From ageing cats with overactive thyroids to temperamental canines — your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets  . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.

Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years.

He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”

Q)MY 18-year-old cat has an overactive thyroid.

She’s had one kidney since she was a kitten and I’ve read that medication for her hyperthyroidism can damage kidneys.

The cost is worrying — it will mean tests for her thyroid as well as the ones she has for her kidneys currently.

I don’t know what to do for the best for my cat.

Linda Riley, Salford

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected].

A) Treatment for hyperthyroidism can have an impact on her kidney function over time.

But not treating hyperthyroidism will damage her remaining kidney far quicker, leading to increased blood pressure and damage within the organ itself.

Not to mention all the other issues this disease causes if left untreated, including weight loss, ravenous ­appetite, heart problems and so on.

You must treat the hyperthyroidism, and there are several options that don’t involve medications.

Radiotherapy, prescription diet or surgery for example.

Ask your vet to discuss them all with you then together you can arrive at the best option for you and your cat.

Q) SINCE my Cairn Terrier was attacked by a Staffie, her ­dislike of other dogs has got much worse.

She is 13 and has never really been fond of other dogs, though is friendly with those she knows.

It’s not all dogs but she’s worse when they look at her.

I’ve tried giving her treats when she doesn’t bark and I’ve switched from using a harness to a lead.

Enid Martland, London

A) At 13 you might be up against it to have her change her ways.

But you can teach an old dog new tricks, and it sounds like you are making good progress.

Keep rewarding her calm and positive re­actions around other dogs, and give her time off lead with dogs she knows, too, to build up her confidence around other dogs.

If she reacts aggressively to dogs while out and about, just turn and walk the other way but don’t talk to her, reassure her or scold her.

Just completely ignore the situation.

You could try a programme of habitation and response substitution, which can be used to treat behavioural problems.

Google it to find out more. If you take it slowly, she will get better.

Q) I HAVE two Cockapoos, with very different temperaments.

The male is forever preening himself and hates getting dirty.

The female is obsessed with water, mud and rolling in all kinds of ­horrid stuff like cowpat, fox poo, you name it.

I would love to know why they are so different, even though they’re the same breed.

Clare Holder, Essex

A) Every dog is different, Clare.

They’re animals with complex emotions, and although they are the same breed they will have had ­different starts in life, different experiences, and different genetics.

Nature and nurture play a role, as does simple personal preference.

I think I prefer the sound of your stinky hound – she seems more fun!

Star of the week

WHEN cute rescue Chihuahua Neo went to live with Marianne Anderson, he didn’t even know his name.

But now the clever pup can play the keyboard, ride a skateboard, push a mini shopping trolley, play hungry hippos and has even starred at Crufts.

Neo, six, was found by Marianne on a rehoming page on Facebook.

He has lived with her in Cumbria since she adopted him when he was two years old in 2016.

Marianne, 36, a dog trainer, said: “I’m so proud of Neo and all he has achieved.

“He is so clever and loves to play his piano. His favourite is Who Let The Dogs Out.

“He is such a sweet little dog and it is lovely to see how happy he is after his tough start.”

WIN: Dog bed

LET your dog slumber in style and help rescue dogs with a Sleepeezee bed featuring memory foam and an odour-neutralising fabric

A donation from each sale goes to Battersea Dogs And Cats Home.

We have three, worth up to £109.99 each, to give away.

For a chance to win one, email SLEEPEZEE plus the colour (duck egg, rose, blue, biscuitor pewter) and size (small, medium or large) to [email protected] See

  • Closes Dec 6. T&Cs apply.

Tweet spot for hi-tech bird feed

A NEW state-of-the-art bird feeder can identify its visitors with an in-built camera and download the photos on to your phone

Since the start of the pandemic there has been a huge increase in the amount of time spent in gardens, as well as a broader interest in nature and the environment.

Bird Buddy will send an alert to your phone whenever a bird drops by, snap the moment with the camera, identify the bird and automatically organise a collection and history of your personal bird photos.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has seen a 70 per cent rise in visitors to its website this year and it is estimated there are 3million adult bird-watchers in the UK.

A spokesperson for Buddy Bird said: “It rejuvenates the traditional hobby of feeding birds with A1 technology and provides fun connections with nature anytime, anywhere. A close connection with nature has been shown to improve mental health.”

It is also hoped it will play a part in vital conservation efforts by providing a comprehensive database of bird populations as well as their geographical movement.

The 9in-tall bird feeder, which will retail at £169, is available for pre-order.

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