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Harsh Punishment can Work but Humane Treatment is Reliable & Safe Question: I appreciate last Friday’s column about shock collars. However there is one particular use for which I found it invaluable. My 4 month old terrier mix was chasing cars even on a leash. A neighbor k9 officer loaned me a shock collar with strict instructions to set it on maximum so that she would not acclimate. It worked beautifully; I only had to shock her twice. Now 14 [...]

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Rebuild Trust with Slow Desensitization Question: I brought our dog Oscar to a reputable trainer who recommended an electronic collar. I didn’t know how bad it would damage Oscar’s trust. Ever since the training, no one can get near him with a brush, especially around his neck. He goes nuts biting, growling to get me away. Otherwise, he loves me very much and trusts me. I tried the electric collar around my neck to see how bad it could be. [...]

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Question: Our small rescue dog is 14 years old. During a recent senior checkup we discovered a bladder stone (from an ultrasound during a draw for urinalysis). She has no symptoms. She is increasingly distressed when we go to the veterinary clinic (panting, shaking, defecating). What is the worst case scenario if we do nothing? I love my dog, but I do not want to upend her mellow senior life. Dr. Nichol: I appreciate your concerns. We consider different factors [...]

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Flurbiprofen: Safe for Humans-Deadly for Cats Do you need relief from joint or muscle pain? How about a skin cream that would avoid the side effects of oral antinflammatories and pain relievers? Many physicians are now prescribing topical medications that contain the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) flurbiprofen. It’s made a real difference for many people but it can deadly for their cats. Flurbiprofen (former brand name Ansaid) has been around for a while in oral and ophthalmic forms. It’s now [...]

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