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Why Is My Rat Crying Blood?

As Halloween approaches get ready for the witches, broomsticks, black cats and rats to be out and about in the full force of fancy dress. You may notice that rats get a really rough deal; they’re often portrayed as the bad-guys in films and decorations. They do have one unusual trait that can be a little more ‘trick’ than ‘treat’, however! Those of you that have owned rats may have noticed that they can occasionally get red or orange staining or crusting around their eyes and nose. This can give the appearance that they have been crying or sneezing blood - perhaps they are the scary little creatures we see in Halloween films? Or maybe there’s something else behind it...

What do I need to consider when I dress up my dog for Halloween?

Welcome (with a sinister witches laugh) to a controversial discussion that divides even the veterinary world. Brexit, my friends, is nothing compared to this! Within an hour of my bosses sending this possible blog topic to my inbox, two features had arrived on my social media feeds from different veterinary groups. One showed commercial pet Halloween costumes being deliberately set on fire. Some didn't burn but others did; one in particular was dripping hot plastic. The take home message was that purpose-sold dog costumes are unregulated and many can prove dangerous. The other piece was from a local vets, launching a social media Halloween fancy dress competition. So. What’s an owner to do?
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Why Is My Cat Constipated?

It can be really heart-breaking and worrying watching your cat struggling to use their litter tray, especially when they’re distressed or crying. If your cat is visiting the tray more often than usual, it’s important to take a closer look at what they’re producing (or, more importantly, what they’re not), then pop them to the vets. Constipation is very uncomfortable and needs treatment, but the symptoms are also very similar to a cat struggling to urinate, which may be an emergency. A quick scout of the litter tray for faeces, urine and blood will help your vet determine exactly what is wrong when you call.
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Should We Be Feeding Ducks Bread? Ducks, Dieting and Debating…

If you’ve been scrolling straight past all the Brexit news and onto the more interesting stuff, as I have, you might have read the viral news story about a woman who left a sign in her local park, encouraging people to feed bread to the ducks again. And just like Brexit, it seems that it has ignited quite a heated debate! Going down to feed the ducks with the two ends of a loaf of bread is an age-old British tradition that I and many of you will remember quite fondly as a child. Unfortunately for bird lovers, in the last few years or so, many people have been arguing that bread shouldn’t be fed to ducks. However, as with all great debates, there has been a bit of a U-turn, and now people are arguing that maybe we SHOULD be feeding ducks again. So who’s right? Should we be feeding ducks bread, or is it too unhealthy for them?
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Fireworks, Dogs and Cats: The ABC

November, November, the month to remember… ...but for too many of our dogs and cats, fireworks make it a month they want to forget! With Fireworks Season stretching from October to January nowadays, while it may be fun for us, it’s horrible for them. In this blog, we’re going to think about all the things we can do to help them.
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10 things you need to know about puppy farming

Dear VetHelpDirect, I was planning on buying a new puppy, but since the recent media focus on Puppy Farms, I am concerned. How do I know that my puppy is coming from a responsible home, without it being too expensive? Can I trust the vets’ word for this? This enquiry follows the recent BBC documentary “Inside the UK Puppy Farm Capital”, which suggests that you are right to be concerned. The puppy-farming industry in the UK has been booming over recent years and the recent BBC exposé makes for harrowing viewing.
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