Ask a Vet

Dr. Jackie Brewer responds to your questions!

  1. Should I give my dog nice big beef bones?
  2. Why does my dog sometimes?
  3. What is the most effective flea treatment for Charleston doggies?
  4. A bunch of questions on dog allergies
  5. How serious is kennel cough?
  6. Should I crate train my new puppy?
  7. I have adult dogs and my puppy eats their food. Is this ok?

Q: Should I give my dog big beef bones?

A: Cooked beef bones can easily splinter and become sharp shards that can easily cut the inner lining of the GI track. Uncooked bones may transmit ecoli and other dangerous pathogens.

For safety best best is to stay away from bones all together and stick with compressed(falls apart) rawhides and nylabones.

Q: Why does my dog limp...sometimes?

A:It could very be a soft tissue Injury which a very common dog injury. These injuries can cause limping just like a sudden fractured bone. 

Your veterinarian can determine if your dog's lameness is due to a bony injury or soft tissue such as pulled muscle or tendon.  Fortunately,  most soft tissue injuries are similar to a strain or sprain in us. Treatment requires rest and anti inflammatory medications. 

There are soft tissue injuries of the knee that may require surgical repair. Just like people, dogs can injury the knee ligament which is far more serious.  Based on activities just prior to the onset of pain and a physical exam, your veterinarian will likely know what type of injury your dog has.  X-rays may be required if there is any suspicion of a fracture or torn ligament.  poor doggy!

After a soft tissue injury is diagnosed , it is essential to limit your dogs activity for several weeks to allow for healing.  When we sprain an ankle we know not to go for a run, your dog does not and may crave play time.

Keep in mind that although soft tissue injuries may cause significant pain, your dog may not exhibit the symptoms. As a natural pack animal, dogs instinctively  hide their pain.  The lameness caused by a soft tissue injury may appear to have resolved but once your dog is allowed to run and play, they are likely to become lame again.  Only your veterinarian can distinguish soft tissue from bony injuries and guide you down the path to optimal recovery.

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Q: What is the most effective flea treatment for Charleston doggies?

A: These days there are so many choices for flea control both over the counter and on-line.; It is easy to see why it can be confusing as to which product is right for your dog.;

Currently, Comfortis is by far the best choice for flea control.; It comes in a chewable making it easy to administer.; Since Comfortis is given by mouth it has passed all the rigors enforced by the FDA ( Food And Drug Administration) unlike many topicals which are controlled by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency);which regulates pesticides.;

Ano more fleas!side from FDA approval,; Comfortis eliminates common application errors that;are inherent;with topicals plus it;cannot be washed off.; Veterinary dermatologist recommend Comfortis inall Flea Allergy Dermatitis patients due to it's incredible effectiveness.;

Comfortis;;impressed veterinarians across the country to such an extent;we lobbied Elanco, the animal health side of Elli Lilly to;combine Comforts with;a heart-worm preventative.;

Trifexis was released a little over 1 year ago and has become the number one choice for internal and external parasite control in dogs.; Trifexis contains the active ingredient of Comfortis as well as Milbemycin which effectively prevents;heart-worms, roundworms, hookworms and even whip worms all in one monthly chewable.

Comfortis and Trifexis are the most recommended form of external and internal parasite prevention.; Both of these products are by prescription only and well worth a visit to your veterinarian.

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How serious is kennel cough?

A: Kennel cough can be a serious disease if left untreated and is highly contagious The cough can sound very similar to a collapsing trachea.; For this reason, your vet may recommend upper chest x rays on inhalation and exhalation; I have seen many, many dogs with the condition that never board or go to dog parks. A dog next door can pass it on just as easily. kennel cough

A responsible pet owner must vaccinate!!! The intranasal vaccine takes affect very rapidly and works in a different manner than most other vaccines.; It doesn't create systemic antibodies known as IgG's but rather localized antibodies in the upper respiratory track called IgA's. For this reason, the vaccine is very safe. There is a injectable form that creates IgG's. It takes longer to become effective, has greater chance of reaction but doesn't last longer or prevent any better.

The vaccine will wear off in 6 months and it is not as effective as other vaccines as far as level of total;prevention.; It is a critical vaccine because of prevalence and mega-contagious nature.; It;CAN prevent the disease after exposure but more often, it works wonders to decrease severity and, in;;turn, greatly decrease;chance of pneumonia.

Any dog that is in any way exposed to other dogs— neighbor has a dog, dog parks, etc.— should have this "vaccine" every 6 months.; To aid in compliance, I have made it a technician appt.; Clients need not see me or pay for exam to get it boostered every 6 months.; As vets, we diagnose this disease just about daily. It can be mild to far more severe depending on the dog.

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QShould i crate train my new puppy?

A: Congratulations on your new best friend!;Opening your home to a new puppy requires an adjustment period for you both.;With a few tips on canine behavior you can;;ease the frustrations that come with your new found friend.crate your puppy

Dogs are inherently den animals.; Crate training plays off; their instinct to keep the den clean.;Use of a crate is critical for housebreaking and keeping your puppy safe;while unsupervised.;

Dogs are also pack animals and extremely social.; Your puppy is most likely crying for attention; rather than for being crated.; If you run to your puppy when they cry, they will see this as a reward and continue the behavior. It is perfectly fine to leave your puppy in their crate for 6 to 8 hours before letting them out to use the bathroom.;

In time your puppy will stop crying and often times use the crate on their own. It may be helpful to place the crate away from ear shot to resist the urge to go to them.

Q: I have adult dogs and my puppy eats their food. Is this ok?

A: Just like any growing baby, puppies have different nutritional requirement then adults.; For this reason it is very important to feed;only a high quality puppy formula.; It;is very common for dogs to want what the other is having despite the food itself. ;Adult dogs eating puppy food are likely to become overweight while a puppy eating adult food will fail to thrive.

It may be helpful to feed them away from one another. Adults should be given a measured amount of food twice daily. Whatever they do not eat during each;meal;should be;removed after 10 minutes.; Puppies on the other hand may need to eat;more often;depending on their growth rate.;By feeding you dog meals instead of allowing them to graze, your puppy will not have the opporunity to fill up on adult food.