Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • Dog Finds Newborn Abandoned in Park

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Police released this image of baby Jade, who was named for her canine hero.A retiree was walking his German Shepherd, Jade, in a park in Birmingham, England, on Thursday afternoon when she suddenly ran toward the bushes, laid down next to a bag that had been left behind, and refused to move.

    When owner Roger Wilday got closer, he realized that the bag was a carrier - with a baby inside. Wilday ran to a friend's house nearby to call the police.

    They brought the 6-pound baby girl to the hospital, where staff members named her for her rescuer, 9-year-old Jade. "Jade's never found anything before," said Wilday's wife, Catherine. "She must have heard the baby crying as these dogs have very good hearing, plus she's very keen on our grandchildren."

    On Friday, West Midlands police, who are searching for the baby's mother, released pictures and video of the "alert, happy and contented" little girl, who's still recovering in the hospital. The Wildays, who have four children and five grandchildren, are hoping to get the chance to visit

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  • Top 11 Couch Potato Dog Breeds

    Prefer a canine pal who will be satisfied to watch the big game with you on the sofa instead of running interference on your neighborhood touch football team? All dogs need some daily exercise, but we showcase a dozen couch-loving canines whose exercise needs can be satisfied with a short stroll or brief indoor playtime.

    BulldogBulldog - Deceptively Sweet and Snuggly (photo credit:
    Robin Burkett, Animal Photography/Vetstreet.com)

    The Bulldog looks cantankerous, but he is a gentle family friend whose exercise needs are manageable for even the most dedicated couch potato. The most important thing to know about Bulldogs is that they are sensitive to heat and should live in air-conditioned comfort. Avoid activity in the heat of the day. This is a medium-size dog who weighs between 40 to 50 pounds.

    * Learn More About the Bulldog

    French Bulldog - Charming and Compact

    The squat, bow-legged but utterly charming French Bulldog is an ideal choice for anyone who lives in an apartment

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  • How Old is My Pet in People Years?

    By Dr. Marty Becker

    ThinkstockQ. I've read that "one year equals seven" isn't true anymore for dogs. What's the new guideline? And how do you figure out how old a cat is?

    A. The old "dog years" formula (one year of a dog's life is equal to seven years of human life) never really worked for any dog, based on a comparison of the general lifespan of humans vs. dogs. Cats age at a more predictable rate than dogs do, mostly because we don't see the range of size and body types we do in dogs, but the 1-to-7 formula doesn't work for them either.

    See Also: 15 Dog Breeds New Pet Owners Should Avoid


    How Old Is My Dog?

    Consider two 10-year-old dogs, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. Under the 1-equals-7 formula, they'd both be considered the equivalent of a 70-year-old person. And while that's probably not too far off the mark for the Great Dane (10 years for a Dane is indeed near the outer edge of life expectancy), the Chihuahua is likely still acting middle-aged.

    But even the Great Dane

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  • Baby Alpaca Learns How to Walk

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Children's Zoo at Celebration SquareJust two hours after his birth, this baby cria, also known as an alpaca, was standing on his own four legs. Or, at least trying to keep them under himself!

    Cypress was born at the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square in Michigan on Oct. 16, reports Zooborns.

    The little guy needed an assist from a keeper with walking and nursing, but he quickly got the hang of it.

    Lily is a natural with motherhood, and has been caring and nurturing to Cypress.

    His 1-year-old sister, Rose, wasn't so sure about Cypress at first, and kept nosing into pictures of the newborn. But the baby soon won her over, and she gave him a big kiss for the cameras.

    More on Vetstreet.com:
    * Video: Alpaca Makes a New Kitten Friend
    * 15 Dog Breeds New Pet Owners Should Avoid
    * Top 10 Pet Names
    * How Old Is My Pet in People Years?


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  • What Should I Feed My Pet? Don't Let Marketing Confuse You

    By Dr. Tony Buffington DVM, MS, PhD, DACVN

    AlamyMany of our clients and some veterinarians report great confusion when buying or recommending pet foods for healthy pets. The bewildering number of foods and the claims made for them can cause people's heads to spin. Much of the confusion can be cleared up by understanding the way these products are marketed.

    The goal of marketing is to increase the profit of the company - this is the "American way" that has made us so successful. Marketing consists of offering consumers products with attributes that specifically appeal to the customer. The appeal may be to a practical need or to the customer's ethics, philosophy, etc. Certain attributes, such as "cleaner," "whiter," "fresher," "cheaper," etc., may be directly observable. Other product attributes, like "natural" or "organic," may not be so easy to verify, and ingredient attributes, such as "grain free" or "real meat" (beef, chicken and related ingredients), are marketed with the

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  • Facing Phobias of Dogs and Cats

    By Caroline Golon

    ThinkstockDena Roche is afraid of barking dogs. She knows her fear is irrational, but the sound, even in the distance, sends her into a full-blown panic attack.

    For pet lovers, it's hard to imagine anyone having such a severe reaction to a dog or cat, but it happens. It's called a specific phobia, and the condition is much more common than many people realize.

    According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), approximately 19 million Americans suffer from a specific phobia, which is an "excessive and unreasonable fear in the presence of a specific object, place or situation." Fear of particular animals like dogs or cats is one of the most common specific phobias.

    See Also: 7 Things Pet Owners Do That Drive Veterinarian's Crazy


    Real Fear

    People with a dog or cat phobia describe feeling extreme anxiety when they're near the animal or even thinking about the possibility of encountering the animal. Symptoms include feelings of panic, dread and

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  • Baby Olinguito Found in Colombia

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    A team from the conservation group SavingSpecies found this baby olinguito in Colombia. Baby Olinguito Found in Colombia If you thought the olinguito, the mammal species discovered in August and described as a If you thought the olinguito, the mammal species discovered in August and described as a "cross between a teddy bear and house cat," couldn't get any cuter, you haven't seen the critter as a baby.

    Scientists with the conservation group SavingSpecies spotted the baby, who was about the size of a kitten, on a trip to Colombia's La Mesenia Reserve Forest.

    The olinguito has been hiding in plain sight for years. One even lived in U.S. zoos in the 1960s and 1970s but it was mistaken for an olingo, a related group of mammals. It was the first carnivore to be discovered in more than 30 years. Genetic analysis has found that there are actually four subspecies of the olinguito. - Read it at National Geographic

    See More on Vetstreet.com:

    * 20 Animals Surprisingly Going Extinct
    * 5 Best Dog Breeds for Your Golden Years
    * 16 Amazing Pet Costumes for Halloween
    * Record Breaking Dog Dies at Age 7


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  • Attention Dog Owners: Be on Guard Against Giardia

    By Dr. Donna Spector

    ThinkstockGiardia is a protozoan parasite that can infect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and is capable of causing diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy - although many infected animals show no signs at all. It is common throughout the United States and can cause infections at almost any time of year. Unlike many other infectious organisms, giardia persists longer in the environment when conditions are cool and moist.

    See Also: Top 10 Health Issues for Dogs and Cats

    Most dogs become infected by drinking water contaminated with feces. Giardia then infects the small intestine, and infected dogs pass microscopic cysts in their stool. These cysts can then infect another animal or person if ingested. Giardia cysts are very resistant in the environment, and can live for many months under the correct circumstances. These cysts are a threat to pet health, and giardia is a very common cause of pet diarrhea in the United States.

    • All dogs - even those on
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  • Meet the Dog Who Knows 1,000 Words

    By Linda Lombardi

    Author John Pilley poses with his Border Collie, Chaser.Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words is about psychologist John Pilley, his Border Collie, Chaser, and a retirement project that broke new ground in the field of animal cognition. It's also an inspiring story about a man whose curiosity has kept him going well into his 70s.

    SEE ALSO: Top 10 High-Maintenance Dog Breeds


    It's Not a Trick

    Teaching a dog a thousand words is obviously a lot of work, but what was maybe even harder was to convince fellow scientists that a dog can understand even one. And if your dog always comes running when you say "cookie," you may wonder, what's wrong with those scientists? Partly it's that there's a long history to fight.

    "A common belief that started with Descartes centuries back is that lower animals cannot reason. They're just machines with blood," Pilley says. "That view continues to persist among linguistic scholars who are not aware of the research that's going on with animal

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  • Halloween Safety Tips for Pets: 4 Things You Should Do

    By Dr. Marty Becker

    Dr. Marty Becker's Is it just me, or has Halloween gone to the dogs? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, of course. But I have noticed these days I'm more likely to see a clever costume on a dog than a child when I open my email or check out Facebook.

    VIDEO: Avoid These Holiday Pet Horrors

    When I do see a child dressed in costume - like my own precious granddaughter, Reagan - chances are my "grandpug," Bruce, will be in costume right beside her.

    As a parent, grandparent and veterinarian, I can't help but think of all the things that can ruin those happy pictures and memories.

    Keeping Your Pets Safe

    Here's my list of things to look out for, with tips on preventing problems.

    The Great Escape: After the Fourth of July, Halloween is the holiday more pets go missing than any other time during the year. Between the bizarre sights and smells and the constant flow of new people, even the tamest cats and dogs may take the opportunity to head for the hills. The solution: Make

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