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"To Your Pet's Health" by Dr. Doug Mader

Know costs before bringing home new pet

Dr. Doug, My family is considering getting a new pet. We did an internet search and came across several articles. One in particular was a little concerning. It talked about the typical annual cost of owning a pet and stated that average annual costs were about $2,400/1,400 for a dog/cat, respectively. Is that correct? It[…]

Cigarette butts harmful to environment, living creatures

I just about got into a fight last week on Big Pine Key. I suspect that what I am about to say will rile several readers, butt so be it (the “butt” reference intended). I was in the parking lot at Winn Dixie when I saw a woman toss her cigarette butt out the window[…]

Bufo toad poses potential danger to pets

My emergency room service has treated three Bufo toad cases in the past two weeks. With the recent rains, these large amphibians have been coming out in the open with increasing frequency. Of all the potentially injurious wild animals we have here in the Keys, I have seen more Bufo-related deaths in dogs than any[…]

Protecting your dog from the Florida sun

It’s hot out there. Really hot! A few weeks ago I wrote a column about heat and pets. As an offshoot of that column, someone asked me if dogs can get sunburn. You bet! A lot of people think that animals don’t need to be protected from the UV rays of the sun because they[…]

Who owns your pet’s medical records?

I get this question on a fairly regular basis. Clients seek second opinions, move to new locations, etc. It is not uncommon for a client to request a copy of their records. So what are the rules regarding ownership of a pet’s medical records? The Florida regulations follow: According the Florida Veterinary Practice Act, the[…]

Here’s the right line on fish hooks and your pets

There’s no better way to ruin a summer vacation than to have to take your dog to the veterinarian for emergency surgery to remove an ingested fish hook. Here are some ways to not only prevent that from happening, but also what to do if it happens. Dogs, and sometimes cats, will occasionally encounter fishing[…]

Following leash law protects pet, humans

Dear Dr. Doug. I witnessed a nightmare last weekend. I know a lot of people read your column, so if just one person takes heed of this, it is worth it. I was riding my bike past a popular park last Saturday afternoon. There was a young woman walking her two dogs, on leashes. Not[…]

Having a venomous reptile can be challenging

Dr. Doug, I have a pet Eastern Diamondback (Crotalus adamanteus). I’ve had it for several years, but my girlfriend and I are expecting our first kid. To be safe, I’d like to get the snake defanged. Is this something that most vets can do and, if so, do you know what it costs?  — No[…]

Protect your pets from Keys’ hot weather

Hot weather can be very dangerous to pets in many different ways — not just those being left in a car. If any animal is exposed to direct sun with no access to shade it will rapidly overheat, dehydrate and die. Even pets housed indoors can succumb to heat exhaustion if they do not have[…]