Health Chats
Ask a Veterinarian - Pet Health Chat
Tuesday Jun 29, 2010, 12:00PM - 01:00PM (EST)
Arnold L Goldman, D.V.M.Blank
Veterinarian
Canton Animal Hospital LLC
, Canton, CT
It’s no surprise that almost ¾ of all pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family. We have taken our animals from the backyard into our bedrooms and moved them from the kennel into the kitchen. This is great news for our dogs and cats, but now a whole different problem has arisen…who do you trust to inform you about your pet’s health needs? Across the vast expanses of the Internet, pet breeders, dog trainers, pet communicators and even groomers have developed websites that provide animal health information. Sadly, some of this information is incorrect and could even be potentially dangerous to your furry friend.
MedHelp:
Hello Everyone! The health chat is going to start at 12:00 noon EDT.  Please feel free to start submitting your questions.
MedHelp:
Welcome to the Pet Health Chat.
MedHelp:
A  special Thank You to Dr. Arnold Goldman and all members for joining us here today!
PetDocs:
Thank you for having me, I'm looking forward to answering your questions today. Feel free to ask questions about dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, rabbits, reptiles and amphibians. If I am unable to answer during the chat, I will let you know and then answer later. Those answers will be available in the chat archive. Also, it is important you tell me your pets signalment, which is age, gender, neutered or not, breed or mix and diagnosis if any. Ok, let's get started......
Vance2335:
I have 2 cats and from time to time I notice some weird things. 1st my one cat sees to bleed a little bit from her paws. I notice it when she is on my bathrrom counter top.
PetDocs:
Well, first let me let everyone know that its best that I address one pet at a time, unless your question has to do with behavior of multiple animals interacting together.
Bleeding may be from many locations. Are we sure its from the feet? Could it be from elsewhere? As you may hear (read!) me saying throughout this chat, see your veterinarian for a physical examination to sort this out. Good luck!
theanswer42:
I live on an acre of land and have two dogs.  They have free reign of the land, but one dog insists on running outside of the gate every time it opens.  Why could this be?  We treat the dogs very well.
PetDocs:
Dogs love to run and explore. They are attracted to new terrain and interesting smells.
Its up to you to find a way to restrain their activities by whatever means necessary. A fence, invisible fence, or just using a leash will work. It’s a myth that “dog’s need exercise. They need mental stimulation and time with their owners. Many people, being busy, substitute freedom out of doors for this, and often that leads to trouble. Perhaps only allow your dogs out when you have time to be out with them yourself…..

roco311:
My cat, Bunny, has recently had kittens. Right before she gave birth and 6 weeks later she is stinking me out of the house! I scoop her litter box every day sometimes 2x a day and change the litter every 2 or 3 days, but still too stinky. Please help
PetDocs:
She may be “cleaning up” after the kittens and have particularly odiferous stool, or she may have an infected uterus with foul drainage. See your veterinarian to determine if this may be the case.

shochat:
I adopted a puppy 3 years ago and have only updated her rabies shot.  I prefer to give little to no vaccinations.  Are there any vaccinations that you consider necessary to keep her healthy?  I never board her, she has had her rabies as required by law.
PetDocs:
Immunizations are designed and intended to prevent diseases serious enough to warrant production of a vaccine. While every vaccine has the potential to cause adverse effects, the diseases they protect against, when contracted, are in most cases much more serious than the adverse effects. Immunization decisions therefore are made based on individual risk which encompasses disease risk, pet health and individual circumstances.

That said I feel every dog should be vaccinated against caine disptemper virus, canine parvovirus, canine infectious hepatitis (adenovirus type 2) and canine parainfluenza and in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. Today there is  athree year duration product for this and it should be given every three years.

For cats, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and panleukopenia should be up to date.

Other vaccines should be given on arisk based, as needed schedule. AAHA and the AAFP have guidelines for both species.
lindapalm:
I have eight cats that were strays, so I need to save money on vet visits.  Each cat was fixed and received first round of shots.  Since none of them are outside cats anymore, is it necessary for them to receive anymore feline shots, and rabies shots?
PetDocs:
Rabies immunization is required by law to protect humans from Rabies, not cats. Should one of your indoor but unvaccinated cats scratch or bite someone indoors, you may lose your cat to the state. Rabies tests cannot be conducted in living animals and Rabies is fatal in humans.
Faith946:
So I have lost 2 out of three dogs in the past year. The first one was like 18, Koko, and it was just his time to go because of all his conditions and pain. Like six months later I noticed spots on Luie and told my mom to take him to the vet because I thought he had some type of baldness issue.... she put it off and put it off and when she finally took him it was revealed he had bone cancer and we had to put him down like a week later. The vet said that when a brother, Koko, dies they sometimes just start going down hill after. Now I am worried about my dog Kaylee, it is obvious she is lonely and misses them.  She has been getting gunk stuck in between her paws and her actual paw is rough and kinda like really dry torn heels on humans. She also keeps on nipping and trying to get something out on her legs but I only find white little centimeter spots.  Today I found a bump on her chin and cloudy stuff in her eye.  Is my dog depressed and what can I do to help her?
PetDocs:
Skin disease is so varied a field and requires direct observation and evaluation along with history that I can to hazard a guess here as to underlying cause or next steps. Have your doctor look at it ASAP. I am sorry to hear of the passing of your two older dogs. There is no reason to assume Kaylee will have that fate anytime soon, but do see your doctor ASAP.
judikins:
My 2 year old mini poodle is sweet in every way, except when it comes to her breath!  Often it smells like she spent the night rummaging the trash bin.  She shuns hard biscuits and things meant to clean her teeth.  What can I give her to combat this problem, or is there an underlying issue I need to resolve?
PetDocs:
It is estimated that over 85% of dogs have undetected and untreated dental disease: gums, teeth and oral cavity generally. Until proven otherwise, that is likely the case here.
PetDocs:
Toy breeds have small mouths but teeth that are not proportionally as small as they are and thus crowding results. That crowding promotes calculus buildup and gum disease. See your doctor for evaluation and a professional dental prophylaxis (cleaning) if he/she recommends it. I'm guessing yes! Good luck!
macyandsonnysmom:
My question is on diet.  My cat Macy had a blockage a few months back and they have placed him on Hills c/d dry.  I have heard many bad things about the c/d and want to know if it is really good or not?  Also he won't eat the prescription wet, so is it really bad for me to feed him fancy feast or meow mix cups once and awhile?  He really misses wet food, although he has usually been a dry food eater before all this happened.
PetDocs:
Formation of crystalline material of the "struvite" variety occurs in alkaline urine, often the result of digestion of ordinary food. The purpose and capability fo c/d to produce a slightly acidic urine is the reason for its use, as struvite more easily stays dissolved in solution under that circumstance. You as owner, have to do what's in Macy's best interest, which may not be exactly what he wants. Talk to your doctor about other food options that can accomplish the same goal, acidified urine. Good luck!
ChitChatNine:
My 8yr old ShiTzu cannot use the flea drops you administer along her back (she vomits on and off for weeks) .. So now we use a regular old-fashioned flea collar.  Have you ever heard of this before?  She's an indoor-dog and only outside for her business so she been fine to date.  
PetDocs:
There are many diofferent types of "flea drops" and in some cases one or more product may cause adverse effects in an individual pet. That said, thank God for these products, as they help limit fleas and ticks as well as the terrible bacterial, viral and microscopic parasitic diseases these skin parasites carry. Each topical spot-on product is different. As you didnt say the name of the product, you might consider trying another one if the collars are not adequate. In my area ticks are more prevalent and they carry Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis,  Ehrlichia and other diseases. We balance on the side of disease prevention, always.
PetDocs:
It is not usual or even expected for cats and dogs to have a "myocardial infarction" the technical term for a heart attack. Heart attacks are the result of blood vessel occlusion by clots and platelets narrowing heart blood vessels. Dogs and cats have many "redundant" heart blood vessels, called collateral vessels, which back up the primary ones. Thus their heart gets blood from several directions at once and blocking one vessel does not necessarily cause tissue damage or death as occurs in people.
LindaTX:
How usual is it for older cats, in their teens, to have strokes or heart attacks?  Can anything be prescribed them to ward off that happening?
PetDocs:
Sorry first part of the answer is above the question, but I will continue....
PetDocs:
Strokes are caused by a similar mechanism of blockage of blood vessels, but in this case to the brain. Again we do nto see this commonly. In cats we do see blood vessel blockage to the legs associated with the heart disease cardiomyopathy.  Lameness and leg pain with cold feet are the sign and teh heart disease is often silent until that time.      In both cases above, there is usually no medication prescribed as a preventative. Cats and dogs with cardiomyopathy but good heart function may be put on anticlotting medications like aspirin, clopidogrel and others on an individual basis. If you suspect your pet has cardiovascualr disease see your veterinarian for minimun database development: blood work, urinalysis, chest xrays and thoracic ultrasound.
karajo:
we have a cat who lost her tail when she was a kitten.  That area bleeds often.  It appears that area itches really bad, so when she tries to chew on it her body goes into a convulsion and she urinates wildly.  It doesn't appear to be a seizure because after the fit is over she seems to be in her right mind.  Could you give us some insight on what might be going on.  FYI she also has a skin condition.  We treat her w/ frontline and the vet has given her several cortisone shots.  The shot doesn't seem to keep her from having these episodes.
PetDocs:
Your cat may have ongoing pain from the amputation site, may have a behavioral condition called hyperesthesia in which phantom sensations occur or both. Your cat may have a poorly healed or "covered" amputation site. In any case self trauma is what is occurring and after evaluation by your veterinarian pain relivers, antianxiety medications or other drugs may be offered to attempt to sort out (diagnose) what is going on and treat it. If you are not confident your veterinarin is pursuing this appropriately, consider seeing a dermatology specialist  or neurology specialist (credential is DACVD and DACVIM-Neurology, respectively). Start with your regular doctor and good luck!
sm342:
My dog has a water dish but likes to drink pool water.....is it bad?
PetDocs:
Not bad unless the water is dirty or has high levels of chlorine.
PetDocs:
Think how often we swallow water when swimming to judge the rosk.