Mother Knows Best
Q: My mother told me to write you – as she says you are the person will all the answers. When I take my makeup off, I use baby oil. My cat, Daisy, sits on the sink waiting to lick the top of the bottle. Is baby oil harmful to cats? M. H., St. Petersburg, FL
A: Mothers typically know best, not me. But I know where to find the answers, and veterinary toxicologist Dr. Justine Lee says, “Baby oil isn’t particularly dangerous, assuming Daisy is just getting a few licks.” However, cats can’t metabolize oil well. That’s why Lee suggests offering Daisy a more interesting treat or catnip, or close the bathroom door to keep Daisy safely on the other side in the first place.
Q: My mother is a big fan of yours. My mother has heard that fish oil can be given orally to dogs for impacted anal glands. She has a small dog and would like to know if this is true. How about cod liver oil? Mom always thought cod liver is a good thing. Do you know? J. P., Houston, TX
A: As I said, mom knows best, and she’s generally right about benefits of both fish and cod liver oils.
Dr. David Twedt, a board certified specialist in internal medicine from Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, says Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish oils are good for canine coats, and can alleviate allergy problems (which might also affect the coat). Fish oils might even work as an anti-inflammatory, and some experts claim they can lessen the risk of developing some kinds of cancer and even support brain health (just as in people who take supplements).
However, Twedt knows of no study citing that fish oils alleviate impacted anal glands, or prevent the anal glands from impacting in the first place. Because they are good for your pet’s health, there’s no harm in trying a supplement of Omega 3 fatty acids or cod liver oil, readily available at pharmacies and where nutrition products are sold. Omega 3 fatty acids are also added to many pet foods.
About those anal sacs, changing to a diet with more fiber, and/or perhaps adding Metamucil to you’re pup’s diet might help. But then again, it might not help. If it doesn’t, your dog might scoot her rear end along the floor to tell you how uncomfortable she is when those anal sacs fill. Your vet or a veterinary technician can express or release the contents, offering your dog relief. Left ignored, impacted anal glands might become infected.
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