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: My cat keeps going to the toilet in the corner of the room on the carpet – is there anything I can do to stop her? Estelle
A: Cats urinate in inappropriate places for a number of reasons. It is very important to take your cat to see the vet so that they can test for urinary tract infections.
Unlike dogs most UTIs in cats are sterile and therefore don’t need antibiotics but in the majority of cases these are caused by stress. This is known as a stress cystitis and can present in exactly this way, so anti-inflammatories are likely to be necessary. If you notice that your cat is drinking a lot more as well as urinating in the corner you must also mention this to the vet.
Q: My 8-year-old twins have their hearts set on getting rabbits. A friend mentioned ‘house rabbit’ what’s the difference between a ‘house rabbit’ and a normal domesticated rabbit? Are they all the same thing? We were hoping to build an insulated shed in the garden to house them in – would that be okay? Will they need separate hutches? Thank you, Mollie.
A: There is no such thing as a “house rabbit” all can be kept indoors and can be house trained with a litter tray. The problem is that rabbits like to chew (especially wires) and unobserved rabbits can get themselves into trouble.
Insulated hutches are fine but there must be adequate ventilation and vaccination is mandatory.
Most rabbit diseases are spread by fleas which are carried by many creatures in the environment. Rabbits should ideally be kept in pairs as they get very sad when they are kept alone but it is important to castrate any males and sometimes spaying females can help too.
Q: We have two tiny toy poodles (3kg each) aged 9 & 10. Two weeks ago we welcomed a new puppy (he is an Irish Wolfhound, 12 weeks old and 12kg already…) The puppy gets very excited and wants to play with the other dogs (which they are distinctly unimpressed with)… Any suggestions on how to set boundaries and avoid canine chaos would be massively appreciated! Thank you, Polly.
A: Whenever there is a large size discrepancy between dogs that live together, play boundaries do need to be established, right from the outset.
Behaviourists and Trainers can help with this and my suggestion would be to seek advice sooner rather than later.