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September 18-24 is Banned Books Week, created and sustained by the American Library Association “as both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their commu…

Libraries loan books for lots of reasons. One of the most common at this time of year, and one of my favorites, is for adults to gently introduce going to school before the big day happens. For a lot of families, the kids have been in daycare for at least a couple of years before kindergarte…

This is going to seem strange, but this is going to be an article about blood. Blood is one of the most alarming things to see as a pet owner. It always looks scary, but when does it mean immediate attention and when can it wait (until the next day, not next week)? I’m going to talk about so…

It seemed to me like it was time for a myth-busting article. There are so many misconceptions in the pet world. Not everyone can learn all the things that we do in vet school, so I’ll go over a couple of common myths.

“Beach read” started out as a marketing term to generate sales of the latest fluffy, easy-to-read title, usually by big-name authors, designed to be easy to pick up and set down on vacation. Pretty much the opposite of most books I like, which tend toward complicated plots that are hard to t…

Well here it is, 90 degrees, and everyone is sweating. My weekend time to walk the dogs was too steamy. I become fairly hopeless when it gets hot, but I’m summoning the brain power to write about the heat! There is a lot to consider with our pets and the heat.

Speaking about vaccines and going to a conference on Lepto has gotten me charged up about spirochetes! For those of you not into the classification of dog disease bacteria (almost all of you) spirochetes are the type of bacteria that cause Lyme disease and leptospirosis. They are named that …

I tend to read a lot of big, fat novels, but the other day I got a request for some … slimmer titles. In our hectic world, it can be a good fit to grab a book you can read over a week, a weekend, or even overnight. So here’s a collection of crisp, quick reads that pack a punch without asking…

Since I spent a whole article on puppies and kittens, I thought this was a good time to talk about vaccines. Puppies and kittens get so many vaccines because their immune system isn’t fully mature yet. Adult dogs need fewer vaccines because they are fully immuno-competent. I will go over vac…

I realized as I wrote about our older sect of pets that I never write about babies! We see puppies and kittens so much that I feel like I talk about everything in those appointments. But I’m sure not all of you are my clients and some of you may be thinking about puppies or kittens in advance.

As I sit trying to get my baby to sleep, my cat is wandering around screaming. She has everything she needs, but at 16 is starting to get a little senile. I also have a 13 1/2-year-old dog and my “baby dog” just turned 8. So, today I am going to talk about the good and bad of old pets and wh…

Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr was the original driving force behind Rutland Free Library. She led a large group of local women in advocating for a public lending library. Subscription libraries along the lines of Ben Franklin’s, where members paid for borrowing privileges were common – hence th…

Have you noticed the yellow coating of pollen on...well...everything? While plenty of pets have allergies year-round, this is a huge time to flare. Allergens that have been dormant all winter are rearing their polleny heads. So how do you know and what do you do?

Summer is getting closer. We are getting more long warm days. I let my woodstove go out, which is the official end of Spring. You may notice that your indoor cats are getting a little bit wilder. They might not have any real change in daylight, and they might not be out hunting field mice, b…

I’m not much of a gardener, as I’m reminded every spring. I’m good at dandelions, bishop’s weed and not much else. But I’m fascinated by successful gardens and the work and planning that goes into them. So just in time for planting season, here’s a selection of titles for gardeners, beginner…

I just talked about poop, but all this rain has me thinking it is time I talk about pee! We think about it a lot when our dogs are puppies and peeing on the floor, but then we sort of forget about it. Sure we notice if our dogs pee on the floor again, but there is a lot more to urination tha…

I love preventative care, love it. I like seeing healthy pets at their best and doing the things I can to keep them there. Of course, I also like getting sick or broken pets better. I don’t even mind helping pets find a peaceful end. But by far my favorite thing is preventative care.

Poop, poop, poop. Why does Spring mean poop? Well, for those of you that haven’t religiously picked up poop all winter (OK, that’s all of us) and have dogs, you have probably discovered a large amount of dog poop in various stages of melting in your yard. We curse this springtime chore becau…

If you had to guess which holiday strikes the most fear into my heart, very few of you would guess correctly (except for the timing of this article!) Other holidays have more chocolate (maybe), more activity, and more issues. But in truth, the issues that Easter poses to our pets can be pret…

We have entered into Spring, no matter what the weather says. We do all our annual vaccines and exams throughout the year and try not to condense them all just into the spring. But, spring vaccines are cemented in many people’s minds. When spring rolls around we think about ticks and tick-bo…

I recently had a (personal) surgical procedure that ended up with a lot of pain. This brought to mind part of why I am so militant about pain control in my patients. There are a lot of things we don’t know about pain in animals, and much of what we do know we extrapolate from humans. I wante…

It seems like not very much time goes by in between my tick articles, but that is because not very much time goes by in between tick incidents around here. Those things just don’t take a break. I found them on my dogs on many of the warmer days this winter, but now real tick season has sprun…

Like a lot of readers, I tuck away books here and there that are of special interest. I generally use them in this column but there are always titles that don’t quite fit a given issue’s theme, and they wind up cluttering up my notes until I find a way to get them into print. Sort of like th…

So the weather is finally getting nicer. I know I should put an asterisk next to that given our recent snowstorm. But, we are having warmer days. The sun actually feels warm instead of just being a light source. We’ve had 10 mud seasons which means real spring is probably only three mud seas…

Though it also isn’t the most uplifting topic, I’m going to jump from cancer to euthanasia. While euthanasia is one of the hardest times for owners, the good part is that it is such an easy thing for our pets. I will talk about reaching the decision, how to decide, and then the process of eu…

My social media feed is full of ads for a movie version of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile.” It’s one of her more famous works, if hardly my favorite, that lends itself to big-budget productions with lots of famous names. But one of two things will happen — it will follow the original c…

Well let’s all face it, early March gets depressing. It is a mix between beautiful sunshine and disgusting mud, or cold icy windy weather. We have some hope for Spring on one day, then our hopes are dashed by frozen mud the next day. Then we’ll have a beautiful snowstorm and dream of powdery…

At the end of nearly every summer, my wife and I buy a bushel of corn from a local Vermont farm. Have you ever bought anything by the bushel before? It’s fun and you can often get a good deal by buying a greater quantity.

So it seems like the weather is extra weird lately. Each week we have one frigid day where I need every single piece of clothes that I own and one warm day where it feels like spring. That leaves us with lots of ice! Dogs are often more adaptable than humans, but I find this weather is weari…

February is national cat health month, and so I am going to take some time to talk about our kitty friends! Cats often get overlooked in my articles. This isn’t because I love them any less, it is just because they are more straightforward. Cats don’t often go for walks, they don’t eat silly…

There is no better time (for a strange veterinarian like myself) than Valentine’s Day to talk about heartworm disease. Some people think about cards and candy and love when people say that, but I think about hearts which leads me to think about heartworm disease.

You may have heard of a school board in Tennessee banning a book called Maus. It’s an easy target: Graphic novel is a bit of an ambiguous format, covering everything from fat superhero comics to serious titles like Maus, which is also an ambiguous genre. It involves author Art Spiegelman int…

Since it is now dental health month officially, I’ll follow up on last week’s article by talking about dentals specifically. If you didn’t catch it, read up to find out why dental health is so important to our pets. Now I’ll talk about what we do, start to finish when your pet comes in for a…

February is dental health month, and since we are on the cusp of February we are going to go over dental health. Three things are true about dentals and you might already know them they’re extremely important, often overlooked, and the majority of vets actually don’t love dentals! I fall in …

When I was a kid, my French Canadian grandparents often made something called ployes. Ployes are thin, crepe-like pancakes popular in northern Maine and Quebec. You can spread them with butter, roll them up, and enjoy them as a side to just about any meal. They’re delicious with stew or soup…

Self-help books are always popular, and January is always a popular time for people to reinvent themselves, so it should come as no surprise that publishers have a spate of new titles on how to improve yourself every year, and they are popular items for users to borrow from libraries.

I am going to be honest, to start, fat cats are adorable. With their tiny round heads sprouting off a fat body there is not much more endearing. The bad news is that this excessive overweight cat cuteness combined with an inability to just “walk them more” tends to lead to overweight cats. W…

So you made a resolution to get your pet in shape, but already it seems a little less important than it did before. I get it. For some reason 2022 feels like it has lasted several years already. Maybe that’s just me, but it seems like it’s wearing thin already. So yes pets live longer, but l…

Time for a weight loss article! And the great thing about this one is that I can roll it in with resolutions. So instead of me just blabbering on about weight, we can make it part of a weight loss/fitness resolution if you made one. If you didn’t, that’s great too. I also didn’t. I also don’…

Tea is one of the things that helps me get through winter. It might sound boring, but I find a warm mug of tea on a grey winter’s day a welcome comfort to the bitter cold. And the number of unique tea varieties available these days keeps it interesting. It also helps prevent me from drinking…

I’ve not yet seen the new movie, The Green Knight, but it’s way up on a short list of 2021 must-see films for me. That’s because I’m a huge fan of the 14th Century poem, “Sir Gawain & the Green Knight.” I’m more a prose guy, but study enough poems in college and some of them are bound to stick.

Biscotti are my kind of cookie. Is there another that crunches so beautifully? I don’t think so. Another that pairs so perfectly with a cup of hot tea or coffee? Definitely not.

So we all know what my New Year’s article is going to be because I love talking about weight loss and diets in our pets. I’ll give you a reprieve for one week only but get the ball rolling by talking about food. You’re in luck because I just did a continuing education session talking about f…

So it seems my new holiday tradition here is doing a myth-busting article. I know we all have so much going on in our lives that this may not be the time for serious discussions. So I will keep it light and you can peruse some common myths while you eat Christmas ham and cookies.

T his seems a little bit early for a winter article, but alas...it just keeps wintering! For me this year the transition wasn’t smooth, and I recently realized that I haven’t really walked my dogs for close to a week. One of them cares, one of them is happy to sit next to the woodstove and o…