Sunday, January 18, 2009

Propolis Recommended for Pet’s Dental Problem

By Dr. Michael Fox, United Feature Syndicate, 1/18/2009

DEAR DR. FOX: We have a 3-year-old Ragdoll cat, Gus, who is an extremely fussy eater. When we first got him, we fed him soft food and bit of dry/hard as a supplement. When so many cat foods were recalled, I tried making his food, but he wouldn't eat it.

His teeth are not healthy. Not long ago, our veterinarian had to pull four teeth and prescribed a special diet of dry food by Science Diet formulated for cats with bad teeth. Knowing what we know about nutrition for cats, we were uncomfortable feeding him only dry food, so we introduced him to Spot's Stew, and he is wild about it. We feed him the stew once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We do not give him the recommended amount for his size, but we do give him the prescribed dry food as a supplement. On average, he eats about a 1/4 cup of the prescribed food daily.

How can we to help him maintain the health of his teeth? We've tried many methods for brushing his teeth, but none have proven successful. -- R.G., Woodstock, Md.

DEAR R.G.: Dental problems are common in cats and can be linked with other health problems, including diabetes mellitus and underlying chronic viral infection.

I don't see how a hard/dry food can benefit a cat with bad teeth, gum disease and recent tooth extractions. High cereal content in the dry food could bring on diabetes, obesity and liver disease.

Add a few drops of cod-liver oil -- it has anti-inflammatory effects and will help the gums -- to his food. Try getting your cat used to having his teeth rubbed with a piece of gauze that has been dipped in a mixture of baking soda, salt and a few drops of oil of cloves or thyme and propolis (available in many health stores)…

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