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

130 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!
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ButterOllocks · 01/01/2024 10:14

whats the best way to clean your pets eyes - I have a maltese who gets tear stains and sometimes black build up around his eyes, stroking around this area usually removes this once it's gone crusty - but my groomer recommended cleaning - but how ?

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silverraven123 · 02/01/2024 00:00

I have acquired two rats, approximately 7 months old, and their previous owner didnt handle them at all so they are very nervous. Is it possible to hand tame older rats, and if so, how? I have tried the approach of giving them yoghurt or apple sauce on a spoon to encourage them to come to me, one of them will but if I move the spoons closer to me he will withdraw. The other will only lick food off a spoon if I put it right next to his mouth, at the back of the cage.

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KK05 · 02/01/2024 01:36

So I’ve just discovered that my friends wedding in 3 weeks is alcohol free. I was always expecting to pay for my own drink on the day but it turns out they aren’t having alcohol at all. This was a shock as they both enjoy nights out with alcohol and her hen was messy.

My issue isn’t the fact we can’t have a drink, I would still be going either way it’s that we’ve only just found out.

All in all we have spent almost £300 for a hotel the night before and night of the wedding. Night before was so we didn’t have to try and check in either after the wedding or try to squeeze it in at some point throughout the day. Would never have stayed for even one night if I knew I could drive. Too far for cabs/public transport but would have happily driven there and back. Think country estate. Plus it’s a hour away from home (bride and groom live same town as me). Trying to cancel so fingers crossed I get some money back.

There was nothing mentioned on the invites and nothing was said until last night and even then was just mentioned in passing.

My question is it unusual to mention this on invites? I’ve never been to a wedding with no alcohol so not entirely sure. I also know that a few people going could be doing with the extra money in the bank even if only staying one night or trying to arrange transport to and from the nearest town.

Would it be unreasonable to mention to the happy couple that they need to make people aware before the day? Or AIBU suggesting this?

She’s a very good friend if that helps and it’s not the no alcohol that’s the issue but the extra expense that we didn’t really need to spend. Money isn’t a huge problem for us but I’m still annoyed I’m out of pocket.

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ButterOllocks · 02/01/2024 10:58

hi, since reading this, I've noticed my dog is drinking a lot more than usual in the last couple of days, I have looked up the syptoms on-line and diabetes is suggested, but he has no other symptoms, he is an 8 year old spaniel. If it continues is a visit to the vet worth while ? What are the chances of him having diabetes and what are other symptoms I can look out for ?

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LittleDeeAndME · 02/01/2024 12:21

My dog seems to have itchy ears - always rubbing them against furniture and scratching - to me they look fine - not inflamed or waxy, what can this be ? Could it just be a habit he has got into ?

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KimKardassion · 03/01/2024 15:17

My dogs season is late. (Definitely not pregnant). Why would this be?

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Ladybird69 · 04/01/2024 01:45

I’ve got a 15 year old Tom cat fully neutered and chipped. Basically sleeps all day long, however comes 12.30 am he starts!!! He scratches at my bed for attention so I follow him into the kitchen and he sits at his full food bowl! So I top up his biscuits and wet food. Then he goes to the front door but doesn’t go out, then he goes to the back door and doesn’t go out and then goes to the patio door and doesn’t go out. There is a microchip reading cat flap in the back door also for him to use. He likes going out and as I live in a very small cul de sac he can go outside to play with his friends or just stay in the enclosed back garden with the house cat.
I also have a house cat and she uses a litter tray in the bathroom. The Tom cat started to use it so I bought another in the conservatory and 2 for different areas of the garden. But lately I’ve found him squatting down next to my bed! Argh. So I’m paranoid about him peeing everywhere. It’s like this every night between 12.30 am and 8am. He’s now scratching to go out. It’s now 1.27 am and I’m on a continuous loop of me escorting him to full bowls and doors that he doesn’t want to go out of and waryily letting him in my bedroom just in case he decides to have a random wee. Someone said it could be dementia? I just know that I can’t go on like this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Montydoo · 04/01/2024 13:15

Can dogs see colour - or just black and white - something i've always wondered ?

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changer2010 · 04/01/2024 13:17

My cat seems really picky about food, and changes her mind even when she's liked something previously. What can I do?

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Premtimeb · 04/01/2024 16:25

Hi everyone, I have a disc protrusion in l5 s1. My lower back pains start during my menstrual cycle and last for almost 1 and a half weeks and then stop until the next cycle. I have a retroverted uterus, which is probably causing me more pain. I wanted to ask anyone if you have had a case like mine and what did you do..

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Combusting · 05/01/2024 06:02

KK05 · 02/01/2024 01:36

So I’ve just discovered that my friends wedding in 3 weeks is alcohol free. I was always expecting to pay for my own drink on the day but it turns out they aren’t having alcohol at all. This was a shock as they both enjoy nights out with alcohol and her hen was messy.

My issue isn’t the fact we can’t have a drink, I would still be going either way it’s that we’ve only just found out.

All in all we have spent almost £300 for a hotel the night before and night of the wedding. Night before was so we didn’t have to try and check in either after the wedding or try to squeeze it in at some point throughout the day. Would never have stayed for even one night if I knew I could drive. Too far for cabs/public transport but would have happily driven there and back. Think country estate. Plus it’s a hour away from home (bride and groom live same town as me). Trying to cancel so fingers crossed I get some money back.

There was nothing mentioned on the invites and nothing was said until last night and even then was just mentioned in passing.

My question is it unusual to mention this on invites? I’ve never been to a wedding with no alcohol so not entirely sure. I also know that a few people going could be doing with the extra money in the bank even if only staying one night or trying to arrange transport to and from the nearest town.

Would it be unreasonable to mention to the happy couple that they need to make people aware before the day? Or AIBU suggesting this?

She’s a very good friend if that helps and it’s not the no alcohol that’s the issue but the extra expense that we didn’t really need to spend. Money isn’t a huge problem for us but I’m still annoyed I’m out of pocket.

Yeah this ain’t the right thread for your post

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Combusting · 05/01/2024 06:02

Premtimeb · 04/01/2024 16:25

Hi everyone, I have a disc protrusion in l5 s1. My lower back pains start during my menstrual cycle and last for almost 1 and a half weeks and then stop until the next cycle. I have a retroverted uterus, which is probably causing me more pain. I wanted to ask anyone if you have had a case like mine and what did you do..

Wrong thread

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iloveeverykindofcat · 05/01/2024 06:21

I have a senior cat who is in excellent general health and still very active at 13 years old. A couple of years ago she broke her front left ankle badly, and required pancarpal arthodesis (still not entirely sure how she managed this - it was out of the house!). At the time, the vet told us that the plate would stay in until the bone fusion was complete, and then it should be removed. The surgeon did a great job and the fusion was very successful - she has 90% range of motion, no pain, and can run, jump and climb without issue (though her dew claw no longer retracts, it doesn't seem to bother her). We then moved house, changed vets, lockdown hit, and between one thing and another - well, the plate is still in there. Given that it doesn't seem to trouble her in any way, is there any actual reason to get it removed? Like, could it break or something? I'm fairly sure I can feel the plate/screw if I massage her ankle, but seeing as she lets me do this with no reaction, it obviously doesn't hurt. She's insured, so cost is no issue, but whilst her health is great I'm not going to put a 13 year old under a GA unless there's any real need for it.

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RainSteppes · 05/01/2024 06:29

My 17 year old cat is losing weight, was vocalising excessively and is always hungry. She is regularly wormed. I suspected thyroid issues, but vet did basic thyroid, kidney and liver blood tests and everything was within normal range. Vet suggested going back in a month and doing a slightly more in depth kidney and liver blood test, but this is abother £250ish on top of the £250 I've already paid and I'm wondering honestly would they find anything that would actually be treated at this stage?

She's definitely since the first test lost more weight and is a bit less happy. She also seems a bit senile, stopping eating and miaowing at me/walking towards me then returning and eating voraciously again when I show her where he bowl is.

I just wonder at this age if I'm going to be paying out lots of money to get a diagnosis that yes she's sick but the treatment is too much for her eg she has a cancer.

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Justleaveitblankthen · 05/01/2024 07:10

Should flea treatment be administered, even if there has been no sign of fleas for months or even years?

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ohdannyboy · 05/01/2024 14:14

Sorry to bring this up- my dog humps certain people - some visitors, not all - it's quite embarrassing, BUT he does not do this to us at home (just my FIL and niece age 22) other than keep him in the dining room, crying, and scolding when he does this (which does not seem to make any difference) what is you best advice (I cannot afford to get him neutered)

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Bella1255 · 06/01/2024 01:20

HCG first test: 68
Next HCG: 542 (three days later)
Next HCG: 504 (two days later)
Most recent HCG: 1002 (two days later)
I have been very lightly bleeding on and off for almost a week. Very light cramping on my right side but most of the time. My mind is racing. I have had two doctors tell me it’s a miscarriage. However the last doctor wants me to come in for an ultrasound. Am I safe to be working in a printing factory for the time being should I be resting? What could be going on? All of the back and forth has got my head in a whirl wind. Any advice or personal experience would be much appreciated. I know this isn’t professional medical advice I’m just looking for some kind of ideas. Thank you in advance for your time.

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Combusting · 06/01/2024 08:14

Bella1255 · 06/01/2024 01:20

HCG first test: 68
Next HCG: 542 (three days later)
Next HCG: 504 (two days later)
Most recent HCG: 1002 (two days later)
I have been very lightly bleeding on and off for almost a week. Very light cramping on my right side but most of the time. My mind is racing. I have had two doctors tell me it’s a miscarriage. However the last doctor wants me to come in for an ultrasound. Am I safe to be working in a printing factory for the time being should I be resting? What could be going on? All of the back and forth has got my head in a whirl wind. Any advice or personal experience would be much appreciated. I know this isn’t professional medical advice I’m just looking for some kind of ideas. Thank you in advance for your time.

Wrong thread.

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HumourReplacementTherapy · 06/01/2024 10:11

@MNHQ there are a few random posts on this thread you might want to delete. I don't think a vet is going to know the answer to an alcohol free wedding!

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pushchairprincess · 07/01/2024 09:37

Hi - my dog used to have a wet shiny nose when younger, he's now 11 and his nose is very rarely wet -just dry and crusty feeling - is there something wrong with him or it is simply getting older ??

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Spendonsend · 08/01/2024 20:23

We keep chickens and have a dog. When there are no restrictions re bird flu our chickens roam around. Are there any diseases that the chickens or dog can give each other.

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nottaotter · 09/01/2024 06:05

@ButterOllocks our dog drank more when they had a urine infection, was fine after antibiotics. Our other dog drank more and was kidney issues that needed a special diet.

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JacCharlton · 09/01/2024 07:43

My dog is not a short nose breed - but is a really bad snorer - like a human almost - I can hear him whilst WFH - is this something I should be worried about - 9 year old border terrier.

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youareonlyhereonce · 10/01/2024 16:16

I have not taken my dog for his annual injections for distemper etc - I have him booked in - but can't go for 2 weeks (payday) He is 2 months over - should I keep from walking him on the street until he's had them - I can let him do his business in the garden until then - we are 6 weeks overdue for them

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ButterOllocks · 11/01/2024 08:26

nottaotter · 09/01/2024 06:05

@ButterOllocks our dog drank more when they had a urine infection, was fine after antibiotics. Our other dog drank more and was kidney issues that needed a special diet.

thank you - he is still drinking a lot more than usual - I will take him tonight to rule out an infection

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