Residency Trained in
Veterinary Behavior

Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM
(505) 792-5131

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.

Unruly Young Dog can Learn to Behave

A Head Halter is a Great Leadership tool Question: I read the post on your facebook page about the Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd and felt an instant kinship! Our 1 year old Aussie shepherd is driving us nuts. In addition to nuisance barking at everything that moves, tearing around the house and the yard like a crazy…

Read More

Matted Elderly Cat

Consider Mouth Pain from Dental or Kidney Disease Question: My long haired cat (Ragdoll) will be 16 this month. He gets badly matted. I have tried cutting out the mats, but they just come back worse than ever and around his rear which he doesn’t like being messed with. I’ve called groomers and veterinary clinics…

Read More

Choke Collars Carry Risks

Head Halters are Safe and Effective Question: How do you feel about choke collars for dogs? Dr. Nichol: You ask a complex question with behavioral as well as physical implications. Walking a dog is a lot more fun when everybody is under control but jerking on a pet’s neck can have unintended consequences. There are…

Read More

Cat Frightened of Yard

One-Event Learning can be Permanent Question: I have an outdoor Invisible Fence for my guy Rocky. He has loved being outside and usually just stays on the patio for hours at a time. That is until a few weeks ago. He was outside and I heard this crash, he came running in, but returned to…

Read More

Swollen, Puffy Ear Flap on a Cat

Ear Mites Cause Pain & Injury Question: Hey my name is Christina and I live in North Carolina. I have a tom cat his name is Checkers. Tuesday I saw that his inner pinna has swollen. I was wandering is there anything I could do to help with the swollen part? Dr. Nichol: Hey Christina…

Read More

“Dodo” would Thrive with a Healthier Name

Attitudes toward Animals Matter Question: I’m concerned about the dog Dodo mentioned in your 2/10/17 column. “Dodo” can mean a stupid person, not one who might warrant respect.  Or someone who acts stupidly, as the dog in your column who walks in a circle with his head tilted. I think these people should rename their…

Read More

Circling Dog with Head Tilt

Inner Ear Infection vs. a Brain Disorder Question: My dog is 4 years old, weighs 4 kilograms, no fever, his name is Dodo. Yesterday, he could not go straight but circling with his head tilt towards one side, but he eats well (we’ve been hand feeding him). Today is the second day of this syndrome.…

Read More

Cat Bites Visitors

A Safe Haven Before Visitors Arrive Question: My cat Haley is 10 years old. When I have visitors she will attack them even when they are sleeping. She has attacked 2 babysitters. After 2 years she finally is ok with the current sitter. Yesterday my 16 year old had a friend over. The death growl…

Read More

Puppy Wigs-Out on Leash

Allow the Little Ones to Drag the Leash at Home Question: I have a 4 month old cavachon puppy, adorable, playful, and lovable. Her name is Joy. On leash walks she emits the cry of a banshee, bucking wild bronco, putting on the brakes, and rolling. No amount of patient standing or treat offered helped,…

Read More