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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

Ask the Vet: Appetite Booster and Treatment of Underlying Disease Help Cat Gain Weight

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Elmo, my elderly cat, is losing his appetite and getting thinner. A friend told me about a drug her veterinarian prescribed when her cat lost his appetite that helped him regain weight. What is the drug?

A: If Elmo is losing his appetite, it's important to make an appointment with your veterinarian for a physical examination, lab work and ...Read more

Many Ways to Relieve Dog's Separation Anxiety

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: My dog Clyde takes medication for his separation anxiety, but it's getting worse as I transition from working at home during the pandemic to spending more time away at the office. Would it help if I found him a canine buddy?

A: A second dog usually doesn't help in situations like this. In fact, Clyde may even teach the new dog to be ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Plant a Pet-Safe Garden

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I live in the country, and my cat sometimes ventures off my deck on nice days. I am planning a garden and want to choose plants that won't poison my cat if he nibbles them. What do you suggest?

A: I'm sure your cat will thank you if you plant some catnip, cat mint, cat thyme or cat grass.

Other pet-safe plants are begonias, bachelor buttons...Read more

Ask the Vet: Immunocompromised People Should Take Precautions With Pets

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I have a compromised immune system, and I want to adopt a cat. What do I need to know about protecting my health?

A: Many people are immunocompromised because of physiologic factors like pregnancy or extremes of age, metabolic conditions such as diabetes, infectious diseases like HIV, or treatment with immunosuppressant drugs for autoimmune ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Film Covering Dog's Eye Needs Veterinarian Exam

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: I adopted a middle-aged German shepherd mix from the shelter today and was told he has an eye condition called pannus. His veterinarian won't be able to see him for another week, so I hope you'll tell me about pannus and whether it's painful.

A: Pannus is the common name for chronic superficial keratitis. Superficial keratitis is ...Read more

Ask the Vet: Protect Feral Cats From Winter Hazards

Pets / Ask The Vet /

Q: Our neighborhood is inundated with feral cats. I don't feed them because I don't want to increase their population, but I do feel sorry for them during the cold winter weather. What can I do to help them?

A: You can protect feral cats from injury and poisoning, provide shelters to help them stay warm and dry, and have them sterilized so the ...Read more



Steve Kelley Adam Zyglis Dan Wasserman Dave Granlund Beetle Bailey Bob Gorrell