Breaking the foul cycle

I adopted a seven-year-old Silky Terrier from a puppy mill six months ago. She’s been eating her own poop since we got her. We initially thought it was because she didn’t get enough nutrition as a former breeding dog, but even with a nutritionally complete diet, she still does that. Will changing her diet help to eventually eliminate her poop-eating habit?

Furry loudmouth

Q: My adopted 10-year-old Miniature Schnauzer has the habit of barking incessantly at strangers. I’ve tried bringing her to crowded places and letting her mingle with other people (and dogs), but it doesn’t seem to help much. How should I tackle her barking?

Heart of the problem

Q: My 10-year-old Chihuahua has been on medication for over a year for mitral valve disease. His condition recently deteriorated and my vet said that he’s at high risk for heart failure. What are the warning signs and what should I do if that happens?

Fido's skin woes

My black mongrel has greasy skin, really bad dandruff and smells funky super quick—within a day or two of being showered. I usually bathe her once a week, sometimes twice weekly if she smells really bad. However, I’m not sure if I’m worsening her dandruff and/or making her coat greasier by bathing her more often. What’s the best way to manage this?

Sad Sound Of Silence

There could be a variety of reasons: From behavioural and emotional factors to a simple case of excessive vocalisations.

Crazy itch

Q: My three-year-old French Bulldog started licking her left leg after she was bitten by ticks. She has licked that particular spot so much that the fur around the area has dropped off, leaving a wet, oozing skin lesion, and she continues to lick. What should I do?

Spay day

Q: A few hours after my bunny was spayed, her front leg and chest were swollen and tender. The vet told me it was probably from the subcutaneous fluid administered, and that it’s normal. She didn’t eat or poop the following day. Four days have passed and she still seems to be uncomfortable and inappetent. What should I do?

A knotty affair

Q: My Maltese has a fine, cottony coat that mats easily. She sometimes yelps when I comb through a knot, even if I’m not tugging very hard. I don’t want to cause her unnecessary pain or discomfort, so how do I know which knots to comb through and which ones to snip off? Also, how can I ensure that her coat doesn’t become “choppy” as I cut off the knots?

Hacking away

Q: My one-year-old male British Shorthair has been coughing frequently for a few weeks. I thought it might have been a hairball, so I gave him some hairball remedy. However, none have come up with his hacking and now it’s happening at least twice a day. Should I bring him to the vet and get tests done? If so, what tests should he undergo?

Bile-churning problem

Q: My vet told me that my four-year-old Miniature Schnauzer is slightly overweight, so she recommended reducing her daily feeding portion by about 15 to 20 percent. Whenever I do, she vomits a yellowish fluid. She’s currently on a mix of grain- and starch-free kibbles and freeze-dried raw dog food and her daily portion is split into two feedings—once in the morning and once at night. How can I manage her weight while ensuring she isn’t so hungry she vomits bile?

Cool cut for kitty

Q: My six-year-old male Persian has an extremely thick coat that needs regular grooming, but he gets very distressed whenever I bring him out of the house. I bought grooming clippers to do it myself, but always “butcher” his coat! Can you share tips on how to trim my cat’s fur?

Mouth management

Q: My nine-year-old Maltese had her teeth scaled three months ago and I’ve been brushing her teeth twice daily with doggy toothpaste and a muslin cloth since. However, some portions of her gum seem inflamed, plaque has built up a little (though less than when I didn’t brush), and she still has foul breath. What else can I do to improve her dental health?

Eye opener

Q: My 14-year-old adopted cat has been with us for two years, and she’s been having a recurrent eye problem ever since we got her. We don’t know her history, so we have no idea howlong she’s had the condition. The discharge is usually clear and sometimes slightly brown. We’ve been to many vets and tried different eye drops, but each time it clears up, it comes back in a matter of weeks. What could be wrong and what other treatments can I consider?

Pug life

Q: I am thinking of getting a Pug, but read online that their short muzzles could cause health issues and shorten their lifespans. Is this true? What are some other health conditions I should be wary of? Any tips to keep my future Pug in optimal health?

Furry cancer fighter

Q: My Golden Retriever was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. The vet advised against chemotherapy, so he is currently on steroids instead. Is there any way I can improve his diet to make it more suitable for his current condition? What are some foods that are particularly good or bad for him? He’s now on a quality grain-free kibble with fish oil as a supplement.