Tags: dog diet food
Mar 03, 2014
My 15-year-old male cat has had the feline herpes virus his whole life. I give him lysine paste daily, but he is always suffering from nasal congestion. Antibiotics don''t seem to do much good. Do you have any other suggestions to relieve his suffering?
Mar 04, 2014
Chronic herpes virus conditions are one of the sad afflictions of cats, along with other virus infections, some of which are only just being discovered.
Kittens often become hosts for various viral infections because of early stress, malnutrition or an infected mother. The herpes virus commonly causes conjunctivitis, which can lead to corneal damage. Some cats develop immunity as they mature and when given good care; others, for various reasons, have episodes where their immune systems fail and there is a flare-up of viral proliferation and inflammation. Secondary bacterial and fungal or yeast infections are common after a viral flare-up or primary infection. Appropriate antibacterial and anti-fungal medications may help. Anti-inflammatory steroids are often used in combination but never alone, since steroids can make secondary infections worse.
Your old cat should have a veterinary consultation, ideally an in-home visit. Fish oil for cats could significantly help, as could a diet free of corn and soy. It is also very important that your cat''s teeth are examined, since sinus and bronchial infections are often associated with periodontal disease and stomatitis (inflammation of the mucus lining in the mouth), which is all too common in cats. PetzLife and VetzLife oral care products may help your old cat enjoy oral health and provide possible relief from secondary infection in his upper respiratory system.
M.H., Raleigh, NC
Tags: dog NC diet food Raleigh
Mar 03, 2014
Is it OK to feed a 2-year-old chocolate Lab three times a day? He is currently eating Royal Canin dog food formulated for Labrador retrievers. Thank you.
M.H., Raleigh, NC Mar 04, 2014
The short answer is yes and no: Yes, if the servings are small; no, if they add up to more than the daily recommended amount indicated on the food label.
Labradors are notorious for becoming overweight. With not-always-good hips, they can suffer a great deal. It is imperative, therefore, to monitor your dog''s weight after a veterinary examination and appraisal of the dog''s condition and discussion of any dietary restrictions that are called for.
It is advisable to weigh your dog every month and keep a record of weight gain or loss. The easiest way to do this at home is to hold your dog and step onto the bathroom scale and note the weight, then deduct your weight without the dog in your arms.
Avoid dog foods with high cereal and carbohydrate content, and check my website, DrFoxVet.com, for some good dog foods that I endorse.
S.C., Rolla, Mo
Tags: dog MO Rolla
Mar 02, 2014
I buried my beloved cat, Jenny, on Friday. She was a 17-year-old Maine coon with long hair. I believe she had arthritis pain, although my vet''s X-ray did not show any abnormalities of the spine or hips. She lost three pounds over six months.
We moved to a condo six months ago, and the owner had the carpets cleaned before renting it to us. Jenny would never sleep in her regular bed after we moved, but preferred to sleep in the hallway on the carpet where it was warm. She constantly groomed herself after we moved here because I think she did not like the smell of the carpet. I wonder if whatever shampoo was used on the carpet was toxic to her.
She vomited almost every day -- not just hairballs, but whatever she had eaten. She also craved water and would jump into the bathroom sink to drink whenever the faucet was turned on, even though she had a water fountain with fresh water. She had copious amounts of urine.
I am heartbroken over losing her. I would like for you to warn your readers about the shampoo they use on their carpets when they have cats. I have no way of knowing what was used on my carpets because it was done before we moved here, but I think it contributed to my cat''s illness and death.
S.C., Rolla, Mo Mar 03, 2014
My deepest condolences. Losing an old, beloved feline companion can be very distressing -- even more so when you do not know why the animal died.
Some carpet cleaners can contain toxic residues, which the cat can pick up on the paws and fur and then ingest in the process of self-grooming. Steam cleaning and enzyme cleaners on stains are the safest methods. New carpets can be toxic from formaldehyde fumes and flame-retardant bromide compounds that can harm the thyroid gland.
The stress of moving to a new place could also have tipped the scales for your cat and caused chronic kidney disease and stress-associated diabetes to flare up. You should feel no blame for this sad end to your cat''s life who, after all, had to move with you and most certainly had a good life under your care.
S.J., Parker, CO
Tags: dog CO diet food Parker
Mar 02, 2014
You occasionally write good advice for horse owners such as myself. Will you please write something about the cruelty involved in horse slaughter? Thousands of horses are being exported to killing centers, and some people want slaughtering to start up again in the U.S.
S.J., Parker, CO Mar 03, 2014
The year of 2014 is China''s Year of the Horse, where the price of horse meat is listed on the nation''s consumer price index. In 2013, consumers in Europe were outraged at the discovery of horse meat in their beef hamburgers, some of which probably originated from the United States. The last two government-inspected horse slaughtering and processing facilities were closed in 2007. Still, America''s racing, working and pleasure horses are being denied a peaceful end to their lives.
In 2006, a reported 104,899 horses were killed in the U.S. before the slaughter ban. Since the ban, horses have been transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, where humane practices are not monitored. In 2010, almost 138,000 horses were transported out of the U.S. to be slaughtered, enduring untold suffering while being collected, corralled, and transported vast distances to be killed and processed, and even being held in beef cattlelike feedlot fattening facilities prior to slaughter.
In a recent public address in the United Kingdom, Princess Anne, a former Olympic equestrian, caused a stir when she said that attitudes to the U.K.''s horse meat trade may have to change in light of the current numbers of horses being abandoned and mistreated. "Should we be considering a real market for horse meat and would that reduce the number of welfare cases, if there was a real value in the horse meat sector?" she asked. My response, having used a stun gun approved for cattle slaughter on horses in an emergency, is that this standard slaughter method used for livestock is not humane, reliable or safe. Mass killing of horses for human consumption can never be humane.
American horse lovers must answer this question and not abdicate their responsibilities to ensure a humane death. The presence of veterinary medications and euthanasia drugs -- in particular from injection-killed horses -- in pet foods is a significant concern.
Thousands of spent horses are being rescued by local animal shelters that are going broke in the process of caring for these animals. This tragedy should not be capitalized upon as a financial opportunity for those who seek to open horse slaughter plants in the U.S., which will only add to the blight across rural America. I urge all concerned persons to contact their legislators immediately to support bills H.R.1094 and S.541, known as the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, to prohibit the sale, transport, import, or export of equines to be slaughtered for human consumption. For more details, visit DrFoxVet.com and vetsforeqinewelfare.org.
Feb 25, 2014
My soon to be 12 year old Rottweiler, Leyna, had her spleen removed two years ago and the tumor had malignant cells. At the time, the vet said she might have maybe four months or so before the tumor or cells showed up again.
Leyna had always been fed kibble recommended by Dr. Fox, but after her operation, I put her on the homemade dog food and the Aveno rotating kibble. Yesterday, I had some blood work done because she was acting a little off in her behavior. My vet came in and said, "We never see positive blood work like this around here. If I sound incredulous, it is because I am so surprised. You have been doing a great job with her."
Thanks to Dr. Fox and his column, recipes and of course my devotion to my companion animal.
Feb 26, 2014
Colette, yes, as Hipocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine..."
So glad you had such success giving your dog some extra time to enjoy life with you.
M.C., Raleigh, NC
Tags: dog NC Raleigh
Feb 24, 2014
My 11-year-old Havanese dog is suffering from tartar-encrusted teeth. Her front teeth -- both top and bottom -- have become loose and are beginning to fall out. At times she is unable to eat her dry food. Her breath is terrible. I am desperate to find a solution and put an end to her discomfort. A reply would be greatly appreciated.
M.C., Raleigh, NC Feb 25, 2014
When a dog or cat reaches the stage of having difficulty eating because of dental calculi, scale, tartar and associated halitosis, you know that you have a serious health issue to address without delay. Chances are, there are one or more rotting teeth that must be removed. There may also be infection and inflammation of the gums (periodontal disease), which can spread via blood circulation and damage the heart, kidneys and other internal organs and also infect the jawbone.
I wonder why no veterinarian gave you advice on canine oral hygiene and preventive dental care. Or perhaps your dog has not had a checkup for some years. Either way, a full veterinary examination is called for immediately.
Before your dog is subjected to any oral surgery, the veterinarian should advise you of the risks, including that of giving a general anesthetic. This is needed for extractions, but many veterinarians avoid it when minor tooth scaling and cleaning is needed. Oral antibiotics are often prescribed for human, canine and feline patients before major dental work.
I would also recommend using PetzLife oral care products for five to seven days prior to dental work being done. These gels and sprays applied to the teeth and gums help reduce infection and inflammation, which will help reduce possible complications associated with oral surgery and general anesthesia. PetzLife offers tried-and-true natural, herbal ingredient formulations for oral health maintenance along with safe chew toys and crunchy treats. Visit petzlife.com for more details.
K.M.W., Potomac, Md
Tags: cat Potomac MD diet food
Feb 24, 2014
Some time ago, I came home with some sushi, and my 6-year-old Siamese cat Suzi went crazy for it. I now give her treats of raw fish every day, and sometimes thawed fish fingers. Is that healthy for cats?
K.M.W., Potomac, Md Feb 25, 2014
My answer is an emphatic NO! Most fish -- and some more than others, especially white fish and herring -- contain enzymes called thiaminases. They destroy an essential B vitamin, namely thiamine. Cooking the fish destroys both the enzymes and much of the thiamine, dietary deficiencies of which can result in gastrointestinal, neurological and other health problems.
So a diet primarily of fish, cooked or raw, is not good for cats. After all, they are originally a desert-dwelling species. To learn more about feline nutrition and the hazards of many manufactured cat foods, check the book which I co-authored with two other veterinarians, "Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat & Dog Food." Also, there are ethical reasons to reduce our consumption of seafoods. For more details, visit fishfeel.org.
Feb 23, 2014
My friend Dara rescued an elderly, medium-sized female dog, Josephine, from life on a short chain in the backyard. It took years for the "owners" to agree to surrender the dog, and only because the dog had become ill and would have died during the recent cold spells.
Josephine is still shy and reluctant in her new home, which she shares with Dara, her husband and two boy dogs. Josephine has taken ownership of the doggy door and will growl at the boys when they want to go outside. To my knowledge, she has not nipped anyone, but her growl is intimidating enough to stress out the boys.
What do you suggest? Josephine is still shell-shocked from her 10 years on a chain. Dara wants her to feel loved and accepted, but she cannot tolerate Josephine being the gatekeeper to the potty.
Feb 24, 2014
Dogs with post-traumatic stress disorder need great sensitivity applied to any behavioral correction or modification. It is good that she is beginning to assert herself with the two resident boy dogs -- up to a point. But if they are showing signs of anxiety, then some behavioral redirection is called for.
If she is not freaked out by the sound of a training clicker I would train her to come for a treat every time she hears it. Alternatively, you can use a squeaky toy; squeak it and the reward is for her to chase it.
This conditioning will have to be done with the other dogs in another room. Food reward rather than a squeaky toy reward may set up some rivalry between the dogs, so the choice of behavioral modification will have to be determined through trial and selection.
Alternatively, train the new dog to sit and stay on command, while on a leash. Give her a reward when she obeys. With her on the leash, close to the dog door, give the sit and stay commands when the boys want to go out. If she snarls at them, repeat the sit and stay commands. Coupling the verbal command with a raised then slowly lowered hand facilitate the learning process.
If these measures fail, I would set up a low, 4- to 5-foot-long railing on the doorframe so the dogs wanting to go out have some protection from her. I hope these ideas help.
B.L., Chesterfield, Mo
Tags: cat Chesterfield MO
Feb 23, 2014
Our healthy 12-year-old domestic shorthair cat started limping about four months ago. The problem seemed to be one of her hind legs. I took her to her vet, who could not elicit any joint pain or tenderness, and for whom Molly wouldn''t walk out of fear -- she crouches and shakes during vet visits -- so he never saw her walking or limping. He asked me to get a video of her limping on my smartphone and bring it in to him to view. I agreed.
Molly''s limp went away a day or two after the visit, and I was unable to capture her limp on film prior to its disappearance. I was surprised when Molly''s vet said that cats rarely, if ever, get arthritis. It seemed to me that her limp was more pronounced after she had been sitting, and the hind leg appeared to feel a little better after she moved around.
The limp has returned, and I have captured it on film and will take it to the vet''s office. What could possibly be the cause of on-again, off-again leg and hip tenderness if not arthritis? Molly is an indoor cat.
B.L., Chesterfield, Mo Feb 24, 2014
Cats are notoriously difficult to examine in the veterinary clinic setting when they are tense and afraid. Pain symptoms are masked and palpation is difficult to perform when muscles and limbs are tensed.
Any veterinarian who says that degenerative joint disease and arthritis is rare in cats needs to have a refresher course in feline medicine and nutrition.
Check out my book "The Healing Touch For Cats" to learn the benefits of massage therapy for this common condition in older cats. I advise beneficial supplements, especially good-quality fish oils or omega-3s from algae if the cat does not like the fish oil source of these essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and help with arthritis and other conditions.
J.P., Desoto, Mo
Tags: cat MO diet food Desoto
Feb 17, 2014
My 4-year-old Pekinese-Shih Tzu had surgery for removal of bladder stones two years ago. Since then, the vet has had her on Hill''s Prescription c/d to prevent recurrence of the stones.
Is there a recipe for homemade dog food that would work as well as the Hill''s? My dog doesn''t care for the prescription food, and the cost is outrageous for something she doesn''t like.
J.P., Desoto, Mo Feb 18, 2014
While some of the prescription diets certainly help prevent bladder stones or calculi in dogs, they are notoriously unpalatable.
Depending on the kind of calculi your dog developed, a course of treatment with antibiotics is called for if bacterial cystitis is at the root of the problem. Supplements such as glucosamine, glutathione and probiotics may also be of benefit, along with low- or no-salt chicken bullion in the dog''s drinking water to encourage plenty of fluid intake. There are more palatable recipes for home preparation that you or your veterinarian can obtain at a nominal cost, once the kind of calculi has been determined, at secure.balanceit.com.