Ask the Vet's Pets: Empty boxes attract cats
Dear Christopher Cat: My cat, Marshmallow, loves cardboard boxes. Why does he jump into them the moment they're empty?

Christopher responds: I can't speak for Marshmallow, but I can tell you that the cats in my...

Ask the vet's pets: Pluck matted hair from dog's ear canals
Dear Daisy Dog: Sophie, my poodle-shih tzu, scratches her ears a lot and has hairy ear canals. Should I pluck them?

Daisy responds:
Plucking ears is somewhat controversial. Many veterinary dermatologists...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Several therapies help cats with osteoarthritis

Dear Christopher Cat: Abby Tabby, my 14-year-old cat, has arthritis and chronic kidney disease. My veterinarian is reluctant to prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain reliever for her arthritis because it could be...

Ask the vet's pets: Pet rabbits unsafe outdoors, should live indoors
Dear Reba Rabbit: My neighbor keeps her children's two pet rabbits in a hutch in the backyard. Is this acceptable, or should they live indoors?

Reba responds: Pet rabbits should live...

Ask the vet's pets: Pet foods often contain undisclosed ingredients
Dear Daisy Dog: When it comes to pet food labels, I don't know whether to believe my veterinarian or the pet food manufacturers. My vet thinks my dog has a food allergy and recommends home cooking.

It's easier to buy...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Service dogs aid children with autism
Dear Daisy Dog: Our son has autism. We've thought about getting him a dog, but we don't know whether a dog will help him, and we're concerned about the dog's welfare. What are your thoughts?

Daisy responds: Many...

Ask the vet's pets: February is Pet Dental Health Month
Dear Christopher Cat: My cat, Margarita, has tartar and gingivitis, but even her veterinarian agrees that she will never let me brush her teeth. What else can I do?

Christopher responds:
Daily brushing is the...

Ask the vet's pets: Sugar-free gum and candy toxic to pets
Dear Daisy Dog: A friend rushed her dog to the veterinarian after he ate some sugar-free gum. The vet immediately induced vomiting and hospitalized the dog for a few days on IV fluids. Did the vet take advantage of my friend, or did my...

Ask the vet's pets: Use reward to teach dog to walk away from feces
Dear Daisy Dog: My name is Molly, and I am a 3-year-old cocker spaniel. For reasons I don't understand, my human gets very upset when I dine on another dog's pooh. He also says nasty things about that dog's owner for not cleaning up what...

Ask the vet's pets: Catnip safe even for cats with kidney disease
Dear Christopher Cat: Our 12-year-old tuxedo cat, Buster Keaton, has always enjoyed catnip. We recently learned he has chronic kidney disease, and I wonder whether it could have been caused by catnip. If not, is it safe for him to...

Ask the vet's pets: Use pet ear cleaner recommended by veterinarian
Dear Daisy Dog: How do I clean my dogs' ears?

Daisy responds: Start by collecting what you'll need: a doggy ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian, soft tissues or cotton and lots of yummy dog treats. After...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Laundry detergent pods dangerous for pets

Dear Daisy Dog: Katie, my 6-month-old corgi, chewed but did not swallow a laundry detergent pod. She vomited once, and now she's drooling a lot. Are detergent pods toxic to dogs?


Ask the vet's pets: Choose pet-safe Christmas plants this season
Dear Christopher Cat: I like to decorate for Christmas using fresh plants, such as poinsettias. What Christmas plants are safe for my cats?

Christopher responds: Several are safer than you may think.

Ask the vet's pets: Protect cats during Hanukkah celebrations
Dear Christopher Cat: We recently adopted two cats, so this is the first year we're celebrating Hanukkah with pets in the house. Do we need to take any special precautions?

Christopher responds: If your new cats...

Ask the vet's pets: Take steps to prevent torn cruciate ligament
Dear Daisy Dog: Our older Labrador retriever, Samba, required surgery after she tore the anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) in both of her knees. How can we prevent our Lab puppy, Rumba, from tearing his ACLs?


Ask the vet's pets: Take action if kitten is dehydrated
Dear Christopher Cat: I found a baby kitten that weighs less than a pound and has an upper respiratory infection. Despite medication from the veterinarian, she isn't doing well. How do I know if she is dehydrated?

Ask the vet's pets: Canine tail docking banned in some countries
Dear Daisy Dog: Our German shorthaired pointer has a docked tail. While watching a British dog show on television, I noticed that not one show dog had a docked tail. Why?

Daisy responds:
Many countries ban...

Ask the vet's pets: Ebola doesn't sicken dogs
Dear Daisy Dog: What can you tell me about Ebola and dogs? I want to be prepared in case the virus spreads to my area.

Daisy responds: Fortunately, there have been no reports of dogs or cats getting sick from Ebola or...

Ask the vet's pets: Protect pets from Halloween ghosts and goblins
Dear Christopher Cat: Last Halloween, my cat, Tilly, became so upset when I put on cat ears that I had to take them off. When the trick-or-treaters arrived in their costumes and masks, she arched her back, fluffed up her tail, hissed,...

Ask the vet's pets: Electronic cigarettes can cause nicotine poisoning in pets
Dear Daisy Dog: My boyfriend leaves his e-cigarettes lying around on tables and counters. I assume that since they don't contain tobacco, they won't hurt my dog if she chews on them. Is that correct?