Animal Doctor Articles

Here you will find all of Dr. Fox's newspaper syndicated columns.

  • Why does my dog bark at me for sneezing and stare at me?

    Question I have a 3-year-old standard schnauzer. She is absolutely wonderful now, but was a real handful from 10 weeks until about 2 1/2 years. We are getting along well now -- except for the sneeze thing. Ever since I have had her, if I sneeze, she attacks me, tries to knock me down, growls and barks at me. I have tried everything -- telling her it is OK, etc. Barking back at her helped the most. Do you have any idea why she does this? Maybe the noise it makes? The other thing she does is...

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  • Why do my littermate cats fight, hiss and growl to each other, will they behave better off as single pets?

    Question When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, they seemed to grow more competitive for our attention. They seem to tolerate each other for the most part, but they often growl and hiss when one enters the territory of the other when one of us is around. It seems like our tabby considers me to be her property...

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  • Are creative designs being done by cats unusual for them?

    Question We have a 15-year-old tuxedo cat, Tim, who is quite creative with his multicolored ribbon on a plastic wand. For the past five years, he has been using his mouth, teeth and feet to make a variety of different designs in the shape of flowers and other objects for us to notice and praise him over. Is this unusual behavior for a cat? Answer I am always glad to hear about the amazing things cats do. You should take photos of these cat creations -- or maybe we should call them "paw...

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  • Natural way to get rid of fleas and ticks, Safe, Effective Anti-Flea and Tick Products for Cats

    Question After reading your latest column about fleas and ticks, I wanted to mention that I had a lot of success preventing ticks for my cats (whom I walk on a leash) using hydrosols, which are water-distilled oils and, therefore, safe for cats (since oils are toxic for them). These sprays would also work for dogs, and I believe the oils from which they're made are not toxic for dogs. Bay laurel and lavender are both available in hydrosol spray from www.originalswissaromatics.com. Rose geranium...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 24, 2014

    Question I adopted 2 cats from the Humane Society 5 years ago. They were kittens at that time, brother and sister litter mates. They were both neutered at 6 months of age. Two years later my male cat had a complete blockage of his urinary tract. It cost almost $1,000 to get him back to good health. They are now both of Royal Canin Urinary SO moderate diet. (He was putting on too much weight). In the last week, I have noticed 2 occasions where one of them (I don't know which one), urinated...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 23, 2014

    Question A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that he will no longer consider my home his own and strike out on his own. He currently is still an outside cat as I already have four indoor-only cats in a tiny two-bedroom house. Due to the remoteness of where I live, the vet I will take him to is about an hour away....

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 20, 2014

    Question This letter is in reference to the article about the itchy dog who is costing his owners a fortune, we, too, had a similar experience, but I kept insisting to my vet that there has to be a better, less costly way to resolve this. She finally told me that she had heard of a medical shampoo and a maintenance spray that has some positive results. Douxo shampoos and sprays by Sogeval can be bought online. Soon after I started using this, following the instructions, my dog had...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 17, 2014

    Question I have a young 19-pound cavapoo. The dog had an adverse reaction to Vectra -- agitation, rapid heartbeat, bulging eyes, snapping, etc. We took him to the vet immediately, and the vet indicated that it might have had a reaction or a seizure. I asked the vet for a suggestion of a less-toxic brand, and tried Advantix. The dog had a rapid heartbeat and was agitated, rolling on his back to get it off. I immediately bathed him, and he slowly calmed down. What natural options are there for...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 17, 2014

    Question: Four years ago we adopted two barn kittens (male & female siblings). The female is a healthy, happy cat (though not a lap kitty). The male, Cappy, who was the runt of the litter, appeared healthy until last year when he was diagnosed with struvite. He had had a couple of occurrences of urinating outside the litter box, but at the time of the dx he was unable to urinate and spent 2 days in the emergency animal hospital. Following this, both cats have been exclusively on Royal Canin...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 17, 2014

    Question: Dear Dr. Fox, What can be done to educate dog owners to not let their pets urinate on trees and in gardens near sidewalks in urban areas? I live in a densely populated (with people and dogs) area in downtown Washington, DC. Residents try to keep their trees and gardens lush and healthy for the enjoyment of all. Repeatedly, dog owners will allow their pets to walk in gardens or by trees to urinate. Damage is evident by wilting, trampled plants and distressed-looking trees. The District...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 16, 2014

    Question I would like to know if you can help me with my cat problem. My cat is an indoor cat, she uses the litter box to urinate, but she will not use it to poop -- she will do it on my rug. I have changed the kitty litter brand three times. The litter is always clean, but she will not use it to poop. I have to cover my area rugs daily so she won't make a mess on them. Can you please help me with this problem? F.M. Palm Beach, Florida Answer When cats stop using the litter box to deposit...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 16, 2014

    Question Our 2-year-old boxer spent a year in agony while vets tested for allergies, changed foods and prescribed all kinds of medications. We spent a couple thousand dollars at a "specialist" who said we might have to put him down. Then the vet did a biopsy and found that our dog had mites at the base of his hair follicles. We treated him, and he's been fine ever since. Don't give up; second (and third) opinions sometimes help. C.J., St. Louis Answer Your letter is appreciated. I receive...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 15, 2014

    Question: Hello Dr. Fox, After reading your article “What to do when a gentle dog turns aggressive” I decided to share the attached with you. My dog P.D., a 6 ½ years old, 27 pound, neutered, male, mixed breed dog had always been a sweetie. When we got him he was about 10-12 weeks old and had 52 ticks on his little body. As a pup and young dog topical flea and tick preventatives made him sick so for the ensuing years have we fed him brewer's yeast and garlic tablets. He has never had...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 14, 2014

    Question My dog was diagnosed with gastritis. What dog food is easily digested. Our Vet suggested Hill's ID. Do you have a recommendation? Answer DEAR T.D.: "Gastritis" is a term describing a condition without an identifying cause---part of the magic and obfuscation of medical terms derived principally from Latin nouns and adjectives. A costly endoscopic probe might confirm that there is inflammation, and possibly erosion and ulceration of the lining of the stomach. But what is the cause, and...

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  • Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 07, 2014

    Question A few years ago, we adopted a German shorthair-Weimaraner mix from the local Animal Protective Association. He seemed a bit sickly and very wild when I drove him home. I attributed both to his former owners. We have a wonderful vet who helped us restore our little guy's health, but our pup is still a wild thing in the car. He loves to get in the car, but the whining, pacing and eventual barking happens each time the car moves. I tried sprinkling lavender in the car and having a...

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