From wandering cats to dogs suffering seizures — your pet queries answered

From wandering cats to dogs suffering seizures — your pet queries answered

01/09/2021

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 tails.com, 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) I THINK my cat, Mrs Pickles, is cheating on me. I let her out and she sometimes vanishes for up to a week on the tiles.

Other times she’s not hungry so she’s obviously eaten somewhere else.

She has a collar and tag and I have put up Facebook messages in my area saying not to feed her. What else can I do to stop her roving eye?

Rita Cox, West Kingsdown, Kent

Sean says: It’s not a marriage, Rita. Cats and fidelity don’t always go together, I’m afraid. If that brassy blonde at No62 is serving up chicken breast, kippers and catnip, can we blame Mrs Pickles for straying?

You could try a paper collar or a tag on her collar saying she has medical issues so not to feed.

But maybe accept you have an open relationship and go with it. At least she’s being honest about it.

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to sundaypets@the-sun.co.uk.

Q) OUR rescue beagle cross, Ozzy, keeps barking at around 1am to be let out for a wee.

He’s been doing this for the last year. We have taken him to the vets to check if he’s got diabetes, but he hasn’t. Apart from that, he’s a very happy dog and very good with our grandchildren.

Ruth Schreder, Leicester

Sean says: You don’t say what age Ozzy is, but if he’s over ten you might be seeing early signs of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD).

It’s similar to going senile. Being confused, appearing to get lost or staring into space are other signs. Toileting accidents or changes to ­toileting routine can also happen.

It may, of course, be that he’s just got himself into a new nightly routine and found a way to get you out of bed to let him out. It’s hard to resist a beagle barking, so I feel your pain.

But rewarding an unwanted behaviour is a sure-fire way to keep that behaviour happening.

Q) WE have a three-year-old Lhasa apso, Molly, whose bedtime behaviour has changed.

She used to have her evening walk around 7pm and then went in the garden just before bedtime.

Now she will not settle into bed. We have had to put her on her lead to make sure she settles in her basket. After a couple of minutes she’s fine.

Nothing has changed so I am confused as to why her behaviour has.

Martin Conway, Bolton

Sean says: I wonder if New Year fireworks season anxiety has got her spooked and still a bit anxious about her night-time routine.

But like any behavioural issue, how we react to it can actually make a big difference. A consultation with a behaviourist will help.

Q) MY four-year-old cavalier King Charles spaniel, Abby, has always been nervous, but over the last 12 months she has started to suffer from seizures.

She goes rigid, kicks her legs as if she is running, foams at the mouth and wets herself. These attacks occur once a month and last around 30-60 seconds. What should we do?

Clive Gennard, Stourbridge, West Mids

Sean says: One seizure a month sits on that border of whether to start medication or not. There are some relatively cheap anti-seizure meds you could try to see what effect they have.

There are some risks to allowing seizures to happen, but generally it is if they are happening way more frequently that the risk becomes a bigger issue.

Star of the week

ECHO the duck belongs at the top of the bill.

Just 15 weeks old, Echo taps her beak and walks up a ramp on command, enjoys peekaboo and even plays the PIANO.

The clever duck lives with dog trainer Joe Nutkins, 41, in Clacton, Essex, with her Norwich terriers Merlin and Ripley and various feathered friends.

She says: “Echo has learned her tricks by joining in with my terriers when I’ve been teaching online classes. I use similar methods for her.

“We love having her as part of our multi-species family.”

WIN: £50 voucher

WANT to treat your furry friends or even yourself to some goodies?

Mooch and Gander (moochandgander.com) is an online marketplace where you can support small businesses and buy eco-friendly pet products.

It has gifts and treats for dogs, inset, cats, small furries and for pet parents including clothing, keepsakes and homeware.

We have five £50 gift vouchers to give away. For a chance to win one, send an email titled MOOCH to sundaypets@ the-sun.co.uk.

T&Cs apply. Entries close on January 24.

It's play time thanks to cash boost

AN animal centre has a new outdoor play area thanks to a £1,500 grant from the Tails.com community fund.

Thornberry Animal Sanctuary is home to horses, ponies, pigs, hens, dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs – as well as the occasional parrot or snake.

But the centre in Sheffield costs £350,000 a year to operate and has been hit by a drop in donations during lockdown.

Fundraising manager Ged Jenkins-Omar said: “We survive entirely on donations.

“We have a charity shop and usually we have dog shows during the summer and bag packs and a Christmas fair but we’ve not been able to hold any this year.

“The funding from Tails will make a real difference.”

The cash will be spent on an outdoor exercise area for the dogs as the centre can have up to 29 in their care and re-homes 150 a year.

Ged added: “The grant will help us improve the centre – and with a pet-friendly artificial grass exercise area it will be a cleaner and safer place for the animals.”

People making lives better with pets can apply for grants of up to £5,000 from the Tails community fund which opens again at the end of this month.

  • For details, see tails.com/gb/communityfund.

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