DEAR DR. FOX: You recently wrote about a dog with a skin issue. I urge you to inquire about a product that could cure this pitiful dog's problem. One product is Dinovite (dinovite.com).
My neighbor's Lhasa apso was on prednisone and a variety of allergy shots for five years without his terrible skin condition improving. After three weeks on Dinovite, the skin is clear. I've given the name and website to people I see whose pets are obviously in trouble. Months later, I bump into them, and their dogs are so happy. Dinovite cured the problem -- itching, oozing ears, terrible breath and fur falling out in hunks.
I take care of a big female golden retriever. I've done this for two years on weekdays while her owner works. He kept her in a room up to 14 hours a day. I was appalled at the neglect and persuaded him to let me take care of her weekdays, just not overnight. He finally agreed. Weeks later, he and his mother said that the retriever was a different dog: happy and relaxed. She wasn't the sad, depressed dog she'd been for well over a year.
I do not get a penny for taking care of her, nor have I asked for anything. I do this for the dog. Whatever she wants, I give it to her gratis. I have her on Dinovite. I sprinkle it, as prescribed, on her kibble. As a result, she sheds much less than before, her coat is soft now, her breath is sweet and she no longer smells "doggy." She also has stopped scratching herself. I do not get anything from the Dinovite people. I feel that telling people about it is helpful.
The Dinovite company makes a supplement for cats now, too. I wanted to ask you to investigate Dinovite. Some of the supplements you suggest are hard to get. Dinovite even pays for UPS shipping. -- A.G., Norfolk, Virginia
DEAR A.G.: I always appreciate hearing from readers who have discovered the benefits of various companion animal health care products, some of which are posted on my website, DrFoxVet.com.
I checked the ingredients of Dinovite, and, in my opinion, it is an excellent nutritional supplement for dogs and cats, improving coat and general physical conditions, and probably helping repel fleas.
You deserve a medal for caring for that neglected golden. It is disgusting how many people care so poorly for their animal companions, even when they claim to "love" them.
DEAR DR. FOX: We have a 2 1/2-year-old male presa Canario dog who weighs 130 pounds. He started having seizures when he was 1 1/2. He had three to four seizures the first hour, then farther apart -- one hour, three hours, five hours and one or two the next day. These were bad seizures: lying on one side, kicking and shaking. He now has seizures every three weeks.
Our vet prescribed phenobarbital and potassium bromide. He still has seizures every three weeks, almost to the day. We don't know if the medicine is helping, but it might be worse without it. We started giving him levetiracetam eight weeks ago, and there were no seizures for 4 1/2 weeks.
When the seizures come on a timed cycle, almost to a day, shouldn't there be a way to prevent them? -- R.C., Spring Church, Pennsylvania
DEAR B.B.: Seizures are very prevalent in dogs who, as a species, seem especially susceptible. The causes are many, which are difficult to determine and rectify. In some instances, it has a genetic or hereditary basis. In others, an adverse reaction (vaccinosis) to anti-rabies or distemper shots or severe liver disease seems to be the trigger.
Many dogs stop having seizures when their diet is wheat-free or when they are taken off manufactured dog foods that contain other potentially epilepsy-triggering ingredients such as monosodium glutamate.
Try this dietary approach, using my home-prepared dog food recipe posted on my website, DrFoxVet.com. Weigh your dog at the start to be sure you are not feeding too little or too much. Let me know if this dietary change helps. And, of course, gradually take your dog off the anti-seizure medication over a three-day period when you start this trial. Let your veterinarian and me know the outcome.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox's website at DrFoxVet.com.)