Dear Dr. Fox:
I travel for my job and was sent to Texas last year. My 13-year-old Chihuahua, Sammy, is usually with me. But on this trip, he stayed behind for a week before joining me. I realized that his water dish had been left behind, so I went to a store to buy one.
Shortly after arriving, Sammy became ill and had all the symptoms of Cushing's disease, although a test was inconclusive. He could not sleep for more than two hours a night. He was constantly drinking and urinating. He stopped enjoying his favorite foods. He lost weight, and his stomach became bloated, swollen and tender to the touch. He found it difficult to find a comfortable position to sit or lie, and he did not want to be picked up.
I had found a wonderful vet who tried everything he could think of, but nothing seemed to help. Sammy got sicker and sicker, and I was worried he was slowly dying.
Sammy and I went to visit my sister in September. While there, I read your column in the local paper, in which you discussed several pets that had odd ailments and symptoms, all of which were relieved by discarding their plastic water bowls. That day, I purchased a glass bowl and threw out the plastic one.
Immediately, Sammy began to improve. He began to sleep through the night, his thirst subsided and the frequent urination decreased dramatically. After a few months, he had returned to his old self, and he is doing fine now.
I wanted to share my experience in case it might help another sick pet. I tell every pet owner I meet not to use a plastic bowl.
Ponca City, Okla.