Health, Behavior, and Other Tips

Ask The Vet

Ask The Vet

QUESTION


I adopted a 4 year old, 20 lb. mixed Chihuahua/Daschund 2 weeks ago. The transition for Zoey has been a little bumpy. She is beginning to settle in quite nicely now. Since the beginning of July she was picked up as a stray and taken to the local animal shelter. A week later she was taken to our local chapter of SPCA. She was spayed on July 16, microchipped, all shots updated. She picked me out on July 24. At first she would not eat or drink water, understandable. I had to take her to the vet 2 days after I adopted her to have fluids administered and an antibiotic injection for possible kennel cough. Now she is eating 1-1/4 cups of dry food per day. She will not drink water by itself at all. I have tried everything, room temp. water, ice water, warm water, small ice cubes, large ice cubes, crushed ice, tap water, bottled water, small bowls, medium bowls, large bowls, glass bowls, plastic bowls, stainless bowls, 3-4 bowls scattered throughout the house. I have been mixing 2 cups of water in ¾ cups of dry food twice a day to insure that she does not get dehydrated. I am at a loss, what do I do? Any suggestions? 

- Terri - 
 

ANSWER


Hi Terri, I hope that Zoey is having a smooth transition into her new forever home. It is not uncommon for dogs introduced to new surroundings to have inconsistent eating and drinking habits. However, illness can affect appetite and water intake. Taking Zoey to the veterinarian was the right move. Your veterinarian can see if there is anything causing the issue, such as oral pain or an underlying illness, such as kennel cough. Also, canned foods have high water content to make up for the water she does not drink, and may simply be what Zoey prefers. Try and change the water frequently, otherwise consider investing in a pet fountain. 


QUESTION


We love our cat but he bites our arms and legs. Any suggestion? Thanks. - Colette - 
 

ANSWER


Hello Colette, I love my cats too and cat lovers like us occasionally have to deal with a cat that bites. Whatever you do, do not attempt to punish your cat as this will only make the problem worse. The first thing to do is to learn your cat's behavior and look for the triggers that lead to biting. The earlier that you can intervene, the better. In most cases, avoiding overstimulation is key. If your cat tries to bite while you are petting them, simply freeze and try not to react; your cat should calm down and let go. Never play with your cat using your bare hands; you should never be the plaything. Always use an appropriate toy such as a toy on a string or give your cat a stuffed sock to kick and bite at. If you need a little extra help, consider keeping a can of pennies (or some other noisemaker) close to where you are and when your cat is showing the earliest signs of biting behavior, give the can a shake to startle them out of the pattern. 



Do you have a question for the vet, Dr. Craig Galbraith? Email askthevet@pethealthinc.com

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