(by Andres Rojas)

From pet grooming tips to prescription drugs advice, Dr. Jeff Werber’s weekly AMA (ask me anything) tackled every doubt his Instagram followers had in 2021. Yet, while the phrasing can change, some of these pet health questions keep making their way back to his Instagram (@werbs_dvm) account. Here are Dr. Jeff Werber's 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions in 2021.

1. Is CBD Safe for Pets?

Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, many pet owners have used CBD safely on their dogs and cats. Indeed, Dr. Jeff has used CBD in the past to treat his dog, Pierce, who had cancer.

Still, there is a lot we don’t understand about the effects of CBD on pets. 

That’s why Dr. Jeff cautions that, “dosing is something to be concerned about. We know that LD50 is very toxic but we don't know at what point we start seeing toxicity, though, typically the toxicity is in the THC and not in the actual CBD.”

If you give CBD a try, make sure that it’s derived 100% from industrial hemp. 

Moreover, since California restricts CBD prescriptions, ask a veterinarian from Colorado because they have been using it for the longest time.

2. How to Make My Senior Dog Comfortable

As age kicks in, your dog will likely develop health conditions that will impact the quality of its life. But there are still many ways you can make life easier for your old friend.

Eyesight is very likely to deteriorate with age. If your dog has cataracts but is still healthy, cataract surgery can help out a lot and even give your dog better eyesight that it had before the surgery.

Another factor to consider is dental health. As Dr. Jeff explains, older dogs are very sensitive to heart conditions. So if your dog has an infected tooth, treating it would not just get rid of the pain but also stop the bacteria growing in the mouth from spreading to its heart.

Finally, the most important factor you should consider is when to euthanize your pet

On one of his AMA (Ask Me Anything), Dr. Jeff recalled how one colleague advised him that, “you can never make a mistake to do it a bit early, but you can make a terrible mistake by waiting too long.”

As difficult as this decision is, euthanizing your beloved companion before its health gets irreparably worse will save your pet from unnecessary suffering.

3. Lepto - Should We Get the Vaccine? Is It Safe?

Leptospirosis cases have been increasing in California, and particularly in LA county, since July. However, not every dog will need the vaccine, as your decision will depend on whether your pup lives near a source of infection or not.

For example, if you live with your pup in an apartment or barely visit the park, you probably don’t need the vaccine. 

On the other hand, if your dog goes to the park – where possums, skunks, and other wild animals’ infected urine can transmit the disease – you should have it vaccinated.

As for whether core (like parvo/lepto) or separate shots are better, Dr. Jeff says that, “I prefer the separate ones that give you more choice to use it when you need it, plus it gives you the four serovars.”

4. Teeth Cleaning - How Often Should I Do It? Do I Need to Have My Pet’s Teeth Cleaned Under Anesthesia?

Preventing dental disease is incredibly important for your pet’s health and happiness. And just like with humans, regular teeth cleanings are the best way to keep bacteria away.

Brushing your dog’s teeth two or three times a week will remove plaque build ups before it leads to gum inflammation and tissue decay. But for a more thorough cleaning, you’ll need a vet’s touch at least once a year.

Some benefits of getting your pet’s teeth cleaned professionally include:

  • Vets can perform a full oral examination at the same time.
  • Teeth cleaning under anesthesia is less stressful for your dog.
  • Using anesthesia allows for deeper cleanings and reduces the risk of your pet inhaling/choking during brushing

The price of teeth cleaning can vary widely depending on your pooch’s age, condition of the mouth, how many extractions are needed, and other factors. That’s why Dr. Jeff advises that you, “see your veterinarian, find out what’s going on, what the condition of the mouth is, and get an estimate.”

5. What Are Dr. Jeff Werber’s Favorite Pets?

Dr. Jeff is an avid animal lover. Throughout his life he’s had almost every cat you could think of. He had both a beautiful, pure-breed snowshoe marble Bengal as well as a fluffy Maine coon cat.

As for dogs, Dr. Jeff is a big fan of labradors and french bulldogs. 

“At one point, I had two labradors, and one labradoodle, and two french bulldogs. I was in heaven!” confessed the celebrity veterinarian on a recent Instagram AMA (ask me anything).

Nowadays, Dr. Jeff has five dogs and six cats he loves taking care of – although most of them are rescued mutt animals, since he no longer has a particular breed preference.

So those were 5 of Dr. Jeff Werber’s most commonly asked questions. If you have any pet health questions you want to ask a veterinarian, let him know through his Instagram account (@werbs_dvm) or call him at 424-835-0576 for a consultation.