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Pet Tips

My cat is damaging my furniture by scratching it

Should I declaw my cat?

Many people think that declawing a cat means that you cut the nails really, really short, so that they do not have the capacity to grow again. Nothing could be further from the truth. When a cat is declawed, the greater part of the last digit of its toe is amputated. Cats’ nails are attached to the last digit on their feet and one cannot effectively remove the nail, without also removing the greater part of the digit itself. There are muscles and tendons attaching to the bone of the last digit and some of the bone should be left intact for the foot to function normally after the procedure. If one was to do a similar procedure in a human, it will be like removing the tip of your finger just in front of the first knuckle.



My Boerboel with its long tail really looks strange. I much prefer a Boerboel with a short tail.

Tail Docking in dogs - Why we as vets do not routinely do it anymore

To start off with let’s define what we are talking about when we are talking about tail docking in dogs.

Tail docking from a veterinary perspective refers to a surgical procedure done to puppies between the ages of 3 to 5 days old, where a portion, or partial length of the tail is amputated or cut off with a scalpel or surgical scissors, bleeding is stopped by cauterisation or tying off of bleeding blood vessels with absorbable suture material, and placing a suture or sutures in the skin to close off the wound.



What is the brownish yellow discolouration on my pet's teeth?

Discoloured teeth in dogs and cats

Just like humans, dogs and cats have two different sets of teeth. The first set, known as the deciduous teeth or “baby teeth", erupt between three to six weeks of age. The permanent or “adult” teeth start erupting around three months of age and are all present around six months of age.

The teeth are also very similar in structure to human teeth, with the crown that sits above the gum line and the root which is located below the gum line. All teeth are made up of an outer protective coating of enamel. Enamel is a very hard structure that protects the more sensitive dentin. The dentin sits over the even more sensitive pulp cavity which contains nerves and bloods vessels, which nourish the tooth.



My dog makes a strange snorting sound with funny gagging movements almost like something is stuck in his/her throat.

Reverse Sneezing in dogs

What is reverse sneeze?

Reverse sneezing is repetitive, forceful inspiratory (breathing in) efforts generally caused by irritation of the lining of the naso-pharynx or area at the back of the mouth and nose where these two openings join into one. Unlike a normal sneeze where air is forcefully pushed out the nose to clear the irritation, a reverse sneeze involves air being pulled forcefully and rapidly into the nose. This is commonly seen in small and toy breeds breeds with long thin nasal passages like Miniature Pinchers, Toy Poms, Chihuahuas, Malteses, Dachshunds, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and other Terriers, etc., and brachycephalic (short nose) breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tsus, Pekingeses, etc.



I found a loose stool with blood and what looks like jelly on the kitchen floor this morning - what do I do?

Acute and Chronic colitis in dogs and cats

What is Acute Colitis?

Acute colitis is a common condition in pets and is characterised by a sudden onset colonic inflammation with a diarrhoea that may contain mucous and/or fresh blood.



Is Tick Fever and Tick Bite Fever the same disease in dogs?

Erlichiosis (Tick bite fever) in dogs

It is not. Tick fever or Babesios in dogs, is not the same disease as Tick bite fever or Erlichioses. Both diseases are transmitted to dogs by ticks, but they are caused by two totally different organisms or parasites and the clinical signs, progress and treatment are very different.



What do I feed my dog, how much and when?

Nutrition in dogs: guidelines to a well-fed pooch

Feeding your dog an appropriate well balanced diet for its life stage is vital to good health and wellbeing. Nutrient requirements differ depending on the breed and age of the dog and there are a few important factors to take into consideration.



My dog's stomach is suddenly very bloated and he is very uncomfortable

The dreaded Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) Syndrome - Twisted Stomach

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a rapidly progressive life-threatening condition in dogs characterised by bloating and twisting of the stomach. Patients admitted with suspected GDV are treated as an emergency as the condition is life threatening. Treatment may require medical and surgical intervention. It is commonly associated with large or giant breed, deep-chested animals between 2 and 10 years of age. Some breeds affected are German Shepherds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Great Danes, Dobermans, Irish Setters and Basset hounds but any breed and age can be affected.



My pet was hit by a car on its hindquarters

Pelvic Fractures

This article gives a simple overview of what to expect when a pet has a pelvic fracture, what are the most common causes and associated injuries, and what treatment options are available.



Can spaying your dog save her life?

Pyometra in dogs - the reason for spaying

Pyometra is a condition of unsterilised females, usually older than 6 years of age. “Pyo” refers to pus, and “metra” to the uterus. Litterally translated, it would mean “bad of pus”. It is a very serious condition and if left untreated for too long, can have deadly consequences. It can be treated very effectively if caught early and taking your animal to the vet when signs first appear can save its life.