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My Pet World: Dry air, not altitude, makes fleas more sparse at high elevations

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I live in the Sierra Mountains of California because there are no fleas. I wonder if this is a phenomenon nationwide. I haven't seen a flea or tick above 3,000 feet. Does altitude make that much difference? -- J.M., via cyberspace

A: "It's not as much about the altitude as it is about the dry air," says veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael ...Read more

My Pet World: New test allows early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease in cats

Pets / My Pet World /

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) may be the most common illness of aging cats. If cats live long enough, at least one in three will at suffer from CKD. What's more, according the Banfield Pet Hospital State of Pet Health 2012 Report, the disease is on the rise in cats, increasing 15 percent from 2007 to 2011.

"I have no doubt that many cats go ...Read more

My Pet World: A pet-friendly fountain beats sipping from the fish tank

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Is it OK for Diego to drink from the fish tank? -- C.H., via cyberspace

A: It's a mystery as to whether Diego is a dog or cat, but emergency veterinarian Dr. Heather Loenser, of Lebanon, NJ, can offer advice because, for the most part, it doesn't matter.

"A salt water tank might be more of an issue, depending on much water Diego is drinking...Read more

My Pet World: Stem cell therapy shows promise for helping pets

Pets / My Pet World /

TORONTO, CANADA -- A Winn Feline Foundation symposium called "What's New, Pussycat? Advances in GI Therapy" was held on July 2 in Toronto, Canada. While stem cell therapy continues to be controversial in U.S. human medical circles, Winn and other groups are funding research on how it might be used to treat various illnesses in ...Read more

My Pet World: Confused bird needs a time out!

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I have two cockatiels. Sugar we found on the roadside. She's about 5 years old and rather skittish. After a couple of months, I thought she could use a companion, so we got Sweetie, also a female. The pair quickly bonded. Sugar has become more tame, but Sweetie more wild. In the past year, I've noticed Sugar seems to want to mate. She ...Read more

My Pet World: A cure remains elusive for cats with FIP

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: My 6-month-old kitten is suffering from the wet form of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). In an effort to ease Ashley's pain, my veterinarian removed fluid from her chest and gave us an antibiotic for her. After five days, Ashley's breathing became labored again, and the veterinarian said, "there's no hope." Once again, he took out some ...Read more

My Pet World: Novice candidate Limberbutt hopes to claim the chair in the Oval Office

Pets / My Pet World /

One more candidate for President of the United States has just tossed his hat into the ring - or his little sparkle ball. Candidate No. 23 officially registered with the Federal Election Commission back in May, but has only recently begun to speak out, and getting press in such a competitive field isn't easy.

The candidate is a political novice...Read more

My Pet World: Learn to say "no" to over-eager lap dog

Pets / My Pet World /

BOSTON, MA -- This week, your pet behavior questions are answered by the ultimate experts, veterinary behaviorists attending the 2015 Veterinary Behavior Symposium, held July 10 in conjunction with the Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Many of the contributors answering questions here also happen to be ...Read more

My Pet World: At summer's peak, protect your dog from the heat

Pets / My Pet World /

If you're hot, you can be certain that your dog is hotter.

"Dogs don't deal with heat as well as people," says emergency veterinarian Dr. Heather Loenser, of Lebanon, NJ. Panting isn't as efficient to help maintain body temperature as sweating is. It turns out that sweating like a pig is actually a good way to deal with sweltering summer temps....Read more

My Pet World: Training can curb pooch's passion for jumping on guests

Pets / My Pet World /

BOSTON, MA -- Veterinary behaviorists attending the 2015 Veterinary Behavior Symposium on July 10 in conjunction with the Convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association chimed in to answer your questions this week.

Some experts answering questions today also contributed to "Decoding Your Dog," authored by members of ...Read more

My Pet World: Dog flu now spreading beyond the Chicago area

Pets / My Pet World /

"We don't live in a bubble, and our pets don't, either," notes Dr. Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Chicago. The Windy City is where this spring and summer's outbreak of dog flu began.

"I'm not surprised about what's happening," he adds.

Currently, the canine influenza strain, called...Read more

My Pet World: Separating 'visiting' cats might be best option

Pets / My Pet World /

TORONTO, CANADA -- These cat questions were answered by three board members for the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation here for a meeting and the Winn Feline Foundation Annual Symposium. Chiming in: Dr. Drew Weigner, of Atlanta, GA; Dr. Brian Holub, Boston, MA Chief Medical Officer of VetCor veterinary clinics; and board president Dr. Glenn Olah,...Read more

My Pet World: Big dogs behave quite differently from their smaller cousins

Pets / My Pet World /

BOSTON, MA -- Veterinary behaviorists and other veterinarians interested in animal behavior were among those attending the 2015 Veterinary Behavior Symposium July 10, attended by members of American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and other interested veterinarians in Boston, a day before the opening of the annual Convention of...Read more

My Pet World: Why has formerly cuddly cat changed his tune?

Pets / My Pet World /

TORONTO, CANADA -- These cat questions are answered by three board members of the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation who were in Toronto for the foundation's annual symposium July 2. Chiming in are: Dr. Drew Weigner, of Atlanta, Ga., Dr. Brian Holub, of Boston, Mass., Chief Medical Officer of VetCor veterinary clinics; and board ...Read more

My Pet World: Shocking Facebook post revealed stark case of animal cruelty

Pets / My Pet World /

In April, after Texas veterinarian Dr. Kristin Lindsey posted an image on her Facebook page of a cat she boasted of having shot with an arrow, the story made international headlines. Accompanying the image, Lindsey wrote: "My first bow kill, LOL. The only good feral tomcat is one with an arrow through its head. The vet of the year award ... ...Read more

My Pet World: Protect Your Dog from Summer's Heat

Pets / My Pet World /

Dogs can die in hot cars. And no wonder. According to the AAA Chicago Motor Club, when it's 85 degrees outdoors, and even with the windows open for cross-circulation, the dashboard of a car will heat up to 170 degrees in 15 minutes.

"How hot it can get in a car just blows me away," says Dr. Mike Cavanaugh, executive director and CEO of the ...Read more

My Pet World: Preventing heartworm is the best 'remedy'

Pets / My Pet World /

Only about a third of all dogs, and likely less than 10 percent of cats, leave a veterinary practice with a heartworm preventive. No one knows how many ferrets are protected, but it's likely that number is very small. Dr. Stephen Jones, president of the non-profit American Heartworm Society, calls the situation "frightening."

Heartworm disease,...Read more

My Pet World: Artificial sweetener can be toxic for dogs

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: You've mentioned many times in your column that dog owners can keep their pets occupied by stuffing peanut butter into toys. Recently, I read that some peanut butter contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener you've reported is harmful to dogs. How dangerous is it? -- L.D., Buffalo Grove, IL

A: It's true that some newer peanut butter products...Read more

My Pet World: Chocolate can, indeed, be toxic for dogs and cats

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Is it true that chocolate is really bad for dogs? My dog got into some chocolate cookies several years ago but didn't seem to suffer any ill effects. Is this chocolate thing a myth? -- G.D., Miami, FL

A: Chocolate is indeed toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical ...Read more

My Pet World: Can Some Pets Really Predict Mother Nature's Wrath?

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: During Hurricane Sandy, our Labrador-mix acted agitated, crying at times, too. It was really our dog who convinced us to evacuate, which turned out to be a wise decision because our street flooded. What did our dog know? Was the dog warning us? -- V.D., Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: Some dogs are anxious during any thunderstorm. They are fearful, or...Read more


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