Category: The Wild Side

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An Innocent Victim’s Demise

When I was in high school, one topic making the news was euthanasia. Whenever I heard the word, I wondered why everyone was concerned about kids in Japan or China: you know, “youth in Asia.” Boy, have I come a long way. A veterinarian’s life involves a heavy dose of euthanasia. We perform this compassionate […]

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Do Pets And Pregnancy Mix?

You don’t have to go to the movies to see horror shows of zoonotic diseases that jump from animals to humans. Just watch the news or read a periodical, and you’ll find plenty to occupy your worst nightmares. These doomsday scenarios are just an everyday reality in a veterinarian’s world. Through our training, we are […]

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Do Pick Up That Doggie Doo-doo

My son Jake was 4 on the day I whispered to him, “The bathroom is really dirty, just go pee in the water.” I watched as he ran to the ocean, turned around and raced back to me. You wouldn’t guess how many times he ran back and forth before he “did the deed.” Am […]

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Flirting With A Winking Chicken

We humans have a knack for interpreting animal behavior and transforming this behavior into a desirable action. Take, for example, a puppy that licks your face. Most people would interpret this behavior as “aw … he likes me.” This could be true, or maybe the puppy enjoys the taste of your sunscreen, cosmetics or the […]

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Anything For A Beloved Rat

The difficult part of being a veterinarian is dealing with end-of-life issues. It is, after all, inevitable. In general, people will outlive their pets. Is it difficult for owners to watch their pet age before their very eyes? Yes. It also is difficult for the veterinarian. Tina brought in her 2-year-old rat Oscar for a […]

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The Things We Do For Our Pets

“Daddy, can you please put my slippers in my school bag?” asked Jada, my 6-year-old daughter. As a doting father I quickly moved to the task, only to find a rolled-up dress stuffed between Jada’s folders. A few probing questions later got me the response: “It’s OK, Daddy. Just put the slippers in the bag […]

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Secret To Keep Fouling Cats Away

Fifteen years ago, as I was enjoying a cup of coffee and studying for a veterinary school exam, my wife suggested we rescue a cat from a shelter. One week later, as we were signing the pet adoption papers, I struggled to remember our conversation, but, oh well. What followed was six weeks of red, […]

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When Survival Instinct Takes Over

There have been many stories about extraordinary acts performed by everyday people to survive a life-threatening situation. What would you do to survive? I once read a story of a man whose leg got trapped by a boulder, so he used a pocket knife to amputate his leg to escape. Crazy! Or is it? Animals […]

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A Traumatized Bird Gets Picky

I’ve had plenty of avian patients over the years, and each has a different squawk: cockatiels, love birds and sun conures head the list. The bird with the most diverse vocal range and skills at mimicry is the African Gray parrot. Their vocal prowess and high intelligence have been known for some time in the […]

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Playing Chicken With Your Dog

Lessons learned from life experiences seem to stick in your memory. Years ago, I relieved myself in the great outdoors on a blustery day, only to have my legs experience the warmth of what was once a fruit punch-flavored electrolyte drink. Yeah, experiences like these make me wonder, “What was I thinking?” I see the […]