Pet Questions

Stuart McMorrow solves your pet problems

Q I’ve been feeding my budgies with commercial food, but will they also need vitamin supplements?

A Many health problems seen in budgies are due to an inappropriate diet, so it is important that they are fed properly. Complete pelleted foods are one type that’s recommended as they contain essential nutrients in the right amounts. But it’s a good idea to add a small amount of fresh vegetables too, such as broccoli and grated carrot. Budgies can eat the pellets a bit too quickly, so make sure you don’t give too much as this can cause weight gain.

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Remember that your budgie will also need fresh water so make sure you clean the water bottle regularly as well as the food dispenser. Any changes to your budgies’ diet should be made gradually as sudden changes can upset their digestive system.

Q My vet has told me that my dog has high cholesterol. Does she need to follow a low-fat diet like humans?

A The best thing to do is to chat about this with your vet – they’ll be able to go through this with you, as high cholesterol can be caused by several different problems. For example, high levels of fat in the blood can be caused by diabetes or an underactive thyroid, as not enough fat-dissolving enzymes are made by your dog’s body. In addition, some conditions that affect the liver can cause the organ to produce more cholesterol. Your dog’s treatment will depend on what has caused her high cholesterol so you should follow your vet’s advice.

Your vet may recommend reducing the amount of fat in your dog’s diet as well as prescribing medicines for any condition that is causing the high levels of cholesterol.

Q I’ve noticed that my nine-week-old kitten sometimes has blood in her faeces. Is this something I should worry about?

A You need to take your kitten to your vet as soon as possible.

There are several things that could be causing your kitten’s problems, such as parasites and constipation, and it’s important to find out what’s causing this blood loss. If she also has diarrhoea this could be caused by an intestinal infection, and in young kittens this can be very dangerous as they lose vital fluids and can become dehydrated very quickly.