I could go on and on about this and probably come up with a lot more than 5, but there’s plenty of time to do some sequels. So in no particular order, here are 5 of some of the most common myths people ask about on a daily basis. (I use the word dog in this, but they all apply to cats as well.)
1. My dog must be sick because his nose is warm.
There are several places to take an accurate temperature on the dog, but the nose is not one of them. Note the multiple corollaries to this one: My dog’s nose is cold/dry/wet therefore he must be sick. I would love to be able to predict a dog’s state of health based on how his nose feels- it would make my job a lot easier!- but sadly, a warm nose means only that his nose is, well, warm.
2. My dog isn’t hurting that badly, because he’s not yelping.
This is usually said in relation to a limping dog. If you’ve ever known a person who was injured, or maybe even just someone who was arthritic, I imagine they probably don’t moan and groan every single time they take a step. That just takes too much energy, unless you are of course looking for attention and/or sympathy. Considering dogs are in general even more stoic that most humans, it stands to reason that they have a good ability to remain quiet even when they are experiencing discomfort or pain. Oftentimes people have no idea how much their dog is hurting until they treat the problem, and are then amazed at how much more spry their dog has become.
This also applies to pets with dental disease, when owners assume they are OK and not in need of treatment because they are able to eat despite a mouth full of rotting teeth.
3. My dog doesn’t need heartworm preventive because he’s not around other dogs.
Heartworms are spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. A dog can be infected with heartworms even if they have never met another dog in their life. Although there are some areas of the country where heartworms are endemic, even in areas with a low heartworm prevalence, like my own, we have been seeing it more and more. It’s so easy to prevent and so difficult to treat, there really is no reason to skimp on this medication.
4. I don’t need to neuter or spay my dogs because they are brother and sister. They know better.
Dogs, sadly, are not blessed with the societal norms that we are. Should they heed their biological imperative and procreate with a relative, there is no jail time, no fear of being ostracized from the community, no neighbors making rude comments about Deliverance, etc. So when it happens, the only one who looks bad is you.
5. My dog doesn’t need a dental cleaning. I brush his teeth once a week.
You brush your teeth twice a day (hopefully) or more, and you still need to get your teeth cleaned. Although we have suspected it for years, a recent paper in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association confirmed the link between dental disease and heart disease in dogs. It’s not just about the breath!
P.S. I don’t believe you about the tooth brushing.
I read #3, shook my head and said, ’Huh?’. Lol, I’ve never heard that one in reference to hw!
I have a question that was brought in part to the National Geographic show that was on last night about dogs and the conception/gestation/birth process. I’ve heard about the females absorbing puppies. The show last night mentioned that the fetus shrinks and becomes a bump on the uterus wall. My question is: how long does that bump stay? Over 6 mos. or a year does it become totally absorbed or is there always a bump, like an adhesion? Thanks for answering!
There was an article in our local paper last week talking about the influx in heartworms in dogs. I shook my head because heartworm medication is one of the easiest things to get Cookie to take. On the first of every month she eats her foul smelling liver chew. I do miss the ProHeart 6 injection although I saw that it’s back on market. I’ll stick with Heartgard for now though.
LOL at the tooth brushing. I tried so hard with Blade to do it but it got to the point where he was just licking the toothpaste off the finger scrub thing I had. I did it every other day and was successful about half the time. The other time we both had poultry toothpaste on our noses.
Dr. V says
Lisa, that’s an interesting question. To be honest I don’t know the exact answer on that, but I can do some research. My understanding is that those fetuses are completely resorbed, usually within a fairly short amount of time (weeks) depending on the cause of resorption, and would under normal circumstances don’t leave grossly visible evidence.
Chile, I loved ProHeart. I think people are scared of it now, but I didn’t have any problems with it.
I just noticed that it didn’t have FDA approval right now. I used it for a long time because my vet at the time was over an hour away. So you think it’s safe to use it again? With Cookie’s age, I may just keep her on Heartgard since she has no problems gobbling it down but I was happy to see it come back. It was so easy.