Monday, June 23, 2014

The Elusive "Quick Fix"

My Jekyll pup

Often I feel that as veterinarians we forget to cover the "basics."

Answering questions on Pawbly is a very good reminder of this fact.

Pet parents are out searching for answers to their pets problems, or about the odd things they notice, and our job is to remind them,that quite often in life and medicine, there are "not easy quick fixes."

The client sees a problem and presumes that we have a solution to their pets need like a simple Good Housekeeping tip to cleaning a grass stain on your kids jeans. It is rarely so simple...and the one few simple fixes that I do see, often get met with arguments and resistance. (Want to guess what the one quick fix to one of the most common complaints I see in veterinary practice is..hint..the most common reason that people bring their dog to the vet outside of a routine annual examination is because... see the bottom).

Mary asked,

My 3 y/o tabby has thick stringy drool, and bad looking fur. This started after I brought home a rescue kitten. What will fix the thick drool?


The drooling, (what vets call pytalism or excessive salivation) has to be caused by something. In most cases it is either nausea, (after a cat eats grass, etc.), or when their mouth is bothering them.

In cats their mouth can be bothering them due to stomatitis, dental disease, or kidney disease.

Your vet should do an examination to help rule any of these out.

There is no way to treat the drool without addressing the underlying problem/cause. constant friend.


Krista Magnifico, DVM

OK, the answer to the question above is..
The most common reason people bring their dog to the vet is for a skin condition.
The most common skin complaint we get; itchy skin.
The most common reason we see it; fleas...
And the most argumentative diagnosis I make,,fleas. People for some reason that I don't quite understand do not want to believe, or admit, that their dog (or cat) has fleas. Which is odd to me because this is the easiest thing to alleviate, treat, and cure..

My second hint; The easiest way for me to identify a cat with a sore mouth is brown staining on the inside of the wrist of the cat. Cats with a sore mouth will often paw at their mouth because it hurts. The saliva deposits on the wrist as they wipe their mouth and over time it stains the fur in this area. (I will do my best to get a photo..)

Related blogs about cats and their mouth;

Top Five Items Overlooked By Pet Parents.

Stomatitis Case, Butterscotch's Story.

If you have a question, or even a basic pet fact that you have been wondering about you can ask me for free at

Or find me in person at the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, or anytime on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.

My tired boys.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the answers you gave to other pet owners. I'm learning a lot about how you as a veterinarian interpret our questions. Will continue reading.