M.F., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: dog Minneapolis MN teeth
Sep 04, 2011
I would like to purchase the PetzLife gel. However, I am not sure how to use this product. Do you apply it with your fingers to coat the dog's teeth? Do you put it on a piece of food? My concern is that we have a German shepherd mix, and he is not used to fingers in his mouth. I am almost 100 percent sure that he would not let me apply the product this way.
M.F., Minneapolis, MN Sep 05, 2011
This is an excellent product to keep dogs' teeth and gums healthy. I got my dogs used to the taste by first putting a little on my finger and letting them lick, then I massaged their gums. They like the taste.
It is important to get to the back teeth (the big molars) where tartar or scale builds up. If the tartar is very thick, apply the gel for a few days. If it does not loosen -- try using a fingernail -- have the teeth professionally cleaned and then maintain them with daily treatments of PetzLife Oral Care Gel. My dogs also got used to the spray.
There is no use in putting the gel on food that will simply be swallowed. On a Nylabone or chew toy, OK, but the gel will not get to all the teeth unless you apply it yourself.
B.P., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: cat Minneapolis MN diet food
Apr 24, 2011
I have a 4-year-old Siamese cat who is overweight at 14 pounds. I've fed her Wellness CORE dry food. It's all protein and fat, no carbs. I give her 3/4 cup a day, which is probably too much, but I can't stand to see her sitting by her empty dish and looking at me. She is shedding terribly. I brush her almost every day, and it keeps coming. She also has developed fur knots that I mostly must cut out. The knots have appeared just in the past month.
What worries me is that my sister had a cat with many knots that also had a hyperthyroid condition. Could knots be a symptom of a thyroid illness?
B.P., Minneapolis, MN Apr 24, 2011
There are many reasons why cats (and dogs) constantly shed their fur and need daily grooming. You must do this to reduce the chances of your cat developing fur balls in her stomach from swallowing the shedding fur that she grooms off herself. Knots of fur are more of a problem with longhair cats and can form painful mats that must be clipped away. But remember, brushing cats too much can stimulate hair growth and shedding, so all things in moderation.
Your cat is probably too young to have thyroid disease. Her coat condition should improve by adding a few drops of good-quality fish oil, beginning with two to three drops daily on her dry food and working up to a teaspoon daily. Feed her several small portions of food throughout the day. Try her on various quality canned cat foods (such as Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Evo and PetGuard), because moist foods are better for cats than most dry foods.
J.G., Minneapolis, MN
Feb 20, 2011
I have a 5-year-old beagle named Ruby. I give her one Heartgard a month for six months.
When I need the Heartgard for the next year, why does she need another heartworm test? I feel every year for a blood test at $48 is unnecessary, as long as she gets her preventive every month.
J.G., Minneapolis, MN Feb 20, 2011
I give our two dogs here in Minnesota the heartworm preventive medicine during the mosquito season; they are off this drug from November to the end of March. Come spring, they have a blood test to confirm they have no infestation before they go back onto the preventives.
This test is necessary because if a dog is infected -- a possibility in spite of preventive medication -- the drug could cause serious problems by killing some of the worms in the dog's heart. Dead ones disintegrate and block major blood vessels that could kill your dog or make her a permanent cripple from a stroke.
A positive diagnosis of infestation calls for a different treatment procedure and careful monitoring.
T.U., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: small pet
Aug 16, 2010
I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota and had many occasions to stay over at a farm owned by a family that regularly attended my father's Lutheran church. I enjoyed getting a taste of farm life. They were dairy-cow farmers, and I remember asking the father as he was milking cows why he had the radio on and why he was playing classical music. He said that he tried rock, polka and most everything else and concluded that classical music produced the best milking. Somewhere, it has been said that "music hath charms to soothe the savage breast." I believe it also can arouse and agitate. My farmer friend said the cows were as calm as can be with classical music playing in the barn.
T.U., Minneapolis, MN Aug 16, 2010
Thank you for your interesting recollection!
J.G.K., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: small pet
Jul 24, 2010
You have offered much opinion on the risks of vaccinations to cats and dogs, and I have read the convincing documentation of the health problems that can occur at your website and others. Please provide a concise summary to help convince pet owners that annual booster vaccinations are high-risk and unwarranted.
J.G.K., Minneapolis, MN Jul 25, 2010
Thanks for your well-worded question, which I will endeavor to answer concisely. For documentation supporting the validity of the health issues associated with vaccinations and how to reduce the risks of vaccinosis -- vaccination-induced diseases -- visit www.DrFoxVet.com/info/.
I would encapsulate the matter first by pointing out the obvious: Humans do not need annual booster vaccinations, so why do dogs and cats? I then point to the rising clinical evidence (which vaccinologists, manufacturers and others will debate forever) that while vaccines work by programming the immune-defense system, this programming can go haywire for a variety of partially documented reasons, leading to vaccinosis. This is especially true in certain feline and canine genotypes/breeds. So the precautionary principle must be applied and blood titers taken to determine whether revaccination is needed. Annual booster vaccinations only increase the risk of autoimmune diseases and other vaccinosis, including allergies, chronic infections and cancer.
E.C., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: small pet
Jun 26, 2010
With regard to your advice to so many people and their animals, how is it that doctors like you can give us the answers we need and it seems local vets cannot? Please take this with all due respect.
E.C., Minneapolis, MN Jun 27, 2010
I appreciate your words of support and encouragement, with due respect for the veterinary profession.
Local vets cannot give the answers from my perspective as long as they selling so many dubious kinds of manufactured cat and dog foods and prescribing highly overpriced "therapeutic" diets; insisting on annual "booster" vaccinations and teeth-cleaning under general anesthesia; and engaging in the routine de-clawing of cats and cropping of dogs'' ears. For further details on veterinary economic and ethical conflicts, see related articles at my website, www.DrFoxVet.com/info/.
R.G., Minneapolis, MN
Jun 19, 2010
We have a neutered, 7-year-old, male American Eskimo dog. We''ve had him since he was an 8-week-old pup. Behaviorally, he is a challenging dog. He barks excessively for food when we have guests or at any sound outside. He also guards excessively -- his food bowl, toys, sleeping space -- and he growls aggressively if anyone walks past him. He has never bitten anyone, though.
He can be affectionate and greets our family warmly when we come home. But we are looking for guidance in curbing the barking and growling. We''ve tried obedience training more than once, to no real effect.
R.G., Minneapolis, MN Jun 20, 2010
Your dog is barking and growling in order to get attention and to assert/insert his presence. This behavior-modification method may work: Try reward training -- when he barks or growls, say "Quiet," praise him, and put him in the sit-stay position; then reward intermittently with a treat. If he cannot contain himself, say "Go away" and point to the room to which you will send him for a 10- to 15-minute timeout. I call this "shunning," and most pack-oriented dogs hate it and soon shape up.
P.H., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: dog Minneapolis MN allergies
Oct 03, 2009
We have a yellow Lab who loves to swim. We have just figured out that swimming is causing him to itch and have crawly skin, even after one short swim. He seems miserable -- even walking around causes him discomfort, as he always looks as if he wants to scratch. We always rinse him off after swimming, and it doesn''t seem to matter where he swims -- in a lake or river. He is fed Blue Buffalo holistic food along with homemade that closely follows your recipe. He also gets on omega-3 capsule every day. Is there anything you could recommend that would help? We were thinking maybe a topical treatment of some sort. Swimming is one of his favorite things. We do a lot of boating, and he is always with us. We would hate to have to keep him out of the water.
P.H., Minneapolis, MN Oct 04, 2009
Some dogs develop an allergic skin condition associated with outdoor swimming that could be a hypersensitivity to algae or other water-borne organisms. In some cases, a skin fungus is involved that triggers histamine release soon after the dog''s skin becomes wet. I would increase his omega-3 intake to a tablespoon daily of good-quality fish oil (like Nordic Naturals) available in liquid form, rather than capsules. Try a human shampoo like Selsun Blue (medicated) or other medicated shampoos from your veterinarian. Also ask for a prescription of antihistamine pills that will help subdue your dog''s skin hypersensitivity. Give this an hour before swimming. After a swim, hose your dog down well with clean water and dry him thoroughly.
S.P., Minneapolis, MN
Tags: cat Minneapolis MN
Sep 05, 2009
I adopted a cat from the Golden Valley Humane Society. He was tested for ear mites, given Revolution, neutered, two teeth were removed, and his lacerated left front leg received stitches. They started him on an upper-respiratory antibiotic, and I took him home. Upon bringing him home, I noticed he was itching a lot, so I took him to a vet and he was treated further for ear mites and roundworm. The itching persisted throughout his body, and white things came out of his fur. The vet did not know what the white things were. Subsequently, I took several samples to the diagnostic vet lab at the University of Minnesota, but the tests were inconclusive. It was suggested that he might have a walking mite of some sort. We gave him a series of three shots of Ivomec, two weeks apart, and then a fourth about a month later. The white things continue to come out. It seems they will use human hosts, as well -- I have some embedded in my skin. They produce a burning or prick sensation. I have some behind my left ear and other smaller skin spots.
S.P., Minneapolis, MN Sep 06, 2009
Your cat most likely became infested as a kitten while in contact with decaying organic matter like straw and filthy bedding in a barn or stable. Minute worms -- saprophytic nematodes called Pelodera (Rhabditis) strongyloides -- thrive in these kinds of moist materials. Being a skin parasite is not typical. They only occasionally invade the skin of dogs, cows, horses, sheep, guinea pigs and humans. Other species of this parasite, especially in the tropics, can be fatal to humans.
Other alternate skin parasites include hookworm and heartworm. Occasionally, another strongyle worm (Strongyloides cati or tumefaciens that can infest a cat''s small intestines) may also live free in a cat''s environment, and the larvae invade the cat''s skin. All bedding should be destroyed, and clean sheets put down where the cat lives after the cat has been treated with a cat-safe parasiticidal dip or spray. Treatment should be repeated a week later. Alternatively, a treatment regimen using albendazole or thiabendazole may eliminate these parasites. If the parasites persist in infesting you, I would urge you to call your state public health authorities -- but put the cat in quarantine at the vet''s first, since some public health agents have little respect for animals suspected or known to have a zoonotic (human-transmissible) disease.
P.L., Minneapolis, MN
Aug 08, 2009
We had to end our 18-year-old male cat''s life last November. Originally, Topsy was my daughter''s cat, but she moved to Australia and I became Topsy''s caregiver and have adored him ever since. He was howling in pain and could not move his rear legs or walk. My son held him while I drove in a snowstorm to an emergency vet hospital recommended by our veterinarian. They told me that if it were their cat, they would put him to sleep. I believe it was the best decision.
What haunts me is the fact that neither my son nor I were with the cat when they gave him the euthanasia solution. We did spend some time with him prior to that -- they had administered pain medication, his eyes were glassy, etc. Did our cat feel abandoned? Also, when do you recommend bringing another cat into our home?
P.L., Minneapolis, MN Aug 09, 2009
This acute, painful and terrifying malady in cats is not uncommon. It may seem like a stroke, but in most instances, there is a blood clot in the major blood vessel in the hindquarters. This condition (called thrombosis) can be treated with some success if the clot is not too large, but considering your cat''s age and the minimal chances of recovery and likelihood of recurrence, the decision to euthanize was appropriate.
I am glad that he was given pain medication and deeply sedated. In that state, he would not have felt abandoned when the euthanasia injection was administered. My sympathies go out to you. Any time soon would be a good time to adopt a healthy cat from your local shelter.