Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • 10 Reasons Guinea Pigs Make Great Pets

    By Dr. Laurie Hess l vetstreet.com


    ThinkstockThinking of getting a pet but don't want the responsibility of a cat or a dog? How about a guinea pig? March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig month, so what better time to get a new pet and also help save a life?

    RELATED: 8 Surprisingly Misnamed Animals

    Guinea pigs, or "cavies," are short-tailed, rough-haired South American rodents (family Caviidae). Guinea pigs have always been one of the exotic pets I recommend most, especially for families considering a pet for the first time. Why are guinea pigs one of my favorites? Here are 10 reasons guinea pigs make great pets:

    1. Guinea pigs are hardy. When cared for and fed properly, guinea pigs are generally very healthy animals. Like other pets, they can be prone to particular diseases - for example, dental disease and bladder stones in their case - but these conditions may be prevented to some degree with proper nutrition and regular medical checkups. Also, since guinea pigs are from cool

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  • Tasmanian Devils Threatened by Strange Cancer

    By Dr. Ann Hohenhaus l vetstreet.com


    ThinkstockFor those of us who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, Warner Bros.' character Taz, the omnivorous, whirling, swirling cartoon caricature of a Tasmanian devil, was a delight. Already long on the endangered species list, however, the real Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) now risks extinction because of a strange form of contagious cancer.

    RELATED: Baby Tasmanian Devils Get Exams

    A carnivorous marsupial about the size of a small dog, the devil is found only on the island of Tasmania, located off the southeast coast of Australia. The disease, which was first documented in the 1990s, has been killing the animals at an alarming rate. It attacks young devils at 2 to 3 years of age - long before they have an opportunity to reproduce. In areas where the disease has been found, up to 90 percent of the population has been decimated. The devils' rapid decline has led to aggressive - but so far only marginally effective - efforts to

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  • 10 Strangest Cat Behaviors Explained

    By Laura Cross | vetstreet.com


    Cat and MouseThere's no denying that cats are excellent companions, but sometimes they do something that leaves you scratching your head in total confusion. Yet it's these special behaviors, like affectionate head-butting and their penchant for cardboard boxes, that make us love them so much.

    To help you better understand your elusive feline, we rounded up 10 cat behaviors that people commonly consider mysterious. You'll find that many of these habits aren't weird at all for cats - they're normal.

    SEE ALSO: 7 Comments That Make Cat Owners Cringe


    1. Head-Butts You

    When a kitty head-butts you, it's just his way of saying, "Greetings, I trust you and feel safe." It's also one of his methods of sharing facial pheromones with you. Behaviorists actually call this curious behavior "bunting." If your kitty doesn't bunt, it's nothing to worry about - he just might not be the head-butting type.

    2. Brings You "Presents"

    It's what you've always wanted: a

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  • Doris Day Devotes 90th Birthday to Animals

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres | vetstreet.com


    Actress Doris Day hopes to raise $90,000 for her animal foundation for her 90th birthday.The legendary actress Doris Day says she's not much for birthdays, but she's "all about the four-leggers." So, for her 90 th birthday on April 3, she's asking her fans to make a donation to her Doris Day Animal Foundation, or to bid on the items in an online charity auction.

    There will also be a live auction at the star's birthday celebration in her hometown of Carmel, Calif. Up for bidding are items signed by Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett, a Stella McCartney Falabella bag, as well as a handbag and scarf from Day's personal wardrobe.

    "Turning 90 is a milestone, for me and for the Foundation, and we're setting a goal of $90,000 in donations," Day said. "There is so much work still to do to rescue animals, and to inform people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets," Day said. The online auction is open until April 1. - Bids can be made at the Doris Day Animal Foundation Online Auction.


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  • 6 Bones and Chews Dogs Should Avoid

    By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com


    AlamyIf there's anything that galls my clients, it's being told they could have prevented a painful and expensive condition - if only they'd been told to stay away from A, B or C hazard. Such is the case when it comes to the use of common chews and devices designed for dental cleaning or as an outlet for natural chewing behaviors in dogs.

    Yet when I inform my dog-owning clients that certain "dental health" products can lead to serious problems, many can't easily accept the notion that dental fractures, gastrointestinal obstruction and gastroenteritis (among other problems) are possible outcomes. After all, they say, how could anything sold expressly to help improve our pets' dental health and behavior so adversely affect them?

    SEE ALSO: 5 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

    The Truth Behind the Marketing Hype

    Yet it's true. Some of the most commonly marketed "oral health improvement" items are considered unsafe, unwholesome and/or downright unhelpful

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  • 10 Best New Pet Products from Global Pet Expo

    By Dr. Marty Becker | vetstreet.com

    The Piddle Palace is an easy-to-use indoor pet relief systemEvery year I love going from booth to booth to see the thousands of pet products at Global Pet Expo in Orlando. The unique and innovative cat and dog products always blow me away.

    For my annual Becker's Best list, I chose 10 of my favorite new items. Here are my 2014 picks.

    See Photos of All 10 Products and Get More Info


    1. PetSafe AutoTrainer

    Technology can now help you train your dog. The PetSafe AutoTrainer uses a collar-based reward system to keep your dog calm and quiet while you're away. The collar unit transmits your dog's barks to a base unit by using a detection system that only understands your dog's barks. If your dog doesn't bark, the dog is rewarded with a treat. You can set the number of treats and how often your pup will be rewarded.

    2. Dexas H-DuO Collapsible Companion Cup

    You share kisses with your dog, but do you want to share the same water or carry separate drink bottles for each of you? Probably not, and that'

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  • Helicopter Rescues Dog from the Side of a Cliff

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres


    Oreo was rescued from the side of a cliff in California by a helicopter crew.Authorities in Sonoma County, Calif., came to the rescue of a black and white Labrador Retriever mix who was stuck on a cliff along the Sonoma coast on Saturday afternoon.

    Oreo had somehow made her way down a narrow trail and become stranded on a 2-by-2-foot ledge about 40 feet down a 90-foot cliff. When Oreo's owner called 911 for help, a helicopter was dispatched and quickly located the dog.

    Deputy Henri Boustany attached himself to the bottom of a 100-foot line strung from the helicopter and was flown to the ledge where the dog was standing. He was able to secure Oreo with the harness she was already wearing and the dog was flown back to the top of the cliff, unharmed. The rescue took less than three minutes, and a large crowd that had gathered cheered as Oreo was returned to her relieved owner. "She was a very happy lady," Capt. Todd Rollings of the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District said of Oreo's owner. - Watch it at California's Press Democrat

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  • 13 Most Quiet Dog Breeds

    By Vetstreet.com Staff


    Whether your desire for a dog who doesn't bark (or, at least, doesn't bark much) stems from the fact that you share a thin wall with your neighbor or you just like a fairly quiet place to call home, we've got you covered. Vetstreet surveyed 218 veterinary professionals to get their take on the quietest dog breeds around.

    As is often the case with these types of surveys, there were a couple of surprising omissions. (Where is the Basenji? He's the "barkless" dog! And what about the Greyhound? This breed is known to be very fast and very quiet.) But one thing that wasn't surprising was that a couple of these relatively quiet breeds also made the list of 18 best dogs for new owners.


    Great DaneNo. 1 (tie): Great Dane

    The breed that tied the Newfoundland for the quietest is also one of the biggest: the Great Dane. He's a gentle giant with a calm nature, and while he doesn't bark often, when he does, his voice will be louder and deeper than just about any

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  • Pet Poisons from a to Z -- 26 Common Items that Are Dangerous to Pets

    By Dr. Mary Fuller | vetstreet.com


    ThinkstockIt can happen to even the best pet owners. You turn around for one second and the dog is into the chocolate that was sitting on the counter, or the cat has discovered the Easter lily you thought was safely out of the way.

    "We just don't realize how determined our pets are to eat the things they shouldn't," says Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

    See Also: 6 Human Foods to NEVER Feed Your Pet

    Of the more than 180,000 cases that the organization handled in 2012, most of them involved pets who'd ingested human prescriptions. "Many children with ADHD don't want to take their medications, so they leave pills on their plates, where pets can get at them," Dr. Wismer says. "Even nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can be a problem because many brands have a sweet coating, so it's like candy for dogs."

    As part of National Poison Prevention Week (March 16-22), Vetstreet has compiled an

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  • U.S. Olympic Medalist's Sochi Stray Dogs Arrive in U.S

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres | vetstreet.com


    U.S. silver medal winning freeskier Gus Kenworthy and puppies that arrive in U.S. this weekThe U.S. skier's biggest prize from last month's Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, arrived in New York on Wednesday with Kenworthy's friend, Robin Macdonald.

    The silver medalist fell in love with a litter of four puppies who he found on Sochi's streets, and vowed to bring them and their mom home to Colorado. He made headlines when he posted photos of them on Twitter just before his freestyle skiing events.

    Sadly, one of the four puppies passed away earlier this week after getting sick in a shelter in Sochi. Macdonald brought the other three puppies, their mom and one additional stray home to the U.S. "We are all ok, and made it to America! A big thanks to the best 5 travel companions one could ask for," Macdonald Tweeted on Wednesday. Kenworthy met the group in New York, and the pups will travel with him to his home in Colorado after making an appearance on the Today show this morning. - Read it at Today

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