Q: Henry, My Yorkshire Terrier “Humphrey” drags his bottom on the carpet. Does he have worms? – Janet W., Suwanee
A: When a dog drags his hind quarters along the ground, he usually is trying to empty his anal glands. Dogs are in the same Canidae family as skunks and have similar glands that can get impacted. The old wives tale of having worms is rarely true in dogs dragging their bottom. Please see your veterinarian about having your dog’s glands expressed or, in chronic cases, surgically removed.
Q: Hobie Cat, my 16 year-old cat has started meowing loudly at night and acting senile. Do cats get Alzheimer’s disease? – Donna A., Buford
A: The most common cause for a personality change in senior cats is due to hyperthyroidism. Usually, this is caused by a benign growth on the thyroid gland. The excess production of thyroid hormone can lead to increase appetite, weight loss, hyperactivity, and erratic vocalization. Your veterinarian can do a simple blood test to check for this disease that can be treated by diet, medication, surgery, or even routine radiation treatment.
Q: Should my dog be on a grain free diet as recommended by my per superstore? – Travis J., Sugar Hill
A: In my opinion, the “grain free” diet is simply a marketing strategy for pet food companies. If a pet truly has an allergy to a specific grain (as confirmed by a 6 week true food trial,) then of course they should be on a grain free diet. Most pets benefit from a balanced diet of protein and carbohydrates. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for your specific pet.
Ask Henry at SugarHillAnimalHospital.com.