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Welcome to Petplan’s blog, a space where you can read up on the latest pet-news, find out interesting facts and tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy, and share your views on hot topics.

Pudsey: another in a long line of pet stars

Pudsey: another in a long line of pet stars
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog pudsey

You can't throw a stick without it being chased by a talented animal these days. Pudsey from Britain's Got Talent is yet more proof.

In the last year we've seen pets pick up various accolades for their work in entertainment – even the hardest of hearts have melted at the sight of Uggie faithfully supporting his struggling owner in The Artist and Cosmo losing his best friend in Beginners.

Palm Dog winner Uggie is a veteran of the film world (he's appeared in many films including Water for Elephants and Mr Fix It) but was rejected by his first owner for being too wild. His fearless nature is what makes him good on set, his owner, Omar von Muller, believes. How does he get Uggie to perform so well? It's simply a matter of trust. 'He's like family, and it's all about having fun,' von Muller explains.

It's not just dogs taking starring roles, of course. 11-year-old thoroughbred gelding, Finder, caused many a tear to fall for his emotive performance in War Horse. Finder is an old hoof at acting. His credits include starring roles in Seabiscuit, The Legend of Zorro and Unstoppable. And again, it is the relationship between animal and owner that produces the result. 'Horse whisperer' Bobby Lovgren enjoyed working with Finder so much while filming Seabiscuit, he bought him from the film's producers. Lovgren describes their relationship as being 'like dancers' and it's almost impossible to detect his directions, which the horse interprets faultlessly. Finder, too, can be a bit wild.

And now there's Pudsey, winner of Britain's Got Talent. He and his owner, Ashleigh Butler, will soon perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. Ashleigh was given Pudsey for her 11th birthday, six years ago and their shared love of performing is palpable. Pudsey began with agility training at 12 months old and progressed to 'canine freestyle', in which he clearly excels. Since Saturday evening, Pudsey has gained an agent, a book deal - and a very bright future.

Pyometra: what to look out for

Pyometra: what to look out for
Posted on by Petplan
Continuing on a reproductive theme, vet Marc Abraham looks at an extremely common life-threatening condition that affects unspayed female dogs, yet is easily preventablePyometra - literally pus in the womb' - presents with a range of signs, from the obvious (thick creamy pus discharging from the vulva) to the subtle (loss of appetite)

Toilet train your rabbit today

Toilet train your rabbit today
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: rabbit toilet training toileting rabbits
Q: Can I train my granddaughters' rabbit? She won't use the plastic tray that we bought. We don't want her to be uncomfortable in a wet hutch.A: Rabbits are generally very clean pets and will naturally choose one spot in their hutch to go to the toilet. Watch your rabbit over a number of days and you'll see which spot she's chosen, then place the litter

The dangers of 'hidden' testicles

The dangers of 'hidden' testicles
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat dog cancer testicles cryptorchidism
Following on from last week's piece on pet neutering, vet Marc Abraham discusses the important topic of cryptorchidism - a condition that can lead to all sorts of complications in male cats and dogs

It's important to recognise if your pet's 'bits' look different to other pets, as these differences can lead to serious life-threatening conditions.

Video: an amazing real-life recovery story

Video: an amazing real-life recovery story
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog insurance accident video
Sue Millard will never forget the distraught call from her daughter Rebecca, on 6 August last year, after her beautiful Collie-Spaniel cross Ben suffered a 35-foot fall. Here is the story of his amazing recovery back to health. From the current edition of PetPeople magazine.'My daughter had been out walking on a forestry road when Ben went through a hole in a fence and over a sheer drop. His injuries were so bad that he'd been rushed to the hospital.'Looking back, Sue admits that the next few days were a blur for the whole family: 'Ben was in such a state - it was touch and go whether they could save him. None of us got much sleep. We cried so much - we thought we'd lose him.
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