Pet’s Corner Q&A

I’ve noticed that my nine-week-old kitten sometimes has blood in her faeces. Is this something I should be worried about?

Finding blood in your cat’s faeces can be worrying – there are many possible causes but, fortunately, most of them are treatable.

Worms or other infections are the most common causes of blood in a kitten’s poo, but it’s important to have your kitten checked over by your vet as soon as possible, especially if they seem unwell in any way.

The blood may appear as either red, meaning it’s fresh, or black, meaning it’s been digested.

Fresh blood in faeces is usually caused by a problem in the lower part of the gut (such as the colon, anus, or anal glands), but digested blood generally points to bleeding further up the digestive tract (such as the stomach or small intestines).

For more information on caring for you cat, please visit

One of my guinea pigs seems to be laying down and panting a lot recently. Could this be a sign he is too hot? And how can I keep him cool?

If your guinea pig is taking short, quick breaths and acting lethargic in warmer weather, it could be a sign of overheating.

It’s crucial to keep your guinea pigs out of direct sunlight, with plenty of shade and – ensure they always have access to multiple water sources, to encourage them to drink more.

Increase fluid intake by offering hydrating treats like pears, apples (avoid the pips!), and celery – these can be high in sugar so give sparingly or drench their greens in water.

Avoid giving your furry friend cold baths, as this could send him into shock. Instead, try making your own ice pack to cool him down – freeze a water bottle and place inside a sock.

Speak to a vet for advice if his symptoms don’t improve quickly.

I recently had to take my gerbil, Peanut, to the vet to have her teeth trimmed. What can I do to stop them from growing too long?

Gerbils love to chew things – it naturally wears their teeth down, preventing them from growing too long – and it also alleviates boredom!

Offering tempting things to gnaw on such as banana leaves, cardboard, coconut shells, hay cubes, mineral lava, unbleached loofah, pumice stone, and seagrass, will help to maintain your gerbil’s teeth.

You can also wash and then bake untreated softwood (on a low heat for an hour) for them to nibble on as a special treat.

Good woods to use include apple, dogwood, elm, grapevine, hawthorn, hazelnut, pear, poplar, quince, willow, and yucca.

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