September 4-10 questions

Feline constipation


Dog eating feces

Feline pregnancy signs

Sick rat

Question from:Bob; Mahwah, NJ
Our cat is 16 years old he has recently been on a diet for his kidneys. He hasn’t eaten or gone to the bathroom in the last 3 days and appears to try to cough up a hair ball but to no avail.

Answer:Since your cat is 16 years old, suffering from possible kidney failure, and hasn’t eaten or defecated in the last three days, I would take him to see your vet immediately. I would recommend getting blood work done to check kidney values. Also, your cat is likely very dehydrated and might benefit from IV fluids. You might even see your cat vomiting. For feline constipation treatment usually involves an enema of either a soapy fluid, or mineral oil. Please also see How Much Water Do Cats Need.

Question from:Barb; Omaha, NEMy dog has had chronic ear infections for years. Was using Otomax which originally recommended by vet. Now online orders need a prescription. Tried Zymox because no prescription was needed. Is that the same thing and will it work as well?

Answer:Zymox is not the same thing as Otomax. As you know, Otomax requires a prescription and its primary ingredients included: Gentamicin, Betamethasone, and Clotrimazole. Otomax is combination antimicrobial and corticosteroid indicated for the treatment in dogs of acute and chronic otitis externa associated with yeast and/or bacteria susceptible to gentamicin.

Zymox is also labeled for use in dogs and cats for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation of the external ear caused by bacterial, viral and yeast infections, common dog ear diseases. Treatment is once a day for 7 days for acute infection and once a day for 14 days for chronic infection. Do not use in conjunction with other topical ear medications or cleaners. I would recommend getting the Zymox Otic with Hydrocortisone, because this will also help with the inflammation. Zymox does not include an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. Instead is contains a peroxidase which physically destroys the bacteria. I would ask your vet which is best for your pet, but until you can see your vet Zymox appears to be an okay alternative. Also see: dog ear infections, and dog eyes and ears problems.

Question from: Sandy; Newburg, MarylandWhat can we do to stop our dachshund from eating her feces and sometimes our other dogs feces ? We just adopted her 2weeks ago and she came from a breeders kennel environment.

Answer: You could try adding products to your dog’s diet like Deter or Forbid. These help make the feces even more unappetizing for them. Some people have also added pineapple to their dogs diet and claim it works.

Question from: Cathy; Tucson, AZMy cat is pregnant and due any time now...When can I tell when she will be going into labor or if she is starting labor? What are cat pregnancy symptoms?

Answer: The signs of impending labor in cats generally include nervousness and panting. The pregnant cat will often quit eating during the last 24 hours before feline labor. She will also usually have a drop in rectal temperature below 100ºF (37.8ºC). The temperature drop may occur intermittently for several days prior to delivery, usually it will be constant for the last 24 hours of the cat gestation period.

Question from:Cathy; Washougal, WAI have a exotic pet rat that has far exceeded the expected lifespan of two years. He has gone off his food and water and is very listless with shallow breathing. I give him tiny drops of water, but I fear he is too old to make a comeback. I do not know how to get Halothane if he needs to be euthanized and the last time I had a rat euthanized because of a cancerous tumor they gave him a shot into the heart and it was painful and he cried. I don't ever want to do that again. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but I really can't tell since he cannot tell me. Is it humane to just let him go on his own? I do not know what to do.

Answer:If at all possible do not allow him to go on his own. Here is what you do. Take him to the vet and ask them to over dose him with anesthetic, that way he falls asleep and won’t wake up or feel any pain. Ask them to put him in an induction chamber, similar to the one used for stray cats. The chamber will fill with anesthetic gas, usually halothane or isoflurane, an he will fall asleep painlessly and won’t wake up after the overdose. For future pets, be sure to check out exotic pet health insurance.