We understand that certain topics can be awkward to discuss with your vet.
At Firehouse, our goal is to ensure your comfort during every visit. Yet, don’t worry about asking us embarrassing pet questions. Chances are, we’ve addressed them before with our own pets and with other clients. Your inquiries are always welcome!
Talk to us about your concerns at your yearly wellness visit, or call us any time. We’re always happy to chat between appointments.
Five Awkward Questions You Always Wanted to Ask Your Vet
1. Why does my dog’s “willie” stay out?
A dog’s penis can extend or become more visible when the dog is excited or stimulated. This is a normal physiological response called “penile erection.”
Even if a dog is neutered, their penis can still respond to stimuli such as excitement or play by becoming more visible. This is a natural reaction and not a cause for concern in most cases. However, if the erection persists even when the dog is at rest, call us to rule out any underlying health concerns.
2. Is it normal for my cat or dog to eat poop (its own or another animal’s)?
Eating feces is called “coprophagia.” And yes. It’s totally normal.
Here in Central Texas, our dogs love to eat deer pellets. These may contain partially digested plant material (rosemary, leaves, etc.) that tastes yummy to dogs.
Mother cats may eat their kittens’ poop to keep the nesting area clean. It can also indicate an inherited ancestral trait to protect their young from predators who are attracted to the den by the scent of feces.
In extreme cases, it may show dietary deficiencies, boredom, or medical issues. Feel free to call us to rule out an underlying problem and discuss ways to discourage this behavior.
This, along with smelling our guests’ crotches, is embarrassing yet normal.
Your dog could be humping for sexual motivation. Yet, more often than not, pets hump because they’re excited, stressed, or self-soothing. They might also hump to show dominance.
Cats hump as well, though less often. Cats may hump for sexual reasons during heat, as territorial displays, due to stress or anxiety, or as play behavior when young kittens. With cats, humping is rarely a sign of underlying medical issues.
We can offer behavior modifications if humping gets out of control. We can also refer you to our trusted behavior experts in Austin, who can help.
4. Why in the world is my pet licking his private parts?
Your dog or cat is probably licking himself to clean himself.
If your pet is licking more than usual, something is wrong. This might indicate discomfort, allergies, infections, or a behavioral issue.
You know your pet best. Please call us if they’re acting unusual. We can talk about your concerns and offer treatment options.
5. Help! My dog is stinky ‘down there.’
Foul odors near the anal area can be related to anal gland issues. We can assess if they need expression, a common procedure to relieve discomfort, or if other underlying problems are causing the smell.
While cats also have anal glands, issues with them are less common than in dogs. In cats, foul odors near the anal area may indicate other issues, such as anal sac problems or infections.
Is there something we didn’t answer? We’re always here to offer vet advice for pet parents. Don’t be shy when it comes to your cat or dog.
Call us to schedule an appointment today.