A: "Dogs can be sensitized to certain triggers," says Chicago-based veterinary neurologist Dr. Michael Podell. Therefore, anything from too much exercise to the stress associated with being boarded in a kennel might prompt a seizure in some dogs. If you can determine what the triggers are for Wallie, avoiding those triggers (if possible) may help avoid the seizures.
Certainly, if you believe there is a link to seizures, try another heartworm or flea product. Talk to your veterinarian about making a choice that makes sense for Wallie.
Podell adds, "We learned many years ago that seizures beget more seizures, which then can create even more seizures." At some point, before the situation snowballs, he does suggest medication. The magic number for Podell is three seizures over 12 months. Once you hit that number, talk to your veterinarian about possible medical intervention.
Q: My cat's begun to put her butt into the air and cry. I don't have the money to take her to a vet. She rubs and rolls around, seeming cute, but apparently she's in pain because she cries out. There's some blood that looks like it's coming from her butt and her vagina. Although she's an indoor cat, she catches mice -- four, so far. What do you think is wrong with her? -- S.P., Cyberspace
A: It's likely your cat's only pain is that she can't find a mate. Dr. Steve Dullard, a board member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and President of the Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, says that based on they symptoms you describe, he thinks your cat is in heat. The obvious solution is to have her spayed.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 90 percent of cats. What's more, unless she is spayed, your cat will try very hard to get out hoping to find a male cat.
Dullard, of Mendota, IL strongly suggests seeing your veterinarian to confirm Dullard's hunch. As for cost, there are many low cost spay/neuter clinics. However, Dullard is also concerned that your kitty may not be vaccinated, which is in the pet's best interest.
Q: I adopted two rescue cats three years ago. Duke, who is 4 years old, has a pleasant personality. He finds great joy in kneading us and being a member of he family. But Rowdy, who's 6, doesn't show us much affection. He eats his food quickly, then complains when the bowl is empty. He vomits his food, often just outside our bedroom, or even on our shoes. He has hairballs. I think he has a psychological problem, and that he does these things when he's most displeased with us. Any advice? -- E.E.H., Fort Mohave, AZ
A: As much as you may be surprised by this answer, cat behavior consultant Darlene Arden, author of "The Complete Cat's Meow" (Wiley Publishing, New York NY, 2011; $19.99), says that your cat is not scheming to drive you crazy.
Arden says Rowdy is likely throwing up because he's eating too fast. However, to confirm this, seeing your veterinarian makes sense The solution may be to either feed him small amounts at a time (if you're home to do so) and/or to use food puzzles to feed him at least a part of his food. One of several examples is the Play 'n Treat ball, a little plastic ball with a hole. You teach the cat to roll the ball, and kibble tumbles out the hole a piece or two at a time (be sure your brand isn't too large to fit through the hole), making it impossible for the pet to scarf up too much all at once.
"Cats don't choose where to throw up, and say to themselves 'Oh, today, I think I'll make a mess of her shoes,'" says Arden. "Apparently, you're leaving your shoes out and they just happen to be there."
Many cats, dogs and people complain when the food dish is empty.
Arden says that daily brushing can help with the hairball issue. Also, ask your veterinarian about using Vaseline (to lessen hairballs), or if you should purchase a hairball formula diet. She adds, "I don't know of any cat that has hairballs on purpose."
Arden doesn't believe your cat has a psychological problem. It does sound as if you may favor Duke over Rowdy, though, which is your choice.
Q: How do I know if my dog is happy? -- G.F., Delray Beach, FL
A: If your dog wants to be with you at least twice as much as you want to be with your dog, he's happy.
(Steve Dale's NEW EBOOKS, "Good Dog!" and "Good Cat!", are available on all major eReader devices and platforms. The basic version of each book is $2.99. An enhanced version of "Good Dog!" with embedded videos is available at iTunes for $4.99. For details, check the "Good Dog!"Facebook page. Write to Steve at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207. Send e-mail to PETWORLD(at)STEVE DALE.TV. Include your name, city and state. Steve's website is www.stevedalepetworld.com)