Q: Q: My cat is chubby, and I’ve started to notice hair mats developing on his back and a rash under his tail — is he getting lazy about cleaning himself? I see this fairly frequently in my office, and it isn’t that your chunky guy is getting lazy — it is more likely that he can no longer physically reach those areas to groom. As cats get thick around the middle, hygiene of those hard-to-reach areas goes out the window. You need to get him on a weight loss plan, so schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss ways to get started. In the meantime, you can help your cat by brushing him on a regular basis and using baby wipes on his — ahem — more sensitive areas. I’ve found that overweight cats really appreciate the assistance with these grooming tasks, so I bet he’ll be happy to let you help! wag expert advice My cat has hyperthyroidism, but she refuses to take pills (even when I hide them in food). Is there another way to give her medicine, apart from shots? Don’t feel bad — this is a very common problem! Most cats are highly offended by being forced to do anything, so if giving pills is impossible for you, there are other methods you can try. For hyperthyroidism specifically, ask your vet about radioactive iodine treatment, which has a very high success rate but typically requires a few days of hospitalization. If that is not an option, then there are other alternatives. One way is to have your cat’s regular medication formulated in a transdermal gel, which is applied to the skin on the inside of your cat’s ear and is absorbed into her blood stream. The drawback to this method, other than a greasy-looking ear, is that, due to variations in absorption, it is a little harder to predict its effectiveness, so close monitoring is important. Finally, there is a prescription diet available for treating hyperthyroidism. This diet is iodine-restricted, which helps decrease the production of thyroid hormone and works well in some situations. Ask your veterinarian about these different treatment options to see if one would be a better fit for your cat. My dog is terrified of every little sound, from closing doors to the vacuum to fireworks. How can I help her relax? I once had a dog who was afraid of noises too, and it was a constant struggle to keep him happy. Depending on the severity of your dog’s anxiety, it is best to seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist; noise phobias are often difficult to eradicate and can build on themselves, meaning a fear of thunder can globalize to all loud noises — which may already have occurred in your dog. The most effective treatment includes a combination of anti-anxiety medications and behavior modification therapy, along with careful desensitization. Remember that it is the consistent combination of medication and behavior therapy that carries the best chance of success. With that, and a little patience, you can help your pet relax. Q: Do you have a question for a Petplan veterinarian? Go to: GoPetplan.com/ask-an-expert But note, please check with your regular veterinarian if the problem is persistent or requires immediate medical attention.
Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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