Answered by Nina Downing, PDSA veterinary nurse.
Dear PDSA Vet: I have noticed that my Labrador, Pooh, secretes brownish secretions but it is not due for a season. She looks fine otherwise but she grumbles sometimes. Should I take her to the vet? CLEAR
Although a Beau may look fine on their own, they need to see a vet urgently as they may have a ‘Pyometra’ or uterine infection. Unsterilized females are at risk for this condition and are usually seen between four and eight weeks after they are in season due to the hormonal changes that occur at that time, although it can occur at any time. Symptoms to look for include drinking and urinating more than usual, vomiting, restlessness in and of itself, flatulence, pain or weakness, and even collapse. This condition is considered an emergency because it can lead to kidney failure and sepsis, and usually requires surgery, so it is important that Beau be screened as soon as possible. For more information visit https://www.pdsa.org.uk/infected-womb-in-dogs
Dear PDSA Vet: My rabbit is totally terrified of fireworks so I was dreading this time of year. Is there anything I can do to help him? Lucian
Fireworks season can be stressful for furry family members, as their hearing is more sensitive than ours, so loud explosions can be exaggerated. If your rabbit doesn’t already live indoors, bring him along with his mates or related companions when you know there are local offerings. Cover his cage with blankets to help quieten the noise (remember to leave gaps for ventilation) and add extra bedding so he can dig deeper to a safe place. You may find that playing soothing music or turning on the TV may also help mask the sound of the fireworks. For the next year, you can work on desensitizing rabbits. For more tips on desensitizing and helping pets deal with firework season visit https://www.pdsa.org.uk/fireworksready
Dear PDSA Vet: My spaniel, Cas, won’t stop chewing his leg and hair spots are gone. We’ve tried treating it as an allergy but that didn’t help. Why would he do this? CV
It is important that a vet sees Cass so he can conduct a thorough investigation and get to the root cause of his plight. There can be many reasons for him to chew on himself. Irritation like this can be caused by allergies, parasites, skin conditions, or even pain that can cause him to chew or lick the sore area, just as we might rub a sore spot. Other possible causes include stress and boredom, or it may just be a habit he developed. For more information on dermatology, please visit https://www.pdsa.org.uk/skin-problems-in-dogs
Dear PDSA Vet: My cat seems to have separation anxiety when I leave the house. How can I help him overcome this? Adeline
Separation can be difficult for our pets, especially if they are more used to being around us. Initially, have your cat checked by a vet to make sure there is no medical cause for his concern – they can refer you to a certified behaviorist for further help if needed. Cats love routine – find sudden changes stressful, so keep feeding, play and rest times consistent to help him feel more relaxed. Help him get used to being alone by leaving him for short periods at first, and gradually increasing for longer periods of time. Try not to make a big fuss of him when you leave, but keep the same routine so he knows what to expect. Pheromone diffusers may also be helpful.
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