L.W., Naples, FL
Tags: dog Naples FL
Nov 21, 2009
In one of your columns, someone wrote to you complaining that their dog had a very bad itch. You suggested Selsun Blue hair shampoo. My husband has had an itch on his head and back for 50 years or so, so I decided if it was good for a dog, it might be good for a human, too. I bought Selsun Blue Medicated and used it on his back and hair. No more itch!
Thank you so much. I plan to send a copy of this letter to Dr. Gott, a wonderful doctor for humans. His column is usually just above yours. He, too, gives out wonderful information to help others.
L.W., Naples, FL Nov 22, 2009
I am glad that the Selsun Blue Medicated hair shampoo helped your husband. I am all for using human-tested products on animals, since I oppose the routine testing on animals of new cosmetics and toiletries. Selsun Blue has been on the market for decades for human use. I use it myself and recommend many products for animal use that have a long and safe history of use by the human species, whose cruelty toward animals in new product-testing is a profit-driven abomination.
C.W., Naples, FL
Tags: cat Naples FL diet food
Sep 19, 2009
What can I do about a cat with pancreatitis? I have been reading your column about pet teeth cleaning and what to use to prevent the need to have it done again. You mentioned changing a pet's diet. My pet female Siamese is 4 years old. I rescued her about six months ago fro the Humane Society. I was not told that she had pancreatitis. This was finally discovered after a couple of visits to our vet where extensive tests were done. She is now on prescription food and doing well. Your book, "Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Foods" talks about the perils of manufactured pet foods. What am I to do? I want to give her what is best for the pancreatitis, so she has to have low-fat foods. But how can I keep her teeth clean with the items you mentioned: raw chicken-wing tips/feet, sliced strips of turkey gizzards and raw beef hearts? I cannot give my cat these items, as they may cause her pancreatitis to flare up. And what to do about constipation? Can I give her 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw organic yogurt daily in the food or 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil? I only want to do what's best for my cat.
C.W., Naples, FL Sep 20, 2009
As long as your cat is doing well on the prescription diet that is low in fat and protein, I would not change her diet. Later on, you may be able to transition her onto a more natural diet. Your veterinarian must rule out all possible causes, notably bad teeth. One abscessed tooth in cats (and dogs) can cause havoc to internal organs. So can some manufactured cat foods that are linked to another disease of the pancreas (namely diabetes) as well as fatty liver disease and arthritis. Try a product like Petzlife Oral Care spray or gel on her teeth once they have been thoroughly checked. Also, discuss with your veterinarian giving her supportive pancreatic digestive enzymes and probiotics.
The constipation may be alleviated with psyllium husks, provided she has a good fluid intake. A tablespoon daily of low-fat yogurt may also help.
R.F., Naples, FL
Tags: dog Naples FL
Jun 13, 2009
I have a 2-year-old female Cavalier King Charles spaniel, an extremely well-behaved and mannered dog. However, she has one behavior that is puzzling and, at times, embarrassing. Whenever she is playing with a stuffed toy, she mounts it as if she were a male. When she gets tired and out of breath, she holds the toy in her mouth, lies down, and rests. Is this normal behavior for a female dog?
R.F., Naples, FL Jun 14, 2009
This behavior is not depraved, but rather a natural consequence of being deprived of living canine playmates. The "responsiveness" of a stuffed toy is a poor substitute for playful physical contact with other dogs, no matter how imaginative your dog may be.
I would consider adopting a compatible dog or network with a doggy social hour in your community. Get out and about with your dog, and play some outdoor games like chase-and-fetch and wild tugs of war with a knotted rope or gutted stuffed toy. Both dogs and cats will incorporate prey killing and sexual and parental behaviors in their creative play with inanimate objects, a reflection of their imaginative little minds!
J.L.L., Naples, FL
Tags: dog Naples FL
May 30, 2009
Our cocker spaniel has an itchy skin problem. We make his food with special oats, fresh vegetables (usually broccoli or cauliflower) and sweet potato with hot water. We also supplement this with Life''s Abundance from HealthyPetNet. He has been to our veterinarian on many occasions, had a year''s worth of shots from an allergist, and we''ve given him two Benadryls a day. The itching seems no worse, but not much better. Can you help Homer?
J.L.L., Naples, FL May 31, 2009
One of the most common skin problems in cocker spaniels is linked to deficiency in Vitamin A and essential fatty acids. I strongly advise that you give your dog up to a tablespoon of cod-liver or flaxseed oil with Vitamin A supplement capsules daily. Consult with your veterinarian about possible concurrent thyroid disease that could be aggravated by feeding cauliflower and broccoli. Trace-element supplements of zinc and selenium may also help, as well as twice-a-month bathing with medicated (human) Selsun Blue shampoo.
T. & N.S., Naples, FL
Tags: cat Naples FL diet food
May 02, 2009
We have a problem with one of our 12-year-old cats. After a liver profile and ultrasound, Cassie has been diagnosed with a fatty liver and inflammation of the liver and bile duct. The problem is that Cassie's diet is next to nonexistent. She shows the desire to eat, but we have a hard time getting her to eat anything nutritious. She is a fairly large cat who used to weigh 14 pounds but is now down to 9.5 pounds. She has been raised with the typical dry food and some canned food. Her finicky appetite and weight loss are most disconcerting. She is very affectionate and gives us wonderful messages. We just started her out on your Homemade Natural Dietary Supplement for Cats -- she is not crazy about it, but we will continue it for a while. Our other cat is fine and has had the same diet as Cassie. We love Cassie and don't want to lose her. What can you suggest that might cure her illness?
T. & N.S., Naples, FL May 03, 2009
Your cat's potentially fatal fatty-liver disease (often associated with diabetes, as in humans) is primarily diet-related. You don't mention the use of any supplements (herbs and nutraceuticals). You should discuss this with your veterinarian. These could do much to bring back your cat's appetite and help restore liver function. Have your veterinarian consider some of the following: milk thistle, burdock, couch grass, dandelion, vitamin B-complex, carnitine, taurine, S-adenosylmethionine, choline, lecithin and multimineral supplements. The liver does have remarkable powers of recovery following damage due to high carbohydrates. Change the diet, and add protective herbs and nutraceuticals as prescribed.
J.F., Naples, FL
Tags: dog Naples FL
May 02, 2009
My dog, a 22-pound mutt, had many ear infections until I tried a suggestion offered by a friend''s vet, which has totally cleared up the ear infections. He suggested we give our dog a 4-ounce cup of YoBaby yogurt daily. That was a bit expensive for us, so we switched to a 24-ounce size of vanilla yogurt offered by our local Publix supermarket, giving the dog one 4-ounce cup twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday. That was the cure! A larger dog might need the 4-ounce cup more often, but experimentation would be necessary. Tell your readers this really works; it did for our friend, too.
J.F., Naples, FL May 03, 2009
Thanks for confirming one of my favorite remedies for many conditions. But skip the vanilla with sugar. Plain nonpasteurized yogurt full of beneficial probiotic bacteria is a cure for many ills.
A.J.O., Naples, FL
Tags: small pet Naples FL
Jul 26, 2008
We are a retired couple in our 80s and have a Japanese Chin that we rescued -- he is the delight of our lives. However, he has several habits that we cannot break him of:1) He will urinate and defecate in his cage. He will also eat his own feces. This is not constant, but will happen once or twice a month. He is taken for a quarter-mile walk three times a day and is out in our fenced-in yard at least five to six times a day.2) If someone is at the front door, he will bark annoyingly.We rescued him when he was 1-1/2, and he is now 2 years old. At first, he was extremely shy around people, but is becoming more used to strangers. We allow him to be around when we have family or friends visiting, and he is now OK with being petted. Any advice would be appreciated.
A.J.O., Naples, FL Jul 27, 2008
It seems that your patience and good care have helped your dog become more trusting and sociable.But why the cage? Such confinement is probably stressful, hence the urination and occasional defecation. He most likely eats his stools because that''s his way of cleaning up his own mess.I advise against cage confinement. A better alternative would be an open cage lined with a blanket that can serve as a secure den that your dog may enjoy."The annoying barking might be reduced by aversive noise conditioning: Give your dog a command of "quiet," and shake a tin can of coins or keys close to the dog. Then praise the dog when quiet, ideally pre-trained to "sit" as well."A dog-training clicker available at pet stores might work well, but when I tried it on one of my dogs, Batman, he was absolutely petrified!
T.B., Naples, FL
Tags: cat Naples FL
Jul 19, 2008
I love your column and advice (which is usually great). However, as a feral-cat caretaker and advocate for more than 10 years, I felt compelled to write to educate you and your readers.Your recent advice to a query involving a free-roaming feral cat was to call Animal Control to trap and get the cat into a more responsible home is, unfortunately, just not realistic.Millions of healthy, adoptable cats are killed in our shelters each year due to overpopulation. Feral cats are killed almost immediately, usually in the trap they arrive in. The only humane solution is TNR (trap, neuter, return). Once the cat is fixed, rabies-vaccinated and ear-tipped for identification purposes, the nuisance behavior stops. A feeding station should be set up in an out-of-sight location.Dr. Fox, you could educate so many people. It is my mission to make it a more humane world for these forgotten felines. For more information, please go to www.alleycatallies.org.
T.B., Naples, FL Jul 20, 2008
I respect your concern and passion. Doing good feels good, as I know too well as an animal-rights advocate; but what feels good may not always be the best thing to do."The TNR that you and many other cat lovers and protectors advocate is extremely controversial. It is no panacea for the plight of homeless, lost and feral (gone wild) cats. It can be extremely detrimental to indigenous wildlife. I would only endorse TNR, coupled with regular monitoring and daily supplemental feeding, for feral-cat populations living where humans have created a rodent overpopulation and related public-health problems, as in warehouse districts. A healthy, well-managed, "working" group of TNR cats is appropriate biological warfare in my mind, like using guard dogs to protect sheep from coyotes. But I am wholly opposed to TNR projects that return cats to the wild."
C.S., Naples, FL
Tags: cat Naples FL
Feb 02, 2008
We have two 2-year-old male cats. They are great buddies, and my husband and I really enjoy them. They are neutered, but have their nails because I don''t believe in having them declawed.We have never been able to break Simon from clawing the furniture. We have tried spraying the furniture with bitter apple and various sprays. I have put sticky tape on the chairs and that helped quite a lot, but it still hasn''t stopped him completely. He backs off for a while then starts again.I have a cat condo with scratch pads, and they also have their own scratch stand, but Simon still insists on going for the furniture. He likes to go after our barstool seats. It is almost as if he is trying to make it into a game -- he will, at times, look at me, knowing I''m watching him, and then start in.As for attention, we play with them a lot -- daily, in fact -- and they also have lots of toys and fun things, so we do make sure that they have attention and lots of love.Can you offer any other kind of help? Something I haven''t thou
C.S., Naples, FL Feb 03, 2008
Clearly, you have done everything to deter your cat from raking up your upholstered furniture.This is his windup game, a display of excitement in your presence. So when you catch him at it, immediately re-motivate him with a dangling fluffy toy to chase, catch or "kill."Cats also claw furniture and walls to mark their territory, work their claws or keep them clean and sharp.Let him have the barstool seats for himself and cover other areas you want to protect with thick plastic sheeting for three to four weeks after spraying the fabric with enzyme cleaner to help remove his scent. Such time away from this habit may help break him break it. I would allow him to claw the back of furniture that is out of sight and call it cat art. Part of living with cats is accommodating their needs, and I''m glad your felines have not been declawed.
J.L., Naples, FL
Apr 21, 2007
I have a Persian cat who gets regular shots and boosters every year.On my last visit, the veterinarian spoke to me about rabies shots. He said it was up to me because mine is a house cat that never goes out. He also explained there could be side effects to the rabies shots, so I decided against it this time. (This animal hospital also doesn''t declaw cats because they believe it is cruel, and I agree.)We travel every year to Florida, and the last time I took him to be groomed, they refused to do it because the cat didn''t have a rabies shot. Have you heard of this? They said it is a law in Florida. I live on Long Island the rest of the year.
J.L., Naples, FL Apr 22, 2007
Different states have different regulations with respect to the vaccination of cats. Some leniency may be called for when animals like yours never go outdoors and when vaccination may pose more risks than benefits.Many grooming and boarding facilities insist on vaccination certification, often with the best of intentions. But again, some go overboard and insist on all standard vaccinations being given within the past year. That is absurd when some are good for three years and longer.I am encouraged you have found a veterinary practice where they refuse to declaw cats, a mutilation that is unethical and can cause chronic suffering, and are not pushing vaccinations regardless of situation and risks. Find another groomer who is less rigid. It''s the groomers and other animal handlers who should have the rabies vaccinations!