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.
Hy sê: “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.”
V) MY ginger cat Marmalade gives me “love bites” on my hand.
It is like a gentle nibble when he’s purring. Is it love or hate? I’m confused.
Mark Holick, Reading
Sean says: Merk, don’t be alarmed or weirded out, but Marmalade is suckling from you. You’re his mummy now. How sweet.
It’s a common comfort-seeking behaviour, mimicking his time at the teat as a kitten. Cats that do this often paddle you with their feet as they suckle and purr too.
Bit odd but nothing harmful in it. It’s a sign of your emotional bond.
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
V) AFTER the death of our Yorkshire Terrier, we bought two 14-week-old Yorkie brothers but three years on, despite doing all the proper actions, they still wet in the house.
A dog behaviourist told us we should never have bought two boys from the same litter. Surely this can’t be right?
David Johnson, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex
Sean says: I’m afraid to say that your behaviourist has a good point. “Sibling” or “Littermate” syndrome is a genuine challenge in training pups.
It’s generally not a great idea to get two siblings from the same litter, as they will be way more focused on each other during the early socialisation and training phase of life than on you as their human companion.
Castrating (or spaying for female dogs) will certainly help reduce the drive to mark with urine for territorial reasons but at three years, this problem is now ingrained so a little more challenging.
With the help of a behaviourist, it can be sorted out.
V) SOXY, my 17-year-old domestic black and white cat, struggles to eat and sometimes makes a grinding sound when trying to.
His tongue seems to twist to one side when he meows and he cannot stick it out. Is it possible that my vet, who has examined him, has missed something?
Lisa Mal, Rhoose, Glamorgan
Sean says: It is possible the vet has missed something but that’s not necessarily their fault. Perhaps the problem was in the early stages and not visibly noticeable.
Things can advance quite quickly, so what appeared “normal” four weeks ago could be immediately obviously wrong today on a repeat examination.
The fact you mention Soxy’s tongue seems twisted to one side would make me suspicious of a mass in his mouth or jaw that’s making it uncomfortable to eat.
The grinding sound also rings alarm bells. I strongly recommend a repeat exam with your vet to check up on what’s happening now, which might not have been obvious when he first presented to them.
V) HOW much should I be feeding 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, Wes-Sussex
Sean says: Horses are not my strong point but the principle is the same as any pet.
You need to learn how to assess your horse’s body condition and weight, by feeling and observing certain points on their body — the hip bones, ribs, belly and so on.
If they are over-conditioned, it is time to lay off the high-energy concentrates, or reduce their daily hay ration.
If they are under-conditioned, you might want to increase their daily calorie intake by giving more concentrates or hay. If they are just right, keep doing as you’re doing.
Natuurlik, this all fluctuates with seasonal grass growth and quality of grazing too.
Star of the week
MOGGIE Mustafa Biscuit played matchmaker by leading his owner Megan Horlock to find love.
When the three-year-old black and white puss jumped out of Megan’s window and got stuck on the balcony of the flat above hers, she had to knock on the owner’s door.
That is when Megan, 25, met warehouseman Brad Davies, 33.
A week after their introduction, Brad asked Megan on a date. And next year they are getting married.
Megan, an ambulance medical technician from Colchester, Essex, gesê: “Mustafa definitely played Cupid.
“He’s a real character, as he loves wearing bright bandanas and bow ties.
“If he hadn’t jumped out of the window and refused to come back in that day, I’d never have found love with Brad.”
WIN: Pet Egg Chair
YOUR pet could be sitting pretty in a hanging egg chair from B&M, worth £65.
It comes with a luxury cushion and is perfect for cats and small dogs to take a nap in. Maximum load 8kg. Five lucky readers will win one.
Om in te gaan, send an email titled “B&M” to email@example.com. uk. Sien bmstores.co.uk. T&Cs geld.
Valentine gifts can poison pets
ANIMAL charities are wishing Paws and Claws readers a Happy Valentine’s Day – but also warning to keep potentially toxic gifts and flowers away from pets.
Daffodils and tulips are among poisonous blooms. Sweets can also harm cats and dogs.
Four-month-old family Doberman Ghost needed life-saving treatment after eating 24 chocolates and was saved by the PDSA’s emergency team in Croydon in December.
Lynne James of the PDSA said: “Chocs, flowers and sweets can be highly toxic for our pets.
“Chocolate contains theo- bromine which is poisonous to dogs and cats.
“It’s important to be vigilant and keep chocolate, as well as other potentially toxic gifts, out of reach.
“Keep your pet away from post and parcels. Some flowers can be poisonous, including hyacinths, daff-odils, tulips and lilies, which are particularly dangerous for cats. Put flowers in a place where your cat can’t access them.
“Symptoms of poisoning include low energy, drool-ing, braking, diarrhoea, bewing, seizures or a change in appetite.
“If you think your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t, do not wait for symptoms, contact your vet.”