Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • 8 Reasons Why Your Dog... Eats Poop

    By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com

    Heather Bickle, Flickr -- Pup on the prowl for poopDog eats poop. Pet owner gags. Dog eats poop again. Pet owner runs screaming from the room.

    Yes, it's disgusting. Yes, it's potentially unhealthy. And, yes, it's fairly common in the animal world.

    Related: Why Does My Dog... Kick Grass After Pooping?

    A pup will eat his own poop for a number of reasons:

    • He thinks it smells and tastes good. (Dogs are notoriously poor arbiters of taste.)
    • He's hungry.
    • He may be missing key nutrients in his diet or suffer malabsorption.
    • He likes to keep his territory or bedding clean.
    • He has fun playing with it. (This is especially true for dogs that are mouthy.)
    • He's bored.
    • He knows that removing the evidence means no punishment for inappropriate elimination.
    • He knows that fewer predators will give him grief if there is no physical evidence of his having been around.

    There may be other reasons for routine coprophagy, as the condition is known. It can be hard to

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  • Multifunction Feline Design: Furniture for Both You and Your Cat

    By Kate Benjamin



    Creating a cat-friendly home means incorporating elements that accommodate your cat's natural instincts to climb, scratch and rest. Why not look for furniture that gives kitty what she needs and offers function for you too? We've rounded up some multifunction furniture that is designed specifically to suit both you and your cat.



    More on Vetstreet.com:


    * The Greyhound of the Cat World Can Run 30 MPH


    * Want a Gentle, Quiet, Intelligent Cat? This Breed Is For You


    * 3 Common Kitten Problems and How to Curb Them


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  • 10 Hot Trends in Veterinary Medicine Right Now

    By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com

    Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography -- Feline Care Taking a Front SeatAs part of my series detailing the top trends, topics and products in vet medicine in 2013, I offer you this entry on what I see as my profession's 10 hottest topics. Pay attention, since they might just have a big impact on you and your pets' lifestyle and health care.

    But, as always, remember that these ideas represent my personal take on vet med and, as such, might not jibe with what you or your veterinarian considers salient or salubrious where your pet's health care is concerned. So take these for what they are: one industry watcher's informed opinion.

    Hot Topics

    1. Feline care takes a front seat. Over the past decade, the state of feline affairs has become an increasingly evident source of consternation within our profession. Despite their role as the No. 1 pet in the nation, population-wise, it's clear our cats aren't enjoying the benefits our dogs do. Vet visits are down, compliance is low relative to that afforded their canine

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  • Are Herbal Remedies OK for Pets?

    By Dr. Narda Robinson | vetstreet.com

    Thinkstock -- Milk thistle derivatives are some of the most commonly prescribed plant compounds in veterinary medicine. Prescribing herbal remedies for animals is an expanding field within veterinary medicine. Practitioners are increasingly using these substances to replace or augment existing therapies. As a result, I have recently created a course for the veterinary students at my university called "medical herbology." In my course, we explore not only the safety and effectiveness of herbs, but also their interactions with medications. This is an important but much overlooked aspect of herbal medicine.

    See Also: 8 Home Remedies Gone Wrong


    For example, I have seen St. John's wort extracts advertised as a treatment for separation anxiety[i] in dogs. However, labels usually fail to warn consumers that this herb can reduce or alter the effectiveness of a wide array of drugs, including chemotherapeutic, cardiac, immunosuppressant, analgesic and anticoagulant medications.[ii][iii] So, a well-meaning owner who gives a dog St John's wort before chemotherapy

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  • 10 OTC Human Drugs that You Can Give Your Pet

    By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com

    Pepcid ACIn case you don't know, OTC stands for "over the counter," meaning that no prescription is needed. Armed with your vet's say-so, all you have to do is pluck the drug off the store shelf and follow your vet's oral or written instructions.

    Now wasn't that tons easier (and probably much cheaper) than buying things via the pharmacy?

    Luckily, there are lots of drugs that don't have to abide by the stringent rules of the written prescription - most of which you've probably heard of. Nonetheless, I feel the need to describe them because maybe, just maybe, there's something I can add to your basic understanding of these medications, their indications and contraindications.

    See Also: 5 Dangerous Over-the-Counter Products for Pets


    Here are my top 10 picks, which are peppered liberally with disclaimers about always asking your vet first before using any drug . Remember: O-T-C doesn't necessarily mean S-A-F-E!

    1. Pepcid AC (famotidine)

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  • Cat Takes Dog for a Walk

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres | vetstreet.com

    Heel! This cat is clearly in charge of her canine buddy's every move.



    More on Vetstreet.com:
    * This Designer Dog Is One Super Smart Breed
    * The Greyhound of the Cat World Can Run 30 MPH
    * Are Dog Rescue Groups Too Picky?

  • 6 Steps to Finding a Great Groomer

    By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com

    ThinkstockI know this great groomer. He comes to my mother's house once every month or so to handle her two wild ones in all their furred unruliness. With a steady hand and an even steadier way around a nervous dog, he bathes and clips in less time and for way less cash than you'd expect for such expert results.

    But for my pets, grooming didn't come easily. After all, despite the long line of personal pets and steady stream of rescues, professional grooming is something I've always successfully managed to avoid. Until now.

    See Also: 5 Easy-to-Groom Dog Breeds


    Enter Rosebud

    Rosebud arrived late last year, looking less like a candidate for professional grooming than a hypothyroid Chihuahua. Which is to say she was a bony Shih Tzu with precious little fur to work with. Flea and food allergies had done her skin in, hence the hairlessness that gave her skin a scaly gray cast except where she was especially inflamed (earning her the cheeky

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  • 8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

    By Lisa Granshaw | vetstreet.com

    Logan's ball and bedding are ready for cleaningSpring is in the air, and for many of us, that means getting a fresh start with some serious housecleaning. Don't forget about your pets when you're spiffing things up for spring! We've rounded up our best tips for adding pet care to your cleaning checklist, and we talked with experts about how to keep your spring cleanse pet-safe. And of course, since every pet is different, speak with your veterinarian about any pet-specific or health-related questions.

    See Also: 4 Everyday Items That Work Wonders on Pet-Stained Carpeting


    Deep Cleaning

    Start your spring cleanse by taking charge of the dirt.

    1. Clean crates and carriers. Spring is the perfect time to get crates and carriers sparkling. Dr. René Carlson, the American Veterinary Medical Association's immediate past president, recommends cleaning crates and carriers once a week using "warm soapy water (dishwashing detergent) or a mild disinfectant."

    But be cautious with the

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  • Are Dog Rescue Groups Too Picky?

    By Crystal Miller-Spiegel | vetstreet.com

    Thinkstock -- Dogs at a ShelterWhen I was a senior in college in Central Pennsylvania, I adopted my dog, Simmons, the Greatest Dog Ever, at the local animal shelter for $20, with no obligation to neuter him and no landlord's letter stating that, yes, dogs were allowed in my rental home. I simply showed up and took him home.

    Fast-forward one year, however, and my job at a Boulder, Colo., animal shelter involved conducting in-depth adoption interviews to decide if the interested person or family could provide a suitable home for whatever cat, dog or other animal I was trying to find a home for. At that shelter, once the animals were deemed "adoptable," they were not killed because of overcrowding. So while there was a sense of urgency to placing them, it was not as if their days were actually numbered if I didn't do so. Still, I definitely experienced that "gut" feeling when it felt like the pet/family pairings might not be a good match, and I often felt happy but

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  • Stuff Your Dog's Kong with Delicious Homemade Tail Mix

    By Mikkel Becker | vetstreet.com

    Mikkel Becker, Vetstreet.comThe Kong toy is one of the most important innovations in the dog training world. It's a valuable tool for building better canine behavior because it focuses a dog's energy and chewing on an appropriate outlet. A Kong will keep a dog occupied for long periods of time as he uses his teeth and tongue to pull out the morsels hidden within.

    One of the ways I pamper my Pugs, Willy and Bruce, is by creating new recipes to stuff in their Kongs. The Pugs are more than willing to try out my new creations, and I get the satisfaction of seeing them tail-wagging happy as they engulf the contents of their Kongs.

    Video: How to Stuff a Kong for Your Dog


    Here's one of my newest creations. I call it Tail Mix, which is simply the canine version of trail mix. It was a big hit with Willy and Bruce, and it's veterinarian approved by my father, Dr. Marty Becker.

    Ingredients

    This recipe can be used to replace part of your dog's normal meal, although

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