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Ask the Vet: Treatments Help Dogs With ALS-Like Disease

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Gretchen, our 9-year-old German shepherd, recently developed hind leg weakness. Her veterinarian recommends testing for degenerative myelopathy.

Many years ago, another of our shepherds had degenerative myelopathy. His condition deteriorated quickly, because there was no treatment for the disease.

Is effective therapy available now? If so, ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Matted Cat May Be In Pain

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Our 12-year-old cat, Chia, is matted over her low back, just above her tail. What is causing the mats, and how can we remove them? She nips at us when we try to brush or comb them out.

A: Cats groom themselves to clean their coats and remove loose fur. When they don't groom, their fur mats. Mats cause discomfort and block air to the skin, ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Turn Away From Dog Jumping on You

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Jasper, my 2-year-old Labrador retriever, often jumps on me. His feet sometimes muddy my clothes, but I'm more concerned that he might jump on someone else, knock them down and injure them.

A friend advised me to step on his toes or knee him in the chest when he jumps, but that advice isn't working. What do you recommend?

A: Jasper is ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Drinking and Urinating Excessively May Signal Diabetes

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Can cats develop diabetes? Our cat, Fred, is drinking and urinating more than usual, very much like our son did before he was diagnosed with diabetes.

A: Yes, cats and dogs can develop diabetes mellitus, sometimes called sugar diabetes because the disease is marked by increases in blood sugar levels. Diabetes is most often seen in older cats...Read more

Ask the Vet: Don't Ignore Dog's Animal Hospital Aggression

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Harley, my 3-year-old bulldog mix, doesn't go to the veterinarian often because he gets aggressive whenever he does. During his most recent visit, the vet recommended we consult a veterinarian who specializes in behavior problems to help Harley feel less anxious at the animal hospital. My question is why bother, since the vet was able to give...Read more

Ask The Vet: Treat Cat to Outdoor Adventure With Cat-Safe Enclosure

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Monty, our indoor cat, often tries to escape from the house. We know he's safer inside, where he won't be attacked by another animal or hit by a car, but he's determined to explore outside. Is there some way we can let him venture outdoors safely?

A: One way is to take him for a stroll with you. Fit him with a cat harness and a thin leash, ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Xylitol Artificial Sweetener Toxic to Dogs

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Hercules, the dog I recently adopted, needs to take medicine that isn't available as a chewable tablet. May I hide his pills in peanut butter and give them that way?

A: Yes, provided you use peanut butter that is free of xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many products.

Xylitol poisons dogs two ways: It induces liver failure, and it ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Hoarder Has Too Many Animals for Adequate Care

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: My neighbor has more cats than I can count, so I assume she's a hoarder. Should I intervene? If so, how?

A: Just having many cats doesn't make your neighbor a hoarder. What would make her a hoarder is having more cats than she can properly care for.

Hoarders fail to provide even minimal standards of shelter, sanitation, nutrition or ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Medications Can Diminish Dog's Sense of Smell

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I'm training my dog Roger for search and rescue, which requires him to use his nose. I noticed while I was taking a particular medication that my sense of smell worsened. Can the same thing happen to dogs? If so, what drugs affect their sense of smell?

A: A dog's nose has more than 300 million olfactory receptors that detect scent, while ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Three Reasons Not to Toilet Train Your Cat

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I'm thinking about teaching Cameo, my newly adopted young calico cat, to use the toilet instead of a litter box. Are most people successful at toilet training their cats?

A: I don't recommend toilet training cats for three reasons.

First, my mom told me that when she visited her aunt, who had toilet trained her cat, the toilet seat was ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Sterilized Dogs Live Longer

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Should we neuter Max, our 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier? Our veterinarian described the behavioral benefits of neutering, but those are not an issue for us. Max is healthy and lots of fun, and we just want him to live forever.

A: Keeping Max around as long as possible is a good enough reason to have your veterinarian neuter him, because ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Celebrate Easter With Chocolate Bunny, Not Live One

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I'm thinking of surprising my 6-year-old niece with a rabbit on Easter. The pet store sells bunnies of various sizes and ear styles. Is one type of rabbit healthier or friendlier than the others?

A: My first pet joined our family when I was younger than your niece, and I got my first rabbit at about your niece's age, but I don't recommend ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Flat-Faced Breeds Prone to Health Problems

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: My dog Hugo is the cutest, most lovable French bulldog I know. When I submitted a photo of him to a calendar contest, they refused to accept it because he is a brachycephalic dog, and they consider it inhumane to promote unhealthy dogs. I hope you can explain their discriminatory position, because I am mystified.

A: Brachycephalic dogs have ...Read more

 

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