Pet Care

Super Star Pet Picture - October Sixtyplusurfers

Debra Barratt's Dog, Amber is our Super Star Pet for October

Debra Barratt's Dog, Amber is our Super Star Pet for October

Our cute pet picture has been sent in by Sixtyplusurfers reader, Debra Barratt

Get Your Pet Picture in the Star Spot in our November/December issue.

“This is a picture of my naughty pup Amber!” explains, Debra Barratt.

“Thank goodness you came home …. When you left my bed exploded!”

Thank you to Debra for sending in her funny picture of her adorable puppy, Amber. It cheered us all up and made us laugh.

I wonder how Amber managed to make such a mess? Can you guess? 

Would you like us to feature your pet in our November/December Christmas issue?

Then send us your very best pet pictures and we will select one to be the Super Star Pet Picture, for everyone else to look at and love. 

This competition is just for fun, and gives you a chance to put your pet in the spotlight.

We’ll feature a different picture each month!

If you’d like us to feature your pet, then mail your picture in JPG format to:

sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

Make sure you put ‘Super Star Pet Picture’ in the subject field.

Dora's Diary

A Monthly Dog Blog

Hi folks. Oh dear, I’ve been having a trying time with Bossman over the last month, I can tell you. And it’s all to do with a new book he’s written called An Armful of Animals. Nice title, eh? 

It’s all about the animals he’s encountered over the years which have influenced his life as a vet. Funny though, I don’t think he’s included me. But perhaps I’m being left for a second volume. Who knows?

Anyway, he’s been ranting about this memoir for weeks. Frankly it’s been driving me spare. Just can’t get away from him going on and on about it. I’ve even had him sitting in a chair alongside my basket, reading out some of the stories. Yes, really. Can you believe it?

There I was, snoring gently under my blanket which I’d tucked up around me to make a nest when I get rudely awakened by Bossman. He scrapes a chair alongside my bed, clears his throat, rustles some papers and then starts to spout.

Initially, I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed. My peace being disturbed and all that. But then, lying there too lazy to move, I found myself being drawn into the story. And actually rather enjoyed it.

When Bossman was an eight-year-old in Nigeria, his parents acquired a menagerie of animals from tortoises and chameleons through to a duiker and an African grey parrot.  But Bossman’s favourite of them all was an African bush dog called Poucher. She was black with white markings and an absolute sweetie apparently.

So you can imagine the distress he felt when one day she suddenly disappeared from their bungalow and didn’t return. Seems it was so unlike her.

“Don’t worry, Malcolm,” consoled his mother, wrapping her arms round him. “I’m sure she’ll come back.” But they all feared the worse. That Poucher had been savaged by some wild animal and at that moment lay dying deep in the jungle.

But three days after she’d gone, she did return, slowly, painfully, dragging her right hind leg in which there was a terrible gash.

Bossman threw his arms round her neck and cried. Poucher, despite her appalling injury, reached up and gave him a loving lick.

It was the army doctor who saved Poucher’s life. He stitched her up on the operating table in the hospital, Bossman watching, goggle-eyed, vowing then to become a vet.

That’s a sweet story isn’t it? And not the only one Bossman related to me.

There was the tale of a rather spiteful cat called Crackerjack. He was feisty feline belonging to an elderly client of Bossman’s, Miss Jameson. Whenever Bossman was due to make home visit the cat would disappear upstairs long before he arrived and hide under Miss Jameson’s large Victorian bedstead. Miss Jameson would usher Bossman into her hallway and point up the stairs.

“I’m afraid Crackerjack’s bolted under my bed again,” she’d say apologetically. “Seemed to sense you were on your way.”

The scenario that followed was worthy of a Feydeau farce with Bossman crawling under the bed, Crackerjack, hissing and snarling before making his escape from the other end leaving poor old Bossman similarly foul mouthed, spitting with rage under the bed springs.

Seems there are many other such stories in Bossman’s memoir. Over twenty or more. So he keeps telling me. And to top it all, he’s taken pictures of me alongside the book. And even used my portrait for postcards.

Actually, I don’t mind too much. I think the pictures of me are rather fetching. Quite the poster pooch. What do you think?

Love and licks

Dora

P.S. My Bossman is Malcolm Welshman.

His memoir, An Armful of Animals, is available from www.amazon.co.uk  £7.99 Kindle price £2.99 

Malcolm Welshman has his own website at www.malcolmwelshman.co.uk   

RSPCA Historic Marathon

Mark the RSPCA’s History with London Landmarks challenge

The RSPCA Headquarters at 105 Jermyn Street, London. The idea for the animal charity began in a coffee shop in London nearly 200 years ago

The RSPCA is taking a look back at its rich history as runners are encouraged to sign up to the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

The route takes in the famous landmarks in the city and each cheer point will be themed with a moment in history.

The RSPCA is urging those interested to run for Team Animal and help the charity to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in desperate need of care.

The charity was founded in a London coffee shop in 1824 and the streets of London is where the first inspectors donned their uniforms and set about helping animals, four years before the police force began.

RSPCA HQ was based at 105 Jermyn Street which was bombed during the Second World War and is now just moments from the London Landmarks route, a street bustling with shops.

Emily Lyle, RSPCA Events Manager says, “The London Landmarks Half Marathon is set to be a fantastic event which not only raises money for good causes like the RSPCA but also allows runners to explore cultural landmarks and the city’s heritage. The first inspectors walked the streets of London and the idea of the charity was first realised in a coffee shop in the city back in 1824, so our long history is very much tied to the capital.

“For nearly 200 years we have been preventing neglect and cruelty, rescuing animals and ensuring they go on to loving homes, and we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without kind supporters who bake cakes, hold pub quizzes or run marathons to raise much-needed funds for the RSPCA. This year, we are urging animal lovers to take on this challenge to raise funds and mark the charity’s rich history.”

RSPCA Inspector with stray cat
in World War II

The race starts on Pall Mall, finishes by Downing Street and has fabulous views of London’s most iconic landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye.

The RSPCA hopes to raise £16,000 with 40 runners taking part for Team Animal. This could pay for all of the food in one of the RSPCA animal centres for more than a year.

Those who sign up to London Landmarks for the RSPCA will receive a Team Animal personalised vest, a training t-shirt, a running fundraising pack and training guide, a Facebook group to chat to other runners, a committed events team on hand to help with fundraising, and a fantastic cheer squad to cheer on the day as well as goodies for family and friends to come along and cheer as well.

Registration fee is £30 with a £400 fundraising target and the 13.1 mile challenge will be held on March 24, 2019.

To sign up click on www.rspca.org.uk  

Pet Sitting in you Retirement

Pet Sitting can Help Retired People Get Over Losing a Pet

With the rise in the number of people owning dogs and cats – more people will go through losing a pet which can be a very distressing time, akin for many to losing a family member.

A study by the Co-op found that more than a quarter of respondents had found their pet’s death as difficult as the death of a family member, and a third thought it was on a level with the loss of a friend. Nearly half of the bereaved owners were still mourning after two months, and 16% were struggling a year later.

One way to deal with this is to become a home and pet sitter – looking after people’s homes and pets when they go away. According to a recent survey by Homesitters Ltd when asked why they don’t have a pet of their own – almost a fifth of homesitters said it was too upsetting when they die or they were taking time out after losing their dog or cat before considering a replacement.

For 63% of homesitters looking after pets was the main reason they chose the role and for just over 70% looking after animals was thing they enjoyed most. Other highlights of the job include time away from the usual routine, staying in different places and exploring the UK.

Alan Irvine, Chairman of Homesitters Ltd says, “When a much loved pet dies it can be devastating, so it’s understandable this puts off some people from getting another pet. Even the Queen was said to be heartbroken following the death of her last Corgi earlier this year.

“Homesitting can give animal lovers the chance to spend time caring for dogs and cats without the commitment of having one or the prospect of future heartbreak when they die. Many of our homesitters say it’s the best of both worlds and looking after animals was the big draw of the role.”

For older people especially who don’t want to take on another pet in their retirement or perhaps live somewhere that doesn’t allow pets it’s the ideal choice of flexible employment. 77% of the company’s homesitters are aged 55 to 74 years old and 65% say home and pet sitting contributes financially towards their retirement.

Yolande and Clive Noble, from Telford in Shropshire have been homesitting for 15 years. The couple were previously pet owners and their pets have included dogs, cats, mice and chinchillas, however, when their last two dogs died they didn’t want the upset of having to go through that again, so home and pet sitting provides them with the ideal way to spend time with animals, particularly dogs.

Clive says, “Being a homesitter is a change from the hum drum and gets us out and about, staying in new places. We also get our dog fix. We idolise the dogs we look after and over the years have met so many wonderful dogs.

“We also enjoy exploring local villages and towns when we’re on assignment – it’s just like a holiday with the bonus of getting paid!”

For more information about Homesitters visit www.homesitters.co.uk

Adopt a Dartmoor Pony

Adopt a Dartmoor
Pony for Christmas

Adopt a Dartmoor pony for Christmas and follow its activities all year round. The Dartmoor pony is now on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s ‘Endangered’ List. To help fund its work to ensure a future for the traditional native Dartmoor pony bred on the Moor, the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust (DPHT) now offers a “Dartmoor Pony Adoption Gift Pack”.

The Adoption Pack includes a beautiful line drawing, photos, newsletter and an adoption certificate. Adopters receive three newsletters each year, with news about ‘their’ ponies as well as the Charity’s activities to support the pony keepers (breeders) and to promote the ponies’ vital role in improving the biodiversity and management of the moor. The cost is £20 per year for UK residents and £25 for those who live abroad

By buying an Adoption, you will be funding the DPHT’s training of ponies so that they have a greater value and are more suitable for domestic and conservation grazing homes than coming straight off the Moor as wild, untouched animals.

Ponies available for adoption are George, Charlie, Smartie and Rolo; they live at the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Centre, at Parke, Bovey Tracey in Devon. Visitors are welcome on Event Days and by special arrangement, to groom and handle the ponies, find out all about them, follow their interesting lives and discover how important they are to the Dartmoor landscape.  

To adopt a pony, make a donation, or find out more visit www.dpht.co.uk or phone 01626 833234

PDSA Pet Safety Advice

Pets Swallow the Strangest Things

Keeping your pet safe from hidden hazards in your homes and gardens

Stones, babies’ dummies, socks and even kebab sticks are among the weird and wonderful items that PDSA vets surgically remove from pet patients every year.

Pets are naturally inquisitive creatures, and our homes and gardens are full of potential hazards that can cause serious harm. Seemingly innocuous clothes, accessories, and household objects can become dangerous if they are accidently eaten by your pet.

A foreign body is anything in your pet’s body that shouldn’t naturally be there and these often cause problems. Most foreign bodies are swallowed and get trapped in the stomach or guts. Some foreign bodies can become lodged under the skin, in the ear or eye, or are breathed in to the lungs.

PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan says, “Vets regularly see a huge number of pets who have eaten things they shouldn’t. Dogs are particularly prone to eating all kinds of weird and wonderful household objects.”

Some common foreign bodies seen by PDSA vets include sticks, peach stones, balls, socks, stones and coins. Other bizarre objects vet staff have removed have included tent pegs, knives and radio aerials.

“Dogs often like to use their mouth to investigate objects and sometimes a pet will swallow an item by mistake,” says Olivia.

“Once the pet is recovered and well, the fact they’ve swallowed some of these objects can seem quite comical, however ingestion of foreign bodies is incredibly dangerous and can even prove fatal. If an object moves along the digestive system, it can cause a life-threatening blockage or tear.

“If you have pets, try to keep anything in the home that’s dangerous or easy to swallow out of paws’ reach. Only let them play with suitable pet toys and supervise them as much as possible to avoid any accidents. If you do suspect your pet has swallowed something you should contact your vet for advice immediately.”

Olivia also adds that socialising and training pets from a young age can help to curb their temptation to chew objects, and teaching basic commands like ‘drop’ and ‘leave’ can also help avoid any mishaps.

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

For more pet care tips log onto www.pdsa.org.uk

Pet Care Advice

Help your Pet Feel
Safe in Bad Weather and Thunderstorms

With the changeable British climate, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for thunderstorms and bad weather.

The RSPCA offers advice on how to help pets feel safe at home when there are storms and loud noises.

Whether it’s a dog, a cat or another little pet, planning ahead can help you ease your pet’s worry.

Make sure your dog or cat has somewhere to hide – perhaps under some furniture or in a quiet corner – and can get to it at any time. 

Ensure your pet is kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape

Make sure your pets are microchipped in case they do escape

Close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of thunderclaps and hide any lightning flashes

Offer water at all times 

RSPCA animal welfare expert Lisa Hens says, “Thunderstorms can be unsettling for people, let alone our pets, and thunder is actually one of the most common noises that dogs find scary. However, there are steps we can all take to ease their worry and help them feel safe and secure.

“It is a good idea to provide your dog with a safe haven, so we suggest choosing somewhere quiet and help him to learn that being there is positive and that no harm will come to him. You can do this by giving him toys or a variety of chew toys. You could also talk to your vet about trying a special pet calming diffuser which disperses calming chemicals into the room.

“For small animals that live outside, make sure they always have somewhere to hide, such as extra bedding or a cardboard box. You could also consider bringing them indoors when the thunder is just beginning, until it has blown over.

She adds, “Going forward, if thunderstorms and other noises like fireworks scare your pet, be assured it is a treatable condition and we recommend seeking advice from your vet so that you can plan ahead and help your pet cope. For example, if your dog is frightened of fireworks your vet may suggest referral to a clinical animal behaviourist to teach him/her to deal with the sounds.”

For advice on how to minimise anxiety and keep pets safe and happy and help them cope with loud noises such as storms and fireworks visit www.rspca.org.uk/fireworks

Jo Brand Opens Cat Centre

New Cat Rehoming Centre Opens its Doors

Comedian Jo Brand opened the new cat centre in south west London as a dozen cats are rehomed in a matter of days

A new cat rehoming centre has opened in south west London to help find forever homes for cats in need.

The RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Sutton District branch has opened the new centre next door to the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital.

This will provide a base for the branch and also provide boarding for cats who are looking for their forever homes.

The centre recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony with members of the public, staff, CEO of the RSPCA Chris Sherwood, and comedian and TV presenter Jo Brand.

Jo Brand was filming for the next series of Channel 5 show Jo Brand’s Cats and Kittens at the hospital in Putney, so was on hand to officially open the centre.

Laura Kennedy, branch manager says, “It is just fantastic to be able to open a cat rehoming centre for our branch. Previously, we have relied on advertising the cats available for rehoming on our website and word of mouth. Now we have a base and a presence in the community where people can pop-in and speak to us, and hopefully rehome a cat.”

The property, which was previously a RSPCA charity shop run by the Friends of Putney group, has four cat pods and will also maintain part of the shop selling cat accessories, such as collars, food and litter.

Since officially opening on September 1, the centre has already successfully rehomed six cats in 12 days from the centre.

One of the success stories so far is Tammy and Lacha, two black and white brothers who came into RSPCA care on March 13 from a multi-cat household. For SIX MONTHS they did not have a single enquiry which left the staff caring for them baffled. The eight-year-old brothers were moved to the cat rehoming centre and just one day after opening, the pair were rehomed together.

Laura adds, “Tammy and Lacha are a brilliant example of how having a centre really does make rehoming so much easier. Not only can people come in to see the handful of cats we have in the centre but they can also learn about the other cats we have in foster homes, or private boarding who are all looking for homes.

“The UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis and our branch sees no exception with lots and lots of cats coming into our care each year.

“The new centre will make it easier to rehome cats, and network cats from the hospital to other areas. It will allow us to work closely with the hospital as we are just next door so transportation will no longer be an issue with a quick trip across the car park to a cat pod. This means that we can provide boarding for cats who no longer need to be treated at the hospital but may not otherwise have been able to be moved out due to space demands.”

The branch also relies on the amazing dedication of foster carers with 10 active fosterers in the Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Sutton area who will continue caring for cats in the area.

The centre is also in desperate need of donations of food and litter for the cats in its care, please contact them if you can help.

To contact the RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Sutton branch call Telephone: 07944 308169

Or send an email with your information to: admin@rspcawimbledonandsutton.org.uk

For more information about the RSPCA visit the website at www.rspca.org.uk 

Adopt a Rabbit

Abandoned Rabbits Looking for Homes

The RSPCA is highlighting the story of two rabbits who have been overlooked for a year and eight months. The RSPCA is currently focusing on the plight of unwanted rabbits.

Sadly the animal welfare charity takes hundreds of unwanted rabbits into its centres each year, as owners often don’t realise the responsibility they are taking on.

RSPCA inspectors regularly collect dumped rabbits and the charity believes this is partly due to a lack of understanding around the amount of care rabbits need.

In 2017, the charity investigated 2,428 complaints of neglect about rabbits and more than 2,000 bunnies were rescued by the charity.

In the same year the RSPCA received 874 abandonment complaints relating to rabbits – this works out as more than two complaints every day of the year.

RSPCA rabbit welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson says, “Sadly rabbits are one of the nation’s most misunderstood animals.

“Lots of rabbits are still kept in small hutches without access to an area in which to exercise, many rabbits are housed alone instead of in pairs, and not all are having their nutritional needs met.

“For example, well-meaning owners think they are doing the right thing by buying muesli-based rabbit food but what rabbits actually need is a diet that is made up primarily of hay and/or grass. Eating hay and/or grass helps keep teeth and tummies healthy which can help avoid some of the problems that result in rabbits going to the vets.” 

A pair of rabbits who were abandoned in the cold and wet on the bank of the River Mersey in January last year have been waiting for their forever home for one year and eight months.

The lionhead rabbits were soaked in their urine and left in a sodden box on the bank of the River Mersey in West Didsbury, Manchester. Thankfully they were spotted by a dog walker who called the RSPCA.

The pair have grown up in RSPCA care on a healthy diet which means they love hay and readigrass possibly even more than their veggies.

They would need to be able to go outside and need their own space to relax. They could live with children and most of all they want to be adopted together.

To rehome them visit their Find a Pet page or contact the Altrincham Cheshire branch on 01612 862503.

* Please note, the rabbits shown in this article were available for adoption at the time of ‘going live’ with the October issue. But as time progresses they may find a home.

If any of the rabbits shown are not still available, there are always lots of other rabbits in need of a loving home.

So please check the RSPCA website on www.rspca.org.uk/findapet

RSPCA Christmas Shopping

Feeline Festive with Pawsome RSPCA Gifts

If you’re feline festive and looking forward to the Christmas howlidays, why not take a look at the pawsome RSPCA gifts available this year. Whether shopping for a much-loved pet, family member or friend, the countdown is on to fill those stockings with less than 100 days to go until Christmas.

A present from the RSPCA is a unique gift for any animal lover and also helps the charity to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in desperate need of care.

Ellen Camillin, who helps find exciting new products for the RSPCA says, “There are some fantastic gifts available this Christmas for all the family from cat lovers to wildlife enthusiasts and young animal lovers.

Buying a gift from the RSPCA also means that you can help the thousands of animals we rescue each year. In 2017, the RSPCA collected and rescued 114,584 animals which roughly equates to one animal every five minutes! This is why we need your help to continue to rescue and care for animals this festive season.”

For wildlife lovers, this novel nest box is the ideal Tweetmas gift. Robins like open-fronted nesting sites and often make use of manmade items such as flower pots, boxes and kettles.

This purpose built teapot nester will provide them with the perfect home. It is made from frost resistant ceramic with drainage holes in the base of the nester. It is easy to hang using garden wire and is 15 x 20 x 15cm. The teapot nester is £16.99.

TV-fans will love this collection of heartbreaking but ultimately heartwarming tails of dogs rescued by the RSPCA. All the stories featured in True Tails of Rescue, Recovery and Re-homing have been featured on Channel 5’s Dog Rescuers with Alan Davies.

The RSPCA’s dog rescuers are on hand, providing vital support and the help they need to ensure the dogs don’t just survive but thrive with their forever families. The hardcover book is 240 pages long and priced at £12.99.

Perfect for mums and pet mums, this cat-themed day bag comes with plenty of pockets and space for all the essentials. It is made of heavy cotton with a webbed handle for added durability. There are multiple internal pockets and a zipped pouch for a phone or keys.

There are also two external pockets secured with a popper for extra storage space, or maybe some treats for your furry friend. It can also easily be wiped clean with a cloth to get rid of any hand or paw print marks. The day bag is priced at £32.99.

There are also plenty of stocking fillers available for the kids from animal-themed stickers to jigsaw puzzles and keyrings. New this year and set to be on every child’s Christmas wishlist is the Scruff-a-Luvs toys, a selection of matted balls of fur which children rescue, bathe, dry, brush and love in order to discover what kind of animal they are.

The pink and blue mysteries will then be revealed – are they a cat, dog or rabbit? Each Scruff-a-Luv comes with a grooming brush, collar with name tag and adoption certificate, priced at £19.99.

Animal characters from the Buttercup Farm collection will make a welcome addition to your child’s toy box, they are available in two sizes 25.4cm and 17.8cm as well as a fabric keyring. Choose from Daisy the Cow, Lucy the Lamb, Penelope the Pig, Ruby the Kitten, Rufus the Puppy, and Seymore the Fox. Prices are from £3.99 to £7.99.

This shaking mouse is sure to catch your pet’s attention. Pull the cord and let the mouse shake across the room. Colours vary and supervision is recommended. This is priced at £3.99.

For that purrfect puss in your life catnip infused mice with string tails and bobble ends are sure to tap into your cat’s natural hunting instinct and make for a pawsome playtime. Price is £4.99 for a pair.

These pastel perfection pet bowls are durable but stylish and are embossed with bones for dogs or paws for cats and small dogs. Each bowl is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.

The range include a pink, cream and grey cat saucer at £4.99, a cream and grey small dog bowl at £7.99 and a cream and grey large dog bowl priced at £11.99.

Now this is something for all the family, including your furry friend, to play after Christmas dinner. Race around the Woof Board Game answering questions and testing your dog’s brain by encouraging them to do simple tasks with bones as a reward. Great fun and educational for dogs, children and adults alike. Suitable for ages 7+ (humans). Price is £24.99.

There are also a wide variety of Christmas cards available with adorable animal pictures and the RSPCA logo, in packs of 10 or 20, as well as festive wrapping paper, and 2019 calendars.

For those sparing a thought for all the animals in RSPCA care this Christmas who have been neglected or cruelly treated and are now recovering before they find their forever home, they can give a gift to an animal in need this Christmas.

Just £6 can contribute towards the cost of one night’s boarding for a rescued cat at one of the RSPCA’s animal centres as well as a hearty meal, £10 could provide the charity with enough equine chaff to feed a donkey for one month, and £16 could cover one night’s boarding and a meal for one of the rescued dogs in our centres.

Ruby with RSPCA Inspector,
Anthony Joynes

For more information about any of the products available this festive season visit http://shop.rspca.org.uk 

Or order your RSPCA Christmas catalogue online.

PDSA Pet Care Advice

Keep Your Pet’s Heart Ticking Healthily

There’s no doubt about it, pets well and truly steal our hearts and build an unbreakable bond with us. One way of protecting that very special relationship is to make sure that our pet’s heart is strong and healthy.

Now is a timely opportunity for owners to check they’re doing everything possible to keep their pets’ ticker in tip-top shape.

PDSA vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan says, “Pets often suffer with similar illnesses to people, and their hearts are no different. Everything we do to look after our hearts applies to our pets too – so a balanced diet, regular exercise and yearly veterinary check-ups will keep them in good condition and make sure any heart problems are detected as early as possible.”

Overweight pets can be more at risk of certain heart diseases, so getting your pet’s weight checked by a vet is a good starting point, and they can give you advice on how to slim your pet if necessary. Cutting out any extras like treats and human food scraps will really help, as will increasing their exercise as their stamina improves.

For pets that need a bit more support or owners who aren’t sure where to start, some vets run special weight clinics which, as well as offering expert advice, can help keep pets and owners on the straight and narrow.

Sometimes, even with the best care, we cannot prevent our pets suffering from heart problems. Diagnosis in the early stages, such as after picking up a heart murmur, can increase the chances of successfully managing the condition, so annual check-ups with your vet are also recommended, with more frequent visits if your pet is older or has other health problems.

Signs of heart disease can include:

Stopping short whilst out on a walk

Laboured breathing or breathlessness

Breathing a lot faster than normal, even when they’re resting

Coughing, especially during or after exercise or excitement

Falling over or fainting suddenly (often while exercising)

A bloated stomach (caused by fluid build-up in the abdomen)

“Although heart disease cannot be cured, with the right vet care it can often be successfully managed,” adds Olivia.

“Regular check-ups from the vet are also essential to stabilise any heart condition. As well as medication, appropriate diet and exercise along with a consistent daily routine that avoids any unnecessary changes and stresses can help. Many pets with heart conditions can achieve a good quality of life with the right treatment.”

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment.

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

For details click on www.pdsa.org.uk

RSPCA Rescue Story

RSPCA Officers Rescue Stray Ferret on Way Home from Party

RSPCA Animal Collection Officers Trio returning home after party spot a stray ferret and launch a bid to save her

Three RSPCA officers returning from a party leapt into action when they spotted a stray ferret scampering along a busy London street.

Inspector Emma Dingley and animal collection officers Jessica Pierce and Emma Dwan were  on their way home from a party, when they spotted the lost mammal running along Camden Street in London.

Inspector Dingley said, “We’d travelled down from Greater Manchester and Cheshire to join our colleagues for a party on Saturday night which was thrown by TV production company Middlechild to celebrate the end of filming our new series of The Dog Rescuers.  

“We had a wonderful night out and were heading home the following morning when we spotted the little lost ferret.

“She was close to the busy roads and looked very distressed so we stopped the car and went on a mission to find her!”

Luckily, the officers tracked her down in a narrow alleyway and were able to capture her before taking her to a nearby vet.

“She was very friendly but wasn’t microchipped so it’s not clear where she’d come from,” Inspector Dingley added.

“I really hope she makes it home soon.

“It’s a good job we spotted her otherwise she may well have been injured or killed on the busy road. I guess we’re never off-duty!”

The female, sable/chocolate-coloured ferret is now being cared for by staff at the Royal Veterinary College’s Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital.

The RSPCA urges all pet owners to get their pets microchipped so they can easily be reunited if they go missing.

See the RSPCA website for more information about caring for a ferret.  

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