A: Today I would like to dispel a few myths, or “old wives tales” that we commonly hear in veterinary medicine.
• “My dog can’t be sick because his nose is wet.” Don’t ignore other signs because his nose is wet, and don’t take him to the veterinarian just because his nose is dry.
• “My dog is not getting all of the necessary nutrients in his diet because he is eating grass.” This is simply not true. Your dog just likes grass.
• “Bathing your dog more than once monthly will strip the oils from the skin and dry out the coat.” You can bathe your dog every day if you use a shampoo for pets that is mild and hydrating. This is no different than pampering your skin and coat.
• “If you cut the hair that falls in front of an Old English Sheepdog’s eyes, the dog will go blind.” When these dogs moved herds over miles of rough terrain, they needed eye protection from the sun, burrs and thorns. Now they just need a hair trim around their eyes so they can see that rabbit in the backyard.
• “Cats will smother infants.” A case has never, and likely never will, be reported.
• “If cats’ whiskers are clipped short, they will be unable to find their way around.” They do just fine.
• “Dogs have a special enzyme in their saliva that cleans wounds and promotes healing.” There is no “magic” in dogs’ saliva. There may be some mild antibacterial properties, but please take a wound to the veterinarian.
Information provided by Dr. T.S. Dermody, Ingersoll Animal Hospital, 3009 Ingersoll Ave., 274-3555.