The Norman Transcript


August 15, 2013

All cats should be fed a proper diet



Cats fed standard dry food continue to suffer in spite of the medical evidence of the harm of poor-quality protein and high fat content of so many manufactured dry cat foods.

Dear Dr. Fox: I agree with you 100 percent on using gloves while handling birds.

Years ago, I was trying to catch one of my finches with my bare hands. The bird bit my finger, but I didn’t give it a second thought.

Within 24 hours, a red streak was going up my arm. After going to an urgent care facility, it was determined that the finch bit me on a paper cut on that finger, and it became infected.

To this day, I wear heavy gloves when handling my birds — they bite really hard and can break the skin.

— L.S., St. Louis

Dear L.S.: Your letter is a welcome addition to the debate raised by one bird “expert” (J.M. from Naples, Fla.) who castigated me for advising people to wear gloves when handling birds who are not fully socialized or who are fearful or aggressive.

This should be standard practice for those with little expertise in handling birds, reptiles and small mammals.

Bites and scratches can result in serious infections and, as I stress repeatedly, the pain could make the handler drop the animal, with potentially fatal consequences.

Dogs and humans with OCD shared brain characteristics: Canine compulsive disorder is similar to human obsessive-compulsive disorder in practice and physiology, according to recent research.

MRI images of 16 Doberman pinschers showed that those with canine compulsive disorder had structural brain characteristics similar to those of human patients with OCD.

Veterinarians from Tufts and Purdue universities collaborated with McLean Hospital in Massachusetts for the study.

The findings may help develop treatments for canines and humans with compulsive disorders.

Send all mail to or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at

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