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Q. I have a 5 year old Guinea Pig. He is wet under his chin and his feet were black about a week ago. Now his feet have black spots and his nails are brown. Is he dying of old age or something else? He has lost a lot a weight over the last week. Not sure what to do?
Whenever an older guinea pig is having wetness under his chin and showing weight loss, I am concerned about dental disease causing discomfort and loss of appetite. Dental disease can be managed through a thorough oral exam, trimming and evaluation … Continue reading
Q. Is it true that dogs with cryptochidism have a higher incidence of developing testicular cancer later in life? At what age is it recommended that the retained testicle be removed?
Yes, it is absolutely true that retained testicles have a significantly higher incidence of developing testicular cancer later in life. The recommended age for neutering, however, is the same as for non-cryptorchid patients. We recommend neutering patients expected to weigh … Continue reading
With the rain we’ve had recently, you’ve probably seen mushrooms popping up all over the place. Did you know they can be dangerous for your dog? The rain has been falling, and that means mushrooms are sprouting. That could be … Continue reading
Regular peanut butter is usually OK as an occasional treat or a helper for getting medications into dogs, though too much can be fattening. However, some newer peanut butter formulations now contain xylitol, a sugar substitute also found in sugar-free … Continue reading
Q. Why would two cats that have peacefully coexisted for years suddenly start having horrible fights?
While cats are social creatures, they are solitary survivors, and the relationships they form are far more fragile than those of obligate social creatures such as dogs and humans. The first question a veterinarian should ask when faced with an … Continue reading
Ivermectin at the appropriate dosage is very safe in hedgehogs, but overdosage could make them very ill (which is true in most mammals). Ivermectin dosages for hedgehogs are very small and are diluted from the large mammal (cattle/pig) solution in … Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has launched a new Web site devoted to international pet travel. Pets are often considered part of the family, but traveling with a pet isn’t as simple … Continue reading
Q. I have recently found red spots in my guinea pig’s cage, and one of the guinea pigs has lost some hair near her nose. Is this something I need to worry about, such as blood in the urine?
Guinea pigs can have dark orange urine normally due to pigments they ingest from their food. True blood in the urine can occur commonly as well and cause pink to red urine. Blood in the urine may be due to … Continue reading
Q. I have a 3-month old male kitten – is it too soon to declaw and neuter? Can both procedures be done in the same visit, and what would those procedures cost?
Congratulations on your new kitten and thank you for asking us a question about wellness and preventative care. Although a neuter is a routine elective surgery, all anesthetic procedures carry risks for complications, including death. At three months old he … Continue reading
Q. I found two small kittens of about 4 weeks last week. They seem healthy and eat regularly however their stool is watery sometimes and there bellies are extremely round. Do they need immediate attention or can they wait till next week?
Thank you for the question. Watery stools on a tiny animal can become life-threatening very quickly. They should be examined and checked for parasites right away.