From a tearful labrador to a sickly cat — your pet queries answered | The Sun

HE is on a mission to help our pets  . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.

Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years. He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”

Q) MY daughter has a ten-month-old Birman cat called Phoenix.

She has moved into a house with a large garden, near a railway line, and has two foxes regularly walking about.

Is the cat in any danger from the foxes? We are worried it could be an expensive snack for them and now supervise him.

We had planted troughs of plants, mixing bone meal into the compost, and the foxes dug them up to get at the meal. They also caused havoc with the camera doorbell, playing and setting it off.

Trevor Jackson, York

Sean says: Generally, foxes and cats get by just fine without incident.
In my experience, foxes can be more wary of cats than vice versa.

Both can do damage to the other in a fight, so most of the time they avoid coming into direct conflict as they are evenly matched.

Having said that, a fox is an opportunist and life is tough out there for them. On occasion, one might see a kitten or elderly, frail cat as a potential meal and attack.

It is wise to wait until Phoenix is a bit older and worldly wise before letting him out unsupervised. Better still,  enclose one area of the garden as a cat-safe area or “catio” and then your minds will be put at ease.

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Q) EVERY month, the vet sees my 11-year-old yellow Labrador  as she has pain injections. But her eyes are always running and it stains her nose.

My vet tells me its blocked tear ducts, although I don’t want her operated on. Is there anything that will help, which doesn’t involve surgery?

Maralynn Hood, Leeds

Sean says: I don’t have enough information here to list all possible options. But if her tear ducts are blocked then drops, for example, are not going to unblock them.

Without surgery it may be a case of managing them with wipes and drying any overspill. But I would want a full eye examination to be able to give you a confirmed diagnosis and list of all available options.

You can ask your vet again what they’d suggest, or even consider asking them to refer you to a veterinary eye specialist, if funds allow.

A final word on surgery in older pets — old age isn’t a disease.

We screen each pet as an individual and assess their risk for anaesthesia based on how they are at the time. Plenty get a great many years of better quality of life from surgery in later years, if appropriate.

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected].

Q) I HAVE had a rescue cat named Izzy for the last three years.

She is  ten and  was very nervous when we got her.

Now she is a  different cat  and  stays in our garden, but never wanders. For the last few weeks she has been sick two or three times a day.

Other than that, she plays, runs around and seems  healthy. We used to give her different types of cat food but are now down to chicken.

Raymond Bostock, Staffs

Sean says: I’d suggest now is the time to take her to the vet. There are countless reasons for cats to vomit.

A detailed history and  physical exam are the bare minimum needed to start investigating what’s happening with Izzy. Also, it’s useful to do a diet trial.

But it should still be a complete and balanced diet so she stays healthy.

Chicken alone is not going to provide everything she needs and if she is sick, we don’t want to add deficiencies in certain vitamins or minerals to her issues.

Q)WHY do cockatoos dance? My two-year-old,  Woodstock, really gets his groove on. Should I encourage this?

Ben Jones, Aberdare

Sean says: Woodstock is just being a typical cockatoo, enjoying a bit of a bop and also using dance to engage with others.

Cockatoos are very sociable, so it would be good to get him a mate.

Star of the week

BRAVE Duke loves walkies wearing special specs to protect his eyes.

The six-year-old, one-eyed Husky crossbreed uses Rex Specs after suffering from cataracts and complications that led to his right eye being removed.

He love running on the beach and taking dips in his protective goggles.

Owner Amy Wilson, 35, of Shaftesbury, Dorset, says: “He has a tinted pair for sunny days and the beach and a clear pair for shady days. He is a wonderful dog.”

Ida Gilbert, head of ophthalmology at Eastcott Veterinary Referrals, adds: “Sunglasses for dogs may seem peculiar but can be a viable solution (after) surgery or a previous trauma.”

WIN: £50 voucher

CHILL out in the sun with your pet this summer

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Five lucky readers can each win a £50 Pets At Home gift voucher to spend in store or at the Groom Room.

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Don't kill pets with kindness

WITH half of Britain’s dogs and a quarter of cats obese, the RSPCA is warnings we are “killing our pets with kindness”.

Ten-year-old Alaskan Malamute Trojan was recently rescued by the RSPCA weighing 101kg – the weight of a baby elephant.

And eight-year-old Jack Russell Lily was so obese she had sores where her stomach scraped the ground – the inspector who found her said she “resembled a puffer fish”.

RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said: “As a rough guide for cats and dogs, you should be able to see and feel the outline of their ribs without excess fat covering them.

“You should also be able to see and feel their waist and it should clearly ‘pinch in’ when you look down at them from above.”

Both Trojan and Lily were successfully put on diets and found new homes. Charity Cats Protection say that, since the pandemic, more cats are obese.

In April, Rainbow was handed in weighing 12.7kg – three times the size of the average cat. She’s now on a special diet.

Alison Richards, head of clinical services at Cats Protection, said: “Although giving extra treats is done out of love, this action is doing them more harm than good.

“Overweight cats are at significant risk of diabetes and joint problems.”

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