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Category Archives for Dog Life

Measuring Shelter Dog Stress

A study published in Scientific Reports in April 22 measured hair cortisol concentrations in shelter dogs before & after adoption, essentially to see if this new testing method works to evaluate long-term shelter dog stress. The data comes with a bunch of caveats, but it's still interesting and informative adopters and those working or volunteering in the animal rescue and animal shelter environment. When does shelter dog stress go up and down? What does it mean for you?

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Kidnapped Dogs BOLO

UPDATE June 13, 2022 -- The FBI arrested the suspect in San Antonio. The 3 dogs + the litter of 8 puppies born since the kidnapping were found safe and have been reunited with their owner / handler. 

!! Please BE On the LOOK OUT for these kidnapped dogs!! Three weeks ago, on May 12, 2022, a nightmare scenario unfolded for Dr. Kim Lark, who is a friend of a friend. Despite her vigilant efforts to keep them safe, all 3 of her dogs -- all highly trained in search and rescue, one of them VERY pregnant -- got kidnapped in Carlsbad, New Mexico, by her ex. Law enforcement considers the suspect armed and dangerous. Look for the full backstory, media coverage of the crime (including by an investigative producer with NBC News / Dateline), and latest updates at Dr. Lark is offering a $50,000 reward for the safe return of the 3 dogs and the litter of puppies. Please be on the lookout for these dogs and the suspect. They could be anywhere by now.  #savekimsdogs

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Pyometra in Dogs Questions and Answers

Because I wrote a best-selling pet loss book, people often email me with stories of how their dogs died. Recently, someone asked me to write about pyometra in dogs because they'd recently lost their 11-year-old female dog to it. So in honor of that sweet dog, I gathered all the top questions and answers about canine pyometra, which is a potentially life-threatening infection in the uterus. Maybe useful to you now or in the future. Maybe a few stats, symptoms, and risks you didn't know. Plus, one real-life story of a dog who survived pyometra in our family.

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Animal Rescue Mistakes After a Wildfire

Colorado suffered a terrible wildfire, driven by crazy-high winds, in late 2021 that ripped through neighborhoods and whole towns. Find really good reporting on the Marshall Fire here. Amid the devastation? So many lost and terrified pets, and people desperate to help them. Facebook groups popped up instantly with people sharing photos, locations, and such for both lost and found pets. As much as everyone wants to help, many make animal rescue mistakes. Here are the top things NOT to do, in my humble opinion. 

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Common Household Noises Affect Dogs

Most of the time conversations about how dogs respond to noises focus on big, scary, sudden sounds like thunder, fireworks, and gunfire. A paper published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in November 2021 looks at how common household noises affect dogs and how people often (mis)interpret dogs showing signs of fear and anxiety. For context, other studies reported the prevalence of noise sensitivities in dogs as high as 50%, so it's an important topic. I recommend you read the whole paper yourself. However, here are the highlights and headlines. 

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Repetitive Behaviors in Dogs

In March 2022, Nature / Scientific Reports published a paper entitled "Aggressiveness, ADHD-like behavior, and environment influence repetitive behavior in dogs". Let's take a look at what they found, including types of repetitive behaviors in dogs, possible triggers for developing compulsive behaviors, which breeds are more likely to develop repetitive behaviors, and common treatments. I made a video, but you can also read the same information below.

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That New Canine Cancer Risk Data

Nationwide Veterinary Analytics released the second of three white papers with important canine cancer risk data in March 2022. Here's a video talking through the headlines and showing the main charts and much of the same information in text below too. They focused on the 25 top / most popular dog breeds, so many of us don't get information for our own dog breeds. It's still really interesting, though. Let's take a look at what we've learned. 

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