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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
TAMPA, FLA. -- Your questions are answered this week by experts attending the American Animal Hospital Association Conference, March 12-15.
AAHA is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada (and actually most practices, around 85 percent, are not accredited). To be accredited, hospitals must...Read more
Summing up 20 years of work isn't easy. As I begin my third decade of writing this column, I have a wealth of memories to recall.
I was the first journalist to speak with a search-and-rescue dog handler at the World Trade Center, within 48 hours of the Sept. 11, 2001 disaster. After driving overnight from East Carondelet, MO (...Read more
Q: I recently gave my 18-year-old African Grey parrot to a bird sanctuary because he became restless and climbed and squawked a lot. In his huge new cage, he seems happier. I visit him every week, but I wonder if this is actually detrimental to helping him adjust to his new surroundings. I only want him to be happy. Any thoughts? -- N.L., Las ...Read more