Q My dog is nearly 18 and is a Patterdale cross. Her eyesight and hearing are failing, and her back legs are giving way so she can’t walk properly. My vet said I may need to make a decision soon for the best, but how do I know when is right to let her go?
A As pets get older they can be prone to a number of health conditions, so regular check-ups are always recommended. Some conditions can be managed, but sadly others are untreatable and can eventually adversely affect your pet’s quality of life. Taking the decision to let go is never easy, but it is important to make your pet’s quality of life your number one priority – as you clearly are. Your vet is best placed to advise you on this difficult subject.
Q My cat keeps sneezing and her eyes are watering and get crusted up. I’ve tried cleaning her eyes gently with warm water, but I’m not sure if she needs to see a vet.
A It sounds as though she has conjunctivitis or disease of the upper airways. Cleaning the discharge from her eyes is a good idea, but you need to take her to see a vet. If her symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection she will need antibiotics to get rid of them. If left untreated, the condition could become more serious, possibly even leading to pneumonia, so it’s important to get her properly diagnosed and treated.
• Stuart McMorrow is based at Edinburgh’s PDSA PetAid Hospital, 26 Hutchison Crossway, 0131-443 6178