Next #ASKAVET Event: June 26 at noon CST

Our first #ASKAVET event was a huge success! Dr. Tony did a fantastic job answering questions live for one hour about your dogs and cats. We had so many questions that we are going to host another event on Thursday, June 26 at noon CST. Dr. Rod Van Horn will be our host!

Dr. Rod is a practicing veterinarian with a large suburban clinic who works with dogs, cats and many other types of pets. He is an active, regular contributor to the Pet Health Central Facebook fan page, helping pet owners navigate their medical and behavioral issues. For the Pet Health Central blog, Dr. Rod’s posts focus on medical advice for the family pet. He has a special interest in and comprehensive knowledge of pet dental care and is our “Expert in Residence” on that topic. Dr. Rod writes from the hometown of Sergeant’s corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

Oftentimes, pet owners have the same questions about their pets and can relate to other people experiencing these issues. We recommend taking a look at some of the questions people have asked us about their pets. You could be wondering the same things!

If you have a question you would like to ask Dr. Rod before the June 26 event, please post it in the comments of this blog post. We will answer it before or during the upcoming #ASKAVET event on June 26, 2014, on our Pet Health Central Facebook page. Talk to you soon!

For more information about how the #ASKAVET event works, go here.

A couple of our favorite questions from June 9:

Question: Lynn Faulkenberry Collier asked, “I’ve had cats all my life. My daughter gave me a cat that unfortunately she got as a kitten, but was home alone a lot and desperately wanted outside. He started biting bringing blood. I’ve had him for several years now and still on occasion he seems to get in a mood and bites hard and continues to exhibit attack behavior. I’ve tried all kinds of things, but no luck. Sometimes I can alter behavior and sometimes not. He was neutered at 6 months and has a scar on his right eye that clouds his vision. Otherwise he seems healthy. Most times he is loveable, but…”

Dr. Tony: Just like some people are unpredictable, cats can be too! Working with a certified veterinary behaviorist http://www.dacvb.org/resources/find/ is your best bet by far — they have the expertise and experience to help you lessen or eliminate this activity. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian and get their input, as well — they are a valuable resource for medical and behavioral issues. Using pheromones like http://petslv.us/vDKd can help him feel safer and more at ease and may help diminish this behavior. Anything you can do to help enrich his environment will help as well such as laser pointers, windows where he can see the world, catnip, etc. will help him feel better and may decreased the undesired activity.

Question: Cathy Alford asked, “I know grapes are bad for dogs because of the skin. What about the skin on an orange section? My Shelties want to eat whatever I put in my mouth, but I’m leery of this. Thoughts?”

Dr. Tony: Orange peels should not be a problem — at least as far as we know. You are right: grapes can be deadly toxic to dogs, but no one knows why yet. Some dogs can eat tons of them with no problem, while for others just a few can be a problem and cause kidney failure. I have not heard anything about orange peels causing a problem, but best to only feed a few if you do and make sure they agree with their system. While they probably are OK, 10 years ago we thought grapes were OK, too. So use caution.

Question: Shelly Montano asked, “I have a 6-year-old male Tabby. When I pet him he bites his foot. He has nothing in his paw. He only does this when you pet him. He is overweight; I don’t know if this has anything to do with the problem? If you could help me I would so appreciate it.

Dr. Tony: Some dogs will do this when you hit an itchy “sweet spot” with your petting. Since he’s overweight, he may not be able to reach the itchy spot himself and just goes for what he can reach — his foot. The trick is to figure out why he is itchy [http://petslv.us/vDFq] and try and make it better. Talk to your vet about an antihistamine trial and other things that may help with the itch or even a visit to a veterinary dermatologist. Getting some weight off of him will also help and we have lots of good info to help with that [http://petslv.us/vDFh]. More exercise is good for everybody in the family!

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