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...

Azalea, rhododendron, laurel and yew toxic to pets
Dear Christopher Cat: We live in the country, and our cats play outdoors in the gardens during the day. Our newest cat, Clyde, occasionally chews on the shrubs around the house, including the azaleas, rhododendrons and yews. Are...

Rescue a guinea pig or two in March
Dear Gina Guinea Pig: I come home from work to my lonely, empty apartment. I'm thinking about getting one or two guinea pigs for company. Are they better alone or in pairs? How do I care for them?

Gina responds:

Ask the Vet's Pets: Keep cat away from philodendron
Dear Christopher Cat: I want to adopt a cat from the shelter, but I have a 105-inch-long philodendron that I know is toxic to cats. How can I prevent my new cat from nibbling my philodendron?

Christopher responds:...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Plan now for pets' care before you're incapacitated
Dear Daisy Dog: My dog died recently, and I very much want to welcome a new dog into my life, but at my advanced age, I fear I will outlive the dog. What is your advice?

Daisy responds: Research shows that animal companions help...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Before ordering pet medications online, ensure pharmacy is legitimate
Dear Christopher Cat: My cats have fleas, so I ordered flea medicine online from a California pet pharmacy. Frankly, I was pleased that the online pharmacy didn't ask for a veterinarian's prescription, even though I was under the...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Remember pet safety over the holidays
Dear Daisy Dog: Our dogs, Stiller and Meara, love french fries, so we think they'd enjoy a latke for Hanukkah. May we give each of them one?

Daisy responds: Latkes, potato pancakes fried in oil, aren't good for us...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Dogs need to stay active during cold winter months
Dear Daisy Dog: Rigby, my 3-year-old Labrador, requires a lot of exercise. I enjoy walking and playing with him outside during the warmer months, but I don't like venturing outdoors during our cold winters. How should I exercise...

Ask the Vet's Pets: Specialized eye structures give cats superior night vision
Dear Christopher Cat: At night, when it's almost dark, my cats' eyes flash with color. What makes their eyes shine so exotically?

Christopher Responds: The glow comes from the tapetum lucidum (Latin for...

Dogs are red-green color-blind
Dear Daisy Dog: Max, our 10-year-old miniature schnauzer, seems nearsighted, though he can readily pick out his blue ball. I thought dogs were colorblind but otherwise had good vision. What's the story?