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Lynzee | 7 years ago
I’ve Had My Foster Dog For About A Year Now And The Only Area Where…

I’ve had my foster dog for about a year now and the only area where I haven’t been able to make progress with him is at the vet’s office. He’s a large pit mix, about 77lbs, so since he’s big and scared we have to sedate him for anything more than a routine check up. I take him to vet’s office for little visits so that he gets to know the staff and the smells there, and he’s fine in the waiting room and with staff. He only becomes anixious when we’re back in the room with the vet. Does anyone have any helpful hints, training experience or games that we can play to get him less anixious or even to the point where we don’t have to completely sedate him? Thank you!

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Lynzee,

    Thanks for the great question, and THANKS for not giving up, and for already trying to do many of the suggestions that I would have said to try.

    For many of the behavioral problems and challenges that dogs have we usually recommend trying to ‘desensitize’ them. This is a process of making the scary thing (for example thunder, loud noises, car rides, or even the ever dreaded vets office) less and less scary by continuing to give repeated small exposures to that feared thing. So, the frequent social visits to the office are a great place to start. Conditioning also implies repeated exposure of increasing intensity. So it sounds like you have gotten him more comfortable with approaching the building, walking in the building and meeting the front staff. But when it comes to going into the exam room, or meeting the vet he is still scared.

    Because you have had some success with some of this I would encourage you to keep going. Try to see if there is a time where you guys can sit in an exam room, and then ask a staff member to start randomly walking in and out of the room (maybe even wearing a white coat?). Repeated exposure should start to acclimate him to this also.

    There are also some things that you can do at home. Like getting him used to be held, having an examination, having his feet touched, and restraint. It is all a part of building his trust, and being challenged to overcome his fears. In almost all cases of dogs that I see with this fear there are other triggers that cause the dog to become uncomfortable/scared. So we challenge them in many areas with many exercises. A very good behaviorist or trainer can help you identify his triggers and also help you understand ways to comfort him and relieve his fears.

    I hope this helps.

    I applaud your perseverance and concern.

    If you are a client of JVC then we also do daycare, Where you can leave your dog for the day so they get used to being a part of our family. The dogs that have spent summer camp with us, are all happy and eager to return at anytime. SO everyone is calm and it is a pleasant experience.

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Linda | 7 years ago
My Foster Dog Will Pee On My Personal Dog’s Food Bowl After They Are Done…

My foster dog will pee on my personal dog’s food bowl after they are done eating…has also pee’d in the water bowl. Why does he do this.

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Linda,

    I would wonder if your foster dog is marking your dogs bowl as a way of trying to either claim it as his own, or reinforce his belief that he needs to be trying to establish his territory.

    If the dogs are not spayed/neutered then they may be trying to assert dominance. Even if they are spayed and neutered some dogs still want to claim all property as their own.

    From a veterinary stand point we always rule out any possible medical conditions with a thorough examination, perhaps blood work, and a urinalysis. If this all seems to be normal then we discuss behavioral conditions.

    Watch closely for any other signs of aggression or dominance, it may transcend from the food/water bowls to other areas.

    Ask your vet to help you identify if there are perhaps any medical concerns and ask a behaviorist to help you identify if there is a struggle for dominance going on. They can also help you start training for curbing this behavior. (Certainly no one wants to have dogs peeing in food or water bowls, or in your house).

    If you are around the Jarrettsville/Harford Co area we would love to meet you. We have very convenient hours, 6 veterinarians and two behaviorists on staff.

    Best of Luck, and a big special THANKS from me for fostering!

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Claudia | 7 years ago
My 3 Yar Old Female Husky/golden Ret. Is Always Licking The Sofa. It Is Made…

My 3 yar old female husky/golden ret. is always licking the sofa. It is made of microfiber. Can this harm her?

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Claudia,

    What an interesting question.

    I think that your primary concern is whether the ingestion of the microfibers of your couch is harmful? I certainly don’t think that ingestion of any synthetic material is good, and it is hard to know just how much of the fibers are being ingested (i.e. swallowed and sitting in the stomach). I have seen many many dogs that ingest foreign materials that cause gastro-intestinal upset, and also become lodged in the stomach and/or intestines that need to be surgically removed. Synthetic fibers are difficult for the gastric acid in the stomach to break down, so those fibers sit in the stomach or start to move through the gut. In some cases they pass through and are defecated out of the body without incident, but in others they bind together and become an impassable solid mass that needs a veterinary surgical procedure to remove.

    I think my biggest concern about your husky is why she is licking the couch? Is she bored? Is she lonely? Is she hungry? Or nauseous? Or is this part of some obsessive compulsive disorder? I would try to identify why she is doing this, and try to help curb it. Talk to your veterinarian or a behaviorist to see if they can help identify why she seems to be so interested in your couch.

    I think dogs try to tell us things, and odd behaviors are one of the ways they try to communicate with us. So listen to her and try to find the reason and help her overcome it. For her and your own peace of mind.

    I hope this helps,

    Thanks for your question,

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Carol Ann Leyh | 7 years ago
My Dog Was Injured In A Scrap With Another Dog. She Is Sensitive Around Her…

My dog was injured in a scrap with another dog. She is sensitive around her shoulders and I noticed bruising. What can I do to relieve the discoloration and soreness?

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Carol,

    Thanks for asking your question.

    I am sorry to hear that there was an altercation with your dog. Without knowing the extent of the injuries it is difficult to provide advice. Dog attacks and dog bites are some of the worst injuries I have seen. If there are puncture wounds (these can be very hard to see with fur, so look for any wet areas on the fur or places that your dog is licking, these are good clues). At the hospital we give a very thorough look over of any dog that has been attacked or bitten, and in many cases we shave the hair off of any areas that are injured. With hair covering a wound it is harder to treat, monitor, and heal.

    If there is no evidence of wounds, but you are seeing bruising we assess the degree and extent of the bruising. Bruising is caused because the blood vessels in the skin have been traumatized and rupture. We have all had bruises. They in general will heal with time. But I have seen some bruising that causes subcutaneous emphysema. This is when the skin gets torn from the underlying tissue. This causes air to be trapped under the skin. It feels like plastic bubble wrap and sounds ‘crinkly’ when touched. These dogs tend to be very painful because there has been a substantial amount of tissue trauma.

    My recommendation is to visit your veterinarian to insure that the tissue damage is not extensive. At my hospital after a thorough examination if there was only pain present I would probably recommend rest and an NSAID. NSAID’s are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. They are very good at controlling pain and reducing inflammation.

    I hope that this helps, and I wish your pup a speedy recovery.

    Oh, one last thing. In many cases dog fights erupt between pets in the same household. If this is the case I strongly recommend an intervention with a behaviorist. Because where there is one fight there are usually more to follow. Unfortunately I have many clients who have pets who are not friendly to each other. Managing the fits, fights, and wounds is expensive, scary, and stressful. If there are behavioral issues ask for help. Behavioral issues tend to worsen over time and manifest into other areas.

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Christy | 7 years ago
Hi, I Took My Dog Rose To The Vet Last Saturday Because I Woke Up…

Hi, I took my dog Rose to the vet last Saturday because I woke up and she was bleading from her but. Vet said she was having trouble going and anal glands were bleeding. I have had her on an antibiotic and something for pain for a week along with an external liquid to apply to her butt. Yesterday she was walking around with her tail between her legs and went out a few times but don’t think she was able to poop. this morning she won’t get out of bed and won’t eat. I did sprinkle a little bit of metamucil on her food yesterday. Is there something else I can do to help her go or what else can be wrong with her. She is around 13 years old or so. Beagle 20 lbs…

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Christy,

    OK, it sounds like there are a few things going on. I am not sure if your vet told you that Rose had infected anal glands? If that is what Rose was diagnosed with then the oral antibiotics and the pain medicines sound like a good place to start.

    When I have a patient with infected anal glands I start with this and have the patient come back in 3 days for a re-check (just in case it doesn’t appear that the infection is resolving), or ASAP! if anything worsens, or is not significantly better in a day or two.

    It sounds like Rose needs to make a re-check visit. Things should not be getting worse and if she is tucking her tail or reluctant or unable to defecate she is likely still in pain, which indicates the infection is persisting, or perhaps even worsening.

    Please do not give the Metamucil unless your vet directs you to do so. I am unsure whether it was recommended to you by your vet or you prescribed it, but the high fiber content may be making it harder for her to defecate, or even be causing diarrhea, which might make her painful butt more painful.

    I am very concerned about her now not wanting to get out of bed and not wanting to eat. I can’t recommend anything because I am still not sure if her anal glands and perhaps the infection from them has worsened, in which case she may need a stronger antibiotic, or perhaps to be hospitalized for fluid and i.v. antibiotic therapy.

    I do not know where you are writing from, but if you are in my neck of the woods, my clinic, Jarrettsville Vet is open today from 1-3, we would be happy to see you then, or think about going to the closest emergency clinic so a veterinarian can take a peak at Rose’s rear.

    I wish you both the best, and I hope she is feeling better soon.

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Krista Magnifico | 7 years ago
What Is The Biggest Toll Our Dogs Pay For Obesity? This Question Was Asked…

What is the biggest toll our dogs pay for obesity? This question was asked by Jana Rade, of DawgBlogger, you can find her blog at http://dawgbusiness.blogspot.ca/p/show-off-your-dogs.html #DawgBlogger

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  1. Krista Magnifico Post author

    Hello Jana,

    Thanks for this very important question!

    There are many tolls that overweight/obese dogs pay.

    To name some of them; joint disease, heart disease, endocrine disease (diabetes), cancer, dermatologic complications, the list goes on and on.

    But the single biggest toll that I see obese dogs pay is their lack of a happy healthy life. Fat dogs are not happy dogs. They may wag their tail, they may beg for food, but when you see an overweight dog that has lost their excess weight and regained their vigor and love for life it is magic! I have seen dogs who act and behave like they are years younger. They play, they interact, they are curious, and just happy. Their parents always tell me how they cannot believe how different their dog acts and how they never knew how much that excess weight was weighing them down.

    Being healthy is the biggest key to happiness, ask any sick or fat dog. Our health is the greatest gift we have, cherish it, foster it, and promote it.

    Medicine can’t change our gentics but diet and lifestyle can change and improve almost everything else.

    There are many products, diagnostics, diets, supplements, tricks, and perhaps even a few lifestyle changes available to help you and your pup be on their way to a more youthful vibrant and longer life, and maybe/hopefully, you both can make a whole lot less visits to my veterinary office!

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Stephanie | 7 years ago
Hello! I Have A 4 1/2 Year Old Pug-Daphne. She Has Had Problems With Ear…

Hello! I have a 4 1/2 year old Pug-Daphne. She has had problems with ear infections-yeast infection. Her underbelly gets sweaty at times, which causes the yeast. She recently had a breakout of a yeast rash all over underside including her armpits. I put Nystatin powder and it went away. How can I keep her from sweating so much and licking? Is it characteristic trait for Pugs? Thank You.

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Stephanie,

    There are a few parts of this quetion to address.

    First, it is prety common for pugs to have skin problems. When a pet has an ear problem I often think that there is likely a skin problem that shows up as an ear problem first. They are quite often related. Also, it sounds like your pup might have had an ear problem that is now a belly skin problem. Yeast is one of the most common skin disease culprits. Yeast is a normal skin resident and is there is an underlying skin problem it can become overpopulated on the abnormal or unhealthy skin and become an infection that requires a targeted treatment plan.

    I don’t think that your puppy has a sweating problem. Dogs don’t sweat like we do, and if you are seeing wet, sticky skin anywhere it is likely a skin inection and the body responding by producing more serum to try to flush out the skin infection offender, like excess yeast.

    Nystatin powder can help but it won’t treat a general skin infection. You will likely need an oral antibiotic, or anti-fungal, maybe also a topical shampoo, and even a discussion about long term treatment.

    I spend a great deal of time talking about the short and long term treatment plan, because many pets have allergies and many of these worsen over time. So we need to talk about and prepare for both the short and long term.

    Some infections can be treated quickly and easily but they need to be treated by a veterinarian and with the appropriate medications.

    I think a trip to your vets is a good idea, and I would be happy to talk to you and meet Daphne at anytime.

    I can be reached at the clinic below, or call your vet and ask for a re-check.

    I hope this helps,

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Lauren | 7 years ago
I Need To Purchase My Pack Their Heartworm And Flea/tick Medications Again (I Have 5…

I need to purchase my pack their heartworm and flea/tick medications again (I have 5 dogs). I usually keep them on flea/tick 8-9 months per year and heartworm all year round. However, with all these new products (Advantage Multi, Sentinel, etc), I was wondering which you would recommend… My past vet had them on Frontline Plus and Heartgard Plus but my new vet says Interceptor is better….. Obviously with 5 dogs, Heartgard Plus makes my wallet slightly happier but I want what’s best for my guys… Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

1 Response

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Lauren,

    This is a very hot topic in vet medicine right now.

    There is no easy cut and dry answer.

    If you are in my neck of the woods (Mid-Atlantic area) then I think that heartworm monthly year around is the best decision. Currently Interceptor is off the market. I don’t know for how long. At my clinic we have switched from Interceptor to Heartgard plus. I strongly recommend that you buy it from your vet because only the vet sold products are guaranteed by the manufacturer. This is imperative for heartworm disease, which is expensive to treat and can be fatal if not treated.

    For flea and tick prevention it’s harder to answer. We currently still recommend Frontline. It is now available generically at many of the big box stores (they have their own names for it, but the active ingredient is fipronil). But be very careful, many of these products are toxic to cats so I recommend you not use them if you have a cat in the family. It can and might kill your cat. If you have economic concerns over which product is effective and safe discuss it with your vet. We understand that it can be expensive, especially for a pack.

    At my clinic we sell generic brands and we can help you decide which is safe and which is best for your dogs. I have to add another warning, with the temperatures being so up and down I do not recommend trying to skip the winter mons for flea and tick prevention. I have seen many dogs come up positive for Lyme disease after being off of their monthly preventative during the winter.

    I think that the generics are good, but I have not used them long enough to be able to recommend all of them.

    If you are comfortable with your vet then I would say to follow their guidelines, but don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns with them. If you would like to discuss them we me I am happy to do so at the clinic.

    There are definitely some options for you, some of them are less expensive, but they may not be best for your pets needs. I hope this helps.

    This same topic was discussed in my blog. You can read more about it here;
    http://kmdvm.blogspot.com/search/label/Reader%27s%20Digest

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Judith Tymkiw | 7 years ago
How Do I Keep My Beagle From Snacking Out Of The Cat Litter Box?

How do I keep my beagle from snacking out of the cat litter box?

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Judith,

    Thanks for your question.

    I know its disgusting, but you and your beagle are not alone with this complaint. Lots and lots of dogs think that the litter box is the treat box. There are many reasons that are used to explain why, like cats diets are higher in protein and therefore their feces taste better, (gosh that’s hard to put into a sentence, Bleck!), etc. But whatever the reason that they like it may be, it’s a terrible, not at all healthy, repulsive behavior. So, we should manage it like an unwanted/undesirable behavior and treat it as such.

    There are two options that I would suggest you try.

    The first, and easiest, is to make the litter box inaccessible. At my house I have baby gates up that keep my dogs (beagle included) out of the cats room and hence out of the cat box. I have trained my dogs to not move, displaced, or go through the baby gate. It took some time, but now the dogs leave the cats alone and the cats have a safe reprieve to escape from the puppies whenever they need a respite. There are also some ingenious dog proof litter boxes out there. They are enclosed so a dog can’t get into them. My only concern would be that they are not liked by your cats, so before you change to this let the cats get used to the idea of a new box before you make the old faithful box obsolete. (The last thing we ever want to do is discourage a cat from using their litter box!).

    The second option is to train your beagle to stay away from the box. I would suggest looking into a trainer to help with this. Beagles are exceptionally intelligent and are easy to train. I know that they are incredibly food motivated but they are also eager to please their owners. Whenever you train a pet to do anything it is very important that you be diligent, consistent, but kind and rewarding. We only reward for good behavior, never for bad, and we never yell, hit, or hurt.

    Oh, lastly, keep the litter box super clean. I scoop twice a day, your cats, and your no-longer-snacking dog will thank you.

    I hope this helps.

    If you would like to meet me to discuss any other questions (about your beagle, I love me a beagle!, or your cats or cat litter box options I would be happy to meet. I can be reached at the clinic.

    Best of Luck!

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com

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Sharon Burton | 7 years ago
My Pug Is Always Licking. She Licks The Top Of Her Paws And Sometimes She…

My pug is always licking. She licks the top of her paws and sometimes she just licks the air. Is this normal?

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  1. Krista Magnifico

    Hello Sharon,

    Thanks for your question. This is a very interesting one.

    There are a few things that we should discuss before we try to classify normal vs abnormal.

    First, there are many itchy pets out there. I often believe that pets lick because it is their way of scratching. So I always ask about and examine for any other signs of allergies or itchiness? These include face rubbing, hair loss in any other areas, examining for fleas, examining for red skin, especially the ears, feet, face, and I even check anal glands and the rectum.

    Second, we talk about any other odd behaviors that you might be noticing. I ask of there is a pattern to the licking? (I had a client just the other day tell me that their Corgi licks his front left foot every night after dinner. Nothing else just that foot and just at that time of day). I also try to discuss the pets environment, diet, supplements, etc. It is a long discussion of question and answer to try to correlate behavior with disease.

    There are also some forms of neurologic disorders that can be manifested as odd behaviors that could look like air licking. A veterinary neurologist can be an invaluable resource for these types of cases. We call these odd behaviors with a neurologic origin as "complex partial seizures".

    I also ask about whether you have the ability to videotape the episodes? Often a picture speaks a thousand words and the video that you get at home is often not able to be reproduced in the limited and foreign environment of the vet hospital.

    I just read an article about the different kinds of seizures we see in dogs, by Dr. Nicholas Dodman, titled "Complex Partial Seizures Or Compulsive Behavior." The link to the article is below.

    http://tinyurl.com/auctwqx

    Or for more information on the neurologic animal specialty see; http://www.acvim.org/websites/acvim/index.php?p=199

    I think that you are trying to specifically identify "normal" for your dog, but that isn’t always so easy to categorize. Normal can be a silly or odd behavior, a dermatologic condition, an internal organ disease that manifests as an odd behavior, or a neurologic condition. The only way to identify the differences is with the help of a veterinary professional. That should start with a thorough examination, an in-depth discussion, and perhaps some diagnostics.

    To help you decide whether you need to visit the vet I would say, "if your dog is licking and not causing any self trauma, or if the behavior is described as "extreme, irrational, or apparently unprovoked" then it may be normal for your dog." I do, however, always feel that it is best to play it safe and make an appointment to see your vet and ask these concerns.

    If you would like to discuss any of these further I can be reached at the clinic.

    Thanks for asking, and best of luck to you and your pug.

    Sincerely,
    Krista

    Krista Magnifico, DVM
    Owner Jarrettsville Veterinary Center
    Jarrettsville, MD
    http://www.jarrettsvillevet.com