Dear PDSA Vet, my hamster, Benji, keeps dribbling and doesn’t seem to be eating as much. What could be wrong? Valentina

It sounds like Benji’s teeth may be overgrown, which could be why he’s dribbling and isn’t interested in his food. Hamsters’ teeth grow continuously and they need to wear down their teeth by gnawing as well as through eating. You’ll need to arrange an appointment with your vet so they can provide advice and treatment - Benji may need some dental work to correct the problem. Once treated, you can help your hamster’s teeth to stay trim at home. Provide a suitable substrate for his cage, such as timothy hay for him to nibble and plenty of hamster-safe toys that double up as gnawing chews. Gnawing blocks and untreated softwood branches will also help to ensure healthy hamster teeth. For more information on hamster health, visit

Dear PDSA Vet, my 12-year-old Labrador, Susie, seems reluctant to go for walks now that it’s colder outside. What can I do? Martin

Older dogs can feel the cold more, especially short-haired breeds like Labradors. That’s why it’s important to protect your pooch from the cold so they can still enjoy their walks. Try getting Suzie a winter coat to keep her warm when she’s exploring the outdoors. If she’s still reluctant to go for a walk, get her checked over by your vet to make sure she hasn’t got any health complications such as arthritis that could be putting her off exercise. Although outside exercise is vital, you can also try some indoor exercise sessions. Puzzle toys and games can help to keep your four-legged friend active, but it’s really important they still get a daily walk, even if it’s a little shorter than usual!

Dear PDSA Vet, my cat’s eyes look really sore and sometimes pus comes out, which I clean away, but it keeps coming back. What can I do to help her feel better? Irene

Redness and discharge such as pus are common symptoms of an eye problem or can be a result of an underlying health condition. If left untreated, this sort of issue could get worse very quickly and could even result in your cat losing their vision. Please arrange a visit to your vet as soon as possible so they can work out what’s wrong and provide suitable treatment. In the meantime, make sure your feline friend doesn’t scratch their eyes, as this will irritate them even more.

Dear PDSA Vet, my budgie gets very restless in her cage, but I’m worried she’ll hurt herself if I let her fly around in the house. How can I make it safe for her? Rolando

Budgies are very social and need to live with at least one other budgie. Try adding a mirror to her cage so she can feel she has company until you can find her a suitable companion. Budgies also need space to fly freely to get exercise and stay healthy. Create a secure environment by restricting her to one room, closing all windows and doors, and removing any other pets from the room so she can fly around safely. You’ll need to make sure there are no hazards — remove room fans and close blinds properly, for example, to stop her from becoming entangled. Once it’s safe to do so, let your feathered friend out of her cage and keep an eye on her while she enjoys stretching her wings.

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