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?

Answer

  • 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.
Bubba

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?

Answer

  • 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

To Learn more on this issue please click the read more button below.

READ MORE ON THE FULL ANSWER HERE

Question from 1-24-17

I have a 5-month-old puppy and I am wondering if it is too soon to neuter? I was told to wait until after 6 months? He is humping EVERYTHING in the house and it’s only getting worse.

Answer

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! 

READ MORE

Question from 1-06-17

Waffles was running up a flight of stairs New Years Eve morning and he missed the last step and jammed his paw into the step. Now he’s limping but it doesn’t seem broken. Can we give him aspirin for the pain and inflammation?

Answer

The best treatment for pain and inflammation is prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication from your veterinarian because they are the safest and most effective.  And yes you can give aspirin to dogs but there are risks because side effects can include ulcers, kidney damage, allergic reaction, vomiting and or diarrhea. If you do give your dog aspirin be sure to use a buffered aspirin like Ascription or Bufferin because they include ingredients designed to protect the stomach lining and always give with a meal.  The recommended dosage is 5 to 10 mg per pound of body weight every 12 hours.  See the chart below which shows the minimum amount you can safely give your dog.  Never give your dog Tylenol, Aleve or any other human anti-inflammatory medications because they are not recommended for dogs.

Is It Ok To Give My Pet Asprin?

Overweight or Obese Pets

Question from 12-23-16

Should we limit the food for our cat?

Answer

Absolutely You should always limit food for cats because of the following reasons:

  • Over 60% of all cats are overweight or obese 
  • Cats that are overweight have a shortened life span and increased health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension 
  • Cats are true carnivores 
  • Cats  in the wild will eat only when they are hungry because they would have to hunt for a meal
  • Therefore I recommend controlled feeding versus free choice 
  • Follow amounts listed on cat food 

Question from 12-09-16

My 11yr old Rottweiler has lumps, moveable, lumps on her body. What are they? They don’t cause her pain.

Answer

Lumps of any kind need to be checked out because they could be cancerous and able to spread to other parts of the body.  We can take a fine needle aspirate versus a biopsy and look at it under the microscope to determine if it is a benign fatty growth or a cyst or something cancerous which would need to be removed. Rottweilers are very prone to cancer so even though it doesn’t seem to hurt her it needs to be looked at by a vet. Cancer is one of the most common diseases of older animals and dogs suffer from more kinds of cancer than any other domestic animal. One out of four will develop it in their lifetime. There are more than 100 different types!  But no need to panic because if caught early enough some forms can be cured and most will be helped by some form of treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, cryosurgery, immunotherapy or a combination of treatments.

My Pet Has Lumps

My Dog Is Scared of Everything

Question from 11-25-16

Duckie is a one-year-old dog that we adopted from the humane society. We love him so much, but he is scared of everything. The pool man, tv, the wind, the ice maker noise, doors closing, etc. We can’t even take him for walks because he freaks out if he sees another human, dog, squirrel, leaf blowing or car driving by. How do we help him become a happy, normal dog who can see another human without having a barking/panic attack? Also, he sounds like a rooster when he bars and it’s LOUD so we really make a scene when we encounter another human or dog. HELP!

Answer

First and foremost all behavioral issues or a sudden change in your dog’s behavior could be the result of an underlying medical problem. For example, hypothyroidism is a very common cause of strange behavior in dogs and is easily treated with Thyroid supplementation. Once a blood test and physical exam have ruled out any underlying problem you then need to work on Building Duckies confidence. Most people think a dog like this was abused but it could simply be a combination of genetics and lack of socialization. One of the most critical periods of development is called the socialization period, which occurs from 3 to 12 weeks of age in puppies. During this time your puppy is very impressionable with regard to social influences. To start building Duckies confidence you could simply have people come over and throw him a treat so he starts to associate strangers with a positive reward, also carry treats on walks. The other thing to remember is that a lot of veterinary behaviorists will temporarily put pets on medication like Prozac to help ease the training process. We have a dog in our office who has completely turned around with behavior modification and Prozac!

READ MORE