In this week's Pets Q&A the PDSA Vet is on hand to answer all of your queries from pets with fleas to finding a lump on a beloved pet.

Dear PDSA Vet

I have a nine-year-old Bichon Frise called Sally who has chewed her paw so much it is now very raw. Is there anything I can do with it? Debs

Dear Debs, there are several possible reasons for Sally chewing her paw. She could be in pain, have something inside the paw, have an injury or she may have an allergy, all of which can be made worse by licking and chewing. I recommend contacting your vet to find out the cause, so Sally receives the most appropriate treatment. You may need to use a cone collar to prevent her from licking the area while she’s having treatment or to break the habit. Some dogs lick persistently because of stress or boredom, so make sure Sally’s got plenty to keep her occupied and keep her mind off her paw.

Dear PDSA Vet

My daughter’s gerbil has a lump on her tummy. It doesn’t seem to be growing or causing her any discomfort. What might be wrong? Samera

Dear Samera, you should take your daughter’s gerbil to your vet to have the lump checked, even if the lump doesn’t seem to be causing any pain at the moment, they can be uncomfortable and so it will need investigating. Sadly, small pets like gerbils, rats and hamsters can be prone to developing lumps and bumps; it could be a tumour, cyst or possibly an abscess. Your vet may recommend an operation to remove the lump or lance an abscess. However, if they are not concerned about the lump and it is not causing your daughter’s gerbil any problems, the advice may be to leave it alone as the anaesthetic and operation can be risky.

Dear PDSA Vet

I just can’t seem to get rid of my dog’s fleas! Although I have tried several different treatments they just seem to keep coming back, even though it’s winter now. Zack

Dear Zack, fleas love our warm homes in winter! Their eggs and larvae live in soft furnishings, bedding and carpets, plus any cracks and around the edges of hard floors. It’s essential to treat all cats and dogs regularly and your home. Wash all bedding and vacuum your home thoroughly, then treat with a flea house spray. Pet flea treatments, if used the correct way, should kill any adult fleas that are living on the animal, but if shop bought products don’t seem to be working, you need to speak to your vet or vet nurse about suitable alternatives. A dog flea treatment must never be used on a cat, as some can cause fatal poisoning. Buy flea products here:

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