Animal Doctor: How to Respond to Respiratory Problems (Other Than 'Gesundheit')
Dear Dr. Fox:
I have a 10-year-old female Siamese cat. She seems to have a chronic condition. She sneezes, her eyes are irritated and she has nasal discharge. She has had this condition for several years, with periods of calm. Drops help her eyes temporarily. Do you have any ideas?
Upper-respiratory problems are extremely common in cats, and one must first rule out chronic bacterial infections and immune-system-impairing viral infections such as feline AIDS. A wholesome diet is essential, not the dry kibble junk food that even veterinarians sell. Give your cat up to a teaspoon of fish oil daily and wean her on to a quality cat food such as PetGuard, Wellness or Natura's Evo. Under veterinary supervision, explore aromatherapy inhalant hydrosols and super-antioxidant supplements such as quercetin and L-Alpha-lipoic acid coenzyme Q10.
Dear Dr. Fox:
I just read in one of your columns about a Rhodesian ridgeback and pit bull mix that had become increasingly fearful, yelping at noises, etc. I had this happen with a rescued Staffordshire bull terrier that had been abused. He had two related problems: He became blind in one eye, and movement or noises startled him. He also had apparent syringomyelia that caused intermittent pain to his head and neck area. This pain, paired with having been previously hit by a car, made him fearful. Both ridgebacks and boxers have problems with dermoid sinus. This can occur on the neck and back of the head, as well as the spine. It can cause severe pain.