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My Pet World: The risk of tick disease is rising

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I'm wondering if I should vaccinate my dog for Lyme disease. My veterinarian says it's not necessary. However, a friend I often go hiking with said his veterinarian recommends the vaccine, and his dogs are vaccinated. What do you think? -- C.G., Jackson, MI

A: "We hear this a lot; the conversation over the past 10 years has changed," says Dr...Read more

Obese and overweight pets need our help

Pets / My Pet World /

As our love for our pets has grown, so have the pets themselves. An estimated 52.6 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese, and 57.6 percent of U.S. cats are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).

Many veterinarians say the problem has become an epidemic -- just as human health health care ...Read more

My Pet World: New tactics could make taking pills fun for your pet

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I read your recent column on pilling cats. What I need to know is how to give pills to my stubborn dog, who spits them out. I've tried rolling a pill inside peanut butter and lunch meat, to no avail. Is there a secret trick? -- D.N., Anchorage, AK

A: Cats often seem like magicians, able to determine if there's a pill within a mile of their ...Read more

My Pet World: Most dog and cat bites can be avoided!

Pets / My Pet World /

Each year, more than 800,000 people receive medical attention for dog bites. At least half of them are children, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. While that sounds like a lot of people, it's small when you consider that there are 70 million dogs in America.

What's more, according to Dr. Douglas Aspros, past president of...Read more

My Pet World: Benefits of wonder drug Rimadyl still outweigh the risks

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: One day, a cat came to my door, and from the first day he rubbed against me, we were inseparable. He eventually developed kidney stones and I had him put down in 1987. I just couldn't afford to pay the medical bill. I miss him so much and feel like I let him down big time. Is there any way to ask forgiveness? -- C.H., Highland Park, IL

A: I ...Read more

My Pet World: Microchip coding controversy could be putting pets' lives at risk

Pets / My Pet World /

Microchipping saves lives. This is an accepted fact among those in the veterinary and animal welfare community. However, some microchip companies may now be compromising a system that's reunited countless numbers of pets and their owners.

A small chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) is injected into the pet. If a pet is lost, a ...Read more

My Pet World: Worries over dog flu continue

Pets / My Pet World /

Chicago is the Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City, and now, apparently the dog flu city. The canine influenza virus, or dog flu, settled into the Chicago metropolitan area just over a month ago. Since dogs do travel, however, it's no surprise that the virus has popped up elsewhere. Chicago, however, remains the only hot spot....Read more

My Pet World: The threat of tick-borne diseases growing across the U.S.

Pets / My Pet World /

There are more ticks in more places than ever, and they continue to spread. Veterinary parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden, of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine-Manhattan, calls it a "tick explosion." And the fallout is tick disease.

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are likely very under-diagnosed in dogs, Dryden ...Read more

My Pet World: 'Pilling' a cat takes patience and purrsuation

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Do you have any suggestions for giving my cat the anti-seizure meds she needs three times a day? I use Pill Pockets (flavored treats to hide pills inside) and sometimes she'll take them. I'm planning a trip in late summer and am very concerned about the pet sitter being able to give the meds. Is there anything cats can't resist that I might ...Read more

My Pet World: Service dogs offer powerful medicine to disabled kids

Pets / My Pet World /

"Rarely do we humans realize the feeling of purpose and destiny," says veterinary technician Julie Shaw, of Lafayette, IN. "I think dogs feel this all the time; it's one of the characteristics we humans envy of them without knowing it."

Shaw is known throughout her profession as a leader, helping to create a specialty in animal behavior among ...Read more

My Pet World: Powerful new preventives kill fleas faster than ever

Pets / My Pet World /

Along with spring showers and flowers come fleas. It's a sure bet in most parts of the country, but some places have it worse than others. Fleas in Florida and other southern states can be so overwhelming that many pet owners throw in the towel, assuming these pests are inevitable, and simply hire an exterminator when needed.

Veterinary ...Read more

My Pet World: Distract finger-biting cat with other amusements

Pets / My Pet World /

ATLANTA, GA. -- These reader questions were answered at the 2015 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Feline Behavior Conference here, April 11-12. Speakers included veterinary behaviorists and certified cat behavior consultants on issues ranging from the social organization of cats to how to introduce an ...Read more

My Pet World: Conference explores cat behavior issues

Pets / My Pet World /

ATLANTA, GA -- "Cats are not anti-social," says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Sharon Crowell-Davis, professor of behavior and anatomy at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, speaking at the 2015 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Feline Behavior Conference here April 11-12.

For ...Read more

My Pet World: Vaccine good tool as dog flu epidemic grows

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: I live in Chicago, where there's an epidemic of dog flu. My dog is very social, so I was thinking about the vaccine. Now, I've heard that the virus has mutated and the vaccine is no longer effective. Any advice? -- C.G., Chicago, IL

Q: Our dogs play with other dogs all the time. I know about the dog flu in Chicago, but my veterinarian says ...Read more

My Pet World: Dog flu outbreak in the Midwest could spread

Pets / My Pet World /

A dog flu epidemic has sickened over 1,000 dogs and has been responsible for the death of at least five dogs in the Chicago area since mid-March, according to Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator for the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control.

Alexander concedes that these numbers may be conservative and are likely to continue to ...Read more

My Pet World: Howling dog is probably NOT seeing ghosts

Pets / My Pet World /

After 20 years of writing this column and answering, on average, four reader questions weekly, that's 4,160 answers! My fingers should be 'dog-tired,' but instead I'm invigorated because each month (sometimes each week) I receive letters and emails saying my answers motivated someone a visit to a veterinarian, or even saved a pet's life.

By far...Read more

My Pet World: Soft Paws can soften your cat's ability to damage furniture

Pets / My Pet World /

Keep those emails and 'snail mail' letters coming. I'm always learning from readers. My knowledge base can't equal the collective expertise of all of you! Also, reflecting back on 20 years of writing this column, I certainly wouldn't have lasted anywhere near this long without your interest and input.

Here's a sampling of recent comments posted...Read more

My Pet World: New drug showing promise against once fatal FIP

Pets / My Pet World /

TAMPA, FLA. -- Your questions are answered this week by experts attending the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Conference here, March 12-15, and a meeting of the Winn Feline Foundation Board of Directors directly following the conference.

AAHA is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices in the U.S. and...Read more

My Pet World: Bonding with your veterinarian is good for your pet's health!

Pets / My Pet World /

TAMPA, FLA. -- What do pet owners want from their veterinarians? According to a 2014 survey, they disdain medical jargon they don't understand, want tests results shared, and expect full transparency regarding their pets' care.

"In other words, pet owners want to be treated as partners," said American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) CEO Dr. ...Read more

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