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Ask the Vet: should I get my dog surgery for excessive barking?

Dr. Mark Wysocki of Avery Creek Pet Hospitals answers viewers' pet questions during a Sunday segment with News 13's Evan Donovan. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Dr. Mark Wysocki of Avery Creek Pet Hospital answers viewers' pet questions on News 13's biweekly Ask the Vet segment.

The first question is from Louise Bowles, who asks: "I saw the WLOS report about all the snake bites. What protection can I take for my dog?"
Dr. Wysocki recommends keeping them away from areas with heavy brush, woodpiles, and other places where snakes like to hang out. There are also snake antivenom kits that can help decrease the negative effects of a snake bite on your dog, but if your dog is bitten, Dr. Wysocki says you need to get it to an emergency clinic as soon as possible.

Mary Lanier asks: "I have been seeing wasps in my yard and my dog likes to snap at them. What should I do if he gets stung?"
Here again, the best defense is to avoid the stings altogether, but Dr. Wysocki says if your dog is stung and you can see the stinger, use a credit card to clip the stinger off as its hanging out of the skin. This method is better than pulling the stinger out with tweezers, since that can force more venom into the skin as you pull it out. Antihistamines, cold compresses, and a paste of baking soda and water can also help to alleviate the pain and swelling.

Jason Taylor asks: "I have a beagle mix dog that barks incessantly, I have heard that there is a debarking surgery. Do you recommend this?"
In short, no. Dr. Wysocki said his experience is that dogs will continue to try to bark even after the surgery, and can often make a noise that's more annoying than the original bark. "There's no sense putting your dog through surgery it doesn't have to [go through]," said Dr. Wysocki.

Send your pet questions, along with a video or picture of your pet and his/her name, to news@wlos.com, or post them on the News 13 Facebook page.

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