Question: Is there a way I can get my cat to act better in the car?
Answer: Relieving your kitty’s car anxiety can be a challenge but the best idea is desensitization. Several days before the car ride, get your kitty used to its cat carrier. Place a fresh, clean towel inside and add some yummy treats to it. If you make the carrier a safe, comfortable place, your cat will have a less stressful time during travel. Try using pheromone sprays like Feliway that can help relax your cat. If the ride is still stressful, ask your vet to prescribe some medications for light sedation and decreased anxiety. If all else fails, house call vets do exist!
Question: My vet asked me if my dog drinks from puddles and if we should vaccinate for Lepto. Should I?
Answer: Yes! Leptospirosis is an infection that can lead to kidney and/or liver damage. The spiral shaped bacteria is carried by raccoons, small rodents, livestock and skunks who don’t get sick from it but can spread it in their urine. The urine gets into puddles and other warm moist areas and your dog can absorb the bacteria through their skin, nose, mouth or eyes. Once it gets into the system it can wreak havoc on many organs and cause severe illness. Seeking vet help and treating with antibiotics can help, but permanent kidney damage can remain.
To prevent lepto infection your pup should stay away from puddles, slow moving streams and other stagnant water and should get the vaccination every year. Unfortunately infection incidence is increasing in all 50 states and is highest from July through November, especially after flooding.
Dr. Marina Shepelev is an associate veterinarian practicing medicine at the Endless Mountain Owego Vet Center. She welcomes weekly questions concerning your furry friends.