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Q: Can you give a dog or cat aspirin?
A: There are so many pain relievers available to humans that choosing just one can be confusing. Not so with our pets. There aren't many over-the-counter pet pain relievers. When a pet is in pain, owners are eager to give medication to ease that pain, but giving human medications to animals can cause more problems than it cures. My first question in response to this is; what do you want to treat? It is important not to just give a drug because the animal is 'not himself' or is in pain where the cause is unknown. A trip to the vet is definitely in order to find out the root of the problem. It may be pain-related, it may not be.
With regard to arthritis, no, aspirin cannot be used. Aspirin is in a class of drugs called NSAIDs - Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and dogs are particularly sensitive to the gastrointestinal effects of; pain, bleeding, and ulceration that can be a side effect of these drugs. Aspirin may cause birth defects, so it should especially not be given to pregnant animals.
Aspirin also interacts with several other drugs, particularly cortisones, digoxin, some antibiotics, Phenobarbital, and Furosemide(Lasix®).
Check with your veterinarian about what is going on with your pet and what would be the best drug for the problem. Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements are another alternative for arthritic pets and may be used alone or with other therapies.
Q: What about my cat and aspirin?
A: Cats are much more sensitive to aspirin. Cats cannot break down aspirin as quickly as dogs (or humans), and thus, the cat can be easily overdosed with the accumulation of the drug in the body. In contrast to dogs and humans, cats are typically given much smaller doses at intervals of 48-72 hours. This drug, as with all drugs, should only be used under recommendation and monitoring by your veterinarian. There are alternative drugs available - please speak with your veterinarian.
Q: Can cats be given glucosamine/chondroitin, like dogs?
A: Yes. Check with your veterinarian for available preparations and dosages. Never give dog medications to cats or vice versa.
Q: What about other drugs, like Tylenol® and Advil®?
A: In a word, NO for both of the above. Tylenol is fatal to cats. Neither drug (acetaminophen and ibuprofen, respectively) is routinely used for arthritis
There is however medications that can be given to your pet, should he/she be in pain. It is best to come in and have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian and they will happily recommend something for you.
Q: My pet is "scooting" his rear on the floor, does that mean he has parasites?
A: Not necessarily, a fecal exam will rule out intestinal parasites. Often the "scooting" behavior is due to your pet's anal glands being full (another symptom is excessive licking of the rectal area). If the behavior occurs frequently, bring your pet in to the vet for an exam.
Q: Why can't I just pick up the same medication that worked last time? It seems like my pet has the same problem he had before.
A: In many cases, problems that seem the same may not be caused by the same disease. For example, your pet might have an ear infection again, last time it was bacteria, but this time it may be caused by yeast, and different medications are indicated. Also, it is illegal for a veterinarian to prescribe medication without seeing the patient to formulate a working diagnosis, and the old medication might be outdated.
Q: Cold, wet noses are good, right?
A: A cold, wet nose may be a sign of good health in dogs and cats, however even a healthy pet can have a warm, dry nose on occasion. On the other hand, really sick pets can also have cold, wet noses. What does all this mean? This is not a reliable indicator of your pet's health.
Q: Can my pet have its own food, bed and toys while boarding?
A: We try to discourage you leaving any blankets and toys that are special to your pet, only because we have so many to take care of and they are always switching cages that we would hate to misplace something that is special to you or your pet. Dogs also may act very differently here; it is possible they may destroy some of their own belongings. If you insist on leaving something we just ask that you understand we will do our best, but we can't guarantee that it will be returned. If you are leaving some belongings with us, there is a waiver that must be signed upon drop off of pet.
Q: I understand that annual vaccinations are important, but my pet seems to have reactions to them consistently. Should I stop vaccinating my pet?
A: No, but we may modify the vaccine schedule or do one of several things we can do PRIOR to vaccinating your pet to decrease the incidence and/or severity of vaccine reactions. We will discuss your concerns and formulate a pre-treatment plan prior to vaccinating your pet.
Q: Why do I have to test my dog for heartworms if I give a preventative every month?
A: Heartworm preventatives are not 100% effective. Occasionally a dose gets missed, spit out, vomited, or just not adequately absorbed, resulting in inadequate protection. Heartworm testing is a safeguard against your pet suffering from heartworm disease without your knowledge. Also, making sure that your pet has a yearly heartworm test guarantees a warranty with some companies that provide heartworm medication, like Heartgard. Furthermore, giving some types of heartworm preventative to a dog that has heartworm infection may actually result in a shock-like reaction due to a rapid kill of immature heartworms.
Q: How long is the average pregnancy for Dogs?
A: The average pregnancy for dogs is around 63 days for any breed, but it can be as little as 58 days to 68 days.