DEAR PDSA Vet: I have a five-month-old Collie-cross Staffy that keeps weeing whenever he gets excited or scared. Will he grow out of this?

Some puppies urinate when they are approached or petted; this is called ‘submissive urination’. Others urinate when they are excited, seem alert and happy in play; this is called ‘excitement urination’. Puppies shouldn’t be punished for this. Make sure that you keep greetings low-key; don’t bend over them when you greet your puppy, as this can be intimidating and cause a fear response, reinforcing the problem. Calmly greet your puppy with gentle words and reward relaxed behaviour. With maturity, this behaviour should disappear as their confidence grows with reward based training. If your dog continues to do this, discuss your concerns with your vet to rule out any medical conditions. Your next step could be referral to an accredited behaviourist.

Dear PDSA Vet: My daughter’s hamster, Snuggles, has long fur and she is convinced he needs a haircut! I’ve persuaded her he doesn’t, but do they need any special care?

Snuggles doesn’t need a haircut. Snuggles will groom himself regularly, but, as he’s long-haired, your daughter could brush him gently every other day with a soft brush. She should start brushing from his tail end, gradually working her way towards his head, so he gets used to it. Start with short sessions, reward him when she’s finished. If he stops grooming himself this can be a sign that he’s unwell, so he would need to be taken to your vet. It’s important to keep Snuggles’ bedding and cage clean. Thoroughly clean the cage once a week and change his bedding when it becomes soiled. For more information on caring for hamsters, visit

Dear PDSA Vet: My beloved cat Chase’s back legs suddenly collapsed. The vet said he had a blood clot and that nothing could be done. He was always a very healthy cat. Why did this happen?

I'm sorry to hear of your recent loss. A thromboembolism – a blood clot – usually happens very suddenly, without any warning signs. The clot forms in the heart, (commonly due to an underlying heart condition) and travels down the main blood vessel (the aorta). The aorta divides to supply blood to the hind legs, so when the clot arrives here, it becomes lodged, either in one or both of the blood vessels, blocking the blood supply, meaning that the legs stop working. Often there are no symptoms to suggest a problem before this happens. You can read more about the condition at

Dear PDSA Vet: How often should I be worming my dog? Some people say every month and some say every 3 months, so I’m a bit confused.

A regular worming programme is important to keep your pet safe. Dogs that scavenge, live with children or people with weakened immune systems or live in an area of high prevalence of lung worm should be wormed each month. Dogs that aren’t living that lifestyle can be wormed every 3 months.