roger's blog

When to spay or neuter your dog

by Dr. Kate Lawton

Over the last couple of years there have been a few studies that look at the many long term effects of neutering our pets. It has been common practice in the United States to neuter cats and dogs by six months of age to reduce both overpopulation and the risk of undesirable behaviors.

Since establishing spay/neuter programs, we have seen a huge improvement in overpopulation. During the 1980s over 17 million pets were euthanized annually; currently, 4-6 million pets enter shelters annually with half still resulting in euthanasia.

Nutrition nuggets: fact or fiction?

by Dr. Jody Kaufman

Nutrition theories abound these days. Grain-free diets are better for our pets. Raw diets are the most “natural and what our animals ate in the wild”. Commercial pet foods are all “filler”. It can be difficult to digest all of these theories to come up with a coherent feeding plan. Let’s try to make sense of some of the claims.

Xylitol kills dogs

By Dr. Julie Hunt

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that has become widely used in the U.S. over the past several years. It is popular with dieters and diabetics alike because it is sugar free, has zero calories, and helps prevent tooth decay. It is now commonly found in sugar-free gum, candy, and foods. In humans, xylitol is absorbed slowly and has little effect on blood sugar or insulin levels. But in the dog, xylitol is rapidly absorbed and causes a sudden spike in insulin, which in turn causes an acute profound drop in blood sugar that can be fatal.

The case for regular examinations

by Dr. Jody Kaufman
I have had three almost-identical cases in the last two months: elderly cats that had not been seen in years (in one instance over ten years) were finally brought in to the clinic because they weren't doing well. All three were severely debilitated, thin, and dehydrated. One of them was extremely unkempt and matted because he had stopped grooming himself. We checked some in-house laboratory tests in two of them and they were in such severe kidney failure that there was, sadly, only one way to proceed.

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