PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing answers pet owners questions | The Mail

2022-08-22 01:44:08 By : Ms. Mellisa Ye

Answered by PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing.

Dear PDSA Vet: What does it actually mean if my cat is ‘in heat’ and how can I take care of her during this time? Elton

A ‘heat’ or ‘season’ is the period of a cat’s cycle where they are fertile and looking to mate, usually lasting around one week, but it can be up to three. Your cat may feel a little unsettled and uncomfortable during this time - keep her happy and distracted by playing games and giving her things to do in the house such as treat-filled toys. It’s important to keep your puss indoors during her season to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Unless you are planning on breeding your cat, I’d suggest getting her spayed as soon as possible. Although she may behave a little strangely, she shouldn’t be in pain, so please contact your vet if you feel that she is suffering.

Dear PDSA Vet: My rabbit, Arthur, seems to be acting strange recently. He’s normally very playful but now seems very nervous. How can I tell if he’s unhappy? Janie

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what our rabbits are thinking, so monitoring changes in their behaviour or body language can be very helpful. Usually rabbits are happy pets, with a relaxed body and a curious mind. It sounds like Arthur may be suffering from stress, which can stem from being put an uncomfortable situation, or feeling unwell. Common signs of stress in rabbits include their ears becoming flatter, tense body language, a lack of nose twitching, or even hiding away. I’d suggest taking Arthur to see your vet so they can rule out any underlying illness and advise you on getting him back to normal. Remember that rabbits are social creatures, so Arthur’s wellbeing will benefit greatly from having a bunny companion.

Dear PDSA Vet: My 13-year-old pooch is staring into space a lot, and recently spent 20 minutes looking at a wall in the lounge before I picked her up. Could she have dementia? Bennie

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, otherwise known as dementia for pets, is more common in dogs than we often realise. This naturally affects older pooches and causes gradual changes in their physiology that impacts behaviour and brain function and sadly cannot be cured. There are many signs to look out for, such as confusion, staring into space, loss of toilet training, a change in appetite or memory loss. However, there are other possible causes, so I’d recommend taking your furry friend to your vet for a check-up. After a full clinical examination, they may recommend further tests or treatments that can help.

Dear PDSA Vet: I recently brought home my first rescue dog and was told dried food was the most nutritious, but he refuses to eat it. I’ve tried four different kinds, but some days he’ll hardly eat anything except for dental chews. Should I give in and feed him wet food? Sandy

Although dried food is often better for your dog’s oral health, they can get all the nutrition they need from a commercial good quality complete wet food. You could try adding a small amount of water to dry food to soften it and make it easier to chew, but if your pooch still refuses this then consider switching to a wet variety. It’s best to introduce this gradually, as sudden dietary changes could cause an upset stomach. I’d also recommend getting him checked over by your vet to make sure there is no medical reason why he won’t eat his dried food, such as a bad tooth. For more information on the right diet for your dog, you can visit www.pdsa.org.uk/dogdiet

PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk

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