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St Charles Veterinary Hospital
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Small Animal and Exotic Veterinary Hospital
Small Animal and Exotic Veterinary Hospital

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Dr. Polly,
Can you fill me in on the Canine Influenza I have been hearing about on the news! I live in a retirement community with a dog park and my neighbors were telling me I should get Buttons and Missy vaccinated. What do you think? ~ Ginger

Hi Ginger,
Well, the H2N3 (Canine Influenza) is a serious disease and in very young dogs and very old dogs can die. This disease is very infectious and spread via the air. Dog Parks, Grooming and Boarding facilities, etc. are spots your dog will get infected. If you do not take your guys to these places you don’t need the vaccine. You must get the initial vaccine then 3 weeks later the booster! ~Dr. Polly
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Dr. Polly,
Well, it’s that time of year again that Maggie dreads… The 4th of July! Please help me help her with this! I have tried the “thunder shirt”, I have tried acepromazine, I have tried the adaptyl… what else is there… She goes crazy and I think this year she will have a heart attack! ~Alvin
Poor Maggie,
There is still lots more you can do… Put on some music in your home, continue the “thunder shirt”, also the adaptyl. But the acepromazine does nothing for fear and anxiety…. Ask your veterinarian for some “trazadone” to help with that… Also, you can try melatonin at 5mg/10 lbs…. I hope this helps! ~Dr. Polly
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Dr. Polly,
My new rescue dog Benny loves to go running with me. But it is getting so hot outside, do I need to be concerned? ~ Jennifer

Jennifer,
Yes! Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be fatal to pets! Keep summertime runs confined to early morning or late evening when its coolest, and keep them to an appropriate distance for your dog. Also, carry a portable water bowl. If you’re ever concerned your pet may be too hot, cut the run short and contact a veterinarian if your pet seems distressed. ~Dr. Polly
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Dr. Polly,
I recently moved here from up north, and this will be my first hurricane season. What do I need to do to be prepared for my pets? ~Martha

Martha,
If you live in a mobile home, have a list of shelters and evacuation sites which allow pets. Always have a carrier and a week supply of food, water, and medication ready. Pets should also be microchipped in case they get lost in the chaos. If need be, our clinic will act as an “animal shelter” for those who have to evacuate. ~Dr. Polly
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Dr. Polly,
My dog Maggie is 14 this year! Is there anything special I should be doing for her? Thanks, ~Cindy

Cindy,
As our pets age, there are a number of things we should be doing to help them age “gracefully” and keep an eye out for any diseases. First of all, they should have “Geriatric” blood work at least once yearly to screen for signs of kidney or liver disease, thyroid issues, etc. A veterinarian should also perform a thorough orthopedic exam to look for signs of arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Often, what pet-parents interpret as “slowing down” is really chronic pain. ~Dr. Polly
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Q: Hi Dr Polly: With the colder weather my three dachshunds are having back issues. My veterinarian up north did warn me they needed to lose some weight! Is there something over the counter while I’m down here that I can use? Aspirin or Tylenol? ~Ruth

A: Ruth; A BIG NO! Tylenol can cause liver failure and in cats, very rapid death! Aspirin made for humans has no buffer for the dogs very acid stomach & can cause GI bleeding and even gastric or intestinal perforation. There are many products that are for pain that you can get from your veterinarian. Also alternatives such as “Therapy laser” and Acupuncture are available! Get the weight off them also!~Dr Polly

Questions? email: DrPolly@aol.com
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Question: Dr Polly:
I have a dog that literally has teeth falling out of his mouth. The smell is nauseating! My problem is with three other dogs and a fixed income, I can not afford the vet bill. Can you help me with this? ~Irene​​

Answer: Dear Irene!
Why do you have 4 dogs if you are having problems caring for them? This is a serious health problem with that infection in your dogs mouth. Ask a family member to help you or take that little one to the SPCA & ask them to help. Many of these non profits work with people of low or limited income. Have your veterinarian script out some “free” antibiotics in the mean time! ~Dr Polly
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"Ask Dr. Polly" as featured in the Four Corners News Leader

Question: Dr Polly:
I am leaving the central Florida area for the summer and last year we came back to ALL our electrical chewed thru on our manufactured home! Is there any way to prevent this before leaving this year? We “ Summerize” everything else but this was a real problem! ~Jackie

Answer: Hi Jackie!
Well I would NOT put rodent bait under your home as other innocent critters such as cats and dogs may be poisoned! There is a rodent deterrent tape that you can buy at most auto parts stores! It’s laced with “ capsicum “ which is like eating a bite of “ five alarm” chili! Some people surround the wires with wire mesh also but it’s more difficult! Happy Travels! ~Dr Polly
Hi Virgil. Well for starters, please use booties on them when walking in public access areas. If they will not let you do this, get some baby wipes and wipe their feet down very well. Also, make sure you are using a good flea/tick product that will stop them form returning to your camper with those pets. Many of the over the counter products are not working and may have side effects to dogs or cats. Please bring your own bottled water and your very own bowl. Safe travels, Dr. Polly.

For more pet related questions email drpolly@aol.com
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"Ask Dr. Polly" as featured in the Four Corners News Leader

Question: Dr Polly:
My husband and I are divorcing after 30 years of marriage. I would never believe that splitting up our animals is more difficult than splitting children! What are the laws for animals in this case? My attorney has no clue! ~Bridgette

Answer: Bridgette,
I am sorry to hear about your loss. Under the law, animals are considered personal property. Normally, before a court decides who gets what property in a divorce, it must first consider whether its jurisdiction is a community property (split 50/50) or an equitable distribution (split fairly) state. It must then decide which property actually belongs to the couple (rather than to just the husband or the wife) and how much each piece of property is worth. Finally, it will take into account whether the couple already has some sort of agreement about who gets what (a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement). Even in deciding who gets the pets, the court goes through these same steps. ~Dr Polly

For more pet related questions email drpolly@aol.com
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"Ask Dr. Polly" as featured in the Four Corners News Leader

Question: Dr Polly:
I am devastated after the loss of my “Ruby”, a Red- Front Amazon parrot. She was about 36 years old and the love of my life. My problem is I want to give love and care to another bird but I am in my late 60’s and don’t want a little one again. Is there anywhere to adopt a bird like the SPCA? ~Annie

Answer: Hi ANNIE!
Call Florida Parrot Rescue! Why not foster a bird that needs your love? They have many species and in many different situations! http://www.floridaparrotrescue.com We have many clients that have become foster parents! ~Dr Polly

For more pet related questions email drpolly@aol.com
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