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TRUDE MOSTUE.

Byline: Trude Mostue

Q MY three-year-old neutered Siamese cat has taken to licking the shower base and washhand basin. Is his diet not adequate? - E. Black, Renfrewshire.

A BOTH my cats do the same, because they like fresh water straight from the tap. The only thing you have to be careful about is not to leave bleach overnight in the basin or shower. I wouldn't be worried about it otherwise.

Q OUR 10-year-old tom has been neutered, but for the past six months he has been very aggressive, both towards people and our other cat, a nine-year-old female who has been spayed. He also tries to mount her continuously, then attacks her and can be quite brutal. He is destroying furniture and curtains. We love him very much, but we can't go on like this. - Mr Cowie, Edinburgh.

A I HAD a case recently where a male cat was behaving very sexually, although he was meant to be castrated. I found out he had only had one testicle removed. The other was in the abdomen and had to be removed through surgery.

However, it's strange that it has taken so long for him to behave like this, so it is possible he could have a tumour that is secreting hormones or affecting his brain.Take him to the vet.

Q MY collie cross spaniel has developed a limp. The vet thought there was a problem with her elbow, but X-rays and joint tap revealed nothing. She has been treated with Metacam and restricted exercise, but is no better and the joint is badly swollen. The vet has suggested sending her for a CT scan, but I am afraid this might lead to a lot of expense. - Janette McGuiness, Galston, Ayrshire.

A THE joint needs to be looked at by specialists. Unfortunately, it tends to be very expensive, as all vets (except the ones who work for charities) are private. If you can't afford specialist treatment you could try long-term Metacam and antibiotics, but it may not help. Ask your vet if there are any charity vet hospitals near you.

Q RECENTLY my rabbit Thumper died and my guinea pig Bart has been lonely. My mum says there's no point getting a new rabbit, but I want him to be happy. - Heather McLaughlin, Lennoxtown.

A YOU could get him a very young rabbit. Gently introduce them in separate cages so they can smell and see each other, then mix them. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places in case the rabbit becomes aggressive. You might have to neuter one of them if you have problems. Or you could get another guinea pig, but you would have to neuter one of them.

Q OUR six-year-old St Bernard has bone cancer in his left leg. The vet advised us it has probably spread to his lungs or elsewhere and if his leg was amputated it would suppress this in other areas of his body. We would do anything to make him well again. Please help us. - Mr & Mrs D I McLean, Stranraer.

A I AM so sorry to hear your story. If it hasn't spread then an amputation might stop the cancer spreading for a little while. But I think it is very important not to be too selfish. How long will this prolong his life and what quality of life will he have for the last months of his life if he is trying to get over an amputation? I think you should put animals to sleep before there is too much suffering. It is a hard decision to make, but if you know he will never get better, call it a day while he is still happy.

Q MY son has asked me to look after his cross terrier when he goes on holiday. We think he's around 12 (my son bought him from a dog rescue centre five years ago). He's a great wee dog, but we had problems the last time we looked after him. He wouldn't go out in the dark, so he needed out in the early hours of the morning. What can we do, as they don't want to put him into kennels? - Mrs Paterson, Edinburgh.

A IT is certainly hard to teach an old dog new tricks. It will take you time and patience to get him used to the dark. Ask your son what his routines are so you can try to do the same when he stays with you. If that doesn't suit you, then try to avoid giving him food and water too late.

Q MY eight-year-old female cat is sick in the mornings, sometimes with a hairball. She has a very thick coat and casts all the time. - K. McKinney, Glasgow.

A GROOM her at least once a day. You can also give her 1/2 teaspoon liquid paraffin, or 'katalax' from the vets to help hair pass through. Your vet can also sell you a new food called Hairball Control.

Write to: Trude Mostue, Seven Days, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA
COPYRIGHT 2001 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 4, 2001
Words:845
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