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Closeup on the bristles of an electric toothbrush with droplets of water flying off.

Electric toothbrush in action. (Photo: Flickr/pau.artigas)

Are electric toothbrushes better for my dental health?

Q: Is it really better to brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush? Or does a normal toothbrush work just fine? Are there scientifically documented studies that prove electric toothbrushes keep your teeth cleaner and prevent cavities better?

A: Although there are some...

Calico cat sitting in a stone courtyard next to a step.

(Photo: Flickr/pelican)

Is blood in the urine a fatal sign for cats?

September 23, 2013

Q: My cat, Carla, is 18 years old and she has had a thyroid problem along with kidney problems. She has been on K/D food and taking Methimazole (0.5 ml) every 12 hours. I live 2 1/2 hours from the doctor and am unsure what to do after she has started passing blood in her urine? Is it...

Elderly couple out for a stroll on a sunny day.

(Photo: Flickr/Garry Knight)

I have shingles; should I still get the vaccine?

September 23, 2013

Q: I am going through my first case of shingles. It has been a month since I was diagnosed, even  before the rash appeared. Will the shingles vaccine help prevent any future outbreaks in my case (I'm a 75-year-old woman)?

A: The vaccine for shingles, Zostavax, will not...

Newborn. baby boy asleep on his side.

(Photo: Flickr/storyvillegirl)

Tips for getting your home ready for a newborn

Q: My wife is about 6 months pregnant, and I think we need to start preparing our house for our first baby. I'm wondering if you could recommend must-do's vs. nice-to-haves vs. not-necessary-at-all-but-people-usually-pay-too-much-for types of things that I can do to prepare for the...

A brown-and-white Springer Spaniel standing in a shallow end of a lake, looking down.

(Photo: Flickr/Bernt Rostad)

Can we limit water (like food) for our dog?

September 23, 2013

Q: We ration food for our 6-month-old Springer Spaniel. She eats twice a day. May (or should) we do the same with her water? We live in an apartment and follow a regular potty-break routine, taking her outside every 2 hours when she is not in the crate and up to 4 hours when she is...

Front view of a mottled (black-brown-white) ferret in a cage.

(Photo: Flickr/boscosami)

Why is my ferret restless and breathing heavily?

Q: My female ferret (Shadow) is about 4 years old. She was fine yesterday but today is breathing heavily and acting restless. Otherwise eating, drinking, and eliminating properly. She's restless like she can't get comfortable and her nose is a little runny. What could be wrong?...

Wooden lodge in a forest with a white SUV in the driveway.

(Photo: Flickr/kinggrl)

Divorce: How can I get my share in a property sale?

Q: I live in Minnesota and my ex-husband and I co-own a cabin, without a mortgage. Per our divorce he had 2 years to sell this cabin and pay me my half (approx. $125K). The time is up this month, and he claims he doesn't have the money to pay me.  The cabin is currently for sale (at $...

Headshot of male surgeon with scrubs on.

The classic symptom of gallbladder trouble

Q: My wife is having symptoms that lead us to believe she's having gallbladder trouble. She's been dieting for 6-8 months, most recently on Weight Watchers.  This is the second time in two weeks for pain in the bread basket area and in the shoulder blade area. She's on the floor in the...

Young woman on a couch surrounded by textbooks and notebooks that she is studying.

(Photo: Flickr/Brian Turner)

Top study tips for success on taking the GRE

September 20, 2013

Q: I'm about to start studying for my GRE (I'm 25 with a few years of experience in online marketing). I have a stats background, so I'm not too worried about the math. What are some suggestions you wish you had before taking such tests?

A: As a public librarian, I often...

Closeup on a woman's smile, her teeth are very white.

(Photo: Flickr/Rupert Taylor-Price)

An easy, homemade remedy to whiten teeth

Q: What are some good teeth whitening products that I can purchase at the drugstore? I want to whiten my teeth, but I'm not interested in getting them whitened at the dentist because I'm on a budget.

A: I often advise the following: Make a paste with some baking soda and...