Dear Dr. Fox: You asked for input from your readers about pets having adverse reactions to insecticides. I used Bravecto on my Lab mix, Chance, several years ago. He began having seizures and would come out of them confused and aggressive.
Because of this, and the fact that my husband was in a wheelchair at the time with Parkinson’s disease, I had to have my beloved pet put down. I asked my vet if chemical exposure could have affected Chance. I got no clear answer, but after reading your column, I fear that was the case.
I now use an all-natural product for flea and tick control called Flea Away, which I purchase from Chewy.com. I hope you will continue to publish your readers’ responses to your inquiry because I fear there will be many stories similar to mine. — K.A., Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Dear K.A.: You are the second person to inform me of a veterinarian euthanizing a dog who was on this drug. This is malpractice, indeed. Safer natural products are available, as detailed on my website under the heading “Preventing Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes.”
Dear Dr. Fox: This is a follow-up regarding our cat’s possible kidney issue. He eats only canned food and does not drink any water. Is this a problem, and if so, what can we do to encourage him to drink water?
When we rescued him four years ago, we fed him dry food, and he did drink water. About a year and a half later, we switched him to canned, and that is when he stopped drinking water. — P.K., Danbury, Connecticut
Dear P.K.: Some cats do not drink sufficient fluids, owing to a thirst mechanism that is essentially defective — possibly related to the animal’s desert ancestry. This can mean that cats who are only fed dry kibble, and who drink very little water, can have highly concentrated urine that can damage the lining of the bladder and lead to cystitis.
Some veterinarians and pet food manufacturers advocate adding salt to cats’ food to trigger their thirst, but this is ill-advised, in my opinion. Instead, boil up some fatty chicken, then store the resulting juicy liquid in the fridge. Add a tablespoon of that to a bowl of 2 to 3 tablespoons of filtered water. If this does not get your cat drinking more water, simply add more water to the canned food.
Many cats hate tap water because of the chlorine. I use a Zero Water activated charcoal filter (see zerowater.com). I have no vested interest in this company, only serious concerns about water quality and safety. For more, see my article “Pure Water for Cats and Dogs” on my website (DrFoxOneHealth.com).
Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.