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Grass Awns


Protecting Your Pet from Grass Seeds and Awns   There are many different kinds of grasses, as well as other plants, that have seeds or awns (bristle-like fibers) that are a particular shape that allows them to stick to various surfaces. Foxtail (hafura in maltese), spear-grasses, buzzard grasses, and feather grasses that not only stick, but can actually invade into the tissue of an animal's body. How do grass seeds cause problems? These seeds may either... Read More
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Preventing Dog Bites


The consensus among animal behavior professionals is that the major cause of dog bites to humans is related to failure of owners and dog bite victims to recognize when dogs are fearful and know how to approach and greet dogs appropriately. But what exactly is the correct approach and why do so many people fail to do it?   One issue is that we humans have an instant gut reaction to the cuteness of some dogs. It’s the same reaction we had as a child when we saw a cute... Read More
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Senior Pets


Simple Changes can Improve a Senior Pet's Quality of Life   When I started writing about pets for a living almost three decades ago, I had one middle-aged dog and one young one. When I sat down to write this article, my final "Pet Connection," I again have one middle-aged dog and one young one (as well as three cats, one horse, two goats, two ducks and 23 chickens, but who's counting?). In the years between that first column and this one, I've held many... Read More
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Lumps and Bumps, FAQs


You asked… the expert answers! Q: “What is this mass on my pet?”  “Could it be cancer?” “How will the veterinarian diagnose the lump?”  “What are the options for treatment?” A: Many owners who find lumps and bumps may have the same general questions, and it is essential to let your veterinarian know about your discovery as soon as possible. Dogs and cats may have many benign skin tumors,... Read More
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Sand-fly (Leishmaniasis) Written by Dr. Victor Vassallo D.V.M. In this first article I shall be writing about the dreaded "sand-fly", a well-known name to Maltese dog owners. This name is wrongly used to describe the disease  Leishmaniasis . Leishmaniasis is a chronic parasitic disease of dogs and occasionally humans. The sandfly is actually the vector of this disease. This means that the sandfly ingests the parasite when it bites an infected dog and passes it... Read More
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Care for your pet after surgery


Caring for Your Pet After Surgery.     Once your pet is out of the operating room and on his way home, it’s up to you to help him feel more comfortable, so the healing process can begin. Here, what you need to know.   When your veterinarian releases your pet from the clinic, you’ll likely receive a long list of do’s and don’ts, potential problems to look for and supplies you might need. While all of this information can be a bit... Read More