Ask the Vet 10/10/2013 – Questions and Answers

jn onlineOn the 10th October our vet, Jonathan Nurse, was joined by a behavioural specialist who was there to answer any behaviour questions that cropped up.  Not everyone is able to make our Ask the Vet sessions so we thought we would add several of them to a blog post so if you missed it you can take a look at some of the things that were asked. This is only a selection of some of the questions that were asked.  If you this this is useful and a good idea we will create a couple of these each month. Let us know on our Facebook page by clicking HERE

Question 1 – My cat Tiger was recently diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease and I was advised to feed him with Royal Canin Renal food. This is fine as he doesn’t seem to mind it, however the difficulty comes when I want to give him a little treat – are you aware of any I can buy? I did speak to the vet quickly over the phone about treats and she suggested cooking chicken breast but stupidly I didn’t ask how much or how frequently I could give it (I know you’re supposed to avoid protein/phosphorous). Any advice would be much appreciated!

Answer – There are no specific renal diet treats as far as I am aware. You could use a different prescription renal diet as a treat. It’s not very exciting but can work well as they taste different. If you use chicken, just use a tiny amount-literally a mouthful as a treat

Question 2 – Hi! Behavioural question. I have a Galga who came from dreadful conditions, she came from a gypsy camp in Spain and was kept in a cellar of some sort as far as I can establish. She is happy enough at home, plays with the other dogs, although has to be encouraged to eat but out on a walk she constantly stops if she hears or sees someone walking behind us, or a dog, or plastic bag, anything really. She digs her heels in and won’t move, constantly looking over her shoulder, until the #threat# has gone and she can’t hear anything. I walk in the quietest areas I know and have recently started trying a Thundershirt on her which doesn’t appear to be making much difference. I have had her 18 months almost now and have seen no improvement. I don’t know what else to do to help her. Do you have any other suggestions. (have tried DAP!)

Answer –  Hi Jackie, I would suggest that you stop taking her for a walk as it’s stressing her out too much. If she is happy at home and can play in the garden she is getting some exercise. A full assessment can be made if you contact Cherrydown.

Question 3 – We have a rescue dog who has been with us for 3 years. Whenever we offer him “walkies” or get his lead he runs upstairs and hides! He loves going to the woods but if we walk the streets he will drag us back home!

Answer – This reaction is because he is frightened of walking the streets for some reason. You are probably best to avoid taking him on street walks especially if the route doesn’t take you to the woods. Although it’s usually accepted that dogs need to go for a walk every day, this might not be the best for your dog. It needs a full assessment really which can be arranged if you contact Cherrydown.

Question 4 – My 2 year old English Bull Terrier regularly gets small pink blister like spots on his skin. After a few days a hard crust forms and eventually the spot flakes off leaving a small bald spot on his fur. He only seems to get one at a time and once gone another one seems to come up somewhere else shortly after, thanks

Answer – Obviously difficult to say without seeing the lesions but it could be a condition called pyoderma-that is a bacterial skin infection.We see this alot in Bull Terriers and is often secondary to skin allergies (does he/she get ear problems, itchy feet, bottom as they are also signs of skin allergy?). Best advise would be a vet assessment when lesions are evident so we can make sure what is happening

Question 5 – I have a question I have a 10 month old king Charles who had to have a plate and pins in her back leg after my other king Charles fell on her and broke her leg back in march this year after her op and last x-rays all has been going really well and you would never think she has a plate-screws etc in her leg thanks to your fantastic vets and treatment , I noticed this morning after she wakes up and gets out of her dog bed she’s limping slightly on her back leg that has the plate in for a few mins then seems to be fine after that and I’ve noticed after we go for a walk she comes in and again there’s a slight limp that again gos after a few mins could there be a problem or could the lovely change in cold weather be causing the problem as all though the summer she didn’t have any problems at all and would run around all day , is there any thing I could do to help or to stop her getting a limp ?

Answer – There could be a number of reasons why this is happening. One possibility is that there is another problem causing the lameness. Another possibility is that the screws in the plate have moved and could be causing a problem. Sometimes we do see plates casuing problems when the temperature changes but would be concerned about other issues. Would advise vet check to see what is happening and may need some Xrays

Question 6 – I have 2 kittens roughly 5 months old. They have been done and vaccinated. However they seem to like to wee on on bed? they always have a clean litter tray. Any ideas please

Answer – You need to keep them out of the bedroom for now and they should have at least one litter tray each. Some cats prefer to urinate and defecate in separate places.

Question 7 – Hi i have a rescue lab/border collie shes approx 1yr 2mths..i have had her since April but she is chewing her way through my furniture. I’m at my wits end.

Answer – Is this when she is alone or with you? Has she got plenty of legitimate things to chew? If the problem is when she is alone it really needs proper assessment. Please call Cherrydown who can give info about a referral

Question 8 – We have a newborn and our 3 year old bichon frise is very anxious whenever we have visitors that they are going to hurt his baby sister, he cries barks and runs all over the room. Any tips on how we can help him relax?

Answer – Try shutting him away until the visitors are sitting down and then bring him in the room and make sure he has somewhere to sit/lie down eg his own bed. For general help with introducing a dog to a new baby I recommend ‘Sound Soothing’ CD. It’s difficult to identify why he is getting upset, it may be that he isn’t getting the attention and the baby is,  rather than him protecting the baby.If it continues please call Cherrydown who will pass your details to me.

Question 9 – My 12 year old dog seems a little depressed we lost her companion dog in Feb this year he was 13. she has arthritis in her back legs and my question is what can I do to perk her up as another companion is out of the question.

Answer –  I would recommend a vet check to assess for physical issues first as it may be the pain of the arthritis or any number of physical problems that may be the issue. If these are excluded, then we could look at treatment options

Question 10 –  Have 1 year old cockerpoo, just had her first season. Is it normal for her to forget lots of what she has been so good at? Has not messed in house for months, suddenly leaving puddles and reluctant to do them in the garden. Also, takes longer for her to stop barking and being excitable when people visit. Seems strange how she has changed?

Answer –  Some dogs get cystitis with the first season so probably best to get her checked with a urine sample. She is approaching social maturity when a lot of dogs go through a teenage rebellion. Teach her to sit to greet people and whenever she wants anything from you eg food or attention.

That was a selection of the questions that were asked at the last Ask the Vet session.  If you found this useful let us know and we will continue to update the blog pages with it. As always, if you have a question you can either call us at the clinic or for non urgent questions you can post them onto our Facebook page