AVMA Pet News

AVMA Animal Tracks

Weekly podcasts provided for pet owners featuring pet health and safety tips from some of the leading veterinary experts in the United States, brought to you by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Earlier this spring, hundreds of dogs in and around Chicago began showing signs of respiratory illness, which testing revealed to be caused by canine influenza. Further genetic testing revealed there was something unusual about this outbreak: It wasn't the usual H3N8 strain of canine influenza that was making dogs sick; it was H3N2, a strain that had previously only been identified in Asia. To date, the virus has caused at least six deaths, and more than 1,000 illnesses, in the Chicago area and neighboring states. In this podcast, Cornell University veterinarian Dr. Amy Glaser talks about this newly introduced strain of dog flu and how pet owners can keep their dogs from becoming infected.
Posted: May 4, 2015, 3:45 pm
Vaccines have played a major role in preventing disease and improving public health around the world. These benefits have been extended to our pets as well, helping to protect them from viruses such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. There is, however, a small but vocal anti-vaccination movement that questions the necessity of vaccines, and veterinary medicine may not be immune from this movement; New York magazine recently reported that some veterinarians have noticed an uptick in the number of pets that are not being vaccinated, due to a similar anti-vaccination ideology. In this podcast, Dr. Laurel Gershwin, a member of AVMA’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, discusses the importance of vaccinations for our pets.
Posted: February 17, 2015, 3:45 pm
February 1 marks the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. More than just a cosmetic issue, yellow teeth and bad breath can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, with most dogs and cats becoming affected by age 3. In this podcast, Dr. Jan Bellows, past president of the American Veterinary Dental College, talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: January 27, 2015, 6:05 pm
How well protected are pets shortly after their rabies vaccinations are out of date, and what's the appropriate response for treating and caring for pets in such circumstances? These were the questions researchers set out to answer in a study published in the January 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).
Posted: January 5, 2015, 2:00 pm
Will you be one of the millions of people making New Year’s Resolutions this year? If so, have you thought about including your pets in your New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps by partnering with a furry friend, you’ll be more inclined to stick to those healthy promises you made. And just like us, most of our pets could benefit from shedding a few pounds and spending more time being active. In this podcast, AVMA CEO Dr. Ron DeHaven talks about making New Year’s resolutions for your pets.
Posted: December 29, 2014, 2:00 pm
Across the country, communities have attempted to reduce the incidence of serious and fatal dog bites by restricting the ownership of certain types of dogs, most often pit bulls. But others, including some states, have made these types of breed-specific laws illegal. So are breed-specific laws an effective way to reduce the incidence of dog bites? Or do they unfairly target good dogs whose only crime is matching the description of what some people believe to be dangerous? In this podcast, Dr. Emily Patterson-Kane, an animal welfare scientist at the AVMA, discusses breed-specific legislation.
Posted: December 8, 2014, 2:00 pm
A nurse in Texas became infected with Ebola this week while treating another patient, who later died. This led to an important question: What to do with the nurse's dog, who may have been exposed to the virus? The dog is currently being observed in isolation while veterinarians and public health agencies work to develop protocols on Ebola and pets. So what risk does the Ebola virus pose to our pets? And can pets carry and spread the virus to people? In this podcast, Dr. Ron DeHaven, executive vice president and CEO of the AVMA, talks about Ebola and pets
Posted: October 20, 2014, 2:00 pm
September 28 marks the 8th annual World Rabies Day, an international event created to help raise rabies awareness and save lives. Despite major efforts to eradicate the virus, rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year. In the United States, one to two people die annually from the virus, and in 2012, more than 6,000 U.S. cases of rabies in animals were reported. In this podcast, Dr. Rene Carlson, past president of the AVMA, talks about rabies and World Rabies Day.
Posted: September 22, 2014, 2:00 pm
Chagas disease is believed to infect more than 300,000 people in the United States, and nearly 8 million people across Mexico and Central and South America. But Chagas is not just a human disease; recent research has shown that dogs across the state of Texas are becoming infected with the parasite that causes Chagas. So just what kind of threat does Chagas disease pose to humans and their pets? In this podcast, Dr. Sarah Hamer, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University, discusses Chagas disease.
Posted: September 8, 2014, 2:00 pm
Noise phobias are among the most commonly recognized panic-related disorders in dogs. Triggered by fireworks, thunderclaps, and other loud and unexpected sounds, these noise phobias can cause our dogs to cower, withdraw, and experience great distress. But what causes some dogs to experience noise phobias, while other dogs are untroubled by the exact same sounds? And what can be done to treat noise phobias in dogs, or even prevent them in the first place? In this podcast, Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, clinical instructor with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses noise phobias in dogs.
Posted: July 14, 2014, 2:00 pm
Dogs and cats may be the most popular pets in the United States, but exotic pets are gaining in popularity and can make great additions to our homes. One such pet is the hedgehog. But is a hedgehog right for you and your family? Joining us now to talk about hedgehogs as pets is Dr. Valarie Tynes, editor of Behavior of Exotic Pets, and author of that book's chapter on hedgehogs.
Posted: June 23, 2014, 2:00 pm
Blood banks and blood donors are an integral component of human health. But blood banks are no longer just a human endeavor. As advances in veterinary medicine have increased, so too has the need for blood banks for our pets, as well as pet blood donors. To meet this need, many veterinary professionals are reaching out to educate the public about the importance of blood donation and to find donors. In this podcast, Kym Marryott, a certified veterinary technician and manager of the Penn Vet Animal Blood Bank at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses feline blood donation.
Posted: June 2, 2014, 2:00 pm
Canines and felines have a long history of being used as examples of mortal enemies, but in reality, and perhaps with a little preparation and encouragement from us, dogs and cats can live happy lives together. In this podcast, former AVMA president and board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Bonnie Beaver shares tips on helping dogs and cats peacefully coexist in the same home.
Posted: May 21, 2014, 10:30 pm
"It's tough being a cat." So says our guest, Dr. Tony Buffington, professor at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and author of the new e-book, Cat Mastery. Dr. Buffington says that when we don't know who are cats are, and don't create an environment that meets their needs, our cats can suffer, emotionally and physically. But by understanding our cats, their needs, and how the world looks to them, we can help them live happy, healthy lives in our homes.
Posted: May 12, 2014, 2:00 pm
According to the CDC, an estimated 576 million to 740 million people in the world are infected with hookworm. But this parasite is not just a threat to humans; our pets can be affected as well. In this podcast, Dr. Raffy Dorian, owner of the Market Street Veterinary Clinic in San Diego, discusses hookworm in pets.
Posted: February 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
Winter is here again, and with it—for much of the country at least—comes the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures that mark the season. Winter weather also brings with it a host of potential dangers for our pets, but with a little care and awareness we can take steps to make sure our pets make it through the season healthy and ready for spring. In this podcast, Dr. Doug Aspros, past president of the AVMA, talks about cold weather pet safety.
Posted: December 23, 2013, 2:00 pm
Some veterinary procedures need to be performed with your pet under anesthesia, so they don't feel pain or move during the procedure. Like any medical procedure, anesthesia does have risks, but anesthesia for animals has come a long way and is safer than it ever was before. In this podcast, Dr. Nora Matthews, professor emeritus at Texas A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about anesthesia for pets.
Posted: December 2, 2013, 2:00 pm
November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is the leading cause of death in older pets, accounting for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. But recent developments in veterinary medicine have greatly increased the options available for treating pets with cancer. In this podcast, Dr. Erika Krick, assistant professor of oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, talks about treatment options for pets with cancer.
Posted: November 20, 2013, 2:00 pm
Lights and decorations, costumes and masks, a constant parade of strangers at the door ... Halloween can be a downright spooky experience for our pets. So what can pet owners do to ensure their furry friends have a happy and healthy holiday? In this podcast, Dr. Kim May, assistant director of professional and public affairs at the AVMA, discusses ways to ensure your pet's health and safety this Halloween.
Posted: October 28, 2013, 2:00 pm
Canine bloat is one of the most common—and mysterious—causes of death in dogs, particularly certain larger breeds, such as Great Danes. And while it's a condition that can affect any dog, it's also one that dog owners can take steps to prevent. In this podcast, Dr. Laura Nelson, assistant professor of small animal surgery in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, discusses bloat in dogs.
Posted: October 21, 2013, 2:00 pm
For many cat owners, the worst part about taking their cats to the veterinarian is getting them into their carriers and to the clinic. But don't let hassles associated with transporting your cats compromise their health care. In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, talks about steps you can take to make your cat's carrier a safe, secure and inviting place to be.
Posted: October 7, 2013, 2:00 pm
Several dogs in Ohio have recently presented with vomiting and bloody diarrhea, and four of them have died. The symptoms aren't uncommon, but the cause might be. Veterinarians across the country are currently investigating these cases to see what sickened or killed the dogs in Ohio, including a possible link to a newly emerging canine circovirus. But how exactly do veterinarians determine the cause of illness in animals, and what triggers such an extensive investigation as in the current case in Ohio? In this podcast, Dr. Tony Forshey, State Veterinarian at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, discusses how the investigation has taken place, and what they've learned so far.
Posted: September 23, 2013, 2:00 pm
Every year, about 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women, but early detection can greatly increase the chances of successful treatment. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are training dogs to sniff out samples of ovarian cancer in an effort to increase its early detection and save lives. In this podcast, Dr. Cynthia Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, talks about how dogs are using their amazing sense of smell in an effort to develop better screening tests for ovarian cancer.
Posted: September 9, 2013, 2:00 pm
Recently, word came out of Washington that the Obamas had brought a new dog into the White House, a 1-year old pup named Sunny. While the Obamas are no doubt excited about the new addition, there was no word about how Bo, the sole White House canine for the past four years, has reacted to his new companion. Hopefully the two Portuguese water dogs are getting along swimmingly, but bringing a new dog into a home with an established dog can pose some challenges and require some adjustments. In this podcast, Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and past president of the AVMA, shares tips on bringing a second dog into the home.
Posted: August 27, 2013, 2:00 pm
Microchips greatly increase the chances that you'll get your pets back if they are lost or stolen, but microchips only work if their registration information is accurate. To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, the AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association have joined together to make Thursday, August 15 "Check the Chip Day." For more information about the importance of microchips, we spoke with Dr. Linda Lord, an associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Lord has conducted research showing how effective microchips are in reunited pets with their owners.
Posted: August 12, 2013, 2:00 pm
Last week, 70 cats at a shelter in Spokane, Wash., had to be put down due to the spread of feline panleukopenia-also known as feline parvovirus, feline distemper, or feline infectious enteritis. So what risks does feline panleukopenia pose to our cats, and how can we protect our cats from this deadly virus? In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, discusses feline panleukopenia.
Posted: July 29, 2013, 2:00 pm
There are a number of reasons why our dogs might cough—anything from inhaled irritants to congestive heart failure. One of the more common reasons, however, is due to a condition called “kennel cough.” So what exactly is kennel cough, and how serious of a condition is it? In this podcast, Dr. Stephan Carey, an assistant professor at Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses kennel cough.
Posted: July 8, 2013, 2:00 pm
As the weather heats up across the country, more and more pet owners are heading outside and visiting dog parks to let their dogs play and socialize. Dog parks can be a great source of fun and exercise for our pets, but, if we’re not careful, they can also pose some health risks for dogs and people. In this podcast, Dr. Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, shares tips on keeping pets and people safe when visiting dog parks.
Posted: June 17, 2013, 2:00 pm
Last year, nearly 5 million people were bitten by dogs in the United States, and nearly 1 million people, more than half of them children, required medical attention for dog bites. Many of these bites could have been avoided by knowing a few simple facts about dog behavior and through responsible pet ownership. To help educate the public on how best to prevent dog bites, the AVMA is again teaming up with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Postal Service, and America’s plastic and reconstructive surgeons to sponsor National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from May 19-25. In this podcast, Dr. Ilana Reisner, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and owner of Reisner Veterinary Behavior and Consulting Services in Media, Pennsylvania, discusses dog bite prevention strategies.
Posted: May 20, 2013, 2:00 pm
Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” Nearly 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies, according to the Foundation ... but it’s not just people that are affected by allergies. Our four-footed friends fall victim to allergies more commonly than many people realize. In this podcast, Dr. Dan Morris, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses allergies in pets.
Posted: May 13, 2013, 2:00 pm
As pet owners, we do all that we can to protect our pets from threats in the environment. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task when those threats are microscopic, such as the intestinal parasite giardia, which can not only make our pets sick, but can also infect humans as well. In this podcast, Dr. Allan Paul, professor of pathobiology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about giardia.
Posted: April 29, 2013, 2:00 pm
Besides serving as our loyal companions, dogs perform a number of other tasks as well, including bomb detection, search and rescue operations, and guiding the visually impaired. To help give back to these dogs that give so much to us, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will be offering free vision screenings to service dogs during the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, held this year during the entire month of May. In this podcast, Dr. Nancy Bromberg, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center in Fairfax, Va., talks about the event and the importance of veterinary eye exams.
Posted: April 15, 2013, 2:00 pm
We love our pets. But sometimes, when it comes to rewarding them with treats and food, we might love them a little too much. As a result, our pets are increasingly overweight and obese. To help quantify just how serious this issue has become, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) conducts annual surveys on obesity in U.S. pets. Just last week, the group released its 6th annual survey. In this podcast, Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of APOP, discusses this year’s results.
Posted: April 1, 2013, 2:00 pm
40 years ago, an unusual cluster of arthritis cases along the Connecticut River, primarily in children, led to the discovery of Lyme Disease as a human illness in the United States. But it’s not just humans who are susceptible to Lyme disease. Clinical signs of Lyme have been recognized in dogs, horses and cattle. So what exactly is Lyme disease, how is it spread, and how can we prevent it ... in people and animals? In this podcast, Dr. Michael Stone, a clinical assistant professor at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses Lyme disease.
Posted: March 18, 2013, 2:00 pm
We play with them. We cuddle with them. We even allow them to sleep in our beds with us. The closeness that exists between us and our pets is a true testament to the human-animal bond. However, having such regular contact with our pets also requires knowledge about potential illnesses that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Of these illnesses, known as zoonotic diseases, ringworm is one of the most common. As a pet owner, what do you need to know about this skin infection? In this podcast, Dr. Sandy Merchant, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology and professor of veterinary dermatology at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses ringworm.
Posted: March 4, 2013, 3:00 pm
We tend to think of tears as a sign of emotion, but they provide a valuable functional purpose, for us and our dogs. Canine dry eye-otherwise known as "Keratoconjuncitivitis Sicca," or KCS-can have serious health consequences for our dogs, but there are a number of effective treatments that can provide relief and comfort for our canine companions. In this podcast, Dr. Cynthia Cook, diplomate and past president of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and a clinician at Veterinary Vision in the San Francisco Bay area, discusses canine dry eye.
Posted: February 19, 2013, 3:00 pm
February 1 marks the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. More than just a cosmetic issue, bad breath and yellow teeth can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, and 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. In this podcast, Dr. Jan Bellows, president of the American Veterinary Dental College and owner of All Pets Dental in Weston, Fla., talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: February 4, 2013, 3:00 pm
Walking is a great form of light exercise for you and your dog, but what if you want to quicken the pace a bit and take your dog for a jog? In this podcast, Dr. Ernie Ward, founder and chief-of-staff of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., and a featured veterinarian on the Rachael Ray Show, shares tips on running with your dog. In addition to being a veterinarian, Dr. Ward is a certified personal trainer, a USA Triathlon certified coach and multiple Ironman finisher.
Posted: January 22, 2013, 3:00 pm
Dogs and cats may be the most popular pets in the United States, but exotic pets are gaining in popularity and can make great additions to our homes. One such pet is the hamster. But is a hamster right for you and your family? In this podcast, Dr. Adolf Maas, owner of the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine in Bothell, Wash., talks about hamsters as pets.
Posted: December 17, 2012, 3:00 pm
While our cats are often models of grace and composure, some of them can achieve altered states of drooling relaxation or fits of frantic energy just by getting a whiff of a little bit of catnip. But what exactly is catnip, why does it have such a strong effect on some cats and not others, and is it in any way harmful to our cats? In this podcast, Dr. Gayle Sternefeld, senior associate veterinarian at the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, talks about catnip.
Posted: December 10, 2012, 3:00 pm
Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with food, friends, family, and more food. Usually the only thing we worry about on Thanksgiving is the strain it might put on our waistlines. But for our pets, Thanksgiving can pose a series risk of illness or injury, and a possible trip to the E.R., if we’re not careful. In this podcast, Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, talks about some of the health hazards Thanksgiving can pose to our pets.
Posted: November 19, 2012, 3:00 pm
There are a number of reasons why our pets might experience hearing loss. But whether it’s the result of age, a congenital condition or trauma, there is no reason that a deaf pet can’t live as happy and healthy a life as a pet with normal hearing. In this podcast, Dr. George Strain, professor of neuroscience at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and author of the book “Deafness in Dogs and Cats,” talks about hearing loss in pets.
Posted: October 22, 2012, 3:00 pm
Our pets receive excellent medical care, not only from veterinarians but also from the entire veterinary medical team. A key component of this team is the veterinary technician. To celebrate and promote the role of veterinary technicians, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has proclaimed the third week of October as National Veterinary Technician Week. In this podcast, Cat Holly, president of NAVTA, talks about veterinary technicians and National Veterinary Technician Week.
Posted: October 15, 2012, 3:00 pm
While we typically think of our dogs as cute, cuddly, and adorable friends, some of their behaviors can leave us confused, if not downright disgusted. Take, for example, coprophagia—which is a fancy term for describing the behavior of dogs eating poop ... their own or another animal’s. So why do dogs engage in this behavior? In this podcast, Dr. Belle Marie Nibblett, assistant professor of small animal medicine at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses coprophagia.
Posted: October 1, 2012, 3:00 pm
Friday, Sept. 28, marks the sixth annual World Rabies Day, an international event created to help raise rabies awareness and save lives. Despite major efforts to eradicate the virus, rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year. In the United States, more than 6,000 rabid animals, as well as 6 human cases of rabies, were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 2011. In this podcast, Dr. Lynne White-Shim, assistant director of the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division, talks about rabies and World Rabies Day.
Posted: September 24, 2012, 3:00 pm
Dogs, for the most part, are good at getting along and avoiding confrontation. But occasionally, as with people, fights can break out between them. Whether they’re meeting for the first time or long-time companions, dogs can frighten, threaten, or just rub one another the wrong way, leading to an escalation of aggression and violence. In this podcast, board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and past president of the AVMA, talks about dog fights: why they happen, how to safely break them up, and how to avoid them in the first place.
Posted: September 10, 2012, 3:00 pm
Epilepsy is a common neurologic disorder seen in animals. It is often a very sudden and frightening event for an owner when they witness their animal having a seizure for the first time. One of the ways an owner can be better prepared if they are confronted with this situation is by gaining an understanding of what is happening and how to react. In this podcast, Dr. Tom Walker, assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, talks about epilepsy.
Posted: September 4, 2012, 3:00 pm
As veterinary medicine has become more advanced, and more treatment options for diseases or trauma become available, the need for blood transfusions has increased. To meet this demand, blood banks for pets have become more common. In this podcast, Dr. Leah Cohn, professor of small animal internal medicine at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses pet blood banks, the process of pets giving blood, and the Pets Saving Pets program, which serves as a blood bank for the college’s teaching hospital.
Posted: August 20, 2012, 3:00 pm
Bobcat fever, or cytauxzoonosis, is a deadly tickborne disease that not only affects wild cats, but can threaten our housecats as well. As the tick responsible for transmitting bobcat fever has spread across the country in recent years, so has the disease. Fortunately, a recently developed method of treatment for bobcat fever has greatly increased survival rates for cats infected with the disease. In this podcast, Dr. Leah Cohn, professor of small animal internal medicine at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses bobcat fever and the new treatment protocol, which she helped develop.
Posted: April 30, 2012, 3:00 pm
National Hairball Awareness Day is formally recognized on the last Friday of April. But for cat owners, hairball awareness can happen just about any day. In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, discusses hairballs, how to prevent them and when they can be a cause for concern.
Posted: April 23, 2012, 3:00 pm
As people head outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather this time of year, many will come across young wildlife. Thinking that these adorable, seemingly helpless little creatures have been abandoned, some well-intentioned people will pluck these animals from forest floors and bring them home. Unfortunately this may actually create a problem where one did not exist. In this podcast, Dr. Peregrine Wolff, a veterinarian with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and secretary of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, talks about what to do when encountering young wildlife.
Posted: April 9, 2012, 3:00 pm
Anyone who has been stung by a bee or wasp knows how painful this experience can be. Stings can also be deadly if the victim is allergic, or in the rare case of multiple stings from an aggressive swarm. But what about our pets: What risks do bees and wasps pose to our dogs and cats? In this podcast Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, staff veterinarian at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, talks about the risks of bee and wasp stings for our pets, how to treat them, and how to avoid them.
Posted: March 26, 2012, 3:00 pm
For 50 years, the third week in March has been designated as National Poison Prevention Week, established in 1962 to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. While this week has traditionally focused on the health and safety of people, it’s a good reminder to keep our four-legged members of the household in mind as well. In this podcast, Dr. Justine Lee, a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and the associate director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline, talks about items in and around the house that may be poisonous to our pets.
Posted: March 19, 2012, 3:00 pm
March is Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea Pig Month, created to educate people about guinea pigs and the rescues dedicated to their welfare. But will these furry little rodents make good pets for you and your family? In this podcast, Dr. Adolf Maas, owner of the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital in Bothell, Washington, discusses guinea pigs as pets.
Posted: March 12, 2012, 3:00 pm
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases in cats, but if you or someone close to you has ever been pregnant, you probably know of the risks this parasite can pose to expecting mothers and their unborn children. There have even been reports that toxoplasmosis can cause changes in behavior or mental disorders in people. So just what is this disease, exactly, and what are the risks it poses to people and pets? In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, discusses toxoplasmosis.
Posted: March 5, 2012, 3:00 pm
In recent years, several television shows and news specials have documented the lives of Americans that have practically buried themselves in their own belongings. This behavior, known as hoarding, is often typified by compulsive accumulation and storage of books, clothes, or other nonessential items. For some of these individuals, hoarding goes beyond keepsakes and overflows into the realm of pets. With about 1,500 new cases like this arising each year, there’s no arguing that animal hoarding is a growing problem. In this podcast, Dr. Gary Patronek, clinical assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, discusses animal hoarding.
Posted: February 27, 2012, 3:00 pm
We love our pets. But sometimes, when it comes to rewarding them with treats and food, we might love them a little too much. As a result, our pets are increasingly overweight and obese. To help quantify just how serious this issue has become, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) conducts annual surveys on obesity in U.S. pets. Just last week, the group released its 5th annual survey. In this podcast, Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of APOP, discusses this year’s results.
Posted: February 13, 2012, 3:00 pm
February 1 marks the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. More than just a cosmetic issue, bad breath and yellow teeth can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, and 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. In this podcast, Dr. Linda DeBowes, veterinarian at Shoreline Veterinary Dental Clinic in Seattle, talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: January 30, 2012, 3:00 pm
Most pet owners that have dealt with skin issues in their pets will agree that they are some of the most common (and also some of the most frustrating) problems an animal can have. In this podcast, Dr. Marcia Schwassmann, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist in Maitland, Fla., discusses mange in pets.
Posted: January 17, 2012, 3:00 pm
As pet owners, we do all we can to safeguard our pets from dangers in and around the house. We can do a lot to keep some risks—like medications, poisonous plants, and antifreeze—away from our pets, but some dangers—like wild animals—may be out of our control. In this podcast, Dr. Bernadine Cruz, associate veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in Laguna Woods, Calif., talks about what we can do to protect our pets from wildlife.
Posted: December 19, 2011, 3:00 pm
When talking about veterinarians, we try to avoid the term “vets” to avoid any confusion with the term “veterans.” Dr. Lisa Walker is a vet in both senses of the word. Dr. Walker is an emergency room veterinarian at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., and she recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, where she served as a veterinarian through the U.S. Army Reserves. In this podcast, Dr. Walker discusses her role overseas, and the larger role veterinarians play in the U.S. military.
Posted: December 12, 2011, 3:00 pm
Diabetes affects one in every 200 cats, and one in every 400-500 dogs. While there are serious symptoms and consequences to this disease, proper diabetes management can keep our diabetic pets in good health. In this podcast, Dr. Sandy Willis, a small animal internal medicine specialist at Phoenix Central Laboratory in Everett, Wash., discusses diabetes in pets.
Posted: November 28, 2011, 3:00 pm
Puppies and kittens are adorable. This certainly isn’t breaking news. And it’s no surprise that many people, when considering bringing a pet into their homes, primarily look into adopting a puppy or a kitten. In the meantime, however, they may be overlooking older dogs and cats that might be a more suitable fit for their homes and lifestyles. To help get these older animals out of shelters and into homes, November has been designated as Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Dr. René Carlson, president of the AVMA, explains why older dogs and cats make such great pets.
Posted: November 14, 2011, 3:00 pm
Although it may be difficult to estimate the number of stray dogs and cats living in the United States, it is a significant enough number that people encounter them on a regular basis. A common question that arises in this situation is, “what should I do?” In this podcast, Dr. Bernadine Cruz, associate veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in Laguna Woods, Calif., discusses what you should do when coming across a stray dog or cat.
Posted: November 7, 2011, 3:00 pm
You’ve probably seen dogs scoot before ... pulling themselves forward on their front legs and allowing their rear end to drag against the floor. But what does this behavior mean, exactly? Are they just creatively scratching a hard-to-reach itch, or could this behavior indicate the need for medical attention? In this podcast, Dr. Ernie Ward, founder and chief-of-staff of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., and a featured veterinarian on the Rachael Ray Show, discusses scooting in dogs.
Posted: October 31, 2011, 3:00 pm
Lights and decorations, costumes and masks, a constant parade of strangers at the door ... Halloween can be a downright spooky experience for our pets. So what can pet owners do to ensure their furry friends have a happy and healthy holiday? In this podcast, Dr. Kim May, assistant director of professional and public affairs at the AVMA, discusses ways to ensure your pets’ health and safety this Halloween.
Posted: October 24, 2011, 3:00 pm
Some of you might be familiar with the bacterial disease leptospirosis, perhaps through the vaccine given to dogs. But leptospirosis, or lepto, can infect other animals and people as well. First identified in the late 19th Century, lepto, has been recognized as an emerging global health problem due to large clusters of cases resulting from exposure during recreational activities and natural disasters. In this podcast, Dr. Richard Goldstein, an assistant professor of medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses the threat lepto poses to people, pets and other animals, and how we can prevent it.
Posted: October 17, 2011, 3:00 pm
Our pets receive excellent medical care in the United States, not only from veterinarians but also from the entire veterinary medical team. A key component of this team is the veterinary technician. To celebrate and promote the role of veterinary technicians, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has proclaimed the third week of October as National Veterinary Technician Week. In this podcast, Julie Legred, president of NAVTA, talks about veterinary technicians and National Veterinary Technician Week.
Posted: October 10, 2011, 3:00 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 28 marks the fifth annual World Rabies Day, an international event created to help raise rabies awareness and save lives. Despite major efforts to eradicate the virus, rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year. In the United States, one to two people die annually from the virus, and in 2010, more than 6,000 U.S. cases of rabies in animals were reported. In this podcast, Dr. Lynne White-Shim, assistant director of the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division, talks about rabies and World Rabies Day.
Posted: September 26, 2011, 3:00 pm
Porcupines are a common form of wildlife throughout North America, and as human and pet populations continue to grow, encounters with these prickly rodents are becoming more common. We humans (hopefully) know better than to approach a porcupine, but what if your overly curious or friendly pets get a little too close for comfort? In this podcast, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, staff veterinarian at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, discusses what to do if your pet has a painfully close encounter with a porcupine.
Posted: September 19, 2011, 3:00 pm
Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common diseases of middle-aged and older cats. While cats with this condition can become seriously ill, in many cases hyperthyroidism is a treatable disease, and one from which most cats can make a complete recovery. In this podcast, board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist Dr. Sandy Willis discusses hyperthyroidism in cats.
Posted: September 12, 2011, 3:00 pm
Approximately 20 percent of adult dogs have osteoarthritis, and 45 percent of cats experience arthritic pain. That’s according to the Morris Animal Foundation, which has supported several studies on arthritis-related issues. Veterinarians can offer medications and treatments to help ease the pain associated with arthritis, but what can pet owners do at home to make their arthritic pets’ lives more comfortable? In this podcast, Dr. Darryl Millis, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, offers advice on caring for arthritic pets at home.
Posted: August 22, 2011, 3:00 pm
Rabbits are some of the most popular specialty or exotic pets in the United States, with more than 6 million rabbits owned as pets. And just like our dogs and cats, rabbits require regular veterinary care to ensure they live happy and healthy lives. One important component of these veterinary visits is dental care. In this podcast, Dr. James Clarkson, owner of Westarbor Animal Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., talks about the importance of regular dental care for rabbits.
Posted: August 15, 2011, 3:00 pm
It’s an image we’re all familiar with: A dog chomping contentedly on a clean, white bone. But last year, the FDA issued a firm warning to dog owners: Bones are unsafe for your dog. In this podcast, Dr. Larry Kornegay, president of the AVMA, talks about why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone.
Posted: July 11, 2011, 3:00 pm
June is Adopt-A-Cat Month, in which several organizations—including the AVMA—hope to promote the benefits of having a cat (or cats) in the house and encourage responsible adoption and ownership to mitigate the problem of overpopulation. So far this month we’ve talked about the joys and benefits of cat ownership, and tips on selecting the perfect cat for you. This week, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, shares tips on preparing your home for a new cat.
Posted: June 20, 2011, 3:00 pm
June is Adopt-A-Cat Month. But if you’re interested in bringing a cat home, do you know where you should go to find one, and how you can make sure that the cat you adopt is the right cat for you? In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, and owner and director of the Cat Hospital at Towson in Baltimore, shares tips on finding the cat that’s right for you and your family.
Posted: June 6, 2011, 3:00 pm
Each year around this time, thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. To help address this booming population of cats in need of a home, the American Humane Association—along with partner organizations the AVMA, CATalyst Council and Petfinder—are observing Adopt-A-Cat Month in June. These groups hope to promote the benefits of having a cat (or cats) in the house and encourage responsible adoption and ownership to mitigate the problem of overpopulation. In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council, discusses the joys of having cats in the house.
Posted: May 31, 2011, 3:00 pm
This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, hosted by the AVMA to help stop the nearly 5 million dog bites that happen every year in the United States. Last week we spoke about dog bite prevention with former AVMA president Dr. Bonnie Beaver, focusing more on the human behaviors that might trigger, or prevent, dog bites. This week, we want to focus on canine behavior, and what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting. In this podcast, Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” shares training tips to help prevent dog bites.
Posted: May 16, 2011, 3:00 pm
Last year, nearly 5 million people were bitten by dogs in the United States, and nearly a million people, more than half of them children, require medical attention for dog bites every year. To help educate the public on how best to prevent dog bites, the AVMA is again teaming up with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Postal Service to sponsor the 17th annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from May 15-21. In this podcast, Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the AVMA, discusses dog bite prevention strategies.
Posted: May 9, 2011, 3:00 pm
This week a group of radiation and animal rescue experts from the United States and Japan will meet in Tokyo to discuss the current crisis in Japan and develop steps to provide aid to animals inside the evacuation zone. One of those in attendance will be Dr. Lisa Murphy, an AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team member and Assistant Professor of Toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. In this podcast, Dr. Murphy discusses her role in the summit and what she hopes the group will achieve.
Posted: May 2, 2011, 3:00 pm
While we rely on the expertise of our veterinarians to ensure the health and well-being of our pets, pet owners know more about their animals than anyone, and it’s vital that we bring that knowledge with us when visiting the veterinarian. So what should we be prepared to talk about or ask our veterinarians on a visit? In this podcast, Dr. René Carlson, a small animal veterinarian from Wisconsin and president-elect of the AVMA, talks about things to ask your veterinarian.
Posted: April 25, 2011, 3:00 pm
This summer Dr. Marty Becker, who you may know from his appearances on Good Morning America and the Dr. Oz show, will be hitting the road on a 7-week bus tour to promote a new book on dog care and the message “Healthy Pets Visit Vets.” As part of this tour he’ll be stopping at PETCOs across the country to answer questions from dog owners about the health and well-being of their pets. In this podcast, Dr. Becker explains the importance of regular wellness exams for our pets, and shares some tips on dog care.
Posted: April 18, 2011, 3:00 pm
Selecting a veterinarian can be one of the most important decisions you make for the health and well-being of your pet. Your veterinarian could very well provide medical care and oversight for the entire life of your pet, so it’s important to find a doctor that’s right for you and your pet. In this podcast, Dr. René Carlson, a small animal veterinarian from Cheteck, Wis., and president-elect of the AVMA, offers advice on selecting a veterinarian.
Posted: April 11, 2011, 3:00 pm
While relief and recovery missions in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami have focused on humanitarian efforts, there is a large and growing concern for the animals of Japan-the pets, livestock, and wildlife that may also have been injured, killed, or displaced in the initial wave of disasters, or exposed to radiation in the aftermath. Dr. Michael Hannon, coordinator of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps and a member of the AVMA Veterinary Medical Assistance Team, talks about what’s happening in Japan, the risk to animals and people in the United States, and how U.S. pet owners can prepare for similar types of disasters.
Posted: April 4, 2011, 3:00 pm
West Nile Virus has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until 1999, when it was first identified in New York, that it appeared on the radar for most of us in the United States. The virus is now found in nearly every state and has proven fatal to not only humans but birds and horses, and has caused illness in other animals as well. In this podcast, Dr. Don Hoenig, state veterinarian and state public health veterinarian from Maine, discusses West Nile virus as it relates to animals, including our pets.
Posted: March 28, 2011, 3:00 pm
For 46 years, the third week in March has been designated as National Poison Prevention Week, established in 1965 to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. While this week has traditionally focused on the health and safety of people, it’s a good reminder to keep our four-legged members of the household in mind as well. In this podcast, Dr. Justine Lee, a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and the associate director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline, talks about items in and around the house that may be poisonous to our pets.
Posted: March 21, 2011, 4:00 pm
This past week, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention released the results of its 4th annual survey on obesity in U.S. pets, and the numbers are not good: According to the survey, more than half of U.S. dogs and cats are considered overweight or obese. In this podcast, Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, discusses the results of the survey, the health risks of extra weight on pets, and how owners can help bring their pets down to a proper size.
Posted: February 28, 2011, 4:00 pm
When it comes to pets, most of us opt for the four-legged variety. But for some, eight-legged pets are twice as nice. So why do some people enjoy bringing spiders into their homes, when most of us try so hard to keep them out? In this podcast, Dr. Mark Mitchell, associate professor of zoological medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, explains why for some people, spiders make ideal pets.
Posted: February 14, 2011, 4:00 pm
February 1 marks the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. More than just a cosmetic issue, bad breath and yellow teeth can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, and 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. In this podcast, Dr. Linda DeBowes from the Shoreline Veterinary Dental Clinic in Seattle talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: January 31, 2011, 4:00 pm
Hip dysplasia is a familiar term for the pet-owning public, even if they haven’t experienced it directly with their own pets. But what exactly is hip dysplasia? In this podcast, Dr. Amy Kapatkin, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, talks about this condition in pets.
Posted: January 18, 2011, 3:00 pm
We read the headlines time and time again: Pets missing for weeks, months, even years, sometimes separated by hundreds of miles, reunited with their owners thanks to microchips implanted in the animals. But what exactly are microchips, and how do they help reunite lost pets with their owners? In this podcast, Dr. Linda Lord, assistant director at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about the importance of microchipping your pets.
Posted: January 10, 2011, 3:00 pm
Antifreeze is a key component in keeping our cars running smoothly, particularly in these colder winter months, but just a little leaked or spilled antifreeze can cause big problems for our pets. Just one teaspoon can be lethal for a 10 pound cat, and about 5 teaspoons can be deadly for a large dog. In this podcast, Dr. Camille DeClementi, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist with the ASPCA, talks about antifreeze toxicity in pets.
Posted: December 13, 2010, 3:00 pm
Losing hair, gaining weight, going to the bathroom more often ... these could just be signs that your dog is getting older, or they might be symptoms of Cushing’s disease, which, if properly treated, could greatly increase your dog’s quality of life. In this podcast, Dr. Christopher Byers, a board certified internist and critical care specialist, and the director of intensive care at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, Md., talks about Cushing’s disease in dogs.
Posted: November 29, 2010, 3:00 pm
When it comes to giving human foods to pets, there seems to be a consensus on the risk of some foods or ingredients—like chocolate, grapes, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol—but some disagreement on others. Garlic, for example, is often considered to be hazardous to pets, but some believe that garlic is beneficial in moderation, either to boost the pet’s immune system or as an anti-flea treatment. In this podcast, Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of veterinary outreach and education at the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, talks about garlic and pets.
Posted: November 22, 2010, 3:00 pm
Tear staining is something that most dog owners have seen. Apart from being mildly unappealing to look at, most of us just dismiss the stained, wet fur in the corners of our dog’s eyes as normal. So is tear staining just a cosmetic issue, or can it be a sign of a more serious problem? In this podcast, Dr. Bill Miller, a board-certified-veterinary ophthalmologist from Jackson, Miss., discusses tear staining in dogs.
Posted: November 15, 2010, 3:00 pm
Internet pharmacies have emerged recently as a source of drugs not only for humans, but our pets as well. But is it safe to purchase our pets’ drugs online? In this podcast, Dr. Chuck Lemme, a member of the AVMA Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee, discusses Internet pharmacies.
Posted: November 8, 2010, 3:00 pm
There is an increasing awareness among hunters that there are health risks associated with hunting and handling wildlife. While this shouldn’t discourage people from hunting, it should encourage hunters to learn how to reduce the risks they might be exposed to. In this podcast, Dr. Peregrine Wolff, a veterinarian with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and chair of the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues, talks about how hunters can minimize the health risks associated with hunting and handling wildlife.
Posted: November 1, 2010, 3:00 pm
Lights and decorations, costumes and masks, a constant parade of strangers at the door ... Halloween can be a downright spooky experience for our pets. So what can pet owners do to ensure their furry friends have a happy and healthy holiday? In this podcast, Dr. Kim May, assistant director of professional and public affairs at the AVMA, discusses ways to ensure your pet’s health and safety this Halloween.
Posted: October 25, 2010, 3:00 pm
Many of us know that anemia is a condition that affects humans, but did you know that it can affect your pet, too? In this podcast, Dr. Elizabeth Davidow, medical director of Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in Seattle, Wash., discusses the different causes and treatment options for anemia in pets.
Posted: October 18, 2010, 3:00 pm
Our pets receive excellent medical care in the United States, not only from veterinarians but from the entire veterinary medical team. An integral component of this team is the veterinary technician. To celebrate and promote the role of veterinary technicians, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has proclaimed the third week of October as National Veterinary Technician Week. In this podcast, Denise Mikita, president of NAVTA, talks about veterinary technicians and National Veterinary Technician Week.
Posted: October 11, 2010, 3:00 pm
Puddles of piddle, scraps of leather from your favorite shoes, a hole in the new sofa ... just a few of the surprises that some pet owners come home to everyday. So what makes our usually mild-mannered dogs turn into tornados of destruction while we are gone? The answer may be more than just mischief. Many dogs experience mild to moderate separation anxiety. Fortunately for pet owners, there are solutions. In this podcast, Dr. Julia Albright, a veterinary behaviorist at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about pet separation anxiety.
Posted: October 4, 2010, 3:00 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 28 marks the fourth annual World Rabies Day, an international event created to help raise rabies awareness and save lives. Despite major efforts to eradicate the virus, rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year. In the United States, one to two people die annually from the virus, and in 2009, nearly 7,000 U.S. cases of rabies in animals were reported. In this podcast, Dr. Lynne White-Shim, assistant director of the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division, talks about rabies and World Rabies Day.
Posted: September 27, 2010, 3:00 pm
The first three months of a dog’s life are crucial for preparing that dog for all of the different sights, sounds, smells, and situations she will encounter during her lifetime. By safely introducing your puppy to different people, dogs, and other animals, you can help her become a more confident, well-adjusted dog. In this podcast, Dr. Lisa Radosta, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist from Royal Palm Beach, Fla., talks about proper puppy socialization.
Posted: September 20, 2010, 3:00 pm
While many of us know that our dogs and cats can expose us to germs that might make us sick, you might be surprised to learn that our pet fish have the potential to spread germs to us as well. In this podcast, Dr. Stephen Smith, professor of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about zoonotic diseases of pet fish and how fish owners can avoid them.
Posted: September 13, 2010, 3:00 pm
September is National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council. Designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities, it is also an important reminder to think about the needs of our animals in emergency situations. In this podcast, Dr. Kristi Henderson, assistant director within the AVMA’s Division of Scientific Activities, talks about National Preparedness Month and disaster preparedness plans for our pets and livestock.
Posted: September 7, 2010, 3:00 pm
Cats are the most popular pet in the United States, outnumbering dogs 82 million to 72 million. Yet cats are only half as likely as their canine counterparts to visit the veterinarian. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that cats are better at hiding illness or injury better than dogs. Another reason is that cats can make visits to the veterinarian downright unpleasant. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this podcast, Dr. Diane Eigner, director of the Cat Doctor in Philadelphia and past-president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, talks about stress-free veterinary visits for cats.
Posted: August 30, 2010, 2:00 pm
Discovered in 1978, canine parvovirus is a potentially fatal disease that is one of the most threatening viruses for dogs, especially puppies. Dr. Sandy Willis, a small animal internist at Phoenix Central Laboratory in Everett, Wash., discusses the risks of canine parvovirus, how it is spread, and how it can be avoided.
Posted: August 23, 2010, 2:00 pm
A recent report in the journal Pediatrics for the first time linked dry dog and cat food products and treats to cases of human Salmonella infection. Many pet food products have been recalled this year because testing has identified Salmonella contamination. But what does all this mean for pet owners? In this podcast, Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA, talks about Salmonella and the safety of pet food.
Posted: August 16, 2010, 2:00 pm
Eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. The 9-5 business day is nothing new to American families, but what do our furry friends think of that schedule? Now more than ever, people are taking into consideration the effects of the long work day on the family pet. Doggy daycare centers are popping up all over the country, but is there another option? Some businesses are switching from blue collar to “leash and collar” and allowing their employees to bring their pets with them to work. In this podcast, Joan Carrese Sineni, executive vice president of Z Communications, or Zcomm, in Bethesda, Md., discusses pet-friendly businesses.
Posted: August 2, 2010, 2:00 pm
Cataracts are an eye problem that most people are familiar with but don’t really understand. We all know about the cloudiness that creeps into the eyes of our aging dogs, but feel helpless to prevent it. Some dogs may even develop cataracts while they’re still fairly young. But are cataracts simply a sign of aging, or are they symptomatic of an underlying problem? In this podcast, Dr. Bill Miller, board certified veterinary ophthalmologist and diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, discusses canine cataracts.
Posted: July 26, 2010, 2:00 pm
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect dogs and cats of any age or breed in every region of the United States. Fortunately, heartworm disease is also nearly 100 percent preventable. In this podcast, Dr. Sheldon Rubin, past president of the American Heartworm Society, talks about how our pets get heartworms, how they can be treated, and how heartworms can be avoided altogether.
Posted: July 12, 2010, 2:00 pm
It’s an image we’re all familiar with: A dog chomping contentedly on a clean, white bone. But in April 2010, the FDA issued a firm warning to dog owners: Bones are unsafe for your dog. In this podcast, Dr. Larry Kornegay, president-elect of the AVMA, talks about why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone.
Posted: July 6, 2010, 2:00 pm
Guinea pigs had a big year in 2009, when they were featured as action heroes in Disney’s animated movie G-Force. But will these movie stars make good pets for you and your family? In this podcast, Dr. Adolf Maas, owner of the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital in Bothell, Wash., talks about guinea pigs as pets.
Posted: June 28, 2010, 2:00 pm
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America nearly 50 million people suffer from allergies. But it’s not just humans who have food and seasonal allergies. Our four-footed friends fall victim to allergies more commonly than many people realize. In this podcast, Dr. Karen Kuhl, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist at the Midwest Veterinary Dermatology Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill., talks about allergies in pets.
Posted: June 21, 2010, 2:00 pm
As any experienced traveler will tell you, traveling by car takes a lot more than a full tank of gas and a good GPS. It requires careful planning, especially when traveling with a pet. In this podcast, Dr. Greg Hammer, a small animal veterinarian in Dover, Del., and past president of the AVMA, offers tips on road tripping with your pets.
Posted: June 14, 2010, 2:00 pm
Internal parasites are a constant threat to horses and can cause all sorts of respiratory, digestive, and performance problems. But the good news is that they can be effectively treated. By teaming up with a veterinarian, owners can reduce their horse’s risk by following regular preventive measures. In this podcast, Dr. Emily Robinson, an equine veterinarian from the Surgi-Care Center for Horses in Brandon, Fla., talks about internal parasites in horses.
Posted: June 7, 2010, 2:00 pm
Summer is fast approaching, and while the season provides great opportunities to get out of the house and spend time outdoors, it can also present many dangers to our pets, particularly our dogs. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, Calif., talks about how to keep our pet dogs safe in the summer heat.
Posted: June 1, 2010, 2:00 pm
Long a staple of barnyards, pigs are beginning to show up more and more in our backyards. But these porcine pets aren’t exactly like the farm animals most of us are familiar with. Potbellied pigs, a breed that originates in Vietnam and is smaller than the standard farm pig in the United States, have been embraced by some as wonderful pets. But are they? In this podcast, Dr. Valarie Tynes, a behavior consultant in Texas, talks about potbellied pigs.
Posted: May 24, 2010, 2:00 pm
Last year, nearly 5 million people were bitten by dogs in the United States, and nearly a million people, more than half of them children, require medical attention for dog bites every year. To help educate the public on how best to prevent dog bites, the AVMA is again teaming up with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Postal Service to sponsor the 16th annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from May 16-22. In this podcast, Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the AVMA, discusses dog bite prevention strategies.
Posted: May 17, 2010, 2:00 pm
Lower urinary tract problems are fairly common in cats, and, if not properly addressed, can be life threatening. In this podcast, Dr. Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital, discusses lower urinary tract problems in cats.
Posted: May 10, 2010, 2:00 pm
Say the word plague and most people probably think of the Black Death that decimated medieval Europe. Many would be surprised to hear that this same disease is with us today, around the world and in the United States, and can still pose a threat to us, and possibly our pets as well. In this podcast, Dr. Paul Ettestad, New Mexico state veterinarian, discusses the threat of plague to people and pets.
Posted: May 3, 2010, 2:00 pm
In 2006, owners took their dogs to veterinarians more than twice as often as cats. To address this discrepancy in care, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) released their Feline Life Stage Guidelines. These guidelines provide health care recommendations specific to the various life stages of cats and offer strategies to help veterinarians address common stressors and work more successfully with anxious cats. In this podcast, Dr. Jane Brunt, past president of the AAFP and executive director of the CATalyst Council, talks about these new guidelines and the importance of bringing your cat to the veterinarian ... even when she doesn’t appear to be sick.
Posted: April 26, 2010, 2:00 pm
Besides serving as our loyal companions, dogs perform a number of other tasks as well, including bomb detection, search and rescue operations, and guiding the visually impaired. To help give back to these dogs that give so much to us, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists—or ACVO—will be offering free vision screenings to service dogs during the ACVO National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, which has expanded this year to include the entire month of May. In this podcast, Dr. Brady Beale, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, Pa.. talks about the event and the importance of veterinary eye exams.
Posted: April 19, 2010, 2:00 pm
Many of us are aware of the household hazards that can threaten our pets, and work to keep our homes safe for them, but what about outside the home ... can the things we do to grow healthy lawns and gardens be harmful, even fatal, to our pets? In this podcast, Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of veterinary outreach and education for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, discusses lawn and garden care and pet safety
Posted: April 12, 2010, 2:00 pm
Our dogs may be loyal companions, but we sometimes test their patience when we ask them to sit still for a bath or a nail trim. Some people leave this work to the experts—dog groomers that perform these services for a living. But what do dog owners need to know before taking their dogs to a groomer? Dr. Derrick Landini, owner and founder of the Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic in Chicago, offers tips on selecting a dog groomer
Posted: April 5, 2010, 2:00 pm
Our pets receive excellent medical care in the United States, not only from veterinarians but from the entire veterinary medical team. In this podcast, Josh Clark, a member of the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, talks about the integral role veterinary technicians play in the health of pets and all animals that receive veterinary care.
Posted: March 29, 2010, 2:00 pm
A recent survey found that 80 percent of household cats hiss at each other, and even more will swat their paws. These complaints of feline aggression, and others, are on the rise and may be a result of the “potato-chip” syndrome – cat owners that just can’t stop at one. Cats are social animals, but people forget that they also need their space. Multiple cat households don’t always allow for adequate distancing during a conflict. In this podcast, Dr. Jacqueline Neilson, owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Ore., offers tips on how to limit aggression between household cats.
Posted: March 22, 2010, 2:00 pm
If your pet is injured, it’s probably in a lot of pain, and scared and confused too. And that means it could unintentionally scratch or bite. In this podcast, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald from Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, Colo., and a featured veterinarian in Animal Planet’s television series E-Vet Interns, offers tips on how to care for an injured pet, without causing further injury.
Posted: March 15, 2010, 2:00 pm
Upper respiratory infections in cats are similar to colds in humans, and while they are often nothing to worry about, they can have serious consequences, particularly in shelters, where they are among the top reasons why shelter cats are put down. In this podcast, Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California-Davis, talks about feline upper respiratory infections and her current research on the subject.
Posted: March 8, 2010, 3:00 pm
Destructive behavior, such as scratching furniture, is one of the leading reasons people give up on pet cats. Declawing is one method of addressing the problem, but what if you don’t want to declaw your cat, or live in an area that doesn’t allow the procedure? Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a veterinary behaviorist and past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, offers tips on how to keep your kitty’s claws from ripping up your furniture.
Posted: March 1, 2010, 3:00 pm
When selecting a pet for your family, reptiles are often overlooked, but they are fascinating creatures and include some of the most ancient species on Earth. Pet reptiles are also a great alternative to cats and dogs because they require less daily care and exercise. Before choosing a reptile, people must take many things into consideration, including how the pet can fit within their lifestyle and whether or not a pet reptile is an affordable option. Dr. Adolf Maas, owner of the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital in Bothell, Wash., talks about selecting a pet reptile.
Posted: February 16, 2010, 3:00 pm
Clean, affectionate, and sociable, rabbits can make excellent house pets, but selecting a rabbit takes a lot of time and consideration. Some important things to think about include the rabbit’s breed, your lifestyle and what owning a rabbit will cost. Potential owners must also educate themselves about the care, housing, feeding, and socialization needs of a pet rabbit. In this podcast, Dr. Cathy Johnson-Delaney, president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, talks about selecting a pet rabbit.
Posted: February 8, 2010, 3:00 pm
February marks the 16th anniversary of National Pet Dental Health Month. Far from just a cosmetic issue, bad breath and yellow teeth can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, and 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. Dr. Linda DeBowes, veterinarian at Shoreline Veterinary Dental Clinic in Seattle, talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: February 1, 2010, 3:00 pm
Pet birds are extraordinary and marvelous creatures that enrich the lives of their owners. However, without the proper environmental conditions, birds can experience an increase in aggression, social avoidance, and self-inflicted injuries. It’s important for owners to create a nurturing and supportive atmosphere that will allow pet birds to express their natural behaviors in a healthy way. Dr. Lynne Seibert, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist from Suwanee, Ga., talks about the importance of behavioral enrichment for pet birds.
Posted: January 25, 2010, 3:00 pm
It’s not an uncommon problem among cat owners: Just as you’re settling into sleep you’re awoken by the thundering of cat paws racing around the house, jumping over furniture or batting at toys. Or, less subtle cats might spend the night meowing on your bed, nipping at your toes, or walking on your face. Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council and past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, offers tips on how to keep our otherwise nocturnal cats on the day shift.
Posted: January 19, 2010, 3:00 pm
Food and family are two very important components of all of our lives, and that certainly goes for our pets as well. It’s no wonder that they’re so eager to join us when we gather around the table for dinner. And it’s hard to say no to those wide eyes or persistent paws encouraging us to share from our plates. But this behavior can quickly turn from endearing to annoying, and once established, it can be hard to stop. Animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin talks about how we may inadvertently train our pets to beg for food ... and how we can get them to stop.
Posted: January 11, 2010, 3:00 pm
The holiday season is upon us, and while we humans revel in the food, decorations, and celebrations of the season, they can be very frightening, if not downright dangerous, for our pets. In this podcast, Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Woods, Calif., discusses ways to ensure your pet’s health and safety during the holidays.
Posted: December 21, 2009, 3:00 pm
In the movies, kissing a frog can result in a prince. But, as the disclaimer often says, “Do not try this at home.” Frogs, like all amphibians, can be a source of Salmonella infections in people. The same is true for reptiles, like turtles or snakes. Instead of a prince, improper handling of amphibians and reptiles – and that includes kissing a frog – can result in a nasty illness. Dr. Mark Mitchell, associate professor of zoological medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about amphibians, reptiles, and Salmonella.
Posted: December 14, 2009, 3:00 pm
We know that proper dental care is important for our health, and we’ve explained on a previous episode of Animal Tracks how important it is for our dogs and cats as well. But did you know that dental care is an integral part of the health of horses? In this podcast, Dr. B.A. Rucker, an equine veterinarian who specializes in dentistry and a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Equine Practitioners, discusses equine dentistry.
Posted: December 7, 2009, 3:00 pm
While cats are the most popular pet in the United States, their biggest behavioral problem, house soiling, is very unpopular with their owners. Studies report that house soiling is the leading cause of relinquishment of cats to shelters. Understanding the underlying motivation for house soiling is critical in creating a targeted treatment plan and helping owners becoming more tolerant and understanding of their pets behavior. Dr. Jacqueline Neilson, owner of the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Ore., talks about ways to eliminate feline house soiling.
Posted: November 23, 2009, 3:00 pm
Since 1977, the American Cancer Society has marked the third Thursday of November as the Great American Smokeout. Smokers are encouraged to go all day without lighting up, in the hopes that this will help them to quit for good. While this has obvious health benefits for the people who smoke, it also can improve the health of their pets. Dr. John Reif, professor and head of the Department of Environmental Health at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, talks about the health risks of tobacco smoke to pets
Posted: November 16, 2009, 3:00 pm
Osteoarthritis is a chronic, non-infectious, progressive disorder affecting the joints of both younger and older dogs and cats. But the clinical signs, including reluctance to perform tasks or activities, are similar regardless of the pet’s age. If left untreated, osteoarthritis can produce an irritable, reclusive, and uncomfortable pet, so it’s important for owners to be aware of its signs, as well as ways to prevent it—or, at least, minimize their pet’s risk--and treat their beloved pets if they do develop the disorder. Dr. William Fortney, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about managing arthritis in dogs and cats.
Posted: November 9, 2009, 3:00 pm
Silent and nearly maintenance free, pet fish are often considered to be a tranquil home companion. But many fish owners may not be aware of a serious but common ailment that fish experience called swim bladder disease, also known as buoyancy disorder. In this podcast, Dr. Brian Palmeiro, with the Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, Pa, discusses buoyancy disorders in pet fish
Posted: November 2, 2009, 3:00 pm
Halloween is here again, and with it comes a unique set of thrills and chills for pets and their owners. Dr. Kim May, assistant director of professional and public affairs at the American Veterinary Medical Association, discusses ways to ensure your pet’s health and safety during this holiday season.
Posted: October 26, 2009, 3:00 pm
Dogs often act aggressively towards people that are unfamiliar to them. Many times this behavior is incorrectly attributed to dominance rather than fear because they elicit the same response – barking, growling and biting. It is important for owners to recognize the difference so they are best able to manage aggression within their pet. Dr. Barbara Sherman, professor of veterinary behavior at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about how to recognize and address canine fear aggression.
Posted: October 19, 2009, 3:00 pm
Our pets receive excellent medical care in the United States, not only from veterinarians but from the entire veterinary medical team. An integral component of this team is the veterinary technician. To celebrate and promote the role of veterinary technicians, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, or NAVTA, has proclaimed the third week of October as National Veterinary Technicians Week. Cherylann Gieseke, president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, discusses National Veterinary Technicians Week
Posted: October 12, 2009, 3:00 pm
If you’ve been listening to these podcasts, you know that we’ve talked about household hazards that could potentially poison your pet. We’re sure you do your best to keep them where your pets can’t get into them, but do you know what you’d do if your pet still managed to be exposed to something poisonous? How you react could save your pet’s life. Dr. Steven Hansen, senior vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, talks about what to do if your pet is poisoned.
Posted: October 5, 2009, 3:00 pm
September 28 marks the third annual World Rabies Day, an international event created to help raise rabies awareness and save lives. Despite major efforts to eradicate the virus, rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing more than 55,000 people every year. In the United States one to two people die annually from the virus, and in 2007 more than 7,000 U.S. cases of animal rabies were reported. Dr. Benjamin Sun, Chair of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Rabies Compendium Committee, talks about rabies.
Posted: September 28, 2009, 3:00 pm
Abnormal repetitive behaviors in our pets—such as tail or shadow chasing—are some of the most complex and least understood of the behavior problems affecting dogs and cats. Dr. Valarie Tynes, a veterinarian with Premier Veterinary Behavior Consulting in Fort Worth, Texas, talks about why these behaviors develop, and what can be done to stop them.
Posted: September 21, 2009, 3:00 pm
Most of us are familiar with the threat that diseases, such as canine parvovirus, pose to puppies. But perhaps an even greater threat is improper socialization. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 40 percent of the millions of dogs relinquished to shelters each year are surrendered because of unacceptable behaviors. In addition, countless healthy dogs are put down every year because of behavior problems that, according to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Lynn Sueda, could be prevented through early-age intervention and treatment.
Posted: September 14, 2009, 3:00 pm
In early 2004, greyhounds at Florida racetracks began getting sick with an unusual illness, which testing later revealed to be a new form of influenza normally found in horses. This new canine influenza quickly spread out of the racetrack and shelter settings of Florida to infect nearly 100 percent of dogs exposed to it in several states across the country. While it mostly causes mild symptoms, if any, it can cause severe illness ... even death. Dr. Cynda Crawford, a veterinary immunologist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and part of the group that originally identified the virus, discusses canine influenza.
Posted: September 8, 2009, 3:00 pm
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson discusses why he has joined the fight against pet obesity, and offers tips on how pets and their owners can get and stay fit together.
Posted: August 31, 2009, 3:00 pm
Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald explains how too many treats might be piling the pounds on America’s pets.
Posted: August 24, 2009, 3:00 pm
In this podcast, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald explains how a few extra pounds can lead to big problems for our pets.
Posted: August 17, 2009, 3:00 pm
Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald instructs pet owners on how to tell if their dogs or cats are overweight.
Posted: August 10, 2009, 3:00 pm
As fish become more popular as pets, the demand for veterinarians to look after their health also increases. Whether you’ve got a guppie or a koi, any fish owner who develops a strong bond with their fish wants access to the best health care they can find. As the field of aquatic veterinary medicine expands, so do the medical options available for sick or injured fish. One of these options, explains Dr. Craig Adams, a mixed-animal veterinarian and owner of Aquatic Veterinary Services in western Washington, is surgery.
Posted: July 27, 2009, 3:00 pm
Dogs aren’t born programmed to sit, stay, or heel, but they are born ready to learn, and a good trainer can be an invaluable asset in helping your puppy become a well-behaved dog. In this podcast, certified animal behaviorist Dr. Suzanne Hetts discusses what you should look for when selecting a dog trainer.
Posted: July 20, 2009, 3:00 pm
Recent reports indicate that 25 to 40 percent of dogs are overweight or obese, and obesity is now the most common nutritional disease in human beings and dogs. So what’s to be done? For many the answer may be as simple as a leash and good pair of walking shoes. Dr. Heidi Hulon, a small animal veterinarian with the Buckner Animal Clinic in Buckner, Ky., talks about how pets can help motivate exercise and physical activity to benefit both humans and their pets.
Posted: July 13, 2009, 3:00 pm
In our latest podcast, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald offers advice on how to give pills to cats.
Posted: July 6, 2009, 3:00 pm
With the Fourth of July fast approaching, many of us are making plans to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Many of those plans will include, at some point or another, oohing and ahhing over fireworks. While entertaining to us humans, fireworks can be a traumatic surprise for our pets. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, offers tips on how to keep pets safe and secure on the Fourth of July.
Posted: June 29, 2009, 3:00 pm
We humans know better than to cross paths with skunks, but our pets might not know just how bad an idea it is to pick a fight with-or even just investigate-a skunk. Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald from Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, Colorado, and a featured veterinarian in Animal Planet’s television series E-Vet Interns, talks about what to do if your pet is sprayed by a skunk.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 3:00 pm
Earlier this month, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) issued an updated version of its Senior Care Guidelines for cats. Like many animals, cats are masters at hiding signs of illness, so as they age it’s imperative that pet owners know how to recognize illness in their cats and work with their veterinarians to ensure a high quality of care and a high quality of life. Dr. Gerard Beekman, a veterinarian with Coastal Cats Feline Health Care in Maine and co-author of the AAFP Senior Care Guidelines, offers tips on caring for an older cat.
Posted: June 15, 2009, 3:00 pm
Most of us think of mosquitoes as a nuisance, but they can also be a serious threat to our health. West Nile Virus is probably the most well-known mosquito-borne disease in the United States, but there are several others, including our subject of today’s podcast, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Dr. Donald Hoenig, the state veterinarian of Maine, discusses the dangers of EEE, for horses and people.
Posted: June 8, 2009, 3:00 pm
Most of us are aware of the dangers of the drug-resistant pathogen MRSA, particularly in health care settings such as hospitals. But as Kristy Bradley, Public Health Veterinarian and Epidemiologist for the State of Oklahoma, explains, MRSA is an emerging threat for our pets as well.
Posted: June 1, 2009, 3:00 pm
Summer is fast approaching, and while the season provides great opportunities to get out of the house and spend time outdoors, it can also present many dangers to our pets, particularly our dogs. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, Calif., and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, talks about how to keep our pet dogs safe in the summer heat.
Posted: May 26, 2009, 3:00 pm
To help educate the public on how best to prevent dog bites, the American Veterinary Medical Association is again teaming up with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Postal Service to sponsor the 15th annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from May 17-23. In this podcast, Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the AVMA, discusses dog bite prevention strategies.
Posted: May 18, 2009, 3:00 pm
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect dogs and cats of any age or breed in every region of the United States. Fortunately, heartworm disease is also nearly 100 percent preventable. Dr. Sheldon Rubin, president of the American Heartworm Society, talks about how our pets get heartworms, how they can be treated, and how heartworms can be avoided altogether.
Posted: May 11, 2009, 3:00 pm
Besides serving as our loyal companions, dogs perform a number of other tasks as well, including bomb detection, search and rescue operations, and guiding the visually impaired. To help give back to these dogs that give so much to us, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will be offering free vision screenings to service dogs during the ACVO National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, held the week of May 3. Dr. Bill Miller, a diplomate of the ACVO and founder of the National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, talks about the event and the importance of veterinary eye exams.
Posted: May 4, 2009, 3:00 pm
In October, a new $15 million hospital for military veterans opened at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. What sets this hospital apart is not the state-of-the-art medical equipment, but the fact that its patients are of the 4-legged variety. Dr. Bob Vogelsang, director of military working dog veterinary services at Lackland Air Force Base calls the hospital the "Walter Reed of the veterinary world." In the latest AVMA Animal Tracks podcast, Dr. Vogelsang talks about military working dogs and the new hospital.
Posted: April 27, 2009, 3:00 pm
Last week, President Obama announced the latest addition to the White House: Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, offers tips for any potential dog owner on selecting a puppy and introducing it to a new home.
Posted: April 20, 2009, 3:00 pm
Our pets may be cute, but some of the critters they attract can be downright nasty ... not to mention dangerous. One such critter is the tick, a blood-sucking parasite that can turn a simple walk through nature into the start of a serious illness. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, California, and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, discusses the risks that ticks pose and how to remove ticks from our pets.
Posted: April 13, 2009, 3:00 pm
External parasites are often a fact of life for our pets, and the parasite most associated with our cats and dogs is the flea. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, California, and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, talks about fleas, how to treat a flea infestation, and how to avoid fleas altogether.
Posted: April 6, 2009, 3:00 pm
Usually considered as energy storage or thermal insulation, fat is actually an active organ. It sends out signals affecting everything from our brain, liver, and muscles to immune system, and it’s similar in our pets. Thomas Gibson, assistant professor of small animal surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph, talks about fat as the largest organ in people and pets.
Posted: March 30, 2009, 2:00 pm
Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, blizzards, terrorism ... no matter where one lives, no one is immune from a potential natural or man-made disaster disrupting our lives. Most of us have probably given very little thought to what we might do if displaced by a disaster, and even less to what we would do with our pets. Dr. Heather Case, coordinator of emergency preparedness and response with the American Veterinary Medical Association, talks about incorporating pets into a disaster preparedness plan
Posted: March 23, 2009, 2:00 pm
This week marks the beginning of spring. While the warmer weather will allow pet owners across the country to venture outside more with their four-legged friends, it will also bring thunderstorms, which can be frightening for our pets. Dr. Terry Curtis, a clinical behaviorist at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses ways to treat storm phobias in our pets.
Posted: March 16, 2009, 2:00 pm
In veterinary medicine, the house call is making a comeback. Dr. John De Jong, owner of the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic, discusses the growing popularity of veterinary house calls.
Posted: March 9, 2009, 3:00 pm
Earlier this year, peanuts from a Georgia processing plant were identified as the source of Salmonella-related illnesses across the country. While the initial focus was on human illness and food products, pet food quickly became an area of concern as well. But just because the source has been identified and products pulled from the shelves doesn’t mean pet owners should forget about the dangers of Salmonella infections in their pets or themselves, says Dr. Kim May, assistant director of professional and public affairs at the AVMA.
Posted: March 2, 2009, 3:00 pm
Horses have always been popular working animals in the United States, although the combustion engine and other modern forms of "horse power" have in many instances replaced them in our streets and fields. But today, horses are more popular than ever before, with American Veterinary Medical Association survey data showing we owned more than 7 million horses in 2006, nearly double the amount from 1996. Dr. Lydia Gray, an equine veterinarian from Elburn, Ill., and member of the AVMA Council on Communications, talks about horses and offers advice on how to determine if a horse is right for you.
Posted: February 23, 2009, 3:00 pm
February marks the 15th anniversary of National Pet Dental Health Month. Far from just a cosmetic issue, bad breath and yellow teeth can be a sign of serious disease in our pets, which may affect their kidneys, livers, and hearts. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets, and 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. Dr. Linda DeBowes, veterinarian at Shoreline Veterinary Dental Clinic in Seattle, talks about the importance of dental health for our pets.
Posted: February 17, 2009, 3:00 pm
A perfect Valentine’s Day might include presents, flowers, chocolate, a glass of wine in front of the fire or in a candlelit room with a loved one. But all the components of a perfect Valentine’s Day for humans can be a nightmare for our beloved pets. Dr. Sharon Gwaltney, Vice President and medical director of the Animal Poison Control Center at the ASPCA, offers advice on how to ensure a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day for our little loved ones.
Posted: February 9, 2009, 3:00 pm
Many of our fluffy, furry cats, like humans, are gaining a lot of extra pounds these days. And housecats are more of a challenge than dogs in that it’s not as easy to exercise with them. But just like with us, it’s important that we help them keep their weight under control and put them on a diet if possible. Eric Kancar, licensed veterinary technician and patient care director at Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center in Orchard Park, N.Y., discusses ways to help our pet cats lose weight.
Posted: February 2, 2009, 3:00 pm
Recent reports indicate that 25 to 40 percent of dogs are overweight or obese, and obesity is now the most common nutritional disease in human beings and dogs. So what’s to be done? For many the answer may be as simple as a leash and good pair of walking shoes. Dr. Heidi Hulon, a small animal veterinarian with the Buckner Animal Clinic in Buckner, Ky., talks about how pets can help motivate exercise and physical activity to benefit both humans and their pets.
Posted: January 26, 2009, 3:00 pm
Cancer is the leading cause of death in older pets, accounting for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dr. Sandy Willis discusses cancer in pets, including its warning signs and treatment options.
Posted: January 19, 2009, 3:00 pm
There are many problems that can occur with overweight cats and dogs such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. But there are also many other health risks that pet owners don’t always associate with weight issues. Dr. Davinne Glenn discusses some of these surprising signs.
Posted: January 12, 2009, 3:00 pm
Owning more than one dog can double the fun of pet ownership and can be beneficial to the wellness of the dogs, especially if their owners are gone for most of the day at work. But what happens if the dogs don’t get along? Dr. Marsha Reich, from Maryland-Virginia Veterinary Behavioral Consulting, discusses what causes family dogs to fight and offers tips for preventing inter-dog aggression.
Posted: January 5, 2009, 3:00 pm
In the United States, we face a critical overpopulation problem of dogs and cats, which results in millions of dogs and cats being euthanized every year. The solution to this problem, many feel, is relatively simple: Have pets surgically sterilized. Not only will this prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens, it may also enhance your pet’s health and quality of life. Dr. Sandy Willis talks about the importance of spaying or neutring your pet.
Posted: December 22, 2008, 3:00 pm
Having fluffy or fat pets may seem cute, but too many of our furry companions are overweight, just like us. And just like people, if our pets become too fat they could develop a host of very serious health problems. Dr. Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital, talks about the health risks of obesity in pets.
Posted: December 15, 2008, 3:00 pm
While cats and dogs are by far the most popular pets in the United States, for millions of Americans, mans best friend is feathered, not furry. Dr. Larry Nemetz, an avian veterinarian and founder of the BIRD Clinic in Orange, Calif., talks about birds as pets.
Posted: December 8, 2008, 3:30 pm
Canine distemper is a highly contagious and potentially fatal viral disease in dogs. Dr. David Koncal, a veterinarian from the Northfield Veterinary Clinic in Northfield, Ohio, talks about the signs and symptoms of canine distemper, as well as how it can be prevented.
Posted: December 1, 2008, 3:30 pm
Behavior problems in pets can lead to a very unhappy household, and even the relinquishment of the pet to a shelter. Behavioral problems can be managed in a number of different ways, one of which is through the use of medication.Dr. Sharon Crowell-Davis, professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine talks about the use of psychoactive medications for behavioral problems.
Posted: November 24, 2008, 4:30 pm
Canine parvovirus, a potentially fatal disease discovered in 1978, is one of the most threatening viruses for dogs, especially puppies. Dr. Sandy Willis discusses the signs and symptoms of canine parvovirus, as well as how it can be treated and prevented.
Posted: November 17, 2008, 4:30 pm
Cats, like their owners, can suffer from high blood pressure. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, Calif., talks about high blood pressure in cats, also known as feline hypertension.
Posted: November 10, 2008, 3:30 pm
Arthritis in pets, like humans, is very common, especially as our pets age. In fact, osteoarthritis affects almost half of all of U.S. pets. Dr. Craig Prior, with Murphy Road Animal Hospital in Nashville, talks about arthritis in pets, including causes and treatment options.
Posted: November 3, 2008, 2:30 pm
Dr. Rick Marrinson of Orlando, Fla., discusses the growing problem of pet obesity and the real medical problems that go with it, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Every pound of extra weight an animal puts on requires a mile of extra blood vessels, putting a strain on the body. Veterinarians can help pet owners conduct a safe and effective weight loss program for their pets.
Posted: October 27, 2008, 2:00 pm
Fish have always been a popular choice of pet. They’re relatively easy to care for, soothing to watch in their tanks, and they never leave a surprise for you at the foot of your bed. More veterinarians than ever before are treating not just valuable koi, but also goldfish won at county fairs. Dr. Helen Roberts, a practicing veterinarian in Orchard Park, N.Y., and vice chair of the AVMA’s Aquatic Veterinarian Medical Committee, talks about aquatic veterinary medicine.
Posted: October 20, 2008, 2:00 pm
Behavior problems in pets can be a serious health problem, often leading to relinquishment and euthanasia at a shelter, or a diminished quality of life with frustrated owners. Dr. Laurie Bergman, a member of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, encourages owners to address this problem through a behavioral preventative health program.
Posted: October 13, 2008, 2:30 pm
If a child is growing up in a house without a pet, chances are it won’t be long before he or she begins asking (or begging) for an animal companion. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, discusses the factors parents should consider when bringing a pet into a house with children.
Posted: October 6, 2008, 2:30 pm
Every year, approximately 800,000 people in the United States are bitten by dogs, half of them children. Dr. Ilana Reisner, assistant professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses why children are so disproportionately the victims of dog bites, and how adults can help protect their children through training and education.
Posted: September 22, 2008, 9:00 pm
Humans don’t have a monopoly on stress. Our pets can be affected by stress, too. A new house, time spent in a kennel, and trips to the veterinarian are just some ways our pets can become stressed. But whatever the cause, stress can be reduced by incorporating behavioral enrichment into our pets’ lives, says Dr. Melissa Bain, a professor in the Companion Animal Behavior Program at the University of California-Davis College of Veterinary Medicine.
Posted: September 22, 2008, 9:00 pm
Shopping for pet food can be a daunting task. Walking down the pet food aisle at the grocery store can leave one overwhelmed by the sheer number of boxes, bags, and cans vying for your attention. Sally Perea, a board certified veterinary nutritionist with Davis Veterinary Medical Consulting in Davis, Calif., discusses how pet food is regulated in the United States and offers tips to help pet owners better digest the information on pet food labels.
Posted: September 15, 2008, 7:00 pm
The human-animal bond has never been stronger. Pet owners increasingly demand the best for their pets, whether it be food, toys, comfort, or medical care. One area seeing a rise in demand is end-of-life care, with hospice facilities springing up to address the needs of companion animals facing terminal illnesses. Dr. Tami Shearer, founder of the Pet Hospice and Education Center in Columbus, Ohio discusses the growing trend of pet hospice care in the United States.
Posted: September 10, 2008, 7:00 pm
Pets are more important to us than ever before, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the medical care we demand for our animals. But besides the latest advances in high-tech veterinary health care, there has also been a strong movement among pet owners to provide medical care that dates back thousands of years: acupuncture. Dr. Narda Robinson, a professor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, talks about how acupuncture is being used to treat pain in our pets.
Posted: September 3, 2008, 10:00 pm
When it comes to choosing a pet, a rat probably isn’t high on most people’s lists. In fact, rats are probably more often identified as vermin than companion animals. But a growing number of people are choosing rats as pets, and find the much-maligned rodents to be affectionate and intelligent companions. Dr. Javier Nevarez, assistant professor of zoological medicine at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses why a rat makes a surprisingly good choice for a pet.
Posted: August 25, 2008, 7:00 pm
As a result of new surgical techniques and medications, advances in the control of infectious disease, and changing attitudes toward our pets, dogs are living longer than ever, presenting a new challenge to many pet owners: how best to care for senior or geriatric dogs. Dr. William Fortney, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses how pet owners can keep their geriatric dogs happy and healthy.
Posted: August 18, 2008, 7:00 pm
The human-animal bond has never been stronger. Pet owners increasingly demand the best for their pets, whether it be food, toys, comfort, or medical care. One area of a pet’s health that has long been overlooked is dental care. Not only can overlooked oral hygiene cause unpleasant breath, it can lead to serious disease, even death. Dr Jan Bellows, a board-certified veterinary dentist with All Pets Dental in Westin, Fla., discusses the importance of dental care in young pets.
Posted: August 11, 2008, 7:00 pm
Sometimes referred to as feline AIDS, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (F.I.V.) was first discovered in cats in 1986 and today affects approximately 1 percent to 3 percent of cats in the United States. Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a small animal veterinarian in Laguna Beach, Calif., talks with Animal Tracks about F.I.V.
Posted: August 5, 2008, 7:00 pm
More U.S. households own pets than ever before. And while our houses can provide wonder shelter and comfort to our pets, they can also present some significant hazards. Dr. Steven Hansen, senior vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, discusses common household poisons that could endanger your pet.
Posted: July 30, 2008, 7:00 pm
Ferrets have a loyal following among wide sections of the American public, with associations, magazines, and, increasingly, veterinarians dedicated to this curious critter. Dr. Connie Orcutt, exotic pet specialist at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, discusses why ferrets make good pets, as well as tips for potential ferret owners.
Posted: July 8, 2008, 7:00 pm
The sensory extravaganza of Fourth of July fireworks can be a nightmare of loud, unpredictable sounds and flashes of light for our pets, who are best left safe at home with plenty of water, soothing background noise and, if necessary, appropriate anxiety medication prescribed by a veterinarian. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, past president of the AVMA, discusses how to keep your pets safe and comfortable on Independence Day.
Posted: June 26, 2008, 9:00 pm