Let's spend this month busting some popular myths about animals. Here is a myth that nearly everyone believes. Coral snakes have to hang on and chew to envenomate. While this is their typical method of envenomation it is not the only way they can inflict a lethal bite. Coral snakes, when harassed or cornered can strike and envenomate. This is not their usual behavior but they are very capable of striking and delivering a dose of venom.
Here's another myth. Dogs eat grass when they are not feeling well to make themselves vomit. If you entertain yourself with a Google search on why dogs eat grass you will get over two and a half million responses. When you sift through the responses you will find very little scientific research on the subject.
What scientific research has been done suggests that dogs are seldom ill when they engage in grass eating behaviors. As this is the case and research hasn't found any other answer it appears that dogs eat grass because that's what they feel like doing at the moment. Young dogs seem to do it more often than older dogs. Perhaps they just like the taste.
Another myth that is kittens enjoy drinking cows milk and it is a good nutritional supplement for them. Kittens should, of course, drink their mother's milk. Once they are weaned and as they age, they lose the ability to process lactose. Drinking milk or other dairy products can seriously upset their digestive system much like when lactose intolerant people drink milk. Avoiding dairy products is best for cats, even if the cat says they would enjoy some milk.
There is much discussion about natural products for flea control. Garlic is frequently considered a natural product for flea control. The only problem with this idea is that it just doesn't work. Studies have been done and they find no indication that garlic, in any form, will control fleas.
Another myth is that house cats and dogs don't need regular veterinary care because they aren't exposed to anything. True they are at less risk of infectious disease. Although, there is a documented case of a rabid bat flying into an apartment and exposing the house cat to the disease. So house animals still have some risk of disease exposure.
House animals can develop metabolic diseases that with early veterinary intervention can be managed. Problems like, diabetes, Cushings syndrome, Addison's disease and others are all reasons for regular veterinary care for house animals. All animals benefit from regular dental care.
Animal myths abound. For the truth on these topics feel free to ask us. We know your pet, their previous health history and their environment and we can give you informed information about what is true, what is false and what is best for you pet.