Ask The Vet - Dr. Anne Pierce, DVM


The weather is warming up and it is time to get out in the mountains with our dogs to enjoy the beauty that our region has to offer.  Frequently our hikes will take us along creeks, streams and ponds, and that triggers significant concerns for many people that their dogs may pick up Giardia as a result of drinking contaminated water.

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Grape Toxicity

Murpy’s owners just thought they were paying another minor installment on their dog tax when they caught him halfway through gulping down the container of table grapes they had just gotten to compliment their lunch that day.  After all, you turn your back for a second and that dog is into everything.  They cleaned up the remains and went about their business.

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As our little goblins and ghouls prepare for Halloween they may not know that our nation’s dogs are also preparing for a revered holiday of their own.   It is known as the feast day of Saint Sucrose, and on this day all dogs are expected to participate in the traditional scarfing of the goodies.  Bowls and bags of delectables are brought into the home and placed at about nose level, where dogs with good timing and speed will be able to gorge themselves to their hearts content before the feast is abruptly ended with the traditional shouting of "NO NO BAD DOG."

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Heart Murmurs

It’s annual exam and vaccine time for your dog.  He has been doing very well and there have been no problems concerning you, so you are expecting to quickly sail through  this exam as usual. Then your veterinarian pauses with the stethoscope over your dog’s heart.  She listens a while, then listens some more, then she tells you that he has developed a heart murmur.  That news can make a dog owner’s blood run cold.  What do you do now?

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Heartworm Disease

        Its that time of year again.  The birds are chirping, the flowers are starting to bloom, and a veterinarian’s thoughts turn to--heartworm prevention.  I have the feeling that in warmer climates many dog owners could give the heartworm speech as well as their veterinarians, (if you just say the words "Florida" or "Texas" too loudly your dog may get heartworm disease) but here in Colorado I find that there are many people who have heard that heartworm prevention is an important thing for their dogs, but they tend to be a little foggy on the reasons why.  So here is the tale of a  parasite that goes overcomes much adversity before reaching its final destination inside the heart of a dog where it hopes to live happily ever after, and how we can prevent it from ever getting there.

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Ask Dr. Anne Pierce, DVM