DEAR DR. FOX: We have a lovely, healthy 3-year-old cat, Rachel. She is affectionate, adaptable and a delight in every way.
My one concern is that she throws up about once a week -- sometimes after eating. Only rarely does it contain a hairball. Although she sometimes eats grass, that doesn't show up in her vomit. Because she does not drink much water, I have, on the advice of her holistic veterinarian, been feeding her wet food.
Being a cat, she has her own opinions on the matter. Despite her vet's recommendation and my valiant efforts to find a healthy, grain-free wet food that she likes, she has made it plain that she only likes two kinds: 9 Lives Prime Entree (tuna and shrimp) and 9 Lives Ocean Whitefish Dinner. So I give her a can of one of them each day, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of healthy, grain-free dry food. If left up to her, she would eat only dry food. She accepts any of the dry foods I give her. She weighs 10.8 pounds, which seems to be a healthy weight for her.
Should I be concerned about her throwing up, or is that just something some perfectly healthy cats do? -- K.K., Portola Valley, California
DEAR K.K.: There are many reasons why cats will throw up after eating, which you can discover on my website, DrFoxVet.com, along with solutions to try out.
Your cat may enjoy drinking water if it is filtered and purified -- many cats avoid municipal tap water for good reason (a report on this is also available on my website). She may drink more if provided an electronic drinking fountain. Many cats also drink more water when it is flavored with a little low-salt chicken bullion, which you can make zero-salt by making yourself: Just boil a few chicken wings and save the broth. Or she may enjoy equal parts skim milk and water.
One of our cats eats only dry food, Orijen being his choice. He also likes Stella and Chewy's new freeze-dried raw poultry nuggets. Add some water to your cat's dry food if the above drinking remedies don't work.
REMOVING EYE AND SKIN STAINS ON YOUR DOG
The Food and Drug administration has banned products being sold over the counter to help remove the brown-red tearstains on dogs, including a restricted antibiotic, tylosin -- which is safe for larger animals, like livestock. These stains are also seen on the paws, jaws, ears and groins of dogs, especially when they are white or have a light coat color. The stains, possibly aggravated by pet food dyes and natural porphyrin secretion, are associated with bacterial and fungal proliferation where the dog's fur is kept moist by other body secretions.
Douxo chlorhexidine cleansing pads are acceptable for use, and according to some veterinarians, they are very effective in eliminating the microorganisms in the fur that create the red-brown stain. The product contains chlorhexidine 3 percent, a bactericidal and fungistatic chemical; climbazole, which controls yeast overgrowth; and phytosphingosine-salicyloyl, which restores the skin barrier and limits inflammation.
(Send all mail to email@example.com 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.)