D.M., Carver, MN
Tags: dog Carver MN diet food
Aug 29, 2009
We have a 15-month-old female West Highland poodle. She is the joy of our life. We had an ovarian hysterectomy done when she was 6 months old. She is housebroken, and we can leave her up to 10 hours without her relieving herself in the house. She never messes in the house. Over the past three weeks, something strange has been happening: When she gets off her favorite chair, there is a wet spot and her entire behind is wet. This has happened about three times. She is a healthy dog that plays, runs and eats well. Can you give us an idea what the leaking is all about?
D.M., Carver, MN Aug 30, 2009
Your little dog has developed a weakening of the bladder''s ability to retain a normal volume of urine, common in spayed dogs. Incontinence can be associated with cystitis (bacterial or other inflammation of the bladder), which should be checked for by the veterinarian. Factors such as consuming a highly alkaline cereal-based diet, being overweight, under-exercised, under-stimulated and stressed by separation anxiety and boredom can lead to flare-ups of cystitis and incontinence. I have found that oral hormone-replacement pills (stilbestrol; DES) given for seven days in increasing doses, peaking at .5mg/kg on the fourth day than tapering back down to 0.25 mg, can work well. Often, such course of prescribed veterinary treatment lasts for several months, keeping spayed dogs more continent, and everyone more content. Most dogs are treated with phenylpropanolamine, a type of human cold medicine, but the side effects, including panting, increased heart rate and anxiety, can be upsetting for some dogs. Others take it in their stride. I advocate a more holistic approach, emphasizing diet, nutrition and physical activity, rather than relying on this drug.
L.H., St. Louis, Mo
Tags: cat MO diet food
Aug 29, 2009
This message is for "C.F.," the restless cat owner. I went through a similar experience with my elder cat. I did a lot of research, producing the following solution. Blood work showed Daisy had an overactive thyroid. She now gets methimazole 5 mg twice a day. The timing of the doses was found to be critical. One dose at breakfast time with one-quarter can of Friskies Special Diet provides a period of normal behavior lasting all day. The second dose applied at dinnertime in the same manner produces an evening of quietude lasting through the night.
L.H., St. Louis, Mo Aug 30, 2009
Many readers with older cats need to make note of this if their cats become more irritable and restless. Any change in personality and/or behavior calls for a full veterinary checkup. Because of increased metabolism and appetite due to an overactive thyroid gland, such restless cats benefit from being given several small meals of an organically certified or top-quality canned cat food during the day and into the evening.
M.G., Oakton, Va
Aug 29, 2009
Our adorable 3-year-old Lhasa apso is in good health, but itches uncontrollably after baths. We have tried the following remedies with poor results:
-- One vet recommended Virbac Etiderm shampoo.
-- Another vet said to put one capful of shampoo in a cup of water.
-- Lastly, I tried using only tap water (no shampoo), but she still scratched.
She was given hydroxyzine (25 mg) to take several times a day, but I prefer not to medicate her and especially not that much. Our answer is to not give her baths, but she does get a bit smelly.
M.G., Oakton, Va Aug 30, 2009
How often were you bathing your dog and why?
If she has an oily and smelly coat, you need to look into changing her diet. Healthy dogs on a good diet don''t smell and rarely need to be bathed. All they need is good grooming every few days.
Some people are obsessive dog shampooers, which can disrupt the normal, healthy bacterial population "barrier" on their skin. The skin may become hypersensitive and more prone to irritants and infections.
Cut back on the bathing, and give your dog a half a teaspoon of fish oil in her food daily. Use aloe-vera liquid as a basic shampoo with additional herbs such as German chamomile, lavender, nettle and calendula.
K.H., West Fargo, ND
Tags: cat West Fargo ND diet food
Aug 29, 2009
I have a 2-1/2-year-old rescued Persian female cat that has been diagnosed with Hyperesthesia Syndrome. For the past few months, she has been receiving prednisone, 5 mg, twice a day when the attacks occur. I have also tried distracting her during minor attacks. There seems to be little difference with either method. She eats Science Diet Adult Maintenance dry food. Trying to change her diet doesn''t work, as she will only eat dry food. She drinks water well. Do you have any suggestions?
K.H., West Fargo, ND Aug 30, 2009
Prednisone is not the appropriate treatment for this obsessive-compulsive behavior and is absurd and harmful to use if the cat does not have hyperthyroidism, a primary dermatological problem or a mild epileptic condition.
I would transition your cat onto a raw food diet like Darwin''s or get Feline Future''s Instincts premix, to which you add raw meat. If your cat is addicted to dry food, give her Natura''s Evo dry cat food. Also, give your cat up to 1 teaspoon daily of good-quality fish oil in her food. Her dry food she is unacceptable. Follow your intuition, and give your cat lots of play therapy, the more out-of-self stimulation the better. If improved nutrition does not help, see a feline specialist who may consider light medication with valerian or Valium.
B.J.N., Ahwahnee, CA
Tags: dog Ahwahnee CA
Aug 29, 2009
I have a 2-year-old mix of Labrador retriever, Australian shepherd and border collie that I chose from a litter being given away in front of a grocery store. He is a wonderful dog with beautiful markings, except for his nose. Only part of his nose has pigment, which results in the rest of his nose being raw and scabby upon exposure to the sun, which is frequent.
My vet suggested the use of sunscreen, which I have tried along with applying Vaseline, but he licks it off as soon as it is applied. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for treating this?
B.J.N., Ahwahnee, CA Aug 30, 2009
This condition is so common in border collies that it is called "collie nose," a skin disease often misdiagnosed as a simple photosensitivity to sunlight. This is because it can flare up in the summer with exposure to ultraviolet light and is more evident in white-muzzled dogs. While bacterial, fungal and other skin infections need to be ruled out, the most likely cause is an autoimmune disease that causes localized lupus erythematosus. Corticosteroid lotion is often effective in reducing inflammation, but may delay healing. Make a mixture of five drops each of frankincense, myrrh and helichrysum into 50 drops of almond oil -- apply three times daily. This will help the non-pigmented area of muzzle skin to heal, regenerating new cells and keeping potentially harmful bacteria at bay. Put it on the dog while you are sitting together on the sofa or on the floor, and keep the dog from licking or rubbing the medication off for at least 20 minutes.
Once healed, your veterinarian might consider tattooing the muzzle skin to artificially impregnate the delicate skin with protective pigment. When the dog is outdoors, apply gentian violet, calamine, or zinc oxide for protection. But most importantly, enjoy your dog with either a purple or white muzzle. I found the tattooing worked well on white-muzzled dogs at my wife Deanna''s animal refuge in India. But the veterinarian must rule out any other underlying autoimmune disease when treating this sunlight-sensitive condition.
B.B., Horace, ND
Tags: small pet Horace ND diet food
Aug 22, 2009
I read in today''s paper about a dog with very sore gums. I am one of those rare people who is highly allergic to fluoride in water. I had very sore gums. Even with teeth cleaning every three months, it didn''t help. Apart from sore gums, I also had severe stomach cramps and explosive diarrhea for several years before it could be figured out what caused all of this. Could some animals be allergic to fluoride in water, bringing on unexpected illness? Some bottled water also has fluoride. The only bottled water I''ve been able to drink without getting sick is Mountain Ice and reverse-osmosis water. It''s worth checking out.
B.B., Horace, ND Aug 23, 2009
Your letter is important to all. You are particularly sensitive to fluoride, so one wonders what fluoride does to other people and animals who do not develop acute symptoms but may suffer the consequences of chronic exposure and toxicity.
Many countries have prohibited the addition of fluoride to treated municipal water. Chlorination -- an endocrine disrupter -- is hazardous enough.
Chronic fluoride exposure has been linked with many health problems from thyroid disease to bone cancer, especially in boys. Pets may be similarly affected. Fluoride accumulates in the bones and teeth. For more details, especially about high fluoride levels in some pet foods, visit www.DrFoxVet.com/info. Please give your animal companions quality spring water or purified water (not distilled). All municipal water authorities should cease and desist from adding fluoride (a byproduct of the agrichemical-fertilizer industry) to public water sources. Avoid pet foods that list "bone meal," "meat meal" and "chicken byproduct meal" as ingredients. They may contain a lot of round bone included during the "deboning" process.
S.T-M., Bonita Springs, FL
Tags: dog Bonita Springs FL diet food
Aug 22, 2009
I read your article in our local newspaper regarding the 3-year-old Westie who threw up at night.
I have a Shih Tzu that was on Cesar food forever and was throwing up yellow liquid. He was finally diagnosed to have pancreatitis and we decided to take him off the fatty diet of Cesar food. He has been on Prescription Diet by Hills given by our vet and gets no fatty treats, just milk bones and an occasional greenie. He has been fine for several years now, thank goodness. Please tell M.A.G. in Clifton, Va., to have her pet checked for this.
S.T-M., Bonita Springs, FL Aug 23, 2009
Pancreatitis (often associated with liver disease and linked to dietary factors including excess fat, carbohydrates and gluten) is a fairly common health crisis in dogs today. It can be extremely painful and is often associated with nausea, vomiting and loose stools. A low-fat diet is called for and, in many instances, eliminating all gluten ingredients (like soy, wheat and corn) and high-starch grains can make a world of difference. It is also advisable to give him probiotics and digestive enzymes to help prevent recurrence. Relapses are common when dogs are overindulged and fed too many fatty leftovers at Thanksgiving and on other festive occasions. For a list of manufactured dog and cat foods that I recommend, visit my Web site and click on "Special Reports," "Companion Animal Care."
C.T., Archdale, NC
Tags: dog Archdale NC
Aug 22, 2009
An avid reader of your columns and Web site, I am interested in your readers'' experiences with their animals after death.
I had a dog, Zack, for almost 14 years. He developed several medical problems: cataracts, arthritis and heart problems. I finally made the decision to have him put to sleep. It was the most difficult thing I ever had to do, but I know it was the right decision. Several months later, my daughter, son and I were in the kitchen. All of a sudden, we heard a noise that sounded like Zack sneezing. Since then, we have all gotten glimpses of him in the house. He always seems happy and well. It is a great comfort.
C.T., Archdale, NC Aug 23, 2009
Thanks for your description of afterlife manifestations of your dog, Zack. The corroboration of other family members also seeing and hearing a deceased animal in the home is important verification that there is indeed a realm of the spirit that is real. I have received many letters from dog and cat owners, describing their experiences with deceased animal companions communicating from this nonmaterial realm (www.DrFoxVet.com/info).
L.S., St Louis, Mo
Tags: small pet St Louis MO diet food
Aug 22, 2009
I gave several copies of your book to my own vet, and my brother out east gave one to his vet. I believe this book is a groundbreaker, documenting what needs to be made right with what cats and dogs are being fed. I wanted to share with you that my vet thinks it is a book that she endorses absolutely. My brother''s vet says the book is "all opinion with no real scientific facts," while the pet-food industry has all the research and scientists to back their claims that pet foods are safe and good for pets.
L.S., St Louis, Mo Aug 23, 2009
Thanks for sharing. This book indeed has ruffled many feathers, and the more pet owners and veterinarians that read it, the more people will come to realize four sad facts: Most manufactured pet foods are the equivalent of human junk and convenience foods; they are responsible for much animal sickness and suffering; many health conditions in cats and dogs can be prevented and are cured by switching to a more wholesome and biologically appropriate diet; and many veterinarians were brainwashed in college to believe pet-food manufacturer''s claims.
D.R.G., Poughkeepsie, NY
Tags: cat Poughkeepsie NY diet food
Aug 22, 2009
Yesterday, my 14-year-old, very healthy 25-pound cat jumped off the bed, vomited some clear liquid, collapsed, screamed and died. The emergency room vet agreed the cat looked healthy and suggested that it was a heart attack. I am still in shock over this. I am disabled and this indoor cat never left my side. He was behaving perfectly normal before his sudden death.
Have you ever heard of this? What could possibly have happened?
D.R.G., Poughkeepsie, NY Aug 23, 2009
My sympathies go out to you -- what a devastating experience! At least your cat''s suffering was extremely brief, it at all. A heart attack or blood clot causing a stroke may well have been the cause of your cat''s sudden death. Sudden death is far more common in cats than in dogs because they are more susceptible to dietary deficiencies and intolerances that can lead to heart disease and feline dementia, including Alzheimer''s disease. Another common problem in cats is periodontal disease (really bad teeth) than can cause heart disease and other serious health problems. For older cats and dogs, too, I recommend fish-oil supplements, especially the top-quality Wholemega by New Chapter that is made from wild salmon. And for pets suffering from inflammatory conditions, their Zyflamend blend of herbs and nutraceuticals should do wonders -- both products were created for human consumption.
I urge you to adopt another cat as soon as you are up to it since I am sure your cat contributed much to your emotional and physical well-being with his power of presence and affectionate contact.