Pet questions

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Our resident expert Stuart McMorrow answers your questions

Q My 14-year-old indoor cat has recently developed a click in his front paw ankle each time he takes a step. It doesn’t seem to bother him or cause him any pain, and I know it’s not his nails as I regularly trim them.

A There are quite a few different things that could cause this so it’s important to get your cat checked out by your vet. For example, arthritis in a joint can cause a clicking sound – a cat will get around quite well even if they have this condition. Ligament damage can also cause a clicking sound. Pop along to see your vet.

Q I crate-trained my ten-month-old German Shepherd and although I don’t put him in a crate any longer he often goes there of his own accord. However, I want to get rid of the crate at some point. When and how can I do this?

A When introduced gradually and using rewards, many dogs come to view crates as a safe and familiar place where they can go to rest undisturbed. They can also be a place of security where they can go if they are feeling anxious. Therefore, crates can have important benefits and can improve a dog’s quality of life. For this reason, I would recommend you think twice before getting rid of the crate. If you can’t keep the crate where it is, then you could consider finding somewhere else in the house where the crate could stay long-term for the benefit of your dog. I also would recommend you speak to your vet or vet nurse about your dog’s anxious behaviour.

Q I got two female rabbits from the same litter but they hate to be separated even for just a few moments. If one has to go the vet, or even if they just can’t see the other one when out in the run, they get very distressed.

A Rabbits are very social animals and it is normal for them to have formed a strong bond like this. In the wild, rabbits rely on their companions to look out for predators, so it is natural for them to be anxious when separated. You should keep them together as much as possible.