercise for physical and mental wellbeing.  Read more.

Paring Down Your Portly Pup

By Chris Pitts, RVT at Broadway Animal Hospital Feeling like your dog might be a little plump? If you can't see a waistline on your dog. If you cannot feel his ribs under his chubs, then you might be right.  Read more.

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ve probably seen him eat grass and wondered why. The old myth that “dogs eat grass to relieve an upset stomach” doesn’t quite appear to be true.  Read more.

Shedding Concerns

By Dr. Sophie Liu, SF SPCA Resident in Behavior Medicine Aside from being the largest organ, skin also plays a critical role in health and, equally, is reflective of your dog’s health. Because of selective breeding, many dog breeds have developed different types of fur with varying maintenance and grooming requirements. All dog coats, however, require a balance of high quality nut  Read more.

Choosing a Final Good-Bye Away from the Vet’s Office

By Dr. Jeannine Berger, SF SPCA Veterinarian & Behavior Specialist After giving us a lifetime of unconditional love, devotion, and loyalty, dogs carry only one fault. And that one fault is that they just don’t live as long as we often hope. So, after receiving a lifetime of beauty and selflessness, how do we honor them in their darkest hour? In fact, one of the most compassionate actions   Read more.

Vet Buzz: Healing, Health and Happiness for Your Dog

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, Claremont Veterinary Hospital Advances in veterinary care continue to help us take care better of our four-legged kids. More research has lead to a wider menu of options for treating your dog's challenges, including trauma, pain, osteoarthritis, soft tissue injuries, anxiety and neurological inflammation.   An exciting new device that offers a safe, scientificall  Read more.

How We Know Dogs Can Feel Our Emotional Stress

By Dr. Sophie Liu, SF SPCA Resident in Behavior Medicine It’s hard not to feel stressed in today’s environment. So, of course, it makes sense to turn to our fluffy companions for a daily dose of love, affection, and stress reduction. But the same qualities that make dogs such great companions also make them highly attuned to our emotions and behaviors.    Read more.

Vet Buzz: Fireworks anxiety

Your dog's sense of hearing is one of his best strengths, but when it comes to those glorious loud kabooms on the fourth of July, his hearing is his greatest foe. To him, those explosions sound like a 747 landed in the front yard, and may send him hiding under the bed, urinating on the floor or chewing up the door frame to escape.  Read more.

Vet Buzz: Foxtail

By Sophie Liu, DVM “Foxtails” are the colloquial term for the seed-dispersal unit of a common weed, often called “grass awns” in other parts of the country. Once inside the body, foxtails usually require immediate veterinary care to manually remove them.  Read more.

Vet Buzz: Pyometra

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. Pyometra refers to an infection of the uterus. It is a very serious and life threatening condition requiring immediate medical intervention. Pyometra is preventable.  Read more.

Finding the Right Vet

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. Finding the right veterinarian can be a stressful process. It is important that both you and your furry companion connect and trust the doctor you choose.  Read more.

What to Do If You Are Allergic to Your Dog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital Finding out you are allergic to your dog is an absolute bummer. You're a dog person. You snuggle in the evenings, get out on the weekends, trade goofy dog memes with friends. All that is gone now that you found out you are allergic to your dog... or maybe not. There are a lot of questions that need answering.  Read more.

What to Do When You Find a Lost Dog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital You wonderful person, you found a lost dog and now you want to find this lost dog's human. If the dog has a collar and a tag, locating the human is usually a no-brainer. But what about when the phone number on the tag is out of order or there is no collar or tag to refer to? Don't worry, there are options.  Read more.

It’s winter: Dogs and mushrooms alert

Photo credit: VIA FLICKR/EJBSF (CC)
DogTrekker.com recommends that if your dog eats any type of wild mushroom, you need to seek immediate veterinary care, even if your dog is not showing symptoms. Also, the ASPCA recommends bringing a mushroom sample in a moist paper towel or paper bag instead of putting the mushroom in a plastic bag.  Read more.

Four ways to a happier deaf dog

Photo by Anna Kumpan.
There is a funny trait of many owners of deaf dogs. They tell me, as I talk kindly to their deaf dog, “My dog can't hear you,” and then they look really irritated when I continue to prattle along lovingly to their dog as I take him into the treatment room.  Read more.

Benefits of Being a Dog Parent

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. A dog in your life can mean a healthier and happier life for you. There is the obvious benefit of an increase in exercise because you will need to take you dog out for daily walks. But there is also the potential to be more social on those walks if you join a group of like-minded dog people. Walking with others will make you more likely to be co  Read more.

Halloween Safety Tips

By Gary Richter, M.S., D.V.M., C.V.C., C.V.A., Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA Halloween is right around the corner, and so are potential dangers that could affect your dog—loud noises, big costumes, chocolate and other sweets, etc. Here are a few tips from Dr. Gary Richter, medical director of the award-winning Holistic Veterinary Care of Oakland, California.  Read more.

Tips for traveling with a puppy

Traveling with a puppy takes planning to keep your pup safe and content. Photo by Berkay Gumustekin.
By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. Traveling with a puppy means being prepared. Prepared to get your puppy out to eliminate often. Prepared with vaccines. And prepared with distractions.  Read more.

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. September is National Preparedness month, which reminds us that we need to think about disasters before they have a chance to impact our families. This means we need to include our furry family members in our plans as well!  Read more.

The Importance of Play for Your Dog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. Dogs need to play. Play is a great way for your dog to let off steam and offers him learning opportunities, as well. Play will strengthen your dog's bond to you, improve his health and yours too. Going easy on the quick bursts of speed will also increase the amount of time your dog will be able to enjoy exercise and be less likely to get arthrit  Read more.

Safe and Unsafe Human Medications for Dogs

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. With all kinds of medication available to humans over the counter, many pet owners are tempted to give pets the same medication to avoid a trip to the vet. However, not all human medications can be administered to pets with the same result. There are also different drug interactions in pets and people, so  Read more.

Raw Food Diet: Good or Bad?

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. To cook or not to cook? That is the age old question. The argument over the potential benefit and safety of raw diets has been heavily debated for decades. Proponents describe raw diets as natural and similar to what a dog might eat in the wilderness. There are a variety of raw diets and many differences in how   Read more.

What to Do If Your Dog Runs Off While Traveling

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. Be prepared! Have a collar and tag with your cell phone number, not a landline number, especially if you are traveling. If you are on the road, be sure you have downloaded the DogTrekker mobile app that has an Emergency Services tab where you will find the closest local shelter who takes in lost dogs, with phone numbers, distances and drivi  Read more.

Water Safety Guidelines

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. When the whole family is out enjoying water activities, be sure to consider the safety and well-being of your pets as well!  Read more.

Tips on Traveling With a Senior Dog

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. Our senior dog friends can be sensitive to change. Therefore, preparation is key to traveling with our older companions. Building a sense of familiarity for your dog while on your trip is imperative to keeping him comfortable.  Read more.

Xylitol Poisoning

By Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVA, CVC, GDVWHM, Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA Xylitol is a commonly used artificial sweetener found in a wide range of products for people. Xylitol is present in sugar free gum, candy, low calorie foods, and even some medications. From a human perspective xylitol is desirable because it can satisfy our sweet tooth and for diabetics, it provides a means t  Read more.

Five Tips for Helping Your Dog Deal With Grief

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. There are many resources on how a person can cope with the loss of their beloved dog (articles, books, online blogs, support groups, and more). There are not as many resources focused on helping a surviving dog deal with the loss of a canine companion. Dogs experiencing this kind of grief can suffer in a variety of w  Read more.

Cannabis for Pets

By Gary Richter, MS, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA As more and more people discover the benefits of medical cannabis for themselves, many pet owners are wondering if there are similar benefits for their furry family members. As it turns out, the use of cannabis in animals is nothing new. Cannabis has been used in veterinary medicine for nearly as long as humans have used it to treat   Read more.

The Advantages of a Plant Based Diet For Your Dog

From the editors: Many pet parents are interested in plant-based diets for their animals for ethical, environmental and health reasons, such as allergies. This week we turn to Jan Allegretti, for her take on plant-based diets. At the end of the article, we will provide some additional links to other opinions regarding this important topic. by Jan Allegretti, D.Vet.Hom., author of The Complete Hol  Read more.

Yes, Your Dog Can Catch the Flu Too.

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. Over the past three months, almost every other call we’ve received at our hospital has been regarding the “dog flu.” While cases of canine flu are on the rise in California, as an informed dog owner, it is important to understand what canine flu is, which dogs are at risk, the clinical signs of canine fl  Read more.

The Benefits of Crate Training

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital Crate training is awesome! Puppies and adult dogs alike can really benefit from having a place to call their den. Crate training can cut down on inappropriate elimination in the house, diminish your dog's stress, and simplify traveling with your furry friend. Make the crate as inviting as possible.  Read more.

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  Read more.

Traveling with a blind or deaf dog

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.  Read more.

Keeping the Holidays Safe for Dogs

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 te  Read more.

Motion Sickness

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.  Read 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 ve  Read more.

Pica

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.  Read more.

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 so  Read more.

The Importance of initial Core Vaccines in Dogs

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Over the years, veterinarians have seen a growing trend in clients who decide not to get their pets vaccinated. Sometimes it is the misplaced fear that the vaccines will cause more problems than they prevent but other times it is the lack of funds by the people who have acquired a new pet.  Read more.

Unexpected Toxic Substances in the Kitchen

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. While a well balanced kibble is the best maintenance diet for your furry friend, reality is an occasional table scrap may “sneak” into your dog’s daily or weekly routine. So if you are cooking alongside your four-legged companion it’s essential you know the “OKs” and “absolutely n  Read more.

Bringing Home A New Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. There are a lot of things to think about when bringing a new dog into your home. 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 pet.  Read more.

Pet Insurance

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. One of the most frequent questions I receive from pet owners is "Should my dog have health insurance?" The pet health insurance industry is growing rapidly. With many different companies and plans available it has become difficult for owners to navigate the many options and decide which plan, if any, is best fo  Read more.

Sun Safety for Your Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Summer's here! It's essential to protect your dog from the hazards of hot weather and practice sun safety. Sun safety means avoiding the dangers of both sunlight exposure and heat exposure. While plenty of dogs have thick coats to protect them from sunlight, many dogs with white or light colored   Read more.

Snake Bites

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. With abundant rainfall across the state the hills are green with lush landscape this spring. As rodents thrive in this green environment so do their predators. This year promises to attract an increased number of snakes following their rodent prey into areas we frequent with our dogs. It is important to know how to avoid,  Read more.

Water Safety

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM, MS of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. There is no better exercise for your dog’s health than swimming. But before you and your furry friend dive in this summer, there are certain precautions you should take to maximize health benefits and minimize hazards.  Read more.

Is Your Dog Itchin’ and Scratchin’?

By Melissa Robinett, DVM, Bel Marin Animal Hospital, Novato, CA It’s late spring and allergy season is in full swing. As all humans with allergies know, we still don’t have a cure for this condition. The same is true for our allergy-prone canine companions, so management of this chronic, often frustrating disease is the goal.  Read more.

Marijuana Toxicity

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. With the passing of recent legislation legalizing marijuana in California, many pet parents have raised questions regarding marijuana use and toxicity in dogs.  Read more.

Ear Infections

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. As a veterinarian, I quite frequently see ear shaking, scratching, or rubbing in my exam room. These are some of the most obvious signs of an infected or inflamed ear canal. Other clinical signs such as redness, discharge or odor often require closer visual inspection of the ear. If you note any of these previously mentioned   Read more.

Tick-Borne Disease

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. As rain and floods sweep across the state it seems appropriate to discuss tick-borne diseases. Ticks thrive in moist, humid, lush environments, particularly following periods of rainfall. In winter and spring especially, dogs are at greater risk of becoming exposed to ticks during walks, hikes or even in their own backyards.   Read more.

Leptospirosis and Your Dog

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM of Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland. As water levels rise across the Bay Area this winter, so has the number of documented canine leptospirosis cases. This has led to a flurry of articles, TV segments and worried owners calling veterinarians to ensure their dog has the “lepto vaccine." It is essential that, as a dog owner, you know the facts, risks a  Read more.

Canine Dental Health

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Dental development Dogs have a set of baby teeth and a set of adult teeth just like people do.  Read more.

Dog Sitting vs. Boarding

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. As much as we'd like to always take our four-legged family members with us when we travel, unfortunately, there are times when we have to leave them behind. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to board your dog or leave him with a dog sitter.  Read more.

Unsafe Toys

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. There is no one definition of an unsafe toy. Many toys can be unsafe in the mouths of the wrong dog.  Read more.

Heartworm disease in dogs

Heartworm disease is a parasite carried by mosquitoes that can infect dogs. This parasite is widely distributed throughout the United States with the highest concentration of infections in the areas of heaviest mosquito populations.  Read more.

Disaster Preparedness

Photo Credit: KC Creations By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM/MS, Claremont Veterinary Hospital, Oakland, CA No one can predict when a natural disaster may strike. When it does, it is essential to have a plan for every member of your family including the four-legged ones.  Read more.

Understanding and Treating Arthritis

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Arthritis is the general term for inflammation in a joint. Early in life bones are well protected by cartilage at the joint surfaces and well padded with joint fluid. As dogs age, this cartilage starts to break down and the joint fluid is thicker. Therefore bones are less protected from wear and tear crea  Read more.

Microchipping Your Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Microchips are small metal implants that go underneath the skin into the connective tissue. The purpose of the microchip is to uniquely identify your dog.  Read more.

Canine Snoring

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Snoring is caused by obstruction of the nasal passages or trachea that leads to airway constriction. The first thing to know about snoring is that it can be both normal and abnormal in dogs, and there are numerous reasons for each.  Read more.

Benefits of Adopting an Adult or Senior Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Adult and in particular senior dogs are often overlooked at shelters in favor of boisterous puppies. However, there are many benefits to adopting an adult or senior pet.  Read more.

Vet Buzz: Car Travel

By Dr. Shannon Leggieri, DVM/MS, Claremont Veterinary Hospital, San Rafael, CA As you pack up the car for an adventure this fall, don’t forget your favorite four-legged companion. Car travel can be a fun and safe experience with your pet if you adhere to a few easy tips.  Read more.

Balancing Your Dog’s Diet

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Dogs should be on a food appropriate for their activity level, life stage, and desired weight. When dogs need to lose weight owners can cut back their calories starting with a 20-25% reduction. Many times overweight dogs eat an appropriate amount of food but get too many treats.  Read more.

Lumps and bumps on your pet

There are all kinds of lumps and bumps we can find on our pets. The likely cause of these bumps varies based on breed, age, size, location, and consistency. Veterinarians use all of these factors to help determine what’s going on with your pet.  Read more.

Rattlesnake 101 for You and Your Dog

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. • Rattlesnakes are the only native venomous snake species to California. • Rattlesnakes are more prevalent in the spring and summer.  Read more.

Acupuncture for Dogs

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Acupuncture is a system of Chinese medicine that revolves around the idea that there is a system of meridians that run through the body. Meridians can be thought of as highways through which energy flows. Sometimes these highways have blockages that cause local or systemic problems. Acupuncture uses needl  Read more.

Overweight Pets

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Due to the wide variety of breeds of dogs there is no set ideal weight for every pet. Veterinarians typically use a scale from 1-9 called body condition scoring to determine where your pet's weight falls on the ideal scale for its frame.  Read more.

Cancer Care

Understanding the Mechanics, Options, and Outcomes Gary Richter, MS, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA Within the realm of medicine, few terms elicit as visceral a response as “cancer.” The dreaded disease often strikes unexpectedly and is life threatening.  Read more.

Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby

By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, San Francisco SPCA A new baby in your home is an exciting, yet challenging time for everyone, including your dog. The time to prepare your pet for the arrival of your new little one is as soon as you know you are expecting. If your dog has several months to learn the new rules and routines, the chances for a peaceful transition are better.  Read more.

Recognizing and Treating Pain in Our Pets

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Recognizing pain Pain can be a difficult thing to recognize in our pets. Most owners will notice a limp, scratch, or yelp from their pet but slow onset and chronic pain can be difficult to determine in pets of any age. Dogs try and hide their pain instinctually. Since animals can’t talk we have to   Read more.

Not All Chocolate Is Created Equal

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Chocolate is toxic to dogs because of a compound known as theobromine. Theobromine acts similar to caffeine. While it is relatively rare for chocolate toxicity to be fatal, it can cause very serious illness in many dogs.  Read more.

Treating Your Dog’s Osteoarthritis

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, CVPP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Osteoarthritis is a common disease in many dogs and can start as early as two years of age. It crosses all lines including gender, breed and size. Thankfully there are many options available to slow the progression of disease and ease the pain and decline in quality of life.  Read more.

Spaying or Neutering Your Dog

By Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA There are a lot of reasons that we recommend you spay or neuter your dog. Some reasons have to do with your dog's behavior. Other reasons have to do with your dog's health.  Read more.

National Pet Dental Health Month

Proud dog showing off his pearly whites. Photo Credit: Stephanie (CC) By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Dental cleaning is the deep teeth cleaning provided to dogs to maintain good oral hygiene. Veterinary dental cleaning involves general anesthesia. This is often an owner's number-one concern. The level of anesthetic risk that   Read more.

Myth Busters Part 2

Photo Credit: SailorHitch (CC) By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Dog myths: Dogs should have a litter before being spayed. It is a myth that dogs need to have a litter before being spayed. Some people correlate behavior issues with the hormone changes associated with spaying a dog, which is where this myth originated.  Read more.

Myth Busters

Photo Credit: This Year's Love (CC) Treats, chew toys, rawhide bones: what should we really be concerned about? By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Treats There are many types of treats that are safe and good for pets. The most important thing to remember about treats, whether they come in the form of human food or specific dog made t  Read more.

Thanksgiving and Giving to Our Pets

Photo Credit: Elevated (CC) By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Every year, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is a large spike in pets that come to see the veterinarian because of diarrhea, vomiting and/or pancreatitis.  Read more.

Leash Reactivity 101

Photo Credit: Sangudo (CC) By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, Veterinarian & Behavior Specialist, San Francisco SPCA. Leash reactivity is a very common problem and can happen to any dog guardian – don’t be embarrassed. It is common to see leashed dogs pulling or lunging towards another dog, barking, or even growling and snapping when they see another dog on leash, or more so when they ar  Read more.

Blue-Green Algae Blooms

Blue green algae in Clear Lake By Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA You may see signs in the late summer and early fall warning you to keep out of ponds and lakes. This is because of the potential for exposure to blue-green algae. These algae produce toxins (microcystins and anatoxins) that can affect your dog’s nervous system and cause liver failur  Read more.

Canine Medical Innovations Part 2

Photo Credit: Irish Typepad (CC) By Gary Richter, MS, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care This article is the second of a two-part series on some of the latest and greatest canine medical innovations. In the last DogTrekker.com newsletter, I addressed two medical innovations that have been both rapid and effective in providing better quality and quantity of life for pets – stem cell therapy and  Read more.

Latest and Greatest Canine Medical Innovations (Part 2)

Prosthetics for pets. Photo credit: Irish Typepad (CC) By Gary Richter, MS, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA. This article is the second of a two-part series on some of the latest and greatest canine medical innovations. In the last DogTrekker.com newsletter, I addressed two medical innovations that have been both rapid and effective in providing better quality and quantity of lif  Read more.

Latest and Greatest Canine Medical Innovations Part 1

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Photo courtesy: Holistic Veterinary Care By Gary Richter, MS, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care, Oakland, CA As a veterinarian, it is my job and my passion to provide animals with the best medical care possible. This mission has lead me to explore facets of science and medicine ranging from the ancient to the most cutting edge technologies of the future. In recent year  Read more.

Summer Safety for Pets

Photo Credit: Donna Tomlinson (CC) By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. Hiking Safety Hiking is a fun summer activity that even pets can get involved with. There are a few basic things to remember when taking your dog out on a trail.  Read more.

Canine Influenza

Photo Credit: Yoel Ben-Avraham (CC) By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County. More than 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area have been diagnosed with a new strain of canine flu. While there are currently no California cases, the flu is very contagious and we may see cases across the country. The recent Chicago strain is new to the United States.   Read more.

Rattlesnake 101 for You and Your Dog

Rattlesnake. Photo: theCelestrian (CC) Here are a few things you may not know about that rattlesnake by the trail... 1. Rattlesnakes are the only venomous snake species native to California. 2. Rattlesnakes are more prevalent in the spring and summer. 3. They really do have a rattle on their tail that they shake to ward off danger. So if you hear a rattle and see a beige and white snake, back a  Read more.

Traveling With Your Dog

Many pets travel by car each year and some enjoy it tremendously. To prevent your dog from jumping out a window, or being seriously injured in the event of a car accident, restrain your dog with a doggie car seat or keep it safely in a dog crate.  Read more.

Marijuana toxicity and your dog

Marijuana has been getting a lot of press lately. Now legal in several states, marijuana use is on the rise, and so are the incidences of canine marijuana toxicity. Touted as a treatment or cure for illnesses as varied as vertigo and cancer in humans, marijuana has been shown to be quite toxic to dogs.  Read more.

Fleas and Ticks

Itchin' and scratchin'. (CC) Colin Northway By Dr. Rhonda Stallings, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital Each year, the flea problem seems to be getting worse and worse. Products that have been working for years now appear to have lost their effectiveness.  Read more.

Safe Coastal Travels for Your Dog

By Dr. Jennifer Tavares, Broadway Animal Hospital, Eureka. California’s North Coast is beautiful and very dog-friendly. Dogs face more hazards when they're traveling than when they're at home. Here are a few precautions to take to keep your dog healthy on summer road trips.  Read more.

Mobility Assistance For Your Senior Dog

Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, CVPP Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek Mobility can be a challenge that faces all of us, two legged and four, following injury, surgery and with age.  Humans are fortunate to have a multitude of devices to prevent falling and aid in moving safely about our homes. Did you know there are many options for your dog as well?  Read more.

The Value of Crate Training

Tobi enjoying her crate. (CC) Laura Harris By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, DACAW, CAWA, San Francisco SPCA Some dog owners believe crate training is cruel and dogs should not be confined. The truth is that a crate, if introduced correctly, can be a safe haven and a great place for a dog. A crate can provide a great sense of security and stability for your dog. Keep in mind that it is important t  Read more.

Laser Therapy for Dogs

Maestro enjoying his LASER therapy session. (CC) Rhona Mae Arca Dr. Erin Troy, Muller Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek Did you know that your dog can benefit from LASER therapy? LASER is Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation…but what does all that mean?  Low-level LASER therapy is the use of light to stimulate biological processes in the tissue to which it i  Read more.

A Stinky Problem

by Micki McCabe, DVM, DACVIM, CVA SAGE Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care   I received a question from the owner of a 3-year-old Golden Retriever rescue who was wonderful in all ways except one -- her anal glands filled up frequently. Every month (or less), the dog had to be taken to the vet to have its glands expressed.  Read more.

What Should I Feed My Dog?

Charlie and Gretchen sharing supper. CC Indiana Stan By Gary Richter, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Care and Rehabilitation Center, Oakland As an integrative veterinarian, a frequent question I encounter is, “What is the best food to feed my dog?”  My answer depends on many factors such as age, breed, current state of health, and lifestyle.  That said, one generalization can be   Read more.

When your dog vomits

Photo by Ryan Stone.
Most dog people have been in that situation when our dog starts to vomit and we question if it’s a medical emergency. It all depends on the symptoms and how things progress.  Read more.

Is Your Dog Overweight?

I'd go to the gym if I could get up. Paulo Heleno (CC) By Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Canine obesity presents many of the same health concerns as it does to people. When not kept in check, obesity can trigger respiratory illness, joint issues and diabetes. There are many ways to keep your four-legged friend's waist trim, and most of them  Read more.

Is Your Dog Hurting Silently?

Diego resting after hurting his shoulder. (CC) Pedro Szekely Dr. Erin Troy, Muller Veterinary Hospital in Walnut Creek How do you know when someone you love hurts? Normally, you can ask them, but we don’t speak the same language as some of our most beloved family members. Most of our dogs don't tell us in an easily understandable way when they are sore or uncomfortable. As responsible   Read more.

Introducing Dogs and Cats

By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, DACAW, CAWA San Francisco SPCA Let’s say you are traveling with your dog to visit some friends and you find out they have a cat. Some first thoughts may include: a wild goose chase around the house, unruly hissing and barking, or out-of-control straining at the leash. Luckily, there are ways to prevent a potential mad house. Here are some pointers...  Read more.

Why We Do Routine Testing

Rhonda Stallings, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA Many canine illnesses may not have symptoms at the onset. Here is a recent example: A 3½-year-old Great Pyrenees came to my hospital because the insides of his eyelids were red and inflamed. On exam we found his lymph nodes to be very enlarged. On his blood work, the laboratory identified cancer cells in his complete blood co  Read more.

Canine Cruciate Ligament Ruptures

Martin By Melissa Robinett, DVM, Bel Marin Animal Hospital, Novato, CA                                           The canine knee is a complex joint with an assortment of ligaments, cartilage pads,  Read more.

What Vaccinations Does My Dog Really Need?

By Pamela Bouchard, DVM, DACVA VCA Tender Care Animal Hospital, San Rafael The current practice in most veterinary hospitals is to protect puppies from deadly parvovirus and distemper by vaccinating them several times, followed by a booster shot at one year, and then every three years after that. This vaccination schedule came about because vaccine companies have not tested the duration of imm  Read more.

Separation Anxiety

Don't leave me all by myself. By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, San Francisco SPCA Separation anxiety is a serious and heart-breaking disorder. Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety experience the canine equivalent of panic attacks every time they are left alone. They might urinate, defecate, bark and cry, ignore food left for them, and frantically scratch and chew at door frames in an at  Read more.

Pica: When Your Dog Eats Weird Stuff

Tye licking his lips. Photo: Sue B. (CC) By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB, San Francisco SPCA From socks to rocks to marijuana, owners and veterinarians have seen their fair share of dogs eating things they should not be eating. Eating non–nutritive, non-food items is a disorder known as pica. Why do dogs do this, and how can you prevent it?   Read more.

Does My Dog Really Need Heartworm Protection?

By Rhonda Stallings, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA Heartworm disease now exists throughout the United States though some areas pose more risk than others. In California, there are so many microclimates that we just cannot say any one area is safer than another. And, since we travel with our dogs, even just from a park to the beach, our pets are exposed to mosquitoes that carry thi  Read more.

Is Your Dog Itchin’ and Scratchin’?

By Melissa Robinett, DVM, Bel Marin Animal Hospital, Novato It’s late spring, and allergy season is in full swing. As all humans with allergies know, we still don’t have a cure for this condition. The same is true for our allergy-prone canine companions. So, as in humans, management is the goal.  Read more.

Milk Thistle to Protect the Liver

  Pamela Bouchard, DVM, CVA VCA Tender Care Animal Hospital, San Rafael, CA Milk thistle has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat liver and gallbladder diseases. It is a thoroughly researched herbal preparations available to help treat various types of liver problems. Milk thistle is also a powerful antioxidant that can be useful for canine hepatitis, gallbladder disease and live  Read more.

Pet First Aid

Earnest resting a hurt leg (CC) The Opie Rhonda Stalling, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma Do you know what to do if your pet gets sick or is injured? The best way to know the difference between an emergency and something you can take care of at home is to first know what normal looks like for your pet.  Read more.

Toxic Plants and Dogs

Toxic plants and dogs - Photo: Normanack (CC) Melissa Robinett, DVM, Bel Marin Animal Hospital, Novato It’s hard to know why your dog decides to chew on one plant or another. Certainly, young puppies, like young humans, put everything in their mouths as they investigate their world. Sometimes even older dogs may chew on plants out of boredom. So, we’ve compiled a list of the worst of  Read more.

Drought and Crazy California Weather

California drought   By Rhonda Stallings, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA What does this crazy California weather mean for our dogs? We’ve already had our first snakebite of the season in Sonoma Valley last week. This is the earliest bite I can remember. The reason for this could be the result of the warm, dry winter, which has caused the snakes to be more active. The   Read more.

Zoonosis: Diseases You Can Catch from Your Dog

By Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA We love our dogs. They are loyal companions who bring us endless joy. They will share their ball, their bed and even a treat. However, it’s good to remember that they can occasionally share diseases with us too. There are vaccines to prevent many of the diseases in question, but its wise to know about these.  Read more.

What’s that puddle?

Urinary incontinence occurs most often in middle-aged, spayed female dogs. Often it starts with just a few drops of urine found on your dog’s bed.  Read more.

Check Those Teeth

Open Wide! Photo: Flavio Alexandre By Rhonda Stallings, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA Of all the medical conditions that cause pain and discomfort, I find dental disease to be the number one problem.  Our dogs hide their pain.  They will continue to eat, drink, play and be their ever-loving selves even in the face of severe dental disease.  Read more.

Leash Reactivity

By Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB Veterinarian & Behavior Specialist, San Francisco SPCA Pulling on a leash is a common problem that can occur with any dog. Don't be embarrassed. It is common to see leashed dogs pulling or lunging towards another dog, barking, or even growling and snapping when they see another dog on leash or more so when they are approached by another (un)leashed dog. On th  Read more.

Pet Insurance – Is It Worth It?

Rhonda Stallings, DVM Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA People ask me this question all the time and my answer is, “it depends”. Pet insurance is great if the policy will help cover all those unexpected problems or emergencies that occur in out pets’ lives. However, you will need to spend a bit of time researching your choice.  Read more.

Motion Sickness in Dogs

Melissa Robinett, DVM Bel Marin Animal Hospital, Novato, CA The car is packed and everyone’s excited to finally be on the road. Now you’re 15 minutes down the highway and your dog is drooling, panting, acting anxious and ooops! He just vomited in the back seat. What’s the deal?  Read more.

Caring for an Elderly Dog

Rhonda Stallings, DVM, Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma You may be noticing that your lovely pup is getting grey around the muzzle, slowing down, or just not their usual happy self. Just like humans, pets age – but faster. By seven years of age, your dog can be considered a “senior” pet, but it can live many more years with a good quality of life because of advances in veteri  Read more.

Disaster Preparedness and Your Dog

Vet Buzz, by Rhonda Stallings, DVM Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA If you had to evacuate your house quickly, what would you take with you? Of course, your beloved pets and their emergency kit! Emergencies can happen at any time so we need to be prepared, both for ourselves and for our pets.  Read more.

Holistic Approach to Pet Care

Vet Buzz from Pamela Bouchard, DVM, Tender Care Animal Hospital Western medicine has highly sophisticated diagnostic tools, advanced dental and surgical techniques, and excellent emergency and critical-care procedures. Holistic medicine encompasses a wide variety of alternative and complimentary therapies designed to promote healing and wellness.  Read more.

Heat Stroke and Dogs

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA If you think you get hot in the summer, think how it must feel to go through the hotter months wearing a fur coat. Heat stroke is a major concern in the spring and summer. Here are a few recommendations to prevent heat stroke...  Read more.

Water Safety

Not long ago, we wrote about keeping your dog safe when splashing on the shore or enjoying a swim. We also noted that much as most dogs love the water, many don't; if Katie is telling you loud and clear that she hates getting her feet wet, or Rufus just looks at you strangely when you call him to join you in the water, you might both be happier to find some other activity you can do togethe  Read more.

Spring Hazards Watch List

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Spring has sprung and while you, and your pup, are hopefully out and about enjoying the warm weather and longer days, there are hazards lurking in the upcoming months. Not only does spring’s warmer weather bring out allergens that can affect your dog, other seasonal activities that humans might take for  Read more.

Spring has Sprung

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Woo hoo! Spring has sprung! There is more sunlight to enjoy, gardens are being planted, and many plants are starting to bloom. Spring is a wonderful time for your dog to encounter allergens, as well as toxins in your yard.  Read more.

Water Hazards and your Dog

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Swimming is not for every dog. Some dogs are afraid of water and others, such as greyhounds, have a tendency to sink. That said, there are a ton of water-loving dogs out there who will love to go on hikes that include a swim, or who love to paddle around the family pool.  Read more.

Dental Care and Your Dog

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Your dog can really benefit from having his teeth brushed on a daily basis. Aside from keeping smelly tartar at bay, it’s also a great way to keep your pet healthy. Bacteria built up in the mouth can present a health risk causing infections that then travel throughout the body.  Read more.

Torn nails and your dog

Photo Victor Grabarczyk.
Funny as it sounds, a broken nail really can ruin your dog’s day. A break or tear in the nail can occur with normal play and exercise.   Read more.

Weight loss

Princess. Photo by Vinnie Rattolle (cc).
If you can’t make out a discernable waistline on your dog, a little weight loss might be just the ticket.   Read more.

Holiday Watch List

By Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA As the holiday season kicks into full gear, excitement can sometimes overrule precaution. We want you and your four-legged friend to have a wonderful, stress-free holiday season. To that end, here is a list of things to be on the lookout for and avoid.  Read more.

Top 5 Tips For Dog Shopping

With the holidays swiftly approaching, thoughts of new dog toys fill two- and four-leggers' minds. Now is a good time to assess whether Fido’s much-loved toy has seen better days. Damaged toys with dangling parts that could be swallowed can prove hazardous, even fatal, to dogs.  Read more.

Acupuncture and Your Dog Part 2

Vet Buzz from Dr. Jennifer Yamamoto, DVM, CVA Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA An increasing number of people are seeking out holistic options to care for themselves as well as their canine family members.  Acupuncture tops the list of popular alternative therapy options due to its long history of safety & effectiveness. This is part two of our in depth look at acupuncture for an  Read more.

Cancer and Your Dog

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA   About the only nice thing one can say about cancer is that some forms are benign. Dogs can get all the forms of cancer as people; skin cancer, liver cancer, splenic tumors, mammary cancer, etc. There is not a definitive way to prevent most kinds of cancer; therefore, receiving good treatment once dia  Read more.

Acupuncture and Your Dog

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Veterinary acupuncture can be an adjunct to conventional Western medical treatment. Many people who have health conditions that include arthritis, back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, and strains, receive tremendous benefit and pain relief by choosing acupuncture treatments either instead of, or in conjunct  Read more.

Emergency Preparedness

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA In case of an emergency being prepared is the key to a good outcome for all involved. Leaving your pet behind, as we all learned with Hurricane Katrina, may be a recipe for disaster for your pets. When you need to evacuate, you are never sure how long you will be gone. Below is a list to help you take   Read more.

What To Do When Your Dog Gets Skunked

As a dog guardian chances are you have given more then a passing thought to skunks and the possibility that Fido might come in close enough contact to trigger that odorous defense mechanism. Never fear we have your tips on how to get rid of that potent skunked smell.  Read more.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI can be thought of as a type of maldigestion.  The problem starts in the pancreas, which is an important organ that sits near the stomach and small intestine.  The pancreas has multiple functions including making and storing enzymes needed for digesting starches, fats  Read more.

Mites

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA We admit it just the word ‘mite’ makes us itchy, not to mention watching your poor dog scratch and scratch is bound to make you itchy too. In the dog world the Sarcoptes scabiei (aka scabies) and Demodex mite are most commonly seen. Luckily, getting rid of these little pests is usually pretty stra  Read more.

Heartworm Treatment

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA We are all struggling right now with the right choice of heartworm prevention for each dog.  There are supply issues with established products as well new products that we may be unfamiliar with and it makes it all very confusing. Let’s start first with the basics that can clear up some misunderstandi  Read more.

Rattlesnake Bites and Your Dog

Spring and summer are rattlesnake season in California. Knowing how to lessen your dog’s possibility of exposure to rattlers, as well as knowing what to do in the event of a rattlesnake bite can increase your dog’s longevity. There are eight different kinds of rattlesnakes in California. They are the only venomous snakes native to the state. The Pacific rattlesnake makes its home  Read more.

Drug Sensitivity In Dogs

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Did you know that even a healthy dog can have an unpredictable serious reaction to medications that are meant to help? I am talking about more than just some gastrointestinal upset.  Some dogs, while it is very rare, can have serious and potentially fatal reactions. These drug sensitive dogs are not readily appa  Read more.

Swimming with Fido

Swimming can keep your dog cool on a hot day. On the down-side, the dermatological downsides of swimming typically include ear infections and hot spots.  Read more.

Aqua Therapy

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Water is a great medium in which to exercise.  It is also a very successful way to help dogs that are in need of rehabilitation, conditioning or weight loss.  Aqua therapy is effective at increasing strength, improving the comfortable range of motion of joints, and enhancing muscular and cardiovascular endu  Read more.

Watch Out for Foxtails

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek Summer is upon us and we are all eager to be out and about with our canine companions. There are trails to be blazed and hills to be climbed and new adventures to be had by all. As you and your dog head out this summer for fun and exercise please keep in mind there are hazards to be aware of around many corners, es  Read more.

Summer Dangers: Foxtails

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Watch out for foxtails. Photo: Jon Hurd (CC) The beautiful weather is upon us and we are all eager to be out and about with our canine companions. There are trails to be blazed, hills to be climbed and new adventures to be had by all. As you and your dog head out this season for fun and exercise ple  Read more.

Osteoarthritis

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Osteoarthritis (OA), or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), affects 1 out of 5 dogs in the United States. This is not a breed selective disease but one that can affect all dogs, including both genders and all sizes.  Our goal of therapy is to maintain or improve each patient’s quality of life through a multi  Read more.

Getting Ready for Summer Fun

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Spring has sprung!!!! The trails and beaches are calling!!! Before you let Fido run full tilt through the fields take some time to work up his exercise level so he will be less likely to hurt himself as he goes bombing through the wild. Taking the time to build up your dog’s exercise routine can help k  Read more.

Elbow Dysplasia

Vet Buzz from Erin Troy, DVM, CCRP, Muller Veterinary Hospital, Walnut Creek, CA Elbow dysplasia is the most common cause of forelimb lameness in the young dog, especially of the larger breeds. The elbow is a complicated joint because it is made up of three bones: the humerus in the upper limb, and the radius and ulna in the lower limb.  Each of these bones needs to grow and develop simulta  Read more.

Xylitol Toxicity

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Xylitol toxicity was in the top ten most commonly ingested poisons in 2011 according to Poison Control Hotline. Never heard of Xylitol? Xylitol is an artificial sweetener most commonly used in popular sugar-free chewing gum, candy, baked goods and chewable multivitamins. Many candies and sweeteners (such as   Read more.

Pet Insurance: Where Do You Draw The Line?

For DogTrekking friends of ours, a weekend hike ended up costing much more than the tank of gas it took to get to the trailhead. Unbeknownst to them, Smooch, their shaggy shepherd mix, was penetrated by a grass awn (also known as foxtail) that entered her ear canal. Antibiotics couldn’t kick the abscess that resulted, and surgery was required. The overall price tag: $6,000. No matter how mu  Read more.

Dental Health

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA February is National Dental Health Month in the veterinary world. Many veterinarians use this month to promote dental care and may even offer basic dental services at a discount. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and tartar free can help the health of your dog’s entire system. Bacteria love to set up  Read more.

Pancreatitis

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA The holidays usually herald in the pancreatitis season in our hospital. While certain medications and medical or congenital disorders can predispose your dog to pancreatitis, the issue we usually see this time of year is typically due to the ingestion of excess fat. The usual holiday scenario we see is as fo  Read more.

Mushroom Toxicity

By Chris Pitts, RVT, of Broadway Animal Hospital. The first rains of the season can bring with them the first mushrooms of the season as well. Many a dog has been known to nibble on mushrooms as they pop out of your lawn or out of grasses on your favorite trail. The problem is, many kinds of mushrooms are toxic to your dog.  Read more.

Leptospirosis

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Leptospirosis is a spiral-shaped bacteria that lives in standing water, and can cause irreversible damage to your dog’s kidneys. Any dog that is out and about has the potential to be exposed to Lepto when swimming or drinking in ponds, streams, or even puddles.  Read more.

Salmon Poisoning

Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Think it’s cool to throw your dog a nice fresh piece of raw salmon, trout or steel head on your fishing trip? Think again. What is salmon poisoning? Salmon poisoning is actually an infection caused by the rickettsial organism Neorickettsia helminthoeca. What causes salmon poisoning?  Read more.

Lyme Disease

Although many people think ticks only come out in the spring and summer, in the west these bloodthirsty bugs are more likely to be encountered in late fall and winter. Vet Buzz from Bill Barboni, DVM and Chris Pitts, RVT, Marin Pet Hospital, San Rafael, CA Although many people think ticks only come out in the spring and summer, in the west these bloodthirsty bugs are more likely to be encounte  Read more.

Little Black Bag

A walk in the park might not call for having a first-aid kit at the ready, but if you travel with Fido or spend much time adventuring together in the outdoors, you should know how to treat common ailments and stabilize your pet in the event of an emergency.  Read more.

Skunk Stuff

Pepe Le Pew is on the prowl. Yep, February through March is skunk mating season, and many of us in Northern California have been detecting The Striped Ones’ signature aroma … Continued  Read more.

Rattle Your Cage

We know they're out there, but California's seven species of rattlesnakes are inherently shy critters that will get out of your (and Rowdy's) way if they sense your approach. Problem is, snakes strike when provoked, and curious dogs won't hesitate to investigate that deliciously tempting smell in the brush pile alongside your hiking path.  Read more.

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