Help! My Dog Ate An Almond

almonds in bowl

Try searching “can dogs eat almonds” and you’ll see dire warnings, like “7 Dangers of Almonds for Dogs” or “Why Almonds Are Bad for Dogs“.

This is absolute rubbish and internet myth-making at its worst. Why is everyone so afraid of almonds? Because they only read each others’ blogs instead of trusting evidence or experience.

It’s always safer to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’, isn’t it! Here I’ll go through each of those ‘seven ways’ and demonstrate their lack of accuracy.

And what do you know, they actually missed a real problem too.

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Having Trouble Getting That Dog Breed? Think Laterally!

pure breed photos

I had two very enlightening conversations last week. 

The first was from a frustrated ex- Cavalier owner who has been waiting over 12 months to get a Golden Retriever puppy. According to the breeders she’s talking to, she’s not even any closer.

The second was from the owner of a new (second) Golden Retriever puppy. She said that due to unprecedented demand, her breeder is only selling to people she’s sold to before. 

Clearly, these two observations are flip sides of the same problem. So before I give you some suggestions, let’s look at what’s happening.

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A Lump In Your Cat’s Belly Is Not Always Cancer

cat lying on carpet

I want to share with you a very sobering paper that should make us think harder anytime we feel a lump in a cat’s belly.

Five cats were presented to a veterinary teaching hospital with abdominal masses that could be felt during a routine exam. They all had the classic signs of intestinal obstruction: vomiting, listlessness and not eating.

The two eldest cats died. One, because her owner thought it was cancer and had her put down. The other, due to a delay in treatment, most likely due to a similarly fatalistic attitude.

The diagnosis in these five cases was a hairball. A thoroughly treatable problem.

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A Review Of Apple’s AirTag To Find My Cat!

cat airtag location

Like most kitties these days, my cat is supposed to be indoors. I say supposed, because despite my best efforts, he does not always agree.

Fast asleep he may appear, but as soon as a door or window opens, up comes his periscope head. If you aren’t quick enough, or the lock doesn’t click, he’s gone. Next thing, the whole family is out with torches (not the flaming kind but it feels that way) until he’s found and returned.

We do this because outdoor cats run a high risk of road trauma, fight abscesses and FIV infection. But sometimes he’s impossible to find. So I’ve always been interested in smart tech to help me, and recently I invested in an AirTag.

However, it may not be the best option.

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Should I Clean Inside My Dog’s Ears?

What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot actually.

Ear cleaning can be a great way to improve the health of your dog’s ears but it can also cause a lot of harm. Therefore, it’s important to know if it’s the right treatment for your dog.

Here I’m going to help you recognise when ear cleaning is beneficial & when it’s harmful. Everything I say here also applies to cats.

In two weeks I’ll talk about how to do it and what to use.

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How Far Is Too Far To Walk A Dog?

dog on long walk

With more people working from home than every before, there’s a new question: am I walking my dog too much?

And indeed, over the past year we have seen many dogs over-exercised. But then there are dogs like my Loki. One day last week he pulled me for 25km and then ran laps around the yard afterwards!

So it’s complicated, and there’s no one answer. Each day and each dog is going to be different.

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Vet Sees People Manipulated By Clickbait, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!

cat dog beach fishing

OK, jokey title aside, this is serious.

Are you struggling under the weight of too many choices? Everyone telling you how you must use a certain food, or a special remedy? You’re in good company.

Linus Pauling was one of the greatest scientists of all time, but even that didn’t save him. Despite groundbreaking discoveries and a Nobel Prize, he is perhaps most famous for the wrong reason.

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Which ACL Surgery Is Best For Dogs?

tplo tta mmp dog

So your 15kg dog has torn an ACL You know that a lateral suture technique is no good at this size. One vet has told you need an MMP, another a TTA and. third a TPLO.

What do all these random letters mean for your dog? Which one is better?

Here you won’t find an opinion; you’ll find the facts from research papers that compare these cruciate surgery techniques. This is the most-studied surgical procedure in veterinary science.

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A Critical Review Of Feliway For Cats

Feliway diffuser spray

For nearly my whole career, I have used and recommended Feliway® for situations involving feline anxiety and stress. These might be urine spraying, inter-cat aggression, or even trips to the vet and cattery.

I have always been reassured that there is strong scientific evidence for its effectiveness. So it took until 2021 for me to do a thorough literature review of my own. I was shocked by what I found.

It’s not that Feliway doesn’t work at all. It’s just that it probably doesn’t work for most of the things it’s been promoted for.

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Cat Curfews & Confinement In Australia

stray cat

Driven by high levels of public approval, Australia is haphazardly but relentlessly moving towards greater containment of cats. I support cat curfews, and keep my own cat inside, but I still have concerns.

The big problem with cat laws in Australia is that they seem to be enacted by those who know the least about cats. It’s leading to unrealistic expectations and poor results.

I’ll discuss why that is in a minute, but to not sound negative I’ll start with the benefits of curfews.

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Had A Bad Vet Experience? Please Read This

Dog and laptop

Last week when I wrote about the shortage of Australian veterinarians, I laid the problems of our industry bare. Poor work conditions, inadequate support and low pay are just a few. They’re leading to what some people see as a crisis for the veterinary profession.

There’s something else contributing to the problem that I did not mention, because it’s tricky to bring up without blaming innocent people. It’s the deterioration of the relationship between vets and pet owners.

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Why Aren’t There Enough Vets In Australia?

vet helping cat

You may have heard the sad news that one of the vets in Berri is closing. This comes hot on the heels of YP vets announcing the same thing: the closure of their Port Pirie clinic.

In both cases, a lack of vets has been cited as the main reason. So in the interests of the care for your pets, it’s worth taking a closer look at what’s happening to the vet supply in Australia. Afterwards, I’ll offer some advice for new graduates and recently employed vets.

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Buying A Puppy In Adelaide

young new puppy

Are you looking for a puppy in Adelaide? Then no doubt you have already seen how hard it is to get one. There’s a massive demand for new puppies, and seemingly a reduced supply since the new dog breeding regulations came into effect.

Traditional sources like breeders and shelters have long waiting lists. The only quick and easy way to get a puppy is from a pet shop. I perfectly understand if you’ve thought about it. But before you make the commitment, there are a few things to consider.

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The Outbreak Of Ehrlichia In Australian Dogs

dog ehrlichiosis australia

Canine ehrlichiosis is cause for considerable alarm for the millions of dog owners around the country.

ABC News 27/1/2021

The arrival of Ehrlichia in Australia has been devastating for some remote dog communities. However, there is no reason to panic, and prevention is easy.

Here I’m going to help Australian dog owners to understand the risks, and know how to easily prevent it.

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Using Evidence To Choose The Best Puppy Name

questioning dog look

What do dogs actually hear when we speak to them?

Is this the single most important question of dog ownership? Could getting it wrong be the reason why so many dogs end up unhappy or worse?

I’m not going to solve it, because in 2021 that still isn’t possible. What I can do is show you some tantalising recent science that’s starting to give us glimpses of the truth . And what is said is probably also true for how cats hear us.

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Treatment with Remdesivir for FIP in Cats

FIP antiviral treatment

The nightmare is almost over. Until very recently, a diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis was a death sentence. Either a slow, lingering decline or a decision to euthanase and spare the suffering. This happened to around 1% of cats, most of them kittens.

Then it was discovered that certain antiviral drugs could not only improve the symptoms, they could actually bring about a cure. But there was still a hitch.

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Dog Attacks: What To Do, How To Prevent Them

dog attack

Emergency Info (details to follow):

If Your Dog Is Being Attacked

To separate dogs, try:

  • Water sprays or buckets
  • Aerosols and sprays (pepper spray is only legal in WA)
  • Personal duress alarm (hold buttons on each side of an iPhone down for 5 seconds)
  • A beach towel thrown over the aggressor
  • Picking the aggressor up by the back legs (wheelbarrowing) is dangerous and should only done by the dog’s owner

Do not try to pull the other dog off. That’s up to their owner to do. You will get badly injured. Click here for your closest Adelaide Emergency vet.

Do not blame yourself. Often there’s nothing you can do due to the size and determination of the aggressor. You’ll probably also fail to get the owner’s details in the heat of the moment.

Now dive deeper…

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