• Raising an orphaned litter is a time consuming although rewarding experience. Neonates are very fragile and despite all the care and attention, losses can be inevitable.

  • False pregnancy, phantom pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy or pseudocyesis can be defined as a display of maternal behaviour together with the physical signs of pregnancy following oestrus (heat) in a non-pregnant bitch.

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited condition in cats, that causes multiple cysts (pockets of fluid) to form in the kidneys. These cysts are present from birth.

  • Breeding cats can be an extremely rewarding experience. However, before undertaking a breeding programme it is essential to understand what this involves; from the time of mating to the time of weaning.

  • Unfortunately, at the moment, there are no reliable blood tests that will detect pregnancy in the cat.

  • Until recently pregnancy diagnosis in the dog depended on abdominal palpation (i.e. feeling for foetuses through the abdominal wall), radiography (x-ray) or an ultrasound scan. However, it is now possible to accurately detect pregnancy in the dog with a simple blood test.

  • Speying involves the removal of the womb and ovaries. It is permanent and irreversible.

  • In its simplest terms, pyometra is an infection in the uterus. However, most cases of pyometra are much more difficult to manage than a routine infection.

  • Should small mammals be neutered? Aside from birth control, there may be other issues at play.

  • Spaying should always be considered if you are keeping your bitch merely as a pet. It has many advantages and few disadvantages.