J. and J.H., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: dog Fort Worth TX
Jun 24, 2012
Our local low-cost spay-neuter clinic is offering free Esterilsol for neutering. What do you think of this new procedure?
J. and J.H., Fort Worth, TX Jun 25, 2012
Esterilsol is a zinc gluconate solution that is injected one time only into each testicle to shut down sperm maturation and transportation -- it's a kind of chemical vasectomy. However, dogs still produce testosterone.
One benefit of surgical castration under short-acting general anesthetic is that the vet does not run the risk of making a wrong injection, as can happen with Esterilsol, leading to severe inflammation, ulceration and the urgent need for remedial surgical castration. This would be disastrous for dogs who are set free immediately after injection, as is happening in some countries where this product is being used as an alternative to surgical castration.
With either neutering procedure, dogs should be held for a few days prior to release for observation after injection -- which I do not see in the manufacturer's protocol -- and to allow for healing after surgery. After the injection, pain and swelling can be severe for some dogs, and it can last for up to a week. This is a problem even with the most careful adherence to the manufacturer's protocols, as I have learned evaluating this product some years ago when it went under the name of Neutersol. I vetoed it then, as I veto Esterilsol now. Surgical castration can be safer, even in tropical countries, and surgically neutered dogs with lowered testosterone suffer fewer fight injuries.
Better alternatives to using hormonal implants and a birth control vaccine are being developed to help address pet overpopulation in many countries. For more details, visit the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.
M.W., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: dog Fort Worth TX diet food
Jul 25, 2011
Would you know why my 4-month-old Boston terrier puppy will eat her food only off of the hardwood floor? She ate fine from a bowl the first three months, but now it's only on the floor. I discovered that she wasn't eating and I spilled some food on the floor and she ate it. I have tried several foods -- all the same experience. I have tried china bowls, plastic flat bowls and wooden bowls. I don't think licking the hardwood is good for her.
She also was chewing on her tail area a lot, but I changed her food and that seems better now.
M.W., Fort Worth, TX Jul 25, 2011
Many dogs, especially those with short muzzles, have difficulty eating out of narrow and deep bowls, and most dogs have problems when the bowl or dish keeps sliding on the floor. Some dogs are like one of ours -- he likes to pick some food out of his deep and wide food bowl and put it on the floor to eat, so we set down a sheet of newspaper. Another of our old dogs suddenly developed an aversion to eating out of her deep and wide no-skid bowl and now prefers a shallow and wide soup dish. They both now prefer drinking from a bowl set in a metal frame with 9-inch-high legs. Some dogs, especially large ones and arthritic older ones, enjoy elevated food and water bowls so they don't have to reach down too far.
Experiment with your dog and avoid using plastic food and water containers that may contain bisphenols and other toxic chemicals.
B.C., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: cat Fort Worth TX
Aug 23, 2010
My mother was bedridden the last few months of her life. She had been taking care of my dog Heidi and said if anything ever happened to Heidi, she would love to get a cat. Well, Heidi died about a month before my mom passed away. The morning after Heidi's death, a beautiful Siamese cat came to her front door. We let him in. He walked through the house to mom's bed and curled up by her feet on the bed, where he stayed until she died. He just took up residence there. We had never seen him in the neighborhood before.
B.C., Fort Worth, TX Aug 23, 2010
This touching story makes me wonder about the metaphysical dimensions of animal communication and awareness. But coming back to earth, I hope you kept this wonderful feline and made every effort to find his original owners in your community. I have received a few letters like yours over the years where a strange cat or dog has come into a home right after the resident animal has passed on. Is it coincidence? I call it part of the Great Mystery.
C.G., Fort Worth, TX
Aug 01, 2010
In one of your syndicated articles, you recommended some high-quality dry foods for cats. You mentioned the brand Evo, which has no corn or grain products. I switched my two neutered indoor male cats (ages 2-1/2 and 5) to Evo, mixed three-to-one with their usual food (Royal Canin for neutered males aged to 7 years). After three weeks of doing this, my cats were still having loose stools, although they were eating this mixture without any complaints. I spoke with the owner of the pet-food store, and she said Evo was too rich for her cats and she recommended switching my cats over to Innova Cat and Kitten Food, which is made by the same manufacturer as Evo.
In that article, you made certain comments about the Innova dry food that implied it might not be proper nutrition for cats. Do you think it''s a bad source of nutrition? What do you recommend other than the Evo that my cats don''t tolerate well?
C.G., Fort Worth, TX Aug 02, 2010
I should make it clear that Natura''s Innova dry cat food is definitely one of the brands I recommend for cats who prefer dry over moist food. Natura''s Evo line of dry and canned cat (and dog) foods is also excellent. But always read the label -- some animals do better on lower-fat content or a different animal protein (e.g., turkey instead of beef). It is also important when changing over to a new diet or adding a supplement to do so gradually over a period of several days because cats can be picky. A slow transition also helps the digestive system adapt, and giving probiotics at this time may also facilitate this process.
W.T.Y., Fort Worth, TX
Jul 17, 2010
Our 6-year-old miniature poodle is in excellent health. She eats only food that we purchase from our vet: Hill's dry food. She has been on this same food for three to four years. In the last year, the weeping from her eyes has turned brown. We took her to our vet, and he did not find a cause for the brown stain. He could only recommend Angel Eyes. We gave her Angel Eyes over a three-month period without improvement. We have also used Excel Tear Stain Remover pads to little or no effect. Please tell us what you might recommend.
W.T.Y., Fort Worth, TX Jul 18, 2010
Hydrogen peroxide in an equal amount of warm water will clean up your dog's tear stains. Apply a little Vaseline under each eyelid before wetting and gently rubbing the facial fur between your fingers. Rinse off with a little baby shampoo and warm water after 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat daily as needed.
Red-brown tear stains come from two sources: pet-food dyes and natural porphyrins (tissue pigments) that are secreted into the tears from the Harderian gland as a byproduct of metabolism. Many animals, notably gerbils, secrete these substances that can look like dried blood in the corners of their eyes. There is more secretion of porphyrins when there is infection, so the best solution may be a course of treatment with an antibiotic eye ointment and transitioning onto a natural, additive-free, whole-food diet. Chronic eye infections can lead to dry eyes and corneal ulcers that are difficult to treat and can permanently impair vision.
A.B., Fort Worth, TX
Jun 27, 2010
My cat Ellen is 14 years old and was adopted as a stray kitten. She is an indoor cat and in excellent health. My problem is when I try to brush her -- she bites, hisses, and scratches. Normally, she is affectionate and lets me hold, pet, and massage her. I''ve tried all kinds of brushes and bristles, to no avail. All I want to do is control some of her shedding, but she won''t let me. Do you have any suggestions?
A.B., Fort Worth, TX Jun 28, 2010
Inflammatory skin and connective tissue conditions can cause cats to experience pain and show extreme discomfort, even when lightly touched. This hypersensitivity may be related to eating too much tuna; having hyperactive thyroid disease; or being touched/brushed where painful static charges buildup, especially on synthetic rugs, blankets and upholstery. I would suggest the latter possibility in your case, because she will accept a gentle massage. A soft rubber comb as she is sitting on a cotton towel beneath her may be the solution.
L.T., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: dog Fort Worth TX
Feb 27, 2010
I adopted a female Chihuahua from the Humane Society. She was rescued from a puppy mill and had a bad odor, but only on her neck and chest. The vet said she was malnourished, which was the reason for the odor, but it would get better. The problem is that my other dog will get into the crate with her. Not only does my first dog have the same odor; he is scratching all the time now. When I give them an oatmeal bath, it helps for a day or two and then the smell returns. If I keep the new dog out of the crate, she will cry all night. I need some advice.
L.T., Fort Worth, TX Feb 28, 2010
Puppy mills are an abomination, a blight on the human soul. Efforts to close the worst and to enforce humane-care standards rarely succeed in a culture where money rules and dogs, like other creatures, are treated as mere commodities. The American Kennel Club, which runs the pedigree registration and certification "papers" for pure-breed dogs, is notorious for defending such enterprises.
Because the smelly "breed stock" Chihuahua that you so caringly adopted has made your other dog smell and itch all the time, your dogs most likely have mange. Secondary bacterial and fungal infections often develop. The most likely factor is the skin-burrowing mite called Sarcoptes. Have your veterinarian test both dogs, and treat accordingly. Both dogs will benefit from daily fish oil or flaxseed oil and multivitamin and multimineral supplements. Severe cases benefit from wrapping the dog tightly in a towel, which can have a calming effect.
J.B., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: cat Fort Worth TX diet food
Sep 05, 2009
Is it OK for a cat to eat dog food and for dogs to eat cat food?
J.B., Fort Worth, TX Sep 06, 2009
This is a common question to which the short answer is NO. Manufactured dog foods are usually too high in cereal content and fiber for cats to eat. Cat food, dry and canned, may be good for small dogs, but big or small, they may put on weight. With a higher protein and fat content than in dog foods, dogs eating some types of cat food run the risk of developing pancreatitis. Richer, low-fiber cat food may cause diarrhea. Check my Web site (www.DrFoxVet.com/info) for lists of manufactured dog and cat foods that I recommend. None can be fed to both cats and dogs, basically because cats are carnivores while little dogs are more like us humans --omnivores. Most dogs, like us, can thrive on a balanced vegetarian diet. But such a diet, lacking in some essential nutrients, could mean serious health problems and even death for cats.
B.A., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: cat Fort Worth TX
Apr 18, 2009
What is the best way to keep a cat''s nails trimmed down? I have a 3-year-old indoor cat. She has three different kinds of scratchers: One is corrugated cardboard, and the other two are the sisal kind. She uses them occasionally, but has continually used my couch, which is now ruined. I was taking her on monthly visits to my vet to trim her nails, but she became so violent and unmanageable that I quit taking her. I notice, here and there, that a whole nail falls out. Do cats shed their nails?
B.A., Fort Worth, TX Apr 19, 2009
Yes. Cats do shed their nails like when one gets snagged by loop carpets and rugs. There''s a nail trimmer that works like a rotating file that some dogs and cats are more accepting of than clippers, snippers or shears; it''s safer, too. But first you must learn how to restrain your cat by wrapping it in a large towel or small blanket and get someone to help you do the trimming. It is debatable whether claw trimming deters cats from scratching -- some may scratch more to sharpen their claws.
Many cat owners live with claw-raked furniture, call it "cat art," and throw decorative covers over their furniture as needed for houseguests. I wonder why you need to trim your cat''s claws in the first place. Since cats have retractile claws and dogs don''t, dogs have more of a problem with their nails than cats. And what length is "too long"? My rule of claw is: If claws get snagged easily when the animals are active, they are too long. I commend you for not having your cat declawed. For details about the potentially harmful consequences of this widely performed surgical mutilation, check my Web site, www.DrFoxVet.com
B., Fort Worth, TX
Tags: small pet Fort Worth TX diet food
Feb 02, 2008
My 3-year-old Lab began shaking her head about six months ago. The first vet prescribed Simplicef (200 mg, one tablet a day), Otibiotic ointment and T8 Keto Flush. The results were mixed -- the ear infection appeared to clear up and the bad odor stopped, but the shaking continues.The second vet prescribed Cephalexin (500 mg, every 12 hours) and recommended the flush eight hours after the pills. Plus, he gave me Mometamax, which must be similar to the Otibiotic ointment. He explained that this malady is difficult to treat and may be chronic. Any ideas? Thanks.
B., Fort Worth, TX Feb 03, 2008
Chronic ear infections are all too common and make life miserable for countless dogs. In many cases, an underlying food allergy or hypersensitivity (for example, to corn or beef) may be involved, especially if dogs improve after a change in diet. You should explore this. Give your dog a half-teaspoon of fish oil or a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in her food daily.Flushing out the ears with a warm solution of three parts apple-cider vinegar and one part distilled water for seven to 10 days may help. Dry the ears well after flushing. Even taping your dog''s ears over her head briefly to air out the external ear canals may help.