Pet Questions

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Q I rescued a beautiful cross-breed dog recently who we think is about five. She’s incredibly loving with us, but when people visit she growls. What can I do?

A Growling is a sign of aggression, and you need to address this for safety. Never leave your dog unsupervised with strangers or children, and use a basket muzzle in public. Your vet can check that there are no underlying illnesses causing this. It could be due to a previous experience or lack of appropriate training. With persistence and proper help, aggression can be resolved.

Q I’ve started a vegetable patch and need to fight off slugs. Are there any pet-safe slug pellets?

A The blue or green slug pellets contain metaldehyde. This can cause convulsions and death in pets as well as wildlife, such as hedgehogs. A safer alternative is to lay beer traps. Ensure the rim is 1-2cm above the soil’s surface so beneficial insects don’t drown. Or encourage hedgehogs into your garden – they eat slugs. Make a log pile for hedgehogs to shelter in.

Q My two-year-old cat has a scratch on his nose that is now swollen and yellow. What will help it heal?

A His wound was most likely caused by fighting with another cat. Get him checked by your vet, as the wound must be cleaned and antibiotics may need to be prescribed.

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