Dear Vicki, My ham­ster Al­fie some­times has trou­ble open­ing his eyes af­ter he wakes up. They usu­ally open af­ter a few min­utes, and I gen­tly wipe them with a warm damp tis­sue to get rid of the gunk. He’s quite old now, but this only started recently. THIS is quite a com­mon prob­lem in ham­sters, par­tic­u­larly se­nior ham­sters who tend to sleep longer. The nor­mal fluid from the eye just dries out on the eye­lids and causes them to stick to­gether. If the gunk around the eyes is green then there could be an in­fec­tion and you will need to take Al­fie to see your vet but if it is clear you can con­tinue to use the warm, damp tis­sue as you are al­ready do­ing. Al­fie’s prob­lem could be made worse by his bed­ding, so make sure you use a dust-free ver­sion. If you are us­ing saw­dust, try switch­ing to a wood­based pulp ver­sion, which will be less dusty. Dear Vicki My cat Yoda keeps sneez­ing all the time, but doesn’t seem to be un­well other­wise. Is it just a cold or some­thing more se­ri­ous? YODA’S sneez­ing could be caused by a num­ber of things, for in­stance she may have a res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion, she could have some­thing stuck up her nose, or there could be some­thing in her en­vi­ron­ment that’s ir­ri­tat­ing her. Cats with res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions can some­times have other symp­toms, such as runny eyes or a runny nose, but this isn’t al­ways the case and cats are very good at hid­ing ill­nesses un­til they are much more se­ri­ous. As there are a num­ber of things that could be caus­ing Yoda chronic sneez­ing, I’d ad­vise tak­ing her to see your vet to check what is caus­ing th­ese symp­toms. WWW.PDSA.ORG.UK

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