Articles by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM

For over 15 years, Dr. Jennifer has been writing and editing content related to veterinary medicine, pets, and the human-animal bond as well as providing consulting services to businesses in the pet care industry. Clients have included petMD, Chewy, Colorado State University, PennFoster College, Pet360 Media, Pet Life Today, The Spruce Pets, PetCoach, VetDepot, Veterinary Team Brief, Kroger Pet Insurance, veterinary practitioners, independent writers, and many more. Dr. Jennifer is also the author of Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian. Learn more about Dr Jennifer
Euthyroid Sick Syndrome in Dogs: When Is Hypothyroidism not Hypothyroidism?

Euthyroid Sick Syndrome in Dogs: When Is Hypothyroidism not Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine (hormonal) diseases I see in dogs. It occurs most frequently in middle-aged (4-10 years old) medium to large-breed dogs. Breeds that are commonly affected include Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, and Airedale Terriers. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland secretes less thyroid hormone than normal. It…

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Hypothermia in Dogs: What Happens in a Dog’s Body with Hypothermia?

Hypothermia in Dogs: What Happens in a Dog’s Body with Hypothermia?

Normal body temperature for dogs is around 100.5-102.5°F (38-39.2°C). Hypothermia sets in when the body loses heat at a faster rate than it can generate heat. In dogs, I consider a body temperature of under 99°F (37°C) to be evidence of early/mild hypothermia. We normally think of exposure to cold environmental temperatures, particularly combined with windy and/or wet conditions, as…

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Veterinary Care Decisions: The Other Side Of The Coin – The Cost Of Defensive Medicine

Veterinary Care Decisions: The Other Side Of The Coin – The Cost Of Defensive Medicine

You may have heard the phrase “defensive medicine” used during the recent health care debate in the United States.  Defensive medicine describes the situation where a doctor makes a decision regarding a patient’s care not simply based on what is best for that patient but also taking into consideration a perceived need to cover his or her white-coated backside in…

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Common Limping Misdiagnoses in Dogs

Common Limping Misdiagnoses in Dogs

In my last post, I talked about difficulties diagnosing dermatological and hormonal diseases in dogs.  Now, let’s take a look at conditions affecting the bones and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. Limping If a dog has a painful musculoskeletal condition, he will usually favor his affected leg. However, if multiple legs are affected, limping may not be so obvious.…

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