2 things I hate to see in pets out in public - Dr. Marty Becker

2 things I hate to see in pets out in public

Monday, Aug 24th, 2015 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  Male, red color.  5 months.  Name: Snowball.  Owner: Vanessa Chien, San Francisco CA

I imagine respiratory therapists are upset when they see somebody outside a restaurant chain smoking, and that dentists cringe when they see somebody with a mega-sized sugary drink.

That’s true for veterinarians, too. And here are the two things that really bother me when I see them in pets out in public:

1. Limping. I was at a veterinary conference in San Diego a few years ago. My wife and I saw a well-dressed couple with expensive watches and jewelry walking – dragging, really – a Corgi who seemed to be so painful in the hips and knees he could barely walk.

At an intersection I introduced myself, and asked if the dog was being treated for arthritis. They said, “No, he’s just getting old and is doing fine.”

I persisted, pointing out what I could see as a veterinarian, and saying we have lots of things that can provide relief and really improve his quality of life today, like joint diets, new-generation anti-inflammatories, laser treatment, stem cells, and more.

They just shook their heads with a look that said “mind your own business,” and turned away dragging the dog behind them.

If you have a dog who limps, or a cat who has trouble climbing, grooming, or using the litter box, please, please, please take him or her to your veterinarian. Chances are very good there’s a happier, healthier life awaiting your pet!

2. Skin on fire. I’ll see stoic pets, happily pulling at the leash and wagging their tails even though it looks like they went through a forest fire and were burned. Patches of hair are gone, the skin is red and angry, the dog wants to scratch, chew, or bite at the extreme irritation that’s driving them crazy.

What would you do if you had a problem like this with your hair and scalp? You’d head to a dermatologist so fast the papers would rustle on the kitchen counter on your way out the door!

People need to know that most pet skin problems can be diagnosed and successfully treated, with regular bathing, antibiotics, or therapies like the powerful new drug, Apoquel, that’s providing near-instant relief for pets who have suffered for years.

Do the right thing. If your pet is suffering, slowing down, or showing signs something’s hurting, take him or her to the vet. Get a diagnosis and start a successful treatment. You’ll be returning a portion of what you pet has given you over the years.