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.
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