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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.

Does your cat have an ear infection?

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This article contains: cat infection ears

Q: One of my cats, a moggy called Clarence, seems to have a bit of a problem with his ear. I noticed today that one ear is slightly down, and he is reluctant to let me touch it. He is shaking his head on one side as though there is something in it, but he is an indoors-only cat. He is otherwise fine, bright and eating well, so is this something that will clear up on its own?

A: There certainly could be something in your cat’s ear, though infection leading to inflammation and pain could also lead to a feline shaking its head. Cats are generally very hardy creatures and don’t complain much, so if Clarence is clearly distressed, then book him an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible.

Should your dog wear a jacket in winter?

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This article contains: dog winter jacket coat cold outdoors

Q: We have just bought a Pug who the children have called Lucy. She is a wonderful character, but seems to feel the cold terribly, shaking whenever we go outside.

I don’t want to be like Paris Hilton, but the kids are keen on buying her a jacket for winter. What do you think?

A: If your little short-haired dog feels the cold, then some type of warm clothing during the winter months may be OK – as long as this is just temperature-related. This could be a behavioural problem, where little Lucy is nervous about going outdoors and shakes as a result.

If she seems happy and well-adjusted outdoors, then canine fashion can be tolerated as long as it is comfortable and allows your dog to act naturally – a pink puffa jacket does not fit this description!

Ticks have left my dog with lumps

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Q: Our nine-month-old Cockapoo has had a number of ticks that have been removed but have left him with lumps. As one is close to the eye, we took him to the vet.

He was given a course of antibiotics and we were told that they would go away in time. This was a month ago and they haven’t altered in size. What should we do?

A: Let your vet have another look, as they really should have reduced by now. It seems that your tick-removing technique might need a little tweaking, as you may be leaving the head in, which causes infection and can lead to swelling.

Even when removed properly, tick bites can cause inflammation and small lumps, so in the long term, the use of a topical product to repel ticks from biting your dog in the first place is the best bet.

Why dogs pee in other people’s houses

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Q: We have a new rescue Jack Russell Terrier who won’t stop peeing in other people’s houses. He is a lovely dog – but will wee at least once everywhere we go! It’s really embarrassing. Please help!

A: Your dog is marking territory with his scent, a problem in male dogs who may not have had the best upbringing or been well house-trained. Patience and training will go some way towards helping with this problem, but I would strongly suggest having him castrated if he is not already.

This will help reduce the level of the male hormone testosterone, which plays a role in encouraging your new dog to cock his leg on new surroundings.

 

Stop your dog making a splash

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This article contains: dog behaviour water activity

Q: I have a one-year-old Labrador and, when we let her out in the garden, she often makes a beeline for the stream, which runs into a pond. How can we stop her doing this?

A: Labradors are a gundog breed and normally love water, so your bitch is displaying natural behaviour. It sounds as if she has made a habit of running straight to the stream and pond because it’s fun.

When trying to change any behaviour, think about what your pet enjoys doing the most. Does she enjoy chasing after balls?

Most Labradors also love their food! I’d recommend that when you let her out into the garden, you take a little time to interact with her.

You could throw a ball for her in the opposite direction to the stream, or play some search games with her by hiding treats around the garden for her to find. If she gets focused on these activities, this should help stop her making a beeline for the stream.

 

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