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Just like kids, kittens have baby teeth, too

Animal Tracks Kathi Travers Chris asked: My five-month-old kitten lost a major canine fang on his left side. A month later there was another one growing in its place.

Animal Tracks

Kathi Travers

Chris asked: My five-month-old kitten lost a major canine fang on his left side. A month later there was another one growing in its place. Are kittens like kids and get two sets of teeth?

Kathi: Just like humans, kittens have baby teeth and are replaced by permanent teeth around the age of seven months.

Niall asked: Why do cats get fur balls and dogs don't when they both lick themselves?

Kathi: Cats unlike dogs groom themselves by constantly licking themselves, top to bottom. They have tongues that are like sandpaper and, when they lick their fur, it pulls the hair and everything on it into their mouths and stomachs. The hair has to go somewhere so what you see is undigested hair.

Mick asked: Why does my dog lift his back legs in the air and drag his bum across my carpet?

Kathi: What you are describing sounds very much like the dog's anal sacs need to be expressed. Anal sacs (also called "anal glands") are two small glands just inside your pet's anus. Both dogs and cats have these glands. The material secreted into these glands is thick and very smelly. Most animals can empty these glands voluntarily for scent marking or in self defence (similar to what a skunk does).

The semi-liquid, material is squeezed out naturally when dogs and cats defecate, but sometimes there is a problem and the glands must be expressed manually. This can be done by the pet owner but it is best done by a veterinarian or technician.

Hugh asked: Why does my dog howl at precisely 5:30 every morning?

Kathi: Howling is a form of communication. Your dog is trying to tell you something but you have to figure out what. It could be that he hears a regular noise in the neighbourhood that you cannot hear. He could be bored. He may have to urinate. He may just want you to get up and play. You are lucky. Our Carney used to wake me at 4 a.m. Holly is much better and waits until 6 a.m. Max sleeps until at least 9 a.m.

Jason asked: What are the advantages of having more than one dog?

Kathi: Having more than one dog will allow companionship for each other. This works very well for people that work and have limited time to spend with a dog. Dogs are den animals and thrive on companionship.

Achim asked: With Canada Day coming, what can I do to help my pet who has a fear of loud noises like fireworks?

Kathi: A clap of thunder or loud boom can send any dog, from the calmest to the toughest, scampering under a bed, hiding in a dark corner or whimpering at your feet. Dogs do hear in the ultrasound frequency range. If you know your pet has a fear, bring your pet indoors and into an area that is "safe" such as a room with a TV or music so the dog will be distracted.

Deborah asked: Help! My cat is up a tree. What am I to do?

Kathi: Unfortunately many cats do end up in trees. Just sit and be patient. What goes up can usually come down without help. Most cats just need a little peace and quiet and some time to ponder the situation.

Don't call the fire department. The noise and commotion of a fire engine could drive the cat even further up the tree. When trying heroic measures, in most cases someone, either the pet or the human or both, becomes seriously injured.


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