Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Care & Wellness

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical can be toxic for both cats and dogs.

  • Canine influenza is a relatively new, highly contagious virus that causes respiratory disease in dogs. It has been reported in all US states and some Canadian provinces. Clinical signs include coughing, runny nose, and fever. Definitive testing can be performed in the early stages of the disease. Vaccination is recommended for dogs at a higher risk of infection or morbidity. The virus is not spread to humans, but cats can become infected.

  • Cats and dogs can become intoxicated by cannabis in various ways, most commonly by eating edibles (e.g., baked goods, candies, chocolate bars, and chips containing cannabis), or by ingesting cannabis directly (in any form). Pets can also be exposed to second-hand smoke. A small amount may affect one pet more than another, so there is no official safe level of exposure. Many of the signs of intoxication are neurological, including disorientation, dilated pupils, and hyperactivity. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, and coma can result. Regardless of the method of exposure, accurate and complete information from the owner is imperative to treat the patient successfully.

  • Modern vaccines are extremely effective and safe. However, it is common for many pets to experience mild side effects following vaccination, similar to those that humans experience. Other less common but more serious side effects can occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions are considered medical emergencies, and you should seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your pet is having a more serious reaction.

  • Sometimes, the location of your dog’s wound or the amount of skin lost can prevent surgical closure or bandaging. This handout describes general guidelines for proper care of your dog's open wound at home, though your veterinarian can provide you with specific instructions.

  • The general instructions for incision care are the same for all surgical incisions. There may be some differences, however, depending on the type of surgery and the material used to close the incision. This handout is a guide to caring for your cat's surgical incision(s) at home for optimal recovery.

  • Online shopping for convenience and great prices has quickly become the new normal in today's consumerism society. Although technology may help us be savvy shoppers, it's still good to be cautious about what you purchase online, especially when it comes to your pet's medications.

  • Chocolate is toxic to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant.

  • The general condition of your dog's skin and coat are good indicators of his health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky, or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of dogs with various coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. Nutrition also plays an important role in skin and coat maintenance.

  • Choosing the right collar or harness for a dog requires understanding how each device works and what is best for the dog and the owner. Correct selection, fit, and use are crucial for any training tool's success.

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