Whether it’s a cat giving ‘love’ bites to hungry horses – your pet questions answered
Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian for custom pet food company tails.com, has been answering owners’ questions for ten years.
He says, “If your pet is acting weird or is under bad weather, or if you want to know more about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) MY marmalade ginger cat is giving me “love bites” on my hand.
It’s like a soft nibble when he purrs. Is it love or hate? I’m confused.
Mark Holick, reading
Sean says: Mark, don’t be alarmed or scared, but Marmalade sucks you off. You are his mom now. How nice.
It’s a common comfort-seeking behavior, mimicking his time at the pacifier as a kitten. Cats that do this will often paddle you with their feet while they suckle and purr too.
A little weird but nothing harmful there. It is a sign of your emotional bond.
Have a question for Sean?
SEND your questions to [email protected].
Q) AFTER our Yorkshire Terrier died, we bought two 14 week old Yorkie brothers, but three years later, despite all the right actions, they are still wet in the house.
A canine behaviorist told us that we should never have bought two boys from the same litter. Surely that can’t be true?
David Johnson, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex
Sean says: I’m afraid to say your behaviorist is right. The “sibling” or “litter mate” syndrome is a real challenge in raising puppies.
It’s generally not a good idea to have two siblings from the same litter, as they will be much more focused on each other during the first socialization and training phase of life than on you. as a human companion.
Castration (or neutering for female dogs) will certainly help reduce the tendency to mark with urine for territorial reasons, but at three years this problem is now ingrained, so a bit more difficult.
With the help of a behaviorist, it can be sorted.
Q) SOXY, my 17 year old black and white domestic cat, has trouble eating and sometimes squeaks when trying.
His tongue seems to twist to one side when he meows and he can’t get it out. Is it possible that my vet, who examined him, missed something?
Lisa Mal, Rhoose, Glamorgan
Sean says: It’s possible the vet forgot something, but it’s not necessarily their fault. Perhaps the problem was in its early stages and not visibly noticeable.
Things can move pretty quickly, so what looked “normal” four weeks ago might be immediately obviously wrong today when re-examined.
The fact that you mention that Soxy’s tongue seems twisted to one side would make me suspicious of a mass in her mouth or jaw that makes her uncomfortable to eat.
The squeak also rings the alarm bell. I highly recommend a re-exam with your vet to verify what is happening now, which may not have been obvious when it first showed up.
Q) HOW MUCH should I feed our horse Pablo?
Can they overeat grass and hay? What is a healthy amount to give them and should it vary throughout the year?
Emma Rivers, Worthing, West Sussex
Sean says: Horses are not my forte but the principle is the same as any pet.
You must learn to assess your horse’s physical condition and weight, by feeling and observing certain points on his body – the hip bones, ribs, belly, etc.
If they’re over-conditioned, it’s time to ditch the high-energy concentrates or reduce their daily hay ration.
If they are underconditioned, you may want to increase their daily calorie intake by feeding more concentrates or hay. If they’re right, keep doing what you’re doing.
Of course, this all fluctuates with seasonal grass growth and pasture quality.
star of the week
MOGGIE Mustafa Biscuit has played matchmaker in leading his owner Megan Horlock to find love.
When the three-year-old black and white cat jumped out of Megan’s window and got stuck on the balcony of the flat above hers, she must have knocked on the landlord’s door.
That’s when Megan, 25, met handler Brad Davies, 33.
A week after their introduction, Brad asked Megan out on a date. And next year they are getting married.
Megan, an ambulance medical technician from Colchester, Essex, said: “Mustafa definitely played Cupid.
“He’s a real character because he loves wearing bandanas and brightly colored bow ties.
“If he hadn’t jumped out the window and refused to come back that day, I never would have found love with Brad.”
WIN: Pet Egg Chair
YOUR pet could sit nicely in a hanging egg chair from B&M, worth £65.
It comes with a deluxe cushion and is perfect for cats and small dogs to nap on. Maximum load 8 kg. Five lucky readers will win one.
To enter, send an email titled “B&M” to [email protected] UK. See bmstores.co.uk. The T&Cs apply.
Valentine’s Day Gifts Can Poison Pets
ANIMAL charities wish Paws and Claws readers a happy Valentine’s Day – but also warn to keep potentially toxic gifts and flowers away from pets.
Daffodils and tulips are among the poisonous flowers. Sweets can also harm cats and dogs.
The four-month-old Doberman Ghost family needed life-saving treatment after eating 24 chocolates and were rescued by the PDSA emergency team in Croydon in December.
Lynne James of PDSA said: “Chocolate, flowers and sweets can be very toxic to our pets.
“Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and cats.
“It’s important to be vigilant and keep chocolate, and other potentially toxic gifts, out of reach.
“Keep your pet away from the post and parcels. Some flowers can be poisonous, including hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and lilies, which are particularly dangerous for cats. Put flowers in a place where your cat cannot access it.
“Symptoms of poisoning include low energy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures or change in appetite.
“If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t, don’t wait for symptoms, contact your veterinarian.”