Pet Talk

| December 1, 2013
Dr Ann Chauvet

Dr. Chauvet earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon,Canada,and is known internationally for her specialized work in the relatively rare field of veterinary neurology speaking to, training, and consulting with veterinary practices and organizations globally.

Smelly discharge from pet’s ear – causes and treatment?

Ah! This is a loaded question! Bacteria overgrowth/infection or yeast overgrowth/infection (candida) can cause smelly ears. Yeast usually has a sweet smell – don’t ask, but this is our way of being a P.I. of disease: we smell, look, touch, but we don’t taste. Ear problems can be present due to poor ventilation – common in long-eared breeds, such as in Bassett Hounds, Cocker Spaniels and Beagles. Excess humidity can cause ear problems, particularly in dogs that swim a lot. Poor drainage can lead to deeper infections and even more complications. The treatment is usually in the form of topical antibiotics (drops or ointments), but (oral) antibiotics or antifungal work best with systemic. The most common issue however, is the underlying problem: allergies. When one ear is affected, it is probably due to infection. When both have a problem it is usually due to allergies.

I’m taking my “Florida dog” to Minnesota for the holidays. Is there any winter weather care I should know of prior to the trip? Sudden change of weather can be a shocker for you and your dog. A coat and booties for your pup would definitely be advisable. The snow can leave paws that have not habituated to it with cuts and sores. Other than that, enjoy the weather, but watch out for the fishing holes in the lakes.

I just got a kitten – should I or should I not declaw her? Pros and cons of declawing a cat. Declawing is a preference. Personally, I do not declaw, unless it means the cat must go if the declaw does not happen. Imagine having your entire nails removed. Ouch! It is a rather tough and painful procedure, so unless your cat is strictly indoors and it is the only alternative, please do not declaw.

I adopted an obese cat. How can I adjust his diet to achieve a healthy weight? It is rather difficult to establish a weight loss program for a cat. If the cat is loosing weight too quickly, it can develop a fatty liver disease. Drastic change of food itself can also be harmful. Your best bet is to slowly replace your cat’s food with a healthy weight diet; many pet food companies offer weight loss alternatives. Over time, your cat should start getting leaner. Additionally, consider playing a lot with your cat. Exercise, like for us, is a great bonus. And remember that cat jelly bellies are fun and cute. So don’t be too harsh on your cat.

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Category: Columns

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