DR BRUCE CHARD
firstname.lastname@example.org I always keep my fox terrier, Boss, on a lead when I walk him near the road or on a sidewalk, but sometimes I see people with their dog off the lead and they seem to manage. Do you think this is safe?
Some dogs are well trained and stay close to their owner when out for a walk but I strongly advise all owners to have their dog on a lead at all times when near a road. The best trained dog will not be able to stop for traffic if it is chasing a cat or has been confronted by another dog. For small dogs it is best to have a harness and attach the lead securely. If using a collar make sure you cannot pull the collar off your dog’s head and your lead is attached correctly. For part of the walk you can always do a short period of training and then leave time for Boss to follow his nose and enjoy the walk.
Our 14-year-old cat, Sooty, has some black wax in the outer part of his ears. He does not seem irritated but I am wondering if I should use some drops to clean his ears?
Older cats will sometimes have a buildup of black wax in the outer part of the ear canal and as long as it is not causing irritation I tend not to treat this. The normal inner surface of cat ears is light pink in colour with minimal wax present. If there is an infection, then your cat will shake his head and scratch at the affected ear. If you feel about both ears he will react if an ear is tender. If this is the case, have your vet check your cat for any sign of bacterial, yeast or earmite infestation. Treatment involves a course of ear ointment or drops. You can have an ear cleanser on hand and apply to cotton wool and gently wipe away any wax.