MCSO Animal Safe Haven (MASH) is run by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  Over the years this innovative program has made a tremendous difference for some very unfortunate animals.  This Saturday, February 23rd, MASH has two adoption events that I wanted to share.  More details can be found at  One is in conjunction with PACC911 (see the Facebook landing page) and the other is at Horizon Presbyterian Church on Liberty Lane (see the events page).   

If you are looking for love, there is no better place to find it than in the heart of a grateful animal.  On Monday, I vaccinated a very nervous dog named Hermione.  This shy girl is great with other dogs but will need some time to trust humans again.  In the right home, I think she will blossom into a wonderful companion.  I also provided dental care to a handsome black cat named Charley.  This friendly guy can’t stop purring.  He loves every one he meets.  Unfortuantely, he is FELV+ which is why he has been at MASH for several years.  He and his buddy Morris would make an awesome addition to a family. 

You Make The Diagnosis: Name This Ear Condition in Cats

Ear problems are common in cats and dogs.  Pictured below is a wonderful cat who came to the clinic for an ear problem.  Please study the image then answer the following questions:  What is the name of this condition?  What causes it to occur? 

Diagnosis:  Aural Hematoma

Notice the thickened right ear on this cat.  This is an aural hematoma which means an accumulation of blood within the ear flap or pinna.  The pinna in dogs and cats is composed of two cartilage sheets with blood vessels in the middle.  Excessive head shaking or scratching rips the cartilage apart.  Blood flows out of the damaged arteries and veins into the space creating the swollen ear. 

PAWSitively CATS

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking on behalf of PAWSitively CATS.  The event was held at Clues Unlimited Bookstore in Tucson (a wonderful name for a bookstore specializing in mysteries).  It was a great afternoon celebrating books, cats and this great organization.  They are the largest no-kill shelter in Tucson.  Their mission is to provide “compassionate care for homeless cats.”  Many are special needs cats including those with diabetes, Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or have conditions like blindness or being paraplegic.  The organization relies entirely on donations for support. 

This is Harriet who is one of the permanent residents.  Her back legs are non-functional owing to a dog attack shortly after she gave birth.  Following her picture is a link where you can learn more about PAWSitively CATS.  Thanks to all who came to the talk.  I hope you enjoyed it and my book.  Thanks as well to the volunteers and donors who make it possible to provide compassionate care for cats in Tucson!

Here’s a link to a wonderful video clip about the cats at PAWSitively CATS.  Enjoy!

Check Nails on Furry Animals

The following pictures are of a furry little dog who had severely overgrown nails.  One of the nails grew in a circular fashion instead of straight out.  The 360 degree nail ended up growing through the dog’s pad!  I can’t image how much this hurt.  When I removed it, he had a hole in the pad that looked like a pierced ear on a human.  Please check your pet’s nails regularly. 

Cats in Heat Often Act Like They are in Pain

Over my career, I have had many concerned people bring in their female cats for pain.  The cats are rolling around on the ground, crying, moaning and keeping them up all night.  These cats definitely need treatment . . . they need to be spayed.  The following video clip is of an adorable kitten who is in heat.  Please note the action with her rear end when I rub the tail head region of her back and her cute little calls.  In the northern climates, cats often come into heat in January and February then give birth to kittens 63 days later.  That’s why spring is called kitten season.  Enjoy!