Ask the Vet's Pets: National Veterinary Technician Week coming up
Dear Christopher Cat: I know what the veterinarian does, but what about all the other people who care for my cats at the animal hospital? I hear so many terms, from veterinary nurse to technician to assistant, that I'm not clear on...

Ask the Vet's Pets: International organization guides veterinarians in treating kidney disease
Dear Christopher Cat: Our elderly cat, Oscar, is in the early stages of chronic kidney disease. His veterinarian encouraged additional water intake but did not change his diet.

We're confused, because with our last...

Ask the vet's pets: Epilepsy common in many dog breeds
Dear Daisy Dog: Our 3-year-old cocker, Ellie, was recently diagnosed with epilepsy, for which the veterinarian prescribed phenobarbital. We don't know much about epilepsy in dogs. What can we expect in the future?

Cat's painful mouth inflammation may require extraction of all teeth
Dear Christopher Cat: When our cat Angel starts eating, she cries and runs away from the food. Her veterinarian diagnosed stomatitis and showed me how red and raw Angel's mouth is. He prescribed pain medicine and recommended that a...

Dogs manifest anxiety and fear in subtle ways
Dear Daisy Dog: When my dog, Buddy, is in the vet's office, he yawns, even though I'm sure he's not tired. Also, he licks his lips as though he's hungry, but he won't accept food treats from anyone, including me. What's going on?

Ask the vet's pets: Tooth fracture needs veterinary attention
Dear Daisy Dog: It looks like my dog, Henry, broke the tip off one of his fangs. Do I need to do anything about this?

Daisy responds: One in four of us dogs breaks a tooth during his or her lifetime. Almost half these...

Ask the vet's pets: Watch dog for signs of heat stress to prevent heat stroke
Dear Daisy Dog: I often take my dog, Gertie, to outdoor restaurants, concerts and other activities. The weather has been warm lately, and I'm wondering how I'll know if she's getting overheated. What are the signs of impending...

Ask the vet's pets: Therapeutic hyperthyroid y/d diet safe for normal cats
Dear Christopher Cat: One of my cats is hyperthyroid, and I'm thinking of treating her disease without medication, by feeding Hill's y/d, a prescription low-iodine diet. It would be easiest for me to feed all my cats the same food....

Ask the vet's pets: Renal society guides veterinarians in treating kidney disease
Dear Christopher Cat: Gertie, my 12-year-old cat, was recently diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. I'm uncertain how to proceed, because I'm getting conflicting treatment recommendations from the two veterinarians I...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Animal Help Now comes to the rescue during wildlife emergencies
Dear Cathy Cockatiel: A wild bird flew into my window and fell to the ground, alive but not moving. What should I do? How can I prevent this in the future?

Cathy responds: Place the bird somewhere safe and warm,...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Cats prefer human interaction to eating or playing with toys
Dear Christopher Cat: I have never had a pet, but I would like the companionship of one. I'm thinking about a cat, because I'm not sure I can commit to walking a dog as often as needed. However, I've heard that cats are less social than...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Grain-free diets a marketing gimmick
Dear Daisy Dog: Please tell me the truth about grain-free pet foods. A pet store employee told me they're healthier than diets with grains, but my veterinarian says they're just a marketing gimmick.


Ask the Vet's Pets: Claw management is safer, kinder than declawing
Dear Christopher Cat: I live in New York, where the state may soon outlaw declawing. My adult cats are declawed, but I recently adopted a kitten who isn't. How can I prevent her from scratching my furniture?

Ask the Vet's Pets: Porcupine quills best removed under anesthesia
Dear Daisy Dog: Dieter, my German wirehaired pointer, almost had a run-in with a porcupine while I was training him in the field. What do I do if he's ever harpooned by porcupine quills?

Daisy Responds: Rush him to...

Rats are entertaining, devoted pets
Dear Reggie Rat: My college-aged nephew just bought a pet rat, and I am appalled. I think of rats as vermin that require a trap, not pets that sit on laps. Is it safe and sane for my nephew to keep a pet rat?


Hair loss due to adrenal gland disease common in middle-aged ferrets
Dear Frank B. Ferret: Ferdinand, my 4-year-old ferret, is losing the hair on his tail. He doesn't have fleas, and he seems fine except for his hair loss. My other ferret's hair is normal. What is causing Ferdinand's hair loss?

Cats need year-round tick and flea protection
Dear Christopher Cat: Occasionally I find ticks on my indoor-outdoor cats' faces but not elsewhere on their bodies, so I assume cats remove most of their own ticks. Does this mean I don't have to apply a tick preventive?

Canine allergies can cause recurrent ear infections
Dear Daisy Dog: Lucas, our 5-year-old Labrador retriever, has seen his veterinarian many times over the past two years for gradually worsening ear infections. Why do they keep coming back?

Daisy responds:

Ask the Vets' Pets: Easter lilies cause kidney failure in cats
Dear Christopher Cat: I know some spring plants are toxic to cats. Since my cats are inquisitive, what flowers should I avoid this Easter?

Christopher responds: Don't decorate with the traditional Easter...

Diet of dry and canned food best for most cats
Dear Christopher Cat: Should we feed our cats dry food or canned food?

Christopher responds: You may want to consider both.

Many families feed only dry food, primarily because it's convenient. An...