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  • 9 Pet Legends that Drive This Vet Crazy

    By Dr. Patty Khuly |

    ThinkstockAlthough I keep hoping that its time will come, the Internet hasn't done much to dispel some erroneous thinking on the subject of pet healthcare.

    If anything, the Web is fueled by the kind of rumor mill sensibility that leads to even more misinformation on the subject of pet health and pet care. Case in point: the widespread willingness to believe that someone actually microwaved a pet to dry it off.

    To that end, here's my list of urban myths that drive me crazy!

    1. A Cold, Wet, Dry or Warm Nose Tells Us Something

    Although some pets' noses might be capable of offering us some useful information, most of them do not - which is why veterinarians do not rely on this information at all when taking stock of a pet's history and physical exam.

    SEE ALSO: How Your Veterinarian Uses His Nose to Diagnose Your Pet

    2. "Happy Pet" Behavior

    People have a thing about assuming that pets are really happy when they exhibit certain behaviors, which

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  • 12 Biggest Dog Breeds: Imposing and Forceful

    By Staff

    Bigger is not always better, but it is always impressive. People have been intrigued by giant-size dogs for millennia, keeping them to guard family, flocks and property and to hunt big game. Giant breeds often possess tender, loving temperaments, but before you get one, remember to factor in the costs associated with keeping one. In terms of food, veterinary bills and space, the costs can be gigantic. Here's our take on a dozen towering dogs.

    Great DaneGreat Dane (photo credit: Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography/

    Because of his majestic appearance, the Great Dane is sometimes nicknamed "king of dogs." His size belies his gentle nature, but beware of his thwacking tail, which can clear a coffee table in seconds or knock the unwary off their feet. Possibly created by blending the Irish Wolfhound and the Mastiff, the Great Dane was originally used to hunt boar and guard estates, but these days, he's a family dog. Male Great Danes stand at least

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  • Dog Helps Save Woman from Icy Lake

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Sparky's owner pulled him from an icy lake, and he helped two men save her after she fell in.There were two rescues from an icy lake in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday morning. A woman who pulled her dog from the water fell in herself.

    Luckily, Steve Dye and Ray Frana, who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were checking a dam at the lake and saw the dog standing on the ice next to a hole. When they get closer, they saw the woman in the hole, struggling in the frigid water about 40 feet off shore.

    While Dye called 911, Frana grabbed a rope from their truck and crawled out onto the ice with it. When the dog came to him, he tucked the rope into his collar, and Sparky brought it out to his owner. She grabbed the rope, and Frana pulled her out and got her safely to shore.

    Both the woman and her dog warmed up in the truck until help arrived. The woman was taken to a hospital as a precaution. "He's the actual hero," Frana said of Sparky. - Read it from AP via Iowa's Sioux City Journal and watch it at Nebraska's KETV, and read

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  • 7 Signs You Shouldn't Get a Dog

    By Shayna Meliker

    Thinkstock Pretty much anyone with a dog will gush to you about how awesome he is. I mean, what's better than having a furry shadow who thinks you're the greatest thing in the world? So you think, Hey, maybe I should have a dog. Before you run out and get one, make sure you're prepared for the responsibility. Here are seven signs you shouldn't get a dog:

    1. You're not home enough to care for one. Jet-setters, take heed. If you're hopping on a plane every other week for a business trip or to soak up some sun down South, this might not be the right time to bring home a dog.

    Same goes for the long hours you're clocking at the office to please the boss-man, jumping out of the bed before the sun comes up and returning home long after it's set. If you happen to be swamped for a couple months and need to hire a dog walker or drop your pup off at doggy day care during work hours, those options are definitely out there - but keep in mind that the majority of your dog's care

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  • Top 5 Cat Injuries and How to Avoid Them

    By Dr. Carol McConnell

    AlamyCats don't have nine lives, and no one knows this better than a veterinarian. As a practicing vet, I treated injured animals and mourned the deaths of those I could not save. And these days, as the chief veterinary officer for Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), I see the names and the information as our claims come in, and I know that behind every claim is a story - and a much-loved animal.

    Sometimes people ask me if I miss "helping animals," and I tell them I don't miss it because it's still my job: VPI gives pet owners the means to afford much-needed veterinary care. We help save pets' lives every day.

    SEE ALSO: 10 Common Cat Myths Decoded

    But while I take pride in working to cover the costs of veterinary care for pets who need it, I also enjoy using our claims data to educate pet owners and prevent problems before they happen.

    Protect Your Cat From These Common Injuries

    Recently, I asked our researchers to find the top five accident-related

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  • Oscar Selfie Earns $1.5 Million for Animals

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Twitter / TheEllenShow -- The star-studded selfie set up by Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres earns millions for charity.The selfie seen around the world is doing more than bringing smiles. Chances are you've heard about how Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres set up a selfie with some of the world's most famous faces at the awards show on Sunday night. The picture was snapped by actor Bradley Cooper with a Samsung phone, and Tweeted out by DeGeneres. Then, it was retweeted a record-breaking 3 million times.

    While Samsung said it didn't pay for product placement on the show, the company knows it scored some pretty big free publicity, and wanted to pay it forward. So, they decided to donate $3 million - in honor of the retweet record - to two charities of DeGeneres' choice.

    RELATED: Ellen Honors Firefighters Who Saved Dog

    She's decided that $1.5 million will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - and the other $1.5 million will go to the Humane Society of the United States. DeGeneres is "the leading celebrity voice for animal protection in our nation, and we

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  • Busting Top Designer Dog Myths

    By Dr. Marty Becker |

    GoldendoodleWhen I was growing up, we lovingly called mixed-breed dogs "mutts" or "Heinz 57s." Just about everybody had one, and they usually came for free (or at least not very much) from the neighbor's litter or the local pound. Nowadays, these pooches are ofter referred to as "designer dogs" - and they cost as much as a boatload of dog biscuits and bear creative monikers like Puggle (Pug and Beagle cross), Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle cross) or Goldador (Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever cross).

    I love all dogs, and three of my own furry friends fall into the "What is that?" category: Quora is a blend of Pomeranian, Shar-Pei and Cairn Terrier; Amazing Gracie is a Lab/Pit Bull mix and Quixote is a canine cocktail. They are each one-of-a-kind dogs, and to me they are priceless.

    SEE ALSO: This Designer Dog Is One Super-Smart Breed

    Busting Some Myths About Designer Dogs

    Many people ask me about getting a designer dog, also known as a

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  • Marijuana is Risky for Cats and Dogs

    By Dr. Tina Wismer |

    ThinkstockWhile it might be legal for humans in some states, the drug can be very dangerous for pets.

    Marijuana exposure in pets, as reported to the ASPCA's Poison Control Hotline, is becoming more frequent. Since 2009, calls reporting marijuana exposure have steadily risen by 50 percent. It is unknown if there truly is an increase in the number of animals who are exposed to the substance or if instead, with the recent legalization of marijuana for medical use in many states, people are just becoming more likely to admit that it has happened. Most reported cases in pets are due to the ingestion of marijuana plant materials or edibles, such as brownies and cookies, containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

    RELATED: 6 Dangerous Pet Poisons You Probably Haven't Thought Of

    Sedation or Agitation

    The most common side effects of marijuana intoxication are "drunkenness" (with pets appearing impaired and uncoordinated), sedation and urinary incontinence. THC

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  • Abandoned Dog Found Nursing Kitten

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Beignet the dog adopted Gumbo the kitten after they were abandoned by their owners.After a California family moved away, their neighbors discovered they'd left their longhaired Chihuahua and a kitten behind. Neighbors could hear the pair in the backyard of their home, where they found the 1-year-old dog nursing the 5-month-old kitten she'd decided to adopt as her own.

    They were brought to a local shelter, and arrived at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., last week. Today, they'll be introduced to the public in the rescue's 2 nd Annual Doggie Gras Parade and Fat Cat Tuesday Celebration.

    The two have been aptly named for their Mardi Gras debut - the pup is now called Beignet and her kitten son is known as Gumbo. "They love each other. That's all there is to it. It's not complicated," said the center's inventory manager, Labeth Thompson. "They needed each other and they were there for each other." The parade serves as the kickoff to find a new home where the bonded duo can live together. - Read it

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  • Fairy Penguins Offer Hope

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres |

    Researchers are closely monitoring the progress of fairy penguin chicks in Tasmania.A year after dozens of little penguins, also known as fairy penguins, were killed by dogs at the Derwent Estuary in Tasmania, scientists are hopeful that they can rebuild the birds' population.

    "If you take out half of the birding population that's taken 10 years to build, these small events can be very significant," said researcher Luke Eindoder. "We really have been set back in time. It will take a number of years for the numbers to recover to what they were a few years ago."

    He and other researchers are using scopes to check on the chicks in the estuary, and they're cautiously optimistic about an increase in the numbers of penguins. The estuary has added signage and fencing to keep pets out of the area. - Watch it from the AP via the Washington Post

    More on

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