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How can I find a vet I can trust? PDSA VET IAN FLEMING ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS; your PETS.

QI've just bought two dogs and want to find a good vet nearby that won't cost the earth? Can you help? A Different veterinary practices offer different services and facilities so it's important to find one that suits you so you can build a relationship that lasts throughout your dogs' lifetimes. Speak to other dog owners in your area and ask how they feel about the practices they use. Find out practice opening times, the costs of routine treatments and what is included. Visit any practice that you are interested in, to get a feel for it and see if it is somewhere where you would want to take your dogs. The website of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has a 'Find a Vet' search facility (www.rcvs.org.uk/ FindAVet) which will enable you to find practices in your area. Its website also has a 'Choosing a veterinary practice' link, which gives further guidance on things to consider.

QI think my dog - a Great Dane - has pulled a muscle in his back leg.

What should I do? A If your dog is limping, it's important that the cause is diagnosed to ensure that the correct treatment is given, so I would recommend taking your dog to your vet. Soft tissue injuries are relatively common and often respond well to rest and sometimes medication. Another possible cause of lameness is a condition called osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). This typically affects younger, growing dogs and is caused when cartilage in the dog's joints becomes damaged or grows abnormally. Treatment can range from rest and anti-inflammatories for mild cases to surgery for more serious cases.

Q My cat has been coughing a lot recently. What is causing her cough and is there anything I can give her? A There are a few conditions of the respiratory system (lungs and airways) which can cause a cat to cough. These include feline asthma, a parasite infestation, an infection or a tumour that is pressing on the airways. Some conditions are more serious than others and they all require a different treatment approach. To ensure your cat gets the treatment she needs, take her to your vet to be examined.

Email your questions to Ian Fleming at asktthevet@pdsa.org.uk. The PDSA has two hospitals locally: Aston PetAid Hospital, 1 Dulverton Road, Witton, Birmingham, B6 7EQ. Birmingham Quinton PetAid Hospital, 456/458 Hagley Road West, Oldbury, Birmingham, B68 0DL.

For information about PDSA PetAid services call 0800 731 2502. To donate or fundraise, visit www.pdsa.org.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 23, 2010
Words:425
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