Ask The Vet

Dealing with Doggie Dementia

By Dr Larry van Niekerk

Q. Having rescued our little Terrier cross, Teddy, from a shelter when he was only a six-week-old pup, and being our only “fur child”, we can honestly say we have never loved a dog like this one. At 13 years old, we have noticed a change in him and he is showing signs of having “doggie dementia”.

He thankfully hasn’t forgotten to go...


The worm that kills

Dr Larry van Niekerk

Many intestinal parasites cause a path of devastation in the animal’s body while completing their complex life cycle, and Spirocerca Lupi is no exception.

Q We are devastated by the loss of our precious three-year-old Doberman, Jimmy. Sadly, we had no option other than to put him to sleep as his condition had deteriorated so badly and he was suffering.

Jimmy had been ill...


What is IVVD?

Our veterinarian answers a reader’s questions about IVDD…

I am the owner of a little rescue dog that I adopted about two years ago. Recently he was in pain and couldn’t walk. I took him tomy closest vet hospital where he was diagnosed with IVDD and immediately operated on.

The operation was successful in releasing the pressure and making the pain stop for my dog, and although he was a little bruised, he was apparently in good...


Congenital Portosystemic Shunts in Dogs

Some animals are born with congenital conditions. With good veterinary care, these animals can be given the chance of a full and healthy life.

Q. We adopted Taffy, a Yorkshire Terrier x Schnauzer, at seven weeks of age from Kitty and Puppy Haven.

From the time we got him he was plagued by what was then diagnosed as continuous bladder infections. Only when we had him neutered at...


Living with heart disease

The early signs of heart disease are often missed, especially in animals

Q.Sadly, your answers to my questions are too late for our beloved Labrador, Duke, whom we recently had to put down because of advanced heart failure, but I would still like to know the answers for our other dogs and in the hope that it can help other readers and their dogs.

Our Duke was very...


What do I do if my dog has hot spots?

By Dr Roy Aronson

When the itch gets out of hand...

A “hot spot” is a raw and very itchy infected area on a dog’s skin. Hot spots can be small (less than 1cm in diameter) or very large, up to the size of a palm. They are extremely itchy, often painful, and will distress your dog enough to make you seek medical attention.

What causes hot spots?

Usually there is an inciting cause like a flea bite....


Resolving the problem of blocked anal glands

By Dr Larry van Niekerk

Professional flushing and treatment of infected anal glands or painful abscesses is best performed by your veterinarian, under sedation.

Q. My seven-year-old Bull Terrier struggles with blocked anal glands and we have to take her to have them squeezed every two to three months. She also suffers from skin allergies on her stomach and I wonder if the two conditions are connected? The glands are never infected when we take her to...


Coping with Kennel Cough

By Dr Larry van Niekerk

Tracheobronchitis is highly contagious and causes a harsh, dry hacking or rasping cough in dogs.

Q. We recently adopted KB from a shelter. A few days later she started coughing and was diagnosed with Kennel Cough by the vet. After a course of antibiotics she has recovered quickly and is settling in well with us. How long does the Kennel Cough stay in the dog’s system before it physically presents itself, as...


My dog has swallowed something! What do I do?

Dogs can be prone to swallowing strange things. Dr Roy tells us what to do...

If your dog has swallowed something, try and find out what it is, even if you have to make a reasonable guess. This information is really important. Should you need to take your dog to the vet, he will want to know this. Some items show up on X-rays and some...

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