Time to Curb Yen for Avocados

Ericson, a practicing Orange County veterinarian, is president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Assn

Q. Are fruits such as bananas and avocados harmful for dogs to eat? Our female Dalmatian loves to eat the avocados that fall from the tree in our yard. She chews them and plays with them for hours and does not seem to get sick. She also likes to eat the bananas that the boys give her and will occasionally eat grapes. She is given canned dog food mixed with some dry food and always seems to have a great appetite. We were wondering if there might be a problem.

Pamela Timmons

Costa Mesa

A. Since your dog seems to be doing so well and is obviously very active, I would say that eating fruits should cause her no problems. I would be concerned about the seed or pit from the avocados since, if she eats several of these, they may cause an obstruction in her stomach or intestinal tract, which could lead to serious complications that could require surgery. You should try to keep the yard free of any fallen avocados.

Q. About two years ago, we had our Labrador spayed just after her first heat cycle. She's been doing fine until this past week, when we noticed a small amount of dark drainage from the area of the surgery. She always eats well and doesn't really get sick. Could this be a result of her surgery? Could the surgery have been incomplete? How can we find out?

Mrs. William Seimer

El Toro

A. Anytime there is an abnormal discharge from the vulva, you should have your dog examined by your veterinarian. Since your pet has been spayed, there may be a local infection inside the vulva or there may be a serious urinary bladder infection occurring. Your veterinarian will scope her vaginal tract looking for signs of infection, lacerations or ulcers or the possibility of a foreign body such as a foxtail. A urinalysis should be done to rule out a bladder infection and blood may be drawn to check for signs of infection in the circulation. A culture of the discharge may be done to help identify the bacteria that are growing there and help choose the best antibiotic to fight the problem. Talk to the veterinarian who did the spay surgery and ask about the procedure that was done. A radiograph may be needed to see if there is any enlargement of the uterine "stump" that is left after surgery. In some cases, an exploratory surgery may be needed to check for any complications. Be sure to let your vet know if your pet is on any medications or may have come into contact with other people's prescriptions that may have been accidently ingested.

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