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PDSA Weekly Vet Q&A

Tom Stone
Authored by Tom Stone
Posted: Friday, July 5, 2024 - 08:00

Dear PDSA Vet, can dogs get hayfever? My pug Frankie is itching all the time at the moment! Jodie  

Hi Jodie, yes, pets can suffer from pollen allergies just like humans can! Signs your pet may have hayfever or allergies to things like pollen are more likely to include; licking or biting their paws, lots of scratching and red or sore looking skin – especially around their ears, eyes, between their pads on their feet, or on their tummy.  Pets with allergies may also appear tired or lethargic, or constantly shake their head and rub their ears or muzzle. If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your vet to rule out other health issues and get their advice about treating for allergies.  


Dear PDSA Vet, I'm thinking of getting my daughter a kitten for her birthday in September but with the cost of living crisis, I'm worried. Are cats expensive to look after? Thanks, Uma 

Hi Uma, having a cat in your life is lots of fun, but there are lots of things to think about before getting one. All pets are a lifelong commitment and it's important to remember that you should only take on a pet if you can financially support them, have time and a lifestyle that means you can be there for them. Owning a pet can be expensive. Not only setting up a home for your cat at the beginning with items such as beds, litter trays and toys, you'll also need to have your cat microchipped, as this became a legal requirement in England on 10 June this year.  Kittens will need a course of primary vaccinations, with boosters each year thereafter, they will need to be neutered and be given regular preventive treatment for fleas and worms. Insurance that covers vets fees is an absolute necessity, as accidents and illness can strike at any time. Check out our website for lots more information: pdsa.org.uk/catcost 


Dear PDSA Vet, how can we discourage my granddaughter's new hamster Sammy from biting? Thanks, Jenny 

Hi Jenny, it takes time and patience to get your hamster used to being handled. Before approaching your hamster wash your hands with scent free soap and check he's awake and out of his nest, it's important not to disturb sleeping hamsters as they may bite from fear. Introduce yourself quietly and calmly, talking softly. When entering your hamster's home be sure not to approach him from directly above. Instead, approach from the side and lay your hand on the floor of the enclosure. It may take a while until Sammy feels comfortable around your hand. When Sammy seems more confident, allow him to sniff your hand, and when relaxed try scooping your hands together underneath him. Once he is used to this, you can gently stroke him and offer a treat, once he's relaxed you can try lifting him. Find out more about hamsters here: pdsa.org.uk/hamster


Dear PDSA Vet, should my kitten, Luca's, teeth be falling out? He is three months old. Thanks, Celia  

Hi Celia, don't worry, this is completely normal! Just like us, cats start off with baby teeth and then they fall out to make way for their adult teeth to come through. Kittens generally lose their baby teeth at around three to four months old when their adult teeth start coming through. You might find baby teeth on the floor which can be concerning at first but is nothing to worry about. By the time Luca is seven months old, all of his adult teeth should have appeared!  


PDSA is the UK's largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People's Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

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