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Weekly article archive

The following questions and answers have appeared in my weekly column in the Albuquerque Journal since July, 1996. Each week a new one is added. You'll find information on the physical and behavioral maladies of dogs and cats and a few other species too. I invite you to use the search feature to find the specific answer that you and your pet need.

blog – Puppy Eats Tortoise Poop

dog eats poop

Disgusting but most likely Harmless Question: Our large back yard is shared by our Russian tortoise and our 5 pound (11 month old puppy) poodle. Last spring, when “Tortie” came out of hibernation, our puppy started spending a lot of time outside. I then discovered why: the puppy was finding and eating Tortie’s poop!! Gross.…

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blog – The Damage of Cat Scratching

Declawing is so ‘90s (actually ‘60s) There is a definite calming influence that comes with having a cat sharing my home. They are delightful creatures but even the best-behaved kitty isn’t perfect, though, is she? When I list the reasons for this love affair, like companionship, affection, entertainment, and a great example of living in…

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blog – Cat Scratching Redirected

Cat Scratching Furniture

Declawing is so ‘90s (actually ‘60s) Question: I am 72 and have had cats since I can remember. We recently lost our last cat and I feel lost without another companion but my wife insists that any new cat be declawed. I just can’t agree to that. What is your advice?   Dr. Nichol: I…

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CBD Oil for Canine Anxiety

Research Supports other Alternative Therapies Question: A friend started using CBD oil for her dog that has severe epilepsy and it seems to be minimizing the number of seizures.  I wanted to see if it might be a possibility for my dog. He freaks out when he sees strangers and he gets startled sometimes at…

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Video – Dog Frightened of Men including Husband

Teach her that good things come from the man in her life Some dogs are genetically programmed with low-status personalities. They can lose the heebie jeebies if a man ignores them as he drops a few small bits of tasty food. After he repeats this dozens of times he can reach down with a tender…

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Podcast – Does Dog Age Matter? When or even If to Spay or Neuter

Here’s a subject that a whole lot of committed pet owners feel strongly about – and with good reason. If you think sterilization of dogs and cats is the right thing to do, well, I would never argue. On the other hand, if you did not subject your dog to surgical removal of the testicles,…

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Blog – Holiday Dietary Indiscretion

Our American tradition of conspicuous Christmas consumption isn’t just for humans. Your pet can be a pig even without being a pet pig. Edibles: Alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans), spoiled and fatty foods, onions, onion powder, salt, yeast dough and marijuana are all dangerous and potentially deadly for pets. Plants:…

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Blog – Does Dog Age Matter? When or even If to Spay/Neuter


If you think that spaying and neutering is the right thing to do, well, I would never argue. On the other hand, if you did not subject your dog to surgical removal of the testicles, ovaries, and uterus, procedures I have done thousands of times in my career, I wouldn’t challenge you to a duel.…

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Blog – Fear Free Handling Saves Lives

Fearful cat

I recently shared the story of Sherman, a well-loved cat with long-standing defensive-aggression in veterinary clinics. It was so bad that his people quit taking him for routine wellness exams. As a result his kidney failure wasn’t diagnosed until its advanced stage. Cats have become the most popular pets in America because busy people assume…

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