Petplan busts pet health myths for April Fools' Day

Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Apr 01 2011

Happy April Fools’ Day!

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My husband thought it would be funny to glue some dog bones to the floor this morning. My dog and I did not.

Given the annual day of shenanigans is upon us, I thought this would be a good time to clarify some common misconceptions to keep you from getting fooled when it comes to your pet’s health.

Myth: My dog has a fever because his nose is warm.

Truth: Your dog’s nose changes from day to day and is influenced by his activity and the climate around him. Just as a healthy dog can have a cold wet nose, he can have a warm, dry nose as well. If your dog has a warm nose and he’s otherwise acting well, he’s probably fine!

Myth: If my dog is eating grass, he must be sick.

Truth: Unlike cats, dogs are not obligate carnivores. They enjoy a tasty green snack now and then. Sometimes grass does make dogs vomit, but they generally don’t eat it because they are sick.

Myth: If my dog scoots on his rear end, he has worms.

Truth: Your dog is probably scooting on his rear because his anal glands are full. Dogs with diarrhea or other conditions that cause itchiness around their bottom will scoot as well. Schedule an appointment with your vet to sort out the problem before it becomes aggravated.

Myth: My cat needs milk.

Truth: Cats do not need milk. While they may like to drink milk, in many cats it is a cause of diarrhea.

Myth: I have to give up my cat because I’m pregnant.

Truth: No way! The concern here is that the person may contract toxoplasmosis from the cat while she is pregnant. The truth is, this disease IS spread by cats, but it is highly unlikely that your cat will actually become infected and pass the disease to you while you are pregnant. It’s a good excuse to have your hubby change the litter box, though, just to be on the safe side.

Myth: My wound will heal faster if I let my dog lick it.

Truth: I don’t even know where to start with this one. Have you SEEN what dogs eat? Despite what some people think, dogs’ mouths are not as clean as we would hope. Please don’t let your dog lick your wounds.

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