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Pet Subjects: 'Why don't more pet owners know that lilies are fatal to cats?' 

Pete Wedderburn/ cat in flowers 
'My six-month-old kitten nearly died after suffering kidney failure caused by contact with lily pollen' - Pet Subjects  Credit:  CREDIT: PATRICK BOLGER/Christine Boyd

Dear Pete 

My eight-year-old spaniel, Bella, suffers from the noisiest tummy rumbles I’ve ever heard. They are so loud that she even wakes herself up when sleeping! She has no other sign of ill health: should I worry?

PB, Newcastle

Dear PB 

Excessive sounds like this from the abdomen are known as borborygmi. They’re caused by excessive gastrointestinal gases, and can be associated with other signs, such as abdominal pain, flatulence or digestive upset.

For this reason, even if she seems normal, it’s worth trying to solve this. Try a slow-feeding dog bowl in case she swallows air when gulping food down, feed her two small meals daily rather than one big one, and try a highly digestible diet (for example, using rice rather than other carbohydrate sources). Probiotics may also help (try lintbells.com).

Dear Pete 

My six-month-old kitten, Frodo, nearly died after suffering kidney failure caused by contact with lily pollen: I didn’t realise that lilies were toxic to cats. He is OK now, but my vet says many cats die from this. Why is this not more widely known?

LP, Manchester

Dear LB 

The pollen, flowers and leaves of lilies are extremely toxic to cats: the big problem is that if cats get pollen on their coat, they swallow it when grooming. This is a common cause of death: the animal charity Blue Cross is calling for florists to routinely add a sticker or note to their flowers and plants showing whether they are safe or not safe for cats and dogs. The general rule is that if you have cats, you should not have lilies in your home. There are plenty of flowers that are safe around cats: see bluecross.org.uk/catpoison for more information

Making it easier to prevent fleas and worms

A new website, itchpet.com, offers personalised flea and intestinal worm treatments for dogs and cats, from less than £10 per month, delivered free of charge to your door. No need to remember to do this: once you’ve signed up, a monthly package for your pet arrives. You just need to give the treatment.

Rescue pet

Tula that cat 

Tula is a shy, nine-year-old female cat, whose previous owner died. Tula is looking for an experienced, patient owner. Visit nawt.org.uk or call 0208 950 0177

To view outcomes of rescued pets, see petethevet.com/rescues


Send queries to [email protected] or tweet @PeteTheVet. All sick animals should be taken to a vet