Question from 3-9-17
Atopy or allergic inhalant dermatitis or environmental allergies
Atopy is one of the most common causes of itching in dogs and cats. It is a result of an inherited predisposition to develop allergic reactions to environmental substances. These are the same allergens (dust mites, pollens, your pets quality molds, insect particles and animal dander)that result in human allergic conditions such as hay fever or asthma. For most pets the condition is life-long and like hay fever or allergic asthma in humans, it is not curable but can be your pet’s quality of life.
Breed predilection: Certain breeds have a higher incidence such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, most terriers and Bichon Frise; however any breed can be affected. The most common sign is itching and dogs will scratch, bite, lick, chew, roll, rub themselves and shake their heads. Infections, sores, rashes, and odor all result from this self-trauma and lead to secondary bacterial and or yeast infections. Areas most commonly affected are paws, face, and ears, armpits and belly. Sometimes it will just be chronic ear infections. Signs can be seasonal or all year round
Diagnosis: Since the symptoms can present similarly to other itchy conditions such as parasitic diseases, infections, flea allergy and food allergy, diagnosis is based on typical history and clinical findings along with a blood test to rule out any and all underlying systemic diseases. Allergy testing is only used to determine treatment but is not used to diagnose. Intradermal testing will show what allergens your pet is allergic to and then used to formulate injection to hypersensitize the pet.
Question from 2-24-17 – Hello, I have a husky named Havoc. I was wondering what I can do to prevent him from digging holes and eating my flowers, especially the roots?
- Digging is a natural canine behavior.
- Dogs dig to burn off excess energy or to find buried objects or because they are bored or simply because they enjoy it
- Train your dog to dig in a safe spot in the yard
- Place a wooden dirt box or sandbox, or a child-size pool, can be set up — preferably in a location where your dog already has a tendency to dig.
- For a 50-pound dog, the dirt box should be at least 12 inches deep.
- After you fill the box with dirt or sand, moisten the soil and hide some toys in it. Then, encourage your dog to dig in the box.
- Watch your dog for a while. If you see her digging anywhere else in the yard, take her back to her designated digging zone.
- To minimize digging behavior, make sure your dog’s getting plenty of exercise and attention on a daily basis
- When dogs have enough exercise, they are more relaxed and more likely to happily lie around instead of digging in your garden.
Question from 2-10-17
My 11-year-old Male Tabby – “Bubba” has recently started to pee in my bathroom sinks. He is the only pet in the house, He has his own HUGE clean litter every day. He doesn’t pee every day in the sinks, it’s random. When it happens, I’m not at home. He never does it when I’m home.
Why is he peeing in the sink and not his clean litter box?
- Bubba is alerting his owners that there is a problem with his change in behavior
- A big reason why cats pee outside the litter box is an underlying health problem like a bladder infection or kidney disease, which are common in cats especially senior cats
- A urinalysis and blood test will first rule out any and all medical issues for this behavior
- Another big reason why cats stop using the litter box is the ammonia fumes created in the litter box
- Cats smell 14 times greater than we do so you might think the box is clean but they don’t
- The litter box is essentially a porta potty for them and if it smells they won’t step in it and use it
- If it turns out to be a behavior problem go to www.lucypetfoundation.org
for tips to keep your cat using its litter box
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Question from 1-24-17
It is safe to spay or neuter a dog that is at least 8 weeks old and weighs at least 2 pounds.
Pediatric spaying and neutering (sterilizing pets between eight and 14 weeks of age) has been practice for more than 30 years’ Numerous studies have shown it to be safe and that younger puppies or kittens actually do better with the appropriate anesthesia as well as the surgical process.
Those neutered at a very young age often have less bleeding and faster recoveries than those neutered when they are older. Seeking to fulfill their sexual drive and dominance, dogs that are not neutered will often hump anything or anyone that moves, including children. Fortunately, this undesirable behavior is decreased 70% with neutering!