Saturday, August 8, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Panting, Ear Care and more ...

When is Panting Abnormal?

I already wrote an article on excessive panting but it never hurts to refresh our understanding. While panting is perfectly normal for dogs, if there is no discernible reason such as ambient temperature, exercise or excitement, it is important to be able to tell when the dog is panting abnormally or out of context.

We should learn what is normal for our dogs to recognize when panting is a sign of trouble. Abnormal panting can be cause by anxiety or stress, pain, heart or lung issue, anemia, laryngeal paralysis, Cushing's disease and some medications such as steroids.

If your dog is panting abnormally, do see your vet.

Is there something wrong when dogs eat grass?

There are ongoing discussions on why dogs eat grass and whether it's good or bad for them to do so. Our dogs might seek grass when their belly is upset. But they also enjoy munching on it when they seem perfectly fine. They particularly enjoy fresh young grass or grass with morning dew on it. They seem quite picky about which grass they choose, particularly partial to timothy grass.

Is there a good reason for it? Can they actually digest it? (Not when they eat big chunks they can't, I can testify to that. When they nibble on it and get the juice out, they might, otherwise I tend to doubt it.) They do seem to enjoy it, though.

Should you worry when your dog eats grass?

Time to Clean Your Pet’s Ears?

Should dog get their ears cleaned regularly? That is the question, isn't it? It's been always something on my mind particularly because Cookie really hates the liquid in her ears. We got her to accept the procedure when she had a mild ear infection but she still hates how the liquid feels, even though we warm it up for her.

It seems, the good news for Cookie is that unless there is a problem with the ears, regular cleaning is not necessary. "Yay," says Cookie.

If your dog is having ear problems, though, keeping it in check is important. Before you start putting anything in your dog's ears, always have them examined first and consult about the best solution to use. Make sure you don't end up putting vanilla yogurt in your dog's infected ears. That's just not a good plan.

Small Bumps That Appear Harmless May Be a Killer Beneath the Surface

Brody. Photo Pawcurious

Never underestimate lumps and bumps, no matter how small. If it's not going away for a month, investigate, have it identified. Don't wait, aspirate.

However harmless a bump can look, it might not be. Brody's lump was just a bit of little red swelling on the inside of his ear. It was a mast cell tumor. Because it was identified early, Brody's chances are much higher than they would have been if it stayed there until it grew large or started bothering him.

More on the story: Lend me your ear

Six Vaccine Tips Veterinarians Stand Behind: But Do You?

Vaccinations, one of the big controversies today. Recommendations cover the whole spectrum, from advice not to vaccinate at all, to some veterinarians still insisting on annual boosters. The optimal solution, at least for now, is somewhere in the middle. Vaccinate, but with prejudice.


  1. Great post! My new baby, Zue will munch on grass in the evening hours. She walks the fence line and just nibbles. She doesn't appear to have an upset stomach so not sure why she does it. As for ears, when I first got Titan he had ear issues. I finally got it resolved and now he eats grain-free however, I check them weekly and clean them as necessary. Now Zue's ears are a mess. Her ears were so awful at her previous home, it burst her eardrums. For the past month, she has been getting treatments and 3 weeks no in my home. She will always have chronic ear issues so weekly checks and cleanings will also be in store. I think people tend to forget that those with floppy ears can have issues as well as if they are eating junk dog food/treats. Great post. Passing it along.

    1. Thank you, Brenda.

      Poor babies, chronic ear issues are not fun. There is typically a cause behind it.

      Our guys love munching on grass for reasons other than upset bellies. Perhaps they know what they're doing or maybe they just enjoy it.