Our 11-year-old Border terrier is beginning to suffer joint problems. Is it OK to give her the anti-inflammatory ibuprofen tablets that can be bought in supermarkets?
This is definitely not OK: while ibuprofen is a frequently used painkiller for humans, it can be highly toxic to animals, and even lethal if given in high doses, because it can damage the kidneys. This is a common mistake made by owners: ibuprofen is the drug involved in more poisoning cases in dogs than any other human medication, according to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service and Animal Poison Line (the national 24-hour telephone emergency services providing information for vets and pet owners about poisoning in animals). Talk to your vet about safe, licensed pain relief to keep your dog comfortable.
My 17-year-old cat has begun howling three or four times a day, making a loud wailing noise. She seems to be in a trance, snapping out of it as soon as I touch her. She is on daily tablets for an overactive thyroid. Any thoughts?
Excessive vocalisation like this can have different causes. High blood pressure is one common possibility: if this has not already been checked, ask your vet to do so. This can be treated with a daily tablet, but if left untreated, there can be serious consequences such as blindness. Another common cause is cognitive dysfunction, or “elderly cat dementia”. Your vet can make this diagnosis only by ruling out other causes, and sadly there’s no effective treatment.
The search is on to find the top UK veterinary nurse
If you know a veterinary nurse who you believe has gone the extra mile for your pet over the past year, or if they have made a significant contribution to animal welfare in other ways, complete the nomination form on the Blue Cross website at bluecross.org.uk/BVNA2019 before Sept 6.
Tyson is a friendly 10-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier who would like a home where there is someone with him most of the time. Visit bcdh.org.uk or call Bath Cats and Dogs Home on 01225 787321.
To view outcomes of rescued pets, see petethevet.com