Little Peter Rabbit
My rabbit has a perpetual head tilt and looks like he’s in pain. What should I do?
A perpetual head tilt can be a sign of an ear infection. If only one side is affected, it may be due to foreign bodies, trauma, and tumor. However, bacterial infection is the most common cause of otitis media and interna. Other underlying causes include:Candida, a fungal yeast,Ear mite infestation, Vigorous ear flushing can leave the tissue irritated and susceptible to infection,Impaired immune system (due to stress, corticosteroid use, concurrent disease, debility) also increases susceptibility to bacterial infections,Ear cleaning solutions may be irritating to the middle and inner ear (avoid using any internal medications of fluids if the eardrum is ruptured.)
You need to get immediate attention from the vet. Fluid and electrolyte therapy will be given until the rabbit stabilises, with bacteria specific antibiotics administered orally, and also applied directly in the ears if the eardrum has not ruptured. Antifungal medications will be administered of the infection is found to be caused by yeast. If the ear canal or eardrum has been severely damaged, it is possible that surgery will need to be performed to remove the ear canal.
My cat has now reached adulthood and has stopped urinating in the litter box. She also slips out of the house whenever she can. This is so stressful for me. Is there anything I can do?
Cats communicate with each other in various ways. One of the primary ways is through scent. Each cat’s urine and feces has a unique scent, so that when a cat urinates or defecates in a specific location, it is communicating with other cats that may come along later. This behaviour is referred to as territory marking, and these marked spots “tell” other cats which cat has been to this spot and claimed that area or object as its territory. This is more likely near doors and windows .Another type of marking behavior is distinguished by urinating on walls, furniture, or other upright surfaces.
Cats first begin marking territory as they become mature. For male cats this occurs around puberty, and for female cats it occurs around the time they go into estrus(heat) for the first time. When cats reach the age of puberty or estrus, they also become more likely to stray from home. Cats will roam to find mates, to explore, and to mark their territory. Cats that are not neutered are more likely to mark territory and to roam than cats that are.
However you also need to check for bladder infections, diarrhea or constipation, diseases of the anal sacs (scent glands near the anus) and if the litter box not kept clean enough . The cat may also want another kind of litter. If your cat is urinating or defecating outside of the litter box, you may need to change the type of litter that you use, or change the location of the litter box. Some cats prefer a finer grain of litter, and some cannot tolerate scented litters. Keeping the litter box clean on a daily basis is an important and often overlooked part of cat care. Cats do not like to step onto their own waste, and some will outright refuse to use a soiled litter box. Scooping urine and feces out of the litter box daily, and giving the box a thorough cleaning once a week will help your cat to feel comfortable using it. In the areas where your cat has urinated or defecated outside of the litter box, you will need to clean with a special cleaner that will remove the odors entirely, or your cat will return to those areas again and again. Even after cleaning, you should prevent your cat from going into those areas again. Another option is to use synthetic animal pheromones in the home to dissuade your cat from marking. These man-made versions of natural cat smells may cause your cat to think that the territory has already been marked and will not mark them again with its own urine.
Spaying female cats before their first heat cycle, and neutering male cats before they reach puberty can prevent a lot of inappropriate behaviour. Keep your cats indoors and provide plenty of toys to keep it active.
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