Conflicts in the life with pets

I have been a veterinarian for sixteen years and through all this time I have been the witness of many conflicts among people, due to the pets. The fights or aggressions between cats and dogs, night barks or meows, etc, make that the neighbours fight or that the complaints, between the passers-by, who feel damaged by the action of a pet animal, arise.

As in each side of life, there are a lot of rules and laws about having pets, in fact there have already been articles doing with this matter in this paper, however, the behaviour of our pets is ruled mainly by their instincts missing that rationality that their owners should have in order to minimize as possible the disturbs made by their pets.

So, some of the practical recommendations to avoid the problems caused by our pets would be:

  1. To avoid that the dogs are free in spaces where there are more animals or people (parks, promenades, etc.).
  2. Do not allow your children to touch or play with unknown cats or dogs.
  3. If your dog has been aggressive with animals or people before, walk it out with the muzzle.
  4. If your dog has fought before with a neighbour’s, avoid meeting him/her. Reach an agreement to do different walks or to walk them out at different times.
  5. If your dog barks all the time, when it is alone or against any external stimulus, especially by night, ask advice to a professional.
  6. If your dog is on heat, extreme the measures and avoid she escapes from home and take her out always with the lead.

To sum up, let’s have common sense and be responsible. In my opinion, the way in which a pet is had is the prolongation of the owner’s personality. So, if someone is not well-mannered when driving, and does not behave politely or show no respect for the others, he/she neither will do in a responsible way with his/her pet. The other day, I watched how a dog, which was walking free, jumped onto a Yorkshire which was tied up to a baby’s chair, in the tumult, both the baby and the grandma fell down to the floor, nobody was damaged although it was something disagreeable which could have been avoided if the aggressor dog would have been tided up. The serious thing was that the owner of the animal who provoked the incident eluded his responsibility and went away, instead of helping the baby and the grandma or apologising.

You cannot imagine the amount of incidents the kind I have been witness of due to my job: “your dog has raped mine”, “that’s yours which has provoked him, the so bitc...”. Please, let’s behave with the rationality our pets miss. To live in community is not so difficult with a little respect, sensibleness and well-manners.

Dog abandonment

When someone decides to adopt or buy a pet animal, this should be a meditated act and not a thoughtless impulse. Taking an animal in our life has some involvements that are not usually valued properly and take pets into bad conditions or to be abandoned.

None of these two options are tolerable. If you can’t have a dog due to the lack of space, time or other some motivations, the best thing for you is not to have it. In this same sense, there is the refusal of many people to sterilize their female cats and dogs still knowing they will be pregnant.

The final consequence is the animals abandonment. They are left alone in far places or tied to the vet clinic’s doors at night. This is not an isolated fact but a very usual one.

Abandoning an animal is the final consequence of an adoption done without thinking and shows very little education and none common sense. I can understand that someone can dispense with their pet due to certain personal circumstances. In this case, the right thing would be to find another owner.

I can’t understand those people who just leave puppies or dogs tied up to our door and run away without talking to us. Some people think vets have the duty to take the animals they don’t want. Vets have the duty to assist all the animals needing medical assistance for health reasons, but not to house all the animals which are abandoned by their owners.

If the services offered by vets, hostels and the Town-Hall were consulted previously and with enough time, animal abandonment could be avoided.



When this season comes, we can realise with horror how our cats and dogs are full of not so beloved guests, called external parasites.

Their vital cycles and the risks of the infections by fleas and ticks have been already explained in some previous articles, so today we are only advising in order to avoid their presence on our pets.

In general, we have to bear in mind that some animals are more predisposed than others to be attacked by parasites. On the other hand, the atmosphere where they live in is very important, so the problem is bigger in animals living in rural environments that those living in cities.

Nowadays, we have a great number of excellent anti-parasites that act in different levels of the parasite’s cycle of life (eggs, larva and adult), as well as different presentations (sprays, shampoos, dust, tablets, collars or injections). Sometimes, we need some of these products combined in order to keep our pet free from bugs.

As a general recommendation, and I am not intending to favour any brand in particular, I would say that you must distrust in the anti-parasite collars that cost less than 10-12 euros. It is true that there are excellent anti-parasite collars between 14 and 20 euros, but if they are used as the only means of protection, they will work in dogs and cats living in a flat and going out just around urban places with little plants. If our pet, as the most of them here, lives in a house with garden and usually goes out to the countryside, it will also need protection from other anti-parasite agent. In this sense, vets usually recommend the anti-parasites collars together with some topic pipes that are applied once a month. Some of these pipes cannot be applied in cats due to their high toxicity, besides they are expensive, although effective, and their price is between 18 and 48 euros.

We must never forget the treatment of the environment, especially in those animals living in small places with land and plants where they never go out from. In this case, we need products to kill as the adult parasite as the larva.

On the other hand, we have to bear in mind that if our animal is allergic to fleas’ saliva (one of the most common allergies in pets) it is recommended to use some tablets that avoid their reproduction avoiding eggs’ break, as well as some adults products very specific for fleas’ control.

Parasites are not only disturbing animals due to itch and swelling, but they can transmit number of diseases to our cats and dogs, as we saw in some previous articles. Besides, depending on the animal, its habitat and particular features, specific products will be needed, and these can be only recommended by a professional. Consult your vet, since he/she will be the best person to advice you about this and other aspects concerning your pet.


Newborn puppies' care

Watching both delivery and the first breast-feeding days is very important in order to avoid problems and help the female dog with her offspring. Although, nature is wise and the mother herself provides her puppies with all the care they need most of the times.

As we explained in a previous article, the expulsion time can vary between twenty minutes and three hours between puppies (this time can be bigger when it is the first delivery for the mother). When the puppy is born, the umbilical cord, that transports the oxygen into the foetus when it was inside, is broken and the puppy must start breathing for itself. That is why the mother cleans consciously the tissues and fluids away from the newborn in order to clear the aerial conducts and stimulate breathing. If the puppy does not breath, we must act quickly and clear the nose and mouth as efficient as possible. You can use a syringe to absorb liquids. Then, you will introduce air into its mouth for twice or three times, pressing softly its thorax and massaging its chest. These steps are usually effective, except when the animal is not breathing for a long time or it has serious disorders. Obviously, when we assist deliveries in our clinic, we have vacuums, medicine to stimulate breathing and oxygen sources.

Once we are sure the puppies are alive, we will dry them with a towel and take them into a hot place (25-30°C.). As they are not able to balance their temperature, you will use calefaction, thermic floors, infrared lamps or hot water bags. The nest must be kept cleaned, since the puppies will defecate and urinate there for the first days, and if this place is not cleaned, it might cause deadly umbilical or skin infections.

It is fundamental to be sure that all the offspring can get the special milk segregated by the mother the 48 hours after the delivery. It will avoid many infections until the third month of life, when the antibodies of that milk disappear from the puppies’ blood.

On the other hand, you must observe that all the puppies are well fed during the breast-feeding. If we see that the puppies are too numerous, the mother does not have enough milk or the puppies often cry, we can help with artificial milk that is easy to find in specialized shops. In any case, and in spite of being right all the care, it is usual to lose part of the offspring, especially those that are a consequence of very long deliveries or with a great number of puppies. The small size races are especially sensitive to hypothermia and hypoglycaemia, so the environment conditions and the milk doses for every puppy must be especially cared.



Pseudo-gestation, also called pseudo-nursing or psychological pregnancy is a phenomenon happening to female dogs between two or three months after ovulation. This is caused by a decrease in the levels of progesterone in the blood that causes an increase of a hormone called prolactin, which is the direct responsible for all the symptoms dealing with this profile.

Pseudo-gestation’s characteristics are doing with an increase in the volume of the feeding glands that sometimes may cause some liquid similar to water, blood or milk. Besides, the dog usually shows frequent changes in the behaviour including anorexia, nesting conduct, decrease of movements, irritability and «adoption» of objects.

This profile must not be considered as a disorder since it is a common phenomenon happening not only in pets but also in other species of social carnivores. In several of these species, pseudo-gestation allows all the females in the group participate in the feeding of their offspring.

Bearing in mind that the members of a same group are usually family relatives, it has been suggested this phenomenon may have kept through a process of relatives selection.

Pseudo-gestation is usually finished some days later and it does not need any treatment. However, if the changes in the behaviour are really disturbing for the owner or the increase of the feeding glands is uncomfortable for the dog, medicine inhibitors of the prolactin synthesis could be used, although the definite solution and the one we recommend the most is sterilization. Opposite to what many people think, the fact of a real pregnancy and the natural feeding does not avoid the rise of this phenomenon in the following ovulation.


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