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Health

Amputee pets get back on their feet with amazing prosthetics

Things looked grim for Oscar, a black cat in rural Jersey, UK, when he was badly injured in 2009 by a combine harvester and his back feet had to be amputated. But his owners didn’t give up on him: they took him to a neuro-orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick, who designed two custom-made prosthetic paws.

Dog’s allergies won’t abate with medicine

Dear Paws: My seven-year-old dog, “Cara,” itches terribly and scratches all the time. She may have allergies, but I’m not certain. I’ve tried several treatments including Benadryl, steroids, special shampoos and conditioners, sprays, pills, etc. I have her groomed regularly and during the last trip had her fur shaved off—because …

Interview: Dr. Karen “Doc” Halligan on affordable pet care

Dr. Karen Halligan talks with Paws Corner about the challenge of finding affordable healthcare:

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PawsCorner: One big issue for pet owners is the affordability of pet care. A lot of readers who write me are seniors on fixed incomes, a lot of them have financial challenges, are out of a job, and they’re having trouble finding affordable pet care. Are there some key things they need to focus on to keep their pet healthy, without spending too much?

Doc Halligan: One of the big things that happened in veterinary medicine … is this new company, FidoPharm, that’s come out with the first ever generic flea and tick product for dogs and cats. That’s revolutionary. I’ve been a vet for 22 years and it’s unheard of for a company to come out with a generic for pets. So many animals come to the shelters, come to the clinics, because they have problems with fleas and ticks which lead to worms, dermatitis and all these problems when the owners aren’t doing prevention.

What’s happened is Frontline Plus is quite expensive. PetArmor Plus is generic, so it’s basically the same thing as Frontline, same concentration, same active ingredients, but it’s half the cost. So that’s huge for pet owners across the country because every pet suffers from fleas and ticks. And the other thing is they’re able to get it at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. What happens is they don’t want to go to the vet, or even me, if I’m running out of cat litter, and I have to go to the pet store, it’s a pain, (especially) with gas being $4 (a gallon).

Now I’ve gotta get the owners to put it on, and they need to put it on before the flea and tick season. That’s the problem, a lot of times they’ll wait. Then their dog’s infested, they have worms, they have allergies, and then the bill is like $400.

All cat carriers are not alike

A recent notice on pet vaccination clinics in Massachusetts included instructions for cat owners: bring cats only in hard-sided cat carriers. Don’t bring them in soft-sided or cardboard carriers. This was an important note, and I’m glad they included it on their vaccinations notice. There are a number of reasons …