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Got questions about your pet’s health? We’ve got expert answers!

126 replies

CeriMumsnet · 27/12/2023 12:42

Keeping on top of your pet’s health can be a handful, especially as your furry friend can’t always tell you when something feels wrong. John Lewis Pet Insurance veterinary expert Martin Stevens is here to help, providing answers to your questions, whether they’re big or small. Ask us what you want to know in the comments to get a veterinary opinion without even having to leave the house. Martin will be back online in a couple of weeks to answer a selection of your questions.

All Mumsnet users who submit a question will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a £200 voucher. Mumsnet Insight T&Cs apply

About the Expert 
Martin joined Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Limited (John Lewis Pet Insurance provider) in 2016, and graduated as a qualified veterinarian from Glasgow University in 1997. Prior to joining RSA he spent almost 19 years as a vet in a variety of small animal practices, from small one-vet branches to large multi-vet hospitals. He has also handled many insurance claims for practices, so he understands the importance of getting things right for our customers and vets.

Martin says: “Being a vet working within the pet claims department means that I’m part of a close-knit team dedicated to doing what is right for our John Lewis Pet Insurance customers all over the country.”

Here’s what John Lewis Finance had to say:
"We know that pets are more than just companions; they're part of the family. With John Lewis Pet Insurance, the health of your pet is always top priority. There are six levels of vet fee cover to choose from, up to £12,000, so you can pick your cover to fit your pet’s needs. Regardless of what level of vet fee cover you choose, the full range of benefits are included, such as our Annual Online Health Check and 24/7 access to the vetfone™ helpline for all customers. For the level of care your pet deserves, with the quality you’d expect from John Lewis."

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!
MNHQ

Got questions about your pet’s health? We’ve got expert answers!
Montydoo · 28/12/2023 15:05

My dog is suffering from bouts of rheumatism and has some rheumocan when these flare up - is there anything else I can do to help with his discomfort ? ( 11 year old small terrier)

DinkyDaffodil · 28/12/2023 15:08

My dog has really stained teeth - vet wants to put him under aesthetic to clean them - I cannot afford the cost - he is not in any discomfort and eats dry food well - Is there anything I can do to clean his teeth - he is old and snappy so not sure how I could clean them easily ??

pushchairprincess · 28/12/2023 18:24

What is the best food for dogs wet food or dry food and why ?

Beabeautiful · 28/12/2023 18:35

I have a rescue dog, but how can I tell how old she really is - I have been told 5 but she looks and behaves much younger - good teeth, bags of energy, young features on the face - breed is a poodle cross

Delassalle · 28/12/2023 18:36

DinkyDaffodil · 28/12/2023 15:08

My dog has really stained teeth - vet wants to put him under aesthetic to clean them - I cannot afford the cost - he is not in any discomfort and eats dry food well - Is there anything I can do to clean his teeth - he is old and snappy so not sure how I could clean them easily ??

Some of our dogs we do use a soft brush to clean teeth (always wood, never plastic in case they bit down and snap the brush head and swallow it!)

Those that won't tolerate teeth being brushed are given this -

Paw Originals Plaque X 100% Natural Plaque Off & Tartar Remover For Dogs & Cats | Breath Freshener For Dogs, Cats & Pets | 180g | No Toothbrush & Supports Gum & Teeth Health amzn.eu/d/8zXu07I?tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21

Beabeautiful · 28/12/2023 18:48

And ... when it comes to New Years Eve and November the 5th how would you calm your pet - we have an outside rabbit

PiggieWig · 29/12/2023 03:47

My cat’s been sneezing loads over the last two weeks. He’s never really done it before. Should I be worried? My house is pretty cold a lot of the time (around 12° with the heating off).

Sandytoxic · 29/12/2023 06:54

12 year old cocker spaniel is a really early riser - I let her outside at 4 something every day, then back into crate by my bedside. She will settle for 30 minutes or so but then starts thrashing about and whining. Doesn't need to go out again, just wants to move to a bed in the kitchen. Is there anything I can do to get her to chill out when back in her crate?

billybear · 29/12/2023 07:15

8 year old yorkie/poo,on renal food and pills for same,happy playing eating etc,recently started to find him bit excited with his willy,goes in short time, first time saw the vet as it was so big he struggled to get back to normal.he emptied his anal gland in case that was pushing on things causing the problem,they did need empting, going to loo normally but still getting exciting problem not a lot odd occasion just a bit not fully ,been done years ago.any thoughts why its just started happing in last 6 weeks thank you

HobNobAddict · 29/12/2023 07:35

Can dogs get allergies ?? My westie can sometimes have sneezing fits, then nothing for weeks ? Is there a test you can carry out to see what dogs/cats are allergic to and if we can do anything about it

youareonlyhereonce · 29/12/2023 11:21

Does giving your pet cod liver oil help with their joints (I googled the correct dose for their size and age) ?

AriannasGuitarCase · 29/12/2023 15:52

At what age would you recommend spaying a Cocker Spaniel, and why? I'm getting mixed info on this, ranging from before their first season to waiting until they're 2 years old

nottaotter · 30/12/2023 00:11

Our bedlington x whippet has itchy paws that that she licks and chews , vet did sellotape test and said no mites. prescribed Apoquel which help a lot, but I don't want her on it long term, any alternatives?

I have kept her off grass for a week and it really helped, but obvs this is not a long term solution.

TheShellBeach · 30/12/2023 00:45

Why did Solensia seem to make my cat so much more tactile?

Secondguess · 30/12/2023 00:57

What's your opinion on raw bones for dogs?

pickledandpuzzled · 30/12/2023 08:09

My dog’s hips have started that ‘collapsed in’ look when he sits. He shows no sign of discomfort.
I give him a joint supplement. Is there anything else I can do for him? He hasn’t mentioned being uncomfortable…

littlecottonbud · 30/12/2023 09:38

I sometimes think my cat has poor eyesight as she misjudges jumps - can faceplant the sofa (much my DS amusement) luckily she is a house cat, she does not bump into things and seems to be able to judge her food bowl - but can cats (or dogs) be short sighted and how can i tell if she is - are there tests I can do at home

InterSteller · 30/12/2023 09:59

My 10 year old cat has just had some teeth removed- can you recommend anything we can do to help keep the remaining ones healthy?

Preferably not teeth brushing as i tried that and almost lost a finger 😂

ohdannyboy · 30/12/2023 13:11

My dog wees with excitement when anyone he 'loves' comes home - we have even tried taking him out before hand and that does not seem to work - we still get a tinkle out our legs or shoes most of the time - any suggestions (he's a little pug)

DinkyDaffodil · 30/12/2023 14:30

thanks for taking the time to help - much appreciated @Delassalle

JacCharlton · 30/12/2023 14:47

My dog 9 year old Maltese has really bad bouts of rheumatism when he cannot even sit down - once he's had a trip to the vets and the meds have kicked in he's like a puppy again jumping and running - then 6 - 8 weeks later another bout - why would this reoccur and how can I help it not reoccurring ? 🙏

Williaint · 30/12/2023 17:30

Hi Martin

My dog, a 6 year old staffie, has around 4-5 benign fatty lumps between 1cm - 2cm. One in particular, on her side, seems to fill up twice the size every 2months or so and can feel hot and is clearly painful at times. Our vet has given her antibiotics and anti inflammatories to no avail. When it flares up it lasts around 1 day max and will shrink again and cause her no problems till next time.

Vet is leaving it up to us - remove under GA but he's very much "wouldn't want to give a dog a GA and surgery unless necessary" (as am I tbh) OR do we consider that she must be a bit miserable with it, albeit for a very short time.

What's your stance on this dilemma please?

CormorantStrikesBack · 31/12/2023 07:51

A friend of mine recently lost a dog when it broke its leg and scans showed it had bone cancer. Another friend’s dog had skin cancer and the only sign was dandruff. What signs of cancer should we watch out for? Especially in an older dog where tiredness may just be put down to age.

chickenpotnoodle · 31/12/2023 13:51

We have a rabbit which has a hutch and the run of the garden during the day - but I am thinking about bringing the hutch into the garage if the weather is due to get really cold - my question would be what temps can rabbits survive in wiithout harm ?? (rabbit is 6mo)

JenniferAllisonPhillipaSue · 31/12/2023 13:54

Our cat (aged 14+) recently had a very sudden change in appetite, struggling to eat more than a mouthful of food or 2 treats per day, sleeping lots and lots. He had no obvious signs of pain but became quite clingy. This lasted for about two weeks, he's got very thin but continues to go outside for a brief walk. His appetite is now returning (but the clingyness hasn't diminished). Is it possible that he simply "caught a bug" that he has now shaken off? Do cats get viruses like us?

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