August 7-13 questions

Kitten catnip

Yorkie coughing

Canine rodent poisoning

Parvovirus puppy

Puppy hiccups

Question from:Jane: Bethlehem, PA.
My friend just got yet another cat. My question is this. Is it ok to give a ten week old kitty cat-nip?

Answer: Catnip is generally regarded as safe for kittens, although vomiting and diarrhea can result if excessive amounts are eaten. But other than that there are no widespread side effects. People say that catnip does not affect a cat until they are at least two months old.

Question from:Ramona: Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
8 yr old Yorkie has a very wet, raspy cough. 1 week, appetite excellent. No other known symptoms. Sounds like someone with pneumonia. Stays in good mood, not lethargic.

Answer:An eight year old Yorkie with a wet raspy cough make me think of congestive heart failure (CHF). This is when the heart has trouble pumping blood and a cough develops because fluid can build up in the lungs. Treatment of CHF in dogs can be very rewarding, but requires certain efforts. Diuretic medication to reduce fluid in the lungs and to make the heart work. Additional drugs called vaso-dilators are also helpful to reduce the workload on the heart. Diet changes could be necessary to reduce salt intake which in turn reduce retained fluids, especially in the lungs. This decreases the workload for the heart and may reduce the need for medications. A reduced exercise regiment to help control signs of CHF. Continued monitoring by your veterinarian is critical to maintain a stable condition of CHF.

Question from:Tereas, Newport News, VA.
I have a two year old pincher, he weighs about 50 to 65lbs.I notice he was nibbling on a piece of rodent poison but did not consume but maybe a small piece, Is he ok?

Answer: Your dog will likely be okay if he only nibbled on it. Rodent poisons are divided into two classes. Anticoagulants and hypercalcemic agents. Clinical signs of poisoning might not show up for several days. Signs could include weakness, seizures, and page gums. To Induce Vomiting and Prevent Poison Absorption, give your dog Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting. A 3 percent solution is most effective. Give one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight of the dog. Repeat every 15 to 20 minutes, up to 3 times, until dog vomits. See: Dog Poisoning Symptoms.

Question from:

Michelle, West Albans, West Virginia.My friend adopted a six week old beagle mix from our local pound. From day one Snippy has had diarrhea and has been coughing and gagging. He has even thrown up his food. Any ideas as to what it wrong with him?

Answer: It is important that you take your puppy to the veterinarian immediately. Puppies that have diarrhea can become dehydrated and die very easily. Until you get your puppy to the veterinarian you can supplement his diet with a high calorie product like Nutra-cal. It seems like your puppy could have parvovirus. This is a virus that affects dog’s intestinal tract causing diarrhea. It is a very contagious disease of puppies and unvaccinated dogs. Your veterinarian can do a blood test for parvo. Treatment of parvovirus in puppies is supportive, intravenous fluids and antibiotics. See: Dog Parvo Symptoms.

Question from:Elise: Brisbane, Queensland.I have a new puppy he is 8 weeks old and constantly gets the hiccups. Is this normal?

Answer: Hiccups are quite common in puppies. When puppies drink and eat they tend to ingest large quantities of air. Air entering the esophagus tends to trigger the hiccupping response. Puppy hiccups are common in dogs less than 9 months of age. There is nothing you can do to treat them.

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