Dr's Corner


Allergies in pets are a very common and often frustrating problem for pet owners. Pets can develop allergies to foods, pollens, medications, airborne molds, fleas, and house dust. Fortunately, the number of pets susceptible to allergies is small; perhaps 10% of all dogs and cats. But for those unfortunate enough to have allergies, they can become very uncomfortable from the itch-scratch cycle that is often difficult to break. The allergic response is an abnormal immune reaction to certain substances in the environment that most other pets tolerate without problems. The itchy skin causes the pet to lick, scratch, and nibble the affected area in a concerted effort to find relief. The symptoms can intensify to include redness, open sores, and hair loss. It is very common for the pets to have flaky and oily skin, which is accompanied by a rancid odor. This condition is called seborrhea.


Mushroom Toxicity

Of all potential problems pet owners anticipate their pets to encounter, the ingestion of wild mushrooms probably wouldn’t rate very high on most lists. However, wild mushrooms can be a really big problem for anyone who eats them—including the family dog. Mushrooms sprout seemingly overnight, and many are harmless; but some, like Amanita phalloides, are deadly. The true incidence of toxic mushroom ingestion in dogs is unknown. If no one sees the dog eat mushrooms, it may not be suspected until it is too late.


A Trip to the Veterinarian— It Can Be a Good Thing!

Today starts out so well. A brisk walk around the block, and a long late morning nap on the couch. Then comes the question: “Want to go for a car ride?” My response: an emphatic “Yes!” (punctuated by a vigorous tail wag with a whole body wiggle).

But instead of a trip to the lake for a swim or to the store to pick out a new toy, we arrive at the veterinary clinic. All of the sudden my tail becomes glued between my legs, and I start trembling in fear. Echoing around me are the cries of other dogs, and I fear that the worst is coming—what if I never leave this place? When the veterinarian arrives in the exam room, my normal exuberant kisses are replaced by a snarl, and I am issued that embarrassing and uncomfortable muzzle. After what seems like an eternity, filled with poking and prodding, I am released from this prison, and I hastily drag my owner back to the car before she changes her mind.



Rodenticide (mouse and rat bait) toxicity is frequently seen in dogs. Pets often get into the bait in spite of our efforts to hide it in places thought inaccessible. Once ingested by your dog, it is considered a medical emergency.


Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus - A Very Serious Emergency


Many pet owners have heard of the term "bloat," but few may be aware of the extremely life-threatening nature of this problem. Bloat, also referred to as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is one of the most serious conditions that can develop in pets.



Dr. Caroline Bartley


Cold Laser (low-level laser therapy LLLT) and VOM gave Shadow, my black lab, three additional years of quality life without drugs after he had been diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (spinal cord injury from trauma).

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