Golden Isles Animal Hospital 9 Glynn Avenue Brunswick, Georgia 31520 Locator Map
FAQ's - "Ask Doc"
Can I use human triple antibiotic ointment on my dog?
My dog has a small sore on her ankle. It is not swollen or hot to the
touch. Can I use Neosporin or Polysporin for humans on it?
Yes, for simple scrapes and abrasions.
It is okay to use human triple antibiotic ointment on simple scrapes or
abrasions, but if your dog's skin lesion is more extensive or does not
resolve itself within three to four days, you should have your dog
checked by your veterinarian. Some skin lesions have an underlying
cause that needs to be diagnosed in order to determine the treatment
necessary to allow the wound to heal. In some cases, what appears to be
a superficial wound is actually a small puncture that is festering
below the surface. If you find that the affected area becomes swollen,
tender or reddened, it needs the care of your veterinarian.
My puppy keeps urinating in the house.
What is the best way to clean up
My puppy is constantly relieving himself all over the house. It's
driving me crazy! Can you suggest a way to clean it up?
Use an odor neutralizer.
Most puppies have at least a few accidents during the housebreaking
stage. These need to be thoroughly cleaned up so that the puppy does
not return to the same spot in the future. If your puppy is having many
accidents, you should readjust your housebreaking techniques.
The best way to clean up a spot of urine is to soak up as much of it as
possible. If the spot is on linoleum or another hard surface, paper
towels and disinfectant can be used. If the urine spot is on a rug,
cover the spot with a paper towel and some layers of newspaper. You can
stand on the spot to draw out as much urine as possible.
Once the urine is soaked up, it is necessary to use an odor neutralizer
to eliminate the lingering odor of ammonia. If a dog smells any
residual urine odor, it is likely to urinate in the same area again.
Many pet stores and veterinarians carry effective urine odor
Remember that your puppy is just like a baby and needs to be monitored
at all times. Most puppies will show subtle signs that they need to go
to the bathroom prior to having an accident. If you can't be right
there beside your puppy at all times, it should be left in a crate. A
dog views a crate as a private den that it will not want to soil with
urine or feces.
It is also important to establish a set routine and stick to it every
day. Most puppies need to eliminate frequently when they are young,
especially after heavy eating or playing. Paper training is used by
some owners, but this method should be viewed as a temporary approach to
training. Crate training is a much more efficient means of
housebreaking a dog.
How can we rid our pets of fleas?
Category: Canine, Feline
We have two cats and two dogs, all of which are severely infested with
fleas. I have used dips, sprays, and flea collars, and have treated the
yard as well. We still have fleas, and they are driving our animals
crazy. What should we do?
It takes a lot of work.
Fleas continue to be an important problem of animal husbandry despite
the advances in flea-control products. Using conventional insecticides,
one must address fleas on the pet, in the house, and in the
environment, a three-pronged approach.
Dips are not safe when used often enough to be effective. Flea collars
are not generally useful, and sprays must be applied regularly to have
maximum kill. The yard products, such as organophosphates, should help
eliminate environmental fleas. You may wish to treat the shady areas of
the yard, under bushes and trees, where ultraviolet light does not
penetrate, especially if the pets lie there.
You did not indicate
whether the animals enter the house or garage, or if they go in the
car, but all areas that your pets visit must be treated, especially
with growth hormone regulators. The entire environment and the pets
must be treated concurrently; the clean, flea-free animals must be
housed in a flea-free area while the premises are treated. After
vacuuming the area rugs, be sure to throw the vacuum bag away.
Despite the apparent expense of the new, topical products such as
Frontline or Advantage, these products have proved themselves highly
effective in such situations. They should be safe for all members of
the household. Please discuss their utility with your veterinarian. He
or she will assess your situation and customize a flea-control plan for
you as economically as possible.
Since my male dog was neutered, his appetite seems to have increased.
Is this normal?
I had my male dog neutered recently, and since then, he's been hungry
all the time. Is this normal?
Watch those extra calories.
Neutering is an important part of pet health care. It prevents unwanted
litters (millions of animals are destroyed each year!), and eliminates
the possibility of testicular cancer. It also greatly reduces the risk
of prostatic infections as dogs get older.
Following castration (neutering), some dogs will experience a decrease
in desire for exercise. They also tend to become more interested in
family members, and food also takes on an increased importance to them.
Because of the decreased exercise tendency, and the increased interest
in food, castrated male dogs are more prone to obesity than intact
You can protect your pet from the host of problems that accompany
obesity by keeping his weight within an appropriate range. If your dog
is on a high calorie diet (such as a performance diet), then consider
switching him to a regular or low-fat or light adult diet. By
decreasing the calorie content in a cup of food, you can still feed a
reasonable volume without adding calories (and weight) to the dog.
Break his daily feeding into two meals. If a dog is fed only in the
morning, he is more likely to beg for food at night. Monitor his weight
on a weekly basis and adjust his volume of food to maintain an ideal
body condition. When offering treats, give one treat, not several.
Also, many dogs like low calorie treats such as rice cakes or carrots
as much as some of the higher calorie treats. Check with your
veterinarian regarding treats and diets if your dog has any dietary
Because your dog's initiative for exercise may be decreased, make it a
point to encourage a regular exercise program. With vigorous daily
exercise, the appetite tends to be more regulated, and your dog's
health will be improved. Sedentary dogs will gain weight and are more
prone to orthopedic problems. By encouraging and joining him in regular
exercise, you will find it easier to maintain his weight, and have the
added benefit of spending some quality time with him.
My dog has pus pockets or pimples all over his belly.
He is very itchy
and is constantly scratching. Could you tell me what causes this and
how I can treat it?
Pyoderma may present as "pimples."
What you are describing could be a pyoderma, which is a bacterial
infection of the skin. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus
intermedius. This condition may present as "pimples" with white-heads
or red bumps all over the skin. A pyoderma can be the result of several
things including skin parasites, endocrine diseases, a poor immune
system, fungal infections and allergies.
Superficial pyodermas typically involve the dog's abdomen and back.
Deeper pyodermas often affect the dog's chin, nose, legs and feet, as
well as other areas. It is not uncommon for dogs to develop pyodermas,
which can cause them to be itchy and uncomfortable. Pyodermas, and
other conditions with similar signs and symptoms, have to be diagnosed
and treated by a veterinarian.
Pyodermas are not contagious to people.
I recommend taking your dog to your veterinarian for an accurate
diagnosis and treatment. Treatment typically involves prescribing oral
antibiotics for two or more weeks, depending on the severity of the
How can I remove ticks from my dog and cat without harming the pets?
Category: Canine, Feline
Apply tweezers to the tick's head and pull gently.
Animals easily pick up ticks in their fur from the outdoors. Ticks will
attach themselves to the skin for several days, until they are full of
blood sucked from their host. During this period, they can transmit
serious diseases to cats and dogs and should be removed as soon as they
are detected on the animal. Some diseases can be prevented by early
tick removal, since the transfer of the infectious agent can take up to
Ticks should be removed with tweezers applied to the portion of the
tick's head closest to the skin. Pull gently and with steady pressure.
Examine the tick to be sure the entire head was removed. Afterwards,
the bite wound should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and rinsed
Several options are currently available to prevent ticks from attaching
themselves to your pet, and to kill the ones that do. Frontline® is a
safe and effective topical flea and tick control product that is
applied to the animal's skin once a month. A Preventic® tick collar,
although not a flea deterrent, is an effective method of preventing and
killing ticks for up to three months. There are many shampoos, dips,
and sprays that can be used to kill ticks in certain animals. However,
kittens, puppies, and some adult cats can be sensitive to these
products. Consult your veterinarian about which products are
appropriate for your pets.
My dog eats feces every time he goes outside. Is this unhealthy?
Every time my dog is let outside, he ends up eating the feces of other
dogs. This is a disgusting habit. Is it unhealthy, too?
Feces may contain parasites
Coprophagy, or eating feces, is an unpleasant but common behavior of
dogs. Unfortunately, dogs can become infected with intestinal parasites
by ingesting excrement, which may contain microscopic parasitic eggs.
Since your pet has been eating feces, it is very important that your
veterinarian evaluate a stool sample to look for infection.
There are several proposed causes for coprophagy. Boredom is one of
them; the behavior is more prevalent in dogs that are crated for long
periods of time without stimulation. In addition, dogs may eat their
own waste as a way of "hiding the evidence" if they receive punishment
for inappropriate defecation. Uncommonly, there are also some
underlying medical conditions that are thought to be associated with
coprophagy, such as a poor diet that is lacking in essential nutrients
or vitamins. The problem also may be caused by a pancreatic enzyme
Some behavioral experts feel that coprophagia may be related to a dog's
instinctual nature to scavenge for food. It is also possible that dogs
eat their feces as a way of playing, learning, and sampling their
Treatment of this problem can be challenging. The first step is to keep
the area where the dog voids meticulously clean. This often means
following the dog and immediately cleaning up the stool.
In addition, covering the stool with an ingredient that the dog
dislikes may be helpful. Compounds such as red pepper sauce or
bitter-tasting substances, which are available in pet stores, may
discourage dogs from eating feces. You can also try sprinkling dog
food with Accent meat tenderizer or MSG -monosodium glutamate- since
these products may help discourage the eating of stool.
Try to deter your dog from this behavior early on, before it becomes a
habit that is difficult to control.
Why does my indoor pet need vaccinations?
Category: Canine, Feline
Why does my pet need vaccinations? He rarely goes outside--and even
then, only when I am with him.
There's always a risk of infection.
Although your pet may have a low risk of getting diseases from other
animals, vaccinations are important because infection is always a
possibility. Some viruses can linger in the environment for some time,
long after the animals that deposited them have passed. And some
viruses, such as parvo, are severe enough to cause death.
We feel that we cannot emphasize enough the importance of having your
pet regularly vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is a fatal virus - not
only in many pets, but also in other mammals, including humans.
Consequently, rabies vaccination is required by law in all of the
Rabid animals act very strangely, lose their fear of
humans and other animals, and could approach you and your pet even in
the middle of the day. Further, bats are known to get inside houses
accidentally, and could spread rabies indoors. If your pet is not
current on its rabies shot, and it bites or nips a human being, your
regional health department could require the euthanasia to test your
pet for rabies. The cost of a rabies vaccination is very cheap,
especially when compared with the heartache that could be encountered
if it is not done.
The decision to vaccinate against other contagious diseases is one that
each owner has to make on a case-by-case basis. Because not all pets
have the same risk of exposure to certain diseases, not all pets need
the same vaccinations. Certain vaccines, such as that for feline
leukemia, are recommended only if a cat is spending time outdoors,
where it could be involved in a fight. Your veterinarian will make a
recommendation depending on your pet's individual situation. But as a
general rule, it is much easier and safer to prevent contagious
illnesses than it is to treat them.
Sometimes my dog makes a weird gagging, snorting noise. Is this a
What is wrong with my dog when it makes this coughing, snorting,
gagging noise while trying to breathe in and out? It only lasts for a
few seconds or minutes, and then it goes away.
The backwards sneeze.
This is known as a reverse sneeze. It is common in small-breed dogs,
especially when they get excited or are drinking water. Owners become
concerned when their pet makes these noises; some even fear that their
pet cannot breath. In general, it does not cause the dog any harm and
does not lead to any significant breathing problems. Reverse sneezing
usually goes away within a few seconds to minutes. It may be helpful to
massage the neck and try to calm the animal if it was previously
excited. Some animals can have this condition for their entire lives,
or it may develop as the animal ages.
Causes of reverse sneezing include allergies, viral infections,
excessive soft palate tissue, and nasal mites. Some cases of reverse
sneezing are idiopathic, which means there is no identifiable cause. A
reverse sneeze results from irritation to the nasopharynx. This
irritation causes the loud inspiratory and expiratory snorts that
prompt the owner to take the dog to the veterinarian. The nasopharynx
can be thought of as the part of the throat just above the soft palate.
The soft palate is a soft, fleshy tissue extension off the hard palate,
or roof of the mouth. If this problem continues, or appears to be
severe, you should consult with your veterinarian. However, most of the
time there is nothing to worry about.
Located in Brunswick on Glynn Avenue / Hwy 17 Near Gloucester Street :: Convenient To St. Simons & Jekyll|
Phone: 912-267-6002 Fax: 912-267-9471