No Shot Before Shears Needed

Our groomers, who share space with a boarding facility and clinic, say they will not groom our pets unless the dogs are vaccinated for canine influenza, which costs $50 per dog. Another boarding facility I occasionally use said the shot is not required. Is this a necessary vaccination- N.P., Springfield, Mo.It concerns me deeply that many uninformed people, usually with good intentions, erroneously believe vaccinations are risk-free panacea. They are, in fact, big money makers for manufacturers and providers. Their unnecessary use should be deplored. Many autoimmune and other vaccine-associated diseases have been reported in animals as well as humans.Go to another groomer. My cat is going crazy! Every night after I turn off the TV to go to bed, she begins her rampage. She starts banging on the closet door, running through the house and knocking things over.I spray water at her, but it doesn't work.This goes on for about 30 minutes before she calms down and goes to sleep.The next morning at 6:45, she jumps on the bed and meows. Or she jumps down and bangs on things until I get up, give her treats and open the shades for her to look out. Only then is she happy.I try to keep her up from 6 p.m. until my bedtime in the hopes that she will be tired when I go to sleep, but it doesn't work. Please help me!- P.F., Neptune, N.J.What you are describing is perfectly normal feline behavior. Many cats have what I call the "evening crazies," racing and banging around the home. Then they get turned on around sunrise.Biologists call this activity cycle "crepuscular." Trying to make your cat diurnal by waking her will not work.You have two options: Wild play with your cat just before you go to bed or, ideally, adopt another cat so they can romp together and not bug you.Of our two cats who enjoy evening romps and wrestling together, one in particular, Pinto Bean, will just take off by himself and race through the house, often with his tail fluffed out as though he were terrified.This should not disturb you when you think of how much fun your crepuscular cat is having - and staying fit in the process with a compatible feline companion. Honey, my 14-year-old female cocker spaniel, has a skin condition that makes her develop something similar to scaly warts year-round. Veterinarians have offered many diagnoses: from mites under her skin to a thyroid problem. Some have put her on strong medicine that affected her hearing and sight. She tested negative for Lyme disease and heartworms.I felt so bad for Honey that I took her off all the medicine and began giving her vitamin A, vitamin E and brewer's yeast.I also feed her only a natural food made from sweet potato and fish. She seems to be doing much better. Her energy levels are higher, and she seems to have fewer lumps. But she is now completely deaf and has developed red circles around her neck and chest area (and she does not wear a collar).Can you tell me what is going on with her Finding a natural solution would be a godsend.- D.P., Hyde Park, N.Y.Have her thyroid function re-evaluated. Putting her on thyroid-replacement hormones could be the solution.Cocker spaniels are prone to developing chronic seborrhea: greasy, scabby, itchy dermatitis. I advise giving about one-quarter the recommended human daily dose twice daily of vitamin A, plus ½ teaspoon of oil of primrose or borage oil and 1 teaspoon of brewer's yeast to dogs with such skin problems. A zinc supplement can be helpful for some.Probiotics, prebiotics and digestive-enzyme supplements also can be beneficial, especially for older dogs.Periodic bathing with human-medicated selenium blue shampoo may also make life more comfortable for your old dog, along with a clean cotton bath towel to sleep on. Be sure to use scent-free, low-phosphate laundry soap. Dr. Fox's column runs the first Wednesday of every month. For more information on pet care, visit Dr. Fox's website, , or Feature Syndicate

No Shot Before Shears Needed 1

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