- My curly tailed lizard has swolen glands and they have been that way for approximately 5 days. Is he sick? Can I help him? - phil from Torance, CA
Swellings on a lizard are not normal and could indicate an underlying problem such as an abscess, infection, trauma, hematoma, or even cancer. I would definitely recommen [more]
Swellings on a lizard are not normal and could indicate an underlying problem such as an abscess, infection, trauma, hematoma, or even cancer. I would definitely recommend that you take him into your veterinarian for an examination and possibly an aspiration of the swellings to determine the underlying cause so the appropriate treatment can be started. [less]
- I am currently looking for a clean, secure, and friendly vet. that could neuter and spay my two dogs...any referrals? I am very scared to go to anyone, although I really want a low price. I have gotten to Golden State humane society reviews, although I am still scared. - Naty from Torrance,CA
A good veterinarian can be described in many ways and one person’s great vet is another’s nightmare. People have different ideas about what they want in their vet, but us [more]
A good veterinarian can be described in many ways and one person’s great vet is another’s nightmare. People have different ideas about what they want in their vet, but usually most people want to make sure their vet is knowledgeable, friendly and has an up to date medical facility. You should call the veterinary clinic to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to meet them in person. This will allow you to view the clinic to see if it looks and smells clean as well as to meet the veterinarian to see what kind of bedside manner they have. See how they treat you and your pet in the office to see if this is someone with whom you feel you can comfortably talk to and ask questions. Sometimes, personalities just don’t click with a certain veterinarian at a practice and you can ask to see one of the others (if it is a multi-doctor practice). You should ask what is involved in the procedure as well as what they do at the clinic to help provide a safe anesthetic procedure for your pet. Some clinics will also allow you to tour the clinic during slow hours so you can see the facility behind the lobby. Finally, you can ask if the hospital is accredited by AAHA (the American Animal Hospital Association). This is an association that requires veterinary hospitals to maintain a higher standard than the routine state requirements ensuring the safest, most up to date medical care available. [less]
- I am writing about my two female DLH cats, sisters, who are now about 10-1/2 yrs old. One of them has been leaving a "calling card" on the floor of different rooms, fortunately just one and solid. This doesn't occur frequently, maybe once every few weeks, but it's new and I'm wondering why and what might be done about it. They are given dry food exclusively and eat as if it's their last meal. They continue to use their box, which I can assure you is kept clean. I've had cats that lived into their 20's and never had this happen.
Thank you for any thoughts you may have on this problem. - Lilja Rizzo from San Pedro, CA
If it is just one piece, it is probably not a purposeful or malicious thing but an accidental or unintentional drop while the cat was walking through the room. This could [more]
If it is just one piece, it is probably not a purposeful or malicious thing but an accidental or unintentional drop while the cat was walking through the room. This could be because of constipation, arthritis, spinal disease, neurological disorders or behavioral. If they are eating as if it is their last meal, you may want to have them checked for a high thyroid level. This usually results in weight loss in addition to an increased appetite. Many older cats develop kidney problems as they age which causes them to become chronically dehydrated resulting in constipation. Neurological or spinal problems and arthritis may also cause the cat to show symptoms such as dragging the rear legs or inability to climb and jump up. An x-ray, blood test and a checkup with your veterinarian can help determine if one of these is the cause. If it is behavioral, providing a variety of litterbox types may help. Get large and small boxes, covered and uncovered, with short sides and tall sides and place them in different rooms throughout the house. In addition, critically evaluate the environment to make sure one cat is not guarding the litterbox or picking on the other cat which could be creating stress resulting in the “little presents”. [less]
- My dog has a lot of plaque build up on her teeth and I'm concerned about her gums. What is the best way to remove the plaque and what does professional plaque removal cost on the average? - Jemm2000 from Redondo Beach, CA
Plaque is best removed by brushing the teeth daily. You can use a pet toothbrush or a small, soft pediatric toothbrush. Use pet toothpaste to brush the teeth because huma [more]
Plaque is best removed by brushing the teeth daily. You can use a pet toothbrush or a small, soft pediatric toothbrush. Use pet toothpaste to brush the teeth because human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed can cause intestinal upset. In addition, pet toothpaste is flavored in pet friendly tastes such as chicken or tuna. If you are having trouble brushing the teeth, you are not alone. Many people have difficulty with this task and often give up. However, if you start slowly (i.e. just brushing a few teeth in the front for a few seconds) and work your way to brushing the whole mouth always keeping the experience short and positive, your dog can learn to accept and even enjoy having her teeth brushed. If you still have trouble getting the teeth brushed, you can try dental chews or rinses which help reduce some of the plaque but are not as good as brushing. In addition, once the plaque mineralizes and forms calculus, you cannot brush it off and it needs to be scaled off. For a professional cleaning, your pet will be placed under general anesthesia and the procedure can cost between $200 to $500 depending on the area in which you live, the services included as well as the severity of your pet’s oral disease. There are some non-anesthetic teeth cleanings out there, however it is near to impossible to scale under the gum-line on an awake pet and this is the plaque that causes the most damage leading to periodontal disease and tooth loss. In addition, it is difficult to thoroughly evaluate each tooth on an awake animal to detect any deep pockets, and it is not possible to radiograph the teeth to look for bone loss. This is why most veterinarians will recommend general anesthesia to clean your pet’s teeth. [less]
- My 8 year old boxer had a stroke last week. She is doing much better and has only a limp in her right hip and now afraid of crowds to show for it. Will she keep on having storkes and if so will they get worse? Will the stroke shorten her life any?
Thanks - Lisa from Lawrenceville GA
This depends on what was the underlying cause for the stroke. In animals, there is always an underlying cause for the stroke such as cardiovascular disease, kidney proble [more]
This depends on what was the underlying cause for the stroke. In animals, there is always an underlying cause for the stroke such as cardiovascular disease, kidney problems, liver disease, etc. If the underlying cause for the stroke is one that cannot be cured, there will continue to be a risk for further strokes. In addition, this underlying disease is more likely to be the determinant as to whether her life will be shortened or not. 8 years is not terribly old for a Boxer, however if she has a chronic illness that has created this problem, she may need continual monitoring or long term medications to prevent this from happening again. [less]
- I have a 5 year old Minicher Pincher. He lives in a townhouse with my girlfriend and i. He is a great dog. Dosen't bark when we leave and is very athletic when we we walk or go to the park. His name is Karseon. Karson is always sniffing around looking for food, always hungry. I tak take him to my Grandmothers house to run around in the yard. He always comes in the house smelling like garlic. Come to find out he was eating Lily's or something from a bulb. Yesterday (6-1-09) he cam inside and threw up all these colerful flowers. Grandma said they were leaves from a trumpet plant. Why is he eating the flowers in the yard? We picked up Carson from the pound about 2 years ago. - Anonymous from Torrance, CA
Some dogs are real grazers when it comes to eating things outside. They may do this because they are overly hungry due to a medical reason (such as diabetes, thyroid prob [more]
Some dogs are real grazers when it comes to eating things outside. They may do this because they are overly hungry due to a medical reason (such as diabetes, thyroid problem or cushing’s disease), because of a deficiency in their diet, if they are feeling nauseous (often they eat grass to make themselves vomit) or because of a behavioral reason. Some dogs just seem to really enjoy eating grass or certain kinds of plants. Most of the time this is not a problem and will not be harmful to the dog, however there are some plants that should not be eaten because they can be toxic or poisonous to dogs. Cornell University has a great website listing many of the plants that are toxic to animals and includes some great pictures in case you are not sure what kind of plant it was. Many dogs from the shelter were in bad situations or stray dogs that never knew where their next meal would come from and as a result have developed strong appetites.
You can help teach him not to pick up things off the ground or in the yard by teaching the Leave It command. Start in the home in a distraction-free environment and drop something of low value (like a piece of his everyday kibble) onto the ground. Immediately cover it with your foot so he cannot access the treat. He will probably try to get you to move your foot but eventually will give up. Once he gives up and looks away, give him a high value treat (like a piece of hot dog or other small yummy tidbit). Once he starts to get the idea, you can add the phrase “Leave It”. Eventually, work up to not having to cover the food with your foot and using higher and higher value treats. Eventually move your training to the outdoors and start adding distractions. This should help him to avoid eating things that could be harmful to him, however keep in mind it may not be effective if you are not outside to give the command. [less]
- I have a 4year old Pekingese with very dry skin. She lciks and licks and licks, she has very bad reaction to fleas bites.
(I apply Frontline plus every month)
I have used hot spot sprays, cortisone creams, prednizone pills, fish oil, oatmeal soaks. Nothing seems to help. She will break her skin. Please help!! - Bonis from Gardena, CA
Itching can be caused by a variety of reasons including food allergies, environmental allergies, flea bite allergies, mange, and ringworm. So, it is important to rule out [more]
Itching can be caused by a variety of reasons including food allergies, environmental allergies, flea bite allergies, mange, and ringworm. So, it is important to rule out other underlying causes for the itching aside from a flea bite allergy as this may require a special treatment.
Allergies to flea bites are very common and usually cause severe itching, redness and hair loss on the lower back, rear legs and tail. Sometimes only one or two flea bites can cause a severe reaction so fleas are not always found on the dog. In addition, no flea control is going to be 100 percent effective so some fleas can still break through to bite the dog causing a reaction on even the best flea control. It is important to have the dog on flea control all year round. Make sure to apply it every month directly to the skin (not just on the top of the hair) on the back of the neck. Also make sure that the flea medication dose is timed with any baths. Although many topical flea controls are listed as waterproof, that does not mean “bath-proof” and scrubbing the skin with soap and water between doses will reduce its effectiveness. Following the bath, you should wait 1 to 2 days before applying the produce to allow the natural oils in the skin to return as that is how the medication gets distributed throughout the body. In addition, if you have more than one pet in the household, you must be sure that every pet is being treated with flea control for it to be effective.
Always remember that 99% of the fleas do not live on the dog but in the environment (i.e. carpets, beds, grass, etc). Only the adult fleas live on the dog and these only comprise 1% of the total flea population. If you have a large flea problem in the environment and you are only treating the dog with topical flea control, it may take several months to clear the problem because each of those fleas in the environment has to hatch from its egg, grow up to be an adult, jump on the dog and contact the medication to die. You can clear up a severe flea problem much more quickly if you treat the environment as well as the pet. Start by vacuuming the house from top to bottom, especially focusing on those areas that are frequented by the dog. Make sure you throw your vacuum bag out after this because if it stays in the vacuum inside the house, those fleas will still crawl out to wreak havoc. You can then use home foggers or sprays or even call a company to come treat your house and yard for fleas.
Finally, it is important to always keep in mind that although your home and yard and dog may be flea free, the rest of the neighborhood probably is not. So every time you walk your dog, go to the park or any other place frequented by dogs, you probably will come into contact with some fleas. This is where the topical flea controls are most valuable because they should at least prevent any hitchhiker fleas from being carried back to your house to cause problems. Unfortunately for the flea-allergic dog, if even one of these fleas bites, they will break out in an itchy mess. Medications such as antihistamines can help control itching in mild cases, however stronger medications such as steroids are often needed to control severe itching. Steroids are not recommended for long term use because of side effects, however. Atopica is another medication created for allergies in dogs that may be beneficial and is preferred over steroids for long term control of itching from allergies. Topical medications, shampoos and fish oil supplements can also be utilized to help minimize the amount of other medications that need to be used to control the symptoms. With flea allergies, however, preventing exposure to the fleas remains the single most important factor at preventing outbreaks. [less]
- I just recently had the hair-raising experience of being chased by a very large loose, stray dog while walking my dog. I had to literally run into my neighbors garage and then the dog ran away. I was afraid this over 100 lb. dog would kill or maim my dog. What type of dog repellant/protectant should I carry on future walks with my dog? By the way, 2 days later another dog escaped out the door and raced for my dog barking. The owner managed to grab that dog before anything happened. Twice in three days of being scared to death is enough. I have walked my dogs for over 25 years but now I am afraid. I bought pepper spray but now I am told that might not work. What do you recommend?
P.S. My dog is spayed and almost 9 years old. - Peggy Kramer from Gardena
Loose, stray dogs are a real danger – both to themselves (because they could be hit by a car or get into a fight with another dog), as well as to others (i.e. small child [more]
Loose, stray dogs are a real danger – both to themselves (because they could be hit by a car or get into a fight with another dog), as well as to others (i.e. small children, other people or other animals walking by). Any loose dog, whether owned or not, should be reported to the local animal control. The animal control relies on people like you to report these situations to make the neighborhood safer. It is really for the safety of the loose dog as well as to everyone in the neighborhood.
There is not going to be anything that is 100% protective in this situation, unfortunately. But, there are some things you can do to help protect yourself as well as your dog if this happens on your walks. You can carry a repellant such as pepper spray, a loud horn, or a vinegar/water mixture to spray at the dog’s face and mouth (make sure to have the bottle on spray and not mist). You can try carrying an umbrella and opening it with a pop at the other dog which may frighten it away as well as provide a visual barrier between your dog and the stray. You can also try throwing something at the dog like pebbles on the ground to deter him. If the dog continues to approach and if your dog is small, pick her up out of the other dog’s reach. If she is not, stand up very straight and place yourself in front of your dog and say “NO!!” or “GET BACK!!” very loudly. Try to keep your dog as calm as possible because an excited dog will be more interesting to the stray.
If, however, none of this works and the stray and your dog manage to get into a fight, let go of the leash and step away. If you hold onto the leash, you may be pulled into the fight or your dog may accidentally bite you trying to defend itself. You can continue to try to throw things at the dog from a distance to get it to run off, or you can try to spray the dog with a hose, but do not grab your dog or reach into the fight. Many people have been seriously injured trying to rescue their dog from a dog fight. Once the fight is over, if the other dog has an owner, take down their information and ask about the vaccination status of their dog. Current rabies vaccination is the most important information. If there is not an owner, try to remember a description of the dog and call the animal control with the information. Take your dog to your veterinarian right away for evaluation. If the other dog has an owner, they are responsible for the damages to your dog, and to you if you were also injured. [less]
- How can you tell a male rabbit from a female rabbit? - celia from carson ca
If you roll the bunny onto his (or her) back and look at the genitals, the male rabbit will have a penis with a single circular hole and the female will have a v-shaped s [more]
If you roll the bunny onto his (or her) back and look at the genitals, the male rabbit will have a penis with a single circular hole and the female will have a v-shaped slit for the vulva. In addition, male rabbits (if they are old enough, and not already castrated) will have obvious testicles tucked in on either side of the groin area, although you may have to part the hair to see them. [less]
- my 2 year old yorkipoo woke up with a weird cough, do you think he has a cold? do they get colds? - Yorkipoo lover from torrance, ca
Coughing can be caused by a cold, which in dogs is referred to as Kennel Cough. However, there would have had to be exposure to another infected dog within the last 1 to [more]
Coughing can be caused by a cold, which in dogs is referred to as Kennel Cough. However, there would have had to be exposure to another infected dog within the last 1 to 2 weeks where she could have acquired the disease. This illness is usually mild, represented by an irritating cough that lasts for about 7 – 10 days. The dog usually feels otherwise fine and is eating, drinking and playful. Other possibilities for a cough include (but are not limited to):
collapsing trachea (which is a very common problem for small breed dogs), chronic bronchitis, foreign material stuck in the throat or esophagus, irritation of the esophagus, and heart problems. If the coughing only occurred one time and she is now back to normal, it is probably nothing to be worried about. However, if the problem is persistent or if the symptoms are severe, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. [less]