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. I’m at home today answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page.
The first question is, “What’s the best defense against heartworm for those living in the South?” This is a great question because heartworm disease is really prevalent in the South or anyplace that has a lot of mosquitoes. The best defense is going to be going to your veterinarian and get a prescription heartworm medication. Generally, these medications are given once a month and are really quite effective at preventing heartworm disease. Over-the-counter products or mosquito repellents are not going to be as effective.
The next question comes from Sarah. She asks, “My 13½-year-old cat had his teeth cleaned last weekend and now he has lost hair above his right eyebrow. He still has his lashes but I thought this was odd. Should I be concerned?”
It’s hard to say without seeing your cat, but I would bring it up to your veterinarian. Sometimes when there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the mouth, the head may be positioned in such a way that it possibly rubbed on the table or came in contact with something. Call your veterinarian and see if they’ll do a follow-up. A lot of times veterinarians are happy to follow up after a procedure to make sure everything went smoothly. www.petsbest.com
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m at home today answering questions from Pets Best Facebook page
The first question comes from Chrissy. She asks, “My 14-year-old female cat suddenly started peeing on the bathmat and anything in the bathroom about three months ago. She sometimes pees on the puppy’s rest blankie and potty grass. Is this behavioral or medical? It’s not constant; she uses her litter box, too.”
This is a great question and one of the probably more frustrating things about owning cats. I do think it’s important for you to make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out a medical cause for her inappropriate urination, such as a urinary tract infection or even something more serious, like stones.
Once that’s been ruled out, then you’ve got a behavioral issue. It sounds like you’ve got a new baby in the house. That could possibly be a trigger for her inappropriate urination. Your veterinarian might suggest feline pheromones. Cats are actually really quite sensitive to pheromones and they have a calming effect. It sounds kind of hokey but some people swear that they work really pretty well.
Make sure you’ve got litter boxes in more than one area of the house so that she doesn’t feel like she doesn’t have a place to go. Make sure there’s privacy. Sometimes cats are finicky about the location or even the type of litter. Make sure you haven’t changed the type of litter or suddenly gone from an open litter box to a covered litter box. These are all little things that can sometimes make cats not want to use their box as much.
The next question comes from Emily and she asks, “My 1½-year-old male neutered Shih Tzu get hiccups a couple times a day ever since he was a puppy. What causes this and is there anything I can do to eliminate these hiccup spells for him?”
I love this question. It’s a great question. Puppies do get a lot of hiccups. Hiccups are from irritation to the phrenic nerve, which is the nerve that innervates the diaphragm. No one really knows exactly what it is about puppies that makes them have this irritation, but most outgrow it, usually by about 18 months of age, which is right about where you’re at with your Shih Tzu.
I would venture to say in the next couple of months you’ll probably be seeing less and less hiccups. There’s probably not much you can do to help shorten the duration of the hiccups, but know that they’re not harmful to him and they’re not painful, and they will go away. www.petsbest.com
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m at home today answering some questions from our Facebook page.
The first question is, “I think my dog got a flu or a cold bug. His poop isn’t solid and he needs to go out every half-hour and he’s miserable. Is there something I can give him? I’ve been watching him to make sure that he’s drinking fluids and eating his dry food, but I’m not sure if it’s upsetting his tummy.”
This is a great question. Dogs can catch a flu or cold bugs just like people can, and sometimes it can manifest as an upset tummy. There are some things you can do at home to try to correct the situation before you need to call your veterinarian.
If they’re continuing to eat and drink, you could try switching to a bland diet, something like boiled chicken or rice. You might reduce the amount or even skip a meal altogether to see if that helps to make the stools a little bit more solid. If your pet is vomiting or isn’t eating, that’s the time to call your veterinarian, as well as if the stool doesn’t become more firm within about 24 hours after the onset of signs. If you’ve got questions or concerns, call your veterinarian about that one.
The next question is, “Do spayed females still give off hormones or a scent when they would have otherwise come into heat that other dogs can pick up? My male dog goes crazy around my spayed female for about two weeks a couple of times a year.”
The answer to this question is probably not. If a female dog is spayed correctly, both ovaries are completely removed, and the ovaries are the organs that produce hormones. It would be really unlikely that your female dog was able to produce these hormones or even have a regular heat cycle. If you’re concerned about something like this, contact your veterinarian. www.petsbest.com
Hello, my name is Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. Today I want to answer some Facebook questions at home for you
The first question I have is, “Can I give my dog human glucosamine?” This is a great question. Glucosamine is a supplement that’s meant to help with arthritis conditions in dogs. The dog-formulated and people-formulated glucosamines are basically the same, so the answer is yes, you can, but it’s important that you contact your veterinarian to know what dose is appropriate for your dog before you just purchase it over-the-counter.
The next question is, “Can a TPLO fail after the bone has healed?” A TPLO is a specific type of surgery that’s meant to correct a cruciate tear in a dog’s knee, just like an ACL tear in a person.
TPLOs typically have a pretty good success rate. After the bone is healed, there’s probably less incidence of failure versus when the bone is actually healing and the dog is a little bit more vulnerable at that time. But if your dog is acting differently after the surgery or starting to favor the leg, it could be a cause for concern and you should contact your veterinarian.
If you have a question for me, head to the Pets Best Facebook page and post your questions there. www.petsbest.com
Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. Today I’d like to take a chance to answer some questions from our Facebook page.
The first question is, “My dog has dark brown staining on the insides of her legs that’s been there since I adopted her. Now there’s a small dark patch developing in the middle of her belly. The skin is discolored and the fur has a strange texture. She doesn’t lick it and the area is never damp. She isn’t in pain and it doesn’t itch. What could be causing it?”
This is a great question. It’s really a common change on skin and fur of dogs and it’s generally related to moisture on the skin. Places that this can accumulate are between the toes, in facial folds, in the center of the belly where there’s a kind of belly button. The moisture, just normal moisture from your dog’s skin, can create an environment that a very non- harmful yeast organism, a fungal organism, can actually live there.
It’s cosmetic and it usually doesn’t cause a problem. If it’s itchy or if it’s bothering your dog, it could be related to something else and you might want to bring it up with your veterinarian.
This question says, “My Chihuahua reverse sneezes frequently. I know it’s not a cause for too much concern but it sure sounds awful when she’s doing it. What causes this and is there anything I can do to help her?” This is great question. If you’ve never heard a reverse sneeze, the first time you do it sure does look terrifying. The majority of the time it’s not related to any sort of problem. It doesn’t mean your dog is gasping for air and it’s not an asthma attack.
There are a couple of things that can sometimes predispose dogs to it. One is size, so smaller breed dogs tend to do it more than bigger dogs. Occasionally it can be caused by allergies, so you may find that in the spring or in the fall when there’s a lot of pollens, your pet might do this more frequently. In certain areas of the nation, nasal mites can actually cause this. Another common cause of reverse sneezing is excitement, so oftentimes feeding a treat or a meal can predispose them to having these attacks.
If this is happening suddenly and your pet has never done it before, you might want to contact your veterinarian. www.petsbest.com
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.