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"Why does my dog eat grass?" seems to be the most commonly searched pet question on the Internet, but the most ubiquitous exam room query that I get, by far, is: “What can I do about my pet's shedding?”
Here's my quick take on these subjects, along with eight other popular issues that pet owners are clearly anxious to understand:
This common complaint doesn’t necessarily signal an incompetent owner. In many cases, dogs and cats have simply missed the socialization window during which these ministrations should have been introduced. For cats, the interval is two to seven weeks. For dogs, it’s eight to 12. Getting a pet used to this procedure, at the right age, is often critical. After that, it may take a little more patience. For owners who give up, it’s common for nail trimming to end up being a stressful exam room subject.
This is often the case with pets who have skin allergies, anal gland issues, dental disease and certain nonallergic skin diseases. While many cases have to do with heightened owner sensitivity (I personally don’t think that their dogs smell badly), the trouble with stink is often medical in origin — and most often allergic. In other words, a veterinarian’s advice is indicated in this situation.
Although “dirty” ears can be caused by rolling in the yard, most dogs and cats whose ears exude a smelly, brownish, or crusty, blackish discharge don’t really have dirt in there. Allergic skin disease in both dogs and cats often yields a mixture of yeast, bacteria and wax, while a smaller percentage of “dirty ear” sufferers (most typically outdoor cats) can harbor ear mites.
Whether we’re talking about dog poop, cat poop or his own poop, the reality is that an uncomfortably large contingent of canines are happy to munch on feces. Nice, right? Check out my extended take on the topic.
Litterbox issues are extremely common — and horribly frustrating for cat owners and veterinarians. I spend more time talking about the litterbox than almost any other cat issue.
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