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 tails.com, 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.”If you want him to answer a question for YOU simply email him at [email protected]


Q) SINCE my wife Myra died a few weeks ago, my cat’s behaviour has changed.

Puss has started to be distressed and wails between 3am and 5am.

She is a 15-year-old tortoiseshell. My wife died at home.

Puss visited her room afterwards and seem­ed to understand what had happened.

She now needs reassurance and encouragement to eat and spends a lot of time alone in a back room.

Rory McGregor, Aberdeen

A) Pets can experience loss and might struggle to adjust to changes in the home, especially if your wife was the primary care-giver.

It could also be coincidental that this behaviour started not long after your wife died.

If Puss hasn’t had a check-up in a while, there’s no harm in speaking to your vet.

Changes in behaviour, especially in older cats, can often indicate something more going on.

If your vet is happy that she is otherwise healthy, then a cat behaviourist might be worth talking to.

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected].

Q) MY rescue cat Socks loves being outdoors but a job offer abroad means I’d have to keep him indoors if I took him with me. Would that be cruel?

I adopted him six years ago and he’s about nine. He loves sleeping in bushes, and catching mice.

If I left him here he would live with my gran, but her small hyperactive dog would almost certainly force Socks into being an outdoor feral cat.

Ella Spirito, Leeds

A) In many countries, free-roaming cats aren’t a thing, so owners have created brilliant home environments for cats, including enclosed outdoor spaces.

If your move abroad is likely to be for a year or less, it may not be beneficial to uproot your cat.

It is possible for dogs and cats to integrate into the same household.

There are great resources out there about how to do this. Cats Protection are a good starting point.

Q) I AM having trouble with my 11- year-old Shih Tzu, Bailey.

When we go to bed, he sleeps in the next room with a gate across.

But lately he wakes at night panting. It goes on for hours. I put the fan on and let him out in case he wants a wee, but then he won’t come in.

Linda Cleverly, Norfolk

A) At his age, I would be suspicious there may be an underlying medical issue, or he could be going senile.

Canine cognitive dysfunction is the technical term, and often presents as confusion, wandering or anxiety, particularly at night.

Changes in sleeping habits and asking to go out to the toilet despite not seeming to need to are also signs.

Get the vet to examine him. They may run a blood test to check kidney and liver function to rule out other issues.

Q) CAN my dachshund’s condition be treated by me?

Sophie is eight years old and has lumps on her pad. The vet says it’s pododermatitis.

Jim Cullen, Carnoustie

A) Pododermatitis often leads to inflammation of the pads and feet and has many potential causes.

If it’s just on one pad or foot I would suspect an infection, in which case antibiotics may help.

A foreign body stuck in her foot could cause chronic inflammation and would need an X-ray or even surgery.

Hormonal causes would generally affect all feet. Anatomical issues in some breeds with splayed feet can also cause the hair follicles to rupture and become inflamed.

Your vet should be able to get to the bottom of it and advise you.

Star of the week

SCOUT was in such a terrible way after being abandoned as a pup that vets considered putting him to sleep.

The lurcher was found dumped at the side of the road, blind and covered in sores.

East Midlands Dog Rescue took him in and he was given a second chance at happiness with retired vet nurse Tracey Ison.

Tracey, 51, from Leicester, said: “Scout is a dog in a million because he has the ability to light up a room with his zest for life.”

Now 11, Scout has supported her through losing her dad, Alan, won the Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award and raised money for animal charities.

Scout’s story also features in the book My Rescue Pet Rescued Me.

WIN: Hexbug cat toy bundle

IT’S ’bots of fun for your moggy – the Hexbug mouse cat toy is a cute robotic rodent that your pet will love to chase, and there’s also a remote-controlled version. See hexbug.com.

Eight readers can win a fun Hexbug bundle, worth £32, featuring the Nano, mouse and remote-controlled mouse.

Send an email with HEXBUG in the title to [email protected] by November 28. T&Cs apply.

Now my boxer can watch the box

THIS week a TV channel was launched in the UK dubbed “HBO for dogs”.

It aims to alleviate separation anxiety and loneliness for home-alone pets. Paws & Claws put it to the test.

DogTV offers calming, stimulating content that is colour adjusted for dogs, as they have red-green colourblindness.

Chris Naughton tried it out with his four-year-old boxer Layla.

Interior designer Chris, of Manchester, said: “The stimulating mode worked a treat.

“Layla loved it because she could hear a squeaking ball. She couldn’t work out where the sound was coming from and hot-footed it around the living room hunting for it.

“I tried out the relaxing videos, which were lovely, with spa-like music and pictures of flowers and beaches.

"But she only looked at the TV briefly before going to sleep. I think she’d worn herself out looking for that ball.”

Prof Nicholas Dodman, of DogTV, said: “It is an excellent resource for owners to help alleviate behavioural problems that arise when dogs are left alone.”

It is available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Play and Apple.

A year’s subscription costs £59.99, but you can try it for free.

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