We love our pets so it’s only natural that we have tons of questions about their behaviour, health or even what the best kind of food is for them. Ireland AM’s resident vet, Pete Wedderburn, was on hand to answer some questions from our viewers on everything from a rambunctious cat to wondering if two hamsters is too many.
The first question from a viewer was about the cat they had recently adopted from a shelter. Their new pet keeps scratching our viewer and her two sons, something their previous cat never did. The viewer asked Pete was there any way to stop this behaviour.
He said that “there are two aspects to it – nature and nurture. Unfortunately, it may well be that that cat’s nature a little bit wilder and a bit less people friendly.” As for stopping the scratching, Pete said that “the other aspect is nurture so what they can is modify the cat’s behaviour by training it to behave. You reward the good behaviour.”
Next up was another cat query from a concerned viewer who has noticed that their cat is scratching its ears a lot. Straight off, Pete confirmed that a cat constantly scratching its ears is “not normal” and highlighted two main causes of this problem. He said “first is ear-mites which are common in cats and very hard to get rid of. The other thing we see at this time of year is harvest mites.” Both conditions are treatable by a vet.
The next question was a viewer wondering what could have caused their dog to develop bad breath recently. They said that the dog’s breath still smells after changing the food he was given. Pete said that “I think there’s always a reason for it and should find out what it is.” Pete then listed the three most common causes of bad breath when it comes to dogs.
The first is that the odour could be coming from the stomach but as the owners mentioned recently changing the dogs food in an attempt to solve the problem it probably isn’t to blame here. The second was dental disease which Pete said you can check for yourself by examining the dog’s teeth and gums. The third cause Pete mentioned is the lips, which can become infected in some breeds of dog.
You can take a look at all of Pete’s advice in the video below: