You sound like a very dedicated owner. Congestive heart failure is such a frustrating condition. Some pets can be stabilized and stay so for an extended period of time. Some sadly never seem to respond to therapy and decompensate rapidly. There is a marvelous article at Veterinary Partners.com Please go to http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2515
It sounds as though you have a good working relationship with your veterinarian. If you want a second opinion, you may ask to be referred to a board certified veterinary cardiologist. If there isn't one in your area, your veterinarian may still be able to consult with on over email or the phone.
My thoughts are with you... Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread
Kidney stones are usually not treated with dietary manipulations. Prescription diets are used for bladder stones if they have a chemical composition that is amenable to dietary manipulation. There are thankfully several manufactures that produce diets for crystal control. I would ask your primary care veterinarian for clarification of what are your pet's concerns and alternative diets. If the commercial diets are not agreeing with your pet's GI tract, you may need to consult an on-line nutritional company such as 'BalanceIt.com'. This is a site run by board certified veterinary nutritionist. They can give you direction on how to home cook for your pet.
Sara, Thank you for taking a photo and posting it...very helpful. Glad you checked for fleas. You are smart to think of this as one of the most common reasons for your Lab to be fussing with her hind quarters. Some dogs are so sensitive, that it may only take a bite or two from the flea to set off a mad chewing rampage. The bump in your photo appears to be a wart but be sure to check to see if it has any legs...it could be a tick! Use a bright and a magnifying glass if necessary to check for legs.
You did not mention how old your pet was. Chewing on both hips may be an indication of underlying hip pain...does your dog have any history of rising more slowly or showing any hesitancy to jump?
Even though you were recently at your veterinarian's .... sounds like it is time to see him/her again. Best of luck... Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread
Trying to decide when a pet needs to be seen by a professional can sometimes be difficult. Thankfully your cat is still feeling good. I am always concerned when there is blood in the stool. It may be an indication of internal parasites, it could be a condition such as inflammation of the last part of the GI tract, colitis. Some cats eat items that they shouldn't...string, rubber bands, pennies...you get the idea...and this can also result in GI upset. Knowing whether it is a totally indoor cat, up to date on vaccines, on monthly heartworm and internal parasite preventives, has there been any change in diet or treats and any history of dietary indiscretion would be helpful. You can see there are so many questions to consider. Please take your cat and a sample of the stool to your veterinarian...this is the safest. Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread
A cough can be due to many reasons. Yes, it may be irritation from the straw, dirt and other debris in the barn. It could also be something more serious such as heartworm disease, bacterial or fungal lung disease, heart disease or even cancer. It would be safest to have your pet examined by your veterinarian and follow his or her recommendations on working up the problem. Best of luck... Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread
There are myriad reasons why a pet may lick its legs. Yes, allergies would be one of the most common. If antihistamines and steroids are not of assistance, skin scrapes are negative for mites, I might suggest having radiographs taken of the area. It is possible that the pet has some form of pain that it causing it to worry the area. Being on both legs makes this a bit uncommon but not impossible. If the radiographs are negative, you may need to be referred to a board certified veterinary dermatologist for a second opinion. To answer your question on demodex, the mite can live under the skin without causing any problem for many dogs. Changes in the immune system, can make this previously innocuous parasite now problematic. Pups can be born with the organism.
It sounds like you have a very special loving relationship with your cat. Having a cat that is confident enough to be on its own for periods of time is marvelous. When a pet MUST be with a person at all times AND becomes stressed when they can't be, this is typically referred to as sparation anxiety rather than OCD. Pets can literally have panic attacks when their owners leave them, injuring themselves and damaging items in their environment.
You might try having your housemate observe your cat when you leave to go to the market or doctor's appointment. How does it react? If it does show signs of being stressed, you should start separating yourself from it for very brief periods of time (go to the bathroom without it) and slowly extend these periods of time.
Hopefully by the time you see this note, your pup's swollen toes have returned to their normal size. Trauma severe enough to break a bone can cause a tremendous amount of skin and muscle damage that can result in swelling. Yes, it is also possible that the splint become too snug with time and the cutting of slits was needed to relieve some of the pressure. If the toes are still swollen, please be sure to bring this to your veterinarian's attention. If your pup is too active, this can also exacerbate the situation. It may need mild sedative to help calm it. Best of luck... Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread
Long term steroid useage is always a tricky subject. There are times that this is the only medication that will work for financial and/or medical reasons. Not knowing what the pet was treated for, what other treatment modalities were attempted, response to therapy, doseage used and type of monitoring that went on during the two years makes determining whether or not the steroids had an adverse effect on the pet difficult. Yes, steroids can have undesireable side effects such as weakening of the immune system, stomach ulcers, liver inflammation and more. Steroids if used judiciously have saved many lives.
Best of luck for the return of health to your sister's dog. Dr. Bernadine CruzView Thread