Q: I have a question about my other 7mth old kitten, Leah. She has leukemia, but it’s not active- she’s actually very healthy and whenever she has a running nose or stuffed nose, I immediately begin doing steam therapy, and she quickly gets relieved. But I have a question about getting her spayed. Should I risk it? She’s solely indoor and all the other cats (only 1 male) are “fixed”. I read online that if she’s exposed to surgery, anesthesia, etc her disease could become active. What do you think? I don’t mind not spaying her, but I just want to know if it’s the best thing for her considering her disease. Thank you!
Dr. H: I do agree that there is a risk of her disease becoming active if put under anesthesia because any time an animal is put under anesthesia, the immune system drops and they can become susceptible to various illnesses including colds and other ailments. But there are also risks for not spaying her. The most common is a uterus infection called pyometra that can make your kitty very sick and an emergency surgery would have to be performed to remove the uterus at that time. Another is mammary gland cancer (breast cancer). It is a proven fact that every time a cat goes into heat, her chances of getting breast cancer increases by about 18%. In her case, your best bet would be to discuss the pros and the cons with her current vet and see what their opinion would be on the matter. I hope this helps you.
Q: Our 7-month-old Chocolate lab was spayed like three months ago, and we have noticed that her scar tissue is getting bigger. We want to know what that means and what we can do about it. Thank you so much.
Dr. H: If the scar area appears to be getting bigger it could mean a few things. One would be a hernia. Sometimes when a puppy or kitten is very active, especially after surgery, they can rupture a stitch which can cause some of the fat tissue from the stomach to pop out causing a small swelling or sometimes even a large swelling. But you need to be careful because if more than one stitch breaks, sometimes intestines or other contents of the abdominal area can get trapped and cause severe problems. Another possibility is something called a seroma. A seroma is a fluid filled bubble that can be caused by an active puppy’s stitches rubbing on the inside layers of the incision. This causes a swelling–which can be reduced by draining (your vet) and a regimen of antibiotics and warm compresses–and will go away on its own, without surgery. Finally, sometimes scar tissue can build up in the incision area also from internal rubbing of stitches. I hope this information helps you, but I recommend you see your local veterinarian to have the surgery site looked at so that a proper assessment can be made.
Dr. H: Make sure you don’t bathe your pet too much (no more than twice a month). Also, incorporate fish oil capsules (omega 3 fatty acids) into your dog’s diet. ½ capsule a day will bring natural oils back to your pet’s coat.
Q: My little Bishon, Buddy, will be 7 years old this month. He is a rescue that I have had for 3 years now and he came from a puppy mill. He had been caged his whole life and was used for breeding. I’ve noticed lately that he won’t jump on the couch or on the bed and he has been a little slow on our walks. He doesn’t appear to be in pain, but I can tell he isn’t himself. Is there something I should be doing for him?
Dr. H: Bring Buddy to the vet to have his knees checked. Smaller dogs tend to have patellar luxations (AKA knee cap shifting when they move), most of the time there is nothing that can be done except for supplements, which you can get at your local pharmacy. If there are higher grade issues with the knees, surgery can always correct it. Your best bet is to take him to your local vet and have him checked out.
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