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Ask the Vet: Veterinary Dentistry Requires Anesthesia

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: My holistic veterinarian says my 10-year-old cat Moses has rotten teeth, and at least one tooth has fallen out. Because of his age, I don't want him anesthetized for dental treatment, so the vet said she would clean his teeth using only essential oils and light. I'm concerned about Moses feeling stressed. What should I know about dentistry ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Antlers and Other Hard Chews Break Dogs' Teeth

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Ava, my 2-year-old dog, was chewing an elk antler when she started licking her lips and grinding her teeth. Later, she rejected a small, soft treat, which she's never done before. Is it possible she broke a tooth on the antler? Are antlers OK for dogs?

A: Dogs should never chew hard objects such as elk or deer antlers, dried cows' hooves, ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Don't Feed Neighborhood Pets

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Eddie, our neighbor's indoor-outdoor cat, is very sweet. He often visits us while we're sitting on our porch or working in the yard. He's so affectionate that we can't help but give him a few cat treats. Eddie seems to be gaining weight, and I wonder whether he is charming other neighbors out of treats, too. Should we stop feeding him?

A: ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Raccoon Distemper Transmissible to Dogs

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Our dogs killed a raccoon that looked rabid, and we took it away from them. The county animal services people who picked up the raccoon later reported that it had distemper, not rabies. Is raccoon distemper transmissible to dogs? What about humans?

A: Distemper is widespread in the raccoon population. The disease is caused by the canine ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Scrub Pet's Food and Water Bowls Daily

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: A houseguest watched me refill my dog's food and water bowls without washing them, my usual procedure unless there's obvious grime on them. She pointed out the slime covering the inside of the water bowl and told me it's dangerous because the slime harbors bacteria that can cause illness. Is she right? Should I do as she advises and scrub ...Read more

As the Vet: Many Animals Have White Bellies

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I notice that many cats have white bellies and some also have white paws, even when the rest of the coat is another color. Are white bellies as prevalent among cats as they seem? If so, why?

A: White bellies are indeed common among cats, dogs and other species. Each of my tuxedo cats is black with a white underside and paws, as though the ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Ensure Hamster Is Friendly Before Adopting

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: How do we find a nice hamster for our daughter? A friend of hers has a hamster that bites, and we don't want that. Also, do hamsters need vaccinations?

A: Veterinarians often refer to hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats and guinea pigs as "pocket pets." Because hamsters are nocturnal -- they're active at night and sleep during the day -- and many ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Feline Herpes Virus Not Contagious to Humans

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Our new cat, Lily, has an upper respiratory infection and goopy eyes. Her veterinarian said these problems are probably caused by a herpes virus that often infects cats. Is this virus contagious to us humans?

A: No, herpes viruses are species-specific. That means humans and dogs don't catch the cat herpes virus, called feline herpesvirus-1 ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Long Fingernails Harbor Germs

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: At my Yorkshire terrier's recent wellness visit, we saw a new veterinarian, a woman with surprisingly long fingernails. My Yorkie needed to have her anal sacs emptied, as she often does, and I was afraid the vet's long nails would hurt her, so I asked that someone else empty them. Was my request rude or out of place?

A: Not at all. Long ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Tabby a Common Feline Coat Pattern, Not a Breed

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: What's the difference between a tabby and a tiger cat? Is a tabby a purebred cat?

A: Tabby is not a breed, but a coat pattern common among purebreds as well as mixed-breed cats, usually referred to as domestic short- or long-haired cats.

The classic tabby has a blotched or swirled pattern of dark markings over a lighter coat color. This ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Spring Bulbs Toxic to Dogs

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Last fall, I planted hundreds of daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs. A month ago, we adopted a puppy, Paisley, who is fascinated by all the spring flowers popping up now. Do I need to watch her to be sure she doesn't eat them, or is it safe for her to nibble on them?

A: Many spring flowers are poisonous, so Paisley should not partake.

Even ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Keep Mothballs Out of the Garden

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Bradley, our young indoor-outdoor cat, recently experienced a bout of vomiting, lethargy and seizures. By the time we got him to the veterinarian, he seemed normal and the vet could find nothing wrong. Two days later, however, Bradley suffered a repeat episode.

I just now remembered that our neighbor had scattered mothballs in her garden to ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Surprise Children With Chocolate or Plush Easter Pet, Not Live One

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: My two young grandchildren are visiting this Easter, and I'd like to get them a special gift. Do you recommend a bunny or a couple of chicks or ducklings?

A: I have a better suggestion: baskets full of marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies and plush toy animals with synthetic fur. Depending on their ages, your grandchildren may also enjoy ...Read more



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