Welcome to

Dr. Bernadine Cruz  on Pet Life Radio

It's Your Pet... Health Matters

You go to the doctor regularly—and so should your pet. Annual checkups give your veterinarian the chance to notice any developing illness and take care of it right away. Your vet will want to know about your pet’s behavior, eating and exercise habits, and will check her temperature, pulse and respiratory rate. The doctor will also inspect her gums and teeth, heart and lungs, and assess the health of her internal organs. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!

Do a weekly health check. Regular home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud. Plus, they’re as easy as one, two, three: 1.) Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs. 2.) Check your pet’s ears and eyes for any signs of redness or discharge. 3.) Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call the vet.

The goal…. to entertain, educate & motivate you to be the best pet owner you can be!

"The Pet Doctor" Theme Song Written & Produced by Mark Winter
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Episode 261 - Genetically Modified Pets

You may be diametrically opposed to genetically modified food.  You would never buy a product that has had its DNA tampered with.  You’re concerned that this reportedly bigger, better, larger, hardier food could affect your health in the long term.  But do you realize that your pet’s DNA has been modified and many of the diseases we see in our cats and dogs is due to these alterations?

To discuss the top genetic diseases that affect our feline and canine companions is my guest Dr. Jerold Bell, a Clinical Associate Professor of Genetics at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and practices at Freshwater Veterinary Hospital in Enfield, CT.

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Episode 260 - Fall Hazards

Fall… what a phenomenal time of year.  A chill in the air...a perfect excuse for snuggling with your pet.  And want to get a little exercise…how about a walk through leaf strewn trials to enjoy the colors and sounds of a changing season.  If you are a hunter, time to hit the fields with your trusty canine to fill the larder with game. Maybe your hunting is for tasty mushrooms with which to flavor your evening meals. But do you know which ones are safe to eat?  Does your dog?  Fall can also be a time of increased risk for your pet, both inside and out of the home. My guest is Dr. Charlotte Flint. Since 2010 she has been a senior consulting veterinarian at Pet Poison Helpline.

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Episode 259 - The Fungus Among Us

Like, wow man…. mention Valley Fever and you may like have totally gnarly visions of the 1980’s and Tom Petty’s song ‘Free Falling’…the killer rad anthem to the California’s San Fernando Valley lifestyle.  This however is a grody to the max disease that can duh fatally affect people and animals in the Southwest of you know the U.S.  My righteous guest is veterinarian, Dr. Christine Butkiewicz…  OK, I promise, is the last of my Valley speak for this segment…like whatever.

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Episode 258 - What We Need for a ‘Bat-ter’ Life

Through the ages, the way we view bats has been tainted by stories like Dracula and Batman. Champions of good or evil blood sucking Transylvanian royalty, in reality, bats serve an essential role in our ecosystem and they need our help.  This show, the Pet Doctor, is about pets but I am not advocating that you keep these amazing creatures as companions.  My hope is to dispel some of the myths about bats and to better understand their behaviors, biology, and our interdependence.  This way we can hopefully both survive the changes that are going on around us.

If you have the chance to visit Monteverde, in the cloud forest of Costa Rica a trip to the research center, the Bat Jungle is a must.  I was fortunate to visit this unique attraction and meet today’s guest , biologist and bat expert Vino De Backer.

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Episode 257 - Crying Out for Help

There is a major epidemic in the United States…people addicted to pain control medications.  It can start out innocently enough but then spiral out of control, often with dire consequences. Sadly, I see too many pets with an issue at the other end of the spectrum…in pain but the suffering is not appreciated by their caregivers. Providing your pet with the best quality of life depends on you recognizing when your pet is in pain, understanding the pathways that lead to pain, knowing how to find a veterinarian who is capable of treating your pet and recognizing which treatments are safe and worth pursuing.

Who better to chat with today than Dr. Michael Petty, author of Dr. Petty's Pain Relief for Dogs: The Complete Medical and Integrative Guide to Treating Pain (Countryman Press, February 2016).

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Episode 256 - When to be Rattled if Your Pet is Bitten by a Snake

Imagine the scene…suddenly your pet is crying in pain or favoring a body part.  Is it because of an insect bite, broken limb or snake bite? What do you do?  Can you just ‘wait and see’ or do you need to see your veterinarian and how quickly do you need to get there?  Your knowledge and the steps you take can make the difference between discomfort and death.

My guest is Dr. Karl Jandrey.  He has seen his share of snake bites as a critical care specialist at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine where he also serves as the Associate Dean for Student Programs. 

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Episode 255 - Getting to the Root of Pet Dental Care Products

My clients often gnash their teeth when I tell them that their pet needs dental care, often with multiple extractions.  But why they ask.  The groomer brushes their pet’s teeth every 6 weeks, they give them dental chew treats that the pet store recommends and they had their teeth cleaned 2 years ago. What gives? Dr. Eric Van Nice is a board certified veterinary dentist in Tustin, California.  He will give us some great tips to chew on for home pet dental care.

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Episode 254 - Potted Pets… Medical Marijuana Debate

With 26 states and the District of Columbia having legalized the use of Cannabis sativa and now 7 states and the District of Columbia decriminalizing recreational pot use, more and more people are reporting the health benefits in people and pets.

Is pot appropriate for your pet?  Why isn’t your veterinarian recommending it or even talking to you about its use? Dr. Ken Pawlowski, the 2016-2017 California Veterinary Medical Association’s President is my guest today.  We are going to discuss if you should consider using this ancient botanical for your pet.

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Episode 253 - Longevity and Dementia

Dogs and cats like their owners are living longer than ever…that is the good news.  Sadly with that longevity both can suffer with dementia issues.  The signs can vary tremendously.  You might be tempted to believe that your pet has become frustratingly stubborn, lazy, grumpy or just downright daft.  Is it dementia, a behavioral quirk or does it have some other underlying medical explanation? If it is dementia are there any effective treatments?  Is there anything you can do to prevent it or at least slow down the process? 

My guest is award-winning board certified veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Gary Landsberg.  He operates a behavior referral practice, North Toronto Veterinary Behavior Specialty Clinic and is the vice president of Veterinary Affairs at CanCog Technologies.

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Episode 252 - Taking the Pet Out of Petrified and Pet Care

I won’t pretend to understand what a dog or cat feels when it goes to the veterinarian or groomer but for some pets visions of space aliens conducting medical experiments and water boarding might be close.  As pet care givers we try to coo our furry charges into believing that it is for their own good and to be brave.  But if you have ever broken out in a sweat at the thought of going to the dentist for a root canal, you know that all the cajoling in the world just doesn’t cut it.

Debbie Martin, a Licensed Veterinary Technician is today’s guest.  She is one of only 14 veterinary technicians to earn her specialty status in behavior. We will discuss how you can insure that your pet will receive the best care by learning how to recognize and reduce fear, stress and anxiety.

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Episode 251 - The Key to Kidney Disease… Early Detection

Pets are living longer than ever…that is the upside to improved veterinary health care and nutrition but with longevity other health issues like chronic kidney disease becomes more prevalent.  Chronic kidney disease is one of the most common causes of illness and death in older pets.  Even if your pet looks to be the picture of health this insidious disease may be affecting it.  By knowing the subtle signs and appropriate screening tests, you may not be able to prevent your pet from becoming a victim but you could help it to experience as good a quality of life for as long as possible.

My guest is Dr. Jane Robertson. She is board certified in veterinary internal medicine and Director of Internal Medicine for Idexx Laboratories.

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Episode 250 - Swatting Flies with Shovels…or Why Calm is Better Than Shouting to Get Through to Your Dog

It is so frustrating.  You’ve watched the well know TV dog trainer and are following his advice.  You are the leader of the pack.  You are demonstrating your superiority by calling your dog to your side with a deep booming voice and your dog refuses to come.  He sits there yawning and licking his lips… what gives?

My guest, Turid Rutgaas is an internationally known dog trainer who believes that by understanding the unique communication style of dogs our human/dog family will howl with delight.

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Episode 249 - Soothing the Prickly Pet… Why Your Dog May be Itching and What Can be Done

You’re feeding grain free.  There are no fleas.  You have tried every lotion, potion and supplement on the internet.  You are about to banish your dog from the bedroom because you aren’t getting any sleep.  The incessant itching, biting, scratching and licking are driving both of you crazy.  Help!

The causes of skin irritation are myriad.  You may not be able to find a cure but control is possible.  Dr. Andrew Hillier is the Veterinary Medical Lead of Dermatology at Zoetis.  We will chat about the most common myths, urban legends and newest treatment options so you and your dog can both sleep easier.

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Episode 248 - Kitten Kindergarten

Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Toto from the Wizard of Oz these are but a few of Hollywood’s famous canines… but what about their silver screen feline counterparts?  Why aren’t there more celebrity kitties?  Has it something to do with the phrase…’as easy as herding cats?’  You might not have visions of stardom, you would be happy just to have it come when you called.  No matter what a cat may tell you, they are trainable.  The behaviors you teach your cat could save its life and make them more enjoyable members of your family…even if it won’t fetch your slippers.

Ellie Ross is a Canadian animal behaviorist and trainer.  She serves as a consultant for many governing bodies in Canada and United States.  She is the Founder of Kitten Kindergarten and owner of Wag and Train Inc in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

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Episode 247 - Putting a Dent in Dental Disease

You’ve heard it for years… teeth need to be brushed at least twice a day… but your dog’s?  Just because you have owned dogs for years and never brushed their teeth, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.  Just because your pet has never had its teeth brush before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  Though brushing a pet’s teeth is the gold standard for proper oral hygiene other options exist that will help your pet nibble away at dental disease.

Dr. Andrew Schreibman, a senior technical services veterinarian for Merial will reveal how foul breath can pollute the entire body with disease causing organisms and could potentially shorten your pet’s lifespan.  He will also share some easy tasty steps to prevent it.

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Episode 246 - It is All About the Cat-titude

I’ll admit it…I am addicted to Google.  What were the numbers of the last Powerball lottery?  Can’t remember what Prince called himself before he was Prince?  And what is Pokémon Go?  When in doubt…Google it.  I even use it when I need veterinary information.  The answers that pop up on these inquiries are sometimes blatantly wrong or can be highly misleading.  So what is a pet owner to do when they want information on pet care?  Where can they go to find reliable, reputable information? 

Dr. Lauren Demos is the 2017 President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and today’s guest.  This organization of feline experts has created a spectacular website that is pet parent friendly and cat wise.  So curl up with your favorite feline and listen with a purrrpose.  You will learn some fascinating facts on how you can be the best cat owner ever.

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Episode 245 - Danaus Ecological Reserve

Let’s take a quiz…a  geography quiz.  Yes, I know I am a veterinarian and this is a show about pets but you will see that it all makes sense.  Name a country that has no standing army…where it is ilegal to own a wild animal, has a population of about 4.5 million people who are all educated for free from primary school to high school.  Ranked 42nd in the world for environmental protection, has great beaches and fabulous people who speak Spanish.  Figured out where I am talking about?  Costa Rica.

Elías Peña is a nature guide at the Danaus Ecological Reserve in La Fortuna de San Carlos.  He is going to tell us how a small center in a small Central American country is enchanting and educating the countrymen and the world about the importance of protecting our plants, animals and world….they know we are One World…One Health.

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Episode 244 - Insuring Dignity at the End of a Friendship

That moment when a pet slips from being a part of your family to being a memory can be one filled with a quiet peace or regrets.  If you are a fortunate pet parent, you have been given time… time to consider the passing… time to soak in the essence of your pet and time to insure that your companion has been kept comfortable and passes with dignity.

My guest is Canadian veterinarian, Dr. Lianna Titcombe. She is currently the president of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, an association focused on comfort-oriented care to companion animals as they approach the end of life.

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Episode 243 - Pain Management in Pets – The Joy of a Pain Free Life

You know your pet better than anyone else.  You would know if it were in pain…or would you?  Though pets are basically wired for experiencing discomfort as you and I are, too often they mask the typical outward indications like crying and whining for myriad reasons.  So how can you tell if your pet is hurting?  If you do thing they are ouchy, how about saving some money and dosing them with a bit of your pain medication?  And what is so bad about pain anyway?  Isn’t it just part of life? 

My guest is the Professional and Public Affairs Veterinary Advisor for the American Animal Hospital Association, Dr. Heather Loenser. We are going the explore these questions and more because every pet should experience the joy of a pain free life.

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Episode 242 - Optimal Cat Health… One Life Stage at a Time

Bastet (bau stet)-half woman, half feline….the ancient Egyptian cat god. These animals have held a special place in our hearts and home ever since.  Though there are more cats in the United States than dog, sadly, because they are expert at hiding their signs of illness, wellness exams for felines are much less common.  By the time a pet parent realizes that there is a medical concern, the disease process is often extremely advanced, often with fatal consequences.

Dr. Joseph Bartges, Professor of Medicine and Nutrition at The University of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine will breakdown the health issues that beset cats during their life stages and what can be done to insure that they live long and thrive. 

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Episode 241 - Nutrition Edition

In 2015, Americans spent over $60 billion on pet food with veterinary care coming in somewhere around $15 billion.  But is all of that money on pet food being well spent?  Are we over feeding and giving less than optimal nutrition to our furry family members?  Can some of the most serious medical conditions such as kidney disease and cancer be positively affected by modifying what we feed?

My guest is Dr. Cailin Heinze.  She is a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University where she teaches biochemistry and clinical nutrition. She is an expert in home-cooked diet formulation and general pet nutrition and has a special interest in feeding pets with kidney disease and cancer. Dr Heinze has been featured in Eating Well, WebMD, Prevention magazine, and Dog Fancy and she regularly speaks at national and international veterinary conferences.

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Episode 240 - Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials

Breakthroughs in veterinary medicine has saved lives and improved countless others.  We almost take it for granted that when you or your pet becomes ill, that there will be a safe and effective medication or treatment.  But how did these breakthroughs come to be?  Were the studies conducted on lab mice or dogs kept in research kennels?  Why can’t researchers do all the studies with computers and not use living animals?  How were safety and effectiveness measured and what about bias in the response to a treatment?  Is it fair to an ailing animal to give them a placebo rather than potentially lifesaving medicine?

My guest is Dr. Eric Wisner, DVM, director for the UC Davis Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials. We will discuss ways your pet can help advance the health of pets afflicted with various conditions as well as assist people with similar maladies.

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Episode 239 - Ingredients for an Optimal Life

If you are like most pet parents, a trip to the pet store can be overwhelming when you gape at the rows upon rows of pet food choices….premium, organic, grain free, free range, holistic, raw, natural…what does it really mean?  Should cook your own food? Who do you turn to for credible information…the kid at the pet store, Dr. Google? 

So step away from that bag of food, put down that can of pet food and relax for the next ½ hour with your favorite dog or cat by your side for a pet food primer by Dr. Oscar Chavez, Chief Medical Officer at Just Food For Dogs.

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Episode 238 - Big Cats!

If you have listened to this show for any length of time, you know that I am a dyed in the fur ailurophile – cat lover.  And I am not alone in my affinity for cats.  It is estimated that over 93 million cats reside in the United States as compared to 78 million dogs.

Get ready for 30 minutes of tales of salvation for some of the most gorgeous animals in the world.   My guest is Susan Bass, Public Relations Director at Big Cat Rescue.  And for a special treat, you can get some behind the scenes glimpses at this amazing sanctuary by clicking on the YouTube link at the Pet Doctor episode page on PetLifeRadio.com

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Episode 237 - Taking the Bite Out of Rabies

Every year more than 25,000 deaths worldwide are attributed to this virus.  Tragically, a very effective vaccine is available to prevent these fatalities but are not being disseminated to those in need.  You may think this international scourge is ebola.  Ebola was estimated to cause a demise of about 11,000 persons in 2015.  The disease I'm referring to is rabies, a preventable disease.  One that affects people and animals. With your assistance this disease can be eradicated. 

My guest is Dr. Richard Ford, an emeritus professor of medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, an expert on rabies and its worldwide impact. 

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Episode 236 - Feline Fountain of Youth

Cats are living longer than ever.  Why?  More of them living indoors, their owners are teaming with veterinarians to address health needs in a more proactive manner along with advances in medical research.

With their increased life span comes aging. Getting old isn’t a disease it is a process and it happens right in front of your eyes, day by day.  It seems like yesterday that your cat was a kitten.  Now your veterinarian is talking about senior issues.  Pet parents try to slow the process by myriad techniques.  It is not uncommon for an owner to rave about a new supplement or food that has turned their geriatric feline into a kitten during their cat’s wellness visit.  Rather than being ecstatic about their discovery, I am often wary that their cats may be afflicted with a common hormonal condition, hyperthyroidism.

Dr. Hazel Carney, describes herself as “one of the oldest living cat-only doctors left in captivity”.  She is also the Chair of the American Association of Feline Practitioners Guidelines Committee.

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Episode 235 - Year of the Blood Sucker

This is the year of the blood sucker.  No, I am not referring some of the key players in our national political scene but rather the forecasted explosion of ticks and mosquitoes.  These parasites have been bugging mankind for a LONG time.  An older sister species of our present day mosquito was found in some Burmese amber that was estimated to be 90 to 100 million years old. Lyme disease was discovered in 15 million year old ticks.

We have all heard of the yearly hurricane forecasts made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, now the Companion Animal Parasite Council is predicting that in 2016 the spread of vector-borne disease agents transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes will continue to promulgate and create a year-round menace to both pets and pet owners. 

Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Fling, owner of East Lake Veterinary Hospital in Dallas, Texas and member of the Companion Animal Parasite Council is my guest today.  We are going to discuss diseases that can affect cats, dogs and sometimes their owners and what you can do to protect the entire family. 

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Episode 234 - The Bear Necessities of Protecting Giant Panda

Giant pandas are native to China and are considered a national symbol of peace and harmony.  Sadly, it is estimated that there may be only 1000 of these bears in the world.  When I recently toured China, I was fortunate to visit the Chendu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. My guest today is Dr. Sarah Bexell, the chief director of the Department of Conservation at the Chengdu Research Base. Her focus is keeping mankind from having to wear black ashes on their arms for these marvelous creatures.

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Episode 233 - Spot the Pet Poisons in Your Home

Pets explore their worlds by licking, sniffing, touching and swallowing items they encounter.  It may have seemed like a good idea at the time to investigate the puddle on the garage floor, down that round roly poly thing on the bathroom counter or munch on the wobbly mouse in the yard.  But the consequences could be deadly.  And then there are the well meaning pet owner who tries to save money by consulting Dr. Google and treating their pets with toxic outcomes.

Dr. Charlotte Flint, as a senior consulting veterinarian at Pet Poison Helpline has heard stories that would turn your fur green and toss your kibble.  We are going to break down room by room some of the most common pet toxins in your home. 

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Episode 232 - Badda Bing, Badda Boom…Noises That Drive Dogs Crazy and What You Can Do

Crash, boom, bang…all noises that may send your dog running for cover under your bed. A dog’s hearing is quite different from ours. They can hear sounds 4 times farther away than we can, hear higher pitches sounds that are undetectable to the human ear and their extremely moveable ears can help them hone in on the origin of the auditory reverberations. We need to move our entire head to better echo locate. Loud noises such as thunder and fireworks can be very scary for your canine companion. A frightened dog can cause itself great bodily harm trying to escape the sonic terrors and great angst for their owners.

Dr. Sharon Campbell is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and one of the technical veterinarians for Zoetis Animal Health. We will be discussing noise aversion and a new medication available to treat it.

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Episode 231 - Breaking Down Pet Stereotypes and Behaviors

Breaking stereotypes of animal behavior and understanding their actions has been a passion for my guest, veterinarian, Dr. Gary Weitzman, President and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society.  His voice may sound familiar; he co-hosted The Animal House, a nationally distributed weekly program on public radio that explored the latest in animal science, pet health and behavior, and wildlife conservation.  He is fluent in cat and dog speak having written three books published by National Geographic, the first called “Everything Dogs,” and two books on animal behavior called “How to Speak Dog” and “How to Speak Cat” with a fourth due out in November 2017 on animal medicine, care and behavior.

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Episode 230 - The Lost China Tape

I have a confession; I love to travel but tend to misplace my belongings along the way.  In October of 2015, I had the opportunity to tour China.  I saw marvelous sites of antiquity and treasure.  What I enjoyed the most was meeting the people and being a veterinarian, seeing how they interacted with their animals.  During my visit, I was fortunate to gain insights into the Chinese human-animal bond by interviewing Ms. Lily Li, the director of Companion Animal Business, Zoetis China. 

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Episode 229 - Touching the Sky

Falconry…what does this word bring to mind?  You may envision the European nobility riding through the countryside with a majestic hawk on their outstretched leather enveloped hand.  Using hawks and falcons for hunting dates back to ancient times.  Few people still hunt with birds but falconry enables these spectacular creatures to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with man.  They also serve an important role as sentinels to the health of our planet.

I had the pleasure of visiting with two licensed falconers in San Diego California, at Sky Falconry, where I was privileged to fly a trained bird and for a little while touch the sky through the wings of a Harris hawk.

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Episode 228 - Passages

The devotion that pets show their human guardians is often called unconditional love.  As pet guardians, we share our lives with creatures that sadly have shorter life spans than ours and at times we must demonstrate the ultimate gift of love-allowing our pets to pass. This decision is fraught with angst. How do you know it’s time?  Do you permit your pet to transition naturally or do you enable the process?  Is it best done at home or at your veterinarian’s office?  How do you tell your children?  Are you overreacting by feeling so devastated by their loss and are your friends correct when they say “get over it, just go out and get another pet…it was only an animal.” 

Dr. Liz Fernandez addresses these questions and more in her book, Sacred Gifts of a Short Life.  Each pet is different; each decision regarding their transition is unique.  There is no right or wrong answer, only the one that is meaningful for you.  Dr. Liz and her remarkable book will help you no matter if you are facing the passage of a pet, a human loved one or your own mortality. 

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Episode 227 - Tweens and Teens Get Set for Veterinary School

 There are so many tweens and teens who are starting to wrestle with the question ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’  Many may entertain the idea of becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine but they also have doubts about what does it take?  Could I handle the sights, sounds and smells of being around animals?  What options are available if I like science but want to do more than tend to the traditional dogs, cats, horses and birds?  How do I go about get hands on experience?
Dr. Chris Carpenter is the founder and director of an amazing program called ‘Vet Set Go’ that incorporates his degrees in veterinary medicine and his membership in the National Science Teachers Association.  It is unique and a great way for tweens and teens to explore all the veterinary medicine can be.

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Episode 226 - The Story of a Boy, a Ball and a Dog That Loved Them Both

A boy, a dog and a ball…the quintessential trio for fun and also the basis of a wonderful animated movie that will touch your heart and help broach a topic for children that adults often find difficult to discuss…the circle of life.  My guest is Kyle Logan, the writer for ‘Chase the Ball’, a Kickstarter endeavor you really need to become involved with if you have ever loved a person or a pet.

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Episode 225 - Love Never Strays

Have you ever walked through an animal shelter?  It teams with hope…dogs and cats hopeful that you will take them home and love them.  Heartbreak because last year an estimated 3 million dogs and cats across the United States found themselves alone, afraid and abandoned in such facilities.  Animal shelter have greatly improved in the services they offer these animals but sadly, the majority of these wonderful loving pets will never find a forever home.  They are destroyed because no one adopts them. There are just too many of them.

A few months ago, my local veterinary association took part in a ‘Doctors Without Borders’-type pet wellness event sponsored by a spectacular organization founded by my guest, Teri Austin.  This woman’s passion for helping some of the least served pets in the Los Angeles area will hopefully inspire you to help her foundation or who knows, you may want to use this model to tackle the same issues in your home town.

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Episode 224 - The Boo Boo That Started the Chinese Pet Healthcare Revolution

The population of China tops 1 billion people.  The US has about 320 million residents.  US pets, livestock and industry are served by approximately 100,000 veterinarians with China boasts between 300,000 to 1 million doctors of veterinary medicine. So why did an American born woman from New York feel the need to start the first government sanctioned companion animal referral center in Beijing?  The story and what she has accomplished is fascinating.

My guest is Mary Peng, the CEO and founder of the International Center for Veterinary Services, Beijing, China.

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Episode 223 - Pet Care Disconnect

You want your pet to live long and prosper…you feed an expensive food, it has a better bed than yours, its trips to the beauty shop exceeds the pampering you receive and it has its own pet psychic… but are you addressing its essential long term health needs?  What are these needs and whose advice should you seek? 

Ms. Jeannine Taaffe, the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Banfield Pet Hospitals will explore with me their 2015 Annual State of the Pet Health Report.  It has some extremely fascinating details highlighting the disconnect between what pet owners and veterinarians view as preventive health care for cats and dogs and what you can do to remedy the shortfall. 

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Episode 222 - Dedicated Passion

According to Webster’s dictionary, passion has several definitions.  The more common is ‘a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling such as love or hate’.  One less used but sums up a veterinarian’s passion for his or her chosen field is ‘the state of being affected by something external, especially something alien to one’s nature or one’s customary behavior.  It has to be passion, why else would a sane human being place themselves in harm’s way from hooves, claws, teeth, beaks, inordinately long days, communicable diseases that can kill, field work and research that can take you away from your family for months at a time and all for benefit of others who rarely say thank you?  Why?  Because veterinary medicine is one of the most fabulous vocations one could ever be a part of.

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Episode 221 - Finding Rover Goes High Tech

Who knows maybe someday when you pick up a bag or can of pet food you may see a photo of a lost pets like the ones of children on the back of milk cartons.  In the past when your beloved four legged member of the family wandered away from home, a pet parent could plaster telephone poles with posters, call the local shelters and drive around their neighborhoods peering under cars and bushes and crossing their paws that they would be reunited with their errant pooch or puss.  But thanks to facial recognition technology, a photo and a smart phone app can no reunite pet and parent.  I will be speaking today with John Palimeno.  The heart and brains behind ‘Finding Rover’.

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Episode 220 - Translational Veterinary Medicine

If you have listened to the Pet Doctor in the past, you may have heard an interview regarding how advances in veterinary medicine can translate into addressing the same ills for people and vice versa. Today I am going to be more literal…an American born and trained veterinarian who moved to China to work and live.  My guest is Dr. Jennifer Repac. We will start what should be a fascinating conversation of a stranger in a unique land.

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Episode 219 - Scratching Deep into Pet Allergies

I can always tell the owner of the incessantly scratching pet as they wait in my reception area.  I don’t even have to see their pet.  The signs are unmistakable…the haggard look, the bags under their eyes, the tinge of irritability from lack of sleep and their furrowed brow from worrying about their dog or cat.
Itching, biting, scratching, chewing and just plain futzing with themselves can drive a pet and their owner crazy.  What are some of the most common causes of these skin issues and what can a pet parent do? My guest is a board certified veterinary dermatologist, Dr. Ursula Thomas.   Dr. Thomas is also a veterinary service manager, for Ceva Animal Health.

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Episode 218 - Wearable Wellness

Fits like a collar…acts like a guardian angel.  That might be one of the best ways to describe a very unique advancement in wearable technology for your dog.

While attending the 2015 American Veterinary Medical Association’s National convention in Boston, Massachusetts, I was introduced to a product that is blending technology with a heart…the Voyce Pro.  It will assist the pet owner and veterinarian to provide a customizable approach to pet wellness without even putting your hands on the dog.  My guest is Dr. Amanda Landis-Hanna, director of veterinary medicine for Voyce Pro.

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Episode 217 - More Than A Cone

Radar receiving cone, lamp shade, cone of shame or just plain Elizabethan collar…it is that source of broken tchatche, bruised legs and frustration for pets.  Now it is a source of amazing art and charitable funds for several pet advocacy organizations… and you can get involved.  My guest, Gabe Martinez is one of the master minds behind this extremely unique event to be held in Los Angeles… More Than a Cone.

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Episode 216 - What is Bugging Your Veterinarian?

My guest is Lance Hemsarth, an entomologist, and Sr. Director of Research and Development for Hartz Mountain Corporation.  We are going to chat about two serious parasites that being causing disease and mayhem for people and animals for the past 35 to 55 million years…fleas and ticks.

For full transparency, I am a paid spokesperson for Hartz.  I have full confidence in their products as being safe and effective when used as directed.

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Episode 215 - Innovations and Inventions of Care

The 2015 National convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association was the host to innovators of products and services that will allow veterinarians and pet owners to provide the best possible care for body and mind. Over the next several weeks, Dr. Cruz will interview representatives for these cutting edge advances.

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Episode 214 - Hairballs

It can wake you up from a deep sleep.  That sound that fills your soul with terror... ummmfph...ummmfph...gblahhh!  Your cat's about to hurl.  Where's it going to land?  On the easy-to-clean floor?  Or on your freshly-cleaned carpet?  If you're really lucky it's on your bed or pillow.  Cats... and vomit... seem to go paw in paw.   Must be those pesky hairballs for which they're notorious.  My guest today is Dr. Jane Brunt, CATalyst executive director.  We'll be chatting about the facts and fictions of hairballs in cats.

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Episode 213 - Man Bites Dog and the Country Celebrates….

It is estimated that Americans bite dogs at the rate of over 7 billion times between Memorial day and Labor Day with the highest concentration being in the month of July.  Those statistics may seem alarming and have been compiled by a very reputable organization, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.  Every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each and not all of those are eaten at your local Costco.

Though dogs have been deemed to be one of our dearest companions, it has been estimated that dogs will bite man, and woman and too often children 4.5 million times a year.  Are they all bad dogs?  Were they are mistreated as pup?  What do we do to aggravate the situation?  My guest is Dr. Jose Arce.  He is a delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates representing Puerto Rico where he co-owns Miramar Animal Hospital.

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Episode 212 - Aging and the Canine Brain…Helping Them to Help Us

It sometimes seems as though that old dog of yours is just being cantankerous.  It starts to have accidents in the house, must be because it is too lazy to go outside. And then there is that thing it is doing at night.  For years it has slept at the foot of your bed and now it is roaming around the house at all hours and you’re not getting any sleep. And last week, it got stuck in a corner, started barking and wouldn’t backup.  He reminds you of your old Aunt Millie who has Alzheimer’s.  Do dogs get dementia?

Today’s guest is Dr. Elizabeth Head, she is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky.  She has been studying the aging canine brain in hopes of finding answers to what is also happening to dogs and to dog’s best friend, man.

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Episode 211 - Great Predicting Contagions: Science Fiction or Science Fact

I’m not much for scary movies so when I went to see the 2011 film Contagion starring Gwyneth Paltrow, I didn’t expect to be as terrified as I was.  A simple dinner in a far away land lead to a worldwide disease outbreak that makes the 2014 Ebola outbreak look like a mild flu season.  It would be comforting to think that it was just a movie, it could never happen in the real life.  Sadly, viral diseases that affect our pets, canine influenza, our dinner, Avian Influenza, and our lives, SARS and MERS are too commonly featured on the nightly news.

How can you stop something that is smaller than a bacteria and antibiotics are helpless against?  My guest, Dr. Jonna Mazet, Director of the One Health Institute at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine will tell us how veterinarians have partnered with doctors, health workers and hunters to protect the health of all of us.

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Episode 210 - Saving Pets with Blood, Sweat and Thyroids

The current buzz word in human and veterinary medicine is ‘wellness’.  But for my guest, Dr. Jean Dodds, it has been her passion since she graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Toronto, Canada.  For Dr. Dodds, it has been a matter of blood-human and animal, a lot of sweat in the hours spent in research and ground breaking work in a common canine condition, under active thyroid disease. 

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Episode 209 - Did You Know… Horses 101

They may not be the most popular pet in the United States, numbering 4,856,000 in 2014.  They may not fit in our lap but they have a special place in the American heart. Horses have a mystique not matched by any other animal.  Man started harnessing the power and grace of horses around 4000 B.C.  They have been used for their speed, strength, have been beasts of burden and are hands down fabulous athletes. Caring for them requires a knowledgeable owner teaming with a dedicated veterinarian like my guest Dr. Claudia Sonder, Director of the Center for Equine Health at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Episode 208 - Great New Ways to Protect- Watch- Communicate with Your Pets

We treat them like our kids…day care, psychics, designer clothing, all sorts of gizmos, gadgets and toys to keep them happy but are keeping them safe? What are they doing when we aren’t with them? Are they getting into trouble in the house or just miss us? And can we keep them safe from predators even when we are by their sides?

My two guests have developed two amazing products that will help us communicate with our pets and keep them out of the jaws of danger.

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Episode 207 - Do Veterinarians Have You and Animal Health at Heart?

You recently went to your neighborhood big box store and they were touting the fact that you could purchase your pet’s medications at drastically discounted prices.  So why is your veterinarian charging so much for the same item?  Are they really concerned about keeping your pet healthy or are they just in it for the money?  And why are they always recommending that once or twice a year you bring your pet in for a wellness examination?  It looks just fine.  And teeth cleaning…give me a break!  You have owned pets for years and never had a prophy…animals in the wild…they never get their teeth cleaned!

My guest is Dr. Ted Cohn.  He is the current president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  In the next 30 minutes we are going to discuss the cost of caring.  We will also investigate how veterinarians attend to the health of animals, people and the environment along with the specialization that has occurred in veterinary medicine over the past several decades.

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Episode 206 - Taking the Hospital out of Pet Care

There is a new model of pet hospital with an aim of treating the whole pet…mind and body.  It strives to have the pet parent feel as relaxed and pampered as their furry charges.  Southern California recently had the opportunity to enjoy the opening of a second unique breed of pet care center.  My guest is Dr. John Boyd, the CEO/Founder of Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort and Veterinary Centers. 

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Episode 205 - Training Dogs For Today's Families

You may need a dog that can fetch a set of dropped keys, turn on a light switch, help you as you struggle with PTSD or nightmares and bring you back to here and now, one that serves as a non-judgmental tutor to a child tackling scholastic challenges or just a fabulous member of your family.  Under the tutelage of my guest, dog trainer and behaviorist, Tom Tackett, dogs can do all this and so much more. 

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Episode 204 - Compassion Knows No Borders

How can helping a stray dog or cat in a third world country improve the health of the local community, the nation, and volunteer animal caregivers thousands of miles away?  It's amazing what a little compassion, a lot of hard work and some dedicated volunteers can accomplish.  My guests are Erin Skillen and Michael Wavrecan of of May Street Productions Ltd.  They're Canadian award-winning producers of entertaining television with substance.  Tune in to hear about a fascinating project they're involved with. 

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Episode 203 - How Sea Hunt, Mary Poppins and Leeches are Advancing Veterinary Medicine

I may be showing my age…I remember Lloyd Bridges (yes, that is Beau and Jeff Bridges’ dad) and his American television undersea adventure series of the 1960s…Sea Hunt (OK…it was the reruns).  It seemed like he was forever saving scuba divers who were suffering with the bends with the use of a decompression chamber. And who hasn’t seen the movie “Mary Poppins” and didn’t sing along with the song ‘a Spoon Full of Sugar’?  Well veterinary medicine is using hyperbaric oxygen, sugar and leeches…yes, those blood sucking creatures from medieval times to treat and cure myriad animal maladies (and this isn’t by a bunch of fringe, quake doctors).

My guest is Dr. Nicole Buote.  She a board certified veterinary surgeon who practices in Los Angeles and has special interests in advanced wound repair, cancer reconstructive surgery, minimally invasive procedures including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, arthroscopy and interventional radiology techniques.

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Episode 202 - Researching Canine Senior Moments… Helping Dogs, Helping People

People and pets are living longer than ever.  With aging come many challenges… physical as well as mental.  Current research is investigating the adage that ‘you can’t teach an old dog, or for that matter, an old person new tricks’.  Is it that they can’t learn or is it that they can’t remember?  Geriatric dogs with their naturally occurring behavioral and physical changes offer behaviorists and research scientists a marvelous model for studying and treating devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Today’s guest, Dr. Gary Landsberg, is a board certified veterinary behaviorist and Director of Veterinary Affairs and Product Development for CanCog Technologies.

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Episode 201 - Name Your Poison

Sometimes it happens accidentally, or someone thinks it would be fun to see the effects of a particular substance on a pet.  At times pet owners with the best of intentions may give medications that have been effective for themselves or another pet often with disastrous consequences.  Then there's the inquisitive pet that tastes, touches something that could be poisonous.  How do you know when to call your veterinarian or pet poison control number?  Did you even know there was a pet poison control organization?

Today's guest, Dr. Justine Lee knows the answers to these questions and more.  She's a board certified emergency critical care veterinarian and a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

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Episode 200 - Targeted Technology… Revolutionizing Pain Control and Healing

Just the word – radiation, conjures images of danger and potential death from its effects.  Einstein was one of the first to envision the use of laser radiation but it wasn’t until the 1960 that its healing powers were harnessed.  My guest is Dr. David Bradley, a veterinarian and Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.  He will inform us of how lasers are being used to treat our pets with skin issues to arthritis.

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Episode 199 - The Behind the Scenes Health Guardian

It has happened to you and probably your pet.  You go to the doctor because you are not feeling well.  They look, they ask, they listen…then inevitably it is time to go to the lab for poking, sampling and that all so much fun…peeing in a cup.  Why do they need all of those samples?  Aren’t they just trying to run up the bill?

My guest is Dr. Leslie Willis Woods.  She is a board certified veterinary pathologist, a Ph.D., works for the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and lectures on avian toxicology in the avian pathology and avian medicine courses at our alma mater, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  Today we are going to chat about keeping our pet birds safe in our homes and the role of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System in keeping pets, people and the environment healthy.

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Episode 198 - Laying Bare the Facts and Fallacies of Lepto

Zoonotic diseases… those that can affect animals and people have been on the minds of the world watching the outbreak of Ebola in Africa.  There are other shared diseases that may be in our own back yard.  Thankfully, much less deadly, treatable with medical care and preventable with readily available vaccines.  My guest, Dr. Richard Edling, Senior Associate Director, Pet Professional Services for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica will lay bare the facts and fallacies surrounding the disease Leptospirosis. 

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Episode 197 - Newfoundland’s James Herriot

Every aspiring veterinary student and legions of pet lovers all over the world have read the adventures of the British veterinary surgeon, James ‘Alf’ Wight, more commonly known as Dr. James Herriot.  Where the Yorkshire Dales had Dr. Herriot, the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland Canada has Dr. Andrew Peacock.

Dr. Peacock is a veterinarian who has had to do it all from delivering calves in a blizzard, breakneck relocation efforts of caribou, dealing with Bingo playing polar bears to trying to decipher the unique dialect of the locals.  Dr. Peacock was extremely gracious and invited me into his home near Carbonear, Newfoundland where he captivated me with tales from his upcoming book, Creatures of the Rock.

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Episode 196 - Exploring and Protecting the Oceans Around Us

Biopsychology is one of those college majors that you probably have never heard of.  Tell your parents you want a PhD in it and they might imagine you sitting in a lab doing esoteric experiments on fruit flies.  My guest, Dr. Jack Lawson, dreamed of exploring the oceans and emulating Jacque Cousteau.   Now he is working for the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  Whether it is studying sea lions, leatherback turtles, whales or other species at risk, his findings will help enlighten all of us on how to help protect our big blue planet. 

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Episode 195 - Canadian Originals… Newfoundland and Labrador Dogs and a Veterinarian Who Cares for the Pet Population of St. John’s

This Pet Doctor show is a continuation of my adventures in Newfoundland Canada.  Hi, I am Dr. Bernadine Cruz.  I will be speaking with two of the province’s champion breeders of the Newfoundland dog and Labrador retriever.  These animals are such an important part of their culture that if you visit St. John’s Harbourside Park, you will find two life-sized bronze statues of the province’s iconic mascots.   I also sat down with a local shelter veterinarian to discuss the challenges and joys of practicing medicine in the oldest city in North America.

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Episode 194 - Adventures in the Land of Iceberg, Whales and Puffins

Summer vacation...just the words can conjure images of exploring exotic locales replete with warm breezes, fabulous scenery and experiences of a life time; sunny California, Florida, Hawaii or Europe…but Newfoundland?  Where is Newfoundland?  Why would anyone want to go there? 

Over the next several weeks, I am going to share some of the adventures my travel companion, my 13 year old granddaughter, Lauryn and I experienced. Lauryn and I floated out of Bay Bulls, just south of St John’s on a catamaran owned by my guest, Michael Gatherall

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Episode 193 - Iguana Cure a Reptile Dysfunction? Fang-tastic Info From a Cold-Blooded Expert!

Some people are fascinated by them.  Others experience abject fear at the sight of one.  The Chinese calendar celebrated them in 2013 as thoughtful, wise and focused on detail. The creature in question…the snake.   It is estimated by the American Veterinary Medical Association that over 1 million snakes are kept as pets in the U.S.  They are gorgeous, can be a challenge to care for, come with a unique set of health concerns and often a hefty price tag.

My guest is Dr. Elliott Jacobson, professor emeritus at the University Of Florida School Of Veterinary Medicine.  He has spent his veterinary career advancing the health and welfare of captive and wild reptile and amphibians. 

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Episode 192 - Decoding The Cat

They have been called aloof, standoffish, picky, cautious and untrainable.  In reality the pet that more Americans share their home with, Felis catus, the domestic cat, more commonly and sometimes tragically… is misunderstood.  To help us decode some of their seemingly mysterious behaviors is my guest, Dr. Jane Brunt, Executive Director of the CATalyst Council.

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Episode 191 - Stressed Out Pets…Signs, Effect on Pets and People and What You Can Do About It

You’ve seen the YouTube videos, the dog destroying the couch cushions, the cat stalking and terrorizing its feline housemate…they seem funny enough until you realize these pets aren’t enjoying themselves and they aren’t being mischievous.  They are stressed out and acting out.  They are also reaching out for help in the only way they know how.

Life seems pretty cushy if you are one of the estimated 75 million dogs and 85 million cats in the United States.  What would make a pet stressed?  What are the signs?  Are there long term consequences of being a wigged out Westie?  What can you do about it?  My guest is Dr. Brian McLaughlin.  He will answer these questions and reveal how a nutraceutical may make your anxious Abyssinian purr.

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Episode 190 - Emergency!

How do you know if your pet is experiencing a medical emergency and should be seen by a veterinarian?  If you think it is an emergency, then it is one.  Don’t wait…don’t play amateur veterinarian and scour the internet for the answer.  Don’t call your best friend and see what they have to say.  It is better to be cautious rather than have matters worsen.  Problems caught early are typically easier to treat, have a better outcome and cost less to manage.

My guest today knows all about emergencies.  Dr. Heather Mineo not only works at referral animal hospital, one with a variety of specialists but is one of a handful of veterinarians in the United States who is a criticalist- board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care.

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Episode 189 - We Have Designs on your Dog

If your Chestie and Rotterman were playing with a Bascottie and a Rattle and a Bo-Chi and Wheagle were watching, would you be concerned or would you even know what I was talking about?  No, I'm not speaking a pigeon English, I was describing several designer dogs.  A Chestie is a Chihuahua  and  West Highland White Terrier mix, a Rotterman... Doberman Pinscher and Rottweiler, Bascottie... Basset Hound and Scottish Terrier.  What do you think a Rattle is?  American Rat Terrier and Poodle.  Bo-Chi... Boston Terrier and Chihuahua, and a Wheagle... Beagle and Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier.

We used to call them mutts.  Now they have their own registry, the International Designer Canine Registry, and hefty price tags to their acquisition.  How would you determine your dog's lineage?  Does it even matter?  My guest, veterinary geneticist from Mars Animal Health, Dr. Angela Hughes will give us the details behind the science of DNA testing for dogs.

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Episode 188 - The Cooped Up Pet

Some might say that suburbia is going to the birds…to be precise, to the chickens.  More and more people are keeping chickens as pets with benefits…fresh eggs for breakfast.  But keeping chickens as feathered friends isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.  With some help from my guest however, veterinarian Patricia Wakenell, we will learn how to crow with the success of having healthy pets and healthy people who care for them. 

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Episode 187 - A Profitable Passion

It is one of mankind’s strongest and most enduring passions, our love affair with cats and dogs.  We have been sharing our homes with these critters for thousands of years…now there is a way to share your fervor for fur with friends (say that three times fast), have some fun and add some funds to your bank account.  My guest is Roger Morgan; he is the genius behind pawTree, a newly launched, one-of-a-kind company.  It is unique in its approach for customized nutrition to its method of educating and empowering pet parents. So sit, stay and be social.

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Episode 186 - Debunking the Myth: A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure

There is an adage attributed to surgeons..a chance to cut is a chance to cure.  For a time, this statement was probably true.  A doctor had a limited number of ways of seeing what was going on inside of a body and correcting a problem.  Now humans and animals are benefiting from myriad of minimally invasive procedures that can diagnose, treat and often cure conditions where previously a scalpel could never go. 

Erinne Branter is a board certified veterinary internist at Advanced Critical Care, Emergency and Specialty Services in Los Angeles who has harnessed the magic of interventional radiology and endoscopy.

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Episode 185 - Common Emergencies of Uncommon Pets

Bring your local veterinarian a sick dog or cat and they will adroitly determine what is ailing it.  Bring them a guinea pig, hamster, bird or fish that ‘just isn’t right’ and they will likely be flummoxed. Though veterinarians are trained to care for all species, the nuances of tending to the general well being of small mammals, birds, reptiles and fish are a very focused subspecialty of pet care. 

What can an owner of one of these unique pets do to keep them healthy?  What are some of the common emergencies to which they are prone?  What can they do to prevent them?  The answer to these questions is a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine.  This is a title held by less than 200 veterinarians in the entire world.  My guest, Olivia Petritz has the distinction of being one of two in this elite assemblage to hold a sub-specialty in Zoological Companion Animals.

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Episode 184 - Why Isn’t My Dog More Like Lassie?

Does this sound familiar?  'I would like to take my dog for a walk but it tries to attack every person and dog we meet.  He has pulled me off my feet. I just don’t understand.  He is so good at home,'  'Why is my dog jealous of my new baby?  Initially everything was OK but now it tries to snap and run away whenever the baby approaches…do I have to give my dog away?'  'My neighbors have reported me to the authorities because my dog whines and barks whenever I leave…Should I get another dog to keep her company?'

These are the types of questions I get from frustrated and concerned dog parents.  Why can’t their dogs be more like Lassie? Is the dog being belligerent, stubborn, mean or is it just stupid? Could the human be at fault?  Dr. Debra Horwitz and some of her board certified veterinary behaviorist colleagues have just released a marvelous book for all cynophilists (dog lovers), Decoding Your Dog.  Better understanding what is going on between your dog’s ears can keep your pet out of the dog house.

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Episode 183 - Harnessing Love and Your Pet

As a child I loved sitting on my dad’s lap as he drove.  I pretended I was piloting the car.  Now we strap our kids into their Department of Transportation approved car seats, safely ensconced in the back seat.  But not all our family members get the same safe guards.  Our pets can become projectiles in even a slow speed crash, injuring themselves or other passengers.

Lindsey Wolko, the founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety will disclose the results of a landmark study comparing dog car safety harnesses.  The findings may cause you to rethink taking your pet for a jaunt in the car.

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Episode 182 - Pet Care…Takes More than 20/20 Insights

If you've watched the NetFlix series, House of Cards our suspicions of the stereotype of politicians is probably true, and they don't have our best interests at heart.  Other professions are held at much higher esteem - veterinarians for instance.  But if you watched a recent television exposé it casts some doubt on veterinarians and veterinary medicine.  My guest today is Dr. Clark Fobian.  He is the President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and we're going to try to debunk some of those stereotypes that were brought about on this 20/20 exposé.

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Episode 181 - Friends of Forgotten Felines

They hide in alleys, abandoned houses, fight over scrapes of food and live lives tragically cuts short by disease, neglect and misunderstanding.  These are the oft forgotten feral cat.  My guest, Becky Robinson is the Founder and President of Alley Cat Allies.  Promoting the health, welfare of all cats has been the mission of this unique organization of ½ million supporters.  Learn how you can help feral colonies, your local animal shelters whether or not you are a cat owner.

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Episode 180 - 150 Years of American Veterinary Care

Visions of the bucolic James Herriot and doctors caring for cats and dogs is what typically comes to mind when people think of veterinarians, but there is so much more to this profession. Dr. John de Jong of Weston, Mass, and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s leadership is my guest today.  We will discuss how vet med in USA has evolved in the past 150 years and the exciting advances that are taking place every day. 

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Episode 179 - State of America’s Pet Health 2013

Debates concerning the Affordable Care Act of 2013 have at times resembled a dog and cat fight.  But what about the care we give our four legged members of the family?  Are pet parents doing the best they can?

Current research has shown that pet owners are increasing their expenditures of on pet food and products but are not investing in proactive wellness care for their pets.  Why treats and not treatments?  My guest, Dr. Sandi Lefebvre of Banfield Pet Hospitals will help to answer that question and reveal the results of the Banfield Pet Hospital 2013 State of Pet Health Report. 

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Episode 178 - Seizures and Pets

You are as cautious any parent of a human child when it comes to the health and welfare of your four legged charges.  But could the world around you be conspiring to expose your pet to toxins?  What are some of the most common poisons that your pet may encounter?  How would you know if your pet has been sickened?  Can you avoid the possibility of inadvertent toxic exposures?

Dr. Robert Poppenga, a veterinarian and head of the Toxicology Section of the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System at the University of California, Davis will help answer these question and more.

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Episode 177 - Does Washington Get a Paws Up or Paws Down on Animal Related Issues?

The evening news is awash with intrigue and scandals from our nation’s capital, but there is some behavior that America’s elected officials should be ashamed of…their relations with animals.  Who is looking out for the health and safety of America’s animal and food?  From the Farm Bill, to animal welfare, food safety, conservation and research, it is the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Governmental Relations Division who is advocating behind the scenes for the needs of animals, people and the environment. 

My guest is Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, Director of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  We will discuss whether Washington gets a paw up or paws down on animal related issues.

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Episode 176 - Carlos Campos, DVM… America’s Favorite Veterinarian

Every time there is a survey to determine which profession is most respected and trusted, veterinarians always rank toward the top.  But does America have a favorite veterinarian?  Yes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation it is Dr. Carlos Campos of Spring Hill, Florida. After we chat you will see why he is so special.

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Episode 175 - Seizures and Pets

One moment your pet seems absolutely normal and then it happens.  It might be just a chatter of its jaw or it may fall to the ground and paddle with its feet totally unaware of what is going on around it.  Is your pet in pain?  Is it going to die?  You feel helpless and don’t know what to do.

My guest will give us great insights into seizures.  She is veterinarian Dr. Karen Muñana.  She is a board certified veterinary internist with a subspecialty in neurology and professor of neurology at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Episode 174 - Epilepsy, Seizures & Episodes, Oh My!

Today we are discussing a very scary problem for pet owners.  Have you ever seen a person faint, have a stroke or have an epileptic fit?  Have you ever seen that in a pet?  Did you know that pets, like humans, can suffer from seizures from a number of different causes?  They can even have epilepsy. I doubt anyone listening every thought their pet would have a seizure- it is not something we are generally prepared for. Hopefully after listening to this episode you will have a much better understanding of seizures in our pets.  What are they, why they occur and what we can do about them. Our special guest and expert today is Dr. Jason Berg, a board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist and veterinary neurologist who will help us understand the conditions associated with seizures.

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Episode 173 - Cat or Dog Person…What Does It Really Mean

Mary Bly may have said it best…’Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and get back to you.’  Despite some deeply held personal preferences America loves its pets.  U.S. households share their beds and laps with over 74 million cats and 69 million dogs.  But what does it say about you if you have a fondness for felines or are crazed about canines?

Royal Canin recently commissioned a survey to discover why a purr or bark is more likely to tug at your heart strings.  Are we swayed by the flip of a wily whisker or does size really matter?  Dr. Laura Peltz of Royal Canin will discuss the findings and why feeding to the breed can insure that no matter your choice, your pet lives as long and healthy a life as possible.

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Episode 172 - Breaking Down the Barriers to Pet Insurance

Pet owners often get that glazed over look to their eyes when the topic of pet insurance is broached.  It is too expensive. The paperwork is complicated.  There are too many limitations and exclusions.  What if these concerns were eliminated?  Think of how the health and well-being of your pet could be impacted.

Dr. Kerri Marshall is a veterinarian with a unique insight into the statistics of pet health and the tragic consequences of not safeguarding our pet’s health with insurance.

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Episode 171 - Modeling Veterinary Medicine to New Dimensions and Making the Scalpel Obsolete

Dr. Boaz Arzi is my guest today.  We are going to chat about collaborative efforts of engineers and veterinarians at UC Davis to improve the health of animals and people.

In medical circles, there is a common adage amongst surgeons…a chance to cut is a chance to cure.  If it is up to my guest, Dr. Bill Culp of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, that phrase may become antiquated in some veterinary surgical situations.  Dr. Culp is a board certified veterinary surgeon who is foregoing the blade and using radiology to treat conditions previously thought to be inoperable. 

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Episode 170 - And Baby Makes…Danger

You can spot them 6 strollers away, the new parent.  They look ecstatic and a bit frazzled.  They tote around the jumbo size of cleaning products to decontaminate the world for their precious bundle of joy.  You would think that their home would be one of the safest places for 2 and 4 legged critters but you may be surprised to learn, that items associated with babies can be highly toxic to pets.

To tutor us in the ‘A.B,Cs’ of safeguarding our furry kids, is my guest Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of Pet Poison Helpline.

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Episode 169 - Cats and Potato Chips

I’ve heard it said, that cats are lick potato chips…you can’t have just one.  But mixing flavors like the British turkey and stuffing variety with flaming Cajun American snacks could leave a strange taste in your mouth.  If you are like me, you have multiple perpetrators of TV screen paw prints.  Sometimes a clowder (a collective of cats) works and sometimes it can have dire effects on your carpeting and sanity.

The new book, Your Ideal Cat co-authored by my guest Dr. Ben Hart; board certified veterinary behaviorist and his wife, Lynette Hart, a professor of veterinary medicine and human-animal behavior will  tell us how we can keep purrrrfect harmony in our homes.

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Episode 168 - Win a Date with America’s Golden Girl and Favorite Animal Lover Betty White

Ever wonder what it would be like to share an evening of witty banter with America’s Golden Girl Betty White? Now is your opportunity. Through an eBay auction, fans can bid to be Betty White’s guest at the Morris Animal Foundation Gala of HOPE, An Evening with Betty White in Los Angeles in October.

Our guest today is Dr. David Haworth,  President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation to tell us about the Gala of HOPE and your chance to win a date with Betty!  Bidding for “Win a Date with Betty” will start at $1,500.

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Episode 167 - They’re Our Best Friends But Why Do They Like Us and What Can We Do to Improve the Relationship?

They may be our companions, helpers, even surrogate children.  We think we know why we want and need canines around but why do dogs need us?  Do they even like us?  Is it more than our ability to open a can of dog food?  What do we add to their lives?  Are they really looking for a master to dominate them or a pal that will obligingly lavish biscuits and praise?

Dr. Gary Borjesson, in his book Willing Dogs and Reluctant Masters offers a philosopher’s view of the journey these two disparate social creatures have taken to become best friends.

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Episode 166 - Exploring Intelligent Canine with Citizen Scientists

Is your Corgi incorrigible?  Does your poodle ponder life more than bound headlong into the fray at the dog park?  Why does one dog seem to be a genius and another can barely find its way out of the backyard?  Is knowing how and what your dog is thinking helpful to caring for a dog?  What does this information do for the mental wellbeing of their owners? 

My guest is Dr. Brian Hare is a Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center at Duke University and is a cynophilist…. a dog lover.  We will examine how to play, discover and connect with our best friends through Dognition.

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Episode 165 - Getting Your Top Dog in Top Shape Post Joint Surgery

Your dog has just come home from having major surgery on its knee, back or hip.  There is so much to remember…antibiotics, pain medication, keeping it quiet…now how long was it supposed to be on leash walks only?  How are you supposed to flex the joint?  When can you give it a bath?  You thought you remembered all the directions but you just aren’t sure?  If it could only be written down in a way that you could easily access and understand. 

Top Dog Health and Rehabilitation is just what the doctor ordered.  Dr. James St.Clair will lead us through why he founded this company and how it ease your mind and your dog’s body before, during and after surgery and just maybe how to keep it from needing surgery.

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Episode 164 - Cat’s Commandments for a Healthy New Year

I love the start of a new year, it holds so much promise.  Like many, I resolve to eat better, exercise more, read more books, practice my Spanish and spend more quality time with friends, family and my cats.

Having resolutions for your cats is also a great idea, but don’t ask them what they want.  They would probably say more treats, a slow mouse to chase and a cushier bed on which to lounge.  I would however ask Dr. Jane Brunt.  She is the executive director of the CATalyst Council, a group dedicated to the health and welfare of cats.

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Episode 163 - The Nose Knows - Detection Dogs

You've seen them on the news, at the airport and major sporting events... detection dogs. They can sniff out explosives and contraband, but how do they do what they do? A dog's nose is so exquisitely sensitive that it's said that where you and I might detect the scent of stew wafting through the air, a dog could pick out the individual ingredients as well as the person who made the meal from the same aroma stream. Though a dog may have the physical ability for the task, it takes special training to turn them into potentially lifesaving canines. 

Dr. Cynthia Otto is the director of Penn Vet Working Dog Center, in Philadelphia, PA. She's going to give us a glimpse into the care, training and ongoing research that goes into these spectacular canines, and what you can do to get involved.

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Episode 162 - Concierge Nutrition

You wouldn’t feed your newborn baby like you would a teenager.  Their bodies demand extremely different levels of nutrients.  A senior citizen and world class athlete don’t require the same number of calories per day. This just makes common sense.  But what about our pets, how do you meet their individual, distinctive nutritional needs?  Most pet foods are labeled as being complete and balanced for all life stages, from the puppy or kitten to the gray muzzled elder.  Is that the optimal way to feed your cat or dog, one bag fits all?  Where can you find a diet that is as unique as your pet?  Keith Johnson, Founder and CEO of Petbrosia appears to have found the answer to this question.

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Episode 161 - Understanding Allergies in Your Pet

There are times as a veterinarian in Southern California, that if it weren't for allergies, I would be out of a job. A pet can itch, bite, scratch, lick and chew incessantly to the point that it can inflict severe damage to itself and to a good night's sleep of its owners. Pet owners often seek relief and advice from the pet store's sales staff or Dr. Google, neither of which have degrees in veterinary medicine. 

Itchy skin in pets and people can be for myriad reasons. Determining the cause whenever possible is of paramount importance, not just treating the symptoms. But is it always possible? My guest is Dr. Jon Plant has the answer. He is a board certified veterinary dermatologist in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He has some unique insights into what is getting under your pet's skin.

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Episode 160 - No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Film

Have you ever wondered how your favorite movie star or TV personality escaped from the burning building with only a bit of soot on their nose, survived a fall from a height taller than an Olympic high diver would ever consider or walked unscathed from the exploding airplane with nary a scratch? Body doubles and expert stunt men and women along with some movie magic keep the stars safe. But what happens when the personality is an animal? Who protects them?

Beth Langhorst, a Safety Specialist for the American Humane Association is one of a cadre of dedicated animal welfare advocates that you will find on the set of movies and television productions that take animal safety seriously; productions that proudly display the 'No Animasl Were Harmed' tagline. She will be my guest today and let us in on some of the behind the scenes safeguards for insects to pachyderms. 

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Episode 159 - An Animal Life

'I always wanted to be a veterinarian.' I've heard that phrase so many times during my career as a veterinary medical doctor, and I'm always saddened by the reality that people have given up on their dreams, frequently without even exploring the possibilities. 

Today's four guests never gave up on their aspirations. A kid who went to a one-room schoolhouse with a passion for fish and writing, a first generation Filipino-American who started playing 'doctor' at five years of age, and attended Yale, planning on becoming an MD, an emergency medicine veterinarian whose early experiences of being stalked by an alligator, being bitten by a moray eel, left him delightfully twisted, and a little girl with an incurable horse-craziness who grew up to be a recognized authority on equine orthopedics. 

This apparently motley crew has penned a scientific medical mystery that follows a fictitious class of first year students through the misadventures and challenges of what, at least for me, was the start of the four best years of my life - veterinary school.

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Episode 158 - Feeding the Fixed Feline

One of the most common feline surgical procedures performed by veterinarians and which generates some of the most misconceptions is spaying and castration.   Neutering is a simple operation that has a big effect on cats.    To help debunk some of the misleading notions is well known radio personality and animal advocate, Steve Dale.

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Episode 157 - Veterinarians Helping the World…One Animal at a Time

Animals impact the lives of people throughout the world in myriad ways…they provide companionship, transportation, muscle for work and their bodies for food, fiber along a host of other products. Keeping them healthy is not only important for their well-being but also for people who interact with them directly or not. A group of dedicated veterinarians, lay public and companies are making a difference in the world community…one animal, one person at a time.  My guest is Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, spokesperson for World Vets.

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Episode 156 - Beat the Heat Campaign

I recently saw a new client with a petite little kitten he adopted several months ago from a shelter. Since cats are like potato chips … and you can’t have just one, he adopted her brother as well. Now in a little over a month, he is going to have a litter of kittens cavorting through his house. Yes, she is pregnant. Yes, she is very young. And yes, her brother is the father.

I will be speaking today with Esther Mechler, the founder of SpayUSA and Dr. Richard Speck of the Animal Protective League of Springfield, Illinois about the early spay and neuter program, Beat the Heat.

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Episode 155 - PetSmart Charities

A lifelong, loving home for every pet…wow, what a fabulous vision.  But how do you accomplish such a monumental endeavor?  There is the matter of adoption, neutering, physically getting the pets to their new homes, educating new and existing pet owners, research and emergency services, it would seem impossible for one organization to tackle all of these issues let alone triumph but my guest, Julie White of PetSmart Charities will share how this vision is becoming a reality.

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Episode 154 - Positive Talk… Positive Thought

How you talk about yourself can greatly influence how you think about yourself.  If you keep saying 'I am so dumb…I’m a loser…I can never do it right'…do it long enough and you will start to believe it…a self fulfilling prophecy.  But how about the way we talk and think about our pets?  Each pet has its own strengths and limitations.  Understanding them and you can lead to a more harmonious connection.  Lisa Knowles and I will explore why we should respect our pets…how to understand their unique qualities and how to more fully enjoy life with pets.

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Episode 153 - Not ‘La Vida Loca’

Ricky Martin made us all a bit bilingual as we sang along with his hit single 'Livin la Vida Loca’. Vida means life and thanks to a dedicated group of advocates, the lives of South American animals, people and the volunteers who aid them are being transformed. 

Dr. Faran Dometz is no stranger to the fast balls and curves that can assail a veterinarian working in the economically challenged countries of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. And he is going to tell us how we can be part of an incredible program.

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Episode 152 - Insuring Your Pet's Health

Affordable health care reform, oh my goodness, what a contentious topic.  I recently attended a national convention where this topic was being doggedly discussed... the annual caucus for the American Veterinary Medical Association meeting held in San Diego, California.  There I spoke with the chief operating officer of Pets Bets Insurance, Chris Middleton.  We had a chance to converse on various topics ranging from which pets need to be insured, is it better to start kittens and puppies with coverage, or wait until they're older, can't you just save for potential expenses , do you really need insurance, and how are human and pet insurance policies similar and different?  All these questions will be answered in today's show.  Tune in!

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Episode 151 - Zoobiquity…a Species-Spanning Approach to Medicine

Have you ever seen a novel word and despite a lack of training in formal Latin or Greek, you immediately understood its meaning? This is how people often feel when they see the word ‘zoobiquity’. Barbara Natterson Horowitz, M.D., Director of Imaging at the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center coined the term. It is meant to promote the concept that the health of all animals is interconnected. She believes veterinarians and MDs working together, looking at overlapping health issues is needed to insure that all life thrives rather than just survives. 

I am honored to have as my guest, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD., the author of the new book, Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing.

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Episode 150 - Would You Prefer a Milk Bone with That Juice?

You’ve heard it before…’Save a life donate blood’, but for our pets? Myriad reasons exist that may require a blood transfusion for a dog or cat. But where does your veterinarian obtain it? They can’t just phone up the local Red Cross and request a unit. Are there such things as blood types? Can your pet be a donor? And does a pup get a Milk Bone after donating? 

Dr. Sean Owens is a board certified veterinary pathologist and associate director of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Laboratory Services at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. For the next half hour we are going to learn about veterinary transfusion medicine.

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Episode 149 - From Missiles to Marine Mammals

At the retired cold war Nike missile base, on the headlands of Marin County, just north of San Francisco, lies the Marine Mammal Center. Whether it is waging a war on plastic, tending to a beached humpback whale that was trying to crash a baseball game at Candlestick Park, rescuing and treating over 16,000 elephant seals, sea lions, sea otters and other marine mammals that get stranded along the California coast or offering exceptional edu-tainment for visitors, this Sausalito facility is truly one of a kind. 

My guest today is the Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Center, veterinarian Jeffrey Boehm. I had the pleasure of visiting the center in June of this year and saw firsthand the fabulous work they are doing and why it is so vitally important for each of us to protect our ocean’s health. For pictures of my visit, click on today’s show on the Pet Doctor tab at the PetLifeRadio website.

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Episode 148 - Navigating the Perils of Pet Travel

The National Cancer Institute predicts that based on current breast cancer incidence rates, about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.  These are frightening statistics.  Thankfully due to increased awareness, improved diagnostics and treatment options, the survival rate for this group of diseases is improving.  But some members of our families, dogs and cats, are still dying needless from this potentially preventable disease.  As pet lovers what can we do?  If it is up to Dr. Marty Greer of Wisconsin, we will be sporting Pink Paws along our Pink ribbons.

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Episode 147 - Swallowing Problems in Dogs – More Common Than You Think!

Heave, gag, hurl, puke, spew and upchuck…anyway you say it…yuk!  A pet can do any of the fore mentioned for myriad reasons.  Figuring out why can be as simple and taking away that fuzzy toy that the pet insists on eating or a frustrating process for pet owner and veterinarian.  It can even be life threatening.  Stan Marks is a board certified veterinary internist and Professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.  He has a special interest in remedying retching.

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Episode 146 - Keep the Love Alive

Thousands of pets die needlessly each year because of unrecognized and untreated behavior problems. A pet owner may think that their pet is just being naughty, vindictive or stubborn when in reality there is a medical condition- yes, a behavioral issue is medical, that could be addressed, modified and treated.

Is your pet driving you crazy? How do you know if there is something that can be done to correct the seemingly untenable dirty deeds? My guest, Dr. Debra Horwitz is just what the doctor ordered. She is an internationally recognized authority on behavioral issues in pets. She is a board certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorist. She received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Episode 145 - Navigating the Perils of Pet Travel

Many an American pet owner is entangled in a retched situation…leave their pet at home when they travel or risk cleaning up the remains of the last meal upchucked on to their auto’s upholstery. A car sick pet is just no fun…for the pet or for the owner. But why do they get travel sick and what can be done to quell a queasy tummy?

My guest is Dr. Amy Trettien of Pfizer Animal Health. We are going to visit the topic of how to navigate the perils of pet travel making it safe, sane and spit up free.

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Episode 144 - The Answer Within…Revving Up Regenerations

The discovery of the fountain of youth and cure for diseases that weaken and kill have flummoxed mankind for centuries. However, the answers may have closer than we ever imagined. The elixir to health may literally lay within us…within unique multipotential elements of our bodies…our stem cells. 

When we hear the word stem cell, we often think of the controversy swirling around the cells of embryonic origin. But we all have stem cells within our bodies and within our pet’s bodies. They can be harnessed to perform a plethora of amazing feats. Think you will need to go to a specialist far from home for this type of care? You may not need to go any further than your primary care veterinarian’s office.

My guest is veterinarian Bob Harman. He is the founder and CEO of the first US based veterinary stem cell company, Vet-Stem. And I am honored to say that we are classmates of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Episode 143 - Ready, Set, Wait?

It doesn’t seem too bad…your pet just seems a bit off. You have been watching it for the past day or two and you just aren’t sure if it is serious or not. Now it is 7 PM…you just got home from work and your regular veterinarian is closed for the day…and your pet looks terrible…what to do? 

Dr. Mike Walters is all too familiar with the previous scenario. He is board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care. He practices in Southern California at Dedicated Veterinary Care in Tustin. We will learn about simple preventive steps you can take to keep your pet out of the ER and when you should and shouldn’t practice ‘Ready, Set, Wait’.

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Episode 142 - Misbehaving or Misunderstood

Since you are listening to this podcast, you are likely a pet lover. But why did you get a pet in the first place? My guess is because you sought the type of companionship and special form of love and attention that only a pet can give. You probably wanted to laugh at the antics that a crazy furry, feathered, scaled or finned animal can produce..

So if pets can be so marvelous, why are so many of them abandoned in vacant lots or relinquished to shelters? The answer is often their inability to meet the owner’s expectations…. behaviors such as excessive barking, inappropriate elimination, hyperactivity or aggression. But is it their fault or ours of not understanding their psyche? Are these pets bad or just misunderstood and in need of some behavioral counseling? No, they don’t need to lie on a couch but sitting next to you while we chat today with Dr. Gary Landsberg, a board certified veterinary behaviorist may be the first step to a happier home for the entire family.

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Episode 141 - Pain in our Pets: The Most Misdiagnosed Problem in Veterinary Medicine – Part Two: What We Can Do About It!

I believe PAIN is the most under diagnosed problem in veterinary medicine today and I know that your pets will all benefit from this incredibly serious discussion about PAIN in our pets.

In our last episode, we taught listeners how to recognize pain in their pets. In this episode, we concentrate on different methods to address and treat pain from natural to medication and other types of manipulation. Our guest for this series, Dr Robin Downing, is quite an accomplished veterinarian. Dr. Downing has dedicated herself and her career to helping recognize and treat pain in animals. She is certified in 7 areas of specialized practice relating to pain and is a Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management. Because this is such an huge and important topic… we concentrates wholly on how to recognize pain in our pets in part one of our series, and in this, part two of this series, we discuss pain management in detail. Now we recognize it, what can we do about it? We are thrilled to educate about this most underserved important topic for our pets!

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Episode 140 - Pain in our Pets: The Most Misdiagnosed Problem in Veterinary Medicine – Part One: How to Recognize It.

I believe PAIN is the most under diagnosed problem in veterinary medicine today and I know that your pets will all benefit from this incredibly serious discussion about PAIN in our pets.

I don’t have to tell listeners how hard it is to detect discomfort in our pets. Since we love them so much and are well attuned to their behaviors - after listening to this, everyone will feel much better about how to detect pain/discomfort in our pets- both dogs and cats. Our guest for this series, Dr Robin Downing, is quite an accomplished veterinarian. Dr. Downing has dedicated herself and her career to helping recognize and treat pain in animals. She is certified in 7 areas of specialized practice relating to pain and is a Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management. Because this is such an huge and important topic… we will concentrate wholly on how to recognize pain in our pets in this part one of our series, and in part two of this series will discuss pain management. Now we recognize it, what can we do about it? We are so happy you are listening and hope to raise awareness of discomfort in our pets!

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Episode 139 - Real Dogs Don’t Purr

I’ll always remember meeting Howard. He was a 3 year old, intact, male German Short Hair Pointer that purred, or at least that is what his owner said he was doing. Thankfully I knew that dogs don’t purr. What I was hearing was a deep throated ‘I am seriously contemplating biting you’ growl. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs on a yearly basis. 1 in 5 requires medical attention. But why do dogs bite? Are there certain breeds that are more prone than others to nip? What can a pet owner do to make their canine companions less likely to strike out? Dr. Stefanie Schwartz is a board certified veterinary behaviorist. She is going to help put some teeth into your efforts to make sure your dog doesn’t purr.

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Episode 138 - Preventing ‘CAT-astrophies’

Eat first, think later is the mantra that many dogs live and sometimes die by. Cats tend to be more cautious…nibbling on novel food offerings, being wary while venturing through their environment. Cats are often found snoozing while canine housemates are being whisked off to the animal emergency clinic because of a one of those ‘doggy duhhh’ moments. But cats can also find themselves in need of urgent medical assistance. 

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. My guest is Dr. Diane Eigner. She is the immediate past president of the ‘CATalyst Council’. Together, we are going to discuss some of the common medical predicaments our feline family members find themselves in and what we can do to help them.

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Episode 137 - Humor Me

Humor me…no I haven’t given up my day job and turned to stand up comedy. In medieval physiology, the body was believed to possess four elemental fluids or humors, blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile. Modern science has found a remarkable way of using one of the body’s humors, blood, to assist in healing itself. 

If you own a dog, it may be the one in five adult canines that suffers from the pain of osteoarthritis. It can become debilitating over time robbing it of the quality and quantity of life you want it to have. It can also adversely impact your wallet. My guest is veterinarian Dr. Jeffrey Schaffer. He is the director of Pall Animal Health. We are going to discuss the use of your own dog’s blood to improve mobility and enjoyment of life. And that is not a joke.

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Episode 136 - Pink Paws

You’ve seen them before. Those colored ribbons that people wear to bring awareness to the various causes. Probably the most recognizable is the pink ribbon that represents breast cancer awareness. Great advancements have been achieved against this potentially deadly disease. But not all of our loved ones have received the attention they deserve.

A grass roots movement has been started to educate pet owners that their furry members of the family can also be afflicted. My guest, Dr. Marty Greer, is a veterinarian with a strong interest in canine reproduction and is also a 2010 graduate of Marquette Law School.

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Episode 135 - The ‘C’s We Love, Fear and Don’t Understand

Cats, canines, cuddling, kisses…OK, my spell check isn’t very good but you get the idea…these are the type of ‘C’s pet owners can’t get enough of. And then there is the ‘C’ word we all fear, cancer. It can happen to any breed, at any age. It could be an innocuous bump or there may be no external indication that a malignant menace is lurking inside. It can destroy your pet’s health until you are in a battle that may truly be life and death. The ‘C’ words we don’t understand are the ways that are available to care for, control and sometimes cure these diseases.

We’ve heard the phrase ‘cutting edge advances’ but my guest, Dr. David Bommarito is a veterinarian who wields a cyberknife, destroying cancers that previously were untouchable.

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Episode 134 - Packing Up Canine Behavior Misconceptions

Urban legends abound about regarding dog behavior, but are they based on science, or speculation?  TV personalities and other self-proclaimed experts perpetuate many of them.  Do you really need to be the ‘leader of the pack’?  Is the secret to housetraining your pup found in a crate?  Well it’s time to think outside of the box… or crate and establish a healthy relationship with your dog.  Dr. Suzanne Hetts has a PhD in Zoology with specialization in animal behavior, has written a myriad of articles and books on the subject and is an internationally sought after speaker.  We will doggedly dig into Dog Behavior 101 so tune in to this informative episode! 

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Episode 133 - Does This Collar Make Me Look Fat?

I try not to laugh when a client tells me that they have a pet that is a very picky eater. They have a terrible time finding something it will eat. They have tried every commercial food, and now they are home cooking. Oh what to do? And sitting in front of me a pet suffering not from anorexia but over nutrition…it is downright plump. Why don’t these concerned pet owners see what is right there in front of them? How did these pets get this way? What can you do to insure that your dog or cat isn’t afflicted with this all too common form of malnutrition? 

Texas prides itself in all things big but my guest, San Antonio veterinarian Dr. Michael Woolley has a special interest in keeping pets slim and trim. To learn more about Slentrol, please visit: www.slentrol.com

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Episode 132 - Washington – Protecting Humans and Animal Health

Guaranteed to cure warts, lumbago and make dry brittle hair shine - all of these condition and more treated by this one little bottle of liniment that you can buy today and today only for 1 thin dollar! If you heard anyone pitching a product like this you would probably call them a snake oil salesman. But not that many years ago, there were unscrupulous hucksters with similar lines. And sad to say, there are still companies who prey on our fears and desires. Their spiel has now gone high tech.

How do we know what is safe and effective? We want the best for ourselves and our pets. Thankfully there are governmental organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration that are looking out for us. My guest today is Dr. Carmen Stamper. She is a veterinary medical officer for the Center for Veterinary Medicine; their mission is to protect human and animal health.

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Episode 131 - Any Excuse for a Party

No matter the month, there always seems to be an excuse for a party.  New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl, birthdays, anniversaries…. Americans love to celebrate life.  These festivities often include the furry members of our households.  With a bit of planning and keeping their safety and that of other guests in mind, everyone can have a howling good time.  Sit, stay and tune in! 

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Episode 130 - Thanksgiving Safety for Pets & Talking Turkey About Teeth

The last thing you want to do on Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving is rush your cat or dog to the emergency room. A few simple precautions will help make sure that your holiday feast remains festive. Tune in for these Turkey Day Tips to keep your pet happy and healthy!

Also, It is estimated that at least 75% of all pets over 4 years of age, have some form of dental disease. Which animals develop significant problems is a matter of genetics, routine veterinary dental care and consistent at home dental hygiene. Dr. Heidi Lobprise, a board certified veterinary dentist with Pfizer Animal Health talks turkey about teeth!

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Episode 129 - Hyperthyroidism In Cats- A Very Common Problem with Many Options- A Must Listen Show for Anyone with Cats Over 9 Years of Age

Today we are extremely privileged to have Dr. Mark Peterson, a veterinary endocrinologist and the first in the world to publish information on this ever so common illness in cats, hyperthyroidism.  He is known worldwide for his research and contributions to veterinary medicine and veterinary endocrinology and is the go to person in the world when it comes to feline hyperthyroidism and many other veterinary endocrinology topics.   Learn more about Dr. Peterson by listening and also check out his web site: www.animalendocrine.com

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Episode 128 - Aquariumania

Dr. Roy Yanong, host of Aquariumania on Pet Life Radio stops by to talk fish, aquariums and everything aquatic.  One area of veterinary concern that many people are not aware of, is aquatic veterinary medicine. , Dr. Roy will immerse us in knowledge regarding veterinary involvement from industrial fish production to serving the needs of the fish hobbyist.  

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Episode 127 -Bats, Boats, Biscuits and Other Interesting Trivial Tails

Who ripped the French Ambassador's pants off? Where did dog biscuits come from? What's the difference between ticks and fleas? What happened to the pets aboard the Titanic? These and other interesting "bites" of pet trivia are covered in this week's episode.

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Episode 126 - The Secret Sex Life of Dogs and Cats

Will my crossed eyed male Siamese cat’s uncross when he is neutered? That was the question that launched the book The Secret Sex Life of Dogs and Cats.”

“Where do the puppies come out?” “Why did his testicles grow back?” “Can my rabbit get my cat pregnant?” These are but a few of the questions that are answered in this ‘edu-taining’ book, written by none other than your ‘Pet Doctor’ host, Dr. Bernadine Cruz.

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Episode 125 - How Healthy are America’s Pets?

As Americans we spend more on our pets than on candy, toys and jewelry. We spend more on our pets than the combined revenues from Hollywood’s motion pictures, video games, and recorded music. If pet spending in the U.S. were a country, it would be the 65 largest in the world.

America is in love with its pets, no matter if they have fur, feathers, fins or scales. We dress them up. Purchase designer diets. They don’t spend the day locked in the backyard…oh no, not our babies. They have nannies. Which car we purchase is often predicated on which one best will transport our lovelies from day care to play dates. With all of this pampering you would surmise that they would be some of the healthiest critters on the globe. Alas, this is far from true. Banfield Pet Hospitals, the largest general veterinary practice network in the world analyzed their extensive data base to compile the first ever look at the state of pet health in the United States. Their findings may shock you. I have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Harry Smith.

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Episode 124 - It is Naturally Confusing…What to Feed Your Pet

Commercial or homemade…. organic or natural…. raw or home cooked….what is a pet owner to feed?  The choices in pet foods would cause a Shar Pei’s hair to curl.  People are becoming more aware of nutritional options for themselves as well as their pets. But making well-informed decision can be difficult.  Who do you believe…. your breeder, your neighbor, the veterinarian or the kid at the pet store?  Dr. Edward Moser is a veterinary nutritional expert.  He will help us take a bite out of the mystery of which food will best enrich your pet’s health. 

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Episode 123 - Senior Pets…New Science to Help Prolong Their Quality of Life

America’s pet population is graying. Thanks to advances in pet nutrition, veterinary medicine and awareness of proactive health measures by pet owners, our furry companions are living longer and healthier lives. But there are some issues that are still stymieing and frustrating veterinarians and pet owners alike – a pet’s decrease in mental sharpness that comes with age. I see it happen to my client’s pets…I see it happening to me. I hate it. 

Awareness of the need to improve the health of seniors is one of the newest areas of research and outreach in veterinary medicine. A new association, the International Veterinary Senior Care Society, has been formed and my guest is the recently elected chair of its Board of Directors, Dave Merrick.

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Episode 122 - Worms, Germs and Life with Pets…How to Safeguard Your Entire Family

It almost seems to be a weekly occurrence, the recall of a pet food or treat because of bacterial contamination. Of course we don’t want our pets to be sickened by tainted food but did you know that you or a member of your two-legged family could also become ill from these products? And then there are the stories of children being sickened by their pet turtles along with headlines of people and pets sharing viral infections such as H1N1 or MRSA. You love your pet but is it worth the risk of contracting one of these diseases? How do you insure that you provide a healthy environment for your pets and yourself? 

Dr. Sharon Hunt Gerardo, a veterinarian, doctor of microbiology and a pet lover will answer some frequently asked questions about worms, germs and life with pets.

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Episode 121 - Diets, Denial and Death

You probably remember the admonition that you should never ask a woman her age, if she is pregnant and if she has had any work done. It would seem that veterinarians have been subliminally instructed not to bring up the subject of pet obesity unless the pet’s toes can’t reach the floor past its belly. Yes, a pudgy pet can be cute but that cuteness can lead to a myriad of medical issues, a decreased quality of life and a markedly shortened life span. 

Obesity is an epidemic for people and pets. Research is finding that there is more to being overweight than just a lack of will power. White fat, the type found in our bellies, is very chemically active, producing chemicals that can damage our skin, hearts, joints and may even contribute to the development of certain types of cancer. OK, so we know our pet may be more fat than fluffy. You have tried cutting back on the treats and changed to a low calorie food but it just isn’t losing weight. What is a pet owner to do? My guest is Melissa Morrison, one of the founders of Fur Fitness based in Upland, CA. She will tell us about the pet Fitness Challenge and ways you can help your cat and dog slim down and have some fun in the process.

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Episode 120 - Protect, Treat, Cure - Finding Answers and Improving Lives of Animals and the People Who Love Them

Animal lovers…we know we’re softies.  We cry at schmaltzy TV commercials that feature distressed critters.  We open our hearts and wallets to myriad of causes.  But recent news reports have revealed that even some of the well known, apparently legitimate charities are helping their personnel more than their intended recipients.  How do you find a foundation that deserves your support?  What have they done with the money we have given them? What contributions have they made to the welfare of animals and the people who love them?
Paul Raybould is the executive vice president of the Morris Animal Foundation.  Learn about an organization that is concerned with bats to cats, canines to quarter horses and has a 4 star rating with Charity Navigator.

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Episode 119 - Hyperbarics, Not Just a Lot of Hot Air!

Not just a lot of hot air—Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is for animals too!  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy  sounds like some weird holistic treatment, but actually, it is very advanced and state of the art therapy for so many ailments in humans and pets!  Sadly, it is greatly underutilized and therefore we are fortunate to have the wonderful venue of PetLifeRadio.com and The Pet Doctor as a means to educate pet owners about this amazing healing machine.  It is helpful for wound healing, to reduce any type of swelling (brain trauma, spinal cord trauma, fractures, post-operative swelling, swelling of organs associated with diseases such as pancreatitis or urinary bladder disease and so much more); stem cell regeneration, corneal ulceration, abscesssation where oxygen does not get to tissues effectively and so much more! For more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, see www.peacelovepets.org and listen to this show!

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Episode 118 - Pet Allergies – Sticking it to the Causes of Itching, Biting and Scratching

Sometimes I feel like a broken mp3 player.  Almost every pet I see in an office call is being presented for itching, biting and scratching.  Pet owners always want to blame skin issues on fleas but with the advent of advanced flea control medications, fleas are almost a parasite of the past.  So why are these pets and the people who love them so miserable?  What are the causes and more importantly what can be done to safely and effectively give them some relief? 

My usual guests on this show are veterinarians but other professionals also address the health concerns of dogs and cats, biochemists are also integrally involved.  Dr. Mervyn Levin holds a Ph.D in biochemistry and is the president of Spectrum Labs.

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Episode 117 - The Immune System and Its Effect on the Skin

If the eyes are the window to the soul, what is the gut to the skin?  It just might be the answer to all the itching, biting and scratching that plagues our cats and dogs.   Some of the most common reasons pets are taken to their veterinarians are allergies.  A cure is not always possible.  Control can be difficult.  Treatment options can sometimes cause more problems.  The internet abounds with lotions, potions and supplements that promise relief.  But do they? 

My guest is Dr. Kristin Holm.  She is a board certified veterinary dermatologist.  We will discuss allergies, traditional treatment protocols and some exciting new advances.

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Episode 116 - America’s Favorite, Misunderstood Pet

Dogs are commonly called ‘man’s best friend’, but according to Humane Society of the United States surveys, it’s time canines start believing the saying…cats rule and dogs drool.  It is estimated that there are 93.6 million cats in the United States, while dogs are barking up the tree with a mere 77.5 million in their pack.  Thanks to You Tube, cats are garnering the respect they deserve.  Cats can scuba dive, play patty cake, tickle the ivories of a piano and chase bears away from their backyards.  But they are still misunderstood.   

If you have been thinking of adopting your first cat or adding another to your clowder, my guest, veterinarian Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council and true ailurophile, will give us some pointers and tell us more about ‘National Adopt a Cat Month’ plus she will explain why cats are like potato chips, who can have just one?

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Episode 115 - Deciphering Canine Comportment…Why Did Your Dog Do That?

One of the most common reasons why dogs are relinquished to an animal shelter is unacceptable behavior and those can be the lucky ones.   Too many dogs are banished from the home to the back yard, never to enjoy the company of the people who had hoped that they had found that perfect addition to the family.   Others are dumped along a roadway to fend for themselves.  And then there are those who are abused and die a horrid death. 

What can we do as dog caregivers to insure that our pets are well mannered? How do we know if a behavioral issue has a psychological or medical basis? Do dogs need a psychiatrist or do we need one to even consider such a question? Is there doggie Prozac? My guest today is Dr. Stefanie Schwartz. Dr. Schwartz is a board certified veterinary behaviorist will answer some of the most common questions pertaining to achieving outstanding canine comportment.

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Episode 114 - The Scoop on Cat Puke!

This episode we discuss the ever so pleasant topic of kitty vomit! That’s right, hairballs, puke, the gift between your toes in the morning… cat vomiting. But seriously, cats to seem to vomit a lot and it can be hard to know when it is significant!  When is lots of vomiting too much vomiting?  Why is it happening and what can we do about it?   In this episode we turn to feline expert, Dr. Arnold Plotnick. He is a board certified internal medicine specialist and a brilliant and kind person and veterinarian. Contrary to the belief that the world is going to the dogs, Dr. Arnold Plotnick has made a career believing in felines. In fact, he has been one of only a handful of board-certified cat specialists in the United States. He helps us unravel the mysteries of the pre-chewed gifts our cats often leave us with and what we can do about it!

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Episode 113 - Fickle Felines and the People Who Love Them

If you’re a cat owner like me, you realized a long time ago, we don’t own them, they own us. Cats have never forgotten that they were once worshiped as gods in ancient Egypt. 

Though I have enjoyed the company of cats since I was a child and have been a veterinarian for over 20 years, I can’t say that I fully understand what happens between their little ears…their behavioral quirks can be mystifying. 

There are times we are tempted to say that they are behaving like petulant children, doing something just to piss us off, but are they really? With the help of a board certified veterinary behaviorist like Dr. Stefanie Schwartz we can hopefully decipher their actions and experience more pleasure from sharing our lives and homes with them.

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Episode 112 - Shocking New Treatment Options for Pets

We have all experienced pain caused by sound, think of music blaring from your neighbors stereo system at 1 in the morning…instant headache!  But how about sound easing pain?  It reads like science fiction…no surgery, no pills, no salves, lotions or potions.  Simply send sound waves through a body and stop pain, heal bones or treat long standing wounds.  Thanks to extra corporeal shock wave therapy being used in veterinary medicine, dogs, cats and horses are heeding the call to an improved quality of life.  My guest, is board certified, Los Angeles based veterinary surgeon, Dr. Ed Leeds.  So sit, stay and learn about this exciting way of treating a plethora of ailments.

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Episode 111 - Stifling Knee Problems

One of the most common orthopedic procedures presently being performed on America’s aging population is a knee replacement.  Man’s best friend is also plagued with stifle (knee) issues.  Dr. Randy Fitch, a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons will discuss why dogs have knee problems, what can be done to prevent them and how to treat them and get your dog back to peak performance after injury.

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Episode 110 - I’m All Ears

I remember being a little girl and having recurrent ear infections.  They were so painful.  I cringe when a pet is presented to me for an ear problem that has been ongoing for several weeks.  This pet must have been suffering.  Sadly, the owner often can’t decipher the signs of discomfort and what is causing them.  Ear issues can be frustrating to get under control and sometimes take a specialist like my guest today, Dr. Craig Griffin, a board certified veterinary dermatologist to clear up the confusion surrounding cause, control and prevention.

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Episode 109 - Is Your Cat Pissing You Off?

The presenting complaint is so often the same. “My cat is peeing all over the house…in the sink, on my clothes, even on me while I’m in bed” or “My cat must be constipated. It keeps going to the litter box, over and over again and nothing is coming out.” Sound familiar? The cat may be suffering a potentially life threatening condition known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.

Dr. Mark Acierno is an expert in perplexing disorder. He is a researcher in kidney disease at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has developed the only dialysis center for pets in the Southeastern United States. He is also an associate professor.

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Episode 108 - Biomarkers … What Are They and Could They Save Your Pet’s Life

Your pet is ill.  You can’t say exactly what is wrong, but you know there is a problem.  Your veterinarian can be equally stumped.  All the blood and urine tests are normal.  Radiographs may show some areas of concern but they are not definitive.  Sometimes the only way the diagnosis is made is after the pet dies and a post mortem is performed.  The answer…cancer.  Why couldn’t it have been diagnosed earlier?  With the discovery of biomarkers for some cancers, now a simple blood test may be able to save your pet’s life.  My guest is the President and Founder of Veterinary Diagnostics Institute, Randy Ringold

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Episode 107 - Braces for Boots, Root Canal for Rover and Prophys for All Pets

We have all heard the adage that the eyes are the window to the soul. Another saying that pets owners should take to heart is ‘a pet’s oral health is the gateway to its body wide well being’. I know it’s not as catchy but bad teeth and gums can be a source of pain and insidiously lead to diseases that can shorten your pet’s lifespan. And who wants to be kissed by a cat with tuna breath or a hound with halitosis? 

Orange County, CA, veterinarian, Eric Van Nice, a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College, will discuss general pet dental care and the newest techniques available to take a bite out of dental disease.

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Episode 106 - Chilling Facts About Pet Health in Winter

We have all heard of pets who have weaseled their way into our homes and hearts and how the loss of a pet can leave us heartbroken but were you aware that dogs and cats can suffer with many of the same cardiac, heart conditions that plague their owners? There is a very unique and specialized team of veterinary medical professionals who are advancing the knowledge and treatment options that are saving the lives of pets and hopefully in the future, the people who care for them. 

My guest today is Dr. Leigh Griffiths, who leads the open-heart surgery program at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Davis, California.

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Episode 105 - My Stomach is Twisted into a Knot …Canine Bloat/Torsion Complex

You’ve heard these warnings before…don’ t swim for at least one hour after eating or you will cramp up and could drown. Don’ t cross your eyes or they will get stuck that way. To prevent your dog from developing the potentially life threatening condition, bloat and torsion…don’t feed dog food that contains grain , feed it from an elevated dish and keep it quiet for an hour after eating? Well I haven’t drowned yet and my eyesight is OK. 

Dr. Kim Luce, a veterinarian whose primary focus is emergency and critical care medicine will discuss the medical syndrome, gastric (stomach) dilatation and volvulus.

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Episode 104 - They’ve Got the Nerve

There are mornings when I get out of bed that I know I have fallen through a time warp and aged 20 years overnight. My back is killing me. Back aches are a common complaint of people. Just listen to all the advertisements on the radio. Human are not the only species that suffer from this malady. Our cats and dogs are also plagued by slipped discs, pinched nerves and more. So what are the causes and what can we as caregivers do to prevent these painful and often crippling conditions?

My guest today is Dr. Wayne Berry, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine – Neurology.

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Episode 103 - Chilling Facts About Pet Health in Winter

Winter, what a fabulous time of year. Perfect for grabbing a cup of hot chocolate, donning your ‘Snuggie’, delving into a good book with your pet curled up at your feet. And then when you most need it, along comes Spring and you are drawn outside into the warmth of the sun. But huh, your pet’s collar doesn’t fit anymore. It must have shrunk. And last year’s outdoor wear is a bit too tight on you. It must be a conspiracy. No, you know what happened. You and your pet are certifiably pudgy. No exercise and snacks in front of the TV have taken their toll. 

Winter holds many threats to our pet’s health, not just the packing on of pounds. My guest today is veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Vanek. He is an expert in keeping some of winter’s premier athletes, competitive sled dogs, in top form. We will chat about these canine champions and weekend warriors. Dr. Vanek will also talk about winter safety issues around the house.

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Episode 102 - World Rabies Day

In the overall scheme of veterinary medicine, dogs have been treated like little people.  Health issues that affected people in a certain way were thought to act similarly in dogs.  Cats were often treated like little dogs.  With the advances in feline medicine has proven that cats are very unique creatures, medically and behaviorally.

72 million cats in the United States prove to cat owners and my guest, Dr. Mark Cousins, that they are the  purrrfect pet.

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Episode 101 - Share and Share Alike

One of my favorite experiences in the whole world is being slathered with sour milk kisses from a 6 week old puppy or kitten.  What could be more innocent?  The majority of the time, this is a perfectly harmless act, but there are instances that it can lead to some serious health concerns. 

My guest is Dr. Jeffrey Rhody.  He is a veterinarian who is concerned not only with the health and well being of his animal patients but that of the entire family that lives with them.  Dr. Rhody will inform us on what we need to know and do in order to share a happy , healthy life and home with our pets.

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Episode 100 - Keeping Veterinarians on Their Toes

Your veterinarian’s education doesn’t stop when he or she graduates from veterinary school. When I graduated from U.C. Davis School of Veterinary medicine, we were told that 50% of what we had learned was going to be outdated and wrong in 10 years. Our task was to determine which 50%.

A marvelous way for veterinarians to stay current is with state conventions. Some of the brightest researchers, clinicians, and professionals update veterinarians on latest discoveries and trends. The exhibit halls are another fabulous avenue of learning what products can help our clients and patients experience a better health span. 

This podcast comes to you from the California Veterinary Medical Association annual PacVet Conference, held in San Francisco, California. You will learn what is new in dental care, pet insurance, allergies, fleas and lasers.

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Episode 99 - World Rabies Day

Probably the only time you think of rabies is when you need to get your dog licensed. Some might think that getting a dog vaccinated for this antiquated disease is just a ploy of local government to get more money out of pet owners. And why don’t cats need to be vaccinated? Besides…rabies is an eradicated disease. Isn’t it?

My guest today is Peter Costa. He serves as the director of Global Communications Coordinator for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and campaign coordinator for World Rabies Day, celebrated on September 28th.

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Episode 98 - From Green Beret to a Goose Named Gary

You might think that most DVMs embark on their journey to veterinary school from either working on a farm or in a veterinary clinic. Dr. Matt Toia took a slightly different route, from literally flying high as a Special Forces member of the Green Berets to Auburn University, School of Veterinary Medicine. This non-traditional streak was to be a hallmark Dr. Toia’s career. Dr. Matt has chronicled his sundry adventures as a veterinarian in his book... ‘You Want Me to Declaw What?’ 

A rampaging bull, an out of control chimpanzee, a goose named Gary -- Dr. Matt Toia has seen it all and will tell us all about it on today’s episode of ‘the Pet Doctor’ on PetLifeRadio.com

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Episode 97 - A ‘Fin-ish’ Veterinary Experience

How do you know when a sea horse is sick? How do you get it to a veterinarian? How do you find a veterinarian who has the expertise to diagnose and treat aquatic animals? These are but some of the questions that cause aquarist’s heads to swim. 

When the California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium recently underwent a major reconstruction campaign, they turned to Dr. Freeland Dunker to help insure that the thousands of species of land and underwater creatures were healthy and happy. How do you know if a sea horse is happy? Does it gallop around its tank with bubbles blowing through its gills? Dr. Dunker will give us a behind glimpse at the day in the life of a veterinarian at a world class entertaining and educational landmark, the California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium. 

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Episode 96 - Facing the Final Farewell…. End of Life Decision Making

When is the best time to think about the end of your beloved pet’s life?  There never seems to be the right time and you definitely don’t want to wait until your pet is in severe, intractable pain.  Dr. Julie Reck, a companion animal veterinarian in Charlotte, North Carolina is all too familiar with the heartache pet owner’s experience while trying to grapple with end of life decisions for animals they love.  Dr. Reck has written a very compassionate book on understanding our emotions, a pet’s perception of death and how to work through one of the most difficult and loving decisions a pet owner can ever make.

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Episode 95 - Want to find the Perfect Pooch? There’s an App for That.

No matter if you want to find a Korean barbeque restaurant in the middle of Tulsa Oklahoma, find your way around Sidney Australia or learn how to play mahjong, there is an iPhone app for that. Now, if you want to find the quintessential canine companion, there is an app for that also.

My guest today is one of the creators of the new application called ‘DogBeMine’. We will learn how high tech is helping this very emotionally charged process. And once you have chosen the perfect pooch, what to do once you get it home.

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Episode 94 - Tales from the Litter Box

It is not uncommon for cat owners to me for what they believe is a bladder infection.  The cat is either flooding out the litter box or urinating all over the house.  All they want is a prescription for some antibiotics.  It is also not uncommon that they get a bit miffed when I explain that I need to have them bring their kitty in for an examination.    I listen, I look, I feel their cats all over.   I explain that I need to run some blood and urine tests to rule in or out other possible causes of what they are seeing.  The answer is sometimes diabetes mellitus.

My guest today is Dr. Richard Edling. He is a professional services veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim pharmaceutical company.  We will be chatting about what is diabetes mellitus.  Why cats seem to be falling victim to this disease in greater numbers.  How it is treated and what can you do to decrease the chances that your cat will become a diabetes statistic.

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Episode 93 - Pet Meets Baby

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl get married. They have their first-born child…and these days that is often a cat or a dog. Pet is the apple of their eyes. Girl gets pregnant and the first born, possibly highly indulged pet is expected to abdicate its place on the bed and owners’ heart to a squirmy, smelly, crying creature. The transition can be rocky.

The American Humane association wants to maintain peace and harmony and insure that the pet isn’t relinquished to a shelter because these two members of the family just aren’t getting along. 

My guest is Ms. Jane Greco Deming. She is the director of education for the human-animal interaction program of the American Humane association. She will give us some pointers on how to make the pet meeting baby experience a howling success.

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Episode 92 - Paradise, Pets and Perils

When you think of Hawaii, visions of palm trees, frosty umbrella drinks and white sand beaches languidly sway in your imagination.  But life can be hard if you are a homeless cat or dog.  Pet overpopulation is not just a mainland dilemma.  The impact of homelessness affects not only the cats and dogs but also the fragile wildlife on the islands.  How are the islanders addressing the problem?  What can we learn from them….and why are there so many chickens on the Kauai?  Dr. Becky Rhoades of the Kauai Humane Society will share her story of being a veterinarian in paradise.

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Episode 91 - Kinder, Gentler Puppy Training

Bring a puppy home and the first thing you hear is a lot of barking and not necessarily from the dog.  The new puppy parent starts to bark orders, come, sit, stay, and the ever popular – NO!  We sound like drill sergeants.  This is the way that it has always been done, but is this the best way to get through to a very impressible youngster?  How do we get a pup to learn its role in our pack and have good social manners?  My guest is Sarah Wilson.  She is co-author with Brian Kilcommons of the book ‘My Smart Puppy – the fun, effective and easy puppy training’.

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Episode 90 - Avoiding Spring Cleaning Disasters

What a spectacular time of year, Spring. You are soooo over the thrill of the first flakes of snow. The cozy nights by the fire wrapped in your Snuggie is getting old. Spring, your chance to clean the cob webs out of your home and mind. But not all cleaning products are created equal when it comes to being safe around you, your family or your pet.

My guest, is Dr. Justine Lee, a board certified emergency and critical care veterinary specialist and current associate director of veterinary services for Pet Poison Helpline. She will give us some pointers on how to safely declutter and deep clean.

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Episode 89 - Is Your Pet in Peril?

You think you are a good pet caregiver, maybe even a great one.  You provide the best in veterinary care and food.  Your pet does not want for toys, attention or mental stimulation.  Your home is a safe haven for this special member of the family.  But is it?  Your home, yard, and car could be putting your furry friend in peril.  My guests today are Bob Tucker of the home security system company, ADT, Dr. Justine Lee of Pet Poison Hotline, and Dave Kaler of IMMI, producers of the  pet travel safety system, PetBuckle.

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Episode 88 - Scratching Away at the Doctor/Pet Owner Relationship

Fads and craziness often starts in California and works their way East.  Some of the fads are great - think hula hoops, Barbies and the green energy movement.  Some however, can have potential dire unexpected side effects such as the movement by local municipalities to regulate the relationship of a veterinarian and pet owner.  Several California cities have made it illegal for a veterinarian to declaw a domestic cat.  My guests today, the executive director of the Southern California Veterinary Association, Dr. Peter Weinstein and veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Rolan Tripp will discuss the legal, ethical and behavioral aspects of this emotionally charged topic.

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Episode 87 - Pet Peace of Mind

There are times in our lives when we need someone to care, someone to just be there. One of these critical periods is at the end of our lives, when we are in hospice. But what if we were told that one who held a very important part in our lives was prohibited from being with us? Someone that didn’t care what we looked like. Didn’t mind if it was a good day or bad, or even remember their name. What if someone told you that you couldn’t have your beloved pet with you when you near your time of passing?

Pet Peace of Mind is a non-profit hospice support group, part of the Banfield Charitable Trust. Dianne McGill, the executive director and CEO of the trust, will tell more about this very special example of the human/animal bond.

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Episode 86 - The Chemistry of Puppy Love

It’s probably happened to you….you casually stroll by the pet store window and you are inexplicably drawn inside and exist with a fur ball of a pup or kitten.  You can’t put in words why but your life just seems incomplete without a quadruped to share your home.  And after a tough day at work, you get more comfort from stroking your pet than anything else you can think of.   The connection that we feel with our pets has garnered a great deal of press recently but is this phenomenon all in your heads or can it be explained in terms of cold hard facts?  My guest, Meg Olmert, has unraveled the mystery of human/animal bond.

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Episode 85 - You Ain’t Nobody til Some Bunny Loves You and Other Animal Miracles

Some people believe that a rabbit’s foot is good luck. Alyna was skeptical. Born with a congenital disorder, that left her paralyzed from the waist down, not even two rabbit’s feet was doing her any good. That was until she met some very inventive and creative people at the premier rehabilitation hospital for children in Israel, ALYN. Now Alyna is helping other patients at this facility. Oh did I mention…Alyna is a rabbit.

Everyone believes that they have the most marvelous dog- so smart, loves everyone and is great with people. My second guest today, Corrine Fahy of Lake Forest, CA, spends a lot of time in the hospital with her dog, Gus. Gus isn’t ill… he’s a certified therapy dog and helps out people who are going through woof times. I thought you might like know if your dog has the right stuff to be a therapy dog and what it involves. 

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Episode 84 - Social Services... Canine Style

The last two weeks, the Pet Doctor podcasts have been a series of interviews from the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show, held in Long Beach, CA in early December of 2009. I learned about some very distinctive breeds. 

Dogs can do so much more than keep us company. They can be another set of eyes, ears and serve as an enforcement aid for police departments. They can assist a disabled person with daily chores that we may take for granted. Sometimes the disabled one is the dog such as retired military canines that need our help.

And don’t think that trotting around with a dog at a show like this is only a beauty contest. I will speak with a junior handler who told me how working with her dog has helped raise her personal level of confidence and improved her grades at school. 

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Episode 83 - What IS That Puppy in the Window? More Unusual Breeds from the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Championships

Welcome to part two of my adventures at the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Championships held in Long Beach, CA., at the Long Beach Convention Center.  Though the main event took place on a Saturday and Sunday of early December, a plethora of events occurred in the proceeding days.

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Episode 82 - More Than Just a Pretty Face

Have you ever been to a dog show? They can be absolutely fascinating and can also verge on being overwhelming. The variety of events, performances and demonstrations will put your sneakers to the test. And then there are the dogs – some with names you have never heard of, some you have never seen on the street or in magazines. 

I spoke to so many people and learned so much that this podcast is going to be a three part series. Tune in the next 2 weeks for part two and three. In case you want to see photos of the dog breeds I mention in these segments, go to the Pet Doctor on our website, PetLifeRadio.com and scroll to these installments. So sit, stay, listen…..I’m Dr. Bernadine Cruz and this is the Pet Doctor coming to you from the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Championships.

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Episode 81 - My Pet Has H1Nwhat?

H1N1 affects many species of animals as well as humans. This includes cats, ferrets, possibly dogs, turkeys and more… Listen to this show and learn the facts as we currently know them to be about 2009H1N1 aka Swine Flu and your pets.

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Episode 80 - Whose Doggie Is That in the Window? Pet Identification Systems- More Than Just an ID Tag!

If you have had pets in your lifetime, you have undoubtedly shared the fear of losing them to the great outdoors—an innocent mistake like leaving the door ajar can leave your family devastated and your pets unprotected on the streets…

Dogs often wear identification tags, and if the loose dog permits a kind stranger to get close enough to read the tag, your pet could be in luck… but that is not always the case. Tags and collars can be lost and information on tags may not be current- especially in cases of emergency evacuations- when pets are separated from their owners and owners are forced to leave the location on the pet tag…As for cats, they do not often wear id collars— as collars would interfere with their playing and bird catching and could be dangerous. Mr. Gary MacPhee, director and general manager of HomeAgain, a microchip company for pets discusses everything there is to know about pet identification systems with us and shares a great reunion audio of Gypsy, the miracle dog, returned home from over 500 miles with the help of her HomeAgain microchip!

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Episode 79 - Kids Interacting with Dogs Safely

As a child, I remember my mom explaining the fine points of proper behavior at the dinner table, especially when that dinner included guests. I don’t remember, however, being instructed in the fine art of behaving around dogs. All I recall is ‘don’t touch strange dogs’. She tried to scare me into compliance. It’s a miracle I ever became a veterinarian. Sadly, the majority of children are never schooled in the skills needed to not become one of the 3.5 million youngsters that are bitten by dogs every year in the United States. Surprisingly, most of these dogs are familiar to the child that is bitten. 

My guest today is Jane Greco Deming. She is the Director of Humane Education for the American Humane Association. She will explain the ‘Kids Interacting Safely with Dogs’ (KIDS) program. It is fun, educational for children and adults and it could save your children from injury or even death.

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Episode 78 - Holding Up Your End of the Deal… Helping Pets with Mobility Issues

There are few sights as marvelous as watching your dog romp and run.  You could swear that they smile as they cavort during a play day at the dog park.  But mobility can be tragically taken away from your canine companion by trauma, disease or birth defects.  In the past all that veterinarians could offer was palliative relief, which too often required the amputation of a limb.  Then came OrthoPets, a very unique service that custom makes prosthetic, orthotic and adaptive devices for dogs.  My guests today are the founder of OrthoPets, Martin Kaufman and their resident veterinarian, Patrice Mich, a board certified veterinary anesthesiologist. 

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Episode 77 - Yes, Pets Get Cancer – And Yes, They Can Live With It!

Every November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month and there has never been a more relevant time to educate ourselves about the factors that contribute to cancer in our pet and the early warning signs to look for. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) the number of pets with cancer is growing each year. The AVMA approximates that 1 in 4 dogs will develop a tumor of some kind in their lifetime, and the Veterinary Oncology and Hematology Center approximates that cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease related pet deaths each year. Our guest this show is one of the most esteemed veterinary oncologists in the world today, Dr. Mona Rosenberg. She will share with us her knowledge and insights about animals with cancer.

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Episode 76 - The Graying of Our Pet Population… Extending the Quantity and Quality of Their Lives

Some will say that you are only as old as you feel. And there are some mornings when I feel really old. I know that aging is a process and not a disease. It happens every day, second by second, year by year until you suddenly realize those highlights are really just gray hairs and not sun kissed streaks. And your pet, the one you refer to as your baby, just got a letter from your veterinarian saying that it is now a senior citizen and needs targeted care. Is that just a marketing ploy or are there things that you can do to increase the quantity and quality of your pet’s life?

Thankfully with advances in medicine, nutrition and the science of aging, people and pets are living longer and healthier lives. But what determines if your pet is a senior citizen? Do all pets age at the same rate? What body systems are most commonly affected? Can pets suffer from an Alzheimer-like disease? What can you as a pet owner do? Dr. Kyle Creech of Ceva Animal Health will talk to me about the aging and answer the ‘age’ old question, can you teach an old dog a new trick and will it remember it?

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Episode 75 - Paws to Save Pets

What impact can one person, one veterinarian, one initiative make to help our pets when there are disasters as devastating as Hurricane Katrina, as horrible as the flooding in the Midwest, horrific as the wildfires in California or blizzards in Colorado?  Countless animal lives have been saved and pets have been reunited with misplaced owners because of a unique partnership called Paws to Save Pets.  But what can you do to help?  More importantly, what can you do to help insure that your pet is not a victim of a preventable disaster?  How can you prepare for catastrophes that just can’t be predicted but are all too common?  My guest today is Dr. Hal Little of Merial Animal Health.  He will tell us how to plan ahead to safeguard the pets in our lives.

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Episode 74 - Killer Whales, Healthy Oceans and You

The Earth, is often referred to as the ‘Blue Marble’ of our solar system.  The blue hue, as seen from space, is a reflection of the water that covers 70% of the earth’s surface. This water is very attractive, enticing over ½ of the U.S.’s population to live within 50 miles of the coast.  Sadly, the seemingly boundless nature of our marine resources has caused people to take it for granted.  We become outraged when there are huge oil spills but what about the small amount of oil that our cars leak onto our roadways everyday?.  Where does it go?  Much of it into our oceans. 

The oceans have served as a convenient garbage dumping site.  The junk that pollutes our oceans ranges from pet droppings that enter the storm drains and ground water, industrial noxious waste, and runoff.  Regrettably, the health of our oceans and its inhabitants have suffered tremendously.  But it is not just the seas and fish that are feeling the ill effects….the health of land dwellers are also impacted.  What can a veterinarian do?  What can you do?  Dr. Joseph Gaydos, chief scientist and wildlife veterinarian at UC Davis Wildlife Center, Orcas Islands in Eastsound, Washington will be my guest today and give us some sobering facts and reason for hope.

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Episode 73 - Yards – Pet Safe and Pet Owner Friendly

You know the look…the back yard that is a depressing combination of dead grass punctuated with moonscape craters and all the welcoming appeal of a dusty interstate rest stop.  The homeowner isn’t cursed with a brown thumb, only pets.  But having a dog or cat doesn’t mean you will never have color, fragrance and live plants in your outdoor living spaces.  My guest today, Ms. Jule Eller, is a green thumb specialist from the home improvement company, Lowe’s.  She will give us a paw up on how to have a yard that is pet friendly and pet safe.

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Episode 72 - Pet Wellness Starts With a Plan

In a whoosh of a whisker, a pet seems to go from being a cuddly bundle of fluff to a mature member of the family with silver whiskers.  You try to be a good pet owner..take your pet when it is ill or when you get those pesky vaccine reminders in the mail.  But are you doing all that you can in insure that your pet’s health span equals its life span?  Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president of Underwriting and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI Pet Insurance, will explain why ‘Pet Wellness Starts with a Plan.’

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Episode 71 - No Such Thing As A Free Pet

I have been a veterinarian for over 20 years.  At least once every week of my practice life, I have had clients gasp when I tell them how much it is going to cost to administer care to their pet.  Veterinary medical services are not free.  Yes, veterinarians love animals or we would not be in our profession.  We can’t discount every case because the pet owner is short on funds.  We strive to give good service at reasonable fees and provide a living for ourselves, our families and our employees.

The miracles of veterinary medicine come with a price tag that too often, especially in these economic times, force people to decline the level of care they want to give their pets.  Tragically, pets are frequently euthanized, when other medical options are available because their owners just did not have the requisite funds.  What can a pet owner do to avoid finding themselves in such a dire situation?  Three words…pet health insurance.

Loran Hickton is the Executive Director of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.  He is my guest today. We will explore what is pet insurance?  How does it differ from people health insurance?  How do you find the best policy for you and your pet?

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Episode 70 - When a Little is Way Too Much

You’ve seen them…that pudgy pup waddling down the street.   They look cute with the swaying of their thunder thighs and paunchy gut almost touching the ground.  And those internet photos of the 30lb. cat, who wouldn’t go ‘ahhhh what a honey of a chunky monkey’.  Deep down you say to yourself, my pet isn’t that fat.  It just has big bones.  My cat must have Maine Coon in it.  That’s why it is so chubby.  It really doesn’t eat that much.  But did you know that 1 extra pound on a Chihuahua is like a 125lb. woman gaining 30lb.s!  Though my guest is a stand up comic and internationally recognized veterinarian of Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, obesity in our cats and dogs is no laughing matter. 

We will talk about how to recognize if your pet is fat and not fluffy.  What are the health risks associated with being overweight?  How to put your pet safely on a diet?  What are calorie safe treats for your pets?  And calculating how much to feed your pet.

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Episode 69 - Summer Times Hazards in the House and Yard and Dr. Justine Lee’s Books…It's a Cat's World...You Just Live In It" and "It's a Dog's Life... but It's Your Carpet"

Eat first, think later is the mantra many pets profess.  This philosophy can send them to the emergency room faster than they can bark or meow.  Sometimes the results are just an upset tummy or minor inconvenience.  It can also be deadly.  Dr. Justine Lee, one of only 240 board certified veterinary specialist worldwide in emergency medicine and critical care will chat with me today on ways you can increase the safety profile of your home and yard.  We will also explore the pages of her two edu-taining books….’It’s a Dog’s Life….but It is Your Carpet’ and ‘It’s a Cat’s World…You Just Live in It’.

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Episode 68 - The Youngest Vet Assistant in the Land... What is Next?

Most 10 year olds are busy playing with their ‘My Little Pet Shop’ toys.  Miss Courtney Oliver however is doing what many adults only dream of; she has earned her certificate as a veterinary assistant.  While summer vacation for most grade schoolers is a trip to the shore or a week at camp, Courtney spent a week in Grenada at St. Georges University of veterinary medicine.  Who is this remarkable young lady and what are her plans for life?  Let her story inspire and motivate you.

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Episode 67 - Canine Influenza

Bird flu, swine flu, canine influenza makes you almost want to pull the covers over your head.  Well, have no fear, you can’t catch canine influenza from your pooch.   Your canine companion however should be cautious about who smooches the next time it goes to the doggie park or meets at doggie day care.  Canine influenza is a real and potentially serious condition.  My guest today is Dr. Holly Brianceau.  She will tell us about canine influenza and a newly released vaccine to help safeguard your precious pup.

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Episode 66 - Birds of Prey…Protecting, Healing and Insuring Their Future

‘Birds of prey’ is a term that conjures up the African desert and a flock of vultures circling some unfortunate lost, very thirsty wanderer. Closer to home are hawks soaring above our fields, country sides and cities. They are graceful, strong and are at the top of their food chain.  They are also frequent victims of the close interface of wildlife and man.  Altercations with cars, high voltage lines and toxins have all taken their toll of these magnificent birds.  Why are they important to our ecosystem? What can we do to protect their lives and their habitats?  My guest today is Dr. William Ferrier.  He is the Senior Clinical Veterinarian of Campus Veterinary Services at the University of California.

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Episode 65 - It Is All A Matter Of Cat-titude

Though dogs may have once been given the moniker of being man’s best friend, paws down, the cat now meows supreme.  In 2007, a study by the American Veterinary Medical Assoc. estimated that there were 81.7 million owned cats in the United States.  That was 40 million more cat paws than dog paws padding around our homes.  If you are math challenged, there are 10 million more cats than dogs sharing our beds and gracing our couches with their fur. 

Many urban legends abound concerning cats, their behavior, their nutritional and medical needs. The CATalyst program was formed in 2008 to make it purrrfectly clear that cats make awesome pets and to improve the care and welfare of these furry members of our families.

My guest today is Dr. Jane Brunt.  She is the executive director of the CATalyst Council.  Dr. Brunt is one of the leading feline practitioners in the United States.  She owns two cat exclusive veterinary hospitals in Maryland.  And if you couldn’t tell, she is a true ailurophile, an ardent lover of cats.  We will discuss the CATalyst program.  Learn how it can enhance the lives of the cats that share our homes.  Discover which American cities have been rated as being the Top 10 Cat Friendly Cities, how to find a great veterinarian for your kitty and the all important question, how do you get your cat in its carrier?

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Episode 64 - Being Your Pet’s Health Advocate

You are likely listening to this podcast because you have one or two that sleep in your beds, eat at your table,  dress them up and spoil them as if they were your children.  Dogs, they have become part of our families and we want the best for them.  But how do you know if they are receiving the best care possible and what is best for one pet…is it the best for yours?

My guest today is Dr. Nancy Kay.  She is a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Her passion is communications between veterinarians and their clients. Her new book is “Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.”

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Episode 63 - VetCentric Pharmacy—Not Just Another Internet Pharmacy!

This extraordinary on line pharmacy works with you and your vet, to ensure the highest level of quality, care and convenience you can get! Medications, special diets, treats and more—delivered with trust right to your door!

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Episode 62 - A Paw Up in Veterinary Care for Military Working Dogs

We see them on the news, military dogs, helping to protect the lives of military and civilian personnel in areas. Their duties range from detecting explosives and drugs, used on patrols, to other specialized functions for the for the Dept. of Defense and other government agencies. But who takes care of them when they get injured? What types of treatments are available to them? And when they can no longer actively serve their country, do they get military retirement benefits?

My guests today, Col. Robert Vogelsang and Col. David Rolfe, of the U.S. Army Corp will brief us on what the military is doing to select, train and protect our four legged soldiers.

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Episode 61 - Some Veterinarians Are All Wet

Veterinarians touch every aspect of our lives from the moment we wake up to the time we close our eyes at night.  They keep the food we eat safe, the pets in our lives healthy and monitor the health of the environment by keeping an eye on the animals that inhabit it. 

One area of veterinary concern that many people are not aware of, is aquatic veterinary medicine.  My guest today, Dr. Roy Yanong, will immerse us in knowledge regarding veterinary involvement from industrial fish production to serving the needs of the fish hobbyist. 

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Episode 60 - Paws-itively Interesting Trivia

Who ripped the French Ambassador's pants off? Where did dog biscuits come from? What's the difference between ticks and fleas? What happened to the pets aboard the Titanic? These and other interesting "bites" of pet trivia are covered in this week's episode.

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Episode 59 - Preparing Your Animals For Emergencies

It seems that everyday in the news some disaster or emergency situation has arisen in the U.S. that impacts people and the animals they care for. The emergency may affect a single family or cities and counties. Disasters know no season, snowstorms, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and floods. We expect the local, state or national authorities to take care of us but who takes care of the animals? What can you do to prepare your entire family for potentially life threatening situations?

Today I will speak with Dr. Heather Case. She is the AVMA coordinator for emergency preparedness and response and Michael Cathey, the Director of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

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Episode 58 - Veterinary Medicine Tending the Ills of Mother Nature

You may have heard of the ‘Butterfly Effect’.  It basically states that seemingly inconsequential alterations in one event can have a major impact in the long term behavior of a system.   The butterfly that I am referring to today is the health of wildlife and the environment in which they live.  Most people would say that they want to save the panda and baby harp seals but what is so important about some non descript fish, wolves that prey on livestock or the myriad of other inhabitants of the wild that aren’t so cute and cuddly?

My guest today is Dr. David Jessup.  He is the Senior Wildlife Veterinarian for DFG Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz, CA.  We will discuss how veterinarians are helping to protect the health of Mother Nature by caring for animals, humans and the environment itself. 

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Episode 57 - Genetic Problems In Pets- What You Should Be Aware Of!

Dr. Diane Levitan, guest host while Dr. Cruz struggles to stay warm in Alaska, interviews Dr. Cynthia O’Connor- veterinary geneticist! Yep, you heard correctly, geneticist for pets- she is also a pediatric and reproduction specialist! What next, in vitro manipulation of genetic diseases? Listen and find out!

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Episode 56 - Trap, Neuter and Return or TNR… What Does That Have To Do With Huge, Scary Tattooed Bikers?

Dr. Diane Levitan fills in for Dr. Bernadine Cruz who is at the Iditarod Great Sled Race in Alaska. Dr. Levitan interviews Ms. Dawn Reilly, TNR expert and Director of Animal Alliance of Long Island as well as Robert Misseri, Rescue Inc. member about the importance of TNR and some very unconventional methods of persuasion…

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Episode 55 - ThingsThat Make The Collar Shake

Itchy pets keep us up at night with clanking collars and incessant scratching—Dr. Jeanne Budgin, board certified veterinary dermatologist, discusses ways to stop the clank and shake.

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Episode 54 - Gross Things That Pets Do (Poopcicles and Other Disgusting Things)

Dr. Diane Levitan fills in for Dr. Bernadine Cruz who is at the Iditarod Great Sled Race in Alaska. Why do dogs drink from the toilet, eat their own poop, eat cat poop, eat grass, condoms, underwear, and smell each other’s butts? These and other exciting questions you’ve always wanted to know are answered by today’s guest , veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen.

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Episode 53 - Want a Smart Puppy? It is all in the Bag

Ask any puppy parent, and they will tell you that their puppy is the smartest one in the world. But what makes a smart puppy? Is it nature or nurture? Research has shown that human babies benefit from having certain essential fatty acids added to their formulas. Is the same true for puppies? My guest is Dr. Amy Dicke. We will explore how nutrition can affect not only can your pup learn new tricks but can it remember them later?

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Episode 52 - Aging is Just a Bunch of Sour Grapes for Your Pet

You hear about it on the news. Oprah raves about its benefits. Open any health magazine and you will see articles on anti-oxidants. You can get them in a glass of wine. Fish are swimming with them. Your sweet tooth can be satisfied them in a chunk of dark creamy chocolate. But how do they really work? Can they really help to slow down the aging process? I have the pleasure of speaking with dog owner and health advocate, Peter Brandt. We will chat about the health benefits your pet can experience by incorporating anti-oxidants in their diet.

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Episode 51 - How to have a ‘Purrr-fectly’ Healthy Cat

Man and woman’s new best friend is the cat. There are over 82 million kitties purring their way into our homes and hearts. Sadly, our feline house guests receive less medical care and less research dollars. This shortcoming, along with their ability to hide their signs of illness often condemns them to shorter, less healthy lives. The Morris Animal Foundation and the Happy Healthy Cat Campaign aim to keep our cats ‘purr-fectly’ healthy. Listen and learn ways in which you can spot potential health issues and keep the kitten in your cat. My guest today is Dr. Joe Bartges. He is board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine along with board certification by the College of Veterinary Nutrition.

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Episode 50 - Extending an International Paw of Kindness

Travel a few minutes south of San Diego, CA, and you will find a distressingly large number of people and pets trying to scratch out a meager living in Tijuana, Mexico. Dogs and cats often have to fend for themselves, searching for bits of food where ever they can find it. Tragically, pet overpopulation is kept in check by unnecessarily short life spans. Lives cut short due to lack of routine medical care. Thanks to the efforts of a band of volunteers, the Humane Society of Tijuana is improving the lives of the pets and people in some of the poorest sections of this border town. Today’s guest is Richard Massa. He is the president of the Friends of the Humane Society of Tijuana.

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Episode 49 - Staying on the Right Tract…Avoiding Intestinal Upsets

According to the nation’s largest pet health insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance, GI upset ranks as the second most common reason for dog owners to seek medical attention for their canine companions and the fourth most common reason for cat owners. A pet’s digestive system is amazingly complex and sensitive. It is responsible for more than just processing food into energy and waste products. An upset GI system can lead to a decreased quality of life and a decrease in its quantity. My guests today are from the Purina Pet Care Company, Drs. Grace Long and Gail Czarnecki-Maulden. They will tell us how to keep our pet’s GI system on the right tract.

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Episode 48 - Silver Whiskers…the Aging of America’s Pet Population

Thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, nutrition and general care, the average age of America’s pet population is greater than ever before.  But just as with the aging of their owners, senior pets are more prone to aches, pains, challenges and diseases. 

My guest today is Dr. Diane Levitan.  She is a board certified veterinary internist.  Dr. Levitan assists her aging patients in living the best quality of life for as long as possible.   She will discuss how therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, gamma ray therapy, radioactive isotope treatments and ultrasounds can diagnose and help save the lives of our silver whiskered pets. 

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Episode 47 - Why Good Pets Seem to Go Bad and How to Prevent It

Unwanted pet behavior is a leading cause of pet neglect, abuse, surrender, and euthanasia!

It would seem so simple to train a dog or cat to be a welcome member of the family but that is not always the case. Issues may be with the pet. It may be just a bit more tenacious in exhibiting behaviors that are less than endearing. Or with an owner that doesn’t realize the need for consistent, compassionate training and attention. Any parent who has had more than one child will know that no two children are alike. The same is true for pets. Even if you have had pets for years, each pet presents his or her unique challenges.

Today’s guest is Dr. Rolan Tripp. He is a veterinarian whose passion is insuring that each pet starts off on the right paw and that both owner and pet experience a loving, healthy relationship.

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Episode 46 - Relieving Those Senior Moments

We never outgrow our need to be loved.  But too frequently as we age, we are cut off from friends and family.  Maybe the senior has outlived all of his or her relations or maybe they are just too busy.  A pet can often soften the long hours of solitude and be just the impetus needed to get off that couch and take the dog for a walk.  

But this companionship comes with a price tag that especially in these difficult economic times, makes it impossible for a elder American to own and care for a pet.

Today’s guest, from Purina Pet Care, Brenda Bax, and Joann Turnbull of the Delta Society will tell us how they two organizations have teamed up to bring ‘Pets for Seniors’.

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Episode 45 - How to Get the Most Out of Your Veterinary Visits

Studies have shown that people typically remember only 50% of what they are told during a doctor’s visit. Of that 50%, only 50% is correct. Accurately remembering what your doctor tells you can be critical to your health and well being. During today’s show, I will give you tips that you can use during your pet’s veterinary visits. You may even find them useful during your own trips to your doctor’s office.

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Episode 44 - Encouraging Teens through Pet Care - The Chemistry of the Human/Animal Bond

A ‘Catalyst’ is defined as a substance that accelerates a chemical reaction. At Tails Humane Society in DeKalb, IL, it is the chemistry between dogs, cats and teenagers in need that has sparked some amazing changes. Injured animals and teens at risk are thriving. Thanks to an innovative program, ‘Catalyst’ is teaching life skills and compassion to the teens and the shelter animals receive the extra attention they need in order to become good adoption candidates.

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Episode 43 - Pilates for Pups

Shirley MacLaine must have been right when she talked about reincarnation. I know I must have been a cat in a previous life. I love to be rubbed, kneaded and massaged. There is little else that will get me to purr like a masseuse with a knowing, firm touch.

Well now our dogs can benefit from massage techniques that you can learn at home. Raquel Wynn is a certified personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, licensed massage and neuromuscular therapist as well as an avid animal lover. This combined passion for optimizing the health and well being of others has lead her to release her first book, Stretch Your Dog Healthy.

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Episode 42 - Books on Pets…Reviews by Maryanne Dell

As the weather starts to chill, the time is perfect to curl up with a great book, especially one about your pet. But which is the right book for you? Or maybe you want to start your holiday shopping early…..books make a great present. But which book to buy? Maryanne Dell is a reporter for the Orange County Register, in Southern California. She is a voracious reader, writes the pet column for the Register and is wild about pets. She is the perfect source for helping you find a great book for your or a friend.

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Episode 41 - Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth PurrrrrFect

Going to the dentist is usually not on the top ten list of exciting activities for people. Tell a pet owner, that their cat needs a trip to a board certified veterinary dentist and they will likely think that you have been sniffing cat nip.

All cats will periodically need to have their teeth professionally cleaned. How often is often a matter of diet, genetics and a bit of luck. Dental disease can be more than a cat being plagued with ‘tuna breath’. Bad teeth over time can lead to serious health issues. My guest is Dr. Jan Bellows. He is a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Dentistry. He will tell us how we can keep our cat’s teeth purrrrfectly healthy.

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Episode 40 - Deciphering What's Going On Under the Skin

The last time your pet was ill, your veterinarian likely recommended that your pet have a battery of tests run. What was he or she looking for? Why do they want to repeat the tests? Why isn’t there a test for cancer? And why do they want to run tests when your pet seems totally healthy?

My guest is Dr. Saundra Willis. She is board certified in veterinary internal medicine. She is going to let us in on the secrets of what a doctor can learn from drops and drips of our pets’ bodily fluids.

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Episode 39 - World Rabies Day

Mention the word rabies, and most people will have visions of Cujo, Steven King’s vicious, slobbering, rabid St. Bernard. If all rabid animals were that easy to recognize, over 55,000 people annually would not fall victim to this fatal disease.

What can you do safeguard your family and your pets? What can you do to make a difference in the lives of children world wide and save endangered wildlife in Africa? Listen and learn more about this preventable disease and the second annual World Rabies Day.

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Episode 38 - Summer Sun and Pups at Play

Summer is a time of outdoor fun for the entire family, and that often includes the family pet. Some of the best summer memories involve travel and family gatherings like barbeques. Making sure that your summer is a fantastic one and doesn’t involve a trip to the veterinary emergency hospital is sometimes as easy as planning ahead and being prepared.

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Episode 37 - Mixed Up Dogs – Puzzling Puppy Paternity

Instead of “how much is that doggie in the window”, the better question to ask these days is “what is that doggie”. We used to just call them mutts. Those dogs that have the face of a Labrador, the body of a whippet and the personality of a Jack Russell terrier were always a source of great debate at the dog parks. Now many mixed breed dogs are designer pooches that come with hefty price tags. But knowing what composes a dog’s genetic background can be more important than just settling a debate. Knowing which breeds are in your dog’s genetic history can answer questions regarding health and behavioral issues. My guest today is Dr. Angela Hughes. She is a veterinary geneticist in Davis, California.

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Episode 36 - The Secret Sex Life of Dogs and Cats

Will my crossed eyed male Siamese cat’s uncross when he is neutered? That was the question that launched the book “the Secret Sex Life of Dogs and Cats.”

“Where do the puppies come out?” “Why did his testicles grow back?” “Can my rabbit get my cat pregnant?” These are but a few of the questions that are answered in this ‘edu-taining’ book, written by none other than your ‘Pet Doctor’ host, Dr. Bernadine Cruz.

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Episode 35 - So You Want to Become a Veterinarian

If you have seen the movie Dr. Doolittle more than 6 times and have read the series of books “All Creatures Great and Small” you probably have pawed at the idea of becoming a veterinarian.

What does it take? How many years is veterinary school? What if you love science but hate math? Is there a chance for you? Today’s guest is in the midst of becoming a licensed veterinarian. Amber Anderson is a fourth year veterinary student at Western University in Pomona, California.

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Episode 34 - Doggedly Doing Time Prisoners and Pets -- a Win/Win Situation

‘Pen Pals of San Quentin’…no it is not a correspondence initiative for the inmates of this northern California prison but rather an innovative partnership between the Marin Humane Society and this penal institution. Dogs with special rehabilitation needs are matched with selected minimum-security inmates. This program and its coordinator, Larry Carson, have had such a phenomenal success that the California Veterinary Medical Association has honored them.

There are few things more relaxing than a good massage for relieving stress, but massage for a dog or cat? My guest, Jean Pierre Hourdebaigt, is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of dog, cat and horse massage. He will inform us of the benefits of pet massage, from speeding postoperative healing to increasing the loving bonds that you and your pet share.

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Episode 33 - The Itchy Bitey, Scratchie… What Can a Pet Owner Do?

They itch, they bite, they scratch themselves until you think you will go crazy. Your poor cat or dog is miserable. Pets can have skin issues for all the reasons that you and I do and then some. How to figure out the cause and get it under control can make you feel like a CSI agent. Dr. Wayne Rosenkrantz, a board certified veterinary dermatologist will help you scratch out an answer to what may be bothering your pet.

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Episode 32 - Living on the Wild Side – Exotic Animals as Pets

Almost 60% of U.S. households as of the end of 2006 owned a pet. Most were cats and dogs but others owned much more unusual pets like tarantulas, hedgehogs or spider monkeys.Over the years, fads in animal ownership can go in and out of style like bell-bottom trousers. ‘Must have’ pets have run the gamut from alpacas to Zambesi Parrotfish. Owning an alternative type of pet can be fun but it can also spell disaster for the animal as well as the owner.

Dr. Scott Weldy, a veterinarian who has treated all creatures great and small, from cheetahs to chimpanzees will chat with us about the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of owning some of the more exotic animals on our planet.

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Episode 31 - Cancer… It Can Affect All Family Members

Cancer is a disease that affects all animals. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, it is the number one cause of death in our companion animals. But how would you know if your pet has cancer? What signs could you see? Does the diagnosis of cancer have to be a death sentence? What hope is there for a pet with cancer?

My guest today is Dr. Mona Rosenberg. She is a board certified veterinary internist. She is the chief of staff of the Veterinary Cancer Group in California.

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Episode 30 - Alternative Careers in Veterinary Medicine

If you have ever said to yourself that you would love a career that combines your love of animals, a desire to improve the health of people as well as animals and one that challenges your mind, you don’t have to be a veterinarian. You might want to consider the field of veterinary technology.Registered veterinary technicians are skilled professionals work in veterinary hospitals as well as in the field. They play an essential role in research laboratories, and diagnostic companies. The RVTs are in the military as well as help to protect the environment with the work that they do with wildlife conservation.

Today’s guest is Cherylann Gieseke, a registered veterinary technician at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

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Episode 29 - Cats – Misunderstood, Maligned and Mistreated

It is estimated that there are 10 million more cats in the United States than dogs. That’s almost 82 million cats at the end of 2006 and the number continues to rise. But with the increasing popularity of cats, the fact that these furry felines receive less professional attention than their canine cousins makes you want to yowl. The latest figures reveal that in a single year, 83% of dog owners take their dogs to the veterinarian as compared to only 64% of cat owners.

Are cats just healthier than dogs? No, they can experience just as many maladies as dogs. Today I will be speaking with the president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, Dr. Valerie Creighton, about conditions that affect cats, how to recognize if your cat is sick as a dog and what you can do to ensure that your feline friend experiences the best quality of its nine lives.

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Episode 28 - One Mouse or Two

I sometimes think that ophthalmologist try to trick their patients….”which is better one or two?” Do they really change anything or do they just want to watch us squirm as we look through that funny device with all those dials and lenses. And reading the eye chart can be an exercise of mind numbing squinting and guessing. But what do you do if your pet has vision issues? Do you hold up a mouse in front of a cat and ask it to raise 1 paw or two? Veterinary ophthalmology is extremely sophisticated. A primary care veterinarian can diagnose and treat most eye ailments but at times needs to refer a patient - cat, dog, bird or even a horse to an eye specialist.

Today’s podcast features Dr. Bill Miller, a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist. Together we will clearly look into the issues of our pet’s vision and investigate the advances in veterinary ophthalmology. We will also discuss a special initiative of providing free eye examinations for those animals that assist vision impaired people, the Seeing Eye dog.

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Episode 27 - When a Pill is Not Enough

With all the advances in veterinary medicine, it seems as though there is a pill for everything. There are however, many instances when surgery may be indicated. Your primary care veterinarian can perform most surgical procedures but there are times when he or she will find it necessary to refer you and your pet to a board certified veterinary surgeon. Even amongst these highly specialized individuals, there are those that specialize to only doing procedures on bone, orthopedic surgeons, or those who provide relief for patients suffering with neurological issues.

Today’s guest is Dr. Phil Zeltzman; a board certified veterinary surgeon based in Lehigh Valley, PA. He will discuss the use of surgery to save lives, correct birth defects, retrieve those bizarre items that pets will sometimes ingest as well as a host of other topics.

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Episode 26 - Polly Wants a Doctor

Pet birds - they may weigh only ounces or be as big as a cat. Their voices may be a quiet coo or an ear splitting squawk. It is estimated that over 5 million households share their homes with these winged creatures. Though they don’t require yearly vaccines, periodic visits to a veterinarian trained in avian medicine can help insure that your feathered friend lives a long and healthy life. This show will answer the questions: What bird is best for you? How can nutrition and routine well bird check ups help to keep your bird healthy. What to do if you think your bird is ill. Can you really spay a budgie?

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Episode 25 - Our Pet’s Internal Mysteries

Our bodies and those of our pets are affected by chemicals called hormones. Over production, as well as deficiencies can wreck havoc with our health. Diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are but a few. Signs of these diseases can be subtle. They can be difficult to diagnose and even more challenging to treat. A primary care veterinarian will often consult with or refer a pet to a board certified veterinary internist. Our podcast today will focus on this veterinary medical specialist and learn how internists unlock mysteries occurring under your pet’s skin.

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Episode 24 - Lending a Helping Paw

It was something in his eyes, a funny ‘Sheepa-dor’ named Watson that made his owner, major league baseball player, Arnie Costell realize that he couldn’t give up. Watson’s quality of life was compromised because of old age infirmities. When others said that it might be time to let Watson pass, Arnie knew that with hard work, some creativity and luck that he could give Watson back his dignity, extend his life and maybe help some other pet owners facing similar issues. So was born the “Bottoms Up” leash and one man’s passion to help senior dogs everywhere. This is a shaggy dog tale that will give your heart a lift and your dog’s hind quarters a boost.

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Episode 23 - A Deadly Gamble

We know that it is going to happen sometime. We know it is going to happen to ourselves or to those we love. We know it is may be very expensive. We know we should plan for it, but too often we don’t. I am talking about accidents and illness. It is critical for everyone to possess health insurance. It is our hedge against a possible financial melt down if we are stricken with a catastrophic illness or injury. But what if the family member that becomes ill is the family pet?

The advances in veterinary medicine are spectacular, but they come with a price tag. How is the pet owner supposed to pay for these potentially life saving treatments? Pet insurance is making the miracles of veterinary medicine more affordable for the caring pet owners. But not all insurance companies are created equal. This segment of ‘the Pet Doctor’ will explore how the concerned pet owner can find pet insurance company that fits their individual needs. My guest today is Ms. Laura Bennett of Embrace Pet Insurance.

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Episode 22 - The Benefits of Animal Based Research

With the advent of computers, a great deal of research that previously was performed using animal models can now be done with machines. But computers are not living organisms and the best computer model can not always predict what will occur in real life. The Foundation of Biomedical Research is the oldest, and largest organization in the United States devoted to promoting public understanding, respect and support for the humane and responsible use of animal research. Mr. Paul McKellips, the vice president of FBR will discuss with me the ways that animals have made an irreplaceable impact on life saving advances in human and veterinary medicine.

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Episode 21 - The Year of the Cat

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it is estimated that of the 83 million cats in the United States, only 1/3 receive adequate, regular veterinary attention. Why are these felines merely scratching the surface of the medical care they need? This segment of the Pet Doctor will feature Dr. Patricia Olson of the Morris Animal Foundation. She will help to clear away the fur and show cat owners how to keep their feline friends purring with optimal health.

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Episode 20 - Knowing When to Say Goodbye

Saying goodbye to a friend is always hard. When it is a pet that has become a part of the family, it can be especially difficult. The need to allow a pet to pass on quickly, painlessly and with dignity can be due to a myriad of reasons – organ failure, uncontrollable medical conditions, crippling arthritis, cancer, senility or other issues that rob your friend of a good quality of life.

“When is the right time to euthanize my beloved pet?” This is a very personal decision. You never want to do it too soon or too late. Dr. Alice Villalobos will discuss coming to terms with saying our final farewell.

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Episode 19 - Choosing the Right Herbal Therapy for Your Pets

Medicine cabinets throughout the U.S. bulge with supplements meant to ease arthritis improve eyesight and sharpen the wits….not only for people but for their pets. But it is a ‘buyer beware’ situation for pet owners because there is no governmental agency insuring that what you are purchasing for your pet is safe, efficacious or even contains the ingredients listed on the label. I will speak with a veterinarian who has dedicated his professional career to alternative herbal medicine for pets.

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Episode 18 - One Dog’s Quest to Ease a Worried Child & Lull Away a Pet’s Worries with Children’s Lullabies

A pediatrician and veterinarian are similar in many ways. Their patients have difficulty voicing their fears and concerns over medical procedures. And being separated from those that love them merely worsens the situation. Thanks to 2 dads, a dog named Josh, a marvelous book and a plush toy Golden retriever, children undergoing medical diagnostics or surgeries, have a friend who will be with them at all times and let them know that ‘it will be all right.

What do premature babies and dogs suffering with separation anxiety have in common? They both are calmed by the sound of a beating heart and soothed when played simple children’s lullabies. Learn how a unique blending of these two sounds can bring tranquility to your baby…human or canine.

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Episode 17 - Recognizing and Understanding Pain in Pets

Science has shown that a pet’s nervous system is very similar to ours. So why is it that when we are in pain, everyone around us knows about it but our dogs and cats rarely declare their discomfort. Dr. Steven Fox, of Norvartis Animal Health will help us understand the signs of pets in pain and discuss new ways that veterinarians have to relieve it.

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Episode 16 - Grooming Your Pet

It seems as though it should be easy enough…go to your local pet store and purchase a shampoo for what ails your pet, whether it be a stinky coat, dandruff or fleas. But the choices are staggering and the labels are of little assistance. We will banish the soap scum forming rings around ingredient lists and wash away the confusion of product selection.

Bathing your pet doesn’t have to resemble either a three ring circus or involve a trip to the emergency clinic for the pet or the owner. We will learn some tricks and tips from a professional groomer that can make bath time almost play time.

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Episode 15 - Fit or Fluffy, Fluffy or Fat?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are over 54 million cats and dogs in the United States that are overweight. What is worse, many pet owners are in denial thinking….”Oh no, not my pet, it just has big bones or is just a little fluffy.” February has been designated the first ever “National Canine Weight Check” month. This is the perfect time for pet owners to determine if their pet is really fit or flabby, fluffy or fat.

My guest today is Dr. Elizabeth Flickinger of Iams Pet Care. Dr. Beth has a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences and is a registered dietician. She is currently a senior scientist at Proctor and Gamble, with a primary research focus on obesity and obesity related conditions in dogs and cats.

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Episode 14 - Tears of Joy for Cat Allergic People & Flexible Pet Ownership

It is not unusual to covet what you can’t have. Cats are the number one pet in the United States but millions of people who would love to own one can’t. Often it is because they suffer with the singular most common cause of itchy eyes and runny noses in people…cat allergies. Now, thanks to Allerca Lifestyle Pets, any tears they shed around these unique cats will be tears of joy. These cats are guaranteed hypoallergenic.

Caring for a pet properly is a major commitment of time, money and love. When you bring a dog into your life, typically it is for life, their life. But what if you work long hours, travel a great deal or don’t have the other resources that are needed? With the advent of a new concept and company, FlexPetz, you can experience the thrill of dog ownership on a more flexible basis.

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Episode 13 - Stem Cells Help to Regenerate Your Pet

Stem cells promise to hold all the answers to curing disease and reversing the effects of time on our bodies and that of our pets, but seemingly with a very controversial price tag.

Scientists have found a way to reap the benefits of stem cells by utilizing adult cells rather than embryonic. Learn exactly what these cells are, how they function and what promise they hold for our pets.

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Episode 12 - Medical Help for the Anxious Abbys and Wigged Out Westies

There is no such thing as a bad dog or cat. There are only misunderstood pets with behaviors that don’t fit our definition of good. A trainer may be able to get your pet to come, sit and stay but for the dog with panic attacks and the cat with territory issues, a veterinary behaviorist may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Episode 11 - Vaccines – What are They, How do They Work, and Which Ones are Needed by Your Pet

Advances in the study of infectious diseases and immunology have radically changed vaccine protocols for pets. But what are vaccines? What are the up and downsides of exposing our pet’s immune systems to these agents of disease?

Which vaccines will provide optimal health for your pet will best be decided by your pet’s lifestyle, where it lives in the United States and by your veterinarian.

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Episode 10 - Dogs Decoding the Mystery of Cancer

“…Cancer to be cured by 2015.” This was the challenge issued by the director of the National Cancer Institute several years ago. Though some fantastic advances have been made towards the realization of this goal, the gold ring is still eluding the medical profession.

In the past, lab rats have been given cancer, but the behavior of these artificially induced malignancies was not always the same as that seen in real life. Comparative oncologists, scientists who study cancer in people and animals have found a champion in the quest to eradicate this type of disease, the pet dog. Dogs have taken the lead in demonstrating ways in which we can improve detection, optimize treatment and ultimately prevent cancer in the future in dogs, other animals and people.

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Episode 9 - The Cost of Miracle

Between the United States and Canada, pet owners will spend more than $45 billion on their four-legged family members. But, a single traumatic event or serious disease can devastate personal finances or potentially lead to heart-wrenching decisions. Fortunately, the availability of pet insurance, pet health savings plans and even credit for pets may help some pet owners keep their pets around longer.

Listen to this podcast & receive a 10% discount from Pets Best Insurance!

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Episode 8 - The Healing Touch

Studies have shown that the touch of an animal can lower a person’s blood pressure by having a calming effect, now the touch of a person can ease the pain that a pet feels and improve their quality of life. Physical therapy is not new in human medicine and now physical rehabilitation is available to pets with some amazing results. Learn how a veterinarian working with a physical therapist is easing pain, improving mobility and providing that healing touch.

Children's Pet Book Reviews

Maryanne Dell is responsible for pet coverage for The Orange County Register, the fourth-largest newspaper in California. She has been writing about pets, with a special interest in dogs, since 1994. She is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer. She competes in agility with her chow mix, Fly, and does pet therapy work with her Tibetan spaniel, Jitterbug.

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Episode 7 - Take a Bite Out of Pet Disease…Keep Their Teeth Clean

Dental disease is more than just a cosmetic issue. An unhealthy mouth allows bacteria to access the body’s blood supply. This shower of bacteria can cause irreversible damage to the liver, kidneys, joints and heart muscle. The damage will not be immediate but insidious in nature.

It is estimated that at least 75% of all pets over 4 years of age, have some form of dental disease. Which animals develop significant problems is a matter of genetics, routine veterinary dental care and consistent at home dental hygiene. Also, the VNN Report: Thanksgiving Safety for Pets.

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Episode 6 - Microchips & Children's Pet Book Reviews

More pets die every year because of avoidable mistakes on the part of their owners than from a combination of all infectious diseases combined. The mistake….not wearing identification at all times. The owners just never think that their pet will get lost. We will hear from Dr. Dan Knox of the AVID microchip company who will tell us how something as small as a grain of rice could save your pet’s life.

We will also talk with Maryanne Dell of the California Orange County Register Newspaper. Maryanne loves pets and loves to read. This passion has made her the perfect person to review children’s books that deal with pets. She will be a regular guest on this show.

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Episode 5 - Veterinary Workforce Expansion Act, One World, One Health, One Medicine Initiative

Visions of Dr. James Herriot or Dr. Doolittle are typically conjured up when you say the word veterinarian, but veterinarians do so much more. There is currently a critical shortage of these professionals. This deficiency may not only impact the health of our pets but may also put our nation and possibly even the Earth at risk of a health catastrophe.

Dr. Gregory Hammer, of Dover, Delaware, the current president American Veterinary Medical Association, will address the shortage, what can be done to correct it and the ways that veterinarians are helping to feed the burgeoning population of the world and their role in homeland security.

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Episode 4 - Obesity in Pets/Slentrol

Chubby, chunky, extra fluffy, or even full figured… these are all ways of saying a pet is fat. Obesity is affecting our pets in epidemic proportions. It is defined as being 20% over your body’s ideal weight. So why are our pets battling the bulge just like so many of their owners? There is a myriad of causes. This show will discuss how to recognize if your pet is overweight and ways you can help it to slim down.

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Episode 3 - Sticking It to Alternatives

If you have owned pets for any length of time, you are likely utilizing traditional commercially manufactured diets and your veterinarian has been treating your pet with traditional Western medicine. But are there alternatives that might better suit your pet?

Dr. Sally Perea, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and Dr. Caroline Goulard, a certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist will explore why you may want to whip up your pets’ meal at home and if traditional Eastern medicine may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Episode 2 - Pets Have a Real Taste for Danger

Like small children, pets explore their environment by touching, smelling and putting virtually everything in their mouths. We have all heard of baby proofing a house, but have you ever thought of pet proofing your home?

Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, the Vice President of the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center located in Urbana, Ill. will give you pointers for ways in which you can safeguard your pet in the house, garage, and even in your yard.

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Episode 1 - Want More Time to Love Your Pet?

What if your pet died at 7 years of age and it could have lived late into its teen. How would you feel? Thanks to preventative medical care, American pets are now living longer and healthier lives.

October is National Pet Wellness Month. Dr. Stephen Jaffe of Fort Dodge Animal Health will discuss ways in which you can help your pet age successfully, plus a new one of its kind, safe and effective flea and tick control product for your dogs and cats.

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