Pet Questions

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Q My two guinea pigs are brothers, but they fight. I have them separated when they sleep, but they are allowed in the run together and play nicely. I’ve heard that neutering could help them live together, is this true?

A Guinea pigs like company but males can fight once they reach maturity and sometimes this is difficult to solve. Neutering doesn’t usually change their behaviour. Continue to house the guinea pigs separately, but make sure you also feed them apart as the more dominant guinea pig can stop a more submissive one from eating. Allow them to play together in the run, but try one with more hiding places. However, sometimes guinea pigs just don’t get on well and it may not be possible for them to permanently live together.

Q My cat, Bob, has been limping recently, but there are no marks on his leg at all. Could he have a broken bone? What should I do?

A You need to take Bob to your vet without delay. There are many different possible causes of limping, such as something in his paw, a cat bite, abscess or, as you suggest, a broken bone. Cats can also develop arthritis and this can cause limping and stiffness. Most of these conditions can be very painful, so Bob needs to be examined straight away.

Q I walk my dog, Jester, by the canal as it’s the only open space near me. I can’t get him to stop chasing the ducks. He once jumped straight into the water and I had to go in and get him, as he was too tired to get out himself. How can I stop him doing this?

A Jester needs to learn to stop when you tell him to. Chasing the ducks will be distressing for them, but it can also be dangerous for Jester, particularly in winter when the canal may be frozen. Jester needs to be taught simple commands such as “stay” and “come”. I would recommend using a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). To find one in your area, visit