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STV’s popular observational documentary VetSchool returned to our screens last week for a second series. The show follows the vets at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh and the animals they treat.
Vet Kerry Simpson, who features in tonight’s show, is the Head of the Feline Clinic at the School and lectures in feline medicine. She operated on Tin-Tin the cat, who had been having trouble keeping his food down. Kerry told The Hour:
“Tin-Tin had had medication that can cause irritation between the mouth and the stomach. It comes in a capsule form so if that capsule gets stuck, it can irritate the lining of that tube and cause scarring.
He got scarring which was narrowing the tube, so every time he tried to eat, the food couldn’t get down to his stomach, so he was just bringing it back up all the time. By stretching that tube out he’s been able to swallow his food and go back to normal.”
Cats are very good at hiding illness until they become very sick, so when they are ill they really need a lot of care. A lot of illnesses are age related, and the most common diseases affecting older cats are cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, heart problems and thyroid problems.
Kerry, who lectures in feline medicine, said: “Indoor cats are less likely to come into contact with infectious diseases and they’re not going to hunt so they won’t get infections from their prey. They’re not going to get into cat fights either.
“Some cats are quite happy to stay inside but they don’t move around as much [as outdoor cats] so they are more prone to being overweight. A lot of indoor cats are fed dried food, which is a really good diet, but you have to be careful not to over-feed them because they graze throughout the day.”
An outdoor environment is more natural for cats, but if you choose to keep your cat indoors, make sure your pet has plenty of stimulation to minimise the risk of behavioural problems developing.
For more information on the Royal (Dick) School see Edinburgh University's web pages.
Vet School is on STV tonight at 8pm. Catch last week's episode now on the STV Player.