Practical Solutions to Common Pet Problems

Answers to questions regarding seizures in dogs, hair balls in cats, rabbit care in winter, and much more.

| February/March 1993

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    If kitty's constipated, give him a little olive oil to get the machinery goin'
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    Large dogs, particularly those breeds that have a history of in-breeding, sometimes suffer from seizures that can stem from epilepsy.
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    Sure Dutch rabbits are cute pets, but whether or not they're trainable may just depend on luck.

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Cats and dogs, like their human friends, are more susceptible to disease when their immune systems are low. In addition to viral infections like kennel cough in dogs and distemper in cats, pets are more prone to parasitic infections like roundworm, tapeworm, and even Lyme disease when their immune systems are weak.

Stress, lack of exercise, and poor diet can all lower your pet's resistance. Conversely, strengthening your pet's body inside and out will boost your cat's or dog's natural internal defense system. The importance of exercise, fresh air, and healthful food cannot be understated. You can also add herbs to their meals in small amounts: Myrrh increases white blood cell production, goldenseal acts as a natural antibiotic, and garlic purifies the blood and boosts the immune system to help your cat or dog stay healthy.

Of course, if you notice a change in your animal's behavior, such as listlessness or lack of appetite, a graying of the gums, or problem with the skin or stool, see your veterinarian immediately. Remember, though, if your pet is placed on antibiotics, these drugs can deplete his or her body of vitamin C and create an imbalance in the natural, helpful bacteria of the intestinal tract. Supplementing with vitamin C, as well as B complex vitamins, will help your pet cope with the stress of feeling sick. Live-culture yogurt will restore intestinal bacterial balance.

A happy and healthy animal is a commitment, but as all pet owners know, one that is paid back many times over by the love you receive.

A special note to Kathy Rasche who thoughtfully wrote in to let me know that adding pineapple to your dog's diet will help keep him from eating his own feces. She suggested this as a natural alternative to MSG. Thanks! I have never heard of this remedy before. To all dog owners who have this problem with their pet: Please write in and let me know how it works.

Why is My Dog Having Seizures?

We live in Ohio and have a St. Bernard and an Australian Shepherd. Buster, our St. Bernard, started having seizures when he was 14 months old. We've called his breeders and they said they've never experienced seizures in any of their Saints. (Buster came from a litter of 10.) A couple of vets in town believe it's epilepsy, but we're not totally convinced of this.

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