Great Britain

From naughty kittens to expensive prescriptions — we answer your pet queries

HE is on a mission to help our pets . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions. Sean, 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) Poppy Miller from Salford, Gtr Manchester says: Oliver, my cat, has been suffering with really bad cystitis and even after I gave him antibiotics and capsules, it returned straight away.

I phoned the vet to ask for a repeat prescription but was told they wanted to see him. But a consultation costs a lot and we all know what he has.

Is it OK to get medication for him off the web?

Sean says: There is a reason vets need to see a pet before prescribing medications, which can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Cystitis is potentially very dangerous and can be fatal if not treated correctly. One bout of cystitis in a cat might not have the same cause as another months later and might need completely different treatment.

If your vet prescribed a medication based on your diagnosis and your cat got blocked and died, who would get the blame?

I understand it is frustrating but for some medications and conditions, we legally cannot write prescriptions without seeing your pet.

Q) Michael Stokes from Birmingham says: I can’t figure out why my cat Kitty keeps attacking my new sofa with her claws.

She is ten years old, neutered and chipped and is the only pet in our house. I’ve provided scratching posts but she prefers to scratch my leather sofas instead. How do I stop her?

Sean says: This can be a hard habit to break, but you can buy anti-scratch sprays or liquids to wipe on your furniture temporarily to try to encourage her to use the more appropriate scratching posts.

Make sure they are leather safe! You could also pimp out her scratching posts with some catnip spray. Kitty will go all googly-eyed and fall in love with them, forgetting all about your leather sofa.

Q) Hazel Henning from Windermere, Cumbria says: My German shepherd Reece has just been diagnosed with Addison’s disease and must take prescription medicine for the rest of his life.

Are there any alternative medicines I can give my dog at a lower cost?

Sean says: Speak to your vet. They will help. Medications can rack up if your pet is ill and treating Addison’s disease can be really costly. This is where pet insurance is a godsend.

In any case, the reason most drug prices are higher in your vet clinic than online are that bulk online wholesalers get massive discounts not available to your local vet practice and don’t have the same overheads.

But your vet can write you a prescription for a small fee if you are struggling to meet the cost and need to buy in bulk cheaply online.

Q) Neville Porter from Cornwall says: MY four-year-old springer spaniel won’t stop eating stones.

Sean says: Some dogs develop this habit because to them, a stone is just like a ball — fun to play with.

As a springer, I am sure he has bags of energy. The trick is to train him to “leave it”. Make it into a fun game with lots of different objects — not a punishment or an angry command, more a promise that if he does “leave it” he will get rewarded.

Eventually he will realise stones are off-limits. This is important, as swallowed stones can cause blockages and chewing them can damage teeth.

Star of the week

OZZY the Shorkie helped Pat Rose, 82, get over a stroke.

Pat, of Scarborough, North Yorks, lost all feeling in her left hand in 2017 after the stroke.

She was given exercises to help strengthen her weakened side and got help from Ozzy, an eight-year-old Shih Tzu-Yorkshire terrier cross.

Her grandson Dan, 24, a project administrator, went to Pat’s house every day to ensure she was on track.

He said: “Our daily visits meant my grandma had something to look forward to when she was in the house by herself. Ozzy got involved with her daily exercises by passing her the equipment and it was great to see him put a smile on her face.

“He really boosted her spirits.”

Border patrol nose best

Despite lockdown, it has been business as usual for dogs such as Mishka the German shorthaired pointer – tasked with sniffing out people, drugs and weapons being smuggled into the country.

Mishka is one of 70 highly trained Border Force dogs that have rumbled some impressive stuff over the past ten weeks.

In the past month alone, they have detected more than £300,000 cash, 300kg of rolling tobacco and a million-plus cigarettes at ports and airports.

Mishka has worked with the Border Force for the past three years, with handler Vicky, and just last month, the four-year-old hunting dog found a group of individuals concealed between a pallet locker and a floor under a lorry.

She also recently detected 12kg of drugs hidden in a spare wheel of another lorry.

Vicky said: “Having a Border Force dog is like having another work colleague.They are with you 24/7 and you form a strong bond.”


WIN a Personalised Bowl

WE have ten personalised dog and cat food bowls up for grabs from The Wood Life Project.

The dishes are made from trees sustainably harvested here and are suitable for wet and dry food.

See thewoodlifeproject.com.

For a chance to win, send an email marked BOWL with your preferred design to sun[email protected]

Woman in hysterics as dog thinks her vibrator is a chew toy

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