I thought I would just go over a few unrelated queries on pet topics that have popped up over the last few weeks at the Clinic. People often hope there’s a simple solution to many of the problems our pets get, and thats very understandable. Sadly that’s not usually the case. So here’s a few Q and As. No particular order or emphasis, just letting it flow!
Q Whats the name of that injection for fleas and ticks that lasts a year (or 3 months, or 6 months etc)?
A Sorry, there’s no such injection! There are vaccinations for infectious diseases and heartworm injections, but they don’t help with ticks or fleas. There are, however, some very effective and safe new treatments for dogs and cats that your vet can advise you on.
Q Is there something I can add to my dog or cats diet to help with arthritis or prevent it occurring?
A Fish oil in sufficient quantity for at least an 8 week trial may help a little in up to 20% of animals. Glucosamine supplements have been shown to have no significant effect, and they’re expensive. The main diet-related joint-aid is … don’t feed your pet so many chub-inducing nibbles!
Q Will sulphur, brewers yeast, garlic, vit B or any number of other additives have any effect on internal (worms) or external parasites (fleas, ticks)?
Q Do my pets have to be vaccinated every year?
A Yes and no. At this clinic we minimise the core vaccines (for the hideous fatal diseases like parvo) and give them every 3 years. However, the respiratory diseases like kennel-cough complex and feline flu are still given every year.
Q Is turmeric a useful drug for arthritis and other problems in pets.
A No. There’s no evidence its of any significant usefulness, in spite of good advertising.
Q Are raw food diets like BARF better than cooked foods for pets?
A There’s no difference other than raw foods having a higher level of bacteria like Salmonella, E.coli and Campylobacter. These can cause occasional problems in pets and their owners.
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).
So, there’s a few things to ponder. I always come out of these chats sounding like a spoil-sport!
I’ll have another lot next month. In the meantime give us a call if you have any questions you need answered.
Evan Kosack, Lennox Head Vet Clinic