General Questions

1- I bought a puppy that’s limping, but they told me he would be ok

You should never buy a puppy that’s limping because that problem can last forever. Animals that are sold by breeders or pet shops must be healthy, they should also have a health certificate signed by a veterinarian that examined the puppy and noted the vaccines administered so far.

2- My dachshund (sausage dog) goes up and down the stairs and I’ve been told it’s dangerous

Totally dangerous, when your sausage dog goes up and down the stairs, his back suffers a deep extension every time he does it, and an intervertebral disc injury may occur.

3- My dog likes to drink water from the pool

Very dangerous, since that water has chlorine/bleach and other harsh chemicals that can be potentially aggressive to their digestive system.

4- I put creolin in the water when I bathe my dog, for fleas, and they’ve told me it’s bad

Creolin’s formula is effective to disinfect inert surfaces, but it should not be applied to live animals’ skin. It can produce local or general effects.

5- I don’t know how to make my dog throw up if he eats something poisonous, such as rat poison

You can induce your dog’s vomit at home by giving him hydrogen peroxide (1-2 ml per pound). You can also place some salt at the base of your dog’s tongue, wait for a couple of minutes, and your dog should start vomiting.

6- My 9-year-old German shepherd has trouble lifting the back part of his body

You should go to see your vet so he can x-ray your dog’s pelvis, since large dogs tend to suffer from degenerative hip deceases. Your dog’s weight is of extreme importance, if he is overweight, the load on his hips will be greater and he will be in greater pain.

7- My cat used to like drinking the liquid that dripped from the car’s engine, one day he got really sad and he died

Many times, automobile coolants contain Ethylene glycol, this component’s taste is sweet, but it can prove lethal for cats and dogs since it produces irreversible kidney damage.


1- Dogs like to eat grass. Should we allow them to do it?

This behavior is not normal, since dogs are not herbivorous. Many times they do it due to a digestive system discomfort/disorder (colitis, gastritis, flatulence, digestive indiscretion, etc.). It could also be due to parasites, nutritional deficiencies, among others. A veterinarian can help you find the reason.

And the answer is no, you should not allow your dog to eat grass. Grass has sharp edges that can damage the delicate structures of the walls of the digestive tract. In the simplest case, grass can be contaminated with fertilizers, insecticides, parasites, etc.

2- Is it better for animals to be outside, or inside the house?

That is a personal decision. For pets in general, it will always be better to live inside the house, since they’ll be safer and their quality of life will be greater. We can bathe them, take care of their hygiene in general, and also teach them good behavioral habits. Of course, this would be easier with a pet of a small size. Pets that live outside are “unprotected”, and therefore more exposed to risks that could threaten their lives (from getting serious sunburns to being electrocuted by lightening). The transmission of deceases to pet owners and humans in general becomes easier when our pets are in contact with the exterior, or wildlife.

3- Dogs eat bones, ever since I can remember I’ve seen dogs being associated with bones

True; however, it is also true that we have seen numerous intestinal perforations, and peritonitis, caused by a bone splinter that pierced the dog’s intestines. We have also seen intestinal obstructions with necrosis caused by the ingestion of bones. When the bone is chewed, the dog swallows particles that are very hard, these particles clump up and form a mass that doesn’t slide through the intestines easily (due to its stiffness and lack of flexibility), and an blockade is produced. These cases generally have to be resolved surgically, if they are diagnosed on time, and they are definitely costly. If you know the hazard, you can avoid the problem.

4- Dogs in Cuba eat everything. Why is it that dogs here in America cannot do the same?

There are genetic and environmental factors that play a role in this. In Cuba, many dog generations have been fed that way. A repeated environmental phenomenon creates a genetic condition that allows a certain degree of tolerance in descendants. Mixed breeds possess a genetic factor called “hybrid vigor”, or “ outbreeding enhancement”, which is less present in pure breeds abundant in our country. This “hybrid vigor” provides the animals with greater strength of course. The level of veterinary medicine and diagnosis in Cuba is extremely low compared to ours in the United States (third world country and first world country); consequently, many of the complications produced by the unstable management of the animals’ diet/nutrition will not have a firm/confident evaluation/diagnostic. Many animals that come from Cuba get sick here too due to the dietary variation/indiscretion.

5- My dog has eye discharge; he must have parasites

Having ocular discharge doesn’t necessarily indicate parasitism. There are multiple conditions that can generate this problem. From allergies, to substances that expand through the air, ocular trauma, a pathological disposition of the eyelids, even canine distemper, the worst decease (after rabies) a dog can get, can produce ocular discharge.

6- “Once the rabid dog is dead, rabies is gone”

Totally false. We live in a country with a high level/enforcement of decease control, and laws that protect our health. A rabid animal could already be eliminating the virus before showing symptoms, so, if the animal dies, the possibility of observing the evolution of the problem or decease is lost; and effectively protecting the people or other animals that were in contact with the sick dog, gets complicated, since all information about what was happening is lost. When a rabies-infected dog bites a human, certain legal regulations that force the owner to facilitate at least 10 days of observation or quarantine (coordinated with a veterinarian of course) must be satisfied.

7- All dogs have a strong and unpleasant smell

Not true. Healthy and clean dogs and cats don’t have a strong and unpleasant smell. The ones that do, in spite of being clean, are certainly having dermatological issues that for some reason trigger an inflammatory process that produces skin glands secretion, giving it a characteristic and unpleasant smell.


1- They say sweet potatoes are good for pet’s hair. Is this true?

I haven’t really read a single scientific article, or investigative journal that validates this popular dictate. What we are definitely sure of is the fact that sweet potatoes are a great source of energy, since they are rich in carbohydrates, therefore, its consumption can make your pet fat. This is more prejudicial than beneficial.

2- My pets get bored of eating the same thing every day and I think it’s only fair that I change the flavor

A healthy pet can consume the same food throughout his whole life without getting bored. What’s actually recommended is for dogs to always eat the same food, that way their digestive system doesn’t have to make any functional readjustments, and the collateral damage of consuming food your pet is not used to, can be avoided. Our food (home-cooked food) calls our pets’ attention, they love it, but in 95% of the cases, when pets consume our food, they run the risk of undergoing serious health complications.

3- If I don’t feed boiled chicken meat to my Chihuahua, he simply will not eat

We need to try, by all means necessary, to guarantee healthy foods and balanced diets for our pets. There are many doctors, scientists, nutritionists, whose job is to formulate quality food, let’s allow these professionals to help. You can also ask your veterinarian to recommend a type or brand of food, since there are some better than others. A nutritional deficiency can be created if we feed our dogs chicken, they might like it better, but there are important nutritional components that are not found in chicken.

4- I put a large amount of food for my dogs or cats, and I leave it out the whole day so they can eat when they feel like it

Our pets must eat at a fixed hour, during a limited period of time, at least twice a day. Not having control of the amount of food we are serving them, and the time it takes for them to eat, develops bad habits, and causes obesity problems, among other issues. If you need to give your pet some medicine, good habits facilitate your job. Pet owners must be aware of this, and have the necessary knowledge to measure and offer the food to their pets. Animals don’t know which are the things that will be bad for them, or good, for that matter.

5- My cat and my dog do not like dry food

Dry food, which comes in pellets of different sizes and shapes, helps maintain a good oral hygiene. When animals chew it, a mechanical cleaning is produced. It also strengthens their dental support tissue. Older pets, or pets with oral problems and multiple extractions, must be seen by a veterinarian so he/she can recommend the appropriate diet. We must point out that dry food, because of its nutritional concentration, could be aggressive to animals with digestive problems such as gastritis or colitis. These animals must eat wet food, of course after consulting with the veterinarian.

6- My dog loves carrot, bananas, and apples

We have seen cases at our clinic with serious problems after pets ate raw carrots. Although we don’t possess enough information about certain foods and their effects on pets, we definitely don’t recommend venturing into giving our pets just any type of food. We know onion and garlic can be fatal, as well as chocolate. We have seen serious cases of colitis produced by bird food that has fallen from the birdcage and was eaten by pets. We must insist you feed you pet according to your vet’s established diet plan. That is the key, to ask your doctor. There are certain things we have been doing our whole lives, yet that doesn’t mean they’ve been done appropriately or correctly.