Vet Watch, Oct 16

Last month I answered a few unrelated queries on pet topics that have popped up over the last few weeks at the Clinic. This month I’m finishing off that rather long list with a few more Q and As. No particular order or emphasis, just letting it flow!

Q Do cereals like wheat and corn cause allergies in dogs?

A No more than any other carbohydrate source, like rice or potato. Since they are more often found in diets, there is a higher rate of  reactions  to corn and wheat, but that’s not anything to do with the food itself. Allergies to carbs and plant proteins  are rare. Most food allergies are to the animal proteins the pets eat most commonly (eg beef or lamb).

Q So do pets get gluten intolerance?

A Extremely rarely, except in some few breeds such as Irish Setters, where there is a genetic sensitivity to wheat protein.

Q Do microchips cause cancer?

A  No. Or, no more than any other small trauma to the skin. And they can’t be tracked or detonated from space, or be used to spy on pet owners (sigh. I have actually been asked that).

Q Can I successfully treat tick paralysis with homeopathic drops (eg Ixodes 30), Apple Cider Vinegar and Charcoal,  VitaminC, Panadol etc?

A Nope! Absolutely not! And the longer that actual treatment is delayed the less chance of survival for the pet. So don’t muck about….ring a vet. The same applies to snake bite.

Q Is swimming in the ocean good for my pets coat?

A Well, it helps wash out some dirt and such, and it’s great exercise, but it doesn’t have any particularly awesome healing properties. In fact, the salt water will exacerbate dry skin and allergies. You should rinse your pet straight after a swim and use a conditioner (eg Alpha-keri oil) a couple of times a week to improve the skins barrier function.

Q Should my pet get bones to chew?

A There’s some benefits from eating bones, such as entertainment and exercising teeth and gums. But there is a number of potential dangers as well.

These include choking, shattered back teeth, severe constipation, blocked intestines, perforated bowel, bloody faeces etc. It’s worse with cooked bones. You’re better off using dental chews like Kongs, nyla-bones, rawhide, dry foods  or pigs ears to get a similar effect.

Any bones given (if you must) should be raw and fresh, small enough to crunch up easily, not include knuckle bone or vertebrae, and be given in small amounts every second or third day.

So, there’s a few things to ponder. I always come out of these chats sounding like a spoil-sport! If you want to chat about any of the above, or you have some other questions, please call us at the Vet Clinic any time.


Evan Kosack, (Lennox Head Vet clinic,, and ‘lennox head vet clinic’ on facebook))

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