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November 1, 2010, 2:31 pm betterhomesgardens
As Australia’s favourite vet, Dr Harry solves lots of pet problems and profiles all sorts of animals.
Problem: Bailey charges at strangers on the golf course on the other side of a fence.
Solution: Despite his threatening appearance, Bailey was a gentle dog and when a stranger approached he was just rushing out to say g’day. Because his owners work, a second fence about two metres inside the fence adjacent to the golf course will need to be built. On weekends when the owners are home the dog should be encouraged with food rewards to meet new people to overcome his zealous desire to protect the property.
Problem: A Staffy-cross licks and sucks its thigh.
Solution: Despite no evidence of any skin irritation at the site, any sort of stimulus to the area caused Bruiser to whimper and lick his skin. A spinal examination revealed nothing but the dog did have peculiar movement patterns around the backyard suggesting an obsessive compulsive disorder. In other words the dog had become so programmed to perform the behaviour that it simply could not stop. Treatment included medication, a tall collar to stop Bruiser’s tongue from reaching his leg and the owner providing a distraction whenever the dog attempted any licking.
Problem: A Maltese with a longstanding red, itchy rash with major hair loss.
Solution Previous treatment had not helped and a search of the backyard failed to produce any of the more common allergy plants like wandering jew, although buffalo lawn was a suspect. Close examination of the abdomen, neck and inside legs showed an allergy (many small, circular pustules and the resultant black scabs after bursting) with infection superimposed. I prescribed a low-allergy diet, free of colour and preservatives, a weekly wash with Malaseb treatment to control infection from the outside and after an initial cortisone injection, oral tablets at a minimal dose every second day. To control infection from the inside the antibiotic Baytril was given. A total cure is unlikely although the results have been very pleasing and the dog is certainly enjoying life more. From time to time low-dose steroids may be necessary.
Problem: A new young cat moves in with an older cat that’s been the sole occupant for its entire life.Solution: Often when two people decide to live together their pets do not get along. The older cat had become timid and withdrawn, after being constantly chased by the hyperactive youngster. Rather than opt for any medication the best approach was to divide the house into two areas so the older cat could enjoy a sanctuary, a concept important to animals as confrontation produces problems. In time they may accept each other, probably when the younger cat matures.
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