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Category Archives for Dog Life

Bacteria and Hemangiosarcoma Dogs

Families of hemangiosarcoma dogs share bonds of shock and heartbreak. A fairly common cancer, especially in some breeds, hemangiosarcoma often results in a sudden, quick end. Like fine one minute, critical the next. The tumors start with cells lining blood vessels, often attaching to the dog's heart or spleen. In many cases, symptoms begin with pale gums / tongue and collapse because of internal bleeding. It. Is. Devastating. We lost our yellow Lab mix dog, Cody, to it many years ago. New research uncovered a possible connection between chronic, but undetected, bacterial infections and this aggressive cancer in hemangiosarcoma dogs.

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Dog Commercials Q&A

The first time I saw my friend Sam's dog Red debut on national TV in a commercial, I screamed and made my hubs come watch. I figured it'd be fun to learn more about how they got into the world of dog commercials by doing a Q&A. My fav part of the TV spot? Red lying on a dog bed with one leg in the air. Ha! Scroll to the bottom to see the dog commercial in full. 

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Understanding That New Doodle Data

In January 2022, Nationwide® Veterinary Analytics released the first of three planned white papers. Before we talk about the key points in this initial doodle data, I thought it might help to discuss big data -- what it is, what it can / cannot tell us so that you can interpret and think critically about any big data you come across. I'm presenting the info both regular content and video. Choose whatever works best for you. Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the video.

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Dog Attack: 5 Things NOT to Say

At some point, I'll be able to write about how 2 loose / aggressive dogs attacked me and Mr. Stix from behind on our daily, neighborhood walk, without warning or provocation, in November 2021. Suffice it to say that the dog attack was terrible and traumatic. Yes, we were both injured. Yes, charges (or whatever you call them) have been filed. 

In something my personal development coach calls "empathy Tourettes," many people say things that don't help and actually make things much, much worse -- especially when the trauma is still so fresh. The list will likely get longer over time, but here's what I've got so far for things NOT to say after a dog attack. 

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Happy Chonksgiving With Foster Puppies

Happy Chonksgiving from all of us! I plan to write some posts soon about what it's like to foster tiny puppies for our local animal shelter and the kinds of supplies you'll need in bulk to survive, if you want to add a similar volunteer gig to your life. But, I'm getting ready to take an extra-long Thanksgiving break (Nov 19-28), so instead please enjoy pix and videos of our latest foster babies that we're calling TATO (like mashed potatoes) and GRAVY. They are just 2 from a litter of 9 puppies born at our shelter. We went for sanity over heroics and offered to foster just 2 of them. #ChonkyPuppies

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Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix's full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix's permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It's sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it's nowhere near over. Here's my best advice for dogs with skin issues. 

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How Not to Get Fired as a Veterinary Client

I just finished writing an article about a crisis in veterinary medicine with the mental health and overall wellbeing of veterinarians and their veterinary hospital teams, driven in part by the increased demands for veterinary services and the increased abuse they face from cranky clients. Recently, I've also become aware of more and more people in my circle of dog lovers -- online and otherwise -- getting fired by various veterinary hospitals across the country.

I find it hard to believe that ALL of these folks are being major jerks. Still, it seemed like an urgent need to discuss what's happening, why, and how NOT to get fired as a veterinary client. Here are my best tips + a video explaining (sometimes ranting) about what NOT to do. 

I don't go into this in the video, but I said something similar on social media with some friends, which is basically this. While I understand why people are getting fired as veterinary clients more these days and goodness knows I'm a major supporter of veterinary teams, I'm also hopeful that the pendulum will swing back to a normal spot, where veterinary clients are allowed to express their concerns, ask questions, and advocate for their pets ... without being fired. Total compliance and instant acquiescence should not be required by everyone, every time ... especially in emergency situations when people are freaking out and having a hard time processing everything ... especially from the parking lot.

That said, what I share in this video is on behalf of veterinarians and their teams who are currently being treated abusively at levels never before seen.

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Support Small Biz – Where to Buy Dog Food, Treats, and Toys Online

I recently ditched my affiliate relationship with a major / famous pet site that's owned by a huge pet products mega company -- both because I literally never earned a dime because their terms sucked so much and because I realized they sell (and lately promote a lot) shock collars (some of which now masquerade as GSP devices and dog activity trackers to mask their other purpose -- to train dogs using pain). So, if you're looking for new places to shop online, please consider whom I have new affiliate relationship. Ditch the megastores. Support small biz.

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When to Spay or Neuter Your Dog

The veterinary profession continues to learn about the long-term health effects of surgeries done to prevent unwanted canine pregnancies. These insights help Dog Moms and Dads make better decisions about when to spay or neuter dogs. Simply put, our goals must bridge both reproductive protection and long-term comfort and health for the dogs we love. Researchers from UC-Davis looked at associated joint disorders, cancers, and urinary incontinence in 35 dog breeds and offered insights on making this important decision. In some cases, the best option may be leaving some dogs intact. 

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