Dr. Lou Cronin, DVM
Introducing our new section – Ask Dr. Lou!
by Ginny Downs

As we were discussing this new page, it was obvious that we had to have a professional advisor.  Most of you may already know him
and perhaps your basset was treated by him.
Dr. Lou Cronin has been involved with
Guardian Angel Basset Rescue from the beginning and sees most of our incoming bassets
prior to going to a foster home. From personal experience, we can tell you that he loves his job and clients.  He has chosen his staff
carefully to show the same care.  He has gone beyond the call many times like when he sat in the kennel on the floor to hand feed one
of our bassets who had a problem being away from us and was diabetic.  He is able to handle the good and difficult times with his soft
and loving smile and personally feeling our pain as his own.  
It just had to be Dr. Lou Cronin to be advisor to this page.  He is an extremely busy guy but still easily offered anything to help our cause.
He tells me that the entire staff enjoys working with GABR because most of the rescued pets have a special need and it is so
rewarding to see them respond to a little medicine and lot of TLC!  The dogs are great, but it is the kind and dedicated and caring
people of GABR who make it fun and inspiring to be associated with, Dr. Lou states.  He further says, “ I have never seen such a group
of people enjoy donating and sharing their blood, sweat and tears for such a worthy cause as rescuing the unwanted Bassets,
nurturing them back to health and finding forever homes to live happily ever after”.

Dr. Lou said, “Working with GABR is like being on an emotional roller coaster – we all rejoice together when each pet finds that special
relationship or home and we all cry together when we lose any pet whether it be a medical condition or just too many years.  One of the
most special and fun parts of the Waddle each year is when we take time to remember and celebrate each life at the close of the
Basset Bash”.
This section is intended to deal with non emergency medical problems.

If your pet is injured, bleeding, having problems with breathing or has an extreme change in behavior,
do not hesitate to contact your personal veterinarian or emergency clinic.
Dear Dr. Lou,
Are cysts more common to the Basset Hound than other breeds?

Many Bassets may develop sebaceous cysts in their skin which are filled with a waxy (sebaceous) secretion that may need to be drained periodically. However, they
may also develop skin tumors such as "mast cell" tumors that may resemble a sebaceous cyst initially.  Your veterinarian can help determine what type of cyst or tumor
it is by obtaining a sample with a needle & syringe.  If the mass contains sebaceous material, it may be drained & if it fills up again, it may be surgically removed.  If the
material in the mass is not sebaceous debris, the aspirate may be sent to the diagnostic laboratory for cytology to tell us what kind of tumor it is and if it should be
surgically removed, and if follow up treatment is necessary.
In our practice, we see more sebaceous cysts in Bassethounds than most other breeds and if left untreated, most of the sebaceous cysts will proceed to rupturing and
many will become infected and may require surgical excision and antibiotic therapy.
If your Basset has an oily skin and hair coat, it would be more prone to sebaceous cysts.  You may help control the oily skin and cysts by frequent bathing with an
antiseborrheic shampoo.
Good luck!
Dr. Lou
Dear Dr. Lou,
My basset, Doc, has suddenly lost his bark!!  He has had some recent problems and we do have problems with allergies.  He had a bout with diarrhea which we were
able to handle and changed his food.  Next came a bump between his toes, which caused him to lick constantly.  We found information on the internet as well as photos
of paws which looked like his.  More information explained using Epsom salt soaks, hydrogen peroxide rinses and then using Preparation H.  We put a sock over the
paw to keep him from constantly licking.  It is a battle keeping the sock on but the bump is almost gone.  Yesterday we noticed he could hardly bark and today there is no
sound.  What could possibly be going on?  We do have an appointment but I have to do whatever I can to find out what may be going on with one of our babies.  
Doc’s Mom  

Dear Doc’s Mom,
Sometimes our pets can get sore throats like we do from allergy or barking too much etc & can cause them to lose their bark.  As long as your pet continues to eat &
drink & maintains normal activity, I would observe him closely.  If he gets worse, stops eating & drinking you should take him to your veterinarian for a check up to
determine the underlying cause.
Good luck & I'll be interested in hearing if you have further questions.
Dr. Lou

Question:    Otto’s mom wrote because she needs help lifting his “caboose”.  Otto is 12 years old and is presently on medication and vet care for a arthritic flare up.  He is
having trouble holding up his back end but mom and dad have been using a “noose’ to help lift that end in order for him to walk.  He doesn’t seem to be in noticeable pain
but wanted to know if we knew of where to purchase a “used” cart.  

Answer:    We understand the situation because most of us have dealt with this problem at one time or another.  We do have information for you to check into but first we
wonder if the vet has recommended a cart.  If Otto is having a flare up, it seems a little unnecessary for a cart.  Usually the joint, when inflamed, needs rest and vet care just
as you are doing and then begin using those joints and muscles.  He should not be going up and down stairs or climbing on furniture, etc. and are sure that he isn’t.  You
do not say but we assume the “noose” is something you rigged up for this purpose.  It seems this is really the best unless the vet suggests a more permanent aid such as
the cart

There are lifting devices which are under $20.  They come in different sizes and adjusts for lengths for the lifting handles.  They are made of soft material and may be
washed and stored simply by folding.  We found a set in the pet catalog from Drs. Foster and Smith.  You may find them at:
 www.drsfostersmith.com   - search under Dogs
and type in “Comfort Lift Carrier”.  You may also find in other large Pet Supply Stores.  

The cart is usually fitted to a dog.  Most reasons for such devices are paralysis or severe disc problems causing persistent dislocations.  Our organization happens to have
a member who has adopted two bassets in these carts.  We just received our newsletter where she has written an article about the therapy these bassets go through.  The
website is:  
www.tops-vet-rehab.com  This group is specific to rehabilitation and therapy for situations like Otto’s.  They use a treadmill in water, which allows the dog to
exercise without gravity of body weight.  Another form of treatment is acupuncture.  For these two bassets, this treatment has been very beneficial.  Should you require a cart,
these people may be able to give advice.  It certainly couldn’t do harm to contact them.

Maintaining a healthy weight for older bassets with arthritis is not easy.  They are more sedentary and do not burn calories nor do they move those joints.  It seems such a
vicious cycle and it is but once you have all the information, you will be able to alter things to make it all better for you and Otto.  Wishing you all well and hope Otto will be
able to stand and waddle his backside again real soon!!
Question:  We have two senior basset gals who are in good health.  Recently they had their routine wellness work-up.  Dixie seems to have a heart murmur according
to our vet.  Actually, she heard one on our other basset, Roxie too.  This worries us a great deal and wonder if we should have more tests done, etc.  Those tests are
quite expensive.  The vet did not say anything more about the murmur.  We would appreciate any advice you may have. Kay Garlach

Answer:  Heart murmurs are common in older dogs.   There is a scale vets use to classify each murmur.  Symptoms associated with murmurs are coughing, difficulty
breathing, unable to walk without becoming out of breath, lack of energy ( more than normal for a basset), etc.  Your information does not indicate these symptoms are
present.  This is the time to react before it becomes worse.  Watch their weight making sure they are not overweight which puts more stress on the heart.  Exercise
moderately or begin a program of short walks.  
Your vet has important information now to compare with the next time.  The vet should listen to the heart a couple times a year for any changes.  In the meantime,
should any symptoms begin, be sure to visit your vet who will discuss specific tests to help give a better picture in order to advise if further treatment is needed.
Last fall Bob developed a case of extremely bad breath. We took him to the vets because we thought it might be a bad tooth.  The vet said it was an infection developed in the
moist folds around Bob's mouth. He put him on antibiotics and suggested we wash the area with antibacterial soap daily. The smell went away after 20 days of antibiotics but
the area is still pink to red. We wash it a couple of times per day with antibacterial soap, but it hasn't gone away.

Bob was an abandoned dog that we adopted in 9/2006  so we don't know if he has ever had this problem before. Is this something we should be concerned about? With the
smell gone and Bob acting the same as usual we want to know if we should do anything other than the daily washing.

Dear Bob and family:

a secondary bacterial &/or yeast infection which can be difficult to control.  Also, we should rule out demodectic mites by doing a skin scraping of the affected area.  Good oral
hygiene helps tremendously - if we have checked the mouth to make certain there is no abscess & cleaned the excessive tarter & calculi from the teeth & gums, I recommend
gently brushing the teeth & gums with Dentahex (chlorhexidine solution) daily.  If the skin folds are still red after cleaning with antibacterial cleaner, you may want to try some
Sounds like Bob has a typical lip fold pyoderma which can be very common in Bassets due to their redundant skin folds & excessive salivation.  Many times they can develop
a secondary bacterial &/or yeast infection which can be difficult to control.  Also, we should rule out demodectic mites by doing a skin scraping of the affected area.  Good oral
hygiene helps tremendously - if we have checked the mouth to make certain there is no abscess & cleaned the excessive tarter & calculi from the teeth & gums, I recommend
gently brushing the teeth & gums with Dentahex (chlorhexidine solution) daily.  If the skin folds are still red after cleaning with antibacterial cleaner, you may want to try some
antibacterial & antifungal wipes (Malaseeb) which helps to control secondary bacterial & yeast.  If we can control the irritation with daily cleaning & wipes - great;  if not, there
is a surgical procedure to remove the excessive skin which helps to control the infection & odor.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  Otherwise, good luck with Bob!
Dr. Lou
Dear Dr. Lou,
Our basset has a disgusting habit of eating his own stools. Help!

There is no short explanation so please click here for more information.