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  1. My dog died after just a couple of days being healthy as can be. He was a intact 7 months old male blue nose pitbull. who suddenly died after 2 days of becoming ill. We thought it was nothing because before he would not eat for days and then in a couple of days he was fine. This time 2 days before he died he did not eat, the day after he had excessive drool and wasnt eating still. He had diaherra but it wasnt much.He had hidden in the back of yard under a table. What could have caused him to die? was he poisoned or did he have parvo? We have other dogs but she does not seem to be ill at all. My other dog is sick but we think its because of the hartz dog spray as we sprayed it on her and now she isnt eating eiether. could it be that? or could it be something he couldve eatten? - Anonymous from carson , ca
  2. First, please accept my deepest sympathies for the loss of your little guy. It is so heart-breaking to lose one so young and so unexpectedly. Based on the symptoms you de  [more]
    First, please accept my deepest sympathies for the loss of your little guy. It is so heart-breaking to lose one so young and so unexpectedly. Based on the symptoms you described in your email, there are several possibilities for the cause of death, and without a necropsy (an autopsy on animals), it will not be possible to conclusively determine the reason. Because he was not eating, was having diarrhea and was drooling excessively, I suspect a primary gastrointestinal problem, however these signs are not specific for the GI tract, and often non-GI disease can cause these same symptoms which makes the diagnosis sometimes difficult. Young dogs, especially puppies, are prone to picking up and eating just about everything as this is how they explore their world. If he had eaten something (such as a toy, clothing, etc.) and it had caused an intestinal obstruction, or even worse, a perforation of the intestine, that could explain his sudden decline. Deep chested large breed dogs are also predisposed to bloat. Bloat is a condition where the stomach fills up with gas, often as a result of eating too much too fast, or eating followed by exercise. Bloat is often quickly followed by torsion, where the stomach literally twists on itself causing the blood supply to be disrupted. This is a life threatening medical emergency and requires immediate intervention and often surgery. Ingestion of something toxic or an infectious disease such as Parvovirus are also possibilities as well as a congenital or developmental disease because of his young age. If your other dog is showing signs of illness, you should take her to be seen by your veterinarian immediately and not take any of her symptoms lightly because of how quickly the disease advanced in the puppy.  [less]
  3. We adopted Eli--either a shepherd/dobie mix or perhaps a large (54 pound) Manchester Terrier--on Mother's Day. He is 1 years old and very, very submissive--not at all agressive. We have two cats, age 13 and 10 who adored our last dog but are frightened by Eli's young energy. They are indoor/outdoor cats and have abandoned the house. I feed them on the curb. Sometimes they will come in when he is asleep in his crate. We have put him on a leash when he is tired and fed and calm and they will sit on a desk and purr...but they still have abandoned ship. I am sad (and tired of feeding them late at night outside!)--help! We are training him with Rover Rescue (wonderful folks!) and at a dog class. I'd be happy to work with a private trainer on this...anyone to suggest? - April from Manhattan Beach
  4. Unfortunately, the exuberance of a young dog is often not appreciated by our feline friends, even if it is not an aggressive behavior. And, although the cats were comfort  [more]
    Unfortunately, the exuberance of a young dog is often not appreciated by our feline friends, even if it is not an aggressive behavior. And, although the cats were comfortable with the last canine resident, it will certainly take some time for them to become accustomed to the new dog. Certainly obedience training with the dog to teach him appropriate behavior around the house and around the cats is going to be very helpful; however, getting the cats to hang around during the adjustment period may be difficult, especially in indoor-outdoor cats. You can try keeping them indoors only during the adjustment period to prevent them from running away. During this period, make sure they have a safe haven where they can escape from the dog (within the house) if they become frightened. Work on his obedience training while the cats are in the same room and everyone is supervised so he learns to be quiet and calm when the cats are around and they learn that they can be in the house without the fear of being chased or bounded on by the youngster. Alternatively, you can keep them as outdoor cats, however it may take quite some time for them to accept your new dog and be willing to move back in again. There are several trainers in the area that can help with basic dog obedience training (such as the Lomita Obedience Training Club or the Dog Obedience Club of Torrance). In addition, there are some private trainers that can come to your home and work with you one on one (such as Brian Lee).  [less]
  5. I need help please. I have a dog that is in need of a teeth cleaning. I have tried to brush his teeth (not too sucessfully) and he pulls away. I am using a tooth brush and toothpaste for dogs. I do not want to have a vet put him out to brush his teeth(he has a heart mummer). Any suggestions would be reallty appreciated. Thank You - charlie from Torrance, CA
  6. Daily teeth brushing is by far the best way to keep your pet’s teeth as clean and healthy as possible for his life. It can be challenging to get your pet to accept having  [more]
    Daily teeth brushing is by far the best way to keep your pet’s teeth as clean and healthy as possible for his life. It can be challenging to get your pet to accept having his teeth brushed but if you are consistent about it and persistent and keep the experience positive, most pets will eventually allow you to perform a pretty thorough brushing at home. Unfortunately, just like in humans, it does not completely negate the need for a more comprehensive cleaning. In addition to that, pets often have more dental problems than people because many people are not able to brush their teeth regularly and after many years of teeth left unbrushed, the plaque mineralizes and becomes calculus and the bacteria start to destroy the bone holding onto the teeth. Once calculus develops it is unfortunately not possible to brush it away with a toothbrush and a scaling (where the calculus is carefully scraped off the tooth) must be performed. When your veterinarian anesthetizes your pet for a teeth cleaning, almost the exact same things happen with your pet as when you go to see your dentist. First, x-rays of the teeth are taken to evaluate the health of the bone holding onto the teeth and to look for problems below the gum-line. Next, the teeth are scaled, polished and treated with fluoride. The veterinarian performs a thorough examination of each tooth and looks for problems that may need to be addressed further. If there are any badly affected teeth needing further care (such as extraction of a very unhealthy tooth, a root canal, or a filling), those procedures can often be performed all while your pet is anesthetized. An awake pet would not allow these procedures to be performed unfortunately. While a heart murmur can indicate a serious underlying condition that may make anesthesia too risky, there are some heart murmurs that are mild and would not necessarily disqualify your dog for anesthesia so discuss this in detail with your veterinarian to see if he is a candidate. If it is determined that anesthesia is too risky, if the teeth are not too badly affected, and if your pet is very cooperative, there are some hospitals that offer non-anesthetized cleanings. During these cleanings, the teeth are also scaled and polished without the pet being placed under anesthesia. It is not always the ideal situation and is not right for every pet but it can be a good option for those with serious anesthetic risks. Just make sure that if you choose this option, it is performed at an animal hospital or is supervised by a veterinarian to be sure your pet is receiving appropriate care.  [less]
  7. We have a female Maltese that turned 2 in Feb. and have had her since she was 10 weeks. She minds very well and was completely potty trained on Potty pads in our laundry room and even on the potty pads in the bathrooms when we go out of town. She is 7 pounds and is an inside dog, will not even do her bowel movements outside, only inside on the pads. For the last month she still wets on her pads but does her big job at night on our carpet which is unacceptable. I check during the night and if she has gone on the carpet, I go get her, and put her nose down where she can see and smell what I am punishing her for. I tell her naughty girl, shame on her, and then stick her on her pads and tell her that is where she goes. She knows the phrase "naughty girl" and will hang her head and go lay behind the love seat. Her feelings hurt easily and if we ignore her she tries hard to make up with us and she is so lovable she is very hard to ignore for any length of time. We've tried so hard to figure out while all the sudden she is doing this and can't come up with a reason why. My daughter has 2 female Maltese, same age as ours (they are sisters), and one of hers has reverted back to doing the same thing that ours does. We just do not know what else to do. Please help us as it is so important to us. We are 73 and 75 and she is a special part of our family. - Violet Fellows from Carson, CA
  8. Unfortunately, this is a common problem I hear from owners of small and miniature breed dogs. Most dogs have the sense that the house is their “den” and they do not mess   [more]
    Unfortunately, this is a common problem I hear from owners of small and miniature breed dogs. Most dogs have the sense that the house is their “den” and they do not mess in their home, which is why they can be easily potty trained. But, perhaps, these small dogs are so small that the home is such a large place that they don’t consider the whole thing their “den” so they start to have accidents. It has been well proven that dogs respond better to positive reinforcement than to punishment when learning any behavior. I am a big proponent of ignoring the mistakes and praising the successes, especially when doing something like potty training. Unfortunately, what will happen when the dog is punished for having a potty accident in the house is they will not think to themselves that they shouldn’t go in the house, but instead they will begin to think that it is just not okay to go in front of their owners. This is when people start noticing little accidents in the back bedroom or behind the couch or whenever they are not in the room with the dog. What you should do instead is first, restrict her activity to the entire house and keep her in only a very small room or even a crate while you are re-training her. I know this will be difficult in the beginning but she will eventually start to understand a little better what is expected of her if you minimize accidents. When you allow her access to the entire house, keep her in an area where you can watch her at all times, in some cases people have to keep their dog on a leash in the house and basically wherever you go, she also must go. Take her on leash to the potty area frequently and when you go there, stand very still and do not speak to her or interact with her in any way (pretend you are a tree) – this will take a lot of patience on your part in the beginning. Once she becomes bored she will probably go potty in that area and when she does, you can become animated again and praise her excessively with love, affection, playtime, and a favorite treat for doing the right thing. Again, if she does make a mistake, just ignore it, put her away in her room or crate, clean it up and try again later. Ignore the mistakes and praise the successes like crazy. Dogs are smart and they really want to make you happy so it won’t take long for her to start getting the idea that if she does the right thing, she will get tons of attention and praise. Once she is consistently going in the potty area again, you can start to allow her some more freedom in the house again, however keep praising her and reinforcing the positive successes whenever possible to keep her on track.  [less]
  9. I have a 16 year old inside cat. I noticed she was acting a little different. Took her to the vet and had blood tests, etc. She is in good health but he said he thinks she is blind. I cried so hard. He suggested I go to an eye clinic in Culver City. I have a restricted drivers license and can not drive that far. Isn't there some one in the South Bay that can look at her. Her eyes are solid black. Sometimes she has pupils. She does find her letter box and food and can jump on the couch. Was it something I did to cause this? - Susan Ehgarski from Torrance, CA
  10. There are several different things that may have caused the blindness The problem may be with the eyes themselves, for instance disease of the retinas (the vision cells a  [more]
    There are several different things that may have caused the blindness The problem may be with the eyes themselves, for instance disease of the retinas (the vision cells at the back of the eye), anterior uveitis which is an inflammatory disease occurring inside the eye, or glaucoma where the pressure within the eye starts to rise because of the lack of proper drainage. The problem may be in the central nervous system with the vision centers in the brain or the nerves supplying the eyes. Finally, the problem may be a systemic disease which is secondarily affecting the eyes, for example, diseases which cause high blood pressure (such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which are very common in older cats) can cause sudden onset blindness or cancer which can spread to the eyes because of their high vascularity. If your cat’s condition is not reversible and she has become permanently blind, this is a sad situation, however you can do some things to make her more comfortable and help make things a little easier. Make sure you keep to a routine and keep her litterbox, food and water dishes in the same places where she is accustomed to using them. This will make it easier for her to locate them. Do not allow her to go outside as it would be very dangerous and she may not be able to find her way back home. Try to keep the furniture in the house in the same locations so she does not become confused or bump into things. Animals are amazingly able to navigate using their other senses if they are relatively familiar with the environment. Unfortunately, there are not any veterinary ophthalmologists in the South Bay at this time and it is a fair drive to get to a specialist. The specialists do have more sophisticated equipment for examining the eyes and for diagnosing eye problems with pets, which is beneficial for more complicated cases.  [less]
  11. My cat Sophie (10 years old) has been loosing her furr, she is liking all the time> I have been feed her with dry cat food (rabit)She had the same trouble 1 year ago,I went in 3 diferents Clinic, they told me can be allergy, but nobody knew what kind of allergy. Thanks a lot Helena - Helena from San Pedro -Ca
  12. The possible causes for excessive licking and hair loss in cats includes behavioral problems (such as anxiety), parasitic infections (such as flea infestations or mange m  [more]
    The possible causes for excessive licking and hair loss in cats includes behavioral problems (such as anxiety), parasitic infections (such as flea infestations or mange mites), fungal infections (such as ringworm), endocrine imbalances (such as diabetes or thyroid problems), and allergies. Cats can have allergies to flea bites, something in their food, or something environmental (such as pollens, trees, grasses, etc). If the allergy is to flea bites, the most important thing is to keep your cat as flea free as possible. Apply a monthly topical flea control product that kills fleas and keep her on it each month, whether fleas are seen or not, as a preventative. If she is allergic to something in her food, the only reliable test for food allergies is an elimination diet trial. During this trial, cats are placed onto a novel protein or hydrolyzed protein diet for 6 to 8 weeks. They must not receive any other food, treats, flavored supplements, or people food during this period of time. At the end of the 8 weeks, they are challenged with their old diet to see if the symptoms get worse, if they do that is positive for food allergy, if they do not then it means their symptoms resolved for some other reason and it is not due to a food allergy. If it is determined that she has a food allergy, then you can go through the process of elimination to determine exactly which ingredient is the culprit. Finally, if it is an environmental allergy, there is very little you can do in most cases to remove the allergen from the environment as most of these are airborne. There is both a blood test (which can be done at your local veterinarian) and a skin test (which can be done at a veterinary dermatologist) to determine what environmental allergens your pet may be allergic to. Often this is done to begin a desensitization treatment with allergy injections. Unfortunately, it often takes several months to years to see a response to allergen injections, and some pets will not improve following the injections which can be frustrating. There are many medications, supplements and topical treatments for managing environmental allergies in pets that can help your cat to feel more comfortable and be less itchy. If, however, an underlying infectious, parasitic, or endocrinological disease is also contributing to the symptoms, they must be addressed first before assuming all of the symptoms are caused by an allergy.  [less]
  13. I have a female black spade cat who is 6 years old. When we got her at 12 weeks she started to claw the upholstered dining room chairs. Not realizing what would happen I let it go. Now most of the backs of the chairs are torn up. I bought one of those new corragated scratching pads but she will not use it. I yell at her and she know I do not want her to do it because she runs away. I pick her up and show her the pad and how to use. I am ignored. How can I retrain her. Norma Howard - Norma Howard from Torrance, CA
  14. Cats have an innate behavioral need to scratch their claws on objects. It allows them to remove the dead nail layers off their claws, mark their territory (both visually   [more]
    Cats have an innate behavioral need to scratch their claws on objects. It allows them to remove the dead nail layers off their claws, mark their territory (both visually with the scratch marks that can be seen by other cats and via scent marking with the pheromones that are released from their paw pads) as well as get a nice big stretch. Similarly, puppies have a need to chew on things as they explore their new world with their mouths, but we must teach them what is and is not appropriate to chew, so we must also teach our kittens what is and is not appropriate to scratch. Unfortunately, the longer a puppy is allowed to chew on an inappropriate thing or a kitten is allowed to scratch in an inappropriate area, it becomes more difficult to re-train them to an appropriate object because it has now become a habit. The goal is to make the current scratching object much less attractive and make the newer, more appropriate scratching object more attractive. Here are a few ways you can do this: 1. Apply aluminum foil all over and around the upholstered dining room chairs. Granted, this will look a little funny when guests come over to visit, but it may actually be an improvement given the current state of those poor mangled chairs. Cats do not like the feel of the foil and it tends to make a crinkling noise when it is touched so it is a natural deterrent. I also like it because when you crinkle it up, it tends to hold its shape very well and usually you do not need to use any adhesives like tape to keep it in place. It also comes in huge rolls and is relatively inexpensive. 2. Get a variety of different scratching posts, ideally ones with a texture similar to the dining room chair fabric as that is what kitty is currently used to scratching on. Chances are you do not have corrugated cardboard dining room chairs so that may be why the cat did not want to use the new scratching post that you so thoughtfully provided. Make sure you get a variety of different heights and shapes so kitty has several to choose from. 3. Apply feline pheromones and catnip on the new scratching posts to make them more attractive to the cat. 4. Place the new scratching posts right next to the dining room chairs, or better yet, move the aluminum foil covered chairs out of the kitchen and into another room and in their place put all of your new scratching posts. Again, this may make entertaining for dinner a little amusing, but the situation should be temporary as kitty starts to get the idea. 5. Reward kitty when she is using the new scratching posts by giving her love, affection and treats. 6. You can use punishment for scratching on the chairs (for example, yelling and shooing her away), however punishment must be given at the exact moment the activity is taking place and it must ideally happen every time she performs that activity to be appropriately reinforced. If the punishment does not occur every time the activity occurs, she will learn that when you are not home to deliver the punishment, she can scratch away with reckless abandon. In addition, if you are always running in and yelling at her, she may come to resent you and start to run away from you all the time which certainly won’t foster a good bond between the two of you. You can, however use punishments that can be applied at a distance or when you are not home such as shaking a can full of coins or blasting an air horn to make a startling noise or hanging bells or stacking things (like empty cans) on the chairs so when she goes to scratch it makes a startling sound or the booby trap startles her away. 7. Finally, you can apply claw covers such as Soft Paws which cover the nails and can help prevent further furniture damage while she is in training.  [less]
  15. Concerning topical flea treatments, since they all seem to do the same thing, why are the prices so different. Is the least expensive ones as good as the more expensive? - Jackie Marovich from Torrance, Calif. 90501
  16. There are some very significant differences in topical flea control treatments. Just because they are all applied topically does not mean they are the same. Some products  [more]
    There are some very significant differences in topical flea control treatments. Just because they are all applied topically does not mean they are the same. Some products are actually pesticides which have the same ingredients as what is in the ant, roach, or wasp killer that you would spray around your house or yard to kill pests. These products are usually permethrins or permethrin relatives, they work by attacking the central nervous system of the insect causing it to die. Unfortunately, permethrins can also cause serious problems in pets as well and these topical flea and tick control products are frequently reported toxicities especially in cats and small dogs (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/top-10-pet-poisons-of-the-year.html), In fact, the EPA and FDA are currently investigating several of these topical over the counter pesticides to determine their appropriate labeling as well as their safety for use in pets (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/petproductseval.html). The newer generation topical flea controls that are designed specifically for use in dogs and cats are certainly more expensive than the alternatives, but have a much larger margin of safety and are much more effective. Some topical flea control medications are effective only against fleas, others include fleas and ticks, and still others provide comprehensive parasite control including fleas, ticks, heartworms and internal parasites. These differences can all affect the pricing of the product. Your veterinarian can help you choose an appropriate specific product based on the needs and parasite exposure of your individual pet. And with any product that you use, always be sure to choose the appropriate type and size of flea control for your pet and thoroughly read the label for the active ingredients as well as any risks to your pet.  [less]
  17. I have two Amazon parrots who like pistachios. With the recent recall of pistachios due to salmonella, i was wondering if birds are susceptible to salmonella, or does it just affect people? They have been eating the nuts for some time now and are fine. They only eat one or two per day, but i have not given them any since this news came out. I don't know if the pistachios i have are part of the recall or not as i don't have the original packaging. Should i throw out the ones i have, or are my birds safe (i don't eat them myself). - Linda from Carson CA
  18. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause a serious, life threatening infection in all animals, including birds. There is also a risk to people handling the contaminated fo  [more]
    Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause a serious, life threatening infection in all animals, including birds. There is also a risk to people handling the contaminated food, because the bacteria can stick around on your hands and get into your system if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly after handling the contaminated product. In addition, if the contaminated food comes into contact with a surface in your kitchen and that area is not thoroughly disinfected, people can become infected with the bacteria. In people, symptoms include gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. If you are not sure if the nuts are part of the recall, don’t take any chances, dispose of them immediately. In recent news there have been many pet food and human food recalls due to Salmonella contamination, so check the news frequently and always make sure to keep the original packaging that your pet food came in so you can compare it to recalled lot numbers to make sure yours is not one that is affected.  [less]
  19. I have a 1 year old peach faced love bird who just recently started pulling his feathers out.He has a huge ball looking thing on his neck and is breathing very funny.his skin is dry and brownish,he looks bad.We removed from his cage so if his condition is spreadble he doesnt get the rest of are birds sick.None of the other birds have this condition and i was wondering what we can do to save his life and make him better?His condition is getting worse every day,he has less and less feathers and is sleeping more often.We think it might be a tumor on his neck but not for sure. - celia from carson,ca
  20. Birds in general are very good at hiding their illnesses so when a bird starts to show any sign of sickness, it is serious business. There are many different causes for a  [more]
    Birds in general are very good at hiding their illnesses so when a bird starts to show any sign of sickness, it is serious business. There are many different causes for a growth on the neck including viral diseases, bacterial infections, granulomas, abscesses, trauma, foreign bodies, and tumors. Some of these are treatable and some are not, but you must get him to a veterinarian that treats birds as soon as possible to give this little guy any chance of making it through this problem.  [less]
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