Dear PDSA Vet

I have gold fish that I keep in a tank and have done for two years. Would it be ok to transfer to a pond in the garden when it gets warmer? Or will the change in environment harm them? Quentin

Dear Quentin, Usually fish don’t like being transferred to a new environment and you’d have to think about whether this move is necessary. Do plenty of research to make sure your pond’s a suitable new home. Moving is stressful for a few reasons. Your fish are used to the temperature staying the same throughout the year in their tank, unlike the very variable temperature in a pond. The water will also be very different and may vary in quality. If you want to keep your fish there you’ll have to pay attention to pond maintenance and make sure they are protected from predators, too. If you do decide to transfer your fish, take advice from a fish vet on the best way to do this without harm.

Dear PDSA Vet,

I have a 12-year-old chocolate Labrador called Millie and two months ago she fell off a 10ft wall, chipping the bones in her toes and badly damaging her ligaments. She is on an anti-inflammatory every day but doesn’t seem to be getting better, and since the fall she often poos and wees in the house at night. Is there anything you can suggest? Lee

Dear Lee, I would advise you go back to your vet as they will be aware of all of the factors involved in Millie’s care. She might need further treatment or tests. In the meantime, it could help to keep a record of when Millie soils in the house, to see if there is any pattern. For example, is it only when she’s lying in her bed, or are there puddles or normal poos near the door as if she tried to go out but couldn’t? Is she being fed late at night, which might mean that she’s full when she has limited access to the outside? A detailed picture helps vets put together what’s happening, what’s working and what isn’t helping. They can then decide what to do next and tailor any treatment to what’s best to help her Millie.

Dear PDSA Vet

I’ve recently bought a guinea pig called Cassie, who is seven-months-old. I’ve heard guinea pigs prefer company so I want to get her a friend. Would a male or female guinea pig be best, or perhaps a rabbit? Barbara

Dear Barbara, Guinea pigs are social animals and need another guinea pig friend. Rabbits have different “languages” and so can bully or injure guinea pigs. We recommend keeping males and females separated to prevent unwanted litters, so you’ll want a female for Cassie’s companion. As Cassie hasn’t grown up with her, the second guinea pig should be introduced gradually. Get them used to each other’s scents by putting some of the new pig’s bedding in Cassie’s hutch and vice versa. After a few days, a wire divide can be placed between them so that they can see, hear and smell each other but can’t have physical contact. After a week of this, they can meet on neutral ground. You’ll need to go back a step if they end up fighting. With a bit of patience, they will become great companions. For further information on caring for guinea pigs, visit

Dear PDSA Vet

My beloved cat Tigger was two weeks short of his sixth birthday when his left back leg suddenly collapsed, followed by his right one. It was evening so I took him to an emergency vet, who told me that he had a thromboembolism – a blood clot which stopped the flow of blood to his legs. He was given painkillers, but I was told nothing could be done, so I reluctantly agreed to let him be put down. How common is this disease? Helen

Dear Helen, I'm sorry to hear of your recent loss. A thromboembolism can happen very suddenly and often without any previous signs. It happens when a blood clot forms in the heart due to an underlying heart condition. The clot breaks off and travels down the large main blood vessel, until it divides and suddenly gets narrower. It gets stuck here, blocking the blood supply to one or both of the back legs, which is incredibly painful. Often young cats with heart problems don’t show any symptoms, meaning that neither the owner nor the vet will be suspicious that there’s a problem until it’s too late. Sadly the outlook is very poor and the chance of success is so low that it’s not fair on the pet to try treatment. I am sure your vet would have done everything they could. You may find our webpage of some help: