DR BRUCE CHARD

Sunday News - - PETS -

con­tact@north­har­bourvet.co.nz 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.

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