Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Pets & Animals

Visiting Vet: Was it GME?

The first episode happened when Tidbit was 2 years old. In the middle of the night, the young Labrador retriever was jumping off an armchair where she had been sleeping, when she abruptly fell...

Visiting Vet: It wasn’t an easy birth

All I remember is she was a very big dog. A Great Pyrenees or Saint Bernard. It was back in the day when we almost never referred patients to specialists, and when I still...

Dog Charmer: Charlotte’s conundrum

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Dear Dog Charmer,  My dog Charlotte is afraid of most other dogs. We rescued her when she was about 1 year old and now she’s over 10 years old. She is mixed breeds — an...

Visiting Vet: When chocolate isn’t sweet

It all started with a small tropical tree indigenous to South and Central America, Theobroma cacao. This tree grows big red fruit pods. Inside the pods are seeds, also called beans. For more than...

Dog Charmer: Max the nipper

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Dear Tom, We have a 6-year- old, un-neutered miniature ginger dachshund named Max. He has an absolute compulsion to chew holes in blankets and quilts, with, I’m afraid, occasional swallowing of stuffing. If I see...

Dogcharmer: New to outdoor walks

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Hi Tom! I have a question about my miniature schnauzer puppy, Louie. He’s 6 months old. I’ve had him since he was about 8 weeks old. So far, training has been going reasonably well, but...

Visiting Vet: Cats and dogs

Sprinkles is a sweet, petite, 8-month-old cat who shares her home with her sister Sprocket, and her “cousin” Pippa, a 6-month-old Labrador retriever. Despite the stereotype of “fighting like cats and dogs,” there are...

Visiting Vet: Senior animals

It’s one o’clock in the morning. I can’t get comfortable. I have bursitis in my hip, and it hurts. I toss and turn. If I fall asleep, I will almost certainly wake up again...

Dogcharmer: Truffle the schipperke

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Dear Dogcharmer, At what age should Truffle start obedience training? Thanks!   Paul and Jared   Dear Paul and Jared,  In the 1960s, many thought the optimal time to start obedience training was when the dog was no longer a...

Dogcharmer: Coming when called

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We have a beautiful and smart 6-month-old male Rottweiler named Dakota. He is really good with the basics of sit, lay down, and stay. We love to go hiking and the goal is to...

Visiting Vet: Connections

“Do you carry electric blankets?” the voice asked when I answered the office phone. For a moment I was confused. Veterinarians use a variety of warming devices for our patients. In the old days,...

Dogcharmer: A dog for your golden years?

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Dear Dogcharmer,  My husband and I are thinking about getting a dog in the future. Most likely, we will look at one of the smaller breeds, just for ease of handling as we get older....

Visiting Vet: Happy holidays

Deck the Halls (Please sing out loud to your pets for full effect . . . with apologies to Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant, 1862, who wrote the original English lyrics.)  Deck the halls with boughs of...

Dogcharmer: Pug or poodle?

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Hi Tom! I am a 39-year-old single woman living in the city and want to get my first dog. I am trying to decide between a miniature poodle or a pug. Can you offer any...

Visiting Vet: Help is here

Two o’clock in the morning. The telephone rings. A dog vomiting repeatedly. Sunday afternoon. The telephone rings. A limping cat. Halfway through dinner. The telephone rings. A horse colicking. In the shower after work....

Visiting Vet: Bones are not humerus

Three families. Four dogs. A whole lot of short rib bones. The first people were not regular clients, but referred to me as “the vet on call.” I think on a Saturday afternoon. The...

Dogcharmer: Rolling in trouble

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Dear Tom, Why does my dog love to roll in nasty stuff? Michael Dear Michael,  Great question because it's not just your dog, all dogs do it. My standard poodle, Paula Jean, is the first dog I've ever...

Dogcharmer: Eddie is a needy pup

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Dear Tom,  I would love some behavioral support for 11-year-old Eddie. I live in West Tisbury alone with Eddie and Annie, my two dogs. My 90-year-old parents moved out in March. I work full time....

Visiting Vet: Greylock’s case

When Greylock arrived for his appointment, his owner and I spent some time chatting on the porch. The handsome grey middle-aged cat had originally been a stray. “He was almost feral but crying for...

Visiting Vet: ‘My dog is choking!’

“My dog is choking!” I get these frantic phone calls way too often. Sometimes at two o’clock in the morning. Or the time I was sitting in my backyard in a bathing suit reading...