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Pets’ Corner

Dr Victoria Vidal, head vet at Heronden independent veterinary practice in Tenterden, answers all your pet-related ponderings...

Heard of Heronden Vets? We love this family-run, independent veterinary practice in Tenterden, where the service is all about providing excellent care to each individual pet – however big or small. So we asked Dr Victoria Vidal, head vet and owner to answer all your pet-related ponderings…

Q: I have a 5-year-old Labrador who loves his food. We live in Brenchley, surrounded by apple orchards, and he tends to eat a few when we’re out for our daily walk. I’m worried about his teeth but he’s not the kind of dog to sit still and let you brush them! Is there any other alternative? Thank you so much, Grace.

All dogs naturally produce tartar & there are certain dogs who produce more than others – we don’t really understand why.

Certain breeds have a pre-disposition to dental issues many of these include toy breeds which is related to teeth crowding but diet does play a large part. Soft food allows greater build up than kibble due to the ‘crunching’. 

There are finger brushes that you can use with enzymatic toothpastes & there are also ultrasonic cleaners that some groomers use that can delay onset but it is important to get your dog’s teeth checked every 6 months to check if a scale and polish is needed. Too much tartar can cause gingivitis which can lead to tooth loss. Dental procedures require a full general anaesthetic so prevention is always better. 

Q: My cat has sticky eyes and is sniffing so much. What should I do? I’ve tried wiping his eyes but this is happening every day. Thank you, Matt.

At certain times of the year cats can suffer from allergies which can cause runny eyes, sneezing and coughing – speak to your vet about allergy medication as a first step but always be sure to take the cat in if the discharge is anything but clear.

Q: I’m worried my dog, a 5 year old French Bulldog, has developed sleep apnea. He seems to stop breathing for a few seconds when he’s sleeping… Is there anything I do to help him? He’s already had a nose job! Thanks so much, Wendy.

French Bulldogs suffer from certain conformational problems which predispose them to breathing difficulties. These are exacerbated by weight gain and hot weather. Often the first sign your dog has this problem – known as brachiocephalic syndrome – will be excessive snoring, and a perceived smile when panting.

The Naries Operation (nose job) is only one part of B.O.A.S. surgery and further investigation needs to be carried out to determine how many issues may need to be resolved. In the meantime to help keep him cool and slim & do take this dog to see your vet.

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