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Medical Questions

Can my pet take Benadryl? 

Yes. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride) is a commonly used drug in human medicine. It can also be used for allergic reactions in pets. As with any pet-specific information, the only correct answer is to check with our veterinarian before dosing your pet. 


If your dog is acting normally other than the diarrhea, then you can try withholding all food and water for 12 hours. After that time period, you can introduce small amounts of food at a time. However, if your dog is lethargic in any way, you should call a veterinarian for instructions. 


A dog that licks his feet, rubs his face, or scratches behind his elbows may be showing signs of an allergy. Dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things such as house dust, grass or weeds, food, or fleas. Call our veterinary office to schedule an appointment to consult with the doctor about this, especially if your dog is showing any hair loss. 


He may have intestinal parasites but that may not be why he is “scooting.” It is usually an indication that his anal glands are full and need attention by a veterinarian. Anal glands are small glands on either side of the rectum. They contain a fishy smelling substance and before domestication dogs and cats used them to mark their territory. Pets no longer have active control of these glands and therefore they can become full and need emptying. Cats will generally lick their rectal area excessively if their anal sacs are full. 

Eating Grass 

This is an age-old question. There are many possibilities: they like the taste of grass (especially the 
soft new grass of spring), they are hungry, perhaps not feeling well, and eating something to see if 
that helps (kind of like humans do sometimes!). 

Most dogs do best with 2 or more small feedings a day rather than one large feeding. A commercial 
diet or well-prepared home diet should not be lacking in essential nutrients. If they have an empty 
stomach, bile can reflux (flow back up in to the stomach from the intestine) and this is irritating. 
This can cause vomiting of clear, yellow fluid. 

Heat Cycles 

If your female cat does not mate, she will go into estrus or heat, as often as every two to three weeks, for several months each year, until she either mates or is spayed. Cats as young as 4-6 months old can go into the heat cycle and they should be spayed as soon as possible unless they are pedigreed and you wish to breed from them. The cycle is extremely uncomfortable for her, even if it does not inconvenience you. Your cat will be in heat for one or two days, but won’t really come all the way out of it until you have her spayed. 

Non-spayed female dogs will go into “heat” or estrus usually twice a year. The age at which they start their cycles, usually about 6 months of age, and the duration, 4-21 days, of the cycle varies between the breeds of dogs and individual dogs. For dogs that will be pets, it is recommended to spay them before the first heat, eliminating the risk of accidental pregnancy and reproductive diseases later on in life. Dogs may be spayed while in heat (or pregnant), but there is additional risk due to the engorged vessels and tissue of the reproductive tract — a higher chance of bleeding during surgery or other complications. The cost of surgery while in heat or pregnant is higher as well. 

Hit by Car 

Many times dogs hide a concussion which can be life threatening if not treated immediately. Also, dogs and cats can suffer from a condition called “traumatic lung syndrome,” a condition in which the lungs can become full of fluid after a sudden blow. It is best to contact a veterinarian anytime your pet has been in an accident with a car. 

Litter Box Problems 

Cats are very prone to a condition called “feline lower urinary tract syndrome.” Basically, it is a urinary bladder infection or inflammation which can lead to urinary tract obstruction in male cats. This is a serious condition and you should contact the veterinarian office immediately if your cat is showing this type of behavior. 


Dogs and cats can have seizures or convulsions, just like people. Seizures in pets can be caused by a number of different conditions. An important thing to remember if your pet has a seizure is not to panic. Your pet is unconscious and not in any pain. (People that have seizures describe feeling dazed, tired, or confused after having a seizure, but that the seizure itself is not painful.) Make sure that your pet is on the floor on a soft surface so that it can’t injure itself by falling off furniture or down a flight of stairs. Do not try to open your pet’s mouth or put your fingers in it. It is not possible for your pet to “swallow its tongue.” During a seizure, you may see muscle spasms, and your pet may “paddle” their legs or extend them in a rigid fashion. Many pets lose control of their bladder or bowel. 
If you have never seen a seizure before, you may think it is going on and on, but in reality most seizures last for less than a minute. However, if the seizure does in fact not stop within a minute or two (check your watch!), or if several seizures occur within a few minutes of each other, the situation is an emergency. In this case, you should get your pet to our veterinary hospital immediately. 

Tylenol/Over-the-counter Meds 

DO NOT GIVE! Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrum IB) are toxic to both cats and dogs, even in small doses. Pepto Bismol is also highly toxic when used in treating cats. In general, it’s never a good idea to just assume a human medication will be a safe and effective treatment for your pet. ALWAYS contact our veterinarian to discuss your options before starting any medical therapy.