No, they don’t. If your pregnant dog is vomiting, that is not normal. If vomiting persists, please have her seen by a veterinarian.
Can you deworm a pregnant dog?
Yes. We actually recommend deworming against roundworms during pregnancy, at days 45 and 55-60 after breeding. Roundworms will often leave the intestinal tract of a dog, and remain in the muscle tissue in an inert (and microscopic) cyst until the dog goes through the hormone changes associated with pregnancy. When those hormones "reactivate" the cyst, the worm will migrate back to the intestinal tract and set up a brand new infestation, without the dog having any new exposure to the parasite from an outside source. The mother dog then promptly passes the parasite on to her pups, through her milk and through fecal matter in the environment.
Are worn teeth painful to an old dog?
Typically not. A dog that is a constant chewer may have very little left of his teeth by the time he is old, but because the removal of the tooth is gradual, the pulp cavity collapses and seals over as the tooth wears off. If, however, the pulp cavity remains open, this can be quite painful. Sudden fractures of a tooth are especially prone to causing this open pulp cavity.
If a dog shows signs of discomfort while eating (tipping head, reluctance to eat hard foods, chewing on one side of the mouth only), they should be seen immediately. We also recommend annual examinations for all dogs, but especially older dogs, a part of which should be a look at the teeth and gums.
Can you clean a dog’s teeth?
Yes; there are several flavors of toothpaste available that are safe for use in dogs. Please don’t use human toothpaste though-the fluoride content is too high and may cause stomach problems.
We can also scale and polish a dog or cat’s teeth to remove plaque and tarter and evaluate gingivitis, very similarly to a human dentist. The main difference is that we do this under anesthesia, as most pets will not allow a thorough scaling while awake!
My neighbor band castrated my goat, but he still mounts the does and has 2 small lumps where the scrotum was. What’s up with that?
It’s possible that one or both testicles were not in the scrotum when the band was applied, so they are still present , or that only part of the testicles were taken, so that there is still some but not all of the testicular tissue present. In either case, the goat may still be fertile, so unless you want baby goats, you should keep him separate from the does. The other possibility is that the testicles were removed, but the epididymis was left. In that case, the goat would still have testosterone and the related behaviors, but would not be fertile.
Who do I call about an extremely underweight horse that I think is being neglected?
This answer applies not only to horses, but to any animal you have concerns about. Who to call depends on where the animal is. If it is inside city limits, you should call the police department of whatever city it is in. If it is outside of city limits, you should contact the Sheriff’s department. If you can see the horse from a public location like the road, or from your own property, you can take pictures of the horse to demonstrate its condition, but do not trespass to acquire pictures—this is just asking to get yourself in trouble and won’t help the animal. Keep a notebook of when you see the animal, if you have any conversations with the owner about the animal, if you see the owner feeding the animal, when you contacted the authorities and any other information you feel is pertinent. Dates, times, and details. You may never use this, but it’s better to have a record if you need it.
You may contact the owner of the animal directly if you are comfortable doing so, but do this in a helpful manner; storming in and threatening the owner will just put them on the defensive. It’s possible that the animal is very old and or is being treated for an illness of which you are not aware. You do also have the option of offering to take on or buy the animal if the owner does not want to keep it. Obviously, this means you become responsible for it, and the owner who was presumably neglecting the animal is under no obligation to refrain from acquiring another, but it may be the simplest way to help that individual animal.
How much does it cost to….?
We received a lot of questions in this line, so rather than answer them individually here, please see our price list for common procedures.
How do I get my autistic son a service dog?
Dogs for the Deaf is a non-profit group that has a local
representative in this area (Heather). DfD has expanded from just hearing-assistance dogs, and have an autism assistance dog training program also. They place dogs nationally.
Their website is here. Heather said she thinks the application is available online, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact her and she'll help you out.
I’m from out of town, and forgot to bring my dog’s Deramaxx with me. Can I get a refill without a prescription?
No, Deramaxx is a prescription-only medication. We will happily talk to your veterinarian for permission to fill medications for your pet while you are in the area. If your regular veterinarian gives permission, we can refill for you without having to repeat an examination and blood work.
On a related topic, Deramaxx is expensive, and seems like it gets more expensive every time we refill it! Is there some other arthritis medication we can use?
Yes; there are several commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications available for your pet. Most of these (like Deramaxx) are still under patent, but carprofen) recently came off of patent, which means that there are several generic equivalents now available, which are considerably less expensive than the brand name.
What should I use to deworm my cat?
That depends on the type of worms the cat has.
These are very common in kittens.
Most over-the-counter dewormers available at feed stores and pet stores will take care of this parasite.
Roundworms shed individual, microscopic eggs, which can be identified in a stool sample brought to a veterinarian.
These are common in cats that hunt, and ingest the intermediate life-stage of the parasite in their prey.
Many over-the-counter dewormers do not eliminate tapeworms. Dewormer for tapeworms is available from veterinarians, and from some feed stores.
Tapeworms shed segments full of eggs. These segments often stick to the hair of the tail or back legs, and may look like seed pods or pieces of rice. In fresh feces, these segments can be visible as ¼" to ½" long white tubes, which may even be moving.
Should I feed my old cat dry food or canned food?
There are advantages to either type of food. Dry food is convenient, and generally less expensive than canned food. It can be left out at room temperature, and is less messy. Canned food may be easier for an animal with dental disease to pick up and manipulate, and increases the water content of the diet, which can be useful for a cat with kidney issues. Over all though, it’s more important to have a diet appropriate to your cat’s special needs in either dry or canned, than to worry overmuch about the consistency of the food. If your can has dental problems, a dental cleaning and extraction of painful teeth can allow the cat to comfortably eat dry food, as well as decreasing the risk of heart valve infection by decreasing oral bacterial levels. If your cat has kidney disease, a diet designed for weak kidneys is better than any regular canned food.
One area where increased moisture content can be very useful is in a cat that vomits after eating, but has no kidney or thyroid issues. Moistening dry food with warm water, or feeding canned food, can decrease this “normal” vomiting.
My dog acts hungry even though I feed it what the food bag recommends. Should I feed more?
If the dog is maintaining good body condition (neither losing nor gaining excessive weight), you should continue feeding the same amount. Most food bag recommendations are actually a little too much food for many dogs. Many dogs will happily eat as long as food is offered, whether they need it or not. Try giving the dog more attention or activity instead of more food. Remember that dogs are not generally known for their will power and moderation - you can have a fat, hungry dog, or an in-shape, hungry dog, but you will probably always have a hungry dog.
How often do dogs come into heat?
Twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. This is a pretty dramatic contrast to cats, which come into heat repeatedly all spring and summer long.
My dog’s nipples got bigger after her first heat, and never got small again. Is that normal?
Yes; that’s a normal hormonal influence on the tissue. If the dog is spayed, the nipples may shrink a bit, but will probably always be larger than a dog that has not been through a heat cycle. If she continues to cycle, and especially if she is bred, her nipples may get even larger.