We think of our pets as family so when they get sick we panic and have a million questions. Well, no fear, Dr. Alice Weiss is here! Dr. Weiss has been working for 30 years as a licensed veterinarian and is here to answer any questions you may have about your best furry friends.
If you have a question for Dr. Alice about your pet, email it to: AskAlice@PetInsider.com.
Dear Dr. Alice,
My parakeet had a gigantic hissy fit a few nights ago. Screaming and flapping his wings. It took a long time to calm him down and get him to settle back down.. It scared me so much. I don’t know why he did it. And I am worried that he will do it again. Any advise?
Dear Flighty Feathers,
I am so sorry for you and for your bird. The syndrome has a name, called ‘night fright’ but no-one has any idea why birds do this. Most likely, birds in nature do this as well as caged birds. But caged birds can’t fly away so they stay in the cage and scream and flap and wake you up. (Children can have night terrors, which is like a nightmare combined with sleep walking but people can’t fly away either.) Just try not to worry about your parakeet because it is pretty rare for this to happen again. Thankfully your parakeet calmed back down. This is just one more reminder that even though we have domesticated animals for pets, they still have their animal instincts. And we humans are just one more species on this earth. Sorry to get so philosophical but sometimes I can’t help myself.
Dear Dr. Alice,
Our cat is so stressed. She is a big talker and always meowing, now even more than ever. Lately, she keeps missing the litter box for both #1 and #2. It does get incredibly annoying to be constantly cleaning up after her pees and poops. Our neighbor said we should ask our vet about drugs like Prozac for mental stability. What are your thoughts?
Bring her into your local vet’s office to check on whether she has a urinary track infection. If she is medically-a-okay, ask about behavioral issues because your neighbor could be right. Your kitty could have mental challenges. And she probably wants to tell you something with all her meowing but she just can’t tell you what she is thinking. Unfortunately, all creatures (dogs, cats, horses, etc.) can have mental problems like anxiety, dementia, or obsessiveness. And your vet can prescribe medications that might help.
Meanwhile, I would make sure you keep the litter box clean and use litter that has no odor. Put an extra litter box down somewhere else in the house so she has plenty of opportunities to do her ‘thing’. And since cats like certain surfaces to do their eliminations, cover up the surfaces she prefers, like use aluminum foil over the areas of the carpets. That will look crazy but if it pushes her back to the litter box..who cares? Once she gets into the litter box habit…move the aluminum foil. Unfortunately, don’t get your hopes up though. You may just have to invest in new rugs and head phones on a regular basis.
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