C.D., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet
Mar 08, 2008
I have a miniature schnauzer that keeps acting as if he is expelling gas. If he is, I can''t smell it. He really does look as if he is, though, and will run around as if to get away from it and smell or lick his butt. He has gotten worse over the past few months.My vet did some blood work and found him to have hypothyroidism. She has put my dog on a steroid and Benadryl regime that has helped. However, he still does this, and I don''t understand why. He doesn''t seem to be in any distress. It just drives him and all of us crazy when he has a bad attack.Have you ever heard of this strange behavior? Can you recommend something?.
C.D., Norfolk, Va Mar 09, 2008
Stop the steroid and Benadryl medication at once! This is absurd treatment for the condition you describe and borders on malpractice. The dog''s low-thyroid-gland activity should be addressed, and the anal glands checked for possible impaction or inflammation that can make dogs spooky about their rear ends.Chronic flatulence is common in dogs whose manufactured food includes soy protein and other soy ingredients. Your dog may have a food allergy or hypersensitivity that could lead to skin and immune-system problems and inflammatory-bowel disease.Certain food ingredients can disrupt the bacterial flora in the digestive system, so I would advise that you put your dog on a course of treatment with probiotics. This should be coupled with a basic, home-prepared, soy-free diet.
A.M., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet
Apr 28, 2007
I know someone who has a pet turkey. He says the turkey is every bit as smart as a dog or a cat. I've heard that pigs are as smart as dogs, but can this also be true for turkeys?.
A.M., Norfolk, Va Apr 29, 2007
Try to get close to wild turkeys and they will be flying off before you know where they are.Turkeys are intelligent animals, recognizing and greeting mates and human caretakers. Their vigilance and flightiness have been dampened significantly through domestication. Domestic turkeys have been so genetically altered as to develop abnormal masses of pectoral muscles (white breast meat), which makes them extremely vulnerable to predators. These turkeys cannot fly, succumb quickly to crippling arthritis and cannot breed normally. From the perspective of survivability, wild turkeys have arguably greater instinctual wisdom than our human species, which causes more ecological harm than good.
NOTE: Many readers have requested recipes for dogs and cats, especially since more people are preparing meals from scratch for their animals. My two recipes are on my website. Send a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you must write in and do not have computer access.
B.S., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet
Feb 10, 2007
I have a 2-year-old dachshund-beagle mix. Last month, when she jumped off the sofa, she fell down, started shaking her hind legs and could not move. This lasted about 10 minutes, and then she returned to normal. We took her to the vet, who said she didn''t have a seizure, her lungs were clear and her heart was fine. Last week, this happened again, and it took longer for her to regain her strength. What do you think is causing this?.
B.S., Norfolk, Va Feb 11, 2007
There are many reasons why dogs have seizures. In some instances, they have but one episode that is never repeated. However, since your dog has evidently had a second seizure, your veterinarian should take a closer look. It would be helpful to have a video camera on hand to film the next episode. This may help with the diagnosis. Take note of what has happened just before the seizure. Sometimes a family argument, sitting close to the television, application of anti-flea drops on the back or a particular food ingredient can be the trigger. Anti-seizure medicine like potassium bromide or phenobarbital is called for if seizures become more intense and frequent. An ice pack in the middle of the dog''s back can help recovery and shorten seizure duration.
D.S., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet
Aug 05, 2006
I read that a vitamin B complex could be prescribed to prevent flea infestation on dogs. Would this be given on a daily basis, and, if so, how much?.
D.S., Norfolk, Va Aug 06, 2006
The cheapest form of B complex is powdered Brewer''s yeast (not Baker''s yeast). Alternatively, give nutritional yeast, which can be bought in bulk, in powder, flake or granule form. Give 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight mixed in with the animal''s food every day. Add 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil per 30 pounds of body weight to help improve the coat.Brewer''s or nutritional yeast has proven effective in making some dogs and cats less attractive to fleas. But there are other important steps that often need to be taken to keep these pests at bay, as detailed on my Web site at http://DrFoxVet.com/info/Preventing-Fleas-Ticks-Mosquitoes.
S.H., Norfolk, Va
Jun 10, 2006
Regarding the letter from M.W., whose cat suffered from itchy skin and hot spots, I would like to share my experience with a similar situation, although my cat (one of six) had a urinary-tract infection as well.My veterinarian, who specializes in cats, asked me what my cat was eating. At the time, I was feeding all my cats Meow Mix, which was by far their favorite. My vet told me to stop feeding them any foods with dye in them. I did so immediately, and the skin and urinary-tract problems cleared up in a couple of weeks.Even though I am allergic to red dye No. 40, it never occurred to me that a cat could also be. There are many brands of cat food without dye in them, and my cat hasn''t had any further problems.
S.H., Norfolk, Va Jun 11, 2006
Your veterinarian''s advice is worth noting by all people with cats and dogs, and especially by the pet-food industry.The beneficial consequences of giving your cat a diet that contains no artificial coloring are indeed dramatic. Many holistic veterinarians follow the principle of wholesome natural food first, which they insist upon as the first step in treating a variety of prevalent health problems in their animal patients. Dyes are not the only chemical additives and adulterants in many commercial pet foods. Common sense dictates these additives should be avoided because of potential risk.
S.A.K., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet
Feb 18, 2006
I read your article on the need to house-train pets before people get married, and I had to write about an experience close to what you wrote about.A co-worker in my office came home from work to find that her husband had brought home a full-grown Rottweiler. They lived in a small apartment with no yard; thus, the dog would have to share this small space with them. My friend is a headstrong type and was furious with her husband. She gave him an ultimatum: When she came home from work, the dog would be gone, period. Well, she came home the next day and the dog was gone, all right, but so was her husband, with all of his belongings. He had chosen the dog over his wife. They later divorced. Hopefully, he lived happily ever after -- with his dog.
S.A.K., Norfolk, Va Feb 19, 2006
This anecdote of marital conflict over an animal is very telling.Spouses should consult with each other about bringing an animal into their lives, ideally sharing in the choice as well as in the care of the creature. Only too often, the animal becomes an emotional support or outlet for just one spouse, leading the other to feelings of resentment and even jealousy. My guess is that the man in your story felt lonely in his relationship, already felt he was in the doghouse, and maybe could communicate better with his new dog than with his wife. Perhaps he was an inconsiderate little boy who never grew up, and since he could not control his wife, he got a dog to boost his ego.Another aspect of this theme is when ex-partners both love the same animal. Arranging visiting times post-breakup can be problematic and stressful for all concerned, including the animal. Sometimes it is best to make a clean break and not turn the animal into an emotional yo-yo to satisfy the needs of the separated couple.I also wonder how
C.A., Norfolk, Va
Sep 17, 2005
I have a very active, 1-year-old mixed-terrier dog who is normally a bundle of energy. But I have noticed that when I put on his coat or sweater to take him for a walk in cold weather or because the house is chilly, his whole personality changes.He immediately becomes very quiet and wants to hop up on the sofa or bed and sleep. It is very out of character for him to become so docile. The coat or sweater is not restrictive in the least and it is comical to see him transform before our eyes. What causes his activity level/personality to change so dramatically?.
C.A., Norfolk, Va Sep 18, 2005
What an interesting observation you made on your dog''s sudden change in personality once he is dressed!Wearing a coat or sweater could have a calming effect on your dog, who may feel like he''s being gently held and restrained all over.Working in India helping animals with various injuries and health problems, my wife, Deanna, has found that many dogs -- especially those in treatment suffering from mange (a terribly irritating skin disease) -- become calm and rested when tightly swaddled in a towel or blanket. Swaddling also gives comfort to many dogs who are terrified by thunderstorms and fireworks.
G.M., Norfolk, Va
Tags: dog Norfolk VA diet food
Jul 23, 2005
I have a question that I have never seen addressed. Why is it that fish and pork are never in dog foods? I have asked other people and no one has an answer. Many of us await your response.
G.M., Norfolk, Va Jul 24, 2005
The labeling of commercial pet foods is not fully informative. Ingredients like "meat meal" and "meat byproducts" could well include various parts of pigs and, until recently, the rendered remains of dogs and cats from animal shelters and road-killed deer and other animals.Fish is not used in most brands of dog food, to my knowledge, but is included in some specially formulated diets for dogs who have a hypersensitivity to beef, poultry and other sources of animal protein.
M.B., Norfolk, Va
Tags: small pet Norfolk VA
Jul 16, 2005
I have a stray female cat. She was spayed at the age of six months.She will not come close to me and runs and hides when she sees me coming. When I put her food down and leave the room, she will eat. We had to trap her and take her to the veterinarian for surgery and she''s been in our home since then.Please advise if this may be a feral cat, and if her behavior might be modified so she''ll accept my family and me.
M.B., Norfolk, Va Jul 17, 2005
Your poor cat probably had insufficient human contact early in life, which is necessary to develop a close social bond. But she may still come around.First, keep her in the same room with you as much as possible, with access to another room or quiet corner for her litter box. Don''t try to force yourself on her. Purchase a couple of catnip-stuffed toys. Consider adopting a healthy, friendly cat that may well bring her out of her shell. Your veterinarian could also prescribe Valium for two to three weeks -- a small, regular dose could help her overcome her fear and begin to slowly bond with you.
B.K.L., Norfolk, Va
Oct 23, 2004
I have been reading in my newspaper about genetically engineered crops and how they are spreading these genes and getting them mixed up with conventionally grown soy, corn and other foods. So I wonder about how safe our food really is, and all that goes into the pet food I give my three dogs and two cats.
B.K.L., Norfolk, Va Oct 24, 2004
In my book "Beyond Evolution" (Lyon''s Press, 1999), I spell out the catastrophic possibilities of genetically engineered (g-e) crops, foods, beverages and nutritional supplements. There is no scientific evidence that such foods are entirely safe. The soon-to-be-published updated edition of this book is thus aptly re-titled "Killer Foods."Consumers (and their companion animals) are guinea pigs in a huge, uncontrolled experiment that other governments and various environmental and public health organizations have tried in vain to contain, if not stop. That organic crops are at risk deeply concerns me, but they still are the wise choice for consumers who share my concerns over g-e crops.The big question of the possibility of abnormal gene combinations in food finishing up in our (and animals'') bodies has been partially answered by Norwegian scientist Dr. Terje Traavik. He found that the cauliflower mosaic virus (which is attached to foreign genes in nearly all g-e foods) was found in the lymph nodes, liver, spl