VETS Q&A

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE - VICKI LARKHAM

DEAR Vicki, MY dog keeps scratch­ing, and al­though we’ve given him reg­u­lar flea treat­ments, washed him reg­u­larly in flea sham­poo, washed all their bed­ding and don’t have car­pets down­stairs, he still scratches. I can’t see any sign of fleas, and my two cats don’t scratch at all. YOU’VE taken the right step in treat­ing your pet and home, as this is vi­tal to ef­fec­tively treat­ing fleas. Your vet is the best per­son to ad­vise about safe and ef­fec­tive flea treat­ments, which is im­por­tant as you will need to treat all house­hold pets. Some over-the-counter treat­ments may not be as ef­fec­tive as those pre­scribed by a vet. Dog flea treat­ments must never be used on cats as this can cause fa­tal poi­son­ing. How­ever, there may also be an­other cause of your dogs’ scratch­ing such as mites. DEAR Vicki, MY budgie, Dolly, loves to fly around out­side her cage, but it’s im­pos­si­ble to get her back in­side. What can we do to make the process eas­ier? THE most trusted ap­proach is to re­ward Dolly with some­thing she loves and re­sponds to. Only give Dolly the treat when she goes back into her cage, so she learns that she must do this to get a treat. To be­gin with, re­ward her for sim­ply ap­proach­ing the cage, and then over sev­eral days, only re­ward her when she gets close to the cage door. Even­tu­ally, she will only get a treat when she goes into the cage. Af­ter a week, be­gin adding com­mands such as “back in­side” when you give her the re­ward. The process re­quires pa­tience, but Dolly should re­turn when she hears your com­mand and you will be able to re­duce, and even­tu­ally stop giv­ing her re­wards. WWW.PDSA.ORG.UK

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