DEAR DR. FOX: I would like some help. My vet is a very good vet, but not informed on my problem.
I have a small Yorkie. She was born with both male and female reproductive organs. Where they operated on her, some skin is coming out. It has a discharge and swells. The vet gave me EnteDerm ointment, which takes the swelling down. She is such a sweet, special dog -- healthy, active and spoiled -- and I wouldn't trade her for anything.
Is there anything else I can do? I have enclosed some photos. I just hope you don't think I'm crazy. -- V.W., Jackson, Missouri
DEAR V.W.: I do not think you are crazy. You are clearly a devoted caregiver of a beautiful little dog. From the photos that you sent, it does seem that your dog is a hermaphrodite (endowed with genitals of both sexes). If she is excessively licking the part where she urinates, this could be preventing proper healing. What appears to be a small cyst requires surgical correction by a veterinarian skilled in soft tissue and reconstructive surgery. I would seek a second opinion without delay.
DEAR DR. FOX: Please help me with a problem my husband and I are having with our male cat Sidney, who turned 2 years old in August.
We adopted him from the Human Society when he was 1 month old. He was cute, loving and full of energy. We treat him with loving care and kindness. We play with him, groom him and feed him well with Fancy Feast wet food. He also gets regular checkups with our vet.
Within the past six to eight months, however, he is becoming more and more aggressive in his behavior. He bites (drawing blood), his ears go up, he growls in a high-pitched voice and chases after you. He used to spend time with us, but now he seems to want to be alone.
What's happening to him? He's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My husband will hold him in his arms for a minute or so, then Sidney will stare at him and suddenly become aggressive.
I am seriously thinking about giving him back. My husband and I are in our 70s and have very thick skin, which happens when people get older. We have had cats all of our married lives and have never had a problem like this before. -- N.A.G., Naples, Florida
DEAR N.A.G.: Consult with your regular veterinarian and with the Humane Society. A full wellness exam is called for whenever there is this kind of change in behavior. The advice of an animal behaviorist might be helpful; you might also consult my book "Cat Body, Cat Mind."
Interactive games early in the evening and a calming grooming session on a regular basis may be the best therapy. I would also transition gradually onto a better, ideally raw or home-prepared cat food. Treats of freeze-dried turkey and PetzLife's calming supplement @-Eaze may also help. Visit petzlife.com for more details.
(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.net.)