Death by chocolate

Q: My dog recently swallowed a small amount of chocolate (about the size of a 50 cent coin) and subsequently vomited. He’s been eating and drinking normally and hasn’t showed any discomfort since, but I’m afraid that even if he is in pain, he may not show it. What should I look out for?

Fussy Felines

Q: I have two male and four female cats. They are all neutered. However, Cullen (male) and Bella (female) have a habit of peeing in random places. It does not seem to be a territorial issue as they do it almost anywhere in the house. Also, my other male cat, Jake, who is the more aggressive of the two boys, likes to pick a fight with Cullen. Does this have anything to do with Cullen’s erratic elimination habits? How do I get them to be litter trained again and how do I help them to get along?

My dog is over-excited

Q: My active four-year-old Alaskan Malamute and Husky hybrid loves to go for walks. When I bring him around the neighbourhood, he is familiar enough with the environment and comfortable enough with me such that I can walk him without a leash. He responds to my command. However, when we go to an area that he is new to, he does not listen to me at all. I understand this could be because he is excited being in a new environment and may only calm down and listen to me when he is done exploring. How do I train him such that he will always listen to me regardless of where we are?

Do my cats need vegetables?

Q: My cats have a tendency to chew on my plants but when I add vegetables to their diet they don't eat them. Are they lacking anything vegetable-based in their meals?

Nocturnal cats

Q: My two cats drive me absolutely crazy at night when they try to wake me by scratching the bed and walls. They have toys and scratching posts and are fed regularly at 6pm daily. They shouldn’t be so active at night. I've been sleep deprived now for about half a year and really would love be able to sleep well. Declawing is not an option. Do you have any recommendations for how to get them to mellow down?

My dog has motion sickness!

Q: Tasha, my one-year-old Dalmatian, tends to get motion sickness during car rides. We try to keep the journey as smooth and short as possible but she still ends up vomiting or drooling a lot during and after the experience. The good thing is she recovers quite quickly – about 30 minutes to an hour – before she goes on to play at the park, dog run or beach. What can I do to ease her motion sickness?

Stop that cat from attacking me!

How can I stop my three-year-old tabby from biting or scratching me? I have sprayed water at him, pinched his scruff and spent more time with him, but there hasn’t been a change in his behaviour. He’s usually alone in a room when I’m out because I also have a dog who does not like cats.

Ah Chooo!

Q: My Chihuahua (9 months old), has been reverse sneezing since he was a puppy. Is there any cure for this? What are the side effects of reverse sneezing? Lastly, what is the difference between collapsing trachea & reverse sneezing?

Which shampoo for Fido?

Q: There are so many different types of shampoos in the market, how do I know which is suitable for my dogs? I have a Jack Russell Terrier, a Border Collie, and a Shih Tzu. Can I use the same shampoo for all three dogs?

Red & Raw

Q: Whenever I brush my Husky with a slicker brush, her skin becomes a little red and it looks painful. Is this considered brush burn? What can I do to stop this from happening? Is there another deshedding tool I can use so that she does not suffer from brush burns?

Acupuncture for Arthritis

Q: My Golden Retriever is 13 years old and has recently been diagnosed with arthritis and may be diabetic too. Although he’s currently on a strict diet and exercise regime (slow walks daily), I want him to be able to live a pain-free life for the remainder of his days. My vet recommended acupuncture, but I’m not quite sure how it works. How would you treat a dog with arthritis and what kind of treatment plan is involved?

Change in labrador's demeanour

I have a 10-month-old Labrador. He used to be very gentle and obedient until six months of age but has since become hyperactive and does not listen unless forced to. My family and I think he is too pampered. What should I do?

Warts and scabs

Q: My Poodle is 11-years-old and has multiple warts around his skin. I notice that they tend to be nicked during grooming, resulting in the formation of scabs. How can I prevent this from happening and what type of shampoo would you recommend for his skin?

Which shampoo should I use?

Q: There are so many different types of shampoos in the market, how do I know which is suitable for my dogs? I have a Jack Russell Terrier, a Border Collie, and a Shih Tzu. Can I use the same shampoo for all three dogs?

My cat pees everywhere!

Q: I have two Persian cats, five and three-years-old, both female and sterilised. My five-year-old is more attached to me but she has a problem with her litter box. She has a tendency to pee outside it and will, at times, purposely urinate on my cross stitch tray, slippers, bags and clothes that are left unattended or on the floor. I have tried admonishing her and she will cease to do so for a while before her bad behaviour returns again. Is there any way to stop this completely?