VET’S DIARY: Grass and biscuits don’t make an ideal feline diet

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Every so often and mainly in the summer, we see cats eating grass, writes Simon Caple.

No one really knows why, and every so often we see an unfortunate cat that manages to get a blade of grass stuck up its nose! An affected cat will start sneezing, and possibly develop a nasal discharge and a mild cough as the piece of grass tickles the back of the cat’s throat.

I saw a cat doing just that recently, so he was admitted and examined under an anaesthetic. We found that the piece of grass was actually stuck in the back of his nose and was so long that it was also visible at the back of his throat.

This piece of grass was particularly brittle and snapped when it was handled. Finally though, using our small flexible endoscope, we managed to remove it.

Then while on call at the weekend, one of new vets, Thomas Crawshaw, saw a cat that had been fine all day and was tucking into its tea and suddenly started coughing and sneezing. His owners were most concerned.

We examined this cat and needed the endoscope to look behind its soft palate to find part of a cat biscuit stuck at the back of its right nostril blocking the air flow and causing obvious distress.

We managed to dislodge and recover the offending piece of biscuit by flushing the cat’s nose.

So two cats with something stuck up their nose in the space of two days, not something I’ve seen before.

Cats with a nasal discharge are maybe not the most photogenic animal subjects, but that would not exclude them from a competition we are about to launch The Face of Alnorthumbria Pets. For a £1 charity donation, you can have your pet’s photo taken by a professional photographer, and the winning photos (as decided by our panel of impartial judges) will win exciting prizes!

You can also order prints of your favourite photos. All profits from the prints will also be donated to an animal charity.

For further details, pick up a leaflet from your local surgery or phone 0333 6669995.

Finally, we would like to introduce a few new faces. Firstly Thomas, who is based at Alnwick, and two new equine vets, Kerry and Amy, based at Morpeth. We would like to welcome them to our team at Alnorthumbria Vets.