Every week the PDSA vet answers all of your questions about caring for your pets.
One of our rabbits, Tinker, injured his mouth and couldn’t eat or drink. Our vet gave us an intestinal stimulant and we inject her liquid food into her mouth until it heals. It only passes a few tiny stools every day – is that enough to prevent intestinal stasis? Andy
Dear Andy, congestion in rabbits can be fatal if left untreated. So you are right to watch this very closely. It is comforting that she can pass a few stools, but the few you described probably won’t be enough to show healthy bowel movement. Please bring Tinker back to your vet. She may need further treatment and may need to stay in hospital so her nurses can closely monitor feed and cecotroph (sticky, nutritious feces) intake and bowel movements. Hopefully with the right care she will make a full recovery – Get well soon Tinker!
Dear PDSA vet
My dog Peggy is being treated for kennel cough by my vet. My friend said my cat could catch it from her, but I thought only dogs get kennel cough. Is that true? Noel
Dear Noel, Kennel Cough causes a persistent, hard cough that will resolve within three weeks in most dogs. However, sometimes it can cause your dog to become extremely bad, which means he will need to be treated by his veterinarian. It is caused by various bacteria and viruses and is very contagious. It spreads through sneezing, coughing, sharing bowls of water, and contact with infected surfaces and the environment. One cause of kennel cough – Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria – can affect cats, although it usually only causes mild illness. Kittens are more susceptible than healthy adult cats, but keep an eye on your cat. If symptoms such as sneezing or coughing occur, contact your veterinarian. More information is available at www.pdsa.org.uk/kennelcough
Dear PDSA veterinarian,
Our 16-year-old cat Lisa is healthy and eats her food regularly, but goes to the bathroom in the house overnight. She still goes out regularly during the day. Is there anything else we can do? Charlie
Dear Charlie, there can be many reasons for such behavior change and you need to have your veterinarian examine them. Lisa has been in the past few years and may be using the bathroom around the house because one of her organs is malfunctioning or she may have trouble moving around. As an older pet, regular health checkups are a good idea as they can identify potential problems early on. Many age-related diseases can be treated well to ensure your pet maintains a good quality of life. The earlier these are recorded, the better.
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. More information is available on the website: www.pdsa.org.uk.