From a Yorkie that eats cow poo to a sick cat— your pet queries answered
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.”
Sean helps a reader with a Yorkie that eats cow poo[/caption]
Pet vet Sean McCormack answers your questions[/caption]
Q) IS it bad if my Yorkie Betty eats cow poo?
She never scavenges and is quite the diva, but she loves eating cowpats.
I try to stop her.
Once she’s had a nibble, she leaps in the air like a pup, it’s crazy to see. Is it harmful for her to have a tiny bit?
Sarah Dillon, Widnes, Cheshire
A) It’s not great, Sarah.
Dogs are omnivores, and scavengers by nature.
In fact they evolved to eat poo of other species, starting with our own dumps and toileting sites when they first became domesticated.
There may be a delicious flavour, a source of nutrients and dietary fibre in cow dung that a dog enjoys, but there are also some risks involved.
In particular, there’s a parasite that can pass between cattle and dogs called neospora, which can make dogs really ill and cause cows to abort their young.
So it’s best to limit Betty’s access to cowpats.
Sean helps a reader with a Jack Russell in need of his yearly booster[/caption]
Q) MY Jack Russell was due his yearly booster in May 2020.
I phoned my vet to book, as I had not had a reminder.
She said she was working through the names of the pets and was at ‘C’. My dog is ‘H’ — Hamish.
So I waited and waited but I never got called in for his booster.
This will be his second year without it. Does it matter?
He is all I’ve got and I am a pensioner now.
He is eight years and six months old. What do you advise now, please?
Ronald Clarke, Blackpool
A) It may just be a simple admin error and they have missed your vaccine reminder. But it’s important our pets get their booster.
A few months late for a fully-vaccinated adult dog isn’t the end of the world, but missing out entirely on a year or more will mean Hamish is prone to picking up one disease we don’t want him to, leptospirosis.
This vaccine is given every year, the rest every three years.
So just give your vet a call again and ask when he can be brought up to date
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q) COTY, my 11-year-old cat, gets really stressed when she has to go in the cat carrier, and wees, poos and salivates.
The last time, she was violently sick and was panting like a dog and her little heart was beating so fast I was worried she was going to have a heart attack.
Is there anything I can do or buy to help with this problem?
J Hughes, Walsall, West Mids
A) This is pretty common, and I agree, really distressing to witness.
Some scaredy cats hate the confinement, and others may be anticipating a car journey they don’t enjoy or a visit to the vets which is always a bit stressful for cats.
There are medications and calming aids you can get from your vet that might mellow out poor Coty before her next vet visit. See if that helps.
Q) We adopted a rescue dog called Sandy from a local animal rescue centre.
After a shaky start she has turned into an almost perfect pooch apart from the “shedding” of lots and lots of hair.
We wash her regularly with appropriate shampoo making sure she is well rinsed and try to introduce salmon oil into her diet.
Is there anything else we can try?
Mike Readman, Whitby, North Yorks
A) You don’t mention what breed Sandy is.
This makes a big difference in what you can do, and what grooming tools you need.
But regular brushing and grooming sessions will keep on top of the shedding issue.
Best to get advice from a local groomer on what equipment you need and how frequently to groom her at home.
Star of the week
FUN-loving Fudge is a born performer with plenty of tricks up his sleeve.
He lives with animal behaviourist Sarah-Jane White and his fellow guinea pigs Smudge and Tootles.
Together they put on circus shows at home, balancing on each other and having their run of an enrichment play park filled with activities.
Sarah, 51, who is from Norfolk, says: “Fudge is only ten weeks old but is so talented. He can lift up a weight on which I put veggies and treats.
“And he loves ‘popcorning’, which is where he runs and leaps into the air like a piece of popcorn exploding.
“I’m fascinated by these gentle, little creatures and they are absolute stars bringing happiness every day.”
Win: Stress treats
IS your pet stressed? Dogs often struggle with being left alone while a third of cat owners fear their pet is anxious.
Supplements can help and we have five bundles of Alphazium TT treats, worth £50, to give away (tvm-uk.com/alphaziumtt).
They help reduce stress and are tasty too.
Send an email titled ALPHAZIUM saying whether your pet is small, medium or large to sundaypets@ the-sun.co.uk. Closes August 22. T&Cs apply.
When walkies becomes wheelies
A DOG lover who struggled to find the money to pay for her pet’s wheelchair has set up a charity to help animals with disabilities.
Rachel Wettner’s beloved Staffie Winston was unable to walk following surgery for a spinal tumour in 2017.
Having spent thousands on vet bills, Rachel then faced a £450 bill for a wheelchair.
Friends helped raise the money – inspiring Rachel to start Winston’s Wheels, which has provided wheelchairs and buggies to more than 300 dogs.
Rachel, a support worker from Sudbury, Suffolk, said: “When we found ourselves desperately wanting to help our dog, we knew others would feel the same.
“Having a wheelchair or stroller can prevent pets being put to sleep.”
In three years, Rachel, 45, has raised £31,500 and has been able to buy 95 sets of wheels, plus 51 strollers and harnesses.
Whenever a dog needs support, Rachel and her team of volunteers send wheels.
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Owners pay for the postage and pledge to return the wheels when they no longer need them.
Winston died in June 2020 but Rachel is proud that his legacy is helping dogs carry on enjoying life.
See Winston’s Wheels’ Facebook page for more.
Alicia Adendorff is a reporter for Healthy Organic Lifestyle.