Friday 31 July 2009
2. Have you any idea why my five year old cat has just started passing urine in the house?
3. I am having difficulty house-training my 13 week old Jack Russell puppy.
4. What's the best way to treat a kitten with fleas? Can I just use a normal adult cat flea treatment?
5. My 5 year old Springer Spaniel cross is shaking her head and has sore ears. What should I do?
6. My two year old rabbit has started to chew the legs of the kitchen table. How can I stop her?
7. How often should I be feeding my five year old cat? I feed her three times daily at the moment. Click here for full post
Wednesday 29 July 2009
Tuesday 28 July 2009
Monday 27 July 2009
I did a brief spot on a new radio station in Ireland, 4FM, discussing how to budget for pet care during these more difficult economic times. Click on the play button below to listen.
03_07_09 Pete Wedderburn.mp3
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Sunday 26 July 2009
Saturday 25 July 2009
"Masticatory muscle myositis" is a bit of a mouthful - and it's quite rare. But when it happens, it can be a challenging problem both to diagnose and to treat. I've written a piece about it across at the Telegraph - click here to read it. Click here for full post
Friday 24 July 2009
Thursday 23 July 2009
2) Our terrier-type dog has kennel cough. How long will it take to get better, and should we walk him while he has it?
3) My rabbit keeps washing himself around the neck and is wet most of the time there. Why?
4) My Doberman puppy is only 9 weeks old but he keeps biting me. He growls and backs too. What can I do?
5) Do electric collars stop dogs from barking? How do they work?
6) My one-year-old cat cries non-stop when we go to bed at night. What can we do?
7) How do I stop my dog from pulling on the lead when walking? I have a harness but it doesn't seem to work.
8) My five year old Pomeranian doesn't let us brush him and his fur is falling out. What can we do?
Visit www.tv3.ie to watch more from Pete Click here for full post
Wednesday 22 July 2009
Tuesday 21 July 2009
Monday 20 July 2009
Sunday 19 July 2009
Saturday 18 July 2009
Friday 17 July 2009
Mugley was a stray cat who had wandered into Gabrielle’s life some years previously. He had just turned up at the back door one day, looking for some food and some attention. He was a friendly cat and Gabrielle took pity on him, feeding him and allowing him to stay in the comfort of her warm kitchen. He came and went that first day, but he came back a few days later, and this time he stayed permanently.
He was a large adult cat when he arrived, and Gabrielle presumed that he was fully grown. As the months passed, it was obvious to her that he was continuing to grow, and soon he was so big that he dwarfed her other cats, making them look kitten-like beside his huge frame. Eventually he stopped growing, but he was now so big that Gabrielle began to worry about him. She had heard about the modern phenomenon of pet obesity, and she began to wonder if Mugley had become overweight.
Pet obesity is shockingly common. Surveys have demonstrated that around one-third of all pets are too fat, which is a grotesque statistic in a world where a human child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes. The fat-pet situation is much more complicated than it may at first seem. Pets do not become fat because owners are deliberately overindulging their beloved dogs and cats. Instead, there is often a basic misunderstanding of the nutritional needs and habits of animals.
Humans have evolved as "hunter/gatherers", and we are genetically programmed to collect food, store it, then eat it in small quantities as needed. Cats and dogs, on the other hand, have descended from “predators". Their ancestors hunted food, ate it very rapidly, while looking over their shoulder in case another predator sneaked up to steal their food. Wild carnivores do not store food around them like humans do. Instead, they store food inside their body, as fat. It is easy to see why dogs and cats are prone to developing obesity when placed into the food-rich environment of a modern western household.
When a pet becomes fat, it can be difficult to reverse the trend. Strict diets are needed, using measured amounts of special low calorie pet food. Owners need to stick rigidly to carefully planned feeding regimes. It is far easier to identify a trend to obesity at an early stage, and at that stage to trim back a normal diet, rather than waiting till the stage when extremely strict diets are necessary.
So how do you tell if a pet is getting fat? This is the question that Gabrielle wanted me to answer about Mugley when she brought him in to see me.
There are three main questions to answer when assessing a pet’s body condition.
Firstly, can you feel the bones of the back? If a pet is too fat, a layer of blubber along the back can make it impossible to feel the normal hard ridges of the spine.
Secondly, can you feel the ribs? They should not be prominent in a very visible way, but as you run your fingers along your pet’s chest, you should easily be able to feel the bones.
And thirdly, look at the overall shape of your pet. From above, pets should have an hour-glass type shape: widest at the chest, narrow around the midriff, and then wide at the pelvis. Fat pets become like shapeless cushions. From the side, pets should look wedge-shaped – wider at the front, and tapering up towards their rear ends. Obese cats are particularly prone to the dropped abdomen syndrome, with their bellies drooping down almost to touch the ground.
As I examined Mugley, it was obvious that he was not at all fat. His body was well-muscled all over, and he had a long, lithe body shape. He is simply a huge cat. When I put him on the scales, he was over 9kg. He is heavier than many fat cats, but obesity is not a problem for him. Gabrielle can carry on feeding him in exactly the same way as she has been doing so far.
+ One in three pets are obese, and it can be difficult to get them to lose weight
+ It is much easier to prevent a pet from getting obese in the first place
+ Vets and vet nurses are the best people to let you know if your pet’s weight is correct
Click here for full post
Thursday 16 July 2009
1. My cat's fur is falling out, leaving a mess in my house. What can I do?
2. My Shih Tzu is eating its own droppings. What can I do about it?
3. My one-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has become nippy since he was neutered three weeks ago. What can I do about it?
4. My guinea pig had two babies two days ago, wand was found dead yesterday. What could have happened?
5. My nine-month old Boxer has been diagnosed with infection of the bones of his spine. Is this common in some breeds, and can it be cured?
6. My Miniature Schnauzer has a grade 3 heart murmur. Should she be given treatment now or should I wait until she shows signs of illness?
For more clips of Pete, visit the TV3 website at www.tv3.ie. Click here for full post
Wednesday 15 July 2009
Tuesday 14 July 2009
Monday 13 July 2009
Sunday 12 July 2009
Saturday 11 July 2009
2) Our 4 year old Boxer has developed bald patches and has been diagnosed with a thyroid problem. What treatment is available?
3) My dog had a lump on its leg that burst, and fluid came out. What could it be?
4) My Westie has a rash on his back, and he's going bald. What could it be?
5) Our 9 year Shih Tzu is dull, drinking a lot and has been vomiting. It's all happened suddenly. What should we do?
6) My Beagle cross has dark-coloured circular bald patches on the backs of his legs and his paws. What could they be?
7) I need tips on training my 14 week old Yorkshire Terrier pup. Click here for full post
Friday 10 July 2009
This week on East Coast FM, I discussed the increased risk of Botulism that happens in hot weather. One thing that I forgot to mention - it's the nerve poison from Botulism that's used in Botox (i.e. Botulism Toxin) for the anti-wrinkle injections. Anyway, click on the play button below to listen.
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Thursday 9 July 2009
Wednesday 8 July 2009
1. How can I stop my dog from killing plants in my garden by urinating on them?
2. My Labrador is overweight and has arthritis. How can I help her?
3. My Bulldog is bright and well, but is barely eating just now. Should I be worried? Click here for full post
Tuesday 7 July 2009
Monday 6 July 2009
Instructions for giving your cat a pill
1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.
2. Position left forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.
3. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
4. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm again and repeat process.
5. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
6. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
7. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
8. Kneel on floor with cat held firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cat’s head firmly with one hand while forcing mouth open. Drop pill down mouth and rub cat’s throat vigerously.
9. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
10. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse’s armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat’s mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
11. Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
12. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
13. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw blood-stained T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
14. Ring the Fire Brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
15. Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Force cat’s mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by a large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 1/2 pint water down throat to wash pill down.
16. Get spouse to drive you to the local accident and emergency department; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call in to furniture shop on way home to order new table.
17. Arrange for vet to make a house call.
As far as I know, the above piece is freely available in the public domain - if anyone knows who originally wrote it, please let me know and I'll be happy to give them due credit
Click here for full post
Sunday 5 July 2009
A puppy is a wonderful addition to a family, and it was a day for celebration when Scooby arrived in the Murphy household. Rianna, the oldest daughter, had been asking her parents for a puppy for a long time, but they had sensibly waited until their youngest child Georgia was old enough to cope with a bouncing, boisterous bundle of young dog.
The Murphys made some other good decisions when they chose Scooby. They researched the breed of dog very carefully: a miniature Dachshund is small and friendly enough to be manageable by very young people. They obtained the puppy from an experienced breeder with a good reputation. They were able to meet the puppy’s mother, and the breeder was able to give them plenty of good advice for their first days with the puppy in their home.
The family also planned the timing of the puppy’s arrival very well. Scooby arrived in late July, so the children are in the middle of the school holidays, with plenty of time to focus on their new pet. This will ensure that Scooby becomes very well socialized with his new family before they need to depart during the daytime for the school term routine.
The Murphys made another sensible decision: Scooby was taken for his first appointment with the vet soon after they had collected him from the breeder. Scooby was not sick, and he had already been fully vaccinated, so his veterinary visit was not necessary for his immediate health. However, it was an important visit because vets are independent individuals who know about animals. The Murphys wanted to have Scooby checked out thoroughly to ensure that he was as healthy as he seemed. Pedigree puppies are not cheap, and hidden problems such as heart murmurs, hernias and other abnormalities are surprisingly common. An immediate check by a vet is a good way of ensuring that the puppy you have purchased is a healthy individual. If there is a serious underlying problem, it is best to find out as soon as possible, before you have become emotionally involved with the new arrival. If you have had a puppy for two or three weeks before the vet tells you that he has a serious heart murmur, you will find it very difficult to return the puppy to the breeder, where he may face an uncertain future.
When the Murphy family first came into my consult room with Scooby, they all knew about the risk that I might find something wrong with their new friend. There were a tense few minutes while I examined him from his nose to the tip of his tail, and listened carefully to his heart with a stethoscope. The news was good: I could find nothing wrong with Scooby. He was in prime physical condition.
Before the Murphys left, I took time to discuss the eight most important aspects of puppy care.
Vaccinations: All puppies need a full course of vaccinations before it is safe to take them for walks in areas visited by other dogs
Worms: Puppies commonly carry worms that can pose a risk to human health if not treated, so a regular worming schedule is essential
Fleas: The warm summer months mean that a flea invasion of the family home is a risk unless preventive measures are taken, such as drops that are placed once a month on the back of the puppy’s neck.
Diet: A balanced diet is essential for all puppies; household scraps are not good enough for a growing dog.
Microchipping: Many owners choose to have their new puppy microchipped for permanent identification, although nowadays all registered pedigree puppies should be chipped by the time they arrive in their new homes
Insurance: Modern veterinary care can be excellent, but it can also be very expensive. It is sensible to set up pet insurance as soon as you take in a new puppy, so that if your new family member runs into health problems, you can get the best treatment, paid for by the insurance company rather than out of your own pocket.
Neutering: as the slogan says. “It’s nicer to neuter”. For most pet dogs, it makes sense to arrange neutering of both males and females at around six months of age
Socialisation: Puppies like Scooby are fast to learn about new experiences, so it is good to let them meet plenty of people while they are still young, so that they are relaxed, well-behaved dogs with visitors when they grow up.
The first consultation with Scooby and the Murphy family took thirty minutes, and that was without even giving a vaccination. But they went away with plenty of information, and hopefully Scooby’s life in the Murphy home will be easier and smoother as a result.
+ The right puppy in the right household can be a wonderful addition to a family
+ The summer holidays are an excellent time to obtain your first puppy
+ You should visit your vet as soon as possible with your new puppy, even if vaccines have already been completed
Click here for full post
Saturday 4 July 2009
2. A terrier with baldness and scabs on his back. What could be wrong?
3. I'm allergic to cats - what can I do to keep them out of my garden?
4. Our six month old pup gets sick in the car. What can we do to help her?
5. Our six year old boy is frightened of dogs. We're thinking of getting a puppy - what would be best breed be?
6. Our Bichon Frise is always barking. How can we control this? Are the collars safe?7. 7. My dog has a long nail. Can I clip it myself? Click here for full post
Friday 3 July 2009
Thursday 2 July 2009
Wednesday 1 July 2009
a) What can be done for a Bassett Hound with sore ears?
b) How can a cat be stopped from waking his owner for food in the early hours of the morning?
c) Is air travel safe for dogs? Should they be sedated prior to travel? Click here for full post