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What troubles your pet?

Since they can’t talk, noticing the body language and disposition of your pet is key to early cure

What troubles your pet?

My bulldog has broken out with these bumps around his mouth and chin. They look like little blisters. They don't seem to hurt him but I'm still worried that he is allergic to something around the house.

This sounds like a fairly common ailment known as canine acne. In fact, a bulldog is one of the breeds that is most affected by this complaint (as well as boxers and great danes). This condition most commonly begins to develop at around the age of five to eight months (equivalent to adolescence in humans). Typically, the condition will resolve itself after about one year of age – and if chronic acne still persists, veterinary care may be required. Keeping the skin around affected areas clean with mild anti-bacterial cleanses will help control outbreaks and prevent infection.

Anti-inflammatories are only generally required if your dog is scratching the affected area more than is healthy for the skin. I would still recommend that your dog sees a vet, who may decide to take a skin biopsy to be sure that acne is the cause. Other possible reasons for these symptoms include ringworm and demodecosis (a mite infestation).

My pet cat is four-months old. I find his tongue very scratchy. Should I be concerned?

A cat is a predator. Its natural food is the prey that it catches. A cat's tongue is scratchy because it is lined with papillae – tiny elevated backward hooks that help to hold its prey in place.

My cat got unwell when I gave him cow milk. Why would that happen?

Cats are lactose intolerant. They cannot digest and break down cow's milk proteins. They do like milk and cream though and will drink it if given. While a kitten won't get affected by cow milk, once she is an adult, cow milk will cause gas, diarrhea, etc. You need to supplement her diet with many other foods.

What does it mean when a cat shows signs of pregnancy when there's no way she could be pregnant?

Phantom pregnancy may occur in mature female cats but this is very rare. A false pregnancy may occur in cats after their heat cycle. The cat develops the symptoms of a pregnancy if she is bred by a tom cat that is infertile.

If the cat is bred, her body ovulates and produces a gland that is developed in the ovaries after ovulation. This gland produces progesterone, which may lead to typical pregnancy symptoms. Sometimes even a sterile breeding produces this gland. The phantom pregnancy may occur even in spayed cats, in case they were spayed during the diestrus stage of the reproductive cycle. In very rare cases, cats with hypothyroidism can present symptoms of pregnancy without being pregnant, due to diverse blood changes.

In case your cat displays signs of phantom pregnancy, you need to treat her normally. If she is seeking more attention, give it to her. All you can do is wait until the cat gets over her false pregnancy behaviour. The symptoms of pseudopregnancy may persist for several months.

Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com

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