Fresno Vets Answering Your Pet Health Questions

I have a 6-year-old chow chow and I am worried that with her heavy coat, she is going to get too hot in the heat. Should I shave her down to keep her cool?
NO, NO, NO! Dogs cannot sweat, and their primary means of cooling is through panting and some radiation through their skin. Taking off their coat is like removing the insulation from around your freezer or refrigerator, which keeps the cool INSIDE; it also acts to keep the direct sunlight off of the skin which would otherwise heat up the skin and thus the blood, raising the temperature.

Our 8-year-old cat has been losing weight and doesn’t seem to be eating very much, and when she does, she drops the food from her mouth. She also has very bad breath. Should I take her in to our veterinarian or just change her food to canned?
YES, take her in ASAP! More than likely she has severe dental disease (cavities and/or abscesses) which are extremely painful and making her drop the food and not eat. She may need dental X-rays, extractions, pain medication and antibiotics.

We have a 10-year-old African gray bird, and he has been sneezing for about a week now and has some fluid coming from his nose. He sits on his perch and looks like he is “rocking.” Is this anything to be worried about?
YES, you need to be worried and take him in immediately as he may have a respiratory infection. The “rocking” is probably what we call “tail bobbing,” and it is what birds will do when they are having trouble breathing. A bird with respiratory problems is an immediate emergency.

We went on vacation for a week and had our 3-year-old golden retriever boarded. We got him home two days ago, and now he is sneezing and coughing. Should we take him in to our veterinarian?
Yes, you should have him checked by your veterinarian; it may just be a simple respiratory irritation or could be what is commonly called “kennel cough.” If it worsens, it could lead to more serious conditions like pneumonia.

I have a 12-year-old terrier mix who has required expensive treatment for corneal ulcers twice in the past two years. The ulcers occurred after grooming. Are there any preventive measures?

These incidents are obviously surrounding the grooming events, so I would be asking the groomer what their grooming procedure is and what products are being used. Soaps, shampoos and even clipped hairs can get into the eyes and cause irritation, burning and yes, even ulcers. If it is bad enough, the pet may paw or scratch at the eyes and cause even more damage. You should always use a mild, tear-free shampoo on a washcloth around the eyes and rinse heavily.