Pets Q&A

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Q I have a nine-month-old pet lop rabbit who won’t let me cut his nails. My vet advised wrapping him in a towel, or trying fine sandpaper, but he still bites.

A You need to start gradually building your rabbit’s trust and teaching him that having his nails cut won’t hurt. Always approach him quietly and gently. Put some of his favourite greens in front of you and let him approach you, but don’t handle him. When he’s comfortable with this, offer the food from your open hand. As his confidence grows, you can gradually stroke him, and then gently pick him up. Eventually, you should be able to touch his nails gently, and then try cutting them.

Q I had a white cat that died of cancer, and I now have another cat who is also white. I’m worried he could get cancer too as I’ve heard it can particularly affect white cats. How can I protect him?

A White cats can be prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer which particularly affects the ears, nose and eyelids. The first sign of disease is a lump or sore in or underneath the skin. In some cases the skin might become red or flaky. SCC in white cats develops as a result of exposure to the sun, so the best way to protect white cats is to protect their skin. This can be achieved by keeping them indoors during the middle of the day in very sunny weather. You can also apply pet sun block to vulnerable areas of skin such as the ear tips.

• Stuart McMorrow is based at Edinburgh’s PDSA PetAid Hospital, 26 Hutchison Crossway, 0131-443 6178