Dear Tabby, Sometimes my dog does this weird, inhale, gagging, choking kind of sound. It’s pretty scary sounding, but he recovers quickly and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Any idea what this is all about? Weird Dog Sounds in Woodland Heights Dear Weird Dog Sounds, While a visit to the vet wouldn’t be out of the question for an exact determination of this curious sound, it seems likely that it could be what people sometimes call a “reverse sneeze.” What does a reverse sneeze look like? Typically, during a reverse sneeze episode, a dog will extend their neck, rapidly inhale air and honk or choke a bit. It got the moniker “reverse sneeze” due to the fact it seems like just that--the opposite of a sneeze. The good news is that, even though it might look as though your dog … [Read more...] about Reverse sneeze: Cool trick or cause for concern?
Dear Tabby, We have a skunk who passes through our yard on occasion. Luckily, our dog hasn’t tangled with the skunk yet, but in the event that it happens, what do we do? That “Skunking” Feeling in Garden Oaks Dear “Skunking” Feeling, First of all, skunks are everywhere -- in the country and in the city -- so even if your dog isn’t galavanting all over the countryside, he or she might still encounter a “Pepe le Pew,” possibly even in the middle of Houston. Contrary to popular thought, skunks don’t technically hibernate in the winter. They do become less active in the cooler months, but if spooked or otherwise threatened, they’ll certainly spray -- no matter what the weather is like. Boasting an excellent sense of smell and hearing, the poor stinkers can’t see worth a darn, … [Read more...] about De-funking after a skunking
Dear Tabby, How often should I be cleaning my dog’s ears? His ears get sort of stinky, but I’m not sure how (or if) I should clean them. Concerned about clean ears in Cottage Grove Dear Concerned, The regularity with which you clean your dog’s ears depends on your pet's breed, coat, level of activity, age, and ear wax production. Most vets recommend that dogs with normal ears have cleanings at least once a month. Others may need more frequent cleanings, especially those that regularly swim or get their ears wet. The how-to’s of clean ears So, if your dog’s ears are due a good cleaning, how do you do it? First of all, if your dog has very red, itchy, inflamed and painful ears, see your vet before you start cleaning. It is quite likely your dog has an ear infection, so ear cleaning … [Read more...] about How often should you clean your dog’s ears?
Dear Tabby, We have some aggressive dogs that live in our neighborhood. They sometimes get out of their yard and wander around. I’m so worried that someone will be bit! What should we do to stay safe around these dogs? Worried about aggressive dogs in Woodland Heights Dear Worried, You’re right to be worried. Did you know (according to www.dogbitelaw.com) that dog bites send more than 898 people to the hospital per day? The Greater Houston area sees its fair share of dog bites, so BARC has released some tips and suggestions for avoiding a dog bite and also how to react in the event of a dog bite. "All dogs may potentially bite and it's important to always be aware of that," BARC spokesman Chris Newport said. "Dog bites are not exclusive to any breed or size of dog. By following … [Read more...] about What to do if you encounter an aggressive dog
Dear Tabby, With our recent rains, we have had mushrooms popping up all over our yard. What would happen if our dogs ingested any? Are they toxic? Not So Mellow about Mushrooms in The Heights Dear Not So Mellow, You’re absolutely correct to be concerned about your dogs eating mushrooms. While many of the mushrooms that grow in our yards would be relatively harmless if consumed, 1% of mushrooms that have been known to grow in yards are extremely toxic and deadly. Among the most deadly are the Amanita phalloides “Death Cap Mushroom”, Amanita ocreata “Angel of Death”, Lepiota “False Parasol”, Galerina amanita, Muscaria "Fly Agaric," and Amanita gemmata "Jeweled Death Cap". The problem with many of these toxic mushrooms is that they give off a fishy odor, which entices a dog to eat … [Read more...] about Are your backyard mushrooms dangerous to your dogs?