Pet answers – April 2022

Don’t settle for pet theories, get pet answers! Veterinary surgeon Holly Norman answers your animal health questions.

Q: I’m taking my dog to the beach for the first time this weekend. Is there anything I need
to know before I go?
A: Oh how lovely! My dogs adore going to the beach and it’s such fun to see them running on the sand and splashing in the waves. There are a few perils to watch out for so it’s worth being prepared. Firstly, as much as dogs love swimming and playing in the sea, they can end up taking in a lot of seawater which is salty and not good for them. Make sure they have plenty of breaks and offer lots of fresh clean water to drink. Secondly, the sea can be just as dangerous for dogs as it is for us, so pick a suitable area for swimming with no strong tides and don’t let them swim too far out. If you get into trouble, ring 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Thirdly, remember to rinse them down at the end of the day to get rid of all the salt and sand as this can irritate delicate skin and paws. And finally, have fun!

Q: I was going to send my mum some flowers, but she said that lilies are poisonous to
cats. Is that right?
A: Your mum is absolutely right (I find mums usually are!). Lilies can be very toxic indeed to cats, especially if they chew on them or eat them. The real danger with lilies is that beautiful yellow pollen in the flowers. Cats will brush past the flowers, transferring the pollen onto their fur and when they groom themselves, they lick the pollen off. Lily poisoning can result in severe kidney damage, organ failure and even death. I tell all my cat owners, no lilies!

Q: My vet has said that I need to protect my rabbit from flystrike but I’ve never done
this before. How do I go about it?
A: We now advise regular protection against flystrike in all bunnies that go outside between March and October. If rabbits get mucky around their bottoms, this can attract flies which lay their eggs in the rabbit fur; these eggs then hatch into maggots which burrow into the skin. As you can imagine, this is horribly painful and can be fatal due to shock and infection. We would recommend checking your bunnies once or twice daily and this includes looking all around their bottom and hind limbs
to check they are clean and dry. We also recommend using a flystrike prevention product and this can be a liquid that you apply to the fur every eight to ten weeks or using a weekly spray. On top of this, make sure bedding is changed regularly to reduce moisture and smell that may attract flies. The best place to start would be to contact your local veterinary practice. They can often advise you on the different options and even apply the products for you!

Dr Holly Norman BSc(Hons) BVetMed MRCVS Veterinary surgeon and Practice Partner at:

● Peterborough Vets4Pets 231-233 St Paul’s Road Peterborough PE1 3RL Tel: 01733 890777 ● Bretton Vets4Pets Inside Pets at Home Unit 2 The Bretton Centre Peterborough PE3 8DN Tel: 01733 261094

Do you have a pet or animal health question? Send it to us at:
Holly will endeavour to answer all questions, whether published or not!

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