Ask the Vet

Q: HOW DO I SAFELY USE HERBICIDES AROUND MY OUTDOOR PETS?
A: With most chemical applications, you will need to keep your pets away from the sprayed area for some amount of time. Please follow the safety instructions on your product closely. If you are worried about exposure, please contact Poison Control with the product information. Alternatively, try this homemade recipe for a pet-friendly weed killer, reported to be a non-selective herbicide:

1 gallon vinegar
2 cups Epsom salts
1/4 cup Dawn dish soap (the blue original)

Q: HOW DO I DISPOSE OF UNUSED MEDICATION SAFELY?
A: If your pet is a patient with us, you can bring their old or unused medications to our clinic for proper disposal. Many other human and animal hospitals and pharmacies also provide drug take-back services. If you need to dispose of drugs at home, never flush them down the toilet or sink, as this directly leads to environmental contamination. If you are throwing them in the trash, keep the medication in a sealed, leak-proof container (its original container with the name and dose of medication visible is preferable). If the medication is a liquid, add kitty litter or coffee grounds for absorption. Make sure any unused or disposed medication is out of reach from pets and children. Click here for more info.

Q: WHAT CAUSES OVERGROOMING IN CATS?
A: Overgrooming in cats may be caused by a number of issues, such as skin allergy, skin parasites, skin infection, pain, and compulsive behavior. In some cases, non-skin-related illness such as cystitis or hyperthyroidism may cause excessive grooming behavior. We recommend a veterinary visit with a complete work-up, including bloodwork and skin scrape, to rule out some of these issues. If the issue seems to be more psychogenic than medical, compulsive behavior may be corrected with behavioral training alone or in conjunction with medication. Sometimes compulsive behavior is triggered by a stressful event or change in the cat's routine; identify possible stressors, try to eliminate them, and establish a predictable daily routine of feeding, play, and attention for your cat. Enriching the cat's environment or encouraging more exercise may also help decrease the unwanted behavior. Speak with your veterinarian about potential medication that may help reduce any anxiety that is driving the overgrooming. These medications may take several weeks to effect, so don't give up treatment too early! (Dr. Yoshicedo)

Q: CAN I GIVE MY PET TYLENOL OR ADVIL?
A: Over-the-counter pain medication is not safe for pets. Common pain relievers in people such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) can cause sudden kidney or liver failure, ulcers, or destruction of red blood cells. If you think your pet is in pain, please see your veterinarian for medication that has been tested and approved for safe use in animals.

Q: WHAT IS TEAR-STAINING?
A: Tear-staining is a phenomenon caused by tears overflowing from the eyes rather than draining through their normal drainage ducts. When these tears dry, the porphyrins (normal breakdown products of blood found in tears) stain a reddish-brown color. The tear overflow may be caused by conformation defects, such as shallow orbits, protruding eyes, or curled eyelids. It may also be stimulated by irritation to the eye from an injury, irritating hairs, or eye disease. While tear-staining itself is not dangerous to your pet, it may be the sign of an underlying illness, and should be examined by a veterinarian. I do not recommend dietary supplements that claim to cure tear-staining; these are not usually effective, and often contain low level of antibiotics that contribute to antibiotic resistance in pets, people, and the environment. Simply wiping your pet's face multiple times a day, or applying petroleum jelly to the fur and skin to prevent damage can be helpful. (Dr. Yoshicedo)

Q: SHOULD MY DOG BE ON A RAW MEAT DIET?
A: I do not recommend raw meat diets for dogs because meat alone will not meet the nutritional requirements for dogs in any life stage. Dogs are not true carnivores and require additional vitamins and minerals that are not found in slabs of chicken or beef. Raw meat also carries the risks of bacterial infection (dogs can be infected with salmonella and e. coli just like people) and parasite transmission. Formulating your own homemade diet for your pet is possible, but often time-consuming and expensive. I recommend feeding a high quality, veterinarian approved, and AAFCO tested dog food for the best nutrition and long-term health for your canine friend. (Dr. Yoshicedo)

Email us your animal-related questions at askthevet@kailuaanimalclinic.com. We will answer a few select questions throughout each month and post them here. If you have an animal who is sick or hurt, please bring your pet in for an examination (call 263-8863 to set up an appointment).




 

 

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Last updated 2015 August 03.