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.
Q: The weirdest thing has been happening to our black cat - he has started to turn brown. He's nine years old and a rescue cat that we don't have much history on. Now and again he even leaves some brownish marks on his bed. Is this normal?
A: There are two possibilities here that could explain your cat's apparent colour changes. The first is fleas, or more accurately, flea excrement, which is dark brown/black in colour. It contains haemoglobin from consumed blood, which can stain clothes and bedding dark brown. Check the base of your cat's skin and look for small dark nuggets, picking them up with wet, white tissue. When rubbed between the fingers these should turn a reddish colour. Secondly, many black cats go for the sun-bleached look during the warmer months. This generally changes back to their darker hue as the winter nights begin to draw in and they shed their summer coat for the thicker winter one. If this is the case, your little cat will soon return to the sleek ebony black you remember.
Scott Miller, vet
Q: My five-year-old Labrador's bedding is always damp in the morning. She is not overweight and gets plenty of exercise. What could be causing this?
A: The most likely cause of her damp bedding is small amounts of urine, as it is not uncommon for female dogs to become urinary incontinent as they get older. Sometimes associated with neutering, hormonal urinary incontinence results in leaky urinary sphincters (the smooth muscle valves involved with urinary control), leading to a dog who dribbles at night, when they are asleep and rely on involuntary control. As a first step, it is worth taking your dog and a urine sample into your vet clinic because, if diagnosed, this condition tends to be very well controlled with daily oral medications.
Scott Miller, vet
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