If you’re like many pet owners today, you’ll do whatever it takes to keep your pet happy and healthy. Our plans help make that possible by offering reimbursement levels of 70%, 80% or 90%, after a deductible. We also offer a 100% level of reimbursement.
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. Today I’m answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page.
The first one comes from Hannah, who says, “My dog goes nuts for eggs, whether they’re hardboiled or scrambled. Is it okay for her to have some once in a while?”
Absolutely. In moderation, that’s a fine treat for dogs to have. I would prefer that the eggs be cooked. Dogs can get salmonella, just like people can, from raw eggs, so cooking them is probably better. As with any people food, definitely in moderation.
The next one comes from Natalie, who says, “Our dog keeps chewing on her dewclaws and tearing the hair off around them. She does this every year. Is there any treatment other than making her wear an E-collar all the time?”
It sounds to me like this is seasonal if it’s happening every year. Chances are she’s got some type of seasonal allergies that coincide with the time of year. Because it’s on her feet, you might try rinsing off her feet after she’s outside or using a hypoallergenic shampoo on the feet.
If she’s actually causing damage to the skin or there’s an infection, you’re going to need to see a veterinarian so you can get her on the appropriate antibiotics. At that time it would probably be a good idea to talk about things that you can do to prevent this when that time of year comes around. This might include antihistamines, special prescribed topical shampoos, or topical sprays that can go on the feet and give her some relief. www.petsbest.com
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m answering some questions from Pets Best Facebook page today.
The first question comes from Samantha, who asks, “Are Siamese cats supposed to have an ‘M’ on their forehead?”
The answer is no, not really. The typical Siamese coloration is a tan base, and they usually have some type of darker points, points being their nose, their ears, and their tails. There can be some different variations in their coloring, but true Siamese kitties typically don’t have any linear markages on them.
The next one comes from Cynthia, who asks, “What causes an enlarged liver?”
This is a really difficult question to answer because there are a lot of things that can cause a big liver. Some of them are really, really serious. If you’ve had your veterinarian tell you that your pet’s liver is enlarged, you might ask them to elaborate on why they think that is. It could be anything from infections to the way that they were born, or inflammation, or something serious like cancer. www.petsbest.com
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. Today I’m answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page.
The first one comes from Patricia, who asks, “Can applying flea and tick medicine like Advantage make my Labrador ill?”
Absolutely. Sometimes these flea and tick medications, which are oftentimes insecticides, can make animals ill, especially if it’s not used correctly. Always make sure that you’re getting the right dosage strength for the right animal. For example, cats can’t tolerate a lot of those topical flea and tick medications.
If you’re seeing a reaction to one, it really could be a problem. Use something like Dawn dish soap to wash the area where you applied it really well, and then rinse really well. If it continues to be a problem, you probably need to see your veterinarian.
In the meantime, if you want to use some type of a flea and tick medication, contact your veterinarian. There are a ton of products out there, ones that are taken orally so you don’t have to necessarily be doing anything on the skin, or prescription ones that aren’t insecticides that are actually absorbed through the skin and work a little bit differently, so you can figure out a product that works well for you.
The next one is from Tara. She writes, “My dog will not pee in the rain. She’ll hold it until it stops raining. Is this bad for her?”
Sometimes dogs won’t like to urinate when it’s inclement weather. This actually happens with some frequency. In snow, rain, cold or wind, typically little dogs especially can sometimes really not like this. It’s not great for her to hold it for a really long time so if you could find a covered area or somewhere that’s a little bit drier, that’s going to be better. She won’t hold it to a point that’s going to damage her, but obviously it can be uncomfortable.
One alternative that you might consider, and this works okay especially for small dogs, is using a litter pan or piddle pads. You can just train them to use that and then quickly clean up so they don’t have to go outside, especially if you live in an area that has snow or rain for a lot of the year. That might be something to try. www.petsbest.com
Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys from The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Today I’m going to be answering some questions from the Facebook page of Pets Best Insurance, and we are continuing the series that we call “Kevin and the Cat Doctor”.
Kevin asks me, “My female cat has suddenly taken to spraying the walls and other items such as clothing. Is she just trying to mark her territory or is there a deeper issue to this?”
First of all, Kevin, I’d ask you if you kitty-cat is spayed. Some females who are not spayed will mark their territory, urinating on articles or spraying walls and such, when they’re in heat. So make sure that she is spayed. If she has already has been spayed, then it’s always best that we rule out a medical problem. Some cats, when they have urinary issues, will spray rather than urinating on items on the floor. It’s best that you take your kitty to your veterinarian, have the doctor run a urinalysis and give the kitty a good physical to rule out any medical problems, rather than just assuming that she’s having behavioral issues and just acting up.
Next, Kevin asks, “I’ve been told cats which have been declawed have peculiar habits atypical of normal cats, such as urinating upon furniture. How true is this?”
It is not true. Declawing can be a very controversial subject but I’m happy to report that there have been no studies that have shown that cats that are declawed have any type of elimination problems or any other behavioral problems. So it is okay to declaw your kitties in certain situations.
And finally, Kevin asks, “I’ve been told kidney failure is the great equalizer among cats, so what should I do to reduce this likelihood?”
Unfortunately, we do see a large amount of chronic kidney disease in our older kitty-cats and we’re not entirely sure why this happens. The best way to try to prevent it is by making sure your cat sees your veterinarian for an annual physical, or perhaps even visiting the veterinarian twice a year. At some point as the kitty gets older, your veterinarian will recommend that some blood work and a urinalysis be done. This is very important because that way you can identify kidney disease as soon as possible and there are steps that can be taken to help your kitty’s kidneys work for as long as possible.
Hi. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys from The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. I’ll be answering some questions today from the Facebook page of Pets Best Insurance.
This particular segment is called “Kevin and the Cat Doctor”. Kevin was a very busy boy and had lots of questions for us, but I do appreciate that, Kevin, because honestly, the more you know about your kitties, the better you’ll be able to keep your kitties healthy and happy for a long time.
Let’s start off on Kevin’s questions. The first one here is, “If I get a kitten, should I teach it to use the toilet or is that a novel behavior best left alone?”
I’m always amazed at those people that can actually teach their kitties to use the toilet. I don’t know how they do it and I don’t know where they get the patience from. But hey, if you want to try that, I’d say go for it. My only concern is that as a kitty gets older, they may have some problems jumping up onto the toilet if they get arthritis and things of that sort. For younger kitties, give it a try. For most cats, though, in general it’s best to use the old natural method and let them do what comes naturally to them by using a litter box.
Second question. “I recently heard feeding only dry food can lead to kidney problems. Is there a good ratio of dry to canned food?”
Feeding dry food only will not cause kidney problems. We do, unfortunately, see a lot of chronic kidney disease, mostly in our older kitty-cats, and we don’t fully understand why this happens. However, once your kitty is diagnosed with kidney problems, it’s really best to get your cat on a canned food diet. The increased moisture content of the canned food will help the kidneys last a little bit longer. There is no specific ratio. I tell my clients to maximize the amount of canned food fed to those kitties with kidney disease.
Next question. “How does the flea and tick medicine that is applied to the back of the cat’s neck work?” There are several products of this sort and they all basically work about the same. The medication is applied topically on the kitty’s skin. It’s absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream of the cat. It then affects the fleas and ticks by interfering with and damaging their nervous system and that’s how they are killed. They’re a great product, very convenient to use, and I do highly recommend them.
Insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit, www.ihcgroup.com. In states in which Independence American Insurance Company’s new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, policies will be underwritten by Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut. To determine the underwriter in your state, please call Pets Best at 1-877-738-7237.
Please note: This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Pets Best Insurance. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.