Nutrition Gastrointestinal

MORE-PICS-336_sm_1.jpg Blood in Stools

Dear Dr Alex Melrose.

I am writing to you for advice with my cat “Iggy”. He has had (3 times now) bleeding from his bottom. He roams the neighbourhood a lot but gets a big variety of cat biscuits to eat, and has lots of water available here at home. He is de-sexed but is always fighting with the very evil grey and white cat that attacks him from next door, but I don’t think Iggy is the aggressive one. Could this neighbour’s cat be part of the problem? Francine, Masterton.

Diet for Older Cats

Hi Alex,

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to ask about my beautiful Siamese boy, Carlos. He constantly demands food with a typically deafening Siamese howl. I can handle this as I’ve had 12 years of practice with him and I work a few extra jobs to put food in his mouth. However, as I was laying out his smorgasbord the other day I started wondering whether he needs some special diet now he is getting longer in the tooth, and whether supermarket food can do the job?

Eating Droppings

Hi Doc, I need some help with my beautiful German shepherd, Samson. He’s very affectionate with us, but lately I haven’t been too keen on him slobbering all over my face. He’s developed an unsavoury taste for droppings! Initially any cat or dog doo would do, now he’s extended the buffet to include duck poo down at western springs.

The thought and smell of all this getting dribbled onto my face revolts me. Should I be worried about catching any bugs off him? What can I do to stop this behavior and return to fun filled frolics with Samson? A friend of mine suggested his diet may be lacking something. What would you suggest? Sarah, Grey Lynn.

Eating Grass

Dear Alex,

I need your help please. I’m blessed with three fun loving Burmese cats ranging in age from 2 to 5 years. They are all really active and wander across my neighbours properties searching for affection when ever I’m not home (apparently common for this breed).

Fortunately they are quite popular visitors, and obviously look out for one another, so they all usually get home safely. The problem is a few days ago one of my neighbours sprayed parts of his back yard with something like Roundup and simultaneously my youngest cat, Samson has become quiet and is just lazing around home all day. What should I do for him, and should I be worried about the other two, Delilah and Mack, who currently seem fine?

Regards, worried cat lover. Dianna.

Flax Seed Oil

Hi Alex, a friend has told me that Flax Seed Oil cannot be digested by her dog and is a waste of money. My dogs are on it for its coat and joint benefits. My friend believed that while it does no harm, it takes more energy for a dog to digest the oil than any energy or goodness they get out of it and that it’s better to give them animal based oil.

Obese Pets

The obesity epidemic is beginning to seriously affect our country’s cat and dog population and our pets are living up to two years less as a result, says Veterinarian Dr Alex Melrose.

Dr Melrose, from VetCare Grey Lynn, is on a mission to help reduce the weight of our cats and dogs – as many as one in three of which are thought to be overweight – and a growing number of them are obese.


“Pet owners need to control their pets’ diets, just as they’d control their own. If you cut off your bacon rind because you know it’s bad for you, don’t then give it to your cat or dog.”

Proper and controlled feeding is critical and Dr Melrose says pet owners should be wary of pet foods that promote palatability over health.

Overweight Pets

Hi pet lovers from the team at VetCare Grey Lynn. There has been some interesting data coming out of the U.S. and Australia which applies to our pets here in N.Z. which I would like to share with you.

41 % of all pets across the ditch are overweight! Surely there wouldn’t be much difference between their furry population and our own. Couple this with new data from America that illustrates an average shortening of lifespan in obese animals by two years and this gets pretty concerning.

Pancreatic Insufficiency

Hi Alex. I need some advice about our very relaxed, clever little Kelpie “Harper”. He’s been growing up well here on the North Shore, wrestling our two large teenage boys to a standstill, any puppies dream life. He has lately been toileting all the time and struggling to put on weight. In the last few days he has also started vomiting, and gone off his food, very unusual for his normally massive appetite. He’s looking increasingly skinny and has an especially nasty, rather greasy diarrhea and a dandruffy coat. Ben of Takapuna.

Pet Food Safety

Hi Alex. I was flicking through some on-line news stories and was quite disturbed about an article regarding pet food safety and it’s similarity to the Chinese Baby Formula tragedy.

Thousands of North American pet owners whose dogs and cats died last year after eating contaminated pet food traced to China could be close to a $45 million settlement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the food contained melamine, a chemical used to make plastics.

Puppy Likes Poo

My five-month-old puppy eats cow poo. It is very gross, as he likes to then licks us. How do I stop him doing this?


Gabbana, my beautiful little Birman kitten has just started scooting along the floor on her backside. She seems a little distressed and startled at the time and suddenly drops to the floor and rubs along our carpet. This is not particularly attractive to dinner guests and it also worries me she may be in some sort of pain.

Sensitive Bowel

Hi Dr. Melrose.

I have a cat named Ziggy that is 15 years old. For many weeks now he has been having explosive diarrhoea, some vomiting, weight loss, eating like he is starving, crust in the corners of his eyes and his voice sounds a little hoarse. I have another cat that has herpes, which has lived with Ziggy for 11 years.


It sounds to me like Dougal is a really lucky dog and is superbly well cared for. The normal frequency of his “number twos” or of any other animals relates heavily to the quality of his diet.

Eukanuba is an excellent diet and of as high a quality as you can get. It has high bioavailability, meaning the individual components of the food can be readily absorbed by Dougals’ digestive tract, supplying his active little body with what it needs but also leaving little waste for him to be excreted.

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