Pets: PDSA's Stuart McMorrow answer's your questions

Q My dog gets a lot of sleep in the corner of her eyes. Is this something that needs to be addressed?

A Whether or not this is normal depends on the appearance of the discharge and whether there are other signs of eye disease. These would include reddening of the conjunctiva (the skin around the edges of the eyes), loss of fur around the eyes, partly closing her eyes or rubbing them. If the discharge is thick and sticky, or red-stained, this would also indicate a problem. Some build-up of "sleep" may be normal and may only require you to gently bathe it away each day with some tepid water. But I would get it checked out by your vet to be sure.

Q I have two rats – one is two and overweight. I feed them both dry rat food and no unhealthy treats and they have a large cage to run around and are allowed out to exercise every day. How can I get him to lose weight?

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A Rats fed seed-based mixes often selectively feed, picking out bits they like such as sunflower seeds, peanuts and biscuits – these are high in fat and low in calcium. If you feed a mix like this, it could be part of the problem. It's best to use commercial rat nuggets so your rats can't selectively feed in this way. When it comes to encouraging exercise, a cage needs to be large, but it also needs to contain an exercise wheel. Other useful items include things to climb on and explore, such as boxes and tubes.

Q My cat has a lump on her ear which is getting bigger and keeps weeping. Do I need to take her see a vet?

A Yes. This sounds as though it could be an abscess. These can be caused by cat bites or there may be a foreign body (possibly a splinter of wood) which needs to be removed. It could also be an infected or ulcerated tumour. Your vet will examine the lump and see if any tests are required. If a tumour is suspected, the best approach may be to surgically remove it.

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