Digestive System

You can't treat bleeding caused by periodontal disease at home, but you may be able to prevent it. Brushing your pet's teeth several times a week, or better yet, every day, is one of the greatest favors you can do for her. "Not only will you prevent the bleeding that may eventually occur with periodontal disease but you will also save her teeth," says Dr. Scheele.

There is no easy way to tame your pet's adventuresome appetite. What you can do is to provide safer things for her to raid. Most dogs enjoy gnawing on artificial bones from pet supply stores, which are much safer than meat bones or sticks, says Dr. Scheele. "If your dog has oral bleeding from chewing on rough or sharp objects, it is a good idea to soften her dry dog food for a few days by adding warm water and allowing the food to sit for 10 to 15 minutes," he adds. "This will give the gums a chance to heal. Or you can feed her a good quality canned food for a few days."

It is essential to put potentially dangerous items, from the kitchen trash to rodent bait, well out of reach. But dogs and cats are intrepid explorers, Dr. Jordan remarks. "No matter how carefully you place this poison, pets seem to find it." It is best to forget the poison and try some other means of pest control instead.

Even though blood in vomit isn't uncommon, you always need to call your vet, says Dr. Jordan. "Although it usually isn't caused by anything serious, sometimes it is, and then it can threaten your pet's life."

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Copyright 1999 Rodale Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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