NSVH Blog

Category: Dog Day Afternoon

Our Love Letter to Abby' | February 1, 2017

Dear Abby, Thank you. There is no other way to start this letter to you without thanking you.  You have been an amazing dog, mom and friend. One month before you entered our lives, we opened Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital. Our hearts were led to partner with Senior Dog Haven and Hospice, the organization that […]

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside' | December 20, 2016

Our good friends at PetPlan have created a guide with some tips to keep our pups and kitties safe and healthy when the weather turns cold. Animal hospitals throughout the Philadelphia area see some specific cold-weather injuries and illnesses when the temperature drops. What are the most common cold-weather issues we see at Newtown Square […]

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Sometimes Pups Need to Muzzle Up!' | November 16, 2016

Understandably, we see a number of canine patients who are anxious and fearful of their visits to Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital. Our staff fully embraces the Fear Free initiative, doing our best to ensure a calm, welcoming and nonthreatening environment for our patients. Dr. DiGiacomo advocates for the use of calming medications, both in the […]

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Who’s Gonna Bite?' | November 2, 2016

In the veterinary industry, we frequently talk about how our perception of which dog breeds display aggressive behaviors differs significantly from the general public’s perception. Consider the recent attempt to ban pit bulls in Montreal: this legislation was met with much public outcry and has recently been suspended, pending further review. Most of us who work with […]

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Presidential Pups' | October 21, 2016

I’ve always loved seeing photos of the Obama family’s dogs, Bo and Sunny. They even have their own page on the White House official website! Knowing that most of our Presidents have owned pets somehow humanizes the office of Commander in Chief. Recently, the New York Times featured an article about presidential pets. Various dog […]

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Dogs Really Hear Us!' | September 23, 2016

Most of us dog owners shouldn’t be surprised to know that dogs understand the tone of voice we use. It’s very obvious that a dog understands tone; think about how Fido cocks his head when you ask “Do you want a treat?” or “Do you want to go for a walk?” Honestly, though, I never […]

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Land Shark' | September 21, 2016

We all have expectations of what our newly adopted puppies will be like: cuddly, cute, sweet, funny, and playful. What most of us don’t expect: a puppy piranha! So many clients show me their “war wounds” when bringing new puppies for wellness care to Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital. Puppy teeth are sharp teeth! They can slice and dice […]

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At the Dog Park' | September 19, 2016

There is a longstanding joke among veterinarians: “Dog parks keep us in business.” Why is that the case? Dog parks are rife with well-intentioned owners and misbehaved dogs, resulting in dog fights and dog bites. Dog parks may seem like a good idea: a way to exercise Fido, a way to socialize him, a way to […]

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Doggie Dash' | September 12, 2016

I saw this article on a few news outlets recently, and I think this is an inspired idea. A high school cross country team in California has begun running with shelter dogs in need of adoption. Shelter dogs, particularly those that are caged for long periods, can develop stress-related behaviors such as spinning, bar chewing and cage […]

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Pups on Public Transit?' | August 17, 2016

Some subway passengers in New York have gone to great lengths to obey the transit law, which states “No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container.” It’s impressive that anyone could train a Husky to ride in a tote bag on the subway. I’m not […]

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Disasterously Cute' | August 15, 2016

Who doesn’t love bulldogs? Their squishy faces, snorty noses, stubborn personalities and awkward limbs make them cutely comical. According to the American Kennel Club, English bulldogs have been the fourth most popular registered dog breed in the United States for the past several years. While the pet-owning public may love bulldogs, veterinarians have an entirely […]

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No Puppies For You!' | August 12, 2016

Most clients have received the loud message us veterinarians have been sending: spay and neuter your pets! There are health benefits, behavioral benefits and societal benefits to spaying and neutering. I’ve written about this topic before, but the message cannot be shared enough. Just because your puppy is cute, or unique, or “pedigreed” does not […]

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City of Puppy Love?' | July 29, 2016

I’m a lifelong Philadelphia area resident, and a passionate defendant of our wonderful city. The restaurants, the history, the beautiful architecture: Philadelphia has a lot to offer. One area where we seem to fall short is dog friendliness. I often hear from clients how difficult it is to find a dog-friendly apartment. There are a […]

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Fetch! Fetch! Fetch!' | July 13, 2016

This invention is inspired. I recently saw a video for the GoDogGo Fetch Machine and think it may be one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen for a ball hog dog. My previous dog Kona would obsessively play fetch, and would catch balls all day if we let him. Of course, my arm would get […]

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If you can fry an egg on the sidewalk…' | July 1, 2016

…you shouldn’t walk your dog on that same sidewalk! During the last week of school, I walked my dog Maeby to the bus stop to meet my son’s school bus. Maeby kept holding her feet up, doing an awkward dance that I didn’t recognize. It was a warm, pleasant 80 degree day, and when I […]

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“My Breeder Said”' | July 12, 2015

There are three words that every veterinarian dreads: “My breeder said…” Fortunately, a good majority of owners these days rescue their new dog from a shelter or foster group. Certain clients are very loyal to specific breeds, and will elect to buy a new puppy from a breeder. There are some really good breeders out […]

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Your Pup is Not a Person!' | May 4, 2015

I recently saw this article and it emphasized a point that I’ve been making to dog owners for years: I love your dog, and I know you do, too…but your dog is not a person! Your dog is not a baby. Your dog is not human, and is not capable of human emotions! I know […]

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Preposterous Pet Store Products: Part Deux' | March 18, 2015

I like to do “undercover” recon missions any time I’m at a pet store. There are so many bizarre, hysterical and downright befuddling products on the shelves at pet stores. My previous post on this topic detailed some products I’d seen recently. Just this past weekend, I found a few more goodies at our local […]

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Just Say No to Food Fights!' | November 3, 2014

This week, I had similar conversations with several clients about their “picky” dogs. Most dog owners have the opposite experience: their Fido will eat anything, anywhere, anytime (including trash, inanimate objects like socks and grossly unappealing items like deer feces.) This is true for most dogs; we have domesticated dogs in virtually every way, but […]

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Don’t Call Me Olivia!' | June 25, 2014

*Update* Oliver has officially been adopted! See the comments at the bottom of this blog for more on his happy ending.   This story has a happy ending, but a not-so-pleasant beginning. Most of you know that Malvern Veterinary Hospital is fortunate to work with an amazing rescue group called Senior Dog Haven and Hospice […]

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Human Medicine is Going to the Dogs!' | April 19, 2014

My alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, is known for pioneering innovative medical and surgical techniques that benefit dogs, cats, horses and many other species. They are also known for medical breakthroughs that benefit humans! The physiologic similarities between dogs and humans are innumerable. One of my former oncology professors, Dr. […]

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Spring Cleaning for Fido and Fluffy' | April 13, 2014

After the Winter That Wouldn’t Quit, it’s so lovely to see the sun and enjoy some warmer temperatures outside. It’s spring cleaning time, not only for your house, but also for Fido and Fluffy! This is a great time of year to think about protecting Fido and Fluffy from parasites (warmer temperatures mean increased numbers […]

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Keep Fido and Fluffy Healthy in Five Easy Steps' | March 26, 2014

Most of our clients are absolutely, positively devoted to their pets, which makes working at Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital such a pleasure. I’m often asked by clients what specific things can be done to keep Fido and Fluffy happy, healthy and long-lived. The right food, the right accessories and the right haircut may seem important, but […]

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Canine Misunderstandings' | February 24, 2014

Dogs are such wonderfully complex creatures. Like humans, we know that dogs can experience anxiety, fear, and joy. What dogs are not, however, are small people with exactly the same gamut of emotions, intentions and deliberations as their owners. Many of us inappropriately attribute complicated human emotions to our canine companions (called anthropomorphism), and this […]

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Your Dog Didn’t Kiss a Toad!' | October 9, 2013

What’s that weird, pink, warty-looking growth on Fido’s lip? Don’t worry, Fido isn’t disfigured for life. We commonly see young dogs (typically under 2 years of age) whose owners have noticed a warty growth on the lips, nose or muzzle. These warts don’t bother Fido, they don’t seem to grow or change rapidly and they […]

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Whose Couch is it Anyway?' | October 6, 2013

Picture these too-common scenarios: Fido is chewing on a rawhide, his absolute favorite treat; you walk past him to get to the laundry room, and he growls repeatedly until you walk away. Fido is eating dinner voraciously from his bowl when your toddler toddles past; Fido growls and snaps at your unsuspecting 2 year-old. Fido […]

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Who is Walking Whom?' | September 19, 2013

Many dog owners can attest to the fact that taking Fido for a walk can be a real drag, primarily because many dogs pull their owners as if they are hoping for a first place Iditarod finish. This is particularly true of large breed dogs, but there are a few smaller breeds that can pull […]

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My Heart(worm) Will Go On…' | September 11, 2013

There are certain misconceptions we hear about over and over again from our fantastic and devoted clients. (E.g., “No, garlic does not prevent fleas – if it did, we’d all be using it” and “No, cats do not urinate on the carpet because they are spiteful!”) Heartworm disease is one of these topics, evoking a […]

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Mangia, Mangia!' | August 1, 2013

A question I’m frequently asked by both new and experienced pet owners: “How do I know if my pet is really sick?” More than any other symptom, a poor appetite can be an obvious indication that Fluffy or Fido is ill. If Fido doesn’t eat for several days, particularly if Fido is a happy-go-lucky Labrador […]

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To Board, or Not to Board?' | May 1, 2013

At my first job out of veterinary school, our hospital had a large boarding kennel where upwards of 100 dogs could stay with us at any given moment. The associate veterinarians at the practice were responsible for addressing any medical concerns about the boarders that were brought to us by the kennel staff. Stress colitis, […]

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Fleas, and Ticks, and Worms, Oh My!' | April 24, 2013

At Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital, most of our clients are religiously compliant with administering heartworm and flea/tick preventatives to Fido year-round. We are big advocates for preventative care, and parasite prevention plays a large role in keeping Fido healthy.Occasionally, I hear from clients that they only use parasite preventatives seasonally, in the warmer months. There […]

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Like a Rolling Stone' | April 14, 2013

Oh boy, did I get to perform a fun surgery this week! My favorite surgery to perform is a cystotomy, where an incision is made into the bladder to remove uroliths (bladder stones). While kidney stones are common in humans, they are uncommon in cats and dogs. Bladder stones, however, are a frequent finding in […]

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It’s Electric, Boogie Woogie' | March 4, 2013

In a few short weeks, we are moving to a new house that has an existing invisible dog fence. Our current home has a fully fenced-in backyard, which has been wonderful for keeping two dogs and a small child contained. The new property is much larger, and an irregular shape, so a wooden fence just […]

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AKC: Always Kept Confined?' | February 10, 2013

WIth the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show scheduled for this week (February 10th and 11th), an article in The New York Timesraises some significant concerns about the living, breeding and health conditions for many purebred American Kennel Club (AKC)-registered dogs.Unfortunately, as with many, many dog breeders across the nation, even those who register their […]

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At the Dog Wash, Yeah!' | November 5, 2012

Just this week, a client shared with me a wonderful tip! For a mere $10, Pet Valu, a pet store located near our veterinary hospital in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, offers a do-it-yourself dog washing station. For those of us with big dogs (I have an 80-pounder and a 40-pounder), washing dogs at home can be difficult […]

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Flea! Fi! Fo! Fum!' | October 24, 2012

It’s that time of year again, when the appointment calendar is full with itchy, scratchy dogs and cats. Some have seasonal allergic dermatitis, but many have…eek…fleas! In the Philadelphia region, August, September and October are the worst months for fleas, but we can see them any time of year, particularly during a warm winter.How to […]

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Ew! My Dog Ate What?' | August 10, 2012

Seeing a commercial for a new show on the National Geographic Channel called “My Dog Ate What?” got me thinking about my own dog Kona, pictured here. Kona, like so many of my canine patients, has a penchant for what we in the veterinary industry like to call “dietary indiscretions”. This means Kona will eat […]

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Who Ya Gonna Call?' | July 8, 2012

Most parents know to call the poison control hotline if their child accidentally ingests medication or a household cleaner. Most pet owners might not know that there is also a poison control hotline specifically for pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is an amazing resource for pet owners and veterinarians alike. The hotline is […]

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Boom Boom Pow' | June 30, 2012

It’s that time of year…thunder rattling the windows at night, lightening illuminating the bedroom walls, torrential rain beating upon the roof, Fourth of July fireworks…and a dog, panting and trembling next to the bed as the storm rages outside. Thunderstorm and fireworks phobias are very common, particularly as dogs age. This type of anxiety can […]

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Hot Town, Summer in the City' | June 24, 2012

Whew! The Philadelphia area has been boiling the past several days, with temperatures well over 90 degrees. Most of us are seeking out air conditioning, or finding a shady spot by the pool. It’s equally important that Fido be kept cool; dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke than humans, since our canine friends lack […]

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