VETS Q&A

Accrington Observer - - ACCRINGTON PEOPLE - VICKI LARKHAM

Dear Vicki, My three-year-old rab­bit Thumper’s front teeth are re­ally long and over­grown and he’s find­ing eat­ing dif­fi­cult. What can I do to help him?

You need to take Thumper to your vet with­out de­lay. The vet will prob­a­bly rec­om­mend trim­ming the over­grown teeth so that he can eat nor­mally again and will ad­vise on Thumper’s diet too. A rab­bit’s teeth grow con­tin­u­ously through­out their life. Thumper will there­fore need lots of grass or good qual­ity hay in his diet to keep his teeth worn down. You should avoid feed­ing your rab­bit a muesli diet, as this can cause tooth prob­lems. If an on­go­ing prob­lem is di­ag­nosed, Thumper might need his teeth trimmed reg­u­larly. For more in­for­ma­tion on what to feed rab­bits visit www.pdsa.org.uk/ rab­bits.

Dear Vicki, When I first got my kit­ten, Cup­cake, she had the flu and I had to give her medicine from a sy­ringe and eye drops. She’s eight-months-old and bet­ter now, but won’t come near me. How can I get her to trust me again?

Even though you were do­ing it to help her, Cup­cake has prob­a­bly learnt to as­so­ciate you with un­pleas­ant things. You need to help Cup­cake re-as­so­ciate you with pos­i­tive ones. Chas­ing Cup­cake to re­as­sure her can re­in­force her fear. To build up her trust ap­proach her slowly, qui­etly and gen­tly so that she isn’t scared. Keep your dis­tance at first and of­fer her re­wards (e.g. small pieces of her favourite lean meat) when she re­mains calm. Re­mem­ber to re­duce her meal size if she is get­ting ex­tra treats to avoid weight gain. Once she is com­fort­able around you, stroke her gen­tly, con­cen­trat­ing on her head and neck. It will take pa­tience and sev­eral weeks, but Cup­cake can learn to trust you again.

» ● www.pdsa.org.uk

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