From a skinny cat to an arthritic pooch — your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets  . . . and he’s 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 white four-year-old cat Molly is very thin. She has a healthy diet but isn’t a big eater.

She has about ten mixed treats for breakfast, then grazes throughout the day on a bowl of salmon adult dry cat food and a wet food with watered-down gravy.

She rarely eats the meat, though.

She is a perfectly normal, naughty cat who belts around the house then sleeps on our warm Sky TV box.

Linda Deveney, Coatbridge, North Lanarks

Sean says: It would be useful to know if this is a sudden change and loss of weight or if she has always been slim.

Has your vet examined her recently? Do they agree she’s too thin?

Sudden weight loss in a four-year-old cat could be due to a number of reasons, including worms, stomach or intestinal infections, dietary intolerances or even inflammatory bowel disease.

Look up how to body condition-score your cat — and if she is coming out underweight, a vet check is recommended.

Got a question for Sean?

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Q) OUR 11-year-old cross-breed dog Millie has a partial rupture of her anterior cruciate ligament in one of her back legs.

She is small, approximately 8.8kg in weight, is coping fairly well on pain meds and being kept reasonably quiet.

We have an appointment at a veterinary hospital to discuss possible surgical options.

We want her to comfortably do the things she did before. We will do whatever it takes but do not have insurance.

Can you suggest the best options and the chances of a long-lasting outcome?

Graham and Anne Beaton, Dunstable, Beds

Sean says: Poor Millie. Strict rest may allow the injury to heal but we are talking confinement for weeks and a very gradual return to exercise.

Now it is damaged, that knee is always going to be a weak point. And once one cruciate ligament ruptures, there is a high chance of the other rupturing in future too.

After resting her, the best thing you can do is get any excess weight off with a diet designed for her body condition and activity level.

With a full rupture down the line, surgery is the best option.

Q) MY Lhasa Apso Marley is 11 years old and for years now has constantly licked his front leg at the groin area.

It is now discoloured.

We have tried numerous treatments, allergy testing, different food and antihistamines.

Shannon Grant, Glasgow

Sean says: If it’s just the one single patch, I would think of a behavioural issue like anxiety.

Licking releases feel-good chemicals. Otherwise, I would suspect some underlying pain in the limb or a nearby joint.

He’s 11, so arthritis isn’t out of the question.

You said front leg, so I’m guessing you mean armpit instead of groin – in which case it might be worth a vet checking his elbow region.

Q) OUR 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier Ruby is suffering from hair loss on her neck and back.

She has recently had a blood test, which came back clear of thyroid and Cushing’s disease.

The vet said it was possibly alopecia.

Gill and Harry Muskett, Salford, Gtr Manchester

Sean says: Alopecia can look concerning but generally dogs don’t care too much.

If it’s just the blue hair coming out, it may be a genetic issue called colour dilution alopecia that Yorkies are prone to.

Star of the week

THERAPY dog Alfie can’t wait to get back to work cheering up poorly youngsters at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The six-year-old pug lives in Whitegate, Cheshire, with Suzy Emsden and family.

Suzy, 47, who is an intensive care doctor, says: “Alfie loves having cuddles with the children and goes with them to their physio sessions and scans.

“When children are with Alfie, they’re not a patient, they’re just a person cuddling a dog.”

Alfie also raises cash for the hospital with a range of greeting cards.

See him on Instagram @alfiethepug_beat.

WIN: Eco wooden feeding bowl

WANT to be a greener pet owner?

These wooden feeding bowls come shaped in the face of a dog or a cat and are handcrafted by Norfolk’s Wood Life Project ( using British timber.

They are suitable for dry and wet food, while the wood is naturally antibacterial too.

Bowls cost £29.99 and we have eight to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning, send an email marked WOODLIFE saying if want like a dog or cat bowl to by April 25.

T&Cs apply.

Provide for your pets before you die

ON today’s World Pet Day, owners are being urged to provide for pets that might outlive them.

Our pet population rose by 3.2million in lockdown, meaning more animals are likely to outlive their owners.

That would leave them without a home, food or care.

Solicitor Christopher Walton says: “Find someone to look after your pet who can offer similar surroundings, such as a garden if this is what your pet is used to.

“Some might choose a charity to take care of their pet. It is important to make arrangements in advance and state it in your will.”

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld left part of his £96million fortune to his cat Choupette.

According to Guinness World Records, the world’s richest cat, Blackie, inherited £7million in 1988 when owner Ben Rea died.

Rea left nothing for his family and gave additional donations to cat charities to look after Blackie.

Christopher, of Newport Land & Law, suggests owners take into account factors such as food, vet bills and insurance so they know how much to leave.

He adds: “Share your wishes with your family so they’re aware of your plans.”


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