Author Archives: Dr. Fiona Caldwell

Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease?

Dogs in the Northeast are especially prone to Lyme Disease.Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance. 

April is Lyme disease prevention in dogs month. Lyme disease has likely been around for centuries, but we have only started to understand more about the disease in the past 30 years.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection caused by a species of bacteria called Borrelia. The bacteria is transmitted by ticks when they bite.

Lyme Disease in Humans vs. Dogs

It is important to understand that dog Lyme disease and human Lyme disease are very different.

Human Lyme Disease

Most people will develop the classic ‘target’ shaped skin rash at the bite, then develop flu-like symptoms. Human Lyme disease can cause serious long term illness with arthritis, potential heart problems, and neurological problems.

Dog Lyme DiseaseRead More…

Why Does My Lab Itch and Scratch? Is it Dog Allergies?

Dr. Fiona Caldwell is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a provider of dog insurance and cat insurance.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell; I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering some questions from Pet’s Best’s Facebook page today. This question comes from Rebecca, who asks: Why does my Lab always have a skin problem; itch, scratch?

This is a great question, and obviously, very, very common. There’s several different reasons that can cause a pet to be itching and scratching. Probably the biggest ones to consider, external parasites are a big one; making sure your pet doesn’t have fleas or mites that kind of thing. The other large thing that can cause an itchy dog are allergies. There’s really 2 big components to allergies, one is your food allergies and other are environmental allergies.

Working with a veterinarian is really important because allergies are really frustrating. There isn’t a magic pill; Read More…

Pet Poison: NSAID Pain Killers

nsaid pain killers are toxic to dogs and cats.Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Common human NSAIDs have varying degrees of toxicity to dogs and cats and should be avoided in pets.

What are NSAIDs?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) control pain by reducing inflammation and blocking precursors to pain.

Common Human NSAIDs

The most common include:


Ibuprofen (Advil)

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Naproxen (Aleve)

Are There Safe Animal NSAIDs?

Yes, there are animal specific NSAIDs available by veterinary prescription. That being said, not all dog-safe drugs are safe for cats!  Never give a drug prescribed for one pet to another without veterinary advise.

Many animal medications have been flavored in order to make administering the pills easier for us.  Dogs will not uncommonly mistake these for treats if they are within reach. Even if the drug is safe for pets, an overdose can occur if too much is ingested.

Why Are Human NSAIDs Toxic to Pets?Read More…

Pet Poison: Rat Bait

rat and mice poison is also poison for your dog.Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Many efforts have been made to control rodent populations and keep them out of our homes. Rat poison is effective, but can pose a risk to your pets.

How Toxic is Rat Poison to My Dog or Cat?

Toxicity depends on the type and formulation of rat poison (rodenticide), as well as how big your pet is and how much they ate. Bottom line, if you think your pet ate ANY rat poison, you should immediately seek veterinary attention.

Can My Pet Get Sick from Eating a Rodent that Has Eaten the Poison?

Yes. It’s more likely to occur if a smaller pet ate a big rat with a belly full of bait. However, dogs and cats that consume rodents on a regular basis and therefore get consistent low doses of the toxin are at risk for ‘relay toxicosis’ due to how long the poison stays in the body and accumulates.

Are All Rat Poisons the Same? How Does Rat Poison Kill?Read More…

Cat Litter Causes Wheezing

Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell; I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering questions from Pets Best Insurance Facebook page today. This question comes from Carrie who asks: Why do some cat litters cause wheezing? This is a great question. Cats can have different sensitivities to litter, some cats have no problems at all, and other cats can be more sensitive.Read More…

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