R.M., Vienna, Va
Tags: small pet
Apr 26, 2008
I enjoy your column very much and hope you can help me. My mixed-breed terrier is 15 years old. Although he doesn''t hear or see well anymore, he still eats and enjoys his family. He was a neglected and abused pup when I adopted him as a 1-year-old. His teeth have never been very good, and he has had several removed. Because he has a worsening heart murmur, my vet has advised against teeth cleaning for the past several years.Some of his remaining teeth are rotting, his gums are inflamed and his breath is fowl. Is there anything I can do? Should he be on a low-dose antibiotic? I am not ready to put my beloved dog down yet. Thank you very much.
R.M., Vienna, Va Apr 27, 2008
Your veterinarian is playing it safe with your dog, but perhaps too safe. Your dog has had a long and presumably good life, but must now be suffering with a mouthful of rotten teeth. The risk of anesthesia could be worth it, giving him a new lease on life. Rotting teeth mean bacterial infection, which could enter his bloodstream and infect his heart and kidneys. I would pre-medicate with antibiotics and analgesic and have him sedated under light anesthesia. You should also seek a second opinion for your own peace of mind.
C.C., Purcellville, Va
Apr 26, 2008
I read in your column about introducing a new baby to a dog. I have an Airedale who was successfully introduced to three infants.The first time was when he was 9 months old and we were living in England, where dog advice is more frequent than pediatric counsel. My terrier was very active, very much a part of the family. We were told to take the baby''s diaper off when entering the home the first time after birth and let the dog sniff the baby''s backside. We tried it with all three children, and there never was a territorial problem.Please pass this on to your readers as it may help some dogs adjust to new members of the family.
C.C., Purcellville, Va Apr 27, 2008
This is indeed good advice, and I''m sure such folk wisdom goes back generations.In some countries, dogs act as baby-sitters and as a substitute diaper service, the dogs cleaning up after un-diapered infants evacuate -- just as they would clean up after their own pups.
S.D., Warrenton, Va
Tags: dog Warrenton VA diet food
Apr 19, 2008
Six weeks ago, I started making your dog-food recipe for my 13-year-old hound (bird-dog mix). She had previous issues of some diarrhea, a grumbly stomach and, at times, seemed lethargic.It may be my imagination, but she has perked up considerably. When I start to cook her meals, she smells it, comes into the kitchen and knows instinctively that it is for her. She eats every bite and licks her bowl clean. I do not form patties, but pack the food into 8-ounce containers and then freeze them. It is really very easy once you have purchased the supplements. Just put everything into the pot and simmer away until the noodles are soft and the meat is cooked.
S.D., Warrenton, Va Apr 20, 2008
I appreciate hearing from readers confirming the often-transforming benefits of a balanced, whole-foods diet, like my recipes for their dogs and cats.
J.C., Centreville, Va
Tags: small pet Centreville VA
Apr 19, 2008
We have a 6-year-old, 36-pound terrier mix.On random occasions, she drools uncontrollably. This has been an issue ever since we adopted her at 13 months old. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason for it. Normally, it lasts a few hours and subsides as fast as it started.The vet thinks she may have gotten into something that tastes bitter: a toad, a stick, garbage, etc. I questioned this, because it''s winter and there are no toads. She is not a stick chewer, and she does not have access to garbage. Once, it happened after she woke up from a nap, so she had not been outside to get into anything. On the most recent episode, she drooled for four days.The vet prescribed 10 milligrams of Pepcid AC, twice a day, injected her with an antinausea drug (Cerenia) and prescribed 24 milligram Cerenia tablets to take for the next four days. It did not help. Luckily, and unbelievably, she was not dehydrated.Do you have any suggestions? I don''t want to keep going back to the vet when they don''t seem to know what to do. D
J.C., Centreville, Va Apr 20, 2008
Sialorrhoea (excessive drooling) can have a psychological origin, triggered by stress/anxiety. Fortunately, it is a rare condition and must be differentiated from any possible physical cause, such as a foreign body trapped across or between the teeth; an abscessed or cracked tooth; or inflammation of the salivary glands. If there are other signs (such as difficulty walking and distress), possible pesticide poisoning may be involved.Note which medicines (such as anti-flea treatments) have been given and should be avoided. Next time at the vet, have them prescribe an antihistamine to stem the salivation and continue being vigilant in keeping her away from any household chemical she could have been exposed to.To order Dr. Michael W. Fox''s newsletter, Animal Doctor, on providing the best care for your animal companion, send a check or money order for $2 and a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Send your questions to Dr. Fox in care of this newspaper. The volu
N.M., Brentwood, Md
Tags: small pet Brentwood MD diet food
Apr 12, 2008
We have a 3-year-old Pomeranian in good health. We take her to the vet for checkups and all the necessary shots. However, we''ve noticed some foul halitosis during the last year or so. Her teeth are in good shape, and she receives dry food as well as a small amount of our food after supper, so she and our Jack are included in the family ritual.We were wondering whether there was some natural help for this problem. We love to cuddle her on our laps, but sometimes her breath makes it very hard.
N.M., Brentwood, Md Apr 13, 2008
Halitosis is all too common in dogs and cats even when a dental exam gives them a clean bill of health.Microparticles of processed food can create a film over the teeth that encourages bacterial proliferation and can lead to halitosis. So get your dog used to a daily tooth brushing and provide a piece of raw marrow to chew on. A home-prepared, whole-food diet may be your best solution. Halitosis could also mean liver or kidney problems, especially in older animals. Your dog''s breed is prone to kidney disease and associated dental problems, so regular monitoring and annual vet checkups are called for.HEALTHIER HEARTS FOR CAT OWNERSResearchers at the University of Minnesota have found that cat ownership was linked to a 40 percent lower risk of fatal heart attacks. We have known for several years that dogs can do this, but now cats can keep us well, too. It is well documented that animals can heal us and be important for child development and adult emotional maturity. So more pets and fewer pills, please!
J.B., Delanson, NY
Apr 12, 2008
Please tell people about the dangers of killing mice and moles with poison. You know, the kind that you buy at the grocery store.If that critter doesn''t die right away and gets out of your home, any other animal could catch it and die from eating it. In fact, your own pet could end up eating it.I catch the critters and take them outside. Then I put it and a slice of bread under the woodshed.
J.B., Delanson, NY Apr 13, 2008
Thanks for the reminder! Any dog or cat outdoors that eats a poisoned rodent or the poisonous bait could die. The most common poison is an anticoagulant that causes internal bleeding -- a slow and horrible way to die.Just like their political preferences and religious prejudices, people continue to shock me with their callous indifference toward fellow creatures and the natural world.