Dear PDSA Vet, my cat, Jasper, has seemed to have gone off his food and I noticed his gums look quite red. What could be wrong? Neil

Dear Neil: Sore red gums can be a sign that your puss is having dental issues. It’s probably quite painful for him to eat, which may be why Jasper is ignoring his food. In this situation, you’ll need to take him to your vet. They can give your feline friend a proper check up and help with any required treatment. In the meantime, make sure you feed him soft food, you may need to liquidise this so he can lap it, until he feels better.

Dear PDSA Vet, my ferret seems to be putting on a lot of weight suddenly. What should I do? Siena

Dear Siena: Ferrets naturally put on weight before winter to ensure they have enough fat stored to get them through the colder months. This is perfectly normal, so you shouldn’t worry about the sudden weight gain, as your furry friend should lose it all again when spring comes around. If your ferret doesn’t seem to lose the winter weight however, you may want to adjust their diet. This can be easily done by cutting down on treats and re-considering the type of food you’re offering, so they’re eating a nutritionally balanced meal, that also satisfies their natural desires.

Dear PDSA Vet, Last winter my dog, seemed to chew his paws after his walks, when it had been snowing or icy, is he allergic? Vinnie

Dear Vinnie: Snow and ice don’t usually cause an allergic reaction in dogs, it’s much more likely that your dog has been walking on treated roads or pavements, that have caused some irritation to his paws. The salt and grit which is used can be painful to walk on and can also build up amongst the fur and around the nails, making your dog want to chew them after his walks. So when you get home it’s a good idea to wash your dog’s paws with plain tap water and comb the fur through to release any caught up grit.

Dear PDSA Vet, my cat keeps shaking her head and tipping her head to one side. Is this the sign of an ear infection?

Dear Dominika: Your first port of call should be to visit your vet as it sounds like there is something really upsetting your cat - They’ll be able to closely examine your cat’s ear and find out what’s wrong. While it could be an infection, ear mites or even something like a grass seed down her ear can also make her react this way. Ear infections can be extremely uncomfortable and if left untreated can make your cat very poorly. Head tilting in particular can mean your puss has developed a more severe problem that’s affecting their middle or inner ear. You can find out more about ear infections in cats by visiting

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