Pets Q&A

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Q My dog has always been quite ‘big boned’ but has recently put on more weight. He goes on plenty of long walks and I’ve put him on diet food, but I can’t seem to get rid of the extra weight. What else can I do?

A Obesity can lead to serious problems such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. First, you should take him to your vet for a health check, to make sure there are no underlying medical problems. Your vet can also advise on diet and exercise, which you will need to monitor closely. Treats and scraps are a common culprit, so these will need to be stopped completely. A simple set of electronic kitchen scales can also help with weighing out food.

Q My son’s cat unexpectedly had five kittens two weeks ago and two seem to have eye infections. I’m concerned it could cause damage if untreated. My son also has two young children and I’m worried the kittens could be infectious. Is there some medication to help?

A Eye problems can cause pain and irritation and a vet will need to properly examine the kittens. A common cause of eye disease in kittens is cat flu, which can be fatal. The kittens are unlikely to be infectious to your son’s children, but it is sensible for children to wash their hands after contact with animals.

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